Posted on 09/25/2011 at 06:22 PM by Madhu Gadia
A long-time Indian friend replied with a smile to my comment TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday) that in this country we live Friday to Friday. There is certainly some truth to that and more than that I would say we live holiday to holiday. We just got back from a family get-together on July 4th weekend, and immediately I wanted to make sure I had something planned for the Labor Day weekend. Hopefully, you are a step ahead of me and have the rest of this year’s vacation planned. Make sure, however, you take some time off just for you. I am a firm believer that time off from the daily routine of work and life is important physically and mentally and in the long run, it makes you healthier and more productive.
No More Guessing: Food Guidelines Now Served on “MyPlate”
The new food recommendations from the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) are now on a plate. The new icon called MyPlate has replaced the familiar Food Guide Pyramid. The plate is a quick and simple visual of how to fill our plate for good health. The guidelines further clarify the recommendations; see below. I am so glad that the first recommendation highlighted is to enjoy food. Choose steps that work for you and start today;
- Enjoy food but eat less
- Avoid oversized portions
Foods to Increase
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
- Make at least half your grains whole grains
- Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk
Foods to Reduce
- Drink water instead of sugary drinks
- Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals and choose items with lower numbers
Summer Picnics and BBQ
Summer conjures up memories of picnics, barbecues, and ball games. As you pack your food for outdoor eating remember some basic food safety rules. The most important food safety rule is to keep cold food at 40 F or below and hot food at 140 F or higher. Don’t take food safety lightly, for more information go to fda.gov.
I hope you are taking full advantage of long summer days and spending as much time as you can outdoors, sitting on the patio, taking long walks in the park, and barbecuing. July and August are the perfect time for delicious, fresh out-of-the-garden (or Farmer’s Market) vegetables. Corn is at its peak for flavor and taste. In the last 3 to 5 years I have noticed food magazines and food shows highlighting grilled corn as a wonderful new discovery. In India, corn on the cob has always been grilled directly on the flame. You can buy fresh grilled corn, spiced to your taste, at the local street vendor. For best grilled-corn, choose big ears with mature kernels, remove the husk and put the corn directly on the grill. Rotate and roast corn until grill marks appear on all sides, and then brush with spiced lime for an unbelievably delicious treat.
Also, fresh-picked grilled vegetables like zucchini, onions, peppers, and carrots taste incredible—they are sweet and tender and melt in your mouth. I grill a big batch and serve them with toothpicks.
And a summer must in my home is Indian ice cream called Kulfi. It has a different taste and texture than the creamy western ice cream and is totally worth a try. Every time I eat Kulfi, it takes me back to the childhood summers we spent with our grandparents. Every afternoon (after a nap) my uncle would buy all us kids Kulfi-On-A-Stick from a street vendor. I love plain Kulfi, but I also added a Mango Kulfi option for you to try. Have a wonderful summer.
Grilled Corn (Bhutta)
Grilled Vegetables (Bhuni Subji)
Indian Ice Cream (Kulfi)
Happy and Healthy Cooking!