More Veggie Side Dishes
Here are two quick and easy recipes for Carrots: Cook thinly sliced carrots (2 pounds) and radishes (12), slightly boiled pearl onions (1 pound), one-half cup dark brown sugar and 4 teaspoons grated orange peel in one-half cup orange juice until the vegetables are tender and the liquid’s slightly thickened. Top with 1 cup of chopped walnuts (Taste of Home, November 2015). And the second recipe is:
2 pounds carrots, sliced thickly
0ne-fourth cup red wine vinegar
Juice of 6 tangerines
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon butter
Optional: Chives to garnish
Simmer the carrots in a skillet with the vinegar, tangerine juice and salt until tender, for 8 to 10 minutes. Season with pepper. Then stir in the butter. Garnish with the chopped chives.
Makes 4 servings
(Sources: The recipe’s adapted from Food Network magazine, October 2011; additional source is “Holiday side dishes can be sophisticated, satisfying” by Arthi Subramaniam, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-The Vindicator, November 11, 2015)
Sweet Potatoes and Yams
The sweet potato is a relative of the morning glory and are roots, not tubers like true potatoes are. Cooking-wise, there are usually two types of sweet potatoes in markets (the differences are slight, however): Darker-skinned ones have more orange flesh and a higher sugar content (good for caramelizing); the lighter ones have more starch (good for baking). But overall, the two are interchangable (I have personally noticed that on several canned brands, the words yam and sweet potatoes are used (Cut yams will be printed on the can’s center. Two sentences down, that same can will say Sweet potatoes in light syrup. Which is it?). A true yam is native to the Carribean; the name goes back to before the Civil War. A real yam has a thick skin (almost like bark), and when cooked, has a starchy taste (there’s also the boniato, often called the Cuban sweet potato-It also has a starchy taste, but has pink or red skin).
Did you know that if served without the sugar, butter and marshmallows, sweet potatoes are fat-free? And there’s the beta carotene in the sweet potato, long associated with a reduced risk of some cancers. Sweet potatoes and regular potatoes are not that interchangeable, as some cookbooks claim; not only is the taste and flavor vastly different; the texture’s worlds apart. Sweet potatoes freeze well; regular potatoes, not so much (Source: “It’s sweet, all right, but it isn’t a potato” by Kathleen Purvis, Knight Ridder Newspapers-The Vindicator, November 10, 1999).
Food Allergy Facts
A food allergy is the immune system’s reaction to a certain food, when the body creates IgE antibodies to that particular food. When these IgE antibodies react with the food, histamine and other chemicals are released from various cells within the body. These mediators cause hives, asthma or other symptoms of an allergic reaction. There are basically eight foods that cause 90 percent of all allergic reactions: Milk, eggs, wheat, peanut (as little as one-half of this can cause a fatal reaction), soy, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. Symptoms can include difficulty breathing or wheezing; itching or tightness in the throat; vomiting, cramps, hives, swelling and diarrhea, itching or swelling of the lips, tongue or mouth. And these symptoms can begin within seconds or as long as one hour after ingesting the food (Sources: Food Allergy Network at www.foodallergy.org and “The Facts-Food allergies” sidebar-The Vindicator, October 28, 1998).