The Low Carb Luxury Online Magazine 



SPECIAL FATHER'S DAY EDITION
    June 6, 2003     PAGE FIVE      
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The Low Carb Good Life with Brenda Crump

                                "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
                                                                      Mohandas Gandhi

With this issue, we debut a new regular column by Brenda Crump, one of our smart and resourceful moderators at Talking Low Carb (our Low Carb Luxury Discussion Forums.) Brenda has found the keys to making low carb a true lifestyle, with proper nutrition at the heart of it all!

                                          Cooking

One of the funnier comments youíll get from the uninitiated regarding this diet goes something like this, "But thatís the diet where you arenít allowed to eat vegetables! Thatís unhealthy!". My reply to this is, of course, a patient smile and carefully modulated, "Iím pretty sure I am allowed to eat vegetables. In fact, vegetables are usually half of everything that I have on my plate at most meals."

Still, there are some who will insist that they heard it from their room mateís sisterís bossís stepson that you are definitely not allowed to have any vegetables on the Atkins diet. You could then politely inquire as to where you might purchase the low carb dieting book written by the bossís stepson, but that might make you look bitter and theyíll probably assume itís due to a lack of vegetables. No, to those people the best response is to smile, live well and enjoy some vegetables.

Those of us who are somewhat more informed know that vegetables are not only allowed — theyíre essential. However, itís easy to fall into a vegetable rut. Maybe youíre in that old "meat and salad" for lunch followed by "meat and salad" for dinner rut right now. I urge you not to become a victim of vegetable monotony. First, because itís hard (if not impossible) to stick with a plan that bores you out of your skull. Second, because youíll be missing out on the wonderful, healthy variety of food options available to you. That would be such a waste. Plus, wouldnít you really like to prove someoneís room mateís sisterís bossís stepson wrong? At least until his book is published.

Over the next several issues of the magazine, weíll be looking at some of the vegetables that those enjoying a low carb diet can eat. Weíll consider some that are tried-and-true but maybe youíve overlooked and others that you may not even have heard of but they will soon become new favorites.

                            the

Jicama is the edible root of a South American vine belonging to the morning glory family. It is also called the yam bean or the Mexican turnip. But trust me, you will sound far more bilingual and exotic if you call it jicama (pronounced hee kah mah). Jicama looks like a turnip but is actually very juicy and crispy like a Granny Smith apple, without the sweetness. It may be the ideal vegetable for those of you who think you donít like veggies and you also desperately miss apples. Truly versatile, jicama may be eaten raw or it may be baked, boiled or fried like potatoes.

jicama One cup of raw jicama has 11.47 grams of carbohydrate and 6.37 grams of dietary fiber resulting in a net carb count of 5.1 grams of carbohydrate. Itís not the lowest carb choice, but for those 5g of carbs jicama will provide potassium, iron, magnesium and copper in addition to being a great source of Vitamin C and fiber. That one cup serving will have 44% of your RDA for Vitamin C and 25% of your RDA for fiber. Vitamin C is required for the forming of collagen which is one of the principal components of tendons, ligaments, skin, bone, teeth, cartilage, heart valves, eye lenses and corneas. Vitamin C is also required for the proper functioning of the immune system.

I think it probably goes without saying what fiber is needed for, but in the interests of being thorough: The normal functioning of the intestinal tract depends upon the presence of adequate fiber.

Now that you are convinced that you MUST have this exotic, nutritious, fibrous vegetable as soon as possible, you may find the following information helpful. Jicama is available year-round at most grocery stores in the US. Look in the produce section where the more unusual items are displayed — things like cinnamon sticks, ginger roots and those objects that look like pieces of a cactus (what ARE those things? Ah, another article perhaps?).

Choose a jicama with smooth, unblemished brown skin. Store unpeeled jicama in a cool, dry place, uncovered for up to three weeks. Once youíve peeled it, you can slice the jicama, store the slices in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to one week. Slices or chunks of jicama can also be placed in a bowl of water in the refrigerator for several days.

Here is a recipe from The Food Network, that originally appeared in Cocktail Parties with a Twist by Alexandra and Eliot Angle.



Jicama Slices with Avocado and Crab Salad

  • 1 large jicama (about 1 Ĺ pounds)
  • 2 medium ripe avocados
  • 3/4 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/2 cup diced red or yellow bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh crab meat (not crab meat substitute - too high carb!)
Peel and slice the jicama in 1 by 3 inch strips about 1/8 inch thick; you should have 20 to 24 slices total. Cover with a damp towel and set aside.

Cut the avocados in half and remove the pits. Scoop the pulp into a bowl and mash with a fork. Add the tomato, bell pepper, jalapeno, salt and lemon juice and mix well. Stir in the crab meat.

Spread 1 tablespoon of the salad onto each slice of the jicama, or serve as a dip with the jicama as the crudite. This is not a make-ahead dish.

Serve with salad dressing.

                                         

For those with a sweet tooth, jicama is a very convincing apple substitute and could easily fill in for the zucchini in Loraís "Mock Apple Crisp" recipe. If you would prefer to experiment before trying an actual recipe, here are some suggestions from a few members of the Talking Low Carb forums: Super Moderator Amy likes to shave jicama into thin slices and deep fry them. Max enjoys jicama South American or Mexican style; ice cold, sliced into 1/2-inch thick slices and sprinkled with lime juice and chili powder. Ophelia makes jicama hash browns to go with her morning eggs.

However you decide to enjoy it, keep in mind that jicama is just one of the nutritious and great-tasting vegetable options available to us. You may find that todayís "Vegetable of the Day" isnít for you. Donít let this discourage you from continuing to experiment. Nothing kills motivation faster than feelings of deprivation and boredom. If your goal is not only weight loss but a lifetime of maintaining a healthy weight then you canít afford to underestimate the importance of variety in your diet.

Make it your personal mission to dispel low carb myths wherever they may appear. Eat your veggies!
                                                                             Brenda





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BUTTERMILK and BUCKWHEAT PANCAKE MIXES on the market, and we guarantee you will like it!

The Low Carb Chef's Aunt Paula labored long and hard to match the flavor and texture in a pancake mix that we all remember growing up with and has succeeded in her efforts! As with all Chef products, if you don't like it, we will gladly give you your money back! Is anyone else that confident in their product?   Click to order The Low Carb Chef Pancake Mix now!

Low Carb Chef Thicken-It For those of you that have been missing gravy and soups, The Low Carb Chef's Thicken-It will bring these long forgotten treats back into your low carb life!

The Low Carb Chef Thicken-It is a new zero-carb substitute for corn starch. Use it to replace corn starch or flour thickeners for gravies, soups, and sauces. Thicken-It mixes instantly in any liquid and does not add any flavor of its own, but makes smooth gravies, velvety sauces, and rich cream soups. Thicken-It is better than cornstarch, but has the same great taste in finished products! You can find this great new addition in the Low Carb Chef, or Mixes Areas.

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