Originally created 05/23/01

Small portions

Cancer concerns

Grilling makes mouthwatering food but also can pose some health hazards, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research.

Cancer researchers have found that grilling and broiling can produce some cancer-causing compounds, but there are ways to reduce the risks.

"There is no need to eliminate grilling and broiling completely," says Melanie Polk, the institute's director of nutrition education. Safe grilling measures include grilling vegetables rather than meat; marinating meats; trimming the fat; precooking; not letting juices drip and burn; and flipping hamburgers often.

Detailed information is given in a free brochure, The Facts About Grilling, which can be obtained by calling (800) 843-8114, Ext. 06, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST Monday through Friday.

Fun foods

A free booklet, French's Fun With Food, offers ideas for easy-to-make sandwiches, snacks and other dishes, including "funny-face" food.

The booklet is designed for families, offering recipes to catch children's interest and keep them busy while teaching them basic health and culinary skills.

To obtain a copy, send a self-addressed, stamped, 6-by-9-inch envelope to: French's Fun Food for Kids, 411 Park St., Upper Montclair, NJ 07043.

Another free booklet can be obtained from the same address. Mustard: The Condiment for Healthy Living includes some low-fat food tips.

Vidalia season

Vidalia onions, with a reputation for sweetness, grow only in a 20-county region in southeast Georgia.

They are in season and plentiful, at their freshest and best May through July; until October, from controlled storage; and after that in limited supplies.

Look for Vidalia onions that are dry, firm and shiny, with a thin skin. The freshest have a light-golden bulb and a white inside. They bruise easily because of their high water and sugar content. Store them separated in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place to prevent their softening. For long-term storage, wrap separately in paper towel and refrigerate for up to six months.

Vidalia onions are good to eat raw, in sandwiches, with hamburgers, hot dogs and grilled foods. For the sweetest flavor when eating them raw, put the whole unpeeled onion in the refrigerator and chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Or peel and slice and place in a bowl of ice water for about 30 minutes, then drain on paper towels.

Vidalia onions also cook well, may be roasted, stuffed, glazed or used in dips.

A free recipe brochure, Vidalia's Underground Treasure, is available by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Vidalia Onion Committee, P.O. Box 1609MR, Vidalia, GA 30475.


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