Thursday, January 6, 2011

January: a passing nod to healthy eating

It slays me every year to follow the media focus on healthy eating in January -- two weeks at the most where there are dozens of stories in print and on television about how to clean up your act -- and lose holiday pounds, of course -- in the New Year.

If you notice the coupon inserts in the Sunday papers, 90 percent of the time the deals are for unhealthy processed crap that I would not have in our house. But on the first Sunday of the year -- and ONLY then -- food manufacturers pay lip service (so to speak) to a health orientation and offer discount coupons on more healthful products.

But before long they'll be back to their old ways, with coupons for sodium and fat laden "snack foods" to accompany your football playoff and Super Bowl Sundays.

Gag me.

Well here's a lovely recipe from this week's New York Times health column. Enjoy!

Recipe: Linguine with Red Clam Sauce (lightened)
Makes 4 servings


32 littleneck or cherrystone clams, cleaned and rinsed

2 large garlic cloves, minced, plus one crushed

1/2 cup white wine

1 teaspoon red chili flakes (or more, to taste)

2 T olive oil

1 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes, with juice

Salt and pepper, to taste

3/4 pound dried linguine

1/4 cup chopped parsley


In a large skillet over medium heat, add crushed garlic, white wine and chili flakes. Bring to a boil, and add clams. Cover and cook, shaking pan, until clams open, about 4 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and take clams from the pan with tongs. When cool, remove clams from their shells and coarsely chop. Strain remaining pan juices through a coffee filter or cheesecloth-lined strainer (to remove any sand).

Heat olive oil in the same pan over medium-high heat. Add minced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes with juice and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until pan juices cook out somewhat. Add broth from the clams and bring to a simmer. Add clams, salt and pepper and reduce heat to low while you cook the pasta.

Cook pasta just until it's al dente in boiling salted water. Drain and add to the pan with clams mixture, Stir in parsley, toss well and serve.

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