By Evelyn Cairns
If you’re a label reader, you probably have noticed that the labels on many food purchases have changed. That’s because the Food and Drug Administration required that large manufacturers of food update their labels by 2020, and smaller companies by 2021.
According to the FDA, the changes reflect the realistic current eating habits of Americans and provide scientific information to help consumers make healthier choices in their diets.
Serving sizes and calories are now in bolder type and are based on what people actually eat and drink.
The makeover eliminates Vitamins A and C, because research shows that deficiencies in those nutrients are rare today, but Vitamin D and potassium are added because consumers don’t always get enough of either.
The new label doesn’t list calories from fats, because studies show the type of fat consumed is more important than the amount.
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Although I love to cook and bake, I don’t like to spend all day in the kitchen. So, I’m always on the lookout for quick and easy recipes. Two of my favorite main dishes that fill the bill both feature chicken tenders and rice Both are cooked for only about a half hour. Boneless chicken thighs can be substituted in the second, but will take longer to cook. I like the dish with Major Gray’s Chutney on the side and a sprinkling of dry roasted peanuts.
QUICK AND DELICIOUS CRANBERRY CHICKEN
¼ cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1½ pounds chicken tenders
¼ cup ketchup
1 teaspoon dry mustard
16-ounce can whole-berry cranberry sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
In a large skillet, saute onion in oil until clear. Add chicken and cook about 5 minutes on both sides. In a small bowl, combine ketchup, dry mustard, cranberry sauce, brown sugar and vinegar. Stir until combined and pour over chicken. Cover and cook about 20-25 minutes. Serve over white rice with green beans for a colorful plate. Chicken thighs can be substituted for tenders with adjusted cooking time.
CURRIED CHICKEN WITH MANGO RICE
1 teaspoon curry powder, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 pound chicken tenders
1 cup chicken broth
½ cup water
½ cup white wine (I used apple juice)
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 cup (1 can) diced mango, drained
Combine the curry powder, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper. Rub the mixture into the both sides of the chicken tenders and set aside. In a large, non-stick skillet, combine the chicken broth, water and wine or apple juice with the rice. Stir in the brown sugar, dried parsley and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sir in the chopped mango and arrange the chicken pieces on top of the rice. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer 20 to 25 minutes and remove from the heat. Let stand, covered, until all of the liquid is absorbed, at least 5 minutes.
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If you just can’t wait until the blueberry season arrives, consider making my easy recipe for blueberry cobbler, which I demonstrated many years ago at the Michigan State Fair. You won’t believe how easy it is.
EVELYN’S EASY BLUEBERRY COBBLER
Blend together 1 can blueberry pie filling and ¼ to 1/3 cup water, depending on consistency of filling. Heat until mixture boils, then add 1 teaspoon lemon juice and pour into a 1½-quart baking dish. Set aside. For batter, in a small bowl, combine 1 cup Bisquick and ½ cup Pet Milk, mixing well. Drop onto filling in four portions. Bake at 350 degrees about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
(Contact me at Evycairns@aol.com)