HomeHealthArchivesAug 2005

 

SOUPS, SAUCES, AND APPETIZERS

Soups can provide a filling and nutritious meal, complete with vegetables, pasta, chicken or meat. Add bread and an appetizer to make an entire meal. While the soups presented in this month may take a little time to prepare, they are perfect foundations for your meal plans. They're low in fat and cholesterol, economical (the main ingredient is water!), and can be frozen for quick reheating at any time. Sounds like the perfect food.

The  Meatless Vegetable soups can also be PSI's for other recipes calling for soup stock or broth. Freeze a few small containers just for that purpose. If you want, make up an ice cube tray full of the broth, freeze, then wrap up the individual cubes in foil. If you don't have the soup, make broth by dissolving a bouillon cube in a cup of hot water. It will serve the same purpose but without the full, rich, flavor of the homemade variety.

Three of the sauces (Vegetables in Garlic, Tomato, and Low Fat Cheese-Yogurt) this month are also perfect PSI's that you'll be able to use time and again. In fact, a number of our recipes, some in almost every month, call for their use. Unlike soups, however, the sauces are easy and quick to prepare. So if you don't have one of them handy when called for, take the time to make up a full batch. Use the amount needed then store the remainder.

You will notice here that a number of recipes in this and later months use a variety of spices, especially garlic. While they add tangy flavor to your food, they may also directly contribute to lowering your cholesterol and raising your HDL's. A number of scientists, for example, have investigated the medicinal effects of garlic and onions, both toward improving cholesterol and preventing some forms of cancer. (A number of other studies look into the relationship between dietary fat and breast cancer.)

In one study (Bordia, Sharma, Parmar, and Verma, Indian Heart Journal, Vol. 34, No 2., 1982), garlic was shown to inhibit the increase of cholesterol and triglycerides in high-fat diets. Two groups of subjects were fed daily doses of 75 grams of butter that contained 65 percent saturated fat. One group was also given garlic oil, .25 milligrams per each kilogram of body weight. While both groups experienced a small increase in cholesterol after three weeks, the increase in the group fed garlic was less than a third of the all-butter group.

However, garlic had more dramatic effects in other areas.  While triglyceride levels in the butter-only group increased almost 27%, they fell 17% in the garlic group. Improvements were also seen in measures of coagulation (fibrinolytic) and platelet adhesion, two factors that can contribute to increased health risk. For example, an increase in ability of platelets to adhere to vein walls increases risks of clotting. While the platelet adhesion index of the butter-only group increased 30%, it was reduced 16% in the garlic group.

Another study (Bakhsh and Chughtai, Die Nahrung, Vol. 28, No. 2, 1984) supports the ability of garlic to inhibit increases in serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels in fat-rich diets. Subjects fed 40 grams of garlic daily showed significant smaller increases in both.

These results have been duplicated by other researchers. Chi (Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, 171, 1982) found that garlic reduced LDL and VLDL levels  while increasing the percentage of HDL's. Bordia (The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 34: October 1981) concluded that garlic "significantly lowered serum cholesterol and triglycerides while raising high-density lipoproteins".

While not every study agrees (Sogani and Katoch, Journal of the Association of Physicians of India, Vol. 29, June 1981), a strong body of evidence does point to the benefits of garlic in the diet.

These possibilities shouldn't really surprise anyone. After all, for generations, and among a variety of cultures, spices and herbs have been a major part of traditional medicine. The Oriental Materia Medica reports that the early Chinese found garlic to stimulate blood circulation and expel intestinal parasites. Ginseng, which some herbalists view as a wonder drug of sorts, has been thought to increase wisdom and "soothe the soul" -- in addition to lowering blood cholesterol and sugar levels. (Garlic also repels vampires, or so the movies tell us.)

Even today, according to Dr. Mark Plotkin writing in Pharmacognosy, half of our prescription drugs contain natural ingredients, with half of these incorporating a plant-derived substance as the principle ingredient.

Now even if garlic and onions can't perform miracles, they certainly add flavor. So we use garlic in numerous recipes for flavoring.  Your own love, hate, or tolerance for garlic may be different than ours. If you don't want it, leave it out; if you want more, feel free to add it.

But be cautious when it comes to using other spices and herbs, such as ginseng or horehound, or ingredients that are entirely new to you. Add them in moderation just to test your own tastes and measure your tolerance. If you're unsure, treat all exotic herbs, spices, and extracts just as you would medication. Check with your physician (who, unfortunately, will probably know little about them), a nutritionist, or pharmacist. You could also consult a professional herbalist, but they are few and far between.

Where do you find some of the more less popular herbs? A number of markets are carrying a wider variety of herbs and spices: some pre-packaged in the spice or tea sections, others fresh with the produce. Oriental groceries are perhaps the best sources. You can also try the local pharmacy. Some pharmacists still believe in their healing abilities -- or at least humor those customers who do.

Tomato Soup

INGREDIENTS

Cholesterol

Fat

Calories

MG

Grams

 
 

 

 

 

1 tbsp. of soft margarine

0.0

6.0

60

1 stalk minced celery

0.0

0.0

5

1 large chopped onion

0.0

0.0

50

2 cloves minced garlic

0.0

0.0

4

1 cup crushed dry noodles

0.0

4.0

420

12 oz. tomato paste

0.0

0.0

300

oregano, basil, parsley to taste

0.0

0.0

0

8 cups water

0.0

0.0

0

8 tsp McKay's Chicken Style Instant Broth

0.0

0.0

80

Ten servings of soup are produced, each containing;

       0.0 milligrams of cholesterol
       1.0 grams of fat
        92 calories

Directions

1.   In a large pot, lightly brown the celery and onion in the margarine until the onion is a light brown color.
2.   Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.
3.   Add the noodles (dry) and cook for 5 minutes more.
4.   Dissolve the bouillon cubes in part of the water.
5.   Add the dissolved bouillon, the remaining water, and spices to the pot.
6.   Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, then at low for 30 minutes.

French Onion Soup

INGREDIENTS

Cholesterol

Fat

Calories

MG

Grams

 
 

 

 

 

5 medium onions, sliced

0.0

0.0

200

2 cloves minced garlic

0.0

0.0

4

2 tbsp. soft margarine

0.0

12.0

120

5 1/2 cups water

0.0

0.0

0

5 tsp McKay's Beef Style Instant Broth

0.0

0.0

50

optional: roll and parmesan cheese(1 tsp)

12.0

4.0

190

Makes approximately 6 servings, each containing:

      2.83 milligrams of cholesterol
       2.7 grams of fat
       113 calories

If you do not use the roll and cheese, each serving contains:

       .83 milligrams of cholesterol
       2.1 grams of fat
      81.5 calories

Directions

1.   In a large pot or saucepan, heat the margarine until it melts then add the onions and minced garlic.  Cook until the onions       are transparent.
2.   Add the garlic and cook for one more minute.
3.   Dissolve the bouillon cubes in water and add to the pot.
4.   Add the wine and worcestershire sauce, and cook for 35 to 40 minutes, until the onions are soft.
5.   If you are going to serve this with the optional items, ladle out the soup into broiler-proof serving bowls, slice the roll into 6       one inch thick rounds and place one on top of each bowl. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and place under the broiler       until the cheese bubbles.

Meatless Vegetable Soup

INGREDIENTS

Cholesterol

Fat

Calories

MG

Grams

 
 

 

 

 

4 tbsp. margarine

0.0

24.0

240

2 medium onions, chopped

0.0

0.0

80

3 cloves minced garlic

0.0

0.0

6

1/2 green pepper, chopped

0.0

0.0

25

1/2 green pepper, chopped

0.0

0.0

25

3 stalks celery, diced

0.0

0.0

15

1/4 cup barley, soaked overnight

0.0

0.5

162

2 cups crushed tomatoes

0.0

0.0

180

1/2 cup turnip, diced

0.0

0.0

15

12 cups water

0.0

0.0

0

1 sweet potato, cubed

0.0

1.0

140

3 white potatoes, cut 1/2 inch cubes

0.0

0.0

360

3 carrots, diced

0.0

0.0

30

8 mushrooms, sliced, if desired

0.0

0.0

55

1/4 cup fresh lima beans

0.0

0.5

50

1/4 cup green split peas

0.0

0.0

25

1 cup cut green beans

0.0

0.0

40

1/2 cup chopped spinach

0.0

0.5

20

2 oz. elbow macaroni

0.0

1.0

210

to taste - salt, white pepper, parsley, bayleaf, sage, basil, oregano, 1 clove, dill

0.0

0.0

0.0

Twenty servings will be made, each containing;

       0.0 milligrams of cholesterol
       1.4 grams of fat
      83.9 calories

For convenient and healthier meals, that are low in fat and cholesterol, freeze several portions in one-serving containers and defrost as needed.

You'll find that the store brands that you once bought are inferior in taste and quality. But more importantly, many commercial vegetable soups use beef or pork as a base. Saving these extra milligrams of cholesterol and grams of fat can allow you that special splurge later on.

Directions

1.   In a large pot, cook the onions, celery, green pepper, and red pepper in the margarine.
2.   Add the garlic , celery, and turnip.
3.   Pour in the water, tomatoes, and drained barley.
4.   Bring the liquids to a slow simmer.
5.   Put the remaining ingredients into the soup pot and cook for one and a half to three hours, or until all the vegetables are       soft.
6.   If you desire a thinner soup, add water in 1/4 cup increments.
7.   Refrigerate.
8.   Remove any fat before serving or subdividing.

Celery Soup

INGREDIENTS

Cholesterol

Fat

Calories

MG

Grams

 
 

 

 

 

2 tbsp. margarine

0.0

12.0

120

4 stalks celery, chopped fine

0.0

0.0

20

1 potato, minced

0.0

0.0

120

1 onion, chopped fine

0.0

0.0

40

4 sprigs fresh parsley

0.0

0.0

0

2 cloves minced garlic

0.0

0.0

4

4 tbsp. cooked oat bran cereal

0.0

0.0

4

7 cups McKay's chicken Style broth and Seasoning

0.0

0.0

70

Twelve servings will be made, each containing;

       0.58 milligrams of cholesterol
       1.1  grams fat
      31.9 calories

You could add about a half cup of alphabet noodles, if desired, but remember to include the values for cholesterol, fat, and calories in your daily totals.

Directions

1.   Melt the margarine in a large saucepan and add the celery, potato, onion, and parsley.
2.   Cook until the vegetables are soft and then stir in the garlic for 2 minutes more.
3.   Stir in the oat bran and heat.
4.   Pour in the broth and cook over low heat for one hour.
5.   If you want a smooth texture, process a little at a time in the food processor.

If you want a heartier soup, add noodles. Two ounces of non- egg noodles have about 1 gram of fat and 210 calories.

Vegetables In Garlic Sauce
(Prepared Stock Item)

INGREDIENTS

Cholesterol

Fat

Calories

MG

Grams

 
 

 

 

 

4 tbsp. soft margarine

0.0

8.0

80

1 medium onion, chopped

0.0

0.0

40

1 medium green pepper, chopped

0.0

0.0

48

2 cloves garlic, minced

0.0

0.0

4

to taste - basil, parsley, oregano

0.0

0.0

0

This makes 4 servings of sauce, each approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons and containing;

     0   milligrams of cholesterol
     2   grams of fat
    43   calories

If you wish, add salt or pepper, perhaps even some zucchini, to flavor this sauce a little differently.

Directions

1.   Heat the margarine over a medium flame.
2.   Lightly brown the next 3 ingredients until the onions are soft and transparent, then add the spices, if desired.

This PSI may be stored in the refrigerator for a week and added to a variety of recipes (such as rice, soup broths, omelettes, sauces) to make your food more interesting and tasty.

Low Fat Cheese-Yogurt Sauce
(Prepared Stock Item)

INGREDIENTS

Cholesterol

Fat

Calories

MG

Grams

 
 

 

 

 

1 tbsp. margarine

0.0

6.0

12

1/2 chopped green pepper

0.0

0.0

25

1/4 chopped red pepper

0.0

0.0

12

2 cloves garlic, minced

0.0

0.0

2

1/4 medium onion, chopped

0.0

0.0

10

1/2 cup non-fat yogurt

5.0

0.0

160

1 tsp. parmesan cheese

6.0

1.5

40

1 egg white, beaten

0.0

0.0

15

Oregano, basil, parsley

0.0

0.0

1

This makes almost 3/4 cup of sauce, four servings about 3 tablespoons each. Each serving contains:

   2.75  milligrams of cholesterol
    1.9  grams of fat
     69  calories

Directions

1.   Melt the margarine in a small frying pan and add the green and red peppers and onion.  Cook until the onion is transparent       or lightly brown.
2.   Add the garlic.
3.   Remove from the heat and blend in the yogurt and cheese.
4.   Cool to room temperature, then blend or whip in the egg white and spices.

Tomato Sauce
(Prepared Stock Item)

INGREDIENTS

Cholesterol

Fat

Calories

MG

Grams

 
 

 

 

 

1 large onion

0.0

0.0

50

3 cloves garlic

0.0

0.0

6

1/4 green pepper

0.0

0.0

12

2 cups tomatoes

0.0

0.0

180

6 oz. tomato paste

0.0

0.0

150

1/2 cup water

0.0

0.0

0

1 tsp. sugar

0.0

0.0

18

dash salt

0.0

0.0

0

1/2 teaspoon oregano

0.0

0.0

1

basil, parsley - to taste

0.0

0.0

0

1 carrot, cleaned

0.0

0.0

10

1 stalk celery

0.0

0.0

5

Makes approximately 4 cups.  Half cup serving portions contain:

     0    milligrams of cholesterol
     0    grams of fat
    62    calories

Directions

1.  Chop the first 4 ingredients in a food processor.
2.  Add the mixture to a saucepan, and add the remaining items.
3.  Heat on a medium flame for an hour.
4.  Remove the carrot and celery.

The sauce can be used immediately or frozen in serving size containers for future use.

Quiche

INGREDIENTS

Cholesterol

Fat

Calories

MG

Grams

 
 

 

 

 

Crust

 

 

 

1 cup flour

0.0

1.0

400

5 tbsp. soft margarine

0.0

30.0

300

dash of salt

0.0

0.0

0

2 tbsp. cold water

0.0

0.0

0

1/2 cup water

0.0

0.0

0

Filling

 

 

 

1 tbsp. soft margarine

0.0

6.0

60

1 small onion, chopped

0.0

0.0

40

1 small green pepper, chopped

0.0

0.0

50

2 cloves minced garlic

0.0

0.0

4

1/4 small red pepper, chopped

0.0

0.0

12

to taste - parsley, oregano

0.0

0.0

0

to taste - basil, nutmeg, chives

0.0

0.0

0.0

1 cup skim milk

4.0

1.0

90

4 egg whites (optional - with a dropof yellow food coloring)

0.0

0.0

60

1 tsp. arrowroot

0.0

0.0

19

This makes 4 servings, each containing;

       1.0 milligram of cholesterol
       9.5 grams of fat
       259 calories

Directions

1.   To make the crust, cut the margarine into the flour until the mixture resembles course meal.
2    Add the salt.
3.   Add the water, a teaspoon at a time, blending with a fork, until the ingredients form a solid ball of dough.  More or less       water may be needed depending on the temperature and humidity.
4.   Place a piece of wax paper on your cutting board and lightly flour. This will make it easier to lift up the dough and place on       the pan later on.
5.   Roll the dough out on the wax paper until it forms an 8 inch circle.
6.   Lift the dough by the wax paper, turn over and center the dough into an 8 inch quiche pan.
7.   Pat the round of dough into place, along the bottom of the pan and along the sides, piecing wherever it is uneven.
8.   Pinch the top edge with your fingers every 3/4's of an inch for decoration.
9.   Using the tines of a fork, prick the crust every half inch or so to allow for uniform baking.
10.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
11.  Melt the margarine and add the onion, peppers, and garlic and cook until light brown.  Add
       the desired spices.
12.  In a small bowl, beat the milk and egg whites.
13.  Add the arrowroot, for thickening. You could also try a tablespoon of oatmeal. (For a lighter texture, blend all of the        ingredients in the blender.)
14.  Fold in the vegetable mixture and pour into the semi-baked crust.
15.  Bake about one hour at 350 degrees or until a toothpick comes out clean.

To make this as a tempting hors d'oerve, press the dough into a square pan.  Cut the quiche into small squares or rectangles, and serve warm to your family or guests. If only all hosts or hostess were this considerate. If you divide it into 9 pieces, each has:

       .44 milligrams of cholesterol
       2.4 grams of fat
       115 calories

Fried Matzo

INGREDIENTS

Cholesterol

Fat

Calories

MG

Grams

 
 

 

 

 

3 sheets matzo

0.0

0.0

225

2 egg whites, beaten

0.0

0.0

30

1/2 cup skim milk

2.0

0.5

45

dash of salt

0.0

0.0

0

2 tsp. soft margarine

0.0

4.0

40

This serves two people, each portion containing;

       1.0 milligram of cholesterol
       2.3 grams of fat
     170.0 calories

Directions

1.   Break the matzo into small pieces into a bowl.
2.   Add water to cover, and soak until soft.
3.   Drain well.
4.   Mix in the egg whites, milk, and salt.
5.   Melt margarine in a pan and pour in the matzo mixture.
6.   Cook until light brown; turn and cook the other side.

Serve with maple syrup, powdered sugar, or assorted jellies.

Fruit Cup

INGREDIENTS

Cholesterol

Fat

Calories

MG

Grams

 
 

 

 

 

1 apple

0.0

0.0

70

1/2 cup grapes

0.0

0.0

32

1 slice watermelon

0.0

0.0

110

1/4 cantaloupe

0.0

0.0

30

1/4 cup cherries

0.0

0.0

25

1/4 cup blueberries

0.0

0.0

25

1/4 honeydew melon

0.0

0.0

61

1 pear

0.0

0.0

100

1 banana

0.0

0.0

85

What you decide to put into the fruit bowl depends on the season and your geographic area.  The above is a sample.  It will serve 4 people, each portion containing:

       0.0 milligrams of cholesterol
       0.0 grams of fat
       133 calories

Directions

1.   Wash all of the fruit that has an outer skin and will be placed into the fruit bowl with this skin.
2.   Using a melon baller, make small balls of the watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew melons.
3.   If the grapes have seeds, halve them and remove the seeds.
4.   Add the banana just before serving.

For a special occasion, prepare in advance without the banana. Cool in the refrigerator a few hours before needed. Add the banana just before serving.

Applesauce

INGREDIENTS

Cholesterol

Fat

Calories

MG

Grams

 
 

 

 

 

8 apples

0.0

0.0

560

1 cinnamon stick

0.0

0.0

0

1 to 2 tbsp. sugar

0.0

0.0

54

Eight servings will be made, each containing;

       0.0 milligrams of cholesterol
       0.0 grams of fat
      76.0 calories

Served as a vegetable, with a main course, or in place of a salad at the beginning of a meal.  It could serve as a snack or a light lunch; adding a homemade muffin or roll could help quell a bout of hunger.

Directions

1.   Wash, peel, and cut each of the apples into one inch cubes.
2.   Place in a saucepan and add enough water just to cover the tops of the apples.
3.   Add the cinnamon stick, whole, if desired.
4.   Cook slowly, about 10 minutes, or until the apples are soft.
5.   Remove from the heat and drain off as much water as possible. (The water could be saved for making an apple juice       drink.)
6.   Remove the cinnamon stick, rinse it off, then dry it with a paper towel.  Store it in a jar or plastic bag for reuse.
7.   Pour the apples into a food processor or blender and if too sour, add the sugar.
8.   Blend until smooth, or less if a chunky consistency is desired.

For a little extra flavor, add 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Baked Potato Hors d'Hoerves

INGREDIENTS

Cholesterol

Fat

Calories

MG

Grams

 
 

 

 

 

4 baked potatoes

0.0

0.0

480

2 tbsp. melted margarine

0.0

12.0

120

6 tbsp. vegetable garlic sauce

0.0

8.0

172

sprinkling of paprika, if desired

0.0

0.0

0

This recipe yields about 40 appetizers, if each potato is cut into ten half-inch slices.  Each contains:

       0.0 milligrams of cholesterol
       0.5 grams of fat
        19 calories

If you need a special vegetable to accompany a meal, these potatoes are delicious.  Just double or triple the ingredients as needed.

Directions

1.   Slightly undercook the potatoes.
2.   Cut into half-inch slices.
3.   Place on a baking sheet and brush lightly with the margarine.
4.   Heat for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.
5.   Remove from the oven and add the vegetable garlic sauce to the top of each potato.
6.   Finish baking, about five more minutes.

Filo Vegetable Roll

INGREDIENTS

Cholesterol

Fat

Calories

MG

Grams

 
 

 

 

 

6 tbsp. vegetable garlic sauce

0.0

8.0

172

1/2 cup chopped spinach

0.0

0.0

20

2 tbsp. melted margarine

0.0

12.0

120

8 sheets of filo leaves

0.0

0.0

481

Makes 30 slices, each containing;

       0   milligrams of cholesterol
      .67  grams of fat
     26.4  calories

Filo, sometimes seen spelled Fillo and Phylo, are thin pastry leaves that can be wrapped or formed around almost anything. The Apollo brand has no fat or cholesterol, and is sold in a variety of sizes. When fresh, it is very easy to work with and can be used as a crust around chicken, fish, fresh fruit, even ice-milk.

This recipe uses the leaves to make an interesting appetizer or side dish. Store unused leaves well wrapped in the freezer.

Directions

 

1.   In a saucepan, add the spinach to the vegetable garlic sauce and heat until the liquid evaporates.
2.   Brush the filo leaves with margarine as soon as you unroll it so it will not dry out.
3.   Spread the filling evenly across the filo.
4.   Roll up, jelly roll style: take one end of the long side and start to roll up tightly until you get to the other side.
5.   Put on a baking sheet and brush with the remaining margarine.
6.   Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, then slice into 1/2 half inch slices.