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Taste of life.

TASTE OF LIFE

I am not on the list of the world's greatest chefs, nor am I a student of the famous Cordon Bleu cooking schools. My cooking ability and my recipe collection are newly acquired after much research into diet and health. Not until my husband was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 30 did I begin my research into the relationship between diet and disease. The questions I wanted answered were:

Was I bringing about my own early downfall with the foodstuffs I was eating?

If the answer to the above was yes, then where should I start in planning a diet that would satisfy me as well as offer me all the true nutrients for good health?

If I was already in a poor state of health, was it possible to restore my body by changing my diet?

Could the power of my mind, by expressing only positive thoughts, help the diet work?

Is exercise a necessary ingredient for overall good health?

My research has shown me that the answer to all these questions is yes. It became obvious to me that many people were also looking for answers to the same questions. Unfortunately, not until disease of some sort had affected them did they begin to search --as pointed out to me in the case histories documented by Nathan Pritikin in a book, Nathan Pritikin Diet and Exercise. Pritikin is the man who has revolutionized the thoughts behind "diet linked with disease' and "treatment without drugs.' His diet appeared to me as such a commonsensical approach to eating that I couldn't understand why more people hadn't converted to it.

I have based my recipe planning around Pritikin's concepts. Although I have broken some of his golden rules slightly, I truly believe that if you walk the straight and narrow most of your life, your system will be so well in tune that it can occasionally cope with a few, small luxury items.

The medical profession has had mixed views on my diet's strengths and weaknesses. Some doctors had no time to read another "fad diet' book. Others believed that I would surely die from the lack of protein. Some, after reading the book, were prepared to admit that they did not have all the answers and, after trying the diet, became converts themselves.

Health cookbooks in general have ignored the salt, sugar, cholesterol, fats and food-additives issues related to health. Most books emphasize cutting down for slimming rather than for overall good health. Vegetarian cookbooks, although they emphasize vegetable and fruit content, seem to use an abundance of butter, oils, fullcream milk, salt, sugar, eggs and food additives.

The following recipes are not strictly vegetarian. Nor are they health-food recipes that one would find in a typical health-food restaurant. They are a positive approach toward adopting a more sensible, down-to-earth way of eating.

Food is a source of energy; it should not only sustain but also satisfy. It should keep us fit as well as alive. It should be filling without fattening. It should provide for easy preparation and an enjoyable experience in the eating.

Gazpacho (Cold Summer Soup)

(Serves 4-6)

One pound ripe, juicy tomatoes, skinned, seeded, sliced

1 small onion, peeled, finely chopped

1 small green pepper, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/2 cup dry white wine

1-2 teaspoons lemon juice

Black pepper

1 small can tomato juice (optional)

Cucumber slices

Blend all ingredients except the last four. Add the lemon juice and black pepper to taste. Dilute the soup if necessary with the tomato juice. Chill well in the refrigerator before serving. Garnish with slices of cucumber, parsley or shallot curls.

Tomato Sorbet

(Serves 6-8)

2 cups fresh tomato puree (tomatoes skinned, seeded)

1 cup unsweetened orange juice or grapefruit juice

1 cup chicken stock

Few drops Tabasco sauce

1 tablespoon dry sherry

1 teaspoon orange rind, finely grated

1 teaspoon ginger, finely grated

1 egg white

6 small oranges for serving or

goblets and a garnish of cucumber

Puree first 7 ingredients until well combined. Pour ingredients into metal freezer tray. Freeze until mushy and stir occasionally with a fork. Transfer to a bowl. Beat the egg white until stiff and fold into the tomato mixture. Return immediately to freezer tray and freeze until firm. If using oranges, cut a top off each orange and remove flesh. Chill in freezer until required. Scoop out spoonfuls of tomato sorbet and fill oranges or goblets, garnish and serve.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

(Serves 8)

1 quantity whole-meal spaghetti to serve 8

Tomato Sauce:

1 onion, diced

1/2 green pepper, finely diced

1 stalk celery, finely diced

1 can (16 oz.) tomatoes, chopped

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/2 teaspoon basil

1/2 teaspoon oregano

Black pepper to taste

Fresh parsley, chopped

Stir-fry onion, green pepper and celery in 2 tablespoons water for 3 minutes. Add all other ingredients and simmer 40 minutes.

Meatballs:

1/2 pound fat-free ground beef

1 onion, finely minced

1 banana, mashed

1 apple, finely grated

Black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and roll into very small balls. Place in a frying pan in an inch of water that has been boiled and is just simmering. Cook for 8 minutes and turn once. Remove from pan and drain well. Keep hot.

Place hot, whole-wheat spaghetti on serving plates in amount suggested on package, divide the meatballs evenly and pour the tomato sauce over the other ingredients.

Chicken Macaroni

(Serves 6)

3 cups whole-meal macaroni, cooked

2 cups chicken, cooked, chopped

1 can (16 oz.) tomatoes, chopped, and juice

1 cup celery, chopped

1 cup green pepper, chopped

1 cup carrots, grated

1/4 cup chives, chopped

1/4 cup parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated (optional)

Black pepper to taste

1 cup chicken or vegetable stock

Combine all ingredients in an ovenproof dish. Cover and cook in a moderate oven for 30-40 minutes or until well heated all the way through.

Strawberry Ice Cream Cake

(Serves 8-10)

4 1/2 cups Vanilla Royale Ice Cream (see recipe below)

3 pints strawberries, washed and hulled

1/2 cup toasted almond flakes

Whole, fresh strawberries

Make vanilla ice cream, but do not freeze in the final step. Pour 1/3 of the ice cream into a foil-lined round tin. Slice strawberries fine and use half in a layer on top of the ice-cream mixture. Pour another layer of strawberries over 1/2 of remaining ice-cream mixture, then the remaining ice cream. Freeze. To serve, turn out of tin, remove foil and place on a serving plate. Sprinkle with toasted, flaked almonds and decorate the edge of the cake with strawberries.

Vanilla Royale Ice Cream

(Serves 4)

1 can evaporated low-fat milk

6 tablespoons skim-milk powder

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 egg whites

Combine the first four ingredients and beat until thick and creamy. Place in the freezer for 40 minutes. Remove from freezer and rebeat for 3 minutes. Beat egg whites until fluffy and peaks form. Fold egg whites through milk mixture. Pour into ice-cream trays and freeze.

Photo: A healthful treat for spaghetti lovers, this delicious Italian dish is made without fattening oils and served over wholesome, whole-meal pasta.

Photo: Prime your appetite with a tangy Tomato Sorbet; then fill up on a crispy casserole made with chicken, celery, carrots, peppers and whole wheat macaroni.

Photo: Who could turn down a dessert that looks like this? Fortunately, nobody has to, because Julie's Strawberry Ice Cream Cake is a low-fat, low-calorie treat.
COPYRIGHT 1985 Saturday Evening Post Society
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes recipes; cooking using the principles of Nathan Pritikin
Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Date:Mar 1, 1985
Words:1260
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