Nutrition Action Healthletter
Center for Science in the Public Interest May 2001 — U.S. Edition 
Right Stuff Food Porn
Curry In A Hurry

   Think you have to take a trip to your favorite Indian restaurant to enjoy exotic dishes like Dal Makhani, Navratan Korma, or Channa Dal MasalaVegetable Jalfrazi?

   A visit to your local health food store will do. Tamarind Tree entrees bring you “the taste of the East, with the convenience of the West!”

   The company’s Web site isn’t kidding. The vegetarian shelf-stable meals combine brown rice with the healthy staples found in traditional Indian cuisine—vegetables like carrots, onions, cauliflower, and spinach, and legumes like chickpeas, lentils, and kidney beans. And the curry, turmeric, ginger, and other spices are right out of Bombay or Delhi.

   The eight dishes average 350 calories, nine grams of fat (just two of them saturated), 680 mg of sodium, and a healthy nine grams of fiber. Just watch out for the Palak Paneer. The spinach is fine, but the Indian cheese boosts the sat fat to an unsavory six grams.

   Our favorites: the Alu Chole (curried chickpeas and potatoes), the Channa Dal Masala (lentils with vegetables), and the Dhingri Mutter (peas with sautéed mushrooms).

   Just plop each main-dish tray and rice pouch into boiling water for five minutes and drain. Then get ready for a little Instant India.

Tamarind Tree: (781) 224-9639.
Alfredo Alert

   A heart attack on a plate. That’s what we called Fettuccine Alfredo in our 1994 study of Italian restaurants.Classico Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce Jar/ So how come Classico’s Roasted Garlic, Original, and new Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo Sauces have only 110 calories and five grams of saturated fat?

   Turns out the Nutrition Facts on the bottles’ labels are for a measly quarter-cup serving. But don’t blame the company. The Food and Drug Administration seems to think that a typical serving is only a quarter-cup of cream sauce over a cup of cooked pasta.

   Double the serving to a more-realistic half-cup of sauce over two cups of pasta and the damage comes into focus: 19 grams of total fat (ten of which head straight for your heart) and more than a third of a day’s sodium.

   If you dream about cream, try making your own Alfredo using Land O Lakes rich-tasting Fat Free Half & Half: Melt a tablespoon of tub margarine in a saucepan over medium heat and stir in a tablespoon of all-purpose flour until smooth and bubbly. Gradually stir in a half-cup of the half & half and continue cooking and stirring until the mixture thickens. Toss in some crushed garlic and fresh parsley, sprinkle with a little parmesan, and Voila!—your own Classico.

Classico: (800) 727-8260.
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