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Eating Out + Eating In: $13.50 for a Greek Salad, brunch in Red Bank and fish stories

DID THEY SHRINK THE SALAD? I met a friend for lunch at the Suburban Diner, 172 Route 17 north in Paramus, and paid $13.50 for a Greek ...

Monday, May 29, 2017

Eating In + Eating Out: Sugary yogurt, pesto with fish, red shrimp, bargain Italian

Hunting for yogurt with less added sugar, I decided to try no-fat Fage Greek yogurt from Costco Wholesale, but the idiotic packaging was a complete turnoff -- with the fruit preparation in a small compartment and thicker-than-usual strained yogurt in a big compartment. Just out of the refrigerator, the fruit mixture was too thick to flow into the yogurt, defeating the package design.
Yoplait Light has only 10 grams of sugar and 90 calories per 6-ounce container, compared with 16 grams of sugar and 120 calories in Fage's 5.3-ounce container. With a doubled coupon, Yoplait Light fat-free yogurt was 40 cents each at ShopRite, Forest Avenue and Route 4 east in Paramus, below.
There are far too many choices in the yogurt aisle.

-- HACKENSACK, N.J.

By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

With added sugar turning up in dry red wine, bottled pasta sauces and other products, I'm starting to worry about all those sweetened yogurts I've been eating.

Lately, I've started buying non-fat Greek yogurt, which adds a guilt-free creaminess to fish and egg dishes.

If I want to indulge my sweet tooth, I can drizzle a little agave syrup over the plain yogurt.

Most times, I can be just as happy with a savory preparation, such as adding fresh and dried herbs, and extra-virgin olive oil, then eating it off of a plate with a spoon, wrapping it in Armenian lavash or stuffing the yogurt into a Syrian pocket bread.  

A dish I loved as a kid was mejadra -- cooked rice and lentils topped with a thin yogurt sauce containing peeled cucumber pieces and dried mint.


Sugar in wine

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says a 5-ounce glass of red table wine typically contains about 0.9 grams of total sugar, which may include added sugar, sugar from unfermented grape juice and sugar that occurs naturally in grapes.

However, the only way to find out how much sugar may have been added is to contact the producer directly, The New York Times reports.

One state, California, bars added sugar at any point in the wine-making process.


How sweet is it?

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting added sugar intake to no more than 10% of daily calories, which is about 12 teaspoons or 50 grams, The Times says.

The American Heart Association recommends limiting intake even further, the newspaper said:

No more than 6 teaspoons (about 25 grams or 100 calories) per day for women, and no more than 9 teaspoons (36 grams, 150 calories) per day for men.

So, the 16 grams of sugar in one 5.3-ounce container of that Fage no-fat yogurt with a fruit preparation is more than half of the recommended daily maximum for women under the heart association guidelines.

You won't find a recommended daily limit for sugar listed on any nutrition label -- unlike all the other ingredients.


A homemade mixture of non-fat Greek Yogurt with minced garlic adds creaminess to a pair of organic eggs.
Two 32-ounce containers of non-fat Greek Yogurt were $5.99 at Costco Wholesale in the Teterboro Landing shopping center off of Route 46 in Teterboro.
After I removed the pan from the oven, I added Kirkland Signature Basil Pesto and Greek Yogurt to Monk Fish Fillets prepared with fresh spinach, tomato, pitted black olives, capers, grated cheese and fresh lemon juice (20 minutes in a preheated 400-degree oven). Yogurt, pesto, fish, spinach and tomato were from Costco Wholesale in Teterboro.
I also prepared a pound of Luigi Vitelli-brand Organic Whole Wheat Fusilli ($1.50 at ShopRite) with Costco's Basil Pesto and Organic Pignoli Nuts, as well as fresh herbs from my garden.
Wild-caught jumbo Red Shrimp from Argentina cook quickly in organic chicken stock, sesame oil and sake, getting a shower of chopped fresh mint, oregano and rosemary before they were plated, above and below.
I sauteed cut-up sweet pepper, onion and garlic for several minutes before adding the shrimp, which we had to defrost, peel and devein, and turned them once during the cooking. They were ready when they curled up and turned white. The payoff for all that work is some of the tenderest shrimp I've ever eaten.
Argentinian Red or Pink Shrimp are sold frozen in 4.4 pound boxes for $24.99 at H&Y Marketplace, a Korean supermarket at 1 Remsen Place in Ridgefield. I bought the box on Sunday, but the sign carries April sale dates.
H&Y or Hanyang Marketplace appears to rent out space to independent merchants whose in-store concessions offer tofu, ginseng and other products. 
I steered clear of this display of Korean salt.
H&Y Marketplace sells Korean comfort food for less than H Mart, a bigger chain of supermarkets. Trays of kimbap, a seaweed, vegetable, rice and fish-cake roll, were $3.99 and $4.99, above, and japchae was $4.99, below.
H&Y's japchae is a meatless version of the popular translucent-noodle dish made from yam flour.
I drove to Al Dente Restaurant in Elmwood Park for Italian-American takeout on Saturday afternoon. A generous serving of Fillet of Sole alla Tagame with sauteed black olives, tomatoes, garlic, marsala wine and balsamic vinegar was $18.95 with vegetables, potato and a Caesar Salad. The same preparation of salmon was $19.50, and Jumbo Shrimp Oreganata over linguine was $18.50. 
Al Dente, formerly Giovanni's, also offers a three-course dinner daily from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. -- including entrees of chicken, veal, shrimp or pasta, plus vegetables, potato, salad, coffee or tea and dessert -- for $14.95 cash or $18.95 with a credit card. But the Early Dinner menu is not available for takeout. 
DETAILS: Al Dente Restaurant is a BYO in the Market Place strip mall at 430 Market St., Elmwood Park; 1-201-791-3000. Reservations recommended. A sign with the restaurant's new name is expected to go up in July. Website: New name, same owners