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Mary’s Memo – February 24th

FROM THE COOKBOOK SHELF


I love the concept of having a meal cooked in a mug in the microwave! Whether you’re dining solo, pressed for time, living in a dorm, traveling in an RV or eating at the office 250 Meals in a Mug, Delicious Homemade Meals in Minutes by Camilla V. Saulsbury is a must have cookbook! These individual portion-sized recipes will take you through morning breakfast to late afternoon snacks to satisfying suppers with just a quick trip to the microwave, omitting hours of stove top simmering and baking. The author has stripped away all the timeconsuming steps as well as the artificial ingredients found in boxed meals. Most of the recipes can be created from scratch in less time than it takes to defrost a processed meal. You’ll also appreciate the helpful tips she gives in addition to the recipes. For example, we’re sharing Pesto Chicken Couscous and Camilla suggests replacing 1/2 cup of canned chicken with deli chicken.

Camilla Saulsbury is a writer, recipe developer, fitness trainer, endurance athlete and creator of the healthy food blog. She also holds a PhD in sociology with specialization in food studies, health and medicine. She has been featured on the Food Network, Today, Good Morning America Health, QVC and in multiple publications including the New York Times, Cooking Light, Southern Living, Clean Eating, Cosmo Girl, Food Network Magazine and Pilates Style. A native of the San Francisco Bay area, she currently lives in Texas with her husband and son.

PESTO CHICKEN COUSCOUS


• 1/2 cup water
• 1/2 cup couscous
• 1/2 cup cutup cooked chicken
• 3 tablespoons basil pesto
• Salt and ground pepper
• 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

In a 16-ounce mug, microwave water on high for 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 minutes or until water is boiling. Stir in couscous. Cover with a plate and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork. Stir in chicken and pesto. Microwave on high for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes or until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Source: 250 Best Meals in a Mug by Camilla Saulsbury (www. robertrose.ca), March 2014, $24.95. Order from Amazon.com or look for it at your favorite bookstore.

BLOG RECIPES MAY NOT BE HEALTHY


Keep an eye on the healthfulness of recipes you find on the internet. Nutritionists at Simmons College in Boston analyzed 96 random entrée recipes from six popular blogs, including SimplyRecipes.com and that the sampled recipes were generally reasonable in terms of calories (typically 650 per serving) but tended to be high in saturated fat and sodium and low in fiber. Our experts recommend scanning the ingredients for items high in saturated fat, such as butter, cheese and cream. You might be able to substitute lower-fat versions. And if the recipe calls for salt, consider cutting the amount by half or more.
Source: Consumer Reports on Health, February 2014.

SAVOR YOUR FOOD AND AVOID WEIGHT GAIN


If you slow down when you are eating, you could consume fewer calories, according to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics. For the study, the “slow” meal, which consumed over an average of 22 minutes, involved small bites and deliberate chewing. The “fast” meal, which was consumed in an average of nine minutes, involved large bites and quick chewing. The participants who ate slowly consumed 88 fewer calories than those who ate more rapidly. Slower eating may allow people to better sense their feelings of hunger and fullness. Slow eaters also consumed more water during their meals, adding a feeling of fullness.
Source: Weill Cornell Medical College Women’s Nutrition Connection, March, 2014.

HAVE YOU TRIED THIS?


I have bad mouthed Johnsonville for the monosodium glutamate in their sausage products but they do have some without MSG including Johnsonville Chicken or Turkey Sausage, available with apple or cheese added. My personal favorite is Chicken Sausage with Apple.

GRILLED FRESH PINEAPPLE


Some brave souls grill outside in the wintertime but I’m not one of them! That said, I adapted an outdoor grilling recipe for indoor cooking on a Cuisinart Griddler (a George Foreman will also work or a grill that works on your range top).

GRILLED FRESH PINEAPPLE


• 1 whole fresh pineapple
• 3 tablespoons honey
• 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

Trim, core and peel pineapple. Remove any eyes with a paring knife. Quarter pineapple, cutting skin away. Cut each quarter slice into four pieces (two pieces lengthwise and two crosswise, about three inches by one inch). Brush grids with Grill Pam. Whisk honey and lemon juice together and brush on both sides of pineapple wedges. Cook wedges four minutes on both sides, just long enough to make grill marks on the surface. Brush again with honey-lemon mixture before serving. Recipe serves 6.
Source: Adapted from recipe at WhatsCookingAmerica.net.

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