Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Food Of The Future

"Food Of The Future," 40 Years In The Making

Forty years ago, a first-class stamp cost a nickel, a new science fiction television show called "Star Trek" made its debut and a tasty topping began its crunchy history of enhancing salads, baked potatoes and Americans' cupboards.

General Mills first tested Bac-Os as a better-for-you alternative to bacon in select markets in 1965. Bit by bit, the product's popularity took off, and it was dubbed a "food of the future" in early television advertisements. Consumers enjoyed the convenient product's multipurpose use-a savory ingredient used to jazz up casseroles, salads, soups and other favorite dishes. This handy condiment helped home cooks streamline their kitchen prep and promised the smoke-cured, sizzling flavor of bacon without a splattering mess.

"A jar of Bac-Os brought the flavor and texture of crisp bacon right to the family dinner table in a fraction of the time," says Maggie Gilbert, manager of the Betty Crocker Kitchens test kitchen. "Because they were considered superconvenient and required no refrigeration, they soon became a familiar ingredient in popular recipes of the day, such as holiday party dips, sweet-sour beans and twice-baked potatoes."

The brand debuted in its first print advertising campaign in 1970. The product was featured in several new recipes from the Betty Crocker Kitchens in national magazines, such as Better Homes and Gardens and Family Circle. Shortly thereafter, General Mills extended the line to include Saus-Os and Pepr-Os, two new soy proteins with distinct flavor possibilities.

Today, Bac-Os continues to appeal to consumers, particularly by offering added health benefits: They're made with the goodness of soy, are kosher and contain no MSG. They can also help consumers keep healthy eating in check, without tipping the scale on calories, fat, saturated fat or cholesterol.

"Food Of The Future," 40 Years In The Making

Happy Birthday, Bac-Os!: Italian Spinach and Mushroom Salad

This seasonal salad for special gatherings has extra crunch and a burst of added flavor.
  • 1 package (10 oz.) fresh spinach leaves, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 package (8 oz.) sliced mushrooms
  • 1 can (19 oz.) Progresso chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup Betty Crocker Bac-Os bacon flavor bits or chips
  • 1/2 cup seasoned croutons
  • 1/2 cup Italian dressing
  1. In large salad bowl, toss all ingredients except dressing. Just before serving, drizzle with dressing and toss gently. Makes 4 servings.
  2. Jars of a revolutionary new "food of the future" product appeared on grocers' shelves 40 years ago, offering busy consumers the bacon flavor they loved with a simple shake of the wrist.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Learn the Correct Way To Control Carb Intake

For Americans who want to control their carbs, learning how to consume "good" carbohydrates in balance with a variety of proteins and "good" fats can be confusing. 

To help people understand the science underlying this nutritional approach, "Atkins for Life," the book that set the gold standard for controlled-carbohydrate lifestyles, provides clear and complete explanations of how carbohydrates, protein and fat function in the body. 

This resource, now available in paperback, contains an extensive meal-planning section with 125 recipes for everything from appetizers to desserts, snacks, entrees, soups, salads and sauces, along with 200 meal plans at various levels of carbohydrate intake.

Charts throughout the book provide information on "good" and "bad" carbs; the order in which carb foods should be added back into meals; the Atkins Glycemic Ranking (showing which carbs can be eaten regularly, which occasionally, and which rarely and in small amounts); and how to count carbs in individual foods. It also includes a restaurant guide to help Atkins enthusiasts choose the right foods when dining out.

The following recipe from the Atkins Kitchen takes a traditional dessert and adds a subtle and natural coconut flavor that really shines through in this slightly sweet ice cream. Pair it with sugar-free chocolate syrup mixed with a drizzle of rum for a tropical treat.


(Makes 8 servings)

6 egg yolks 

14 packets sugar substitute 

2 cups heavy cream 

1 (13.5-ounce) can unsweetened

coconut milk 

2 teaspoons coconut extract 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, lightly toasted 

In a medium bowl, whisk yolks and sugar substitute to combine. In a medium pot, bring heavy cream to a simmer over medium-low heat.

Slowly pour 1 cup cream into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Pour yolk mixture back into pot. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat. Stir in coconut milk, coconut and vanilla extracts. Chill 4 hours. 

Pour ice cream mix into ice cream maker. Process according to manufacturer's directions. About 5 minutes before ice cream is finished, add the toasted coconut.

Nutritional information per serving: 6 g carbohydrates, 4.5 g net carbohydrates, 1.5 g fiber, 4 g protein, 32 g fat, 326 calories.

Laura Bush's Vegetable Soup Recipe

Here's Laura Bush's secret vegetable soup recipe.

Here's the ingredients you will need for this vegetable soup recipe:

1-1/4 cups pinto beans, soaked overnight and drained 
1 tsp. salt 
1 bay leaf 
1 tsp. dried oregano 
1 lb. tomatoes, fresh or canned, peeled, seeded, and chopped; juice reserved 
2 ancho chilies 
1 lb. mixed summer squash 
4 ears corn (about 2 cups kernels) 
1 tsp. ground cumin 
1/2 tsp. ground coriander 
2 tbsp. corn or vegetable oil 
2 yellow onions, cut 1/4 inch squares 
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
2 tbsp. red chili powder, or more to taste 
8 ozs. green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths 
4 ozs. jack or muenster cheese, grated 
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, roughly chopped 
Whole cilantro leaves for garnish

Here's how to cook vegetable soup recipe: 

Cook the pre-soaked beans for about 1 to 2 hours in plenty of water with the salt, bay leaf and oregano. Remove them from the heat when they are soft but not mushy, as they will continue to cook in the stew. Drain the beans, and save the broth. Prepare the tomatoes. Open the chili pods and remove the seeds and veins; then cut the chilies into narrow strips. Cut the squash into large pieces. Shave the kernels from the corn.

Heat the oil in a large skillet, and saute the onions over high heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Lower the heat, add the garlic, chili powder, cumin and coriander and stir everything together. Add a little bean broth, so the chili doesn't stew for 5 minutes. Stir in the squash, corn, green beans, and chili strips along with the cooked beans and enough broth to make a fairly wet stew. Cook slowly until the vegetables are done, about 15 or 20 minutes. Taste the stew and adjust the seasoning. Stir in the cheese and chopped cilantro, and garnish with whole leaves of cilantro.

Serve with cornbread or tortillas. A great one-dish meal if you have a garden or have just visited the Farmer's Market.