The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on June 3, 1998 · Page 13
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 13

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Salina, Kansas
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Wednesday, June 3, 1998
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Page 13
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WEDNESDAY JUNES, 1998 THE SALINA JOURNAL Fi III HEALTH / C4 CLASSIFIED / C5 c T COOKING FROM A TO Z Spring greens offer fresh flavors, many nutrients Cole Publishing Group Spinach and other spring-grown greens Inspire a variety of colorful, nutritious salads, soups and side dishes. Spring greens should be served as soon after purchase as possible to take advantage of the highest amounts of vegetables and minerals. By Universal Press Syndicate Spring greens are a traditional tonic for tired menus and winter- weary palates. Tender and mild- flavored, baby spinach and young leaves of spring-grown dandelion, mustard, arugula (also known as roquette), turnip and beet offer fresh, new flavors and a good supply of nutrients. One of the most enjoyable ways to serve spring greens is to combine them with other foods in salads, soups and pasta dishes. Try adding a generous handful or two of finely shredded raw greens to hot, freshly cooked, well-drained linguine. Drizzle with olive oil, add freshly ground pepper, and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Then toss lightly and serve as an accompaniment to fish or as the main course for a light supper. Tips for success • The peak season for spring greens is March through June. • Choose young greens with small, tender leaves. Avoid wilted, yellow or slimy leaves. • Greens are highest in vitamins and minerals immediately after harvesting and should be served as soon as possible after purchase. Unwashed greens can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to three days. • Wash greens just before use. Remove tough stems. Wash leaves thoroughly to remove sand or dirt, changing water frequently to eliminate all grit. Drain well. A spinach salad with Greek overtones complements roast chicken or lamb. Prepare just before serving for the best flavor, color and texture. Keep in mind that fresh spinach needs thorough washing to remove any gritty sand clinging to the leaves. Spinach-Pine Nut Salad 2 bunches fresh spinach (about 1 1/2 pounds), stemmed, washed and drained 1 red onion, sliced thinly 1/2 cup grated carrot 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts 1/4 cup Greek Kalamata olives, pitted 1 cup crumbled part-skim feta cheese 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon wine vinegar 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard Salt and pepper, to taste In a large salad bowl, mix spinach leaves, onion, carrot, nuts, olives and feta cheese. In. another bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper. Pour over salad and toss. Serve at once. Makes 4 to 6 servings. Thin ribbons of young dandelion or spinach and fresh herbs quickly transform chicken stock into a rejuvenating garden soup. Soupe Jardlnere 6 cups chicken stock 4 cups spring greens (about 1 to 1 1/2 pounds total), stemmed, washed and drained 2 tablespoons each minced parsley and chives Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 1/3 cup minced green onion In a stockpot over moderately high heat, bring stock to a simmer. Slice greens into thin ribbons or chop very fine. Add to stock and cook just until wilted (about 2 minutes). Stir in herbs and sim- mer 2 minutes more. Season to taste and serve in warm bowls. Garnish with minced green onion. Makes 4 servings. This cooking technique preserves the delicate flavor of very young dandelion, mustard or beet greens. No additional liquid is needed. The moisture clinging to the washed, well-drained leaves is sufficient for cooking. Avoid overcooking, which destroys nutrients and spoils the bright color of the greens. Saute of Spring Greens 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil 2 bunches fresh spinach (about 1 1/2 pounds total), s.temmed, washed and drained 4 cloves garlic, minced 1/4 teaspoon salt Freshly ground pepper, to taste 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter or heat oil. Saute spinach and garlic just until leaves are wilted (about 5 to 8 minutes). Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Serve at once. Makes 3 to 4 servings. Sanctifying Fat Scientists say there's no need to restrict fat in healthy diets By KIM PIERCE Universal Press Syndicate W hen elephants fly, and it snows in hell, fat will be dandy. Well, watch out below and bundle up. A group of eminent scientists has just lifted the lid on lipids. At a conference earlier this year, they issued the following statement: "In an otherwise healthy diet, fat needn't be restricted." As you might suspect, this isn't license to load up on cheese fries and ribs, nor is it the whole story. The "good" fats that got the nod are unsaturated fats, largely from plant-based sources and some fish. But the statement is a big departure from the stern warnings of the past decade to limit fat to 30 percent of calories. "We've always been puzzled by the way that the flat 30-percent rule ignores the people who are very healthy ... but whose diet gets more than 30 percent calories from fat," says K. Dun Gif- .ford, president of Oldways Preserva- ftipn & Exchange Trust. The Cam' bridge, Mass., organization helped de' velop the Mediterranean, Asian and Latin food pyramids. Oldways and the Harvard School of Public Health was host to the 1998 Conference on the Mediterranean Diet in Cambridge, Mass., earlier this year, with participants coming from as far away as Buenos Aires and Finland. Gifford refers to population studies showing that some groups of people thrive on high-fat diets. One of the most widely publicized, the Seven Countries Study, launched the Mediterranean Diet to stardom. It profiled the residents of Crete during the late 1960s. Their diets got 37 percent calories from fat — about the same as Americans today. But the Cretans had dramatically lower mortality rates from heart disease and some cancers than Americans — with •'^ limited access to medical care. They're not alone. . "We find populations around the world that are comfortable at 35,40 percent (calories from fat)," Gifford says. So why have health experts been so slow to acknowledge this? "The fear back 10 years ago was that eating fat was responsible for obesity," says Frank Sacks, an associate professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health and an associate professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School. Obesity and obesity-related illness remains a problem in the United States. But new research suggests the answer is more complex than demonizing fat. "We kind of said, 'Look, the science is not definitive. Let's just say that we don't know enough to say that eating fat makes you fat, or eating carbohydrates will make you lose weight,' " he says. Health groups and professionals are not rushing out to make changes in their recommendations. The Cooper Clinic, the nutrition branch of the Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas, stands by the 30-percent total fat rule, says Kathryn Miller, a registered dietitian there. "Since we are a cardiovascular, medical-based clinic, our guidelines will continue to follow (the) American Heart (Association)," she says. Even so, our understanding about what constitutes a healthy diet continues to change. And fat isn't necessarily the defining factor. Certain high-fat diets and certain low-fat diets produce healthy people. "There really are two cultural inspirations for these different camps: Mediterranean and Asian," Sacks says. China is a good example of the latter. And whether low-fat or high, both patterns share this: They are plant-based. Plus, the kind of fat eaten is pivotal. The Cretans, for example, ate primarily fruits, vegetables and whole grains — almost to the exclusion of meat and dairy products. Their fat came largely from olive oil. The importance and benefits of some oils, such as olive oil, have been lost in the "limit fat" message of recent years. See FAT, Page C2 Universal Press Syndicate Some scientists are now saying that people who have otherwise healthy diets do not need to restrict their Intake of unsaturated fat. This type of fat comes mainly from plant-based sources such as nuts, seeds, avocados, some fish, olives, olive oil and many vegetable oils. These foods make up the high-fat, but seemingly healthy, Mediterranean diet. Children may not be eating enough fat, scientists say By Universal Press Syndicate It has become the litany of most major dietary guidelines: Everyone over the age of 2 should limit fat to. 30 percent of total calories. Now two scientists are challenging that wisdom — for kids. Children under 5 are getting too little fat in their diets, say Bruce Watkins, professor of lipid chemistry and metabolism at Purdue University, and Bernhard Hennig, professor of cell nutrition at the University of Kentucky. "You don't want to compromise growth and development," says Watkins. "We do not have good research to say what fat requirements are for that age child," he says. And extrapolating from adults doesn't wash, they say, because the needs of children, who are growing and developing at a rapid rate, are different from adults'. Parents shouldn't start restricting milk, eggs or meat early on, Watkins says, because those are "nutrient-dense foods — foods rich in protein, rich in vitamins, rich in minerals. Dairy foods are a primary source of calcium. "These foods contain fatty acids the child needs for growth," he says, referring to mental, physical and visual development. The scientists acknowledge that their view is contrary to current dietary recommendations from groups such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Heart Association. They believe more research should be done to better understand youngsters' needs. T KITCHEN HINTS Olive-Nut Spread is easy, tasty favorite Dear Heloise: Please help. I am looking for your and your mother's recipe for some kind of dip or spread. I think it had green olives, cream cheese and pimen- * tos. I used it before, and everyone loved it. — Mrs. C. Schunk, Garden Grove, Calif. Dear Mrs. Schunk: It's one of my favorites, too... my mother's Olive-Nut Spread. It's an easy, tasty spread that can be " served on crackers or white, sourdough or French bread. And the best thing is you can make it ahead of time and store it in a glass jar or plastic scalable con- HELOISE King Features tainer and keep it in the fridge for a long time. It's great to serve to unexpected guests or make a snack for the kids. Here's what you'll need: 6 ounces cream cheese (regular or low-fat), softened '/a cup mayonnaise (regular or low-fat) 2 tablespoons liquid from salad olives Dash of ground pepper '/a cup chopped pecans 1 cup chopped green salad olives The jar will say "salad olives," which are bits and pieces of olives that usually contain pimentos, and the bonus is they are cheaper. Combine the cream cheese and mayonnaise in a medium bowl, and mix well. Add the liquid from the salad olives and the pepper and mix. Now, fold in the pecans and the salad olives. That's all there is to it. Quick, easy and delicious. — Heloise Dear Heloise: The letter about buttering ears of corn reminded me of the method we have used for many years. We use a pickle dish that measures about 3"/4 inches by 7Vi inches and is 3/4 inch deep. Add some butter and roll the hot ear of corn in it. Perfect coverage and no mess. — Sylvia Thurber, Lawrence, Kan. Dear Heloise: Use a clean half- gallon ice cream container with the cellophane in the lid to hold homemade cookies. This is especially nice for outdoor picnics where flies are buzzing. Picnic- goers can see if they are choosing chocolate chip, oatmeal, sugar cookies or brownies. — Jeanne in Houston Dear Heloise: After opening a half-gallon of ice cream and while it is soft enough to dip, fill small margarine containers with the rest of the ice cream. The servings are easy to stack in the freezer and at hand for either a quick snack or regular serving. It's especially nice to give a few to a neighbor who lives alone. — Rosemary Hague, Indianapolis Send a money- or time-saving hint to: Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio TX 78279-5000 or fax it to 210-HELOISE 6>toEAT Tips provided by SHERRIE MAHONEY Extension Agent • Family and Consumer Sciences Chicken con Queso H ave 2 cups cooked, diced chicken or turkey ready. In a medium bowl, combine one 10%-ounce can cream of chicken soup, 1% cups shredded cheddar cheese, % cup milk, % cup finely chopped onion, and one 4-ounce can diced green chilies (drained). Use reduced fat soup, cheese and skim milk to reduce the fat. Put one cup chicken in the bottom of a 1 '/a quart casserole. Layer half of the soup mixture on top. Add another layer of one cup chicken. Top with remaining soup mixture. Garnish top with coarsely crushed tortilla chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until heated through. Serve with tortilla chips. SUGGESTIONS? CALL KAREN L. GILL, FOOD EDITOR, AT (785) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT s|kglll@sal|ournal.com

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