Mary’s Memo – February 27th

PRIZE-WINNING GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH


My friend, Annie Watts, includes a recipe in her Christmas letter. One of her activities this past year was judging the 2016 Ultimate Grilled Cheese Contest. The winner was Andrew Kuehnert, Fort Wayne Indiana dairy farmer, for The Mousetrap.

THE MOUSETRAP


• 1 to 2 tablespoons salted butter, softened
• 2 thick slices firm white bread (Texas toast-style)
• 1 thick slice medium Cheddar cheese
• 1 thick slice Havarti cheese
• 1 thick slice Colby-jack cheese

Preheat griddle or skillet to medium/high heat. Generously butter 1 side of each bread slice. Place 1 bread slice, butter side down, on griddle. Top with Cheddar, Havarti and Colby-jack cheese then second bread slice butter side up. Grill until golden brown and cheeses are melted, pressing down on sandwich and flipping as needed. Cover if needed to help melt the cheese. Remove from griddle and let stand 1 minute; cut in half and serve. Garnish if desired.
Source: Andrew Kuehnert, Fort Wayne Indiana.

FAVORITE SOUP RECIPE FROM MY COOKBOOK


Readers ranked Cabbage Patch Soup the one they liked best. Have you made it? Although our winter has been warmer than usual, a hearty homemade soup is always welcome.

CABBAGE PATCH SOUP


• 1 pound ground chuck
• ½ cup celery
• 2 medium onions, chopped
• 1 small head cabbage, shredded
• 2 cups water
• 1 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
• 1 15-ounce can ranch-style beans
• 1 tablespoon chili powder
• Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté meat and add drain fat. Add celery, onions, cabbage and water. Cook 15 minutes. Add tomatoes, beans, chili powder, salt and pepper. Cook 20 minutes longer. Recipe makes 6 servings.

WATCH THE SALT


Convenience foods are loaded with salt. That includes canned soups including Campbell Healthy Request cream of chicken and cream of mushroom that I’ve used to make casseroles.

The same can be said for sandwiches sold at fast food restaurants.

If you’re on a sodium-restricted diet, do try Mrs. Dash Onion and Herb is a good alternative. I had not realized that there are several flavors.

Fortunately many more salt-free foods are available including no-salt potato chips and tortilla chips. For someone who loves them as much as I do, they’re tasty.

VITAMIN E SUPPORTS HEART, BRAIN, EYE AND IMMUNE HEALTH


Sixty percent of Americans don’t get enough of this vital vitamin. You may not hear much about vitamin E but it more than pulls its weight when it comes to your health. It’s an antioxidant that helps protect cells from the damaging unstable molecules that occur naturally in the body. It boosts immunity, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by decreasing inflammation, and inhibits excessive formation of platelets that contribute to blood clots. Vitamin E intake from foods has been linked with a decreased risk for Parkinson’s disease, and vitamin also supports eye health by helping to protect against cataracts and macular degeneration.

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin E is 15 milligrams per adult men and women. “There are many ways to get adequate vitamin E in your diet from foods,” confirms Jenna Rosenfeld, MS, RD, CDN, CNSC, a registered dietitian at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell. Include almonds in your oatmeal in the morning, or add hazelnuts to your salad at lunch or dinnertime. Swap corn oil for sunflower oils when cooking to boost vitamin E intake. Pack sunflower seeds as an easy portable snack.

Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin meaning that the body needs fat to adequately absorb it. Almost all foods that are high in vitamin E are naturally high in fat, but don’t obsess over the calorie count as long as you don’t overdo it. “Some people may worry about the calories and fats in oils, nuts and seeds, says Rosenfeld. However, some fat is necessary for a healthy, balanced diet.”

It is better to obtain vitamin E from foods or a general multivitamin unless instructed to do otherwise by your healthcare provider, since vitamin E can interact with many medications. Rosenfeld adds that eating a balanced diet is vital for optimal health. “When you are consuming a variety of ‘real ‘foods, you are guaranteeing your intake of all vitamins and without having to calculate the dose or find a reputable brand supplement. Vitamin E foods include wheat germ, sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, peanut butter, avocado, peanuts, corn oil and spinach.
Source: Women’s Nutrition Connection, January 2017.

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