Decreasing your fat intake at meals

As we get older (of course not us readers) we realize that it is time to be concerned and watch what we put in our bodies and many of you have been doing it for years.

I know that sometimes it is hard to follow a certain diet and very easy to say, “I will start watching next Monday” and naturally when I say that, it is after I have had a big meal.

However, our attitudes change fast when our stomach keeps growling and we see foods, and all of a sudden we raid the refrigerator and pay no attention to what we should or should not eat.

If we are are strong individuals, we would reach for a piece of veggies or fruit, but the question is if we do that or not. I would guess most of the time not, but instead reach out for a piece of candy or some fattening snack in front of us, but it depends on each person’s weakness and strengths.

I realize that many of you have a great discipline in yourselves, which I admire and think is wonderful. When you go to a restaurant and see all the tempting and favorite dishes in front of you, whether it is pastas, steaks, sandwiches or even salads, but keep in mind that by the time you load up a salad with all the dressings and so on, you had been better off eating a steak.

I personally do not like low-calorie dressings for my salad, but by the time I top it off with blue cheese or thousand island dressing, I have consumed an entire amount of calories for a day.

For us adults, it may be a little late to take foods seriously, but not too late to teach our children and grandchildren proper eating habits for a healthy living. I do know that the schools are doing a good job by adding a variety of healthy foods in their lunch menus, but we parents must follow these steps at home.

When eating out many establishments offer grilled items instead of fried or fruits instead of fries and juice and milk in place of soft drinks.

Bottles of water have become very popular nowadays, but who ever visualized years ago that we would be paying a dollar or two for a small bottle of water when you can drink buckets of water from the spicket at home? Of course a sparkling glass of cold Coca Cola with ice often calls your name rather than a boring glass of water.

I go out to dinner with friends that I admire because they eat salad with no dressing, they order baked healthy fish instead of steak or pasta and veggies rather than a loaded baked potato topped off with black coffee or unsweetened tea and of course no dessert. Unfortunately, I personally can not do as they do, and I know they are doing the healthy and correct thing.

If you eat healthy and decrease your fat intake, you will feel much better, plus make your next visit to your doctor more pleasant for yourself and him.

I have a question — How many of you dress lightly, take off your shoes and even your jewelry at a doctor’s appointment when the nurse asks you to step on the scales? I do!

Until next week.

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Catalina Salad

1 1/2 cups raw cauliflower florets

8 cups crisp lettuce, broken into bite-sized pieces

7 cups romaine, broken into bite-sized pieces

1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese

1/3 cup crisp bacon, crumbled

4 tomatoes, cut into wedges

chopped parsley

1 1/2 cups white French dressing

Blend all ingredients except blue cheese, bacon and tomato wedges. Place on 8 plates. Garnish with tomato wedges and parsley. Sprinkle blue cheese and bacon over top. Spoon dressing over each salad.

White French Dressing

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup cold water

1/2 cup boiling water

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons salt

1 teaspoon dry mustard

2 3/4 cups salad oil

1 cup cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon onion juice

1/4 teaspoon fines herbs

1 clove garlic

Dissolve cornstarch and paprika in cold water. Add boiling water and cook until thick, 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add sugar, salt, onion juice and mustard and mix. If necessary, strain to eliminate any lumps. Place cooked mixture in food processor. Process until fluffy. Add oil alternately with vinegar, continuing to process until dressing is thick and smooth. Add herbs and garlic clove. Remove garlic after 24 hours. Makes one quart. Plan to make dressing a day ahead of serving.

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Baked Stuffed Shrimp

1 pound large shrimp

1 pound lump crabmeat

2 slices bread, cubed

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon hot sauce

1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce

1 teaspoon mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 small minced onion

1/2 green pepper, minced

1/2 cup melted butter or margarine

Shell shrimp and butterfly down back. Flake crabmeat with a fork and combine crabmeat, bread cubes, mayonnaise, hot sauce, Worchestershire sauce, mustard and salt. Saute the onion and green pepper in 2 tablespoons melted margarine/butter until soft and add to the crabmeat mixture. Stuff the shrimp firmly with the crab mixture. Place the shrimp on a greased shallow baking dish and brush with the remaining butter. Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve with tartar sauce.

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Creole Jambalaya

1 pound smoked sausage, sliced into 1-inch pieces

1 cup chopped onion

1-2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil

2 cups cubed uncooked chicken

3 cups water

1 1/2 cups uncooked long grain rice

1 16-ounce can tomatoes

2 tablespoons chicken bouillon or 6 bouillon cubes

2-3 teaspoons paprika

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon saffron or ground tumeric

1 pound peeled shrimp, deveined with tails left on

1 10-ounce package frozen peas, thawed

1 2-ounce jar sliced pimento, drained

1 pound mussels

In heavy pan, brown sausage, onion and garlic in oil until onion is tender. Stir in chicken, water, rice, tomatoes, bouillon, paprika, peppers and saffron. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, 20 minutes. Stir in shrimp; cover and cook 5 minutes longer. Stir in peas and mussels; cover and cook until heated through, about 5-10 minutes. Garnish with pimiento.

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Asparagus Vinaigrette Salad

6 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 clove garlic, finely minced

2 tablespoons minced sweet pickles

1 tablespoon minced onion

2 tablespoons minced green pepper

1 tablespoon chopped capers

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

2 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed, washed, cooked and chilled

Boston lettuce leaves

cherry tomatoes

pimiento

Combine oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic, pickles, onion, green pepper, capers, parsley and pimiento. Mix well and chill. Arrange asparagus and tomatoes over lettuce leaves and pour chilled dressing over all.

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Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 clove garlic, unpeeled

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon prepared Dijon style mustard

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Whisk mustard and vinegar together in bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Dribble oil into bowl slowly, whisking constantly, until dressing is creamy and thickened. Add garlic, cut in half, and let dressing stand at room temperature until necessary. Makes 1 1/4 cups. Serve over romaine, radicchio lettuces. Add fresh mushrooms.

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Kiki Angelos is a food columnist for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

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