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Now browsing: Hometown News > Cooking/Food > Romancing The Stove

An MSG warning; some delectable desserts
Rating: 3.15 / 5 (48 votes)  
Posted: 2012 Jul 27 - 02:55

Hello, smart shoppers. How many of you have had adverse reactions to monosodium glutamate, better known as MSG? Didn't it make you happy when it was eliminated from your favorite Chinese restaurants food? Do you know you're unknowingly consuming it daily?

Natural glutamic (glutamate) acid, is an amino acid is used by the body to build proteins. Glutamate is the most common stimulating neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. The problem is, free glutamic acid (monosodium glutamate) produced as a byproduct of other processes may enhance the flavor of foods, but it has been suspect for many years and studies have linked it to obesity, Alzheimer's and other disorders.

Extensive research has not been done and the Food and Drug Administration has allowed companies to mask the presence of MSG in foods. Years ago, when the product Accent came on the market, it was amazing how much better foods tasted. MSG can produce dangerous allergic reactions in some people and yet it's in 90 percent of prepackaged foods you purchase. Shocked? So was I. Rice a Roni, Hamburger Helper, broths, soups and gravy, my favorite powdered bouillons, Latin American spices, and on and on.

Check out your pantry. Even foods purchased in health food stores can contain MSG. It goes under many different names such as (other natural flavors), hydrolyzed yeast and hydrolyzed protein. Read the labels. It's almost impossible to get away from this stuff. Until next week.


regular, low fat or fat free

I created this recipe years ago since I couldn't find a recipe creamy enough.

1-1/2 cups cooked rice

4 cups milk, regular, low fat or skim

3-ounce package vanilla pudding (cook and serve style, not instant)

2 tablespoons sugar or equivalent sugar substitute

Few shakes of cinnamon

Dash of nutmeg

1/2-cup raisins

1 teaspoon vanilla

It is best to cook rice pudding in a double boiler. If you don't have one, be sure to use a flame tamer on regular stoves, or cook at a very low heat, keeping a close watch; it always seems to stick a little.

Place all ingredients except raisins and vanilla in a saucepan. Cook stirring frequently until mixture comes to a boil. Lower heat to simmer and cook uncovered, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Add raisins and cook 10 minutes longer. Remove from heat; add vanilla. Serve warm or cold with a sprinkling of cinnamon and a dollop of cream.


From Adele Plofsky (NIB)

regular or low fat

Adele sent me this recipe quite a while ago and asked if I could make it low fat. I did and if it tastes any better high-fat I might eat the whole cake.

1 package yellow cake mix without pudding

11-ounce can mandarin oranges with juice

3 eggs, equivalent of egg substitute or 4 egg whites

1/2-cup canola oil or substitute applesauce

1 tablespoon grated orange peel (optional)


8-ounce can crushed pineapple with juice

1 small (4 serving size) package vanilla instant pudding

8-ounce carton whipped topping, regular, low fat or fat free

Combine cake mix, mandarin orange juice (reserve oranges), grated orange peel, eggs and oil. Beat 1-1/2 minutes at medium-high speed of electric mixer. Add oranges. Reduce speed to low and beat 1-1/2 minute longer.

Pour batter into layer cake pans or a 9X13-inch pan that have been treated with cooking spray. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in layer cake pans 10 minutes. Cool in pan when using the rectangular size.

For frosting:

Combine crushed pineapple and pudding mix in a bowl. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer; let stand until mixture thickens. Thoroughly fold in whipped topping. Frost cake.

Chill at least 2 hours. Freezes great.


You can reduce the fat and cholesterol content of this cake by using a butter substitute in place of butter.

6 large apples

1/4-cup sugar

Peel and core apples, slice thin. Treat a 9 X 12 baking dish with cooking spray. Put in half the apples, sprinkle with the 1/4-cup sugar, and top with remaining apples.


1 stick butter or 1/2-cup butter substitute, room temperature

1 cup light brown sugar

1 cup flour

1/2-teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Cream butter, add sugar, flour and cinnamon. Mix. Add nuts. Press mixture on top of apples. Cut slits in top. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Serve warm with ice cream or whipped topping.

To order my cookbook, access past columns or check out great tips, go to my Web site www.romancingthestove.net or e-mail me at arlene@romancingthestove.net.

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