Taste of life Essay


I am not on the list of the world’s greatest chefs, nor am I a
student of the famous Cordon Bleu cooking schools. My cooking ability
and my recipe collection are newly acquired after much research into
diet and health. Not until my husband was diagnosed with cancer at the
age of 30 did I begin my research into the relationship between diet and
disease. The questions I wanted answered were:

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Was I bringing about my own early downfall with the foodstuffs I
was eating?

If the answer to the above was yes, then where should I start in
planning a diet that would satisfy me as well as offer me all the true
nutrients for good health?

If I was already in a poor state of health, was it possible to
restore my body by changing my diet?

Could the power of my mind, by expressing only positive thoughts,
help the diet work?

Is exercise a necessary ingredient for overall good health?

My research has shown me that the answer to all these questions is
yes. It became obvious to me that many people were also looking for
answers to the same questions. Unfortunately, not until disease of some
sort had affected them did they begin to search –as pointed out to me
in the case histories documented by Nathan Pritikin in a book, Nathan
Pritikin Diet and Exercise. Pritikin is the man who has revolutionized
the thoughts behind “diet linked with disease’ and
“treatment without drugs.’ His diet appeared to me as such a
commonsensical approach to eating that I couldn’t understand why
more people hadn’t converted to it.

I have based my recipe planning around Pritikin’s concepts.
Although I have broken some of his golden rules slightly, I truly
believe that if you walk the straight and narrow most of your life, your
system will be so well in tune that it can occasionally cope with a few,
small luxury items.

The medical profession has had mixed views on my diet’s
strengths and weaknesses. Some doctors had no time to read another
“fad diet’ book. Others believed that I would surely die from
the lack of protein. Some, after reading the book, were prepared to
admit that they did not have all the answers and, after trying the diet,
became converts themselves.

Health cookbooks in general have ignored the salt, sugar,
cholesterol, fats and food-additives issues related to health. Most
books emphasize cutting down for slimming rather than for overall good
health. Vegetarian cookbooks, although they emphasize vegetable and
fruit content, seem to use an abundance of butter, oils, fullcream milk,
salt, sugar, eggs and food additives.

The following recipes are not strictly vegetarian. Nor are they
health-food recipes that one would find in a typical health-food
restaurant. They are a positive approach toward adopting a more
sensible, down-to-earth way of eating.

Food is a source of energy; it should not only sustain but also
satisfy. It should keep us fit as well as alive. It should be filling
without fattening. It should provide for easy preparation and an
enjoyable experience in the eating.

Gazpacho (Cold Summer Soup)

(Serves 4-6)

One pound ripe, juicy tomatoes, skinned, seeded, sliced

1 small onion, peeled, finely chopped

1 small green pepper, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/2 cup dry white wine

1-2 teaspoons lemon juice

Black pepper

1 small can tomato juice (optional)

Cucumber slices

Blend all ingredients except the last four. Add the lemon juice
and black pepper to taste. Dilute the soup if necessary with the tomato
juice. Chill well in the refrigerator before serving. Garnish with
slices of cucumber, parsley or shallot curls.

Tomato Sorbet

(Serves 6-8)

2 cups fresh tomato puree (tomatoes skinned, seeded)

1 cup unsweetened orange juice or grapefruit juice

1 cup chicken stock

Few drops Tabasco sauce

1 tablespoon dry sherry

1 teaspoon orange rind, finely grated

1 teaspoon ginger, finely grated

1 egg white

6 small oranges for serving or

goblets and a garnish of cucumber

Puree first 7 ingredients until well combined. Pour ingredients
into metal freezer tray. Freeze until mushy and stir occasionally with
a fork. Transfer to a bowl. Beat the egg white until stiff and fold
into the tomato mixture. Return immediately to freezer tray and freeze
until firm. If using oranges, cut a top off each orange and remove
flesh. Chill in freezer until required. Scoop out spoonfuls of tomato
sorbet and fill oranges or goblets, garnish and serve.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

(Serves 8)

1 quantity whole-meal spaghetti to serve 8

Tomato Sauce:

1 onion, diced

1/2 green pepper, finely diced

1 stalk celery, finely diced

1 can (16 oz.) tomatoes, chopped

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/2 teaspoon basil

1/2 teaspoon oregano

Black pepper to taste

Fresh parsley, chopped

Stir-fry onion, green pepper and celery in 2 tablespoons water for
3 minutes. Add all other ingredients and simmer 40 minutes.


1/2 pound fat-free ground beef

1 onion, finely minced

1 banana, mashed

1 apple, finely grated

Black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and roll into very small balls. Place in a
frying pan in an inch of water that has been boiled and is just
simmering. Cook for 8 minutes and turn once. Remove from pan and drain
well. Keep hot.

Place hot, whole-wheat spaghetti on serving plates in amount
suggested on package, divide the meatballs evenly and pour the tomato
sauce over the other ingredients.

Chicken Macaroni

(Serves 6)

3 cups whole-meal macaroni, cooked

2 cups chicken, cooked, chopped

1 can (16 oz.) tomatoes, chopped, and juice

1 cup celery, chopped

1 cup green pepper, chopped

1 cup carrots, grated

1/4 cup chives, chopped

1/4 cup parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated (optional)

Black pepper to taste

1 cup chicken or vegetable stock

Combine all ingredients in an ovenproof dish. Cover and cook in a
moderate oven for 30-40 minutes or until well heated all the way

Strawberry Ice Cream Cake

(Serves 8-10)

4 1/2 cups Vanilla Royale Ice Cream (see recipe below)

3 pints strawberries, washed and hulled

1/2 cup toasted almond flakes

Whole, fresh strawberries

Make vanilla ice cream, but do not freeze in the final step. Pour
1/3 of the ice cream into a foil-lined round tin. Slice strawberries
fine and use half in a layer on top of the ice-cream mixture. Pour
another layer of strawberries over 1/2 of remaining ice-cream mixture,
then the remaining ice cream. Freeze. To serve, turn out of tin,
remove foil and place on a serving plate. Sprinkle with toasted, flaked
almonds and decorate the edge of the cake with strawberries.

Vanilla Royale Ice Cream

(Serves 4)

1 can evaporated low-fat milk

6 tablespoons skim-milk powder

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 egg whites

Combine the first four ingredients and beat until thick and creamy.
Place in the freezer for 40 minutes. Remove from freezer and rebeat for
3 minutes. Beat egg whites until fluffy and peaks form. Fold egg whites
through milk mixture. Pour into ice-cream trays and freeze.

Photo: A healthful treat for spaghetti lovers, this delicious
Italian dish is made without fattening oils and served over wholesome,
whole-meal pasta.

Photo: Prime your appetite with a tangy Tomato Sorbet; then fill up
on a crispy casserole made with chicken, celery, carrots, peppers and
whole wheat macaroni.

Photo: Who could turn down a dessert that looks like this?
Fortunately, nobody has to, because Julie’s Strawberry Ice Cream
Cake is a low-fat, low-calorie treat.


I'm Tamara!

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