Party with a heartDishes that are good for the heart need...


January 10, 1993|By Karol V. Menzie | Karol V. Menzie,Staff Writer

Party with a heart

Dishes that are good for the heart need not be hard on the palate -- as a group of chefs from some of the area's premier restaurants intend to prove when they cook for the third annual Heartfest benefit for the Johns Hopkins Hospital's Henry Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease.

Chefs from the Polo Grill, Peerce's Plantation and the Milton Inn will be among those participating at the event Friday at 7 p.m. at the Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel. Sheraton chefs will contribute a heart-healthy dish and will be demonstrating heart-healthy cooking techniques during the event. There will also be information booths, and two Hopkins cardiologists, Dr. Roger Blumenthal and Dr. Pascal Goldschmidt, will be on hand to talk about recent findings in the field of heart disease.

Tickets for the event are $50 per person, and all proceeds benefit the Ciccarone Center. To reserve tickets, call event organizer Nancy Spence at Events by Design, (410) 879-5169, or send a check to Heartfest, P.O. Box 921, Brooklandville, Md. 21022-0921. Cooking Light magazine is predicting that 1993 will be a year that scratch cooking, home entertaining and grocery-store deliveries return to consumers' lives. Food products that will find favor with busy families will be convenience items, savory one-dish meals, and healthy restaurant take-out items, the magazine forecasts.

It also foresees some old-fashioned foods finding new popularity and some more recent arrivals on the nation's tables making an exit. Here's what Cooking Light puts on the "in" list for '93: spinach salads; Tibetan and Thai foods; seafood burritos; steak; buffalo; salsas; one-dish meals; scones; bottled waters; and milk (including, it says, flavored and carbonated versions!).

Here's what will be "out": taco salads; nachos with cheese sauce; raw seafood (sushi and sashimi); breaded and fried foods; ice cream with fat substitutes; and over-sized muffins.

Teeny cakes

Miniaturization is at work not only in the appliance and computer industries, but also in the food industry. Baby versions of snack foods, such as Ritz crackers and Oreo cookies, are not just cute; they're a response to consumer concerns about high-calorie, high-fat foods. True, you can always eat two or three times as many small snacks, but you might not feel as guilty about each one. The latest entry in the little bitty food category is Quaker fat-free mini rice cakes. They come in two flavors, apple cinnamon and caramel corn (the two most popular flavors in the company's line of regular-size rice cakes). The cakes contain all natural ingredients and don't have any fat or cholesterol. And a "serving" of five of them add up to only 50 calories. The little rice cakes come in resealable foil packages.

Quaker says the little snacks make great party food and suggests serving them with a dip of yogurt swirled with preserves, or as sandwiches with frozen yogurt in between.

For a free booklet suggesting ways to have a "minibration," write Quaker Rice Cakes Brochure, Department M, 847 W. Jackson, Fifth Floor, Chicago, Ill. 60607-9819.

The National Pasta Association offers a New Year's resolution that may be easy to keep: Eat more pasta. It's low in calories (unless you load on sauce and other ingredients), and it contains complex carbohydrates and protein. Besides, it's "comfort" food, good all year round. Here's a recipe from the association that features Maryland's favorite, crab.

Shells with crab and kale

Serves four.

12 ounces jumbo shells

8 ounces kale (or spinach), tough stems removed

2 cups water

12 ounces crab meat, picked over

1 4-ounce jar pimentos, drained and diced

15 ounces ricotta cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

4 anchovies, minced (optional)

salt and freshly ground pepper

1 28-ounce jar spaghetti sauce

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.

Put water and kale or spinach in medium pot and cook over medium heat until very soft, about 8 minutes. Remove kale from pot, squeeze out excess moisture and chop thoroughly. Put kale in medium mixing bowl and add crab meat, pimentos, ricotta, Parmesan, anchovies (if using), salt and pepper. Stir mixture until well-blended.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread 1 cup of spaghetti sauce over the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Fill each of the shells with some of the stuffing and then place them on top of the tomato sauce. Pour remaining tomato sauce over and around shells. Bake until bubbling, about 35 minutes.

(Each serving has 612 calories, 44 grams of protein, 90.8 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of fat, 71.7 milligrams of cholesterol, and 632 milligrams of sodium.)

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