Serve spaghetti dur­ing cool au­tumn days

The Standard Journal - - FOOD - By ALI­CIA ROSS Food Writer

Can you make a quick spaghetti sauce worth eat­ing with­out us­ing onion or gar­lic?

For years I’ve been telling des­per­ate cooks all over the coun­try to grab a jar of spaghetti sauce and pump up the fla­vor with chopped onion, a good dose of gar­lic and a pound of ex­tra lean ground beef. Even a bud­get brand is el­e­vated by the ad­di­tions.

A friend who can’t eat lots of onions and gar­lic chal­lenged me to make a meat sauce that would be high on fla­vor but low on stom­ach up­set, given her di­etary re­stric­tions. I started with a jar of vodka sauce be­cause the gar­lic and onion are back­ground fla­vors. Then I added both sweet Ital­ian sausage and ground beef. For veg­etable tex­ture I added sliced car­rots. Sweet basil adds the fresh­ness I thought I’d miss with­out gar­lic.

The sauce is de­li­cious. Even this onio­nand-gar­lic-lov­ing girl wanted sec­onds. It’ll be tempt­ing to not add onions and gar­lic -- even when I’m not cook­ing for my friend. Of course, I’ll re­mem­ber how much I loved the unique fla­vor of this Car­rot-Basil Spaghetti Meat Sauce and just en­joy!

Sug­gested menu: Car­rot- basil spaghetti meat sauce, torn ro­maine with toma­toes, oil and vine­gar, and Ital­ian rolls Car­rot-Basil Spaghetti

in Meat Sauce Start to fin­ish: less than 30 min­utes Yield: 4 serv­ings 8 ounces spaghetti, cooked al dente

1/ 2- pound Ital­ian sausage

1/2-pound ex­tra-lean

sweet ground beef 1 cup sliced car­rots 1 (28- to 32-ounce) jar pre­pared vodka sauce

2 ta­ble­spoons (low­sodium) tomato paste

1/ 2- cup juli­enned fresh basil

Cook spaghetti ac­cord­ing to pack­age di­rec­tions. Drain well.

Mean­while, brown both meats in a medium skil­let. Add car­rots and cook un­til the meat is finely crum­bled and the car­rots are crisp­ten­der. Add the sauce and tomato paste; stir and cook for 5 min­utes. Just be­fore serv­ing, stir in the basil. Toss the sauce with the cooked spaghetti and serve.

Ap­prox­i­mate val­ues per serv­ing: 532 calo­ries, 17 g fat (6 g sat­u­rated), 109 mg choles­terol, 39 g pro­tein, 55 g car­bo­hy­drates, 2 g di­etary fiber, 1,046 mg sodium.

Hol­i­days The hol­i­days are near and you are prob­a­bly plan­ning in- be­tween meal snacks for vis­i­tors.

How about Mini Ham and Cheese Bis­cuit Bites? They are per­fect any time of day, even first thing in the morn­ing with a cup of cof­fee or tea. Th­ese lit­tle bis­cuit bites are ad­dic­tive. So make sure you pre­pare sev­eral batches for your hun­gry hordes.

There’s just a touch of Di­jon with the but­tery tex­ture of a home­made bis­cuit -- not quite a cheese straw and not a ba­con ched­dar bis­cuit. Ham and Cheese Bis­cuit Bites are sim­ply per­fect for your nib­bling plea­sure. Ham and Cheese Bis­cuit Bites Start to fin­ish: 20 min­utes of prepa­ra­tion; 10 to 12 min­utes of bak­ing time

Yield: Makes 22 bis­cuits

1 3/4 cups all-pur­pose flour

1 ta­ble­spoon plus 1/2 tea­spoon bak­ing pow­der 1 1/2 tea­spoons sugar 1/2-tea­spoon salt 8 ta­ble­spoons cold un­salted but­ter, cut into small pieces 4 ounces ham, diced 2 ounces shred­ded ex­tra-sharp ched­dar 1/3-cup milk 1 ta­ble­spoon Di­jon mus­tard

1-ta­ble­spoon may­on­naise

Pre­heat oven to 425 de­grees. Spray a large bak­ing sheet with non­stick cook­ing oil. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix to­gether the flour, bak­ing pow­der, sugar and salt. Stir to mix well. Add the but­ter pieces and, us­ing your hands, pinch the but­ter into the flour mix­ture un­til it’s like coarse meal. Some but­ter pieces will be the size of a small peanut; this is fine. Toss in the ham and ched­dar. Cre­ate a small well in the cen­ter of the mix­ture.

In a small bowl, com­bine the milk, Di­jon and may­on­naise and whisk un­til well mixed. Pour the milk mix­ture in the cen­ter of the small well in the flour-ham. Work­ing from the out­side in, fold the flour mix­ture into the liq­uid in­gre­di­ents. When the dough just be­gins to form a soft ball, turn out onto a floured sur­face and gen­tly knead a cou­ple of times to bring the dough to­gether.

Roll out the dough to 3/4-inch to 1-inch thick­ness; cut with a small bis­cuit cut­ter or a small glass dusted with flour. Place each bis­cuit onto the pre­pared bak­ing sheet and re­peat un­til all the dough is rolled and cut. Bake for 10 to 12 min­utes, or un­til bis­cuits are light gold on top. Cool on a wire rack. Store in a me­tal tin or glass dish un­til ready to serve.

Ap­prox­i­mate val­ues per bis­cuit: 98 calo­ries, 6 g fat (3.5 g sat­u­rated), 17 mg choles­terol, 2.7 g pro­tein, 9 g car­bo­hy­drates, 0.4 g di­etary fiber, 183 mg sodium.

Measles This past spring, a Wash­ing­ton state woman be­came the first per­son in the U.S. in 12 years to die from measles, a highly con­ta­gious dis­ease marked by rash, fever, eye in­fec­tions and a long-last­ing, hack­ing cough. And ac­cord­ing to the CDC, there were 667 measles cases in the U.S. in 2014, a more than 300 per­cent jump from the pre­vi­ous year.

Though we may see fewer to­tal cases in 2015 (as of the end of July, 181 peo­ple in the U.S. had come down with measles), out­breaks at two Dis­ney theme parks, ac­count­ing for 125 ill­nesses, are proof of how eas­ily the dis­ease can spread. Con­sumer Re­ports’ chief med­i­cal ad­viser, Dr. Marvin M. Lip­man, says, “This is wor­ry­ing news about a dis­ease that of­fi­cials de­clared erad­i­cated in 2000, and one that is al­most en­tirely vac­cinepre­ventable.”

It doesn’t take much to pro­tect you for life. “Vir­tu­ally the only peo­ple who get measles in the U.S. to­day are not im­mu­nized,” Schaffner says. The CDC’s rec­om­men­da­tions - two doses sep­a­rated by at least 28 days -- are about 97 per­cent ef­fec­tive, mak­ing the measles shot one of the most re­li­able. Most peo­ple in the U.S. get measles pro­tec­tion from the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) shot in child­hood, but around 5 per­cent of kinder­gart­ners were un­vac­ci­nated against measles dur­ing the 2013 to 2014 school year. Not sure whether you were ever vac­ci­nated? “Go get a dose,” Schaffner says. “In 10 days to two weeks, you’ll have im­mu­nity.”

Shin­gles If you’ve had the chick­en­pox at any point, you’re at risk for shin­gles, which of­ten causes an ex­tremely painful blis­ter­ing rash and nerve pain (called pos­ther­petic neu­ral­gia, or PHN) that can linger long af­ter the rash dis­ap­pears. Ac­cord­ing to the CDC, 1 in 3 peo­ple will de­velop shin­gles in his or her life­time, when the long-dor­mant chick­en­pox virus in the body re­ac­ti­vates. To cut your chance of shin­gles by about 64 per­cent and the like­li­hood of per­sis­tent nerve pain by 67 per­cent, sim­ply get the her­pes zoster vac­cine at age 60. “That’s when we’re most sus­cep­ti­ble to the dis­ease,” Lip­man says.

Yet in 2013, only 24 per­cent of adults age 60 and older did so, in part be­cause of the mis­con­cep­tion that once you’ve had shin­gles, you can’t get it again. So un­less you have a med­i­cal rea­son to skip the shin­gles shot (if you’re tak­ing med­i­ca­tion that weak­ens im­mu­nity, or if you have a dis­ease or an al­lergy to vac­cines), Con­sumer Re­ports says do it! You’ll avoid symp­toms “so se­vere that many peo­ple can’t sleep and of­ten miss work,” Lip­man says.

For more in­for­ma­tion, check out the re­port on­line at Con­sumerRe­ports.org/ cro/3vac­cines.

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