By Arritta Morris
A lot of times, when my family wonders what on earth I have fixed for a meal, I tell them it’s mystery meat. You can't fool mother nature, but you can sometimes fool folks with things that taste like something they are use to eating. I will share with you some of these tricks I have learned over my career.
1 Toasted slice of bread
1/2 cup of cottage cheese (drained)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sugar or splenda
Toast bread. Spread cottage cheese over toasted bread. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over cottage cheese. Place dish on a sheet pan and place under broiler in oven for about 2 to 3 minutes. You simply want the cottage cheese to melt slightly. Enjoy your new way to fix a cinnamon roll.
On one of my trips to review a school, I observed a cafeteria cook placing tater tots in a oven to bake. Then she placed them in the fryer and cooked them again. I asked her why she was doing such a crazy way to prepare tater tots. She told me that the government wanted them to bake them and the kids wanted them fried. So she did both. Pretty clever lady, I thought.
Speaking of tater tots, Ballard County Schools food service director Kathy Kendrick did not proof her county wide menus one week. She had placed tater tits on the menu by a type error. She said the kids really did give her a ride that day on the cafeteria line. She said it was one of the best attendance days she had all year. She has since retired but I know she still carries this label of the tater lady in her county.
1 slice of toasted bread
1/2 Cup of drained sauerkraut
1 to 2 tsp of prepared mustard
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 to 2 slices of Swiss cheese
1 teaspoon of thousand Island dressing
Toast bread. Spread the dressing over the toasted bread. Drain sauerkraut and place over dressing. Spread some mustard over the sauerkraut. Sprinkle caraway seeds over sauerkraut. Place cheese on top and place on sheet pan. Place under the oven broiler till cheese is melted. This is a great sandwich for those that do not eat meat. As you can note, no meat is added to this sandwich. This is one of my favorite lunch time meals.
My grandmother was a great extender of foods. That means that she could stretch foods by adding ingredients to feed five people on a shoe string budget. She was famous for the egg salad sandwiches. She would take 3 to 4 hard boil eggs, add salad dressing, pickle relish and lots of crushed crackers. We never knew that she did this till after I left home and she wrote a cookbook on how to survive on a limited food budget.
3 egg whites
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
20 crushed Ritz crackers
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gradually beat in sugar mixed with baking powder. Add vanilla. Fold in the crushed Ritz crackers, coconut and pecans. Pour into buttered pie pan and bake 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Chill 4 hours. Top with whipped cream. (I use cool whip) You may want to add 2 Tablespoons instant sweetened cocoa to whipped cream, if a chocolate flavor is desired.
I will never forget Jessie Lincoln, of Scotland, telling me how bad it was in her home during World War II. They had to boil potato peelings for soup.
So every time you throw out these peelings remember her story of how they had to do things differently to put food on their table. I try to put these peelings in my compost to say I at least put it back to good use.
Remember again the farmer’s markets in our area. They need our support. There is always something healthy to buy at these markets.
Arritta Morris is a graduate of EKU with a degree in Nutrition and a Master's degree in counseling. She is a Certified Food Service Specialist with the School and Nutrition Association.