All of this "eat healthy, be healthy" movement won't amount to a bag of bulgur unless it's applied to the supermarket, where food selection begins. To reinforce that fact, the American Heart Association has designated this week as its first Food Festival celebration, a nationwide nutrition-awareness program.
Throughout the country, through guided tours, shopping lists, pamphlets, food tastings and in-house tips from nutritionists in more than 8,000 stores, shoppers will learn why and how to reduce dietary cholesterol.
Locally, the nation's capital affiliate of the AHA is sponsoring a self-guided tour of Safeway's Hechinger Mall store at Benning and Bladensburg roads NE. Participating shoppers will be given a cassette and a recorder with a shoulder strap and earphone to use while they do their shopping. The tape offers brief messages about the nutritional benefits of foods in selected aisles. The free self-guided tours will be available today through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Among the other Food Festival activities planned in this area for the week:
* Free recipes ideas, food samples of low-fat, low-cholesterol foods, shopping guides and nutrition information will be handed out at the Giant Gourmet in Rockville in conjunction with the Montgomery County Heart Association. WRC-TV's Mac McGarry and WMAL's Bill Trumbull and Chris Core will join the activities. Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m. at 12051 Rockville Pike. Call 229-8100 for more information.
* "Celebrity baggers" will autograph nutrition information for customers at checkout counters of three Northern Virginia Safeways. At the same time in all three locations, nutritionists will offer tastings of low-fat cheese and answer nutrition questions.
Washington Redskin Joe Jacoby and George Mason University soccer coach Gordon Bradley will be at the Courthouse Plaza Safeway in Fairfax City Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman John Herrity will visit the Springfield Plaza Safeway Tuesday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Virginia state Del. James F. Almand and American Heart Association volunteer Charles Negri will be at the Lee-Harrison Safeway in Arlington Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m.
* Eat a heart-healthy lunch, then learn how it was prepared. A series of three luncheons, sponsored by the Montgomery County Heart Association in conjunction with the Potomac Valley Nursing Center, will be followed by food demonstrations that include tips on preparing foods that have a reduced level of saturated fat and cholesterol. The luncheons will be held this Thursday and on Oct. 17 and Nov. 7 at 12:30. Cost: $3.50. Potomac Valley Nursing Center, 1235 Potomac Valley Rd., Rockville. Reservations required. Call 762-0700.
In the meantime, you can get your healthy foods kitchen started with this Express Lane menu, which includes two recipes from the AHA's Food Festival week menus (adapted slightly to fit Express Lane criteria). You will need oil, margarine and pepper on your shelf before heading to the store.
Express Lane List: fish fillets, onions, lemons, bay leaf, parsley, potatoes, lowfat cottage cheese and parmesan. POACHED FISH FILLETS WITH LEMON PARSLEY SAUCE (6 to 8 servings)
1 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons oil
2 pounds fish fillets
1 cup hot water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs parsley
FOR THE LEMON PARSLEY SAUCE:
1/2 cup margarine
Juice of 1 large lemon
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
In a large shallow pan, saute' the onion in oil until tender. Place skinned fillets on top of onions or roll each fillet, secure with a toothpick and place on vegetables. Add water and seasonings. Cover and simmer about 8 minutes, or until fish flakes when tested with a fork.
To make lemon parsley sauce, heat margarine and lemon juice in a saucepan. Add grated lemon rind and parsley. Pour over fish. Serve with stuffed baked potatoes. STUFFED BAKED POTATOES (6 servings)
6 large baking potatoes
1/2 cup or more low-fat cottage cheese
1 small onion, minced
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
Wash and dry potatoes. Prick the skins. Put a metal skewer through each potato to reduce cooking time. Bake at 425 degrees for about 50 minutes.
Cut a slice from the top of each potato and scoop out the pulp. In a blender, whip the cottage cheese until creamy. Mash the potato pulp and blend enough of the whipped cottage cheese to make a light, fluffy mixture. Stir in chopped onion. Spoon the mixture back into the shells, mounding it slightly.
Place the stuffed potatoes on a baking sheet, dust the tops with parmesan cheese and return to the oven until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.