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  • Location: New Braunfels, Texas
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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 30, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas Food Wednesday, August 30, 2000 IB Eating on the run? Make a plan to avoid diet disasters Patricia Anderson RASOR As women, we already know the importance of a nutritious diet and its relationship to feeling and looking our best. Yet, how' many of us practice what we know? Healthful eating intentions J; often get pushed aside in the course of ll a busy day. Eating on the run doesn't have to be a I hazard of a harried schedule — if a few i easy precautions are taken. Here’s ;[ advice on how to manage eating on the i; run. Tempting Pitfalls 1. Attempting to save time by skip- i; ping meals will backfire. This time-sav-;• ing strategy usually stimulates gorging ; in the form of a single large meal at the ii end of the day. 2. Relying solely on frozen dinners • for good nutrition is a mistake. Most ;■ frozen entrees are not complete meals. They usually lack key vitamins such as f A and C and are low in fiber. Be sure !, to include fresh fruits and vegetables as ? a part of meals. 3. Cutting back on supermarket shop-; ping to save time w ill only leave J kitchen cupboards bare and cause a J; daily quandary over what to eat for dinner. Ironically, regular grocery shopping saves time by keeping cupboards stocked with all the essentials and eliminating the need for last minute trips for a missing ingredient. Have a plan. Not only will this save money, but it will help guard against \ the temptation of vending machines ■J and coffee carts. If the day is over-scheduled, plan easy snacks to help get through the day, rather than hoping to grab a bite somew here. Be sure to eat breakfast or a midmorning snack. Several studies have demonstrated that eating breakfast is key for optimal mental performance. Running on “empty” encourages brain drain. , Go no longer than five hours without *1 eating. Prolonged hunger creates a one-\l track mind — the food track. You’re *• likely to think only of food. ♦; Eat small snacks or mini-meals II throughout the day. Several snacks «• spaced throughout the day can take the ti place of one or even two meals (while small snacks can help curb between-?*• meal hunger). Snacking is a great solution as long as we don’t forget to watch fat, sugar and calories. Nowhere is it written in stone that the only healthful way to eat is to have three meals a day. Regardless of the number of meals you ^ eat, include in your diet two to three £» servings of low-fait dairy products; two & servings of low-fat meats or dried S, beans and peas; three to five servings of fruits and vegetables; and six to 11 servings of w hole grain breads, cereals and pasta. (Patricia Anderson Rasor is a Comal County Extension agent.) Special to the Herald-Zeitung It’s still not too late for that summertime picnic. Labor Day weekend and tailgate parties present the perfect opportunities for packing that getaway lunch or dinner. “The key to a perfect picnic is simplicity, which is easily achieved by filling your basket with a variety of domestic cheeses, breads, w ines and seasonal fruits,” said David Rosengarten, host of the Food Network’s “In Food Today.” “Its the versatility of these ingredients that makes them so appealing,” Rosengarten said. Perk up an afternoon picnic with Turkey Parmesan-Stuffed Pita Sandw idles, a combination of fresh tomatoes, flat-leaf parsley and zesty Parmesan mayonnaise. A crisp, non-oaked Savignon Blanc is a perfect partner. And, for a refreshing accompaniment for any sandw ich, try a Swiss Cheese, Ham and Pear Salad with Mustard-Caraway Vinaigrette with a glass of off-dry Chenin Blanc. Don’t forget to add Texas wines to your list of must-haves for your picnic. The Texas Wine Month Trail kicks off during the first weekend in October. The trail hosts 16 participating wineries throughout the Hill Country with maps available to provide directions and tour and tasting schedule information. Find a copy on the web site at The Honeybaked Ham Company offers the gourmet gallery of sandw iches when it comes to putting together that perfect picnic sandwich. The Honeybaked Ham and Roasted Red Pepper Pan Bagna places ham slices, garlic cloves, Kalamata olives, red bell peppers and goat cheese all on a sourdough roll. For dessert, the Washington Apple Commission says now is the time to enjoy mildly sweet Gala apples. Originally from New Zealand, Gala, a mid-to-late season apple, is a cross between Kidd's Orange Red and Golden Delicious. Pale to golden yellow w ith red stripes, Gala is fragrant and mildly sweet. Its crisp texture makes the variety exceptional for eating out of hand and in salads. For the real sweet tooth, try the Honeybaked Ham Company’s version of Caramel Brownies. For a picnic brunch, try Hollow Honey Beehive Bread by Fleishmann’s Yeast. It is almost too pretty to eat. As always, keep food safety in mind when packing a picnic. Store food in proper carriers that keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Never leave food out for an extended period of time. TURKEY PARMESAN-STUFFED PITA SANDWICHES David Rosengarten, host of Food Networks “In Food Today ” I cup mayonnaise 6 tablespoons of fresh Parmesan cheese, finely grated 1 tablespoon of capers, chopped 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice Freshly ground black pepper to taste 8 pitas w ith pockets, each about 4 inches in - diameter I 1/2 pounds of turkey breast, thinly sliced Tomato slices Flat-leaf parsley For Parmesan Mayonnaise: Combine the mayonnaise in a mixing bow I w ith the Parmesan cheese, capers and lemon juice. Blend well. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste. Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Cut oft'small strip from the top of each pita so that you have access to the pocket. Divide the mayonnaise and the turkey slices among the pita pockets. Fill each pocket with tomato slices and plenty of flat-leaf parsley leaves. Refrigerate. For a picnic, remove from refrigerator and pack in a cooler. Makes eight sandw idles. Preparation time is 15 minutes. SWISS CHEESE, HAM AND PEAR SALAD, with Mustard-Caraway V inaigrette David Rosengarten, host of Food Network’s “In Food Today ” For the salad: 12 ounces of Sw iss cheese slices, each slice about 1/8 inch thick 12 ounces of boiled ham slices, each slice about 1/8 inch thick I pound of firm pears (about three mediumsized pears), peeled and cored Freshly ground black pepper to taste For the dressing: 5 tablespoons of Dijon mustard 8 teaspoons of white w ine vinegar 5 tablespoons of vegetable oil ( like canola) 8 teaspoons of water I teaspoon of caraway seeds 4 teaspoons of parsley leaves, very finely minced Salt Cut slices of Swiss cheese and ham into one inch squares. Slice each pear into six wedges, then slice each wedge lengthwise into four slices, and halve the slices to form smaller wedges. In a large salad bowl, toss together cheese, ham and pears, mixing well. Mix in pepper to taste. For the dressing, place the mustard in a separate mixing bowl. Whisk in white wine vinegar in a thin stream; this should slightly thin out the mustard and make it creamier. Whisk in vegetable oil in a thin stream; the dressing should be thick and creamy. Slowly add the water, between four to eight teaspoons, to thin the dressing out; be careful not to add too much, or the dressing might separate. Add caraway seeds and parsley. Mix well. Add the dressing to the salad, mixing thoroughly. Season to taste w ith salt. Makes eight servings. Preparation time is 15 to 20 minutes.See PICNIC/3B Above, get creative when making picnic sandwiches such as the sandwich above made with Honeybaked Ham and Turkey Parmesan-Stuffed Pita Sandwiches. For a picnic brunch, try Fleischmanns Yeast Hollow Honey Beehive Bread. Photos submitted Cattlewomen join food safety campaign Special to the Herald-Zeitung With the month of September designated as “National Food Safety Month,” Hill Country Cattlewomen will promote the United States Department of Agriculture’s theme of “It’s safe to bite when the temperature is right” by educating on and encouraging the use of food thermometers when cooking meat, poultry and egg products as well as casseroles and leftovers. Consumer behavior research shows that cooking by color is just one of the ways consumers typically judge whether or not food is “ done.” Consumers said they also “eyeball” the food, go by recommended cooking times and trust their experience and judgment. The only problem is, those methods might be inaccurate. “Color is misleading and should not be relied on to indicate a safely cooked product. Meat or poultry color can fool even the most experienced cook. US DA research shows that one out of every four hamburgers turns brow n in the middle before it is safely cooked,” said Ruth Ann Lemmerbrock of Harper, education vice president for Hill Country Cattle Women. “Using a food thermometer is the only way to tell that food has reached a high enough temperature to destroy harmful pathogens that may be in raw food,” Lemmerbrock said. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service statistics show that currently less than half the popula tion owns a food thermometer and only a small percent of consumers (3 percent) use one often when cooking small foods like hamburgers, pork chops or chicken. Food thermometers help ensure food is cooked to a safe temperature, prevent overcooking (which reduces flavor) and takes the guessw ork out of preparing a safe meal. “Food thermometers are not just for checking the safety of a Thanksgiving turkey,” Lemmerbrock said. “They should be used year round, every time you prepare hamburgers, poultry, roasts, chops, egg casseroles, meat loaves and combination dishes.” A w ide variety of reliable food thermometers are available in grocery and kitchen supply stores, and many are inexpensive. “And today’s thermometer technologies make checking the temperature of ‘thin’ food - like hamburgers or chicken fillets — a piece of cake. It only takes a few seconds,” Lemmerbrock said. “Its not complicated, its worth the effort, and their cost is minimal when considering your family’s safety. This is especially true for people who are high-risk for foodbome illness, including young children, people over 65 years, pregnant women and people w ith chronic illnesses.” For information on different types of thermometers and their uses, check out w w or call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline, (8(H)) 535-4555 (TTY: 1-800-256-7072).Water conservation tips for outdoor use To avoid excessive evaporation, use a sprinkler that produces large drops of water, rather than a fine mist. Sprinklers that send droplets out on a low angle also help control evaporation. Source: Comal County Extension Office ;