Cook this, Not That


The saying is that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. With only a few days from that three-week mark after the New Year, we thought we could help you with breaking some bad habits. Many bad habits form around food and like our post about setting good resolutions mentions, many folks want to get a handle on what they eat. So do you have a plan on how to spend less money, eat healthier, and spend more time with family? Each of those things can be found in the book, Eat This, Not That: Kitchen Survival Guide. The guide helps to teach about good, nutritious foods that mimic the food found in favorite restaurants.

Before we get to any recipes, here are some “Nutrition Nuggets” from the book:

  •           Overweight people who weight themselves at least once a week are 6 times more likely to lose weight.
  •           A typical serving of potatoes has nearly 5 times as many antioxidants as a typical serving of broccoli.
  •           1 medium carrot has 340 percent of your daily vitamin A.
  •           89 % of foods marketed to kids provide poor nutrition.
  •           45% of people who eat fewer than five home-cooked dinners per week. Seventeen percent don’t even eat three.


yogurt parfait

1 cup sliced strawberries

½ cup blueberries

2 tsp sugar

4-5 mint leaves

1 container (8 oz) of low-fat plain Greek-style yogurt

¼ cup granola

Calories: 330

Directions: Combine the fruit, sugar, and mint in a bowl and allow to sit for 3 to 4 minutes. Spoon half of the yogurt into a bowl or glass, top with half of the fruit and granola, then repeat with the remaining yogurt, fruit, and granola. Pour any accumulated juice on top. Makes 1 serving.


Grilled Cheese with Apples and Bacon

1 Tbsp butter

8 slices whole-wheat bread

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

6 oz shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored, and sliced

8 strips cooked bacon

Calories: 330

Directions: Heat the butter in a large skillet or nonstick sauté pan over low heat. Slather 4 slices of bread with mustard, then divide the cheese, apples, and bacon among them. Top with other bread slices and add to the hop pan. The key to a great grilled cheese (i.e., crispy crust, fully melted cheese) is patience, so cook these sandwiches slowly until each side is deep brown and crunchy. about 10-12 minutes total. Makes 4 servings.


Grilled Salmon with ginger-soy butter

2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened

½ Tbsp minced chives

½ Tbsp grated fresh ginger

Juice of 1 lemon

½ Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

4 salmon fillets (4-6 oz each)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 Tbsp olive oil

Directions: Mix the butter, chives, ginger, lemon juice, and soy sauce; then set aside. Preheat a grill or grill pan. Season the salmon with salt and pepper and rib with oil. Wipe the grill grates clean and rub with a paper towel dripped with oil. Add the salmon skin side down and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the skin is lightly charred and crisp. Flip the fish and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes on the flesh side, until the flesh flakes with gentle pressure from your finger but is still slightly translucent in the middle. Serve the salmon with a generous spoonful of the flavored butter, which should begin to melt on contact.

Calories: 390


Crispy Apple Turnover

1  sheet of puff pastry- defrosted

1 cup water

½ cup sugar

3 granny smith apples

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 ground ginger

1/8tsp ground nutmeg

juice of 1 lemon

1 egg white lightly beaten

Directions: Generously flour a working surface. Roll the puff pastry into a 9” X 15” rectangle. Cut the pastry into 6 equal squares. Refrigerate until needed. Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a large saucepan. Peel and core the apples; cut into ½” chunks. Toss apples with the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and lemon juice, then add to the sugar mixture and simmer until the liquid thickens 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside to cool. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. When the apple mixture cools, spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of apples onto the puff pastry squares off center. Fold the pastry over the apple filling to make a triangle and seal the perimeter by pinching the edges or pressing the tines of a fork into the dough. Place the turnovers on a baking sheet and brush with egg white. Bake until the dough is crispy and golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

Calories: 200

The Bohemians and the Bombers- repost

One of our most popular posts on the blog was about the wfla member’s heroic efforts during WWII. This blog details how, in times of great scarcity, our members came together to provide for our country.

Western Fraternal Life Association has had a rich history over the course of our 115 years. Over time, our members have proven they are dedicated citizens by providing countless hours of service to their communities. However, one of our most impressive examples of nationality was contributing war equipment during WWII.

The effort began in April of 1942, wfla (known then as ZCBJ or Western Bohemian Life Association) announced a campaign to begin raising money to purchase field ambulances for the army. In less than a year, in February 1943, six ambulances were purchased. A commanding officer of the 68th Medical Regiment in Tennessee, Lt. Francis Kintz, said of one of the ambulances, “out of two hundred odd vehicles, you have endowed one of them with personality and individuality.”

The President of the Association at that time, John Rompotl (1940-1961), declared that February 12-22, 1943 would be Ambulance Fund Week. He asked that lodges hold special events specifically to raise donations for the important fund. From that effort, six additional ambulances were purchased to send overseas. In addition to the ambulances, wfla helped to remodel a room in the Schick General Hospital in Clinton, IA, an army hospital.

The excitement for contributing to the war efforts did not stop at ambulances and a hospital room. The Treasury Department of the United States was also looking for donations at the state level. In 1943, President Rompotl announced the Iowa Bomber Campaign to purchase a B-25 bomber by the Iowa lodges. A similar drive was started in Nebraska. The bombers would cost $300,000 for a heavy bomber and $175,000 for a medium bomber. It would take everyone’s effort to show, “that our members are in this fight until final victory is won” said President Rompotl.

In January 1944, President Rompotl announced the success of each campaign. The Iowa members purchased $195,000 in bonds, and a medium bomber was named “Spirit of Iowa Czechs.” In Nebraska, the members came together to donate a staggering $350,000 in bonds. A heavy bomber christen “Spirit of Czech Nebraskans” was bought. In today’s money, that would be equivalent to more than $2,500,000 for the Iowan bomber and more than $4,600,000 for the Nebraskan bomber!

Never has our patriotism shown so bright. To this day, wfla is dedicated to supporting many activities for our veterans, both at home and overseas. To learn more about what your wfla community does, check out our lodge locator  to find a lodge near you!

Tell us what you think! What is your favorite story about the lodges contributing to a cause?

**The information for this post was found in the July 1997 Centennial Issue of the Fraternal Herald.