Chefs prepare a feast fit for a healthy heartIf you think...

TIDBITS

October 23, 1991|By Charlyne Varkonyi

Chefs prepare a feast fit for a healthy heart

If you think that great food can't really be good for your heart, the chefs participating in Heartfest '91 will do their best to change your mind.

You'll sample heart-healthy dishes ranging from curried carrot soup from Michael's Riviera Grill to homemade linguine with mussels and fresh basil from Cafe Des Artistes. You'll drink wines ranging from a Shafer Vineyards Cabernet sauvignon to a Firestone merlot. Along with enjoying fine food and wine, you can learn how to prevent heart disease at the informational exhibits.

Heartfest is scheduled from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday at the Baltimore Grand, 404 W. Fayette St. Parking is free with ticket validation. The cost: $55 per person or $100 a couple.

Reserve tickets by calling 955-7376 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the Henry Ciccarone Center at Johns Hopkins University.

Pizza closing gap on the hamburger

Pizza is closing the gap on burgers as America's numero uno choice when eating out, according to a study by the National Restaurant Association.

Hamburger orders decreased by 7 percent while pizza orders grew by 12 percent from 1987 to 1990, according to the study. Some of the biggest pizza fans are children under age 17, who account for 30 percent of all pizza ordered out.

But parents need not worry that their children eating pizza are eating poorly, says Diane Welland, a nutritionist with the trade group.

"We shouldn't assume that because kids like pizza it is a junk food," according to Ms. Welland. "Pizza is a good source of protein. In addition, the cheese provides calcium as well as some vitamins and minerals. And the crust is made up of complex carbohydrates. One slice can contain components from all four food groups -- grain, vegetables, dairy and meat."

But cheese also contains a lot of fat and those who want to control their children's fat and cholesterol intake should order a pizza light on the cheese and heavy on the vegetable toppings, she adds.

The power of microwaves

Quick. What is the power of your microwave oven?

If you don't know, you probably have had difficulty deciding how long to cook everything from microwave popcorn to TV dinners.

The International Microwave Power Institute, a trade group of scientists from 11 countries, has developed a simple "Time to Boil" procedure that will give a quick answer for those of us who never can find the owner's manual. Here's how it works:

Take a container filled with half ice and half water and measure exactly one cup of water (no ice) into a glass measuring cup. Place in the center of the microwave oven. Heat on high for five minutes or until the water begins to boil. If it begins to boil in less than 3 1/2 minutes, your oven is high power. Those that take longer to boil water are low power.

Once you understand your oven's cooking power, you should get better results. For example, if a recipe suggests a heating time of six to eight minutes, those with high power ovens will microcook six minutes and those with low power ovens will take longer.

The Tidbits column welcomes interesting nuggets of food news -- new products, food-related news events, local cookbooks, great mail order finds, openings and closings of restaurants and food shops. Please send press releases to Tidbits, Attn: Charlyne Varkonyi, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278.

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