of December 28, 2003
have been watching what you are eating. You are
eating healthy but you are still slowly gaining
weight. What could be the problem?
could be several things, but more than likely
you are just eating more than regular portions.
You are overeating! We live in a time when everything
has been "super-sized". Your ideas of
what normal portions are have been skewed. When
you go to a restaurant, you are not served on
a dinner plate, but a PLATTER. And people eat
it all and wonder why they feel "stuffed"
and have trouble even getting up from the table.
At home, when you sit down to dinner, how many
"seconds" do you pile on your plate?
Do you fill your plate twice?
what is in a portion? You can not always go by
what is on the outside of a box of cereal, bread
or pasta. Serving portions on labels have increased
in past years, right along with obesity in the
following recommendations should be used as a
general guideline, as individual nutrition needs
vary widely according to factors such as age and
activity level. This means if you are a couch
potato, you need to go with the lowest level and
really cut back (You are not burning enough calories).
and Cereals: 6 to 11 servings per day
serving of cooked rice or pasta is only 1/2
cup (Restaurants usually serve as much as four
times this amount.
cup of cooked cereal is a serving
cup of ready to eat cereal is a serving
one slice of regular sized bread is a serving
(A jumbo bagel served at most coffee shops,
however, may contain as many as five servings).
3 to 5 servings per day
serving of leafy green vegetables like salad
greens or raw spinach is 1 cup.
serving of chopped raw or cooked vegetables
like green beans, broccoli, squash is 1/2 cup.
2 - 4 servings per day
medium banana, apple or orange each make a serving.
1/2 cup of fruit juice, canned fruit or dried
fruit is also equivalent to one serving.
and Protein Sources: 2 - 3 servings for Adults
cup of milk is one serving
cup of yogurt is one serving
and a half ounces of natural cheese or two ounces
of processed cheese all equal one serving. A
serving of cheese is roughly the size of a one-inch
Fish, Poultry, Dry Beans, Eggs and Nuts: 2
- 3 servings
serving of cooked lean meat is equivalent to
two or three ounces, which is roughly the size
of a deck of cards.
serving of beans is 1/2 cup of cooked dry beans
egg is equivalent to one ounce of lean meat;
therefore, a serving of eggs would be about
two or three eggs.
tablespoons of peanut butter or one-third cup
of nuts are also equivalent to one ounce of
Oils and Sweets: Use Sparingly
teaspoon of butter is considered a serving.
teaspoon of oil is one serving
of December 21, 2003
food wrapped in leaves is a popular Asian culinary
technique: not only does it help keep the food
moist, but the fragrance from the leaves is transferred
to the food. (The leaves are not eaten). Meats,
dumplings and vegetables can be steamed in this
fact, the Filipinos actually have a term - Pinais
- which means food wrapped in leaves (banana or
alagao), and steamed.
can use lettuce leaves, Chinese cabbage leaves,
banana leaves, fig leaves or grape leaves to name
steaming fish steaks wrapped in large romaine
leaves. Any type of non-oily fish can be used.
It will turn out wonderfully moist.
tablespoon diced red onion
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
Zest from 1 medium sized lemon
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons dried sage or fresh
2 teaspoons dried thyme or fresh
1 egg white
Salt and pepper
6 large romaine lettuce leaves
2 (8 ounces) fillets (sole, snapper, lemon sole,
yellow tail, other white fish fillets 1 inch thick)
onion, bread crumbs, lemon zest and juice, sage
and thyme together in a small bowl. Add egg white
and blend well. Place 3 romaine leaves in bottom
of a steamer or enough leaves to cover steamer
rack. Lay fish fillets on top. Spoon crumb mixture
on top of fillets. Pack down with spoon. Cover
fillets with remaining romaine leaves. Place over
boiling water, cover with a lid and steam 10 minutes
for 1-inch-thick fillet. Increase to 15 minutes
for thicker pieces of fish. Serve fish still wrapped
in lettuce on individual plates.
Serving (nutritional data based on sole): 336
Calories; 4g Fat (12.1% calories from fat); 1g
Saturated Fat; 49g Protein; 23g Carbohydrate;
2g Dietary Fiber; 109mg Cholesterol; 447mg Sodium.
Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain (Starch); 6 1/2 Lean Meat;
0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Fat.
can also wrap fish in leaves and grill-steam fish
over coals. The leaves don't form an airtight
seal; therefore, foods develop that grill flavor
that you won't get with an airtight foil package.
Leaves also have some moisture of their own to
contribute to the cooking process. This is very
important because the biggest problem with grilling
seafood is to overcook and dry it out.
of December 14, 2003
you ever wondered what is considered small, medium,
and large potatoes or onions? Many recipes leave
that judgment to the cook's expertise and let's
face it; not all people following a recipe are
you've ever been in the produce department when
the gigantic sweet yellow hybrid onions, such
as Texas 1015's are in season, you know full well
how dramatically onions can differ in size. Generally,
I prefer recipes that call for a specific amounts
of onion, rather than relying on an eyeball judgment
of size. But not all recipes are so precise, so
here are the sizes that you can go by.
to Onions USA, onions less than 1 inch in size
are called creamers or boilers, small onions are
1 to 2 inches, medium are 2 to 3 ¼ inches,
large are 3 ¼ to 4 inches, and above that
the definitions get a little outlandish, up to
are usually graded by lot, meaning the sizes are
approximate and applied to each bag, rather than
individual potatoes. Large potatoes are over 6
ounces, or at least 2 ½ inches in diameter.
Mediums are 1 ½ to 2 ¼ inches, and
smalls (or "baby") are anything less
than 1 ½ inches.
of December 7, 2003
Aroma and Appearance
taste and acceptance of a new dish by you, your
family or guests can sometimes depend on two other
senses other than taste. Those two senses are
smell and eye appeal.
aroma can greatly enhance the essence of food.
If it smells bland, to many it will appear tasteless.
To enhance savory foods, use herbs, garlic and
spices to heighten the aroma which in turn will
boost flavor. Favorite herbs that have a lovely
fragrance are thyme, rosemary, basil and tarragon.
Garlic, if not overpowering and too pungent can
also augment the flavor of foods. Spices too can
add delicious smells to foods. No one can refute
the lovely bouquet of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves
that fill homes during the holiday season.
though a food can taste and smell wonderful, it
will not be palatable if it looks bad. Your mind
forms an instant judgment that you will not like
this because it doesn't appear appetizing.
up main dishes with sprigs of parsley, cilantro,
basil or other fresh herbs to make it pretty.
Use nice dishes for presentation; don't just plop
it in a bowl and put a spoon in it. I know taking
the baking dish from the oven to the table is
easier, but not always an enhancement of eye appeal.
Bring down those pretty serving plates from your
top shelves. Make it appear pretty and appetizing.
Add lemon, lime or orange peel curls for both
sweet and savory dishes. Add snipped chives on
top of soups and savory dishes. Sprinkle dark
spices on light colored dishes (paprika on scalloped
potatoes or cinnamon on low fat flan). Make flowers
or roses out of carrots, tomatoes, onions and
radishes. These add color and instantly make it
eye appealing. Squiggle sauces to make pretty
designs on the plate; then add the food a little
to one side of the plate. Notice the garnishment
of food when you go to a nice restaurant and take
heed. Usually those restaurants that have a prettier
presentation also have "big dollar"
prices and with good reason.
the result will be that you, your family or guests
will savor the food, eat more slowly and even
enjoy the company because you have created a festive
air and ambiance that transcends mere eating.