INCREDIBLE EDIBLE MUNCH

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The downside to catfish

BY VICTORIA GRIMMETT RABB, Food Editor


Black Americans consume more fat than any other racial group in America. In 2020, Black adults had the highest obesity rates of any race or ethnicity in the United States, followed by Indigent Americans/Alaska Natives and then Hispanics. As of that time, around 42 percent of all Black adults were obese. 


Chronic excess fat in our diets predisposes us to chronic food related diseases. Join Incredible Edible Munch in examining our food preferences and their impact on our health. We begin with catfish.

 

Catfish is the most consumed fish world-wide. It is popular because it is simple to prepare and it’s tasty, owing primarily to the abundance of fat contained within both the flesh and the skin. Catfish is plentiful in rivers and highly adaptable as farmed fish, so it is likely to be well stocked in stores across the US.


However, it may sicken our body if consumed regularly. An abundance of Omega-6 fatty acids found in catfish increases our risk of getting blood clots, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other inflammation, obesity, depression and some cancers. (Omega-6 is pro-inflammatory but is regulated by Omega-3, which reduces the concentration of bad cholesterol and increases the concentration of good cholesterol). Omega-6 and -3 have a healthy ratio of 4 to 1 in healthy fish. Catfish are often found to have a fatty acid ratio of 10 to 1.


So what’s wrong with catfish? One Thing: Too much fat! Catfish may be killing those of us who consume a lot of it, especially because we prefer it deep fried, floating in grease—thereby adding more fatty oils. It gets worse when consuming chemically infused farm-raised stock.


We should note that catfish has its good qualities as well: It is low in mercury, and rich in phosphorus and magnesium, which are essential micro-nutrients that play a significant role in a lot of biochemical processes in the body. But the fat is killing us. We are more predisposed to life-ending diseases if catfish is a regular part of our diet. The mortality rate for Black Americans is 51 percent higher than for White Americans (not including Spanish speaking Whites).
 

Noted medical practitioner, Dr. Arikawe Adeolu of the Federal Medical Centre in Abuja, Nigeria, has cautioned that consumers should cut back on eating catfish because of its fat content, which can increase our choles- terol, cause chronic inflammation that brings cardio-vascular disease, diabetes, and feed certain cancers. Alzheimer disease is also associated with chronic (long standing) inflammation in the body.


Health professionals explain further that the fat from the fish settles in the blood stream, clogging up the vessels, and when blood fails to get to an organ, that organ can suffer paralysis. Farm raised fish are particularly problematical as many are cultivated with steroids and synthesized food containing fattening chemicals, some of which are cancerous in nature, including the chemicals needed to keep pond water dwelling fresh and free of PCB’s.


All of the diseases mentioned above will support premature death in the human body. As we know, premature death is prevalent in the Black community. One can draw a connection… Recommendation: Don’t eat catfish more than once monthly. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and children avoid catfish, shark, king mackerel and tilefish altogether.


What are the alternatives?


The best fish for our consumption are as follows: Salmon is the "rock star." It is high in Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids which are essential additives, as the body cannot make its own, and it’s rich in protein. Salmon is available in most markets. It’s also healthy, robust in flavor, and receives sauces, glazes, and dry seasoning very handily. Preparation is easy: Pan-fry, roast, poach, broil, bake or grill – and Voila! Caution: It’s a little
pricey.


Per Healthline, an internet website, the following fish are also healthy due to their protein count, correct balance of fatty acids and low levels of mercury: Cod, herring, perch, mahi mahi, striped bass, sardines, rainbow trout, albacore tuna, and wild Alaskan pollock. (Editor's note: Fish are not ranked; ranking varies in different studies). Shrimp, prawn, and crab from the shellfish (crustacean) family are also considered good seafood choices because they are low in calories, low in mercury, high in protein, and available every where where. Halibut and Chilean sea bass have low mercury levels, but are also low in Omega-3’s, leaving Omega-6 fatty acids free to rummage through our system wreaking havoc. Be advised.


The American Heart Association recommends eating fish that are high in both of the Omega-fatty acids twice weekly. But watch the mercury levels. “Mercury is very toxic to the human body and can, when consumed in large or accumulated quantities, damage the nervous system,”
according to Dr. Adeolu.

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A different twist on an old breakfast favorite. Courtesy Food.com

What to Eat: Let's start with breakfast

By THE FOODIE FEASTER

There are many tasty and goods to eat for breakfast to start the day. Breakfast is the first meal of the day, and generally served between 7-7.30 and 10-10.30 a.m. The three types of the most popular morning meals are Continental breakfast, American breakfast, and English Breakfast. In addition, here are some popular breakfasts from nations around the globe.

Continental. The traditional continental breakfast is a light morning meal. Consisting: Bread end toast (Croissant, Brioche, Danish pastry, Sandwich bread, etc.), Butter or any Preserves, Juices,  Fruits, and Coffee or Tea as a hot beverage. It is usually served buffet-style.

 

American. American breakfast is a heavy breakfast. American Style Breakfast: Two eggs (fried, omelet, boiled or poached), Meat (sliced bacon, sausages, minutes steak, patties), Potato (hash-brown or O'Brien potatoes), Bread and Toast,  Preserves and Butter, Pancakes with syrup or Waffle, Cereal (cornflakes, oatmeal, etc. ), Coffee/ Tea, Juices and Fruits(orange, grapefruit, etc.). It is usually served buffet-style or A la Carte.

 

English. A full English Breakfast menu may consist of more elaborated and eleven-courses of meals. The items in English Breakfast consists: 2 Eggs (Poached, Fried eggs, or Scramble egg), Fish, Black pudding, Hot meat, Baked bean, Grilled tomatoes, Sausages, Bacon, Sauteed mushroom, Fresh Fruits, Juices, Cheese, Cereals, Bread and Toast with Preserves and Butter, Beverages (Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate, Milk, etc.).It is usually served buffet-style.

 

Italian. Italian breakfast consists of caffè latte (hot milk with coffee) or coffee with bread or rolls, butter, and jam. Traditionally Italian breakfast usually serves A cookie-like rusk hard bread, called Fette biscottate. If breakfast is eaten in a bar (coffee shop), it is composed of cappuccino and cornetto or espresso, croissant or cornetto bread, or a different kind of sweet baked goods and bread with butter and jaA La Carte service style

 

Indonesian. Indonesian people from different regions have a different favorite breakfast menu. 

Most of the Indonesian traditional breakfast is based on rice or noodle with various condiments and other side dishes. Indonesian breakfast dishes: Bubur Ayam, Lontong Sayur, Nasi Uduk, Nasi Goreng, Bakmi Goreng, etc. Buffet or A la carte service style, Bubur Ayam (Chicken Congee), Lontong Sayur, and Nasi Goreng

 

Middle EastFalafel, Ful madames, Baba gahnoush, Tehina, Hallomi, and Hummus with Pita bread or Kaek and Tea, Labneh, Nabulsi cheese, Jams, Zaatar, Dukka, and Olive oil, Pita bread, Kaek (sesame bread), and manakeesh, Shakshouka Egg, Fresh vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, radishes, onions, olives, and shredded carrots.

 

Japanese. Generally, a traditional Japanese breakfast consists of Steamed rice, Miso soup, a protein such as Grilled salmon, Tamagoyaki (Rolled omelet). Side dishes; Tsukemono (Japanese pickles), Nori (dried seaweed), Natto (fermented soybeans), Kobachi (Small side dishes which usually consist of vegetables), and Green salad (Additional) Beverage: Tea. Buffet or A la Carte Style service or Set menu.

 

Chinese. This breakfast is very different from Western breakfast, but it provides wide options from rice porridge to Youtiao, from steamed buns to baked buns, from fresh soy milk to soups. Youtiao (Chinese fried flour stick) and soy milk is the best combination for a breakfast. Tofu pudding is very soft tofu. Flavors of tofu pudding vary by region. can be savory or sweet taste. Porridge and Congee, steamed buns, stir-fried noodles, dumpling, and Wonton soup. Beverage: Tea and soy milk. Buffet or a la carte style service.

 

Indian. A typical breakfast in India varies depending on region but is often quite similar to a lunch or dinner. 

A breakfast plate in India might include roti (flatbread), dosas (thin crepes made of lentils) or idlis (steamed rice-dough pancakes), and different dips and chutneys, as well as spiced potatoes. Kinds of Indian breakfast: Misal Pav, Puttu with Kandala curry, Khaman and Dhoklarless pancakes

 

Flourless Banana Bread Pancakes

INGREDIENTS

banana

eggs

1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ounces toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped

cooking spray

almond butter

DIRECTIONS

1.  In a small bowl, peel, break, and then mash the banana until creamy.

2.  In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until combined. Add Vanilla and 1-oz walnuts, whisk to combine. Add egg mixture to banana and whisk to combine.

3. Spray a non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Set stovetop to medium high. Pour half the mixture and cook for one minute on each side. Repeat for second pancake.

4. Spread Almond butter on top of each pancake, add remaining walnuts to both, roll up and serve.

Recipe by Food.com

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A sumptuous burger for lunch

A hamburger (or burger for short) is a food, typically considered a sandwich, consisting of one or more cooked patties of ground meat, usually beef, placed inside a sliced bread roll or bun. The patty may be pan fried, grilled, smoked or flame broiled. Hamburgers are often served with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, bacon, or chilis; condiments such as ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, relish, or a “special sauce”, often a variation of Thousand Island dressing; and are frequently placed on sesame seed buns. A hamburger topped with cheese is called a cheeseburger.

The term burger can also be applied to the meat patty on its own, especially in the United Kingdom, where the term patty is rarely used, or the term can even refer simply to ground beef. Since the term hamburger usually implies beef, for clarity burger may be prefixed with the type of meat or meat substitute used, as in beef burger, turkey burger, bison burger, portobello burger, or veggie burger.

Hamburgers are typically sold at fast-food restaurants, diners, and specialty and high-end restaurants. While there are many international and regional variations of hamburgers, America stakes a claim the first hamburger was created in America in 1900 by Louis Lassen, a Danish immigrant, owner of Louis’ Lunch in New Haven, CT.

Best Grilled Burger

Ready in: 13 mins

Yield: 4-6 burgers

 

INGREDIENTS

1 lb. ground beef

1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder

1⁄4 teaspoon onion salt

1⁄4 teaspoon seasoning salt

1⁄2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 egg, beaten

8 single saltine crackers, crushed

1 slice of your favorite cheese (optional)

 

DIRECTIONS

Mix all ingredients and shape into burgers.

Grill to desired doneness.

Top with a slice of your favorite cheese.

We especially like provolone or Swiss.

Note: You can add oregano if you like Italian, or taco seasoning if you like Tex-Mex!

Recipe courtesy Food Network / Lisa Ga

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Easy Fall Dinner Delights

The Fall season is rolling in with cooler temperatures, dazzling colors and falling leaves. Soon it will be daylight savings time and early darkness. Incredible Edible Munch offers delicious, easy-to-make food recipes that will be sizzling hot on the dinner table before dusk and your hungry family can ask: “What’s for dinner?” This edition, Fall Dinner Delights serves up a choice of two palate-pleasing delights: Classic Shrimp Scampi and Penne with Vodka Sauce and Mini Meatballs.

Classic Shrimp Scampi

 

America can’t seem to get enough of shrimp scampi: It’s one of the 10 most-searched recipes on FoodNetwork.com during the summer (more popular than burgers!) and #shrimpscampi has more than 134,000 posts on Instagram. What’s the excitement all about? Do we love shrimp scampi because it’s simple but seemingly fancy? Or because it’s done in 30 minutes? Or because we just can’t resist a buttery wine sauce? All of the above! 

 

Level: Easy

Total: 30 min

Active: 30 min

Yield: 4 servings

 

INGREDIENTS

Kosher salt

12 ounces linguine

1 1/4 pounds large shrimp, peeled / deveined

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 

5 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/3 cup dry white wine

Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus wedges for serving

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

 

DIRECTIONS

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain.

Meanwhile, mix the beef, 1/4 cup parmesan, the breadcrumbs, egg, 1/2 cup basil, the minced garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl with your hands until just combined. Form into 3/4-inch meatballs (about 20). Grate the tomatoes into a medium bowl; discard the skins.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, then the meatballs. Cook, turning, until browned on all sides, 2-3 minutes. Add the sliced garlic and cook until just golden, about 1 minute. Gradually add the vodka, then the grated tomatoes and cream. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens and the meatballs are cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper.

Add the pasta and the remaining 1/4 cup basil to the skillet; toss, adding the reserved cooking water as needed to loosen. Remove from the heat and add the remaining 1/2 cup parmesan; toss.

Photograph by Ryan Dausch. Recipe courtesy of Food Network.

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Penne with Vodka Sauce and Mini Meatballs

The origin of this delicious dish is not known, but we can say with absolute certainty, it is an American favorite. Note: With cooking, the vodka will lose its intoxicating properties.

Level: Easy

Total: 35 min

Prep: 10 min

Cook: 25 min

Yield: 4 servings

 

INGREDIENTS

Kosher salt

12 ounces penne pasta

8 ounces ground beef chuck

3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 ounces)

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

1 large egg, lightly beaten

3/4 cup chopped fresh basil

3 cloves garlic (1 minced, 2 sliced)

2 1/2 pounds beefsteak tomatoes, halved

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup vodka

1/4 cup heavy cream

Freshly ground pepper

 

DIRECTIONS

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain.

Meanwhile, mix the beef, 1/4 cup parmesan, the breadcrumbs, egg, 1/2 cup basil, the minced garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl with your hands until just combined. Form into 3/4-inch meatballs (about 20). Grate the tomatoes into a medium bowl; discard the skins.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, then the meatballs. Cook, turning, until browned on all sides, 2-3 minutes. Add the sliced garlic and cook until just golden, about 1 minute. Gradually add the vodka, then the grated tomatoes and cream. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens and the meatballs are cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper.

Add the pasta and the remaining 1/4 cup basil to the skillet; toss, adding the reserved cooking water as needed to loosen. Remove from the heat and add the remaining 1/2 cup parmesan; toss.

Photograph by Ryan Dausch. Recipe courtesy of Food Network.