How to cook tofu

This web page tells you how to cook tofu without it falling apart into mush: dry frying. It also has several recipes for marinades for the tofu. Tofu adds protein to diets.

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Mark Bittman’s soups

Mark Bittman, if I recall correctly, wrote the big book called How to Cook Evrything, which came in a yellow stand-up binder. Now he’s back with how to make the four basic kinds of soups.

And you’ll need no special techniques, no advance preparation and, for the most part, not much time. You can use just about any vegetable (or bean) you have on hand. These are not stone soups, but they’re close.

I’ve [Mark has] created four essential categories: creamy (vegetables puréed with dairy); brothy (a strained vegetable stock, with quick-cooking ingredients added); earthy (with beans); and hearty (the vegetables sautéed first, to deepen their flavor).

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CBC puts Canada on a diet

CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., has launched a web site to help people get in shape: CBC’s LiveRightNow.ca

And there’s a new TV show about an entire village in British Columbia getting together to promote activity and healthy eating: Village on a Diet, which starts tonight. I hope that everyone can get it.

The upshot of the CBC’s investigations is that Canadians are heavier and softer than they think. But I’m in shape! (Round is a shape, isn’t it?)

Base cuisine: bag o’ salad

Cleaned lettuce heads or bagged salad is one way to make quick meals. Add a serving of salad to a pizza slice, sandwich, or piece of cold chicken to make it seem like a real meal.

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Baked donuts from Cheap Cooking

I don’t like to play with pots of boiling oil so I don’t make anything deep-fried. But I like doughnuts and their home-made Italian version, sipoli. I know how to make doughnuts, so it would be nice to make them once in a while. And along comes the Cheap Cooking blog with its recipe for “baked donuts“.

Ironman nutrition in Madison

For the past few days, I’ve been trying to stick to a Weight Watchers plan and LotStreetWiz has been trying to eat healthily for an athlete’s training plan. He gets to eat about 4,200 Calories a day. It’s hard to eat healthily while travelling.

The Chicago Grill Uno Pizzaria was delicious, but the individual pizzas were almost 2,000 Calories each with 4 ounces (130 grams) of fat. My meal there blew away my whole diet budget for the week. No wonder half the patrons were blimps. They should rename it Fat City:


The star is the Panera Bread restaurant. The food is delicious, with sandwiches made with fresh bread, salads, robust mixing of flavours, and home-made soups. There’s a bakery with home-made desserts and good coffee. And there’s free wireless Internet access. So we’re here.

Planning your fast-food meals


I found an online version of the nutrition charts that you can get from fast-food outlets. I looked at the Tim Horton’s coffee shop site for warm meals – various soups, baked beans, or chili. If you want to plan your meals, you can select the healthiest two or three for your purposes. I also threw in one of the new “breakfast sandwiches”–the sausage patty & bacon on a tea biscuit.

The first thing I noticed was that all of them are pretty salty. But you can see that if you want to diet, the vegetable soup is has the fewest Calories; if you want a substantial meal without too much cholesterol, the baked beans are good, but they’re also the saltiest and by far the sweetest. The broccoli soup is rich and has almost 50% saturated fat. The split pea with ham seems like a good compromise, with less fat, less sugar, and more fibre.

One thing that’s not explained is the breakdown between “carbohydrate” and sugar: sugar is a carbohydrate, so is it included in “carbohydrates” or does the chart read “carbohydrate” when it means starch? UPDATE: Sugar is included: to find starches, subtract sugar.

I like the breakfast sausage because it’s hours before I’m hungry again; and from this chart I can see why: it contains about 1/4 of the calories and over half the fat I should eat in a day.

These are the Canadian values. The nutrition levels for U.S. stores are slightly different and seem to indicate a slightly larger serving of meat. Also, the U.S. nutrition charts give the calories from fat, which is useful: no more than 20 – 30% of calories should come from fat. And here’s a warning: the charts can be as much as 20% off in their nutrition analysis, which means that the calories, fat and sugar might be higher and the fibre, protein, and so on might be lower.

The interactive nutrion guides have a selection of the more popular foods; the PDF versions have more complete charts.