A sandwich doesn’t have to be full of fat and calories. Replace high-fat mayonnaise with one of the reduced-fat varieties. You may want to stir in some chopped fresh herbs into reduced-fat mayonnaise for a flavor boost. You may also want to hold the mayo and spread your bread with mustard, as mustard is naturally low fat. You may also want to try a spread of non-fat yogurt mixed with a bit of mustard. Chutney, delicious by itself or when blended with mayonnaise or mustard, adds a sweet and spicy dimension to a sandwich.
Many lunch meats are high in sodium and calories. Look for alternatives such as grilled vegetables or skinless chicken breast, roasted turkey breast, or shrimp in a low-fat dressing. Another good alternative is water-packed tuna.
Cheese is a high-fat sandwich ingredient that should be eaten in moderation. Choose lighter cheeses such as Swiss or low-fat cheese.
Rather than ordering your sandwich at the deli counter, take a stroll by the salad bar. There are many candidates for a great sandwich just waiting to be piled onto bread (or into a pita) and drizzled with low-fat dressing.
A few healthy choice ingredients are: artichoke hearts, roasted peppers, pepperoncini, sprouts, shredded carrots, asparagus, sliced tomatoes, and tofu.
"Work With What You Got!"
© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen
Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. -Harriet Van Horne
Constitution Week – Foods of Our Forefathers Part V
In her food preparation and preservation, the early American housewife was tied tightly to the calendar and the clock – much more tightly than today’s homemaker is. Local availability of foodstuffs and the limitations of existing food preservation techniques meant that nature largely called the shots on timing. Fruits and vegetables had to be picked at the right moment and processed quickly. Animals had to be slaughtered at their peak to keep best, and the peak varied from animal to animal. Even cheese and butter had a better likelihood of successful preservation depending on the season of the year in which they were processed.
Weather conditions played a major role: herbs had to be picked on a dry day to retain color and flavor; slaughter had to be done in cold weather to allow the carcass to cool rapidly; milk winters produced little ice for the following summer.
Also, once begun, preservation techniques sometimes had to be carried uninterruptedly through a long and tedious series of steps. There was no turning back – or time for vacations. Hams being cured had to be turned regularly, fish being dried had to be restacked four times a day, pickles had to have their brine skimmed and changed – or the product would be lost.
The labor involved in such food preservation was frequently heavy, but the routine of the rest of the house went on as usual. Organizational ability and endurance were essential, and woe betide the housewife who didn’t “keep up appearances” with her neighbors.
Just as the make-up of the early American’s diet varied with his geographic location, so did his needs – and abilities – in food preservation.
For example, the southern areas had access to a more varied food supply over the course of the year and consequently had less need to provide stores for the hard winter. At the same time, it was more difficult and expensive to get ice for short-term protection against the warmer climate. Ice was actually shipped from Massachusetts to the Southern states and to Cuba and Jamaica in the early 19th century, but it was obviously only available to the wealthier residents. The ice-box itself didn’t become popular until the mid 1800’s.
The shorter growing season in the North reduced the variety of produce available, but it also made cold storage in root cellars practical in small towns and rural areas. Above-ground ice houses and ice-saws, invented in the mid-nineteenth century, drastically reduced the cost of storing ice into the summer, and simplified storage of dairy products, fish and meat.
In many respects, the northern colonies had the greatest difficulty in providing a nutritious, varied diet throughout the year. Although fruits, berries, and summer vegetables were plentiful from the midsummer to early fall, proving vitamin-rich foodstuffs, during the winter and spring took special care. Many food items, of course, could be stored in relatively simple root cellars – where winter temperatures hovered between 30 and 40 degrees. In especially cold weather, a large tub of water was placed on the floor. This water gave off heat as it froze, which kept the vegetables safe. Turnips, beets and squash were kept in the driest areas. Carrots would keep anywhere. Cabbages and celery were buried in sand, cauliflower was set in holes and covered with straw, while cranberries were floated in water in a tub. Other crops were arranged loosely on slatted shelves for free air circulation, sometimes lying on straw.
Some vegetables, such as summer squash and potatoes, kept better at somewhat higher temperatures, and these were usually stored in the dark basement of the home. Temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees were ideal.
Eggs could also be stored in the root cellar, or in the basement of the house. Two methods were common. In one, the eggs (which the housewife was instructed to collect “in fine weather”) were dipped in boiling water for 20 seconds, then coated all over with butter or “sweet oil” (glycerin) and packed in sawdust. They would keep this way for some two to three weeks. Other housewives kept their eggs in crocks, submerged in “water glass” (sodium silicate). In this technique, it was important not to wash the eggs first, since their shells possess a natural coating which prevented the water glass from penetrating through the shell and ruining the egg. Even stored at room temperature, such eggs would keep for several months, while the hens sulked through the dark winter days.
If a family didn’t have room for a root cellar, it could accomplish somewhat the same effect with a pit, with the vegetables in layers separated by straw, and the whole covered with earth. Obviously, retrieving vegetables thus buried was a messy chore, and needed careful planning.
Under either type of storage, frequent examination was necessary, in order to detect spoilage and eliminate those items of fruit or vegetables which had gone rotten. The proverb about “one rotten apple spoiling the barrel” was not taken lightly! In fact, many housewives wouldn’t put apples in barrels, but spread them out, in order to “pick them over” more easily as the winter progressed. Spoiling apples were cut up, and the good parts made into applesauce as the winter progressed. Early cookbooks instructed the housewife to add a teaspoon of tartaric acid to the apples when making sauce late in the winter, as the apples lost their flavor. New Englanders even had a name for the period after the vegetables had spoiled or been used up, but before the dandelion greens appeared. They called it “the six weeks want.”
In the South, storage of this sort was less necessary, and the typical New England vegetables such as Hubbard squash and turnips were rarely seen on Southern menus.
To Be Continued…
Here are some super easy, but versatile Pasta Salad Ideas from Tiny New York Kitchen. All you need to do is add 3 cups of cooked & chilled pasta (of your choice) and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to one of these inspiring combinations. Try them all throughout the summer for a whole treasure trove of side salads. If you want to make any of these a main dish then add 1 pound of protein such as grilled chicken breasts, grilled flank steak, grilled shrimp, grilled tuna (or canned tuna) or tofu. All recipes below serve 4.
For the Pasta: Cook 3 Cups of Pasta, Toss With 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Then Chill Until Ready To Use. Add the Pasta to One of the Salad Combinations Below.
Nutty Beans & Greens
1 Cup Trimmed & Steamed Haricot Verts
1 Cup Baby Arugula
3 Tablespoons Toasted & Chopped Walnuts
1 Ounce Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
Snow Peas & Carrots
1/2 Cup Grated Carrot
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1/2 Cup Thinly Sliced Snow Peas
1/2 Cup Shredded Red Cabbage
1/4 Cup Dry Roasted Peanuts
Cheesy Chickpea & Pesto
1/2 Cup Cooked Chickpeas
1 1/2 Ounces Crumbled Feta Cheese
1 Cup Halved Grape Tomatoes
1 Tablespoon Prepared Pesto
1/3 Cup Chopped Fresh Basil
1/2 Cup Thinly Sliced Cucumber
1 Cup Halved Cherry Tomatoes
1 1/2 Ounces Crumbled Feta Cheese
1 1/2 Ounces Sliced Kalamata Olives
Peppery & Nutty
1 Cup Arugula
2/3 Cup Thinly Sliced Radishes
3 Tablespoons Toasted & Chopped Walnuts
2 Ounces Crumbled Goat Cheese
Melon, Mint & Parm
1/2 Cup Fresh Cubed Cantaloupe
2 Tablespoons Fresh Mint Leaves
2 Ounces Thinly Sliced Prosciutto
1 1/2 Ounces Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
Freshly Ground Pepper
Cherry Almond Crunch
3/4 Cup Pitted Halved Fresh Cherries
1/4 Cup Toasted & Thinly Sliced Almonds
2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Basil
1 1/2 Ounces Crumbled Goat Cheese
1/3 Cup Sliced Avocado
1/4 Cup Red Bell Pepper Strips
1/4 Cup Fresh Corn Kernels
2 Cooked Crumbled Center Cut Bacon Slices
2 Ounces Quartered Fresh Baby Mozzarella Balls
Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus, but is also associated with popular symbols such as eggs, candy, bunnies and food. Here is a look at the origins of these beloved symbols.
The Easter Lily
The white blossoms of the lily symbolizes the purity of Jesus. The trumpet-shaped flower that blooms in the spring also symbolizes new life and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. People use the flower to celebrate and enjoy the very essence of the Easter season.
Hot Cross Buns
A favorite during spring and the Easter season. Hot cross buns are a sweet, yeast leavened, spiced roll made with currants or raisins. They have long been a symbol of Good Friday. Each bun has an icing cross on top to signify the crucifixion.
The butterfly’s unique life cycle is meant to symbolize the life of Jesus Christ. The first stage, the caterpillar, stands for his life on Earth. The cocoon stage portrays the crucifixion and the burial of Jesus. The final stage, the colorful butterfly, represents Jesus rising from the dead and the resurrection.
In Germany, children made nests in which the “Osterhase” or Easter Bunny could lay his colored eggs. The nests were replaced with baskets once the tradition was brought to the United States and the Easter contents were expanded to include candy and other treats.
In the United States ham has become a traditional Easter dish. In the early days, meat was slaughtered in the fall. There was no refrigeration so the fresh pork that wasn’t consumed during the winter was cured for spring. This made ham a natural choice for the celebratory Easter dinner.
Easter Egg Hunts & Rolls
The first official White House egg roll took place in 1878 under the presidency of Rutherford Hayes. Egg hunts and rolls have no religious connection, but some will point out that the roll is a symbolic act for the removal of the stone blocking Jesus’ tomb.
The origin of Easter parades dates back to the mid-1800’s in New York City. The wealthy used Easter as an opportunity to show off their new spring wardrobe by walking up and down Fifth Avenue after church. Soon the less fortunate started showing up to watch the spectacle and a tradition was born.
Second only to Halloween in candy sales, Easter is a holiday for children and adults with a serious sweet tooth. Chocolate eggs and candy shaped like bunnies or eggs are extremely popular. Also, jelly beans are often associated with the holiday due to their egg-like shape.
Easter eggs are likely linked to pagan traditions, but eggs have long been used to celebrate spring and the idea of renewal. It’s not unusual that in almost all ancient cultures, eggs are held as a symbol of life. At the Passover Seder, a hardboiled egg dipped in salt water symbolizes both new life and the Passover sacrifice offered at the Temple of Jerusalem.
The Easter Bunny
The cute furry creature is certainly not mentioned in the Bible, but has nonetheless become the most well-known symbol for the spring holiday. The Easter Bunny’s origins are not entirely known, but some stories date his arrival in the United States back to the 1700’s when German immigrants brought their tradition of an egg laying hare called “Osterhase” to the country. Much like children leave cookies for Santa, boys and girls leave carrots out for the Easter Bunny in case he got tired from hopping around all night.