Ess, Ess/Eat, Eat

Jewish World Review Jan. 10, 2000 /3 Shevat, 5760

Healthy Side Dishes for 2000

By Ethel G. Hofman -- WITH HIGH-TECH ADVANCES and lifestyles more hectic than ever before, what and how are we going to eat in the first years of a new century?

The buzzword is convenience. According to data from the US Department of Agriculture, about 40% of the food budget of the average American is now spent on food away from home. Trendsetters note that restaurants, eateries and coffee shops will show up in clothing and home stores, you'll be able to order a meal at food courts in movie multiplexes and groceries will be ordered, and delivered over the Internet. And the final insult to home cook purists, Samsung corporation has announced plans to market the first microwave oven for cars...what happened to the sit-down family dinner table?

In a recent newsletter from the American Institute for Cancer Research, what's fast, easy and cheap, may not be healthy. Meals eaten and purchased outside the home are typically highter in total fat and saturated fat, contain less fiber, iron and calcium than home cooked meals. In addition, serving sizes are usually much larger than you might serve at home.

Food should nourish both the body and the soul - and that's high on the list of new century food trends. Culinary organizations such as "Oldways" promotes healthy heating based on traditional healthy cuisines of international cultures - as in the Mediterranean diet, with the emphasis on fresh produce and grains. It's important to find a balance among the eating options - in favor of good health.

These choices are available in every market where there are more choices than ever before. For example, fresh produce may be purchased, cleaned, cut and ready to cook, or use frozen vegetables, without added butter or sauces. The quick, easy, side dishes below add good taste and texture, livening any meal. Some, such as cranberry kumquat chutney may be made the day before. Seasonings may be adjusted to taste.


Makes approx. 3 cups

Place the kumquats, cranberries and 1/2 cup sugar in the processor. Pulse 4 or 5 times until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a saucepan. Add 1/2 cup sugar, wine and cloves. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often. Reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 2 minutes longer. If too tart, add a little more sugar to taste. Remove from heat and spoon into a serving bowl. Serve chilled. Approx., nutrients per 1/4 cup serving:

calories - 89
protein - 0g
carbohydrates - 22g
fat - 0g
cholesterol - 0mg
sodium - 1mg


(6 servings)


Serves 6


Serves 6


Serves 6-8

To reduce sodium, substitute water or 1 cup vegetable broth and 3/4 cup water for the vegetable broth.

JWR contributor Ethel G. Hofman is the former president of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, whose members include the likes of Julia Child. She is the author, most recently, of Everyday Cooking for the Jewish Home: More Than 350 Delectable Recipes.


© 2000, Ethel G. Hofman