Ahhh … the coming spring thaw. Visions of wearing less bulky clothes in a less bulky body dance in our heads. It’s also National Nutrition Month (https://www.eatright.org/food/resources/national-nutrition-month), says the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Time for me to catch up to you, my readers:
— Recently I read with interest your article on the use of leftovers and asking for reader suggestions. One way I use them is on Sunday mornings with what I call my “Garbage Frittata.”
All week long you may be saving some onions here, peppers there, cooked vegetables and leftover meats. On Sunday morning I will take these leftovers and combine them in a sauté pan, generally sweating the onions and other firm vegetables, adding some cooked left over vegetables, then adding the meat to warm it through. Pour over this about 5 or 6 beaten eggs. Then sprinkle the eggs with a favorite grated cheese that you might have on hand and once the bottom is set, place under the broiler to finish the eggs. They rise some and turn golden brown. This will serve four, but if there only two of you, serve a quarter each and save the other quarters for a breakfast early in the week. I generally serve these eggs topped with salsa and sour cream.
Thanks for your column,
Fritz in Palm Springs
Sounds yummy, Fritz! Think I’d call your dish “Saved-from-the-garbage Frittata.”
— Dear Ms. Quinn,
Thank you for today’s column about calcium. That mineral has been much on my mind lately, ever since I was diagnosed with osteopenia.
I’m counting calories (literally), so I would rather drink calcium-fortified soy beverages than milk. But I’ve read in many places that calcium is better absorbed from food than a supplement. (Or something to that effect. At any rate, food is supposed to be the better source.)
Here’s my question: Is a calcium-fortified soy beverage a food? Or a supplement?
Faith in Corvallis, Oregon
Calcium-fortified soy beverage is a food that has been “fortified” with calcium. That means calcium has been added to it to provide a reasonable way for people who do not drink milk to get this essential nutrient (according to regulations by the US Food and Drug Administration).
By the way, the calories in fortified soy milk are very similar to nonfat and lowfat (1 percent) varieties of milk — usually around 90 to 110 calories per cup. And since vitamin D helps with calcium absorption, make sure your soy milk is also fortified with this nutrient, as is milk.
— And from another reader:
Just a brief addendum to the discussion about soaking versus boiling dry beans. Whichever method is used, we always do more than the current recipe requires and then freeze the surplus for the next meal. Then you avoid the temptation to buy canned stuff, because you have pre-soaked beans in the freezer. This is a tip that I got from “Cook’s Illustrated” some time ago.
Great cooking tip, Mr. Cook.
Barbara Quinn is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator affiliated with Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula in California. She is the author of “Quinn-Essential Nutrition” (Westbow Press, 2015). Email her at to email@example.com.