Sunday, October 31, 2010

Soup vs. Stew

Colder weather is acomin'.

And with cold weather come the comfort foods known as soups and stews.

These two forms of food are together because they are so closely related. One person’s stew is another’s soup. One person’s soup is another’s stew.

If you visit and look up the definition of “stew” this is what you will find:
A stew is a common food made of vegetables and meat in some sort of broth or sauce. The line between stew and soup is a fine one, but generally a stew's ingredients are cut in larger pieces, and a stew is more likely to be eaten as a main course than as a starter. But there are many exceptions - an oyster stew is more like a soup, for example. Stewing has a long tradition in cookery.
For “soup”:
Soup is a savoury liquid food that is made by boiling ingredients, such as meat, vegetables and beans in stock or hot water, until the flavor is extracted, forming a broth...

Over the centuries, the terms gruel— a thin porridge— and potage have become separated from broth, and stock and their refinement, consomm√©, have all been used to describe this pot-boiling cooking method. The terms have shifted over time, but the modern definition of soup and stew were established in the eighteenth century. Soups usually are more liquid, while stews are thicker; contain more solid ingredients. Stews are cooked in covered containers for longer periods of time, at a gentle boil with less water and at a lower heat.

Traditionally, soup is classified into two broad groups: clear soups and thick soups. The established French classification of clear soups are bouillon and consommé. Thick soups are classified depending upon the type of thickening agent used...
Bottom line: each method cooks solids in liquid and then both the solids and liquid are eaten.

These ways of preparing food have a decided advantage for those among you interested in consuming fewer Calories.

The liquid in them, almost always water, helps fill you up, obviating the need to consume more calorie-containing substances for satiation.

There is no need to present any specific recipes here, only direction.

The promise is quick, easy, healthful meals.

When it comes to soups and stews, go directly to the crock pot, do not pass “Go,” do not collect $200. Follow the directions for cooking in the slow cooker that appear in the “Kitchen Basics-Cooking” chapter in The FitnessMed (tm) Guide To Healthy Eating and that is all.

As a rule of thumb, add approximately 50% more water for soup than you would for making a stew.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Experiment with mouth feel.

The three food textures at The Gourmet-O-Matic tm are:

To add crunch to a food, try the following:
Banana Chips
Bean Sprouts
Brittles - e.g., peanut, cashew, macadamia
Cereals - e.g., flakes, granola
Chips - e.g., potato, other veggie chips
Other Nuts
Pine Nuts
Pomegranate Seeds
Pumpkin Seeds
Sunflower Seeds
Taco Shells

To add chewiness to a food, try the following:
Candied Ginger
Chewy Grain/Fruit Bars
Dried Apples
Dried Apricots
Dried Cherries
Dried Cranberries
Dried Dates – especially pieces which tend to be even drier than whole/pitted
Dried Figs
Dried Hibiscus Flowers
Dried Kiwi
Dried Mango
Dried Nectarines
Dried Papaya
Dried Peaches
Dried Pineapple
Dried Pears
Dried Goji Berries - aka Wolfberries
Fruit Leathers - e.g., apricot, strawberry, raspberry, grape
Other Dried Fruits
Crunchy - Chewy

As a group, legumes offer a crunchy resistance when first bitten and then add chewiness.

To add crunch and chewiness to a food, try the following:
Black-eyed Peas
Corn Kernels
Fava Beans
Granola with dried fruit
Green Lentils
Green Peas
Lupini Beans
Other Beans - e.g., azuki, black, kidney, lima, mung, pinto
Other Lentils - e.g., black, brown, red, tan
Other Peas - e.g., snap, snow, split, sugar, yellow
Pigeon Peas
Soybeans (edamame)
Yellow Lentils

Creamy dressings and relishes are made by adding and then blending or stirring:
fat-free yogurt
fat-free cottage cheese or
fat-free tofu
Fat-free products are recommended to cut fat and Calories.