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June 2010 Food Obsession: No Waste or No Waist

by Jane Thomson

It is criminal to waste food – so thought my late husband, grandmother, and mother-in-law. My mother, on the other hand, said it was good manners to leave a little food on your plate.

Surprisingly, so does Michael Pollan in his new book Food Rules (do not pay $12 for this book). I am in the middle on this issue: I know that gross waste of food is very wrong. I also think that cleaning your plate when you are already full is a double waste, first of the food and then of your figure and your health. The waste needs to be curbed earlier. Don’t buy more than you can use or preserve and smell it later, rotting at the back of your fridge. At meals, don’t overload your plate, as in “my eyes were bigger than my stomach” (eat it all, and soon they won’t be). If you are at an “All You Can Eat” restaurant, load up on vegetables and protein foods. They are the most expensive anyway, so you will get your money’s worth.

Speaking of vegetables, here is a formula for Salad dressing or dip for veggies, hardboiled eggs, etc.
Combine low –fat or fat-free plain yoghurt with cocktail sauce and sweet pickle relish and/or dill pickle relish. Use about three parts yoghurt to one part cocktail sauce and one part relish.
All right, this isn’t exactly a diet recipe, but it isn’t junk food either. It uses up some stale bread, stale or low quality cake, and some bananas. As long as the proportion of milk and eggs to baked goods is just about right, other things, like jam, raisins or nuts can be tucked in (the theory is kind of like meat loaf).

Banana Bread Pudding
(about 12 servings)
• About 5 ½ cups of bread or cake (I used 5 slices of good wheat bread and 4 slices of Cub Foods banana bread)
• 3 c. of milk (I used skim milk and a little fat-free half and half.)
• 4 eggs
• 1 t. vanilla
• 1/3 c. sugar
• ¼ t. salt
• ½ cup or more of powdered skim milk
• 4 bananas
• 1 T. of grated lemon peel (or a little nutmeg)
• A few T. of chocolate syrup
Turn oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9” x 13” pan or comparable pan, or 2 pans.
Tear bread into small pieces. Put the salt in the mild and pour it on the bread to soak for a few minutes. Separate the eggs. Beat the yolks by hand and add the sugar and vanilla. Fold the yolk mixture into the bread mixture. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the rest. Layer in the pans with sliced bananas and squirts of chocolate syrup. Bake about 45 minutes. With the milks and eggs and bananas, this would not be the worst breakfast in the world.

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