Originally created 07/24/02

Small portions



Cookbook raises diabetes awareness

A free diabetes-friendly cookbook is now available as part of an educational campaign "Take Diabetes to Heart." The campaign is designed to raise awareness of the link between Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Actress Phylicia Rashad, best known for her work on The Cosby Show, is the group's spokeswoman.

The cookbook, Take Diabetes to Heart! Cookbook-Meals for People With Diabetes in 30 Minutes or Less, has more than 140 recipes as well as information about managing the disease.

It is available by calling 1-800-307-7113 or at www.takediabetestoheart.com.

Enjoy ethnic food without guilt

Ethnic foods may have exotic tastes but may not always agree with a healthy diet.

The American Heart Association's Around the World Cookbook offers tips on making foreign fare a little more healthy.

  • In Chinese restaurants, choose entrees with lots of vegetables. Whenever possible, diners should ask to substitute duck for chicken. Steamed dumplings are a better idea than egg rolls and wontons. While waiting for the entrees to arrive, the health conscious should skip the crispy fried noodles offered on the table.
  • Mexican food can be healthier, too. Instead of fried tortilla chips, the AHA suggests asking the waiter for soft corn tortillas to dip in the salsa. These are made with almost no fat. Sour cream and guacamole can be left off your dishes and diners can use salsa instead to flavor food. Veracruz or other tomato-based sauces should be chosen over the creamy, cheesy ones.
  • Middle eastern and Greek food, notorious for being high in fat, can be made to be a little less harsh on the arteries. For starters, dieters should avoid phyllo pastry dishes since, like many Greek desserts, they usually contain a lot of butter. Roast lamb, shish kebab and couscous entrees are healthier choices than moussaka (a lamb and beef casserole) or similar creamy, cheesy dishes.
  • The cookbook is available by calling 1-800-793-2665.

    Do-It-Yourself ice cream mixer

    If you love ice cream, you can have ice-cream-parlor treats at home with Black & Decker's Arctic Twister Ice Cream Mixer. The mixer lets you take store-bought ice cream or frozen yogurt, add your choice of candy, fruit or nuts and make a soft-serve ice-cream treat.

    The price of indulgence: between $65 and $75. The machine is available at mass merchant and discount stores. For more information, call 800-231-9786 or visit www.blackanddecker.com.

    Thai dish right out of the box

    A Taste of Thai, the company that brought Thai sauces and seasonings to the home dinner table, now offers that most ubiquitous of Thai dishes: pad Thai.

    The boxes contain noodles and seasonings to make the dish for two with 1 1/2 percent of the proceeds from the $2.95 purchase going to help endangered Asian elephants.

    But don't think of this as dinner in a box. You will have to supply oil, egg, scallions, peanuts, bean sprouts, cilantro and lime wedges, and if you like, shrimp, pork or chicken. Taste of Thai doesn't give you pad Thai so much as a recipe, and perhaps the feeling that it somehow is easier to follow instructions on a box than in a book.

    Guide to avoid stomach-upsetting foods

    Is summer upsetting your stomach? While the season brings fresh produce and outdoor dining, some common summer foods can be upsetting, according to the National Headache Foundation and the National Heartburn Alliance.

    The alliance has published a food guide to help consumers choose foods that are not likely to cause stomach upset. The guide is free by calling toll-free 877-471-2081 or visiting www.heartburnalliance.org.