Diet and Food Myths


Today is Part 2 of a series of Diet Myths Debunked.

Diet Myth # 2

Avoid Carbohydrates

Just as with fat, carbohydrates are not inherently bad for you. As with fat it is more about portion size. It is the amount of carbs eaten. It is the extra calories.

Like fats, carbohydrates are a necessary and essential source of energy for the body.  You need carbohydrates for your body to function properly. Carbohydrates increase the sugar content of the body in the form of glucose. Glucose is necessary for the proper and efficient function of the brain, and the nervous system, and other organs.

Recent research has shown that low-carb diets may not be good for the body and can lead to bone loss, dehydration, and mood swings among others.

There are simple and complex carbs. Simple carbs are easier for the body to breakdown. They provide a quick burst of energy. But since the body breaks them down so quickly you feel hungry again very quickly. You can find simple carbs in such foods as cakes, candies, white breads and pastas, and other foods made with refined sugars.

Then there are complex carbohydrates. Their composition is harder for the body to break down and therefore they make you feel full longer. These carbs are most often found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.

As with most things in life when it comes to carbohydrates moderation is the key. A balanced diet is best. A little bit of everything. Remember it is portion size that matters most. For instance, when it comes to pasta a good rule of thumb is to eat a fistful size, or about 1 cup cooked. This amount is about 170 calories.

DISCLAIMER: The information for this very brief discussion of an extremely complicated topic was gathered from the following sources: WebMDNet Doctor; Britannica, Stumblerz,  and from the books:  Eat Drink and Be Merry by Dr. Dean Erdell  published by Harper Collins 1999; and The Fat Fallacy by Dr. Will Clower published by Three Rivers Press 2003. Please keep in mind I am not a dietician or a nutritionist. I just love to eat well. And I just write a simple blog trying to provide inexpensive yet delicious recipes for you, information about how to survive the recession, and helpful information about food and the joys of eating.[print_this]

Featured Recipe           Hungarian Noodles and Cabbage

In keeping with our topic today our featured recipe has both simple and complex carbs in it. This recipe also allows me to share my German-Hungarian heritage with you again.

I remember when I was very young my grandmother and mother made this wonderful recipe that had square noodles and cabbage. There were also small lumps of, I thought, brown sugar in it too. It was not a recipe she made often. In fact, I don’t remember it much past the age of 7 or 8. Why I don’t know.

One day about ten years ago I was looking through a recipe book I had gotten at the library when I saw a recipe for Noodles and Cabbage.  Just reading the recipe brought back so many memories. I tried it. It was close to what my grandmother made. But not quite it. It had way too many spices and other ingredients.

It also called for regular noodles. My mother’s recipe used very small square noodles. The recipe did not use brown sugar either. But I played with it and eventually just simplified it. Cabbage and Noodles is after all just basic simple peasant food. I have several versions in my recipe files today because of all the playing around and experimenting with this and that. I like to play with my food. What can I say?

One day I was in the grocery store and saw a package of square noodles. of course, I bought it right away. Every once in a while I find them in the store. But mostly I have to rely on the internet to get them now. The internet is such a wonderful thing. You can find them here: Manischewitz. I have also found them on occasion at Amazon and NetGrocer. Of course, I buy the least expensive.

My cousin, Harriet and I were talking one day and she told me about a dish that her mother and our Grandmother made with square noodles and cabbage with some sugar. She remembered the sugar in the dish. I always remembered the teeny tiny square noodles. But I too remembered the sugar. But I thought it was brown sugar. Harriet said it was just regular white sugar. I also told her I had been trying to perfect a recipe I found in a book. So I made my recipe one night and she loved it. It was a lovely shared memory affair.

So today I am happy to share the recipe with you too.

This is what you will need:

1 lb shredded cabbage (about 3 ½ cups) or 1 small cabbage

1 teaspoon salt to ‘sweat’ the cabbage

½ teaspoon shortening or bacon drippings (or render some salt pork or fat back for even more flavor); butter will do too

1 small onion finely chopped


¼ cup square noodles

1 tablespoon white or brown sugar

Here is what you do:

Mix cabbage with salt and allow to stand ½ hour. Squeeze dry.

The easiest place to ‘sweat,’ or get some of the water out of the cabbage, is to put it into a colander sitting in the sink. I sprinkle a bit  of th ealt over each layer. I also put  atowel over the top of the collander for the 30 minutes.

When the 30 minutes are up place the cabbage into a tea towel and squeeze as much water out as you can. My mother also did this for her Hungarian Cucumber and Sour Cream saald. I do too. I will share that recipe with you too some day.

Now, heat the bacon drippings or what ever you are using in skillet. The dish will be more delicious if you use lard or bacon drippings. It is just ½ teaspoon. It will not wreck your diet! In fact, it will be good for you as well as delicious!

Add the onion……

……and cabbage and sauté stirring occasionally until cabbage is lightly browned and tender.

Season with some pepper. I have found that after sweating the cabbage with the salt, no more salt is needed.

While the cabbage is browning cook the noodles. This will not take long.

Drain the noodles, add to the cabbage and mix together.

Just before serving sprinkle on the sugar and lightly mix throughout.

That’s all there is to it!





You can eat it alone as a full meal with a nice whole grain roll or as a side dish to any pork dish. Cabbage and pork were made in heaven for each other. It is such a wonderful pairing.

I like to eat this dish with a while grain with assorted seeds roll. This is a very filling meal, especially with the whole grain roll.

And the cost is easy on your pocketbook too.


1 small cabbage                         $1.40

1 teaspoon salt                          $0.01

½ tsp bacon drippings                $0.00

Other fat source                        $0.15-$0.20


¼ cup square noodles               $0.44

1 tblsp white or brown sugar      $.05

Total Costs = $2.10  ( NOTE: Using the highest cost for each ingredient)
Cost per person (3) = $0.70

Even if you add a pork chop with this dish this is a REAL bargain. The whole wheat roll showed in the picture above would add $0.66 to the meal. No matter how you slice this one, this is a real delcious bargain![/print_this]

Bon Appetite!!

Quote of the day: Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. ~ Oscar Wilde

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