of August 29, 2004
with a wok is not only a quick method of cooking,
it is also a healthy way to cook. When
stir frying, a wok has numerous advantages over
a regular frying pan - it distributes heat more
evenly, requires less oil, and ensures that food
tossed during stir-frying lands back in the pan
and not all over your stove top and kitchen.
Have all the ingredients you need out and ready
to use. Stir-frying in a wok is quick, so you
need to be ready to go.
Make sure all the food is washed, dry and cut
or chopped according to recipe instructions before
For even heat distribution and cooking, cut all
the ingredients the same size.
If the recipe does not specify, cut all the ingredients
into bite-sized pieces.
Heat the wok on medium-high to high heat for at
least a minute before adding oil. (Skip this step
if you have a nonstick pan - it can cause damage
the teflon coating.)
Add the oil (up to 2 to 3 tablespoons but no more)
drizzling it so that it coats the sides and the
bottom of the wok. The oil will heat up faster
Before adding other ingredients, season the oil
by cooking a few pieces of garlic and ginger.
This in turn will flavor the meat and the vegetables.
You may want to reduce the heat slightly at this
point to keep them from burning.
If the recipe calls for meat and vegetables, cook
the meat first and then set it aside. Add the
meat back when the vegetables are almost cooked.
This ensures that the meat is not overcooked and
Meat is normally stir-fried on high heat to seal
in the juices (of course individual recipes may
Add only a cup of meat at a time to the wok, laying
the meat flat on the surface.
Remove the meat from the wok when it changes color.
Beef will begin to lose it red color and chicken
will begin to lose it pinkness. At this point
the meat should only be about 80 percent cooked.
You will add the meat back to the wok at the end
of the recipe to reheat and finish cooking with
the leafy vegetables or right before the sauce
Stir-fry vegetables according to how long it will
take for them to cook. Denser vegetables such
as broccoli and carrots will require more cooking
time than green leafy vegetables such as bok choy
and cabbage and spinach.
If the vegetables become too dry during cooking,
you may want to add a few drops of water while
When stir-frying meat, wait a few seconds before
tossing so that the outside has a chance to brown;
when stir-frying vegetables, begin moving them
When adding sauces to vegetables and or meats,
form a "well" or "valley"
in the middle by pushing the ingredients up the
sides of the wok leaving an empty space at the
bottom. Add the sauce in the middle and stir to
thicken before combining with the other ingredients,
then season to taste.
NOTE: Heat varies from stove to stove. For wok
cooking, start with a medium-high heat and then
adjust the temperature up or down as needed for
your particular stove top.
of August 22, 2004
you looking for a sweet treat with little or no
fat - then look no further. Don't forget the lowly
little marshmallow. Remember how good they are
toasted over a campfire? Well guess what; they
are virtually fat-free. For the jet puffed commercial
version, here is a breakdown on the nutritional
facts. One serving listed below is about four
large (not the mini) marshmallows.
if you have the time and the right equipment,
why not indulge in a real treat?
Makes 18 servings
cup confectioners' sugar (used for dusting)
2 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 1/4 cups water, divided
4 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sprinkle a 9 x 9 inch square dish generously with
a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together
white sugar, corn syrup and 3/4 cup water. Heat
to 250 to 265 degrees F (121 to 129 degrees C),
or until a small amount of syrup dropped into
cold water forms a rigid ball.
syrup is heating, place remaining water in a metal
bowl and sprinkle gelatin over the surface. Place
bowl over simmering water or in the microwave
until gelatin has dissolved completely. Keep in
a warm place until syrup has come to temperature.
Remove syrup from heat and whisk gelatin mixture
into hot syrup. Set aside.
a separate bowl, whip egg whites to soft peaks.
Continue to beat, pouring syrup mixture into egg
whites in a thin stream, until the egg whites
are very stiff. Stir in vanilla. Spread evenly
in prepared pan and let rest 8 hours or overnight
knife while cutting with confectioners' sugar
as well as cut marshmallows.
NOTE: You really need all the correct kitchen
tools to make this recipe easy - a medium to large
nonstick saucepan, a candy thermometer, a nonstick
silicone-coated spoon or spatula and a good standing
- electric mixer.
facts are based on only about 1/2 cup of the confectioners'
sugar adhering to the marshmallows. Per Marshmallow:
119 Calories; trace Fat (0.0% calories from fat);
trace Saturated Fat; 1g Protein; 30g Carbohydrate;
0g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 17mg Sodium.
Exchanges: 0 Lean Meat; 2 Other Carbohydrates.
of August 15, 2004
on Cooking with Yogurt
get the healthy benefits from yogurt, look for
yogurt that contain live bacteria cultures.
Contains active yogurt cultures means that the
bacterial cultures are still present in the
yogurt because it has not been heat-treated.
Read the label to make sure that they have not
been stabilized with starch or gelatin. U.S.
Government regulations require a minimum of
two cultures, but some yogurts have as many
as five distinct cultures.
plain yogurt for sour cream on a baked potatoes,
or use in stews or Stroganoff type dishes.
can be substituted for mayonnaise or sour cream
in equal amounts for dressings, dips and spreads.
becomes sharper with age. Stored at a refrigerator
temperature of 35°F to 45°F, yogurt
will keep fresh for up to two weeks. The fresher
the yogurt, the better the flavor and consistency.
cooking with yogurt, the sweeter flavor of plain
low fat yogurt works better as opposed to most
nonfat yogurts which have a thin, slightly sour
thicken sauces, you can use yogurt in place
of heavy cream. By adding some flour to the
yogurt before adding it to the sauce will prevent
curdling. Use 1 tablespoon of flour to 1 cup
yogurt helps to tenderize meats or marinades.
Read more about how to use yogurt to tenderize
yogurt in reduced fat baked goods will improve
texture and make the food moist.
substituting buttermilk with yogurt, thin the
yogurt with a little water or milk to the right
using yogurt for baking, add 1/2 teaspoon baking
soda for each cup of yogurt used.
preserve the bacteria, do not add yogurt to
a boiling or extremely hot mixture. The best
way is to stir a few tablespoons of the hot
food into the yogurt to gradually warm the yogurt.
Then stir the warmed yogurt back into the hot
yogurt in a blender can cause it to break down
and liquefy. Gently fold in yogurt when incorporating
into most recipes.
using aluminum products when cooking with yogurt.
The acid in the yogurt will react negatively
with the aluminum.
of August 8, 2004
cooked vegetables for crisp salads.
then shocking in cold water or iced water is a
great way to cook vegetables, then cool them quickly
for use in dishes like salads. Depending on how
long you cook the vegetable will give you a different
degree of crisp tenderness desired in most salads.
You can use this method to cook almost any vegetable.
For example, try green beans or asparagus. Trim
and wash beans or asparagus.
a pot, bring salted water to a boil and prepare
an ice bath (a bowl full of ice and water). If
you are on a salt restricted diet, plain boiling
water will work as well.
your vegetables just a few at a time into the
boiling water. Do not to crowd in the pot. Make
the water is at a constant boil. Test the vegetables
for doneness after a minute or so; green beans
and asparagus should be crisp, yet cooked. To
test larger vegetables like cauliflower or broccoli,
insert a small sharp knife into the thick part
of the stem. If the knife slides in and out easily,
the cauliflower or broccoli is ready to be shocked.
you are sure that the vegetables are cooked, quickly
remove them from the boiling water and plunge
them into the ice bath. Immersing the vegetables
in ice water (called shocking) will stop the cooking
the vegetables in the ice water long enough for
them to cool completely, then drain and pat dry
for use in your salad. If the vegetables from
the ice bath before they are cooled, they will
continue to cook from the inside out. This will
mean give you a less than crisp vegetable for
of August 1, 2004
Forget the Veggies on the Grill
know, when everyone's eyes are on those succulent
chicken breasts or pork chops sitting atop the
grill, it is hard to thing of vegetables. But
at your backyard barbeque, they can steal the
show or even become the entrée. Vegetables
absorb a deep, smoky sweetness when grilled, and
almost any kind of vegetable works great. You
can serve them over pasta, rice or polenta. You
can also make them into fantastic sandwiches -
try them on focaccia bread, in pita bread rounds
or as a wrap with fat free or reduced fat flour
tortillas. Remember to use a light not overpowerung
you plan to put your grilled veggies in a sandwich,
cut vegetables like zucchini and eggplant lengthwise
into thin slices onion, tomatoes and peppers into
thick rings. When grilling asparagus, the spears
can be left whole and placed perpendicular to
the grill grates. You can also get a special grill
pan with small holes that the veggies can't slip
through or thread everything onto a skewers.
course you can just serve them as a side dish
a well. Whatever way you decide to use them, I
think you will agree. They are fantastic.
as long as you are starting up the grill, bring
on the veggies too!
into salads or serve with rice or pasta; garnish
with basil just before serving.
oil spray for grilling
1 zucchini squash, cut lengthwise into quarters,
then thickly sliced
1 yellow or summer squash, thickly sliced
1 small eggplant, cut into 1-inch chunks (peeled
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 medium onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 1/2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
Spray cold grill basket and cooking tongs well
with cooking oil spray for Grilling Cooking Spray.
Position grill 3 to 4 inches from heat or grill
according to suggestion by manufacturer.
vegetables into large bowl; drizzle with olive
oil. Toss to coat well. Place basket on grill;
over medium high heat about 25 minutes stirring
occasionally or until vegetables are crisp tender
and have grill marks. Salt and pepper to taste.
Serving: 71 Calories; 4g Fat (42.8% calories from
fat); 1g Saturated Fat; 2g Protein; 9g Carbohydrate;
3g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 5mg Sodium.
Exchanges: 1 1/2 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat.