Why you should always carry five shekels on you

Clearly, NIS 5 can do a lot. It can, for example, buy you a 5%-fat tub of cottage cheese which, if it is really fresh, tastes as appealing as a creamy dessert (maybe more).

beet salad 88 (photo credit: )
beet salad 88
(photo credit: )
Last week on my way to work, I dropped a friend I was giving a ride to off by the side of a busy road, then sought a way to maneuver back into the lane of traffic - which was, of course, again packed solid with determined-looking drivers, all staring ahead. I caught the eye of one of them, a middle-aged man in a hat, and indicated with what I hoped was a delicately pleading gesture that I would greatly appreciate it if he would allow me to get in front of him when the light changed to green. In response, he raised a hand and rubbed thumb and two fingers together, indicating: "It'll cost you." Thinking quickly, I in turn held up the NIS 5 coin I keep available for the supermarket trolley and was rewarded with a broad grin and immediate driving access. Clearly, NIS 5 can do a lot. It can, for example, buy you a 5%-fat tub of cottage cheese which, if it is really fresh, tastes as appealing as a creamy dessert (maybe more). Together with a whole-wheat roll or fistful of crackers, some good olives and a few cherry tomatoes, it can hit the spot for lunch at the office and provide far more nutrition than any chemically-laden "snack." BROWSING through my file of interesting items, recipes, etc. gleaned from the Internet, I came across an article - unfortunately missing the writer's name - that warned about overindulgence in commercial ice cream, which apparently contains an astounding number of hidden chemicals and other less than desirable additives - some of them used in anti-freeze, oil paint solvent and lice-killer! I cite this not to alarm anyone, but as a lead-up to the writer's suggested frozen dessert, a creamy and smooth-textured alternative to the bought stuff called Banana Soft-Serve. "It is hard to believe," he (or she) says admiringly, "that there is neither cream nor sweetening in this dessert." Peel fully ripe bananas, allowing one large banana per serving. Place them in an airtight plastic bag in the freezer. When frozen, cut each banana into chunks and put them in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, or in a blender. Process until the banana breaks up, passes the icy stage, and becomes creamy and whipped with air. The consistency will be that of frozen custard. (You can also run the frozen banana chunks through a juicer, fitted with the blank.) You can substitute up to half the bananas with frozen strawberries or other frozen fruits. THERE ARE certain cookbooks that make people's eyes mist over with nostalgia. One of these is Sybil Zimmerman's Israeli Cooking on a Budget, published in 1978 by The Jerusalem Post. It's hard to find a copy nowadays, except perhaps in a secondhand bookshop. Mine is tattered and falling apart, but it still provides some good, easy recipes, plus helpful charts and tables - one of which gives the Hebrew and Arabic names, and uses, of 38 herbs and spices. For that alone it is a treasure. Here's an unusual offering: DORIS'S KOREAN SALAD 1⁄2 kg. of raw spinach, in bite-sized pieces 2 cups bean sprouts 1 scant cup kohlrabi, thinly sliced 3 hard-boiled eggs, coarsely grated 1⁄4 cup salted peanuts or almonds, slivered Dressing: 21⁄2 Tbsp. sugar 1⁄2 cup oil 21⁄2 Tbsp. ketchup 1⁄4 cup vinegar 1⁄2 medium onion, minced 1⁄2 tsp. salt Combine the ingredients in a salad bowl. Pour the dressing over them before serving, and toss. READING the recipe for this salad made my mouth water, which has to be a good sign. It comes courtesy of TheChef@wwrecipes.com BEET AND BLUE CHEESE SALAD 6-8 medium beets, scrubbed and boiled until tender 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar 3 Tbsp. walnut oil 1⁄2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped 110 gr. good-quality blue cheese, crumbled Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste Gently toss the peeled and sliced beets with the vinegar and oil in a mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Transfer the beets to a serving bowl or individual salad plates and sprinkle them with the walnuts and blue cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 4 to 6. WISDOM FROM the Web, by fitness expert Covert Bailey: "No diet will remove all the fat from your body because the brain is entirely fat. Without a brain you might look good, but all you could do is run for public office." judymo@jpost.com