Re: menus/cookbooks for community meals
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2011 09:03:08 -0800 (PST)
On 17 Nov 2011, at 10:53 AM, Judith Bush wrote:

> people voiced dislike of an overdose of carbs [snip so another goal is to 
> develop a repertoire of protein rich dishes for cooked meals.  Parents also 
> want that for their kids.  

But in addition to more protein, there are millions (well maybe not millions, a 
dozen) low carb vegetables that are easy to prepare — steamed cabbage, Brussels 
sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, bean sprouts, string beans, mushrooms, okra, 
etc. Creamed. Pickled. Baked. Topped with cheese or nuts or seeds. Vegetables 
are very easy to prepare in the oven and keep warm until served. (Install an 
oven with accurate low cooking temps — most aren't.)

My Red Mercedes of CH meals, especially with so many vegetarians in the crowd, 
is a buffet counter full of vegetable dishes. I don't cook several vegetables 
for only myself so a CH meal seemed perfect. But vegetarians are more 
accurately described as starchetarians. No one cooks vegetables unless they mix 
a few with pasta, beans, rice, etc.

Our local pizza place makes a Vegetarian Delight with onions, peppers, black 
olives, mushrooms. What makes it good is the variety of vegetables. It is even 
good without the cheese — vegan.

I find that all CH meals except Thanksgiving and Christmas are almost totally 
carbs — rice, beans, potatoes, bread, and salad with a bottled dressing in 
which the first three ingredients after oil are forms of sugar. Cookies, cake, 
or fruit. Except for berries, fruit is high carb — and people eat more of it 
than one cookie.

We always have a very nice salad but salad does get old when that is all you 
can eat, and have to bring your own dressing.

For people with high blood sugar or difficulty handling carbs (probably anyone 
35+ pounds overweight like me) high carb is the meal of death. Beans are only 
high protein when compared to white flour and many people can't digest the 
proteins in beans and other grains. White flour has a greater affect on blood 
sugar and insulin (which deposits fat in the cells) than sugar. 

I find it very difficult to sit across from Mr. Thin who can eat 4 pieces of 
baguette with pasta and go back seconds, then for cake. I don't attend meals 
unless I bring my own or like the food so much I'm willing to die for it — 
tacos! One person serves these every 6 weeks or so.

One friend carefully consulted me about a brunch she was cooking to include 
foods I could eat. We settled on quiche because I could eat the eggs and cheese 
and leave the crust. But the final product was filled with carrots and onions — 
high carb. Even cheese has to be counted.

Book: Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It by Gary Taubes. It could also be 
titled Why We Get Heart Disease, Diabetes, etc. This summarizes and updates the 
research studies he analyzed in the huge Good Calories, Bad Calories and is 
much shorter and more readable. He includes the famed Duke University diet in 
the appendix but it isn't a diet book — it's analysis of research results, 
including those by the NIH, which support this thesis. It goes totally counter 
to the low fat craze.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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