NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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Cooking the Go Red Way

Cooking the Go Red Way


          February is Heart Healthy Month which includes the “Go Red” campaign targeting women and their heart health.  Back a few years, in 2004, the American Heart Association (AHA) faced a challenge. Cardiovascular disease claimed the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year, yet women were not paying attention. In fact, many even dismissed it as an “older man’s disease.” To dispel the myths and raise awareness of heart disease as the number one killer of women, the American Heart Association created “Go Red For Women” – a passionate, emotional, social initiative designed to empower women to take charge of their heart health

          Go Red For Women encourages awareness of the issue of women and heart disease, and also action to save more lives. The movement harnesses the energy, passion and power women have to band together and collectively wipe out heart disease. It challenges them to know their risk for heart disease and take action to reduce their personal risk.

          One major action step in reducing the risk of heart disease is being aware of the foods we eat and how we prepare those foods.   Ever since man discovered fire, cooking food by fire – especially frying – has been a basic cooking technique.  Unfortunately, frying also includes the use of fats and often breading – all of which add calories and cholesterol.   There are several other cooking techniques which are also quick and easy to do.  Try:   

          Stir-frying – When done with a small amount of oil in a wok so foods can be moved up the sloping sides and out of the oil, stir frying is a healthy choice.  Use a wok to cook vegetables, poultry or seafood in vegetable stock, wine or a small amount of oil.  Avoid high-sodium (salt) seasonings like teriyaki and soy sauce.

          Roasting - Use a rack in the pan so the meat or poultry doesn’t sit in its own fat drippings.  Instead of basting with pan drippings, use fat-free liquids like wine, tomato juice or lemon juice.  When making gravy from the drippings, chill first then use a gravy strainer or skim ladle to remove the fat.

          Grilling and broiling - Use a rack so the fat drips away from the food.

          Baking - Bake foods in covered cookware with a little extra liquid.

          Poaching- Especially cook for fragile foods like fish. For an extra flavor boost use wine as part of the need liquid.

          Sautéing - Use a pan made with nonstick metal or a coated, nonstick surface, so you will need to use little or no oil when cooking.  Use a nonstick vegetable spray to brown or sauté foods; or, as an alternative, use a small amount of broth or wine, or a tiny bit of vegetable oil rubbed onto the pan with a paper towel.

          Steaming – Absolutely perfect for veggies. They’ll retain more flavors and won’t need any salt.

          This flavorful combination of fish, wine and lemon uses the poaching method of cooking.


          Lemony Poached Fish


            ¾ cup water

          ¾ cup Chablis or other dry white wine

1 lemon, juiced

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

1        bay leaf

1 lb. frozen fish fillets

½ lb. mushrooms, sliced

2Tbsp. sliced green onion

¼ cup margarine

¼ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup half-and-half

½ lemon, grated peel

¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

          In a 10-inch skillet, combine the water, wine, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Add the frozen fish; simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove the fish from the skillet; reserve the poaching liquid.       Discard the bay leaf.  In the same skillet, sauté the mushrooms and green onion in margarine until just tender. Remove from heat; stir in flour. Cook a few minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually blend in the reserved poaching liquid. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until thickened. Blend in half-and-half, poached fish, lemon peel, and nutmeg; heat.  Sprinkle with additional sliced green onion, if desired. Serves 4.



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