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Watching your cholesterol

In the world of plenty that we live in, we are exposed to and offered so many tempting and delicious foods and automatically we forget that so many of those foods are not good for us.

We should know better and avoid many of the ones that are bad for us, but it is a natural tendency for many of us to ignore what we are supposed to eat and especially when we are eating out.

If you prepare meals at home, then naturally you can track what ingredients you are using and control and avoid the foods that you should not be consuming.

Of course after our annual visitations to your family doctor and all the blood work the reality hits home and you receive a lecture from your doctor to lose weight and watch the carbs and cholesterol, etc., so you return home and make attempt to follow your doctor’s recommendation (of course how long your doctors recommendations lasts depends on the individual).

Just because we like food and tastes good, does not mean it is good for us so below I have included a few recipes to help avoid ingredients that are not good for us, yet are enjoyable at the same time.

Till next week.

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Stir-Fry Links, Broccoli and Beans

1 package Morningstar Farms breakfast links

2 10-ounce packages frozen broccoli spears, defrosted and drained

1/2 pound fresh green beans

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons dry sherry

1 teaspoon cornstarch

pinch crusted red pepper

2 tablespoons polyunsaturated oil

1 clove garlic, minced

8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained and sliced

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

4 servings hot cooked rice

Cook links in 12-inch skillet as directed on package. Remove from skillet. Cut links in quarters lengthwise, then in half crosswise. Cut broccoli spears in strips. Cut green beans diagonally into 1 1/2-inch lengths. Cook beans in boiling water 3-5 minutes until tender-crisp; drain. Combine and mix water, soy sauce, sherry, cornstarch and red pepper; stir until free of lumps. Heat oil in skillet over moderately high heat. Add broccoli and garlic; cook and stir 2 minutes. Add water chestnuts, mushroom, green beans and cornstarch mixture; stir. Cover and cook 2 minutes. Uncover. Stir in links; heat throughly. Serve over rice.

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Links with Peppers, Chinese Style

1 package Morningstar Farms breakfast links

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon ginger

2 tablespoons polyunsaturated oil

1 medium-size onion, cut in thin wedges and separated

1 cup sliced celery

1 medium-size green pepper, cut in strips

1 medium-size tomato, cut in thin wedges

4 servings hot cooked rice

Cook links in 10-inch skillet as directed on package. Remove from skillet. Cut links in quarters lengthwise, then in half crosswise. Combine and mix water, soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar and ginger; stir until free of lumps. Heat oil in skillet over moderately high heat. Add onion; cook and stir in 1 minute. Add celery and green pepper; cook and stir 1 minute. Add cornstarch mixture; cook and stir until sauce is thickened and clear. Add links and tomato wedges; stir carefully. Heat throughly. Serve over rice.

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Fruity Slices and Rice Skillet

1 cup long grain rice

2 medium ripe bananas, cut in 1-inch chunks

1 package Morningstar Farms luncheon slices, eat cut in 5 strips

1/2 cup orange marmalade

1/4 cup seedless raisins

2 tablespoons chutney, optional

2 tablespoons polyunsaturated margarine

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons prepared mustard

Cook rice in 10-inch skillet as directed on package. While rice is cooking, combine marmalade, raisins, chutney, margarine, lemon juice and mustard; heat until bubbling. Arrange bananas around edge of skillet and luncheon slices in center over cooked rice. Spoon sauce over luncheon slices and banana chunks. Cover; cook over low heat 3-4 minutes.

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Strips and Apple Hearts

1 package Morningstar Farms breakfast strips

polyunsaturated cooking oil

4 apples

1/4 cup red cinnamon candies

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

Slice apples crosswise 1/2-inch thick. Cut with heart-shaped cooky cutter. Combine cinnamon candies, water and sugar in large skillet. Bring to a boil, stirring until candies are dissolved. Add apple hearts; simmer until tender and glazed, about 10-15 minutes. Prepare breakfast strips by browning in cooking oil according to package directions. Garnish with glazed apple hearts.

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Blintzes

crepe batter

2 tablespoons polyunsaturated margarine, melted

polyunsaturated cooking oil

16-ounce carton low-fat cottage cheese

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

low-fat yogurt, if desired

strawberry, red raspberry or cherry sauce

For each blintz, brush a heated 6 1/2-7-inch non-stick skillet with oil. Quickly coat bottom of hot skillet with 2 tablespoons of crepe batter, tipping and turning pan in all directions. Place over medium heat until edges begin to brown and top surface is set. Remove from pan.  Combine cheese, sugar, vanilla and lemon rind in blender container; blend until smooth. For each blintz spoon 2 tablespoons of cheese mixture in center of browned side. Fold opposite sides to center over cheese filling, then fold remaining sides over center. Heat margarine in skillet. Brown blintzes on both sides. Serve with yogurt and a favorite strawberry, raspberry or cherry sauce.

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Cherry Sauce

21-ounce can cherry pie filling

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons water

2-4 tablespoons orange liqueur

Combine pie filling, sugar and water in saucepan; heat. Just before serving stir in liqueur, if used.

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Red Raspberry or Strawberry Sauce

10-12-ounce package frozen red raspberries or strawberries, partially defrosted and broken into small pieces

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

Combine fruit and sugar; bring to a simmer. Combine water and cornstarch; stir until free of lumps. Stir into fruit. Cover over low heat until sauce is clear and thickened, stirring constantly. Serve warm or cold.

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French Toast

1 cup Morningstar Farms scramblers

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, if desired

1/2 cup skim milk

2 tablespoons polyunsaturated margarine

6 slices day-old bread

Blend scramblers, salt, sugar, cinnamon and milk in a shallow dish. Heat margarine in skillet until bubbly but not browned. Dip bread in Scramblers mixture, coating both sides throughly. Fry until golden brown on both sides, turning once. Serve hot with syrup and a sprinkle of confectioners sugar.

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

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