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Mary’s Memo – January 20th

FROM THE COOKBOOK SHELF


Since I didn’t get a new cookbook for Christmas I bought one: One Pot of the Day by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, Inc., and William Sonoma, Inc., 2012, $34.95/hardback). Not many cookbooks contain 365 recipes but One Pot of the Day offers a one-pot meal for each day of the year from January to December. Recipes include a spectacular array of dishes from slow cooked stews and stir fry’s to paellas and pilafs. I don’t know about you but after the holidays I’m thinking comfort food and One Pot of the Day also features many meatless and oven-to-table selections. Colorful calendars at the beginning of each chapter offer an at-a-glance view of entrees best suited to the ingredients, occasions and typical weather of the month.

McMillan is a chef and owner of her own catering company and an instructor at Tante Marie’s Cooking School in San Francisco. She has worked as an event planner for Vogue and Glamour magazines and lives in Northern California with her husband and 3 young daughters. Order One Pot of the Day from Amazon.com for a less expensive copy.

FDA TAKES STEPS TO REMOVE TRANS FAT


The risks associated with consuming industrially-produced trans fat which is in all foods that contain partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) are well documented: Eating trans fat raises LDL cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease. In November, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a preliminary determination that PHOs are no longer “generally recognized as safe” for use in food. If this determination is finalized, PHOs will be placed in a category of food additives, and it will probably become illegal to sell foods that contain PHOs.

PHOs are added to processed foods because they increase a food’s shelf life and stability and enhance flavor. Many food manufacturers have reduced or eliminated their usage of PHOs in the past several years. However, PHOs are still found in many foods, including some crackers, cookies and other baked goods, microwave popcorn, shortenings and margarine, ready-to-use frostings and coffee creamers.

However, you don’t need an FDA ruling to cut your trans fat intake: Simply check the ingredient list on all processed foods and do not eat those that contain partially hydrogenated oils.
Source: Weill Cornell Women’s Nutrition Connection, January 2014.

NOVEL ANTICOAGULENTS MAKE LIFE EASIER FOR PATIENTS WITH ATRIAL FIBRILLATION


The right dose of any anticoagulant is critical because too much of the drug can cause unwanted bleeding and too little may allow blood to clot. In this regard, the new anticoagulants are much simpler to use. Christopher B. Granger, MD, Director, Cardiac Care Unit, Duke University, says: “We at Duke have been involved in running large studies of the new blood thinners for atrial fibrillation, and results show substantial advantages compared to warfarin, including better survival. Warfarin is very effective and better than no treatment. But other than the higher cost, most patients will be better off on one of the new drugs compared to warfarin.”
Source: DukeMedicine HealthNews, January 2014

I said earlier that comfort food is welcome in January after indulging in a lot of rich food from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. Daughter Mary Ann made this for me while visiting her and it was also good reheated. Cabbage is often cheaper than many other vegetables, especially this time of year so not only plan to use it in salads but Smoked Sausage Harvest Casserole, adapted by Mary Ann from an Eckrich recipe from 25 years ago. I’m making more changes because I’ve replaced the turkey sausage she used with Chief’s Smokehouse brand.

SMOKED SAUSAGE HARVEST CASSEROLE


• 2 tablespoons butter
• 5 cups chopped green cabbage
• 1 medium onion, cut in half and sliced
• 1 cup sliced carrots
• 1 (15.5-ounce) can red beans, drained
• 1 (10-ounce) can Original Rotel Tomatoes
• 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
• 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• 2 tablespoons flour
• Dash ground pepper
• 1 (19-ounce) package Chief Smokehouse sausage cut into 12 pieces

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add cabbage, onion and carrots and sauté for about 10 minutes. Stir in beans, tomatoes and vinegar. Add cheese, flour and pepper and mix together. Spoon into 2-quart oblong casserole dish. Arrange sausage pieces on top of cabbage mixture and push down partially. Cover and bake 40 minutes or until hot. Recipe makes 6 servings, about 350 calories each.

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