Right Stuff vs. Food Porn

October 2011

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Right Stuff


They’re the most hated vegetable in America, according to a 2008 survey (though kids apparently detest eggplant even more). They’re the spinach of the post-Popeye generation (except no one thinks they’ll make you strong). If you’ve got some time to kill, you can Google jokes about them.

Yet there are people who dare to love Brussels sprouts. Really.

True, sprouts can taste bitter. (To boost your odds of a bitter-free batch, buy dark, tightly closed sprouts about an inch across with no yellowing or brown spots, use them within a day or two, and don’t overcook them.)

But good Brussels sprouts are remarkable. It’s not just that they’re rich in lutein and vitamins C and K—all for just 60 calories per cooked cup. It’s that they taste fabulous. Really.

For the simplest recipe, toss 1 lb. of Brussels sprouts with 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil and 1/8 tsp. kosher salt, and roast at 425°F until well browned, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Or cut 1 lb. of sprouts in half lengthwise and steam until they’re bright green and tender (about 5 minutes), then drizzle with mustard sauce (whisk together 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, 2 Tbs. orange juice, 1 Tbs. country Dijon mustard, and 1 Tbs. lemon juice).

Or sauté 1 lb. of sliced sprouts and 3 sliced shallots in a non-stick skillet in 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil until lightly browned and tender.

Brussels sprouts may never be as popular as broccoli or carrots. But how can they, if some people never give them a chance?

Did you hear the one about the two Brussels sprouts and a carrot who walk into a bar?

Food Porn


"Founded on the strength of a generations-old family chocolate chip cookie recipe, the company eventually set the standard for gourmet cookie sales in shopping centers nationwide," says the Great American Cookies Web site.

Really? Did the family recipe include partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils, corn syrup, corn starch, mono & diglycerides, salt, artificial flavors, guar gum, polysorbate 60, potassium sorbate, phosphoric acid, and sodium benzoate? That’s some of what Great American puts into the "xtra smooth icing" in its Double Doozie cookie sandwiches.

And what cookie sandwiches they are! Each Original Chocolate Chip Double Doozie donates 690 calories and half a day’s saturated fat (11 grams) to your growing fat cells. That’s more calories than you’d get in a Big Mac (540), except that the Double Doozie comes with 15 teaspoons of sugar. But wait! There's more.

Each also comes with 6 grams of trans fat. Health experts once considered advising people to eat no more than 2 grams of trans in an entire day, but the official advice is to eat even less.

And it's not just the Double Doozies. Nearly all of Great American’s cookies have at least 1 gram of trans, and its brownies have 3 to 4 grams (along with 400 to 500 calories).

Most food companies—including cookie giant Mrs. Fields—have dumped their artery-clogging trans fat. But not Great American.

Guess that generations-old family recipe is just too hard to give up.

Great American Cookies: (877) 639-2361

Dish of the Month

Curried Red Lentils

Sauté 1 diced onion in 2 Tbs. of canola oil until browned. Stir in 1 tsp. of curry powder and 1 cup of red lentils. Add 2½ cups of water. Simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in up to ½ tsp. of kosher salt. Makes 4 cups.

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