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Mary’s Memo #2236

THE APPLE JUICE CONTROVERSY
     Like Dr. Phil, Oprah Winfrey launched the career
of Dr. Oz as a TV personality. Yes, he is a noted cardiologist and continues to see patients but he is also an entertainer who has won daytime Emmys for his show. Although his many followers take what he says as gospel truth, his number one job today is entertaining and he’s making a lot of money doing it. I would agree with my Oz friends that he has more people thinking about what’s good for them to eat but many days he does it in an outrageous way! Scaring people about apple juice containing dangerous amounts of arsenic is a case in point. The FDA quickly jumped on this Oz assertion as did manufacturers of the juices that are available. Oz claimed that most apple juice sold in supermarkets
including Chief and Rays is made with concentrate that comes from other countries including China. It’s true because I made a point of checking labels at the Bryan Chief. Although all brands are within safe levels to drink, Mott’s® apple juice is made with 100% product grown in the USA, a real selling point if you have concerns about serving apple juice to your family. With that USA-made label, it’s the one I would buy, even though it costs a little more.
     As you know, I’m concerned about food that comes
from China and other Asian countries and prefer USA
and Canadian produce. Too many times China has been in hot water over something made in that country. Unfortunately, there are seasons during the year that if I want certain foods I reluctantly accept what is available and trust our USDA and FDA to make sure it’s safe to eat. Personally, I don’t buy food from China but that doesn’t mean you need to do the same. If it were not safe to eat Chief and Rays wouldn’t be selling it!
     I don’t cook anything in plastic containers regardless of the origin but don’t like them for food storage if they’re not made in the USA. It’s hard to find a gadget or kitchen appliance that is USA made (Nordic is an exception). Label may look like it’s made here but it isn’t! Here again, I rely on the USDA, FDA and Consumer Products Safety Commission to be sure these items are safe to use and encourage you to do the same. THERE YOU GO AGAIN!
     I like Sargento® deli sliced cheese but they recently changed the package amount from 12 to 11 slices. I found this out when I shopped for Swiss cheese slices to make this week’s Philly Cheese Steak Strata that called for (12) 3/4-ounce slices. The original recipe is from Land O'Lakes® but their cheese and eggs are something Chief and Rays don’t carry. So those are the first changes I made to the recipe. And no, I didn’t buy a second package of cheese but settled for 11 slices. Also, shredded roast beef was suggested and I used chipped deli roast beef knowing you don’t always have leftover roast beef to make this. Otherwise, I left the recipe in tact. This entrée has 380 calories, so it’s within my guidelines for main dishes being no more than 400. With only 1 cup of deli chipped roast beef, a trifle over 1/4 pound, it’s not costly to make but has plenty of protein from other sources.

PHILLY CHEESE STEAK STRATA

1 tablespoon butter1 medium green bell pepper, thinly sliced1 medium sweet onion, sliced thin11 thin slices of Sargento® Natural Aged Swiss4 cups cubed 3/4-inch French bread slices1 cup chipped deli roast beef1 cup milk1/4 cup all purpose flour4 large eggs, beaten2 tablespoons A-1® Steak Sauce     Melt butter in 10-inch skillet until sizzling. Add onions and bell pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until crisp tender, about 5 to 7 minutes.
     Stack cheese slices; cut into thin strips and coarsely
chop. Arrange 2 cups bread cubes in buttered 2 quart
oblong glass baking dish. Top with half the beef, half the pepper mixture and half the cheese. Repeat layers ending with cheese. Whisk together the milk, flour, eggs and steak sauce. Pour evenly over ingredients in baking dish. Cover; refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. To bake, preheat oven to 375ºF. Bake, covered with foil, 20 minutes. Uncover; continue baking for 20 to 25 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut into 6 servings. Leftovers will freeze.
Source: Adapted from Land O'Lakes® recipe. Download PDF of Memo #2236

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