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A clean plate

January 9, 2013
By Pat Jensen , Marshall Independent

If you're reading this, you survived the holidays. Now, you have a brand new year to look forward to. There will be many happy times, but also some challenges to overcome; one of those might be to shed a few pounds.

The Month After Xmas

Twas the month after Xmas, and all through the house

Nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.

The cookies I'd nibbled, the eggnog I'd taste

At the holiday parties had gone to my waist.

When I got on the scales there arose such a number!

When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber).

I'd remember the marvelous meals I'd prepared;

The gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared,

The wine and the rum balls, the bread and the cheese

And the way I'd never said, "No thank you, please."

As I dressed myself in my husband's old shirt

And prepared once again to do battle with dirt -

I said to myself, as I only can "You can't spend a winter

disguised as a man!"

So - away with the last of the sour cream dip,

Get rid of the fruit cake, every cracker and chip

Every last bit of food that I like must be banished

'Till all the additional ounces have vanished.

I won't have a cookie - not even a lick.

I'll want only to chew on a long celery stick.

I won't have hot biscuits, corn bread or pie,

I'll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.

I'm hungry, I'm lonesome, and life is a bore -

Unable to giggle, no longer a riot.

Happy New Year to all and to all a good diet!

(Author unknown)

All goodness and no guilt


1 cup thinly sliced carrots

2 or 3 ribs celery, sliced

3/4 cup chopped onion

1 (16 oz) bag coleslaw mix

1 (28 oz) can stewed tomatoes (break up)

About 2 cups water (to partially cover)

1/2 envelope dry onion soup mix (2 T.)

Seasonings to taste: Mrs. Dash, salt, pepper, garlic powder

Combine ingredients in a Dutch oven or soup pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until veg. are tender. Add more water if needed. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Note: May add 1 can cannellini beans (rinsed and drained)

Warm, satisfying and good for you


1 large sweet onion, coarsely chopped

1 T. canola oil

1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained

4 cups water

4 tsp. instant bouillon beef granules

2 (4 oz) cans mushroom stems and pieces, drained

1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

3/4 tsp. Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp. dried basil

1/8 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. salt (or less)

1/8 tsp. black pepper

Fresh spinach leaves (2/3 of a 9 oz. bag)

In a Dutch oven, saute onion in oil until softened. Add remaining ingredients except for spinach leaves. Simmer for about 30 min. Gradually stir in spinach. Simmer 5 min. or until tender.

Note: I like to use baby spinach. Yield: About 3 qts.

My brother, Rod, shares this version of ...


3/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup canola oil

3 T. brown sugar

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

12 chicken drumsticks (4 oz. each)

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the soy sauce, oil, brown sugar, ginger and garlic powder; add drumsticks. Seal bag and turn to coat. Place in fridge and marinate about 8 hours, turning bag occasionally. When ready to bake, drain and discard marinade. Place chicken in a single layer on a foil-lined baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 375 for 35 to 45 min. or until a meat thermometer reads 180 and juices run clear.

Notes: I use lite soy sauce. May substitute chicken thighs or boneless skinless chicken breasts - up to 3 lbs. or so. Also spray baking pan with no stick cooking spray. I like to remove the skin from most of the chicken thighs in an effort to reduce some of the fat in my husband's diet. (He enjoys eating the skin) Baking time for thighs or breasts is about 1 hour.

Serve over noodles or rice


1-lb. fresh mushrooms, halved

2 T. canola oil

1/2 cup water, divided

1 T. soy sauce

1/4 tsp. sugar

2 tsp. cornstarch

In a nonstick skillet, stir-fry mushrooms in oil for about 3 min. Combine 1/4 cup water, soy sauce and sugar; pour over mushrooms and toss to coat. Cook and stir for 2 min. Combine cornstarch and remaining water (1/4 c.) until smooth; gradually stir into mushrooms. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 min. or until thickened.

Yield: 4 servings.

Food for thought: Doctors say if you eat slowly you'll eat less. Anybody raised in a large family will tell you the same.



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