Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Carrots and Lemon-Lime Soda – Together?

My chef colleague gave me the idea of cooking carrots in lemon-lime soda several years ago.  My first thought was, ugh, what?  Needless to say, I was somewhat dazed by the idea.  But then I thought, if you can make a cake with coke or barbeque sauce with soda, why not cook carrots in soda.  A soda is basically flavored water and sugar. 

After getting over my initial shock, I decided to give it a try.  Making foods with soda dates back to the depression era when sugar was rationed.  The ever clever American cooks decided to use soda instead of sugar.  I decided the idea of carrots cooked in soda was an interesting idea.  I thought it was worth a try.  You’ve got sugar and flavor.  Off to the kitchen I went to test out this bright new idea.

If you are totally intrigued, here is my recipe.

Lemon-Lime Carrots
Serves 3 to 4.

1 pound carrots
Lemon-lime soda, about ¾ cup
1 Tablespoon butter, optional

1.      Wash and peel carrots.  Cut into ¼’ slices. 
2.     Place carrots in a small saucepan.  Add enough soda to cover carrots.  Cover with lid and bring to a simmer.  Cook until carrots are tender.  Drain.  If desired, add butter.  Stir until melted and serve.

I thought the carrots turned out nicely.  I would make them again if I wanted to try something with a little different twist.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Food You Should Eat! (And Probably Don’t)

Ok, the title caught my attention.  I was excited.  A chance to eat!  This must be heaven!
So what should I eat and probably don’t.  Sardines.  That was enough to knock the wind out of my sails.  Somebody popped my balloon.  Needless to say, I only occasionally eat sardines.  I don’t really have great memories of sardines.  While I was growing up, only poor people ate them.  They were often packed for lunch.  One can was just enough for one person.  They were easily portable. 
They were the perfect food, except.  When you ate them, everyone within a one mile radius knew what you were eating.  There is no hiding when eating sardines.  As an adult, I was happy to make enough money not to have to eat the smelly little fish.  Now that I make enough money sardines are in vogue.  Not only is it acceptable to eat them, they are good for you and the environment.  Nutritionally, sardines are a powerhouse.  They are one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids.  One (3 ounce) can has about 1,950mg of omega-3 fatty acids, more than salmon.  They are an excellent source of vitamin D.  And sardines are available in a wide price range, from about 99 cents up to 3 or 4 dollars per can.  In addition to the oil packed types, they are available in mustard, hot sauce, Mediterranean with capers.
Sardines are small fish, making them low on the food chain.  For more on sardines and other environmentally friendly seafood, check out this article from the magazine, Eating Well magazine(http://bit.ly/n9HWUe).
If you want to try sardines, here are a couple of recipes for you.
Greek Salad with Sardines - http://bit.ly/qJU509
Tomato Toast with Sardines and Mint - http://bit.ly/qFgfgD
As for me, I am sticking with that old time favorite, sardines and saltine crackers.  Why mess with a classic?

For those of you truly interested in being green, check out what to do with your sardine can. (http://instagr.am/p/MnaNY/)  Now if someone can tell me what to do with old Christmas cards.