January, one of the coldest months of the year, is National Soup Month. A good excuse as any to pull out your Dutch oven or slow cooker and whip up your favorite soup, or even to try a new one.
Soups are a convenient one-pot meal and a great way to use those oddball veggies lurking in the bottom of the crisper drawer.
To make a vegetable soup even heartier, follow the advice in a recent news release sent by the Soyfoods Council and boost the protein content by adding soybeans, soy milk instead of dairy or diced firm tofu.
According to the press release, adding soy foods to the ingredient mix adds about 7 to 15 grams of heart healthy protein. There also are studies that suggest soy foods can help reduce the risk of several chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease, osteoporosis and some forms of cancer.
All good reasons to include soyfoods in your daily diet.
For recipes and tips about using soy beans, tofu and other forms of soyfoods, go to www.thesoyfoodscouncil.com.
Diet for health
If you've resolved to lose weight and learn healthier eating habits, Lourdes Health Network can help. Tammie Shreve, Lourdes Healthy Lifestyle Ideal Protein manager, will be holding free informational meetings this month to explain the hospital's program, which focuses not just on dieting but the lifestyle changes needed to maintain results longterm.
The meetings are from 6:30-8 p.m. Jan. 22 and 29 at 1175 Carondelet Drive, Richland; and 10-11:30 a.m. Jan. 24 at 7425 Wrigley Drive, Pasco.
To make a reservation, go to www.lourdeshealth.net/idealprotein or call 509-416-8877.
If your cheese molds or dries out in storage, try this tip from e-cookbooks.net. Store it in the refrigerator wrapped tightly in plastic, away from air. If you do get a little mold on the outside, just cut it off.
Most ripened or aged cheese is low in moisture content and can be frozen without drastic flavor and texture changes. Thaw slowly in the refrigerator for 24 hours or more. If frozen for several months, the cheese may dry out and become crumbly when thawed.
The book: 3Recipes to Remember: My Epicurean Journey to Preserve My Mother's Italian Cooking from Memory Loss by Barbara Magro.
Best for: When Magro's mother was diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer's, she set out to recreate her mother's traditional Italian recipes before they were lost forever. Her cookbook includes recipes from appetizers through desserts plus the family stories and memories linked to them.
*Loretto J. Hulse: email@example.com.