of December 25, 2005
The mountain of food is long gone, but there is
still food left. Just remember that proper storage
of leftovers and other previously-cooked foods
is imperative for food safety. Follow these steps
to keep foods properly chilled:
foods quickly because cold temperatures keep most
harmful bacteria from growing and multiplying.
Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared food
and leftovers within two hours. Foods left out
longer should be discarded.
the refrigerator at 34 °F to 40 °F and
the freezer unit at 0 °F and occasionally
check these temperatures with a thermometer.
defrost (or marinate) food on the kitchen counter.
Use the refrigerator, cold running water or the
large amounts of leftovers into small, shallow
containers for quick cooling in the refrigerator.
poultry and other stuffed meats, remove the stuffing
and refrigerate it in a separate container.
foods may be put directly into the refrigerator
or freezer, but dont overload. Cool air
must circulate to keep food safe.
Use refrigerated leftovers within three to four
days. Freeze quantities that cant be used
by then. Since bacteria cant grow at freezer
temperatures, food is generally safe indefinitely
while frozen. However, use frozen foods in a reasonable
length of time for best quality.
Reheat thoroughly to a temperature of 165 °F
or until hot and steaming. Soups and gravies should
be brought to a rolling boil.
IN THE MICROWAVE
Theres no doubt about it. The microwave
is Americas favorite reheater. But careless
reheating can contribute to foodborne illness.
Its important to become thoroughly acquainted
with your micro-wave. It doesnt cook like
other appliances. While microwaves can get food
hot enough to kill bacteria that may be present,
the microwave doesnt always cook evenly.
Therefore, its up to the cook to arrange,
cover, rotate, stir and turn foods so they reach
a safe temperature throughout.
cook differently in microwaves than by conventional
heat. In a regular oven, hot air makes both the
food and its container hot, while in the microwave,
the air is cool. Cooking occurs when microwaves
cause food molecules to vibrate; the resulting
friction creates heat. Since microwaves go about
an inch deep in most foods, the center cooks when
heat from the outer areas travels inward.
continues to cook after the microwave turns off,
whether the food is still in the oven or someplace
else. Be patient and allow the food to stand for
an additional one third of the original cooking
time, or as the recipe directs.
carry-over heat can raise the internal temperatures
several degrees and helps equalize temperature
throughout the food. Both are important to food
safety because in order for food to be safe, food
must reach a temperature hot enough and long enough
to kill bacteria.
Food Safety Checks For Leftovers:
Microwave only properly stored and handled foods.
food to promote even heating.
only microwave-safe dishes. Remove food from plastic
wrap, styrofoam and/or freezer containers.
dish with lid or heavy-duty plastic wrap turned
back at one corner.
through cooking and as needed: turn dish, reposition
dish on rotating table, rearrange or stir food,
and turn large food items over.
food to stand after microwaving.
foods to 165 °F to ensure that bacteria are
destroyed. Bring soups, sauces and gravies to
a rolling boil. Food should steam throughout,
not just at the edges. The center bottom of the
plate or utensil containing the food should be
very hot to the touch.
of December 18, 2005
of soy say that by consuming soy protein rather
than animal protein, you may see a significant
decrease in total cholesterol driven by a decrease
in LDL ("the bad") cholesterol.
bring on the tofu!
To make everything even more enticing is the fact
that tofu can be low fat and low calorie. Lite,
extra firm tofu per each 3 ounce serving: 32 Calories;
1g Fat (16.3% calories from fat); 6g Protein;
1g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol;
83mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Lean Meat. (There
are four serving per container or box)
you are not appreciative of the creamy texture,
you can freeze and thaw tofu to give it a more
dense, chewy, and meat-like texture. After freezing
at least 48 hours, tofu has a texture similar
to a fish filet, chicken breast, or red meat.
best freezing results: First remove tofu from
the package. Slice lengthwise in 1/4-inch thick
strips and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the
freezer for a few days (at least 24 hours). We
recommend preparing and freezing several packages-worth
at once. Then you can thaw as needed like frozen
cutlets. When you thaw these tofu "cutlets"
in the microwave or in warm water, the ice will
fall off, leaving a tofu that has a meat-like
appearance. Marinate in any thick sauce (like
teriyaki, sweet & sour, or barbecue sauce),
then broil, bake, or even grill on the BBQ!
longer tofu is frozen, the better the results
will be. However, it not recommended eating tofu
that has been frozen for more than 60 days.
of December 11, 2005
a Little Dessert Please!
Mini Fruit Tarts
- 3" x 3" wonton skins
2 tablespoons reduced, or sugar-free jelly or
1 ½ cups diced fresh fruit
1 cup nonfat or low-fat yogurt, any flavor (my
favorites are vanilla or lemon)
Nonfat cooking spray
oven to 375ºF and spray mini muffin tins
with cooking spray. Press wonton skins into muffin
tins allowing the corners to stand up over the
edges. Bake wontons for 5 minutes or until they
are lightly browned. Remove from oven and carefully
take each wonton shell out of the muffin tins
and allow to cool on wire rack.
jelly or fruit spread and lightly coat the bottom
of each wonton shell. Fill each shell with fruit,
adding a rounded tablespoon of yogurt on top.
Garnish with a small piece of fruit or a dab of
the jelly or fruit spread. Serve immediately.
12 servings. Nutrition information per serving:
Approximately 57 calories, <1g fat, 1g protein,
12g carbohydrate, 32mg sodium.
of December 04, 2005
probably already tried using plain yogurt cheese
in savory dips and spreads, but try using lemon
or vanilla yogurt cheese for dipping fruit. You
don't have to add any sugar either. It retains
much of the sweet flavor just more intense and
so very creamy.
use the sweet yogurt cheese on muffins, sweet
breads, bagels, pancakes and waffles.
that angel food cake with a sweet yogurt cheese
and add some seasonal fruit. Instead of icing
your low fat carrot cake, try a dollop of sweet
it in place of whipped cream. You can jazz it
up with lemon or orange peel (zest) or a very
small amount of spices like cinnamon or nutmeg
or add a little honey or flavored extracts.
it with berries or other fruit and low fat granola
or nouget type cereal like Grape Nuts for wonderful
it with fruit salad. My favorite is chunks of
fresh strawberries, fresh pineapple, fresh raspberries,
and halved green grapes topped with vanilla yogurt
cheese and sprinkled with a few chopped walnuts.
This stuff is addictive . . .
your own yogurt cheese blintzes by filling thin
pancakes or low fat crepes with sweet yogurt cheese
and topping with fruit or a warmed fruit sauce.
cheese is easy to make. You can use plain lowfat
or nonfat yogurt, or lowfat, vanilla, coffee or
lemon flavored yogurt. WARNING: You should
a yogurt that contains gelatin. Check the ingredients
on the carton. The gelatin will prevent the whey
Place two cups of yogurt into a large, fine-meshed
strainer or colander lined with a double thickness
of cheesecloth, a few plain white paper towels
or a coffee filter. (I have even used a large
kitchen funnel lined with a coffee filter) Place
a bowl under the strainer to catch the liquid
(whey) that will separate from the yogurt.
Cover the strainer or colander and refrigerate
for 8-24 hours; the longer the yogurt is allowed
to drain, the thicker the cheese will become.
Two cups of yogurt make about 1 cup of yogurt