Meeting the challenge of smart snacking with turkeySmart...

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April 24, 1994|By Karol V. Menzie | Karol V. Menzie,Sun Staff Writer

Meeting the challenge of smart snacking with turkey

Smart snacking can be a challenge, since many popular snack foods such as chips, cookies, crackers, hot dogs, lunch meats and cheese can be high in fat and calories. The Turkey Store has produced a new line of snacks made from 100 percent turkey breast meat that are low in calories and fat and fairly high in protein. They're called GobbleStix, and they come in six flavors: original, honey, jerky, smoked and cheese.

The snacks resemble slim hot dogs and come in packages of four, with each snack individually sealed. They have just 25 calories each, with no additives or fillers. They are designed to be kept in the fridge, but are safe for four to six hours in a lunch box or backpack. An informal taste test among adults rated GobbleStix "pretty good." Suggested retail price is about $1.60 per pack; look for them in supermarkets in coming weeks.

The Village Market Natural Grocer in Pikesville, one of the few state-certified organic food stores in Maryland, has nearly doubled its quarters at 7006 Reisterstown Road, to 6,000 square feet.

The store has doubled its produce section (90 percent of the produce is organically grown), expanded the grocery section, and added a deli where customers can get sandwiches or the dinner of the day, featuring whole grains and vegetable dishes from chef Nick Sukunda. There are a few counter seats for in-house diners, and all items are available for carryout.

The expansion also included a juice bar -- and a coffee bar where all the coffee is organically grown. And if you ask for cappuccino, it will be made with milk that's certified organic.

"We were getting crowded" in the original quarters, says owner Moses Brown, noting that demand for natural-food products has exploded in recent years. "Ninety percent of what I sell didn't exist 20 years ago."

The store is in the Colonial Village Shopping Center. The phone number is (410) 486-0979.

It's just a guess, but I suspect that in the '90s, any food that doesn't cook quickly is not going to be cooked often. Most people these days are pretty busy, no matter what their lifestyles. Clifford A. Wright, a New England cookbook author and single father of three children, certainly fits the mold, and he's produced a cookbook of Italian-inspired dishes that can be stirred up in minutes.

"Cucina Rapida" (William Morrow and Co., $19), Mr. Wright says, "provides recipes that go with today's lifestyle -- quick for families on the go, light and healthy, made using ingredients that are often on hand, ideal for impromptu weeknight dinners, wonderful for leftovers, popular with kids."

The book also has tips on cooking methods and stocking a pantry with quick-cook staples. Here's a sample recipe:

Quick sausage, pepper and Chianti stew

Serves 4

1/4 cup olive oil

4 garlic cloves, peeled, 1 crushed and 3 chopped

1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded, halved lengthwise, and sliced

2 ounces pancetta, cut into thin strips

1 3/4 pounds hot or sweet Italian sausage, casings removed and meat crumbled

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried savory

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 1/4 cups tomato puree

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 1/4 cups Chianti

In a deep, heavy flameproof casserole or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil with the crushed garlic over high heat just until the garlic begins to color. Remove and discard the garlic. Add the onion, red and green peppers, pancetta, and chopped garlic. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring often. Add the sausage, oregano, savory and salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.

Add the tomato puree, tomato paste, and Chianti, stir well, and cook for 12 to 14 minutes, stirring frequently. Serve immediately, or let rest, covered, for 20 minutes to blend the flavors before serving.

Taro noncarbonated bottled water from Brick House Farm Water of Ellicott City won first place in its category in a water "taste-off" in Berkeley Springs, W.Va., recently. It was the fourth year of "Taste of the Tap" at the Coolfont resort. Brick House Farm Water is just 2 years old. Taro water can be found in Baltimore at Valu Food markets, Drug Emporium, selected Kmart stores and at Bun Penny in the Columbia Mall.

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