Inkwell: Authors and Artists
Kimberly A. Mayone (kimmayone) Mon 15 Mar 04 17:25
From a food point of view, a low-carb diet may be helpful in keeping cholesterol levels under control. Many low-carbers stand by the positive effect that low-carb dieting has on cholesterol levels. To do low-carb correctly, many vegetables will be consumed. Fiber-rich vegetables are a bounty of health. Garlic has cholesterol reducing qualities and it makes food exceptionally flavorful. A low-carb diet need not contain butter, beef or cheese. Instead, one could consume lots of chicken and seafood prepared with olive oil or grapeseed oil. Consuming soy protein (tofu, tempeh) is also another way to reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. Almonds and other tree nuts also have been shown to have a positive effect on cardiovascular health. So you see, low-carb does not necessarily need to be high in saturated fats. There is a very satisfying middle ground. It should also be noted that the author of the South Beach Diet is a cardiologist.
Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Tue 16 Mar 04 05:37
Great idea about the wine ice cubes.
look, it's all right there in front of you... (cmf) Tue 16 Mar 04 06:19
Kim... I love your comments about low carb not having to equate to beef and cheese, although I am definitely a beef eating kind of guy. I think low carb has gotten a bad rap because the sales pitch for so long has been that you can go back to eating bacon and cheese and eggs. Truth is when I'm eating low carb right, I eat better than I've ever eaten before, types of food, quantities...
look, it's all right there in front of you... (cmf) Tue 16 Mar 04 06:23
Thought I'd just share that after some ingredient specific shopping our family has declared the next ten days Slow Cooker cooking days. Tonight we're having Mexican Meatloaf... I also purchased a couple of nice beef roasts and stocked up on chicken breasts to try some of the poultry recipes. We usually eat between 5:00 and 6:00 if anybody happens to be in the southeast Michigan area over the next couple of days...<smile> I'll be sure to report in with the results...
Anne Boyd (nitpicker) Tue 16 Mar 04 09:53
>>It should also be noted that the author of the South Beach Diet is a cardiologist. In point of fact, so was the late Dr. Atkins. And one of the studies published recently that showed improvement in cholesterol levels on a low-carb diet was, in fact, sponsored in part by the American Heart Association...much to their shock when they saw the results (they were not the only group to undertake study of low-carb diets in order to DISprove their health claims...and then be startled by the results!) >>low-carb yogurt In fact, yogurt IS low-carb (in the absence of added sugars and the like) - the label inaccurately reflects what has happened to the lactose in the finished product. Nutrition labels on products, at least in the US, calculate carb count "by difference," which means the carbohydrate count is not measured directly. In the case of yogurt, this leads to a miscount. See the following URLL <http://www.lowcarbluxury.com/yogurt.html> I am not a fan of excessive consumption of soy, due to concerns about its effect on thyroid function.
Kimberly A. Mayone (kimmayone) Tue 16 Mar 04 10:23
Happy Slow Cooking cmf. Mexican meatloaf is one of our favs. We serve it with low-carb tortillas, avacados, chopped green peppers, sour cream and shredded lettuce.
Kitty Broihier (kittybroihier) Tue 16 Mar 04 10:55
Great discussions, everyone. Yes, some yogurt is low in carb, but I like my yogurt sweetened and fruited, so I like the new low-carb yogurt, and I always add some of our "Berry Sauce" from the book--also good on low-carb ice cream products. Yes, carb is calculated "by difference," and good point. Soy may not be appropriate for those with or recovering from breast cancer, fyi. Obviously, not all foods we frequently lump together as "healthful" are healthful for everyone. I'm from southwest Michigan originally...maybe I should send my parents across the state to sample your slow cooked dinners, CMF! (I'm not sure they've even begun to tackle cooking from our book yet!).
look, it's all right there in front of you... (cmf) Tue 16 Mar 04 16:32
Tonight was Mexican Meatloaf... Before I make any comments about the dish, I need to kind of ask a question/point something out. All the ingredients for the dish are listed on the left side of the recipe. Several of them are listed as optional, and without quantities. The instructions for the recipe instruct you to mix all the ingredients together and then put them in the slow cooker. Since some of the optional, unmeasured ingredients were things like cheese and sour cream, my wife called me wondering if THOSE items should be mixed in with the meat as well. It was funny because in looking at the recipe myself I had that same exact question. We decided it couldn't hurt, and mixed them all in. Now that we've made the meal, I have a sense that these optional items (top of my head -- scallions, sour cream, grated cheese, chopped lettuce) were meant to be accoutrements, not a part of the actual recipe. So, is my final reckoning correct? And if so, it might be something to look at for the future. I know a lot of folks will think us silly, but I also know we won't be the only people confused by this.
Kitty Broihier (kittybroihier) Tue 16 Mar 04 18:16
Good point re the ingredients in Mexican meatloaf. That must have escaped our editors/proofreaders, but your second thought is correct--they're to be served on top, if desired, not mixed in. The last line in step 3, serve with your faovrite garnishes might have been clearer if it noted that those garnishes would be the "optional" ingredients....should have aelso noted that come all ingredients didn't mean to include the optional ones. So sorry this was confusing. People who use their slow cookers a lot would have caught this (knowing that putting lettuce in a slow cooker couldnt' be right!). However, it's unclear; our apologies. We'll make a note of it....
Kimberly A. Mayone (kimmayone) Wed 17 Mar 04 04:17
Just out of curiosity - how did it turn out? I am guessing that slow cooked iceberg lettuce may not be that appealing. Our apologies for the misunderstanding, I checked the recipe this morning, the optional ingredients could have used a bit more explaining, just as Kit stated above. Whats on the menu for tonight?
look, it's all right there in front of you... (cmf) Wed 17 Mar 04 05:08
Fortunately we didn't put any lettuce in the <smile!> It was actually pretty good and we're confident it we'll be better. I think we used more than the 2 pounds of ground beef suggested so ours could have used another packet of taco seasoning. I also think that the cheese and sour cream kind of watered down the flavor as well... Now then, added after the fact, I think it would have been awesome. We're kind of chalking this one up to "user error" and we're definitely going to try it again. The cool thing is that it tasted a little like eating a burrito or an enchilada without the tortilla. As for tonight... Defrosted a roast, but then found we didn't have all the ingredients. Some of that is our fault. And some of it... well, I think the only negative I've found with the book is that there are a good number of recipes that call for things I don't usually stock in my kitchen, and I consider myself a pretty successful cook. I don't know that I'd consider this an issue with the book though. For starters you do a good job of addressing staples in the front of the book. And having said that... I can see there's a reason for this and I alluded to it a couple of days ago. I really don't look at this book as the standard slow cooker cook book. These recipes are designed to be a step above, or at least that's my take on it. I do have to ask you this. What is the purpose of the tapioca in the classic roast recipe and <pulling hair out> where the heck do I find it in the grocery store!? Going to make a stop tonight at the store. Roast on the schedule for tomorrow.
Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Wed 17 Mar 04 06:21
It's a thickener. I know I've seen it in the grocery store here. Try the pudding section, baking supplies, perhaps even the bulk section.
look, it's all right there in front of you... (cmf) Wed 17 Mar 04 06:25
That's what I assumed, in all counts, but was unsuccessful in my first search. Will try again tonight.
Kitty Broihier (kittybroihier) Wed 17 Mar 04 07:11
Yes, the quick cooking tapioca thickens the gravy for the roast. Many slow cooker recipes use it, and if you plan on using your cooker more in the future, you should have it on hand. Find it by the boxes of pudding mix in your store (in mine it's on the top shelf by the "exotic", imported mousse mixes, etc. ) It's a tiny box...look hard Hope this roast turns out better for you! Don't give up on us yet! And, we hope you're right, that our recipes are a notch above what one usually expects with slow cooker cookbooks...
look, it's all right there in front of you... (cmf) Wed 17 Mar 04 10:14
One of the things I HAVE noticed is that I like using the book as a reference point. A chance to see some of the combinations you've worked with and then add or subtract from them a little. I plan on doing that tonight and thought some input might be nice. I like the recipe for the Cinnamon Walnuts, only I'm going to use pecans instead. Or am planning to. Any experience with this? Should the pecans be tasty too?
Anne Boyd (nitpicker) Wed 17 Mar 04 15:09
On the topic of meat confusion: I have the gingham-covered Better Homes and Gardens cookbook too! And it's a great resource for basic information about cuts of meat. But in the search for a more in-depth source of information, I came across this Web site, which has tons of info about meat, not to mention just about every other ingredient you can name: The Cook's Thesaurus <http://www.foodsubs.com/>
Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Wed 17 Mar 04 16:48
I have a book called The Cook's Book with a lot of basic stuff like that.
Kimberly A. Mayone (kimmayone) Wed 17 Mar 04 16:49
Quick Cooking Tapioca can be a bit of a challenge to find, but it is a very standard item in grocery stores. As Kit, said look for the little red box, usually on the top shelf. If you enjoy slow cooking, it is a very handy thickener that adds minimal carbs. Regarding Cinnamon Walnuts, yes absolutely you can substitute pecans. It will be delicious. I love to eat these for breakfast with some cottage cheese and sugar free maple syrup. Thanks for the tip on foodsubs.com I'll check it out.
Anne Boyd (nitpicker) Wed 17 Mar 04 18:27
Hey, I just noticed something. No lamb recipes! What gives? (I've only really discovered lamb in recent years, but I'm a big fan.)
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Thu 18 Mar 04 07:19
Question about tapioca vs flour: According to my carb-counting book (Barbara Kraus' "Calories and Carbohydrates"), flour is lower carb than tapioca, tablespoon for tablespoon. What's the advantage of tapioca over flour as a thickener in a slow cooker?
Kimberly A. Mayone (kimmayone) Thu 18 Mar 04 07:42
About lamb, I generally found that I could not consistently find standard lamb items at my grocery store. Obviously, certain cuts of lamb are more geared towards slow cooking. I really wanted to do a lamb shank recipe but I couldn't get my hands on the lamb shanks without special ordering them. Since you are a lamb lover, you could substitute lamb sausage for many of the sausage dishes. It might be especially good in the sausage and white bean soup. Tapioca vs. flour. Tapicoa has a cleaner flavor and it is better suited to slow cooking. If wanting to use flour as a thickener, it is best to cook it with some butter and to make a roux for thickening. Roux is easy enough to make, but it must be well combined with other liquid ingredients to avoid lumps. Also flour thickened recipes are better prepared if they can be stirred when cooking, once again to avoid lumps. People who slow cook seem to prefer simple preparation, therefore we opted for the popular "slow cooking" ingredient (tapioca).
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Thu 18 Mar 04 09:35
Ah. Thanks for the feedback on tapioca vs. flour, Kim. That makes sense.
Kirsten Jones (synedra) Thu 18 Mar 04 11:23
Speaking of tapioca, I had a related issue (similar to the mexican meatloaf "optional" ingredients) when making the chicken satay bites. Under ingredients, the first section is "For the marinade" or something. There's a bunch of ingredients, then another section "Peanut sauce". The tapioca is listed with the marinade ingredients, and since the recipe says 'whisk together the marinade ingredients' and the tapioca is listed with those I ended up putting it in the marinade. Which worked ok, but then of course the next step says 'mix in the tapioca' and I just skipped it. I made a note in my book that the tapioca was not one of the ingredients for the tapioca, but it should be separated from the list...
Alan L. Chamberlain (axon) Thu 18 Mar 04 13:23
Axon checking in; I've been traveling. I think the book is gorgeous! It's one of those things you just love to page through, looking at the pictures and reading the recipes. I haven't had the chance to attempt any of the recipes, but I have made mental notes of the things I want to try. I need to get an ice cream freezer and make that ice cream!
Kitty Broihier (kittybroihier) Thu 18 Mar 04 13:47
Axon; are you sure you have the right book? Ours doesn't have any pictures! However, we'll take the compliment! By the way, tapioca friends, I went to the Satay recipe and found that yes indeedy, you're right re the placement of that ingredient. I hate to be the one to keep making excuses, but frankly this was a publishers layout decision... In our original, the tapioca is separated. I think sometimes that accuracy is sacrificed for style. Sad, but true. Another recipe tip, in general it's best to completely read through a recipe before starting it. That way you know what's coming up. I've run across numerous things such as this in other books and many, many times in magazines, which tend to cut up recipes and move chunks of them to different pages. Just a tip. Thanks for pointing this out.
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