Health Dinner Menus
( Originally Published 1954 )
This meal of the day should be a feast. All that is required is the necessary knowledge about foods and their place in the nutrition of the body.
The dinner, like breakfast and luncheon, should be attractive to the eye, palatable to the taste, and nutritious and healthful to the body. A vegetarian diet is more healthful than ordinary meat food mixtures. It is also more esthetic.
On the following pages, we suggest meals that are delicious, attractive, and wholesome. The dinner menu may consist of a four-course meal: (1) a salad; (2) a soup; (3) a vegetable dinner plate; (4) a dessert.
The Salad Course
The salad is the most important course because the body economy requires minerals and vitamins that are most readily obtainable from an :adequately prepared raw salad.
A leafy green vegetable such as lettuce (not one leaf or two, but one-sixth to a quarter of a head) should be the basis for this course. It should include a yellow vegetable such as a grated raw carrot, a green vegetable such as a few slices of cucumber unpeeled, or a few leaves of escarole, watercress, chicory, or celery. Other salad greens that may be used in small amounts are garlic, onion, radish, green pepper, and white turnip.
Any three to five vegetables that are crisp and cleanly washed and lightly tossed on a salad plate will appeal to the eye and taste good. Other additions to a salad depend upon what the rest of the meal consists of. A salad with a protein dinner may have a cube or slice of cheese (any kind of cheese that you like) or a cold hard-boiled egg or egg yolk- Strict vegetarians may sprinke a dozen nutmeats on a green salad or slice a quarter to a half of an avocado.
If you want to control weight, use only the juice of a half lemon or a whole lemon on a salad. Those of normal weight and of an active physical routine may use oil in addition to the juice of a lemon. Table salt is not needed on raw salad. The vegetables themselves have their own characteristic dainty tastes and flavors.
if you possess a liquefier or food blender, you can quickly prepare delightful. salad dressings and mayonnaise. (See recipes.)
As a wonderful green for salads, cabbage is popular among all people. Cabbage contains important minerals and vitamins. It is somewhat more fibrous than lettuce, and this indicates that it is richer in the minerals that give the bones hardness and the muscles normal texture. It is rich in lime and other mineral salts.
Cabbage should not be soaked in water; it should not be squeezed or drained. It should be washed, removed from the water quickly, put into a clean bowl and kept cool and crisp until ready to shred.
Cabbage in salad is appreciated when it is mixed with other greens in the form of "coleslaw." For best results it should be shredded just before serving. The less food is handled and the fresher it is, the better it is in taste and value.
Anyone who is fit to eat a regular meal at a dining table is also fit to eat a salad. When one is distressed from the eating of raw salad or any other food, it is an indication that the digestive system needs the rest from food. food. Pain, a sense of pressure, constipation, or headache at dinnertime are all important signs to the wise to omit the dinner and instead just take water and fruit juice.
My method of preparing soup does not produce a "gas forming" mixture out of conventional soup ingredients. My soups are liquids that are vehicles of vitamins and minerals that are always needed by the blood and tissues of the body. With the modern liquefier or food blender, one can make delightful soup mixtures very quickly. See chapter on recipes for detailed methods of preparation.
Dessert should consist of raw fruit. The fresh raw fruits and fresh raw berries in season are the best from which to choose. For variety, some cooked fruits, pastries, etc., may be included in addition to the raw fruit course.
Dessert should be an appealing picture to the eye and a pleasure to the taste. Fruits should be washed cleanly and chilled before serving. Fruit salad can be a very elegant dessert if the varieties that are obtainable are properly blended. For this course also, the food blender can be used to make fruit whips (see recipes).
Any food expert who loves the art and science of serving good meals will create nice desserts by bearing in mind that human beings have an appreciation for food that is more than gastronomic. Food must appeal to the mind, to the eye, to the emotions. Food must make one happy. The best meal can be turned to poison if it is eaten under circumstances of emotional distress. People will indeed cultivate more harmonious human relations if they realize that good health and happiness depend so greatly upon making others happy at mealtime.
These may consist of one main course such as nutmeat, baked potato, brown rice, or an omelette, with two or three slightly cooked vegetables. A number of suggested dinner combinations for every sea-son and every climate are offered below in this chapter. These include meals for all occasions.
These meals are designed to be economical from both the financial and health aspects. I do not believe in wasting food by throwing it into the garbage can. It is for this reason that homemakers, professional cooks and dietitians should know how to save food, instead of wasting it as so many are in the habit of doing.
Protose, nuttose, and other varieties of vegetarian concentrated protein foods are almost ready to serve when purchased at the store. All the vegetarian nutmeats are scientifically prepared. Before they are packcd for distribution, they undergo steaming, molding, baking, and sterilizing.
Unlike canned animal meats, nutmeats are free from germ life. Nutmeats are also more nourishing than animal meats because they are pure, rich, concentrated wholesome proteins. They are also free of fatty wastes and other scrappy wastes as are found in animal meats.
Since nutmeat is highly nutritious, the amount for each person should be very small. Between one and four ounces may be used per portion, depending upon individual requirements and individual ability to digest food in general as well as protein in particular. See recipes for methods of preparation.
The nuttose varieties of vegetarian proteins on the market are moister than the protose kinds. The former may be heated in a dry medium because they contain more moisture than protose. Nuttose tastes well when baked or broiled in a little oil or butter. Nuttose may also be prepared in the same way as the protose (see recipes).
As stated above, a basic dinner should consist of four or five courses, served in the following order:
Order of Dinner Courses
(1) Raw vegetable salad. This should be the first course because it is the most important food. If not hungry after eating the salad, omit other courses.
(2) Cup or bowl of soup.
(3) Dinner plate consisting of protein or starch with two or three steamed, non-starchy vegetables.
(4) Dessert consisting of fresh fruit or fruit cup.
(5) A watery beverage, possibly with one or two cookies, or a small. portion of light pastry
Recipes for items marked by asterisk are included in this book
Dinners with Nutmeat
Salad Lettuce (1/6 to 1/4 head), sliced tomato or sliced orange, celery, ripe olives.
Soup Cream of peas and squash soup.
Dinner Plate Protose nutmeat loaf, string beans, beets, cauliflower.
Dessert Fresh raw fruit or fresh fruit cup.
Beverage Lemonade with grape juice and honey.
Salad Lettuce (1/6 to 1/4 head), shredded raw carrot, sliced onion, cucumber. Salad dressing optional.
Soup Cream of tomato soup.
Dinner Plate Protose pie or nuttose pie, peas, spinach, squash.
Dessert Fresh fruit or fruit cup.
Beverage Mint lemonade
The outline for well-balanced daily bills of fare in this chapter should help food craftsmen to modify meals, to reduce quantities or increase quantities, courses, and varieties, always adhering to correct food combinations.