Mary’s Memo #2257

     A new super broccoli might help protect your heart by combating unhealthy cholesterol. British scientists spent 14 years hybridizing the broccoli, crossing a standard plant with a wild, bitter variety found in Sicily. They aimed to boost the broccoli’s content of glucoraphanin, a naturally occurring compound that breaks down fat in the body, keeping it from clogging your arteries. Besides boasting two to three times the glucoraphanin, the “super broccoli” also tastes slightly sweeter. Marketed in the US as Beneforte, the broccoli will roll out nationwide this fall. Meanwhile, the scientists who developed it are conducting human trials to test the heart health of those who eat it, compared to ordinary broccoli.
Source: Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter, February 2012.


Q: Does light olive oil contain less fat?
A: Light has nothing to do with the fat content of olive oil. It simply means it has a lighter taste. I avoided olive oil for years because of the heavy taste, at least that’s how I perceived it, even though most recipes call for extra virgin olive oil (EVOO).


     Being a food writer isn’t easy, especially when it has to do with what’s good for us and what isn’t. We’re in the season of Lent and Catholics abstain from meat on Fridays. We’re also told to eat more fish and seafood because of its health advantages. The problem is that eating fresh fish and seafood, even the frozen kind, is not cheap. The February Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter addressed the dilemma by suggesting that we turn to canned fish products and that brings me to albacore tuna, the kind I bought before I learned that it had too much mercury in it. But now according to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine, Harvard scientists who analyzed mercury in toenails, a more accurate measure of long-term exposure than blood testing, report no link between highest levels of mercury and increased risk of heart disease or stroke. In fact, they found a slight protective association, probably because of other nutritional benefits of fish, even varieties higher in mercury such as shark and swordfish. The scientists cautioned that pregnant and nursing mothers and children up to age 12 should still exercise caution about exposure to mercury from fish. For the rest of us the benefits of canned fish such as albacore tuna far outweigh the risks. Most of us don’t get enough omega-3’s in our diet and light tuna canned in water
that I’ve been buying has less omega-3’s than albacore.
Source: Information taken from Special Supplement to Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter, February 2012.SPEAKING OF CANNED TUNA, CHECK THIS OUT ….
     When I was a home demonstration agent in Rensselaer, IN, I ate in the St. Joseph College cafeteria occasionally, and that’s when I was introduced to Tuna Chop Suey, made like regular chop suey but meatless. It may not be better than the meat version but I liked it, enough so that I later fixed it for our family during Lent. Think of the omega-3’s you’ll be consuming, especially if you use albacore tuna!

     You can be sure that this part Irishman will be having corned beef and all the trimmings on Saturday, the 17th! I’m partial to leftover corned beef-on-rye sandwiches as well! It seems to me that corned beef is leaner today than years ago or maybe it’s because Chief and Rays sell such good quality meat, corned beef included! No fancy gourmet recipe for me; I follow package directions, adding red potatoes and carrots when appropriate to do so and cabbage toward the end because I don’t like it overcooked.


     I like Baileys® Irish Cream and love an excuse to use it in a recipe. I broke a rule about the number of calories in this one (about 450) but for St. Patrick’s Day, go for it! Trust me; this pie will get rave reviews!


(1) 9-inch baked pie crust1/2 cup milk32 large marshmallows1/3 cup Baileys® Irish Cream1-1/2 cups whipping creamGrated semi-sweet baking chocolate for garnish, optionalHeat milk and marshmallows in a 3-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly just until marshmallows are melted. Refrigerate about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture mounds slightly on a spoon. Gradually stir in Baileys®. Beat whipping cream in chilled medium size bowl with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Fold marshmallow mixture into whipped cream. Spread in baked pie crust. Sprinkle with grated chocolate, if using. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours until set but no longer than 48 hours. Store covered in the refrigerator. Recipe makes 8 servings.
Source: Adapted from Gold Medal recipe, 2002.
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