Sunday, February 2, 2014

Can you "Slim Down South"?

Okra in the Maque Choux, appetizers served in the bowl of grandma’s silver teaspoons, Cajun lemonade with Tabasco, fig hand pies and a world where the snack you grab is a hoppin’ john parfait. Feeling deprived? I didn’t think so. Thank you Southern Living and Carolyn O’Neil for “The Slim Down South” Cookbook,” our guide to “Eating Well and Living Healthy in the Land of Biscuits and Bacon.”
We’ll still be savoring shrimp and grits and pecan pancakes on tables set with linens, pitchers of sauces and cake stands full of treats. There’s a photo of fried chicken and cornbread on the cover. Sure we already eat greens, but the no-trick trick here is to be aware of a few switches in ingredients and attitudes for better meal choices. The flavors and traditions are still there.
Little info boxes among the photographic spreads encourage us to SLIM, or Savor the South; Linger longer, Indulge a Little and Make it Happen.
Some of the best and easiest things to “cook” in this book don’t even involve “cooking.” Consider these intriguing quickies over your junk food go-to:

Pimento Cheese & Pickles
Spread 3 tablespoons pimento cheese spread on 1 multigrain rice cake and top with three pickled okra. – 154 calories

Sweet Peaches & Cornbread
 Top one fourth slice cornbread with one fourth cup sliced peaches and two tablespoos crumbled goat cheese – 175 calories

Proscuitto & Fig Crostini
Place one ounce proscciutto and 1 tablespoon fig preserves on 1 ounce pretzel bread. Top or serve with one fourth cup sliced cantaloupe – 185 calories

Buttermilk & Berry Smoothie
Blend 1 cup low-fat buttermilk with a half cup frozen blueberries and a half cup frozen sliced strawberries. – 166 calories

Open-faced Turkey & Pepper Jelly Sandwich
Top a 1-ounce whole grain bread with a tablespoon red pepper jelly, 2 ounces lower sodium turkeybreast and ½ cup cucumber slices – 154 calories

Coconut & Flax
Carrington Farms has healthy stuff we should still be craving with our resolutions still intact. I’ve recently written about other brands of coconut oil and flax seeds. Here’s what makes this brand different. The coconut flavor is an asset in pure, unrefined,cold pressed oil that is 100 percent extra virgin. I’ve been toasting everything from bread to Vietnamese pound cake in this oil and tasters agree it takes the flavor up a notch. I am also loving it to sautee onions and fry eggs.
Flax Paks contained milled organic flax seeds that have an extra nutty flavor. I loved the texture over cheese and, get this, over a chocolate-glazed doughnut. I don’t want to hide this flax into something. It’s a star attraction. Look up Carrington Farms
for other superfood ideas like hemp and chia.

A product from Scotland made me savvy to an upcoming date: The World Action on Salt and Health (WASH) is sponsoring Salt Awareness Week from March 10 to March 16, 2014 to focus worldwide attention on the health risk of consuming too much salt in our diets, according to makes of LoSalt, which has 66 percent less sodium than regular salts. There are 95 countries in WASH and representatives must be like me, always eying the people who salt their food, especially tortilla chips in a Mexican restaurant, without even tasting. I’m assuming they serve chips and salsa in all those 95 countries. Anyway, we know the risks of too much salt. I’ve been sampled LoSalt in the original and iodized and I sure don’t think families could tell any difference. The UK already loves this product that is Kosher and Parev certified. Visit for more details. Maybe you can head to Scotland to celebrate Salt Awareness Week.
 I have a tip for them, though. My mom and I agreed this product label needs a new design. Because a little salt goes a long way, this rather humble canister will be on your pantry shelf a long while, and it is not… sexy. When I realized it came from overseas, I was even more let down, because we associate the Euro area to be so high style.

1 comment:

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