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30 percent or less.

Fat! It's important to regulate the amount you consume. If only the butter on your bread counted, that would be a snap, but most foods include fats in combination with carbohydrates and proteins. The chore is to add up those less obvious fats.

The amount of fat you need is based on your age, size, and activity. Specifics are easy to locate on National Research Council charts (in your library), or your doctor can advise you. For example, a physically active middleaged female whose ideal weight is 138 pounds needs 2,000 to 2,200 calories a day, of which about 30 percent, or 67 to 73 grams, can come from fat. This is roughly 4 1/2 to 5 tablespoons pure fat.

Aids for tallying fat include recipes with nutritional information, as given in Sunset; nutrient charts, as in USDA Agricultural Handbook 456, Nutrient Value of American Foods in Common Units (from the library or Government Printing Office); and, sometimes, food labels.

Fat is usually measured by weight, typically as grams (100 grams is about 3 1/2 ounces). Or it's measured by the percentage of calories it contributes to a food. Experts favor using percentage because it is constant, regardless of your caloric requirements.

The way to calculate percentage is shown above. Both dinners featured here are under the 30 percent limit. They taste great--and prove it's not so difficult to eat well and healthfully at the same time.

Although protein portions are limited to the recommended 4 ounces raw weight, the grains and vegetables fill the plates with appetite-satisfying volume.

As for that 138-pound female, the chicken dinner contains only 22 to 25 percent of her daily recommended calories and 10 percent of the fat, leaving her 4 to 4 1/2 tablespoons fat for other meals.

Oriental Chicken with

Pea Pods and Rice

2 teaspoons sesame seed 3/4 pound Chinese pea pods

About 3 cups regular-strength beef broth 1/3 cup sake or dry sherry 3 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons soy sauce 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed 1 1/3 cups long-grain white rice 1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms 1/2 cup minced green onions 8 small (each about 2 oz., 1 lb. total) boned and skinned chicken thighs

In a 3- to 4-guart pan over medium-high heat, stir sesame seed until golden, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

Remove ends and strings from pea pods. In pan, bring 3 inches water to boiling; add peas. Cook, uncovered, just until peas are a brighter green, about 3 minutes. Drain; quickly immerse in ice water. When peas are cold, drain. If made ahead, cover and chill up until next day.

Mix 1/3 cup broth, sake, sugar, soy, and garlic. Reserve 1/4 cup mixture for rice. Mix mushrooms, 1/4 cup onions, and 1 tablespoon of remaining broth mixture.

Rinse chicken; pound with a flat mallet between sheets of plastic wrap until 1/8 inch thick. Mound mushroom mixture equally in center of each thigh. Fold meat over filling to enclose. Set thighs, folded sides down, about 1 inch apart in a 9-by 13-inch pan. If made ahead, cover and chill up to 8 hours.

Brush some of the remaining broth mixture over chicken. Bake, uncovered, in a 450 [degrees] oven until meat is white in thickest part (cut to test), 25 to 30 minutes. Brush chicken occasionally with remaining broth mixture, using all. If pan drippings begin to burn, add 4 to 6 tablespoons water; scrape dark bits free.

In the pan used for seed, combine reserved 1/4 cup broth mixture and 2 3/4 cups broth. Add rice and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes; keep rice warm until chicken is ready.

Mix remaining onion and rice; spoon onto a platter with chicken and peas. Pour any pan juices onto rice. Sprinkle with sesame seed. Serves 4.--Mickey Strang, McKinleyville, California

Per serving: 490 cal. (13 percent from fat); 32 g protein; 6.9 g fat (1.7 g sat.); 69 g carbo.; 661 mg sodium; 94 mg chol.

Fish with Polenta

4 1/3 cups regular-strength chicken broth 1 cup polenta 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed 1 pound boned and skinned orange (roughy or sole fillets (4 pieces, 4 oz. each) 1 can (4 oz.) diced green chilies 1 small (about 5 oz.) red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and minced 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves Lime wedges and salt

In a 3- to 4-quart pan, stir broth into polenta; ;add cumin and set on medium heat.

Quickly rinse and drain fish. Arrange pieces in a 9- by 13-inch pan. Bake, uncovered, in a 475 [degrees] oven until thickest part of fish is opaque but still moist-looking (cut to test), 6 to 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, turn heat under polenta to high; stir often with a long-handled spoon (mixture spatters) until boiling. Reduce heat; simmer gently, stirring often, until polenta tastes creamy, about 8 minutes. Mix in chilies.

If fish is done, keep warm.

Spoon polenta equally onto 4 dinner plates. Top each portion with a piece of fish; sprinkle with bell pepper and cilantro. Add lime and salt to taste. Serves 4.

Per serving: 318 cal. (28 percent from fat); 23 g protein; 10 g fat (0.7 g sat.); 32 g carbo.; 305 mg sodium; 23 mg chol.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:dietary fat content; includes recipes
Author:Anusasananan, Linda Lau; Lipman, Karyn I.
Publication:Sunset
Date:Feb 1, 1992
Words:906
Previous Article:Block party.
Next Article:Walking for fitness.
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