Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Earth Day Menu

Earth Day
Suggested Menu:
Trash/pretzel mix
Green Grass Squares garnished with hard cooked
Earthy Tomato/Cabbage Congealed Salad
Down to Earth Rolls
Dirt Pie
Tree Branch Tea Water

Tip: Since Bible times, people have had the responsibility of taking care of the environment. Christian groups often do mission actions for the elderly or underprivileged in the spring. If your family participates in a clean up, repair or planting project in the neighborhood, invite workers to an Earth Day meal. Family meal planners may decorate a buffet table with earthy-style decorations. If weather permits, serve outside. Use beige, brown or green tablecloth and napkins. Use plates and glassware with leaves or ivy. Create favors for each guest by placing Trash pretzel mix in food gift baskets and tie with brown or green netting or place in paper sacks. Remaining Trash may be stored in food storage containers for your family to enjoy on family nights. Serve Dirt Pie from a clean toy dump truck or flowerpot that has been lined with plastic wrap. May serve with a sterilized gardening tool. Use freshly cut flowers in a watering can for the centerpiece.

Food for Thought:
The Lord God placed man in the Garden of Eden as its gardener, to tend and care for it. Genesis 2: 15 LB

Family Meal Planning
Nutritional Terms

There are many words and terms that family meal planners encounter in planning and cooking for the family. Some that may be useful are as follows: Element: A nutritional element is a substance that is necessary for the body like oxygen or minerals such as iron or copper. Organic compound: Two or more elements that are combined with carbon are organic compounds. Sugars, fats, proteins, hormones and vitamins are examples. Diseases are often caused when harmful bacteria react with carbon-based foods like milk, meat or improperly canned vegetables. Acids: An acid is a chemical compound with a sour taste. Vinegar, ascorbic acid in oranges or lemons, and lactic acid in milk are examples. When the body has difficulty digesting acids, acid reflux results. People with this medical problem should avoid high acidic foods. Hormone: Hormones are chemical substances produced in the body by glands such as thyroid, adrenal or pituitary. Nutrients in foods affect the normal function. For example goiter is caused in the thyroid gland from the lack of iodine. At menopause, women often have hormonal changes. Undesirable symptoms may be reduced by natural foods like soy. Calorie: The unit of energy burned is measured by a calorie. It is not a nutrient, but is the amount of energy required to burn food. Bread and desserts have higher calories and are harder to burn or use than vegetables or fruits. Special diet food groups like diabetics or obese people need to be aware of caloric values of foods.

Molded dishes are made with a gelatin product. Gelatin is a safe animal by-product. It is an incomplete source of proteins, but may be combined with other incomplete foods to form one complete source. Unflavored gelatin has no calories or carbohydrates and is desirable for diabetic recipes. Flavored gelatin has carbohydrates but is low in calories. Powdered gelatin must be dissolved in boiling water. A cold liquid is added to cause proper gel. Before fruit or vegetables are added, allow gelatin to cool and thicken slightly. Whipped cream or milk may be added to make Bavarian Creams. Stiffly beaten egg whites are added to make a sponge food recipe. If molded, chill thoroughly to set. To serve, dip mold in warm water for 30 seconds and unmold.

From the Nutritionist: Our Earth Day menu requires minimum preparation and cooking. Family meal planners can serve the food in a hurry on a busy spring day. Use any greens like spinach or mustard for the squares. Vegetarians will enjoy this special diet food without meat. Chopped ham may be added to the casserole for extra protein. Hard cooked eggs serve as one protein serving. The gelatin and cheese in Green Squares serve as a complete protein source, also. Tomatoes and cabbage in the gelatin salad and greens in casserole provide two sources of vegetables. Cheese in casserole and whipped cream-based Dirt Pie provide two calcium sources. Diabetics may convert the Dirt Pie to a diabetic diet recipe by using sugar free cookies for the filler and sugar substitute where sugar is listed as the ingredient. The rolls and Trash mix serve as two bread exchanges. However, the nuts provide a protein source for vegetarians.

Earth Day Recipes


5 cup circle cereal
5 cup rice cereal
1 bag pretzels
1 bag small various colored candies
1 can peanuts
½ block almond bark
1 T vegetable oil

Line cookie sheet with wax paper. Combine cereals, pretzels, candy and peanuts. Melt almond bark and oil in microwave. Pour over pretzel mixture and spread flat on cookie sheet. Let dry for approximately 20 minutes or longer. Break apart and serve in snack sizes.

In A Hurry Rolls

1 ¼ c milk
2 ½ T sugar
1 ½ t salt
¼ c shortening
¼ c water
2 envelopes of yeast
3 14/ c all purpose flour

Mix yeast and sugar with water and set aside. Scald milk and add shortening. Set aside to cool to lukewarm. Mix salt with flour and set aside. When milk is lukewarm, add yeast mixture. Slowly add flour and mix. Grease muffin pan with baking spray and fill half full. Let rise approximately 30 minutes, bake in 350-degree oven for 35-40 minutes.
Serves 18.

Congealed salad

1 envelope green gelatin
1 c hot water
1 c cold water
1/4 c mayonnaise
1/4 c mixed vegetables

Mix gelatin and chill to thicken. Cook vegetables. Mix with mayonnaise and stir into gelatin. Chill overnight. To unmold dip in warm water. Serve on lettuce bed. Serves 6

Green Squares

4 T butter
3 eggs
1 c all purpose flour
1 c milk
1 t salt
1 t baking powder
1 T onion
1 c cheddar cheese
1 c Parmesan cheese
2 c greens, mustard or spinach
Hard cooked eggs

Cook greens and cut up on a food processor or blender. Spray 9”x13” casserole or earthenware dish with cooking oil. Beat eggs and add milk. Mix salt and baking powder with flour. (May substitute self-rising flour). Mix greens and flour mixture. Gradually add egg-milk mixture. Mix cheddar cheese. Top with Parmesan cheese; bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool and cut into squares. Garnish with hard cooked eggs.

Dirt Pie

1 pkg. Oreos or chocolate crust
1 lg. carton whipped topping
¼ c peanut butter or 1 T peanut butter
1 4 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 c confection sugar

Crush Oreos or chocolate cookies. Line container with Oreos or chocolate crust. (Reserve some Oreos.) Mix peanut butter, whipped topping, and cream cheese. Add confection sugar. Mix well. Fold remaining Oreos into cream mixture. Fill crust and chill. May freeze until ready to serve.

If using a container other than glass or earthenware dish, line with plastic wrap before adding crust and filling. Diabetics can convert to a diet food by substituting sugar free cookies for crust and omitting sugar or substituting a sugar alternative. If allergic to peanut butter, use ¼ cup cocoa to simulate dirt color.

Tree Branch Tea Water

2 envelopes of lime powdered drink mix, sweetened or unsweetened
2 qt. water
1 bottle ginger ale or lemon-lime cola
1 qt. green tea

Mix drink-powder with water. Sugar is optional. Add green tea and chill. When time to serve, add ginger ale. Make an ice ring with extra beverage; pour into a bundt pan and add red and green cherries and mint leaves, if desire. Freeze several hours. When ready to serve dip in hot water and place in punch bowl. Pour green beverage over top and add cola beverage. (Diabetics may substitute sugar free products to make beverage.)




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