It’s the great thing about charity events: You get to eat well while doing good.
Take, by way of a convenient example, the Toledo Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Summer Kickoff Fund-Raiser, which will be May 23 at the Toledo Country Club, 3849 River Rd., from 7 to 10 p.m.
You probably already know that muscular dystrophy is a degenerative disease of the muscles that primarily strikes during childhood. Often hereditary, it can lead to difficulty in walking and other muscular problems, including trouble with breathing. Though some patients die in childhood, others live a full, adult life. There is no known cure for the disease, but some medicines have been developed to help alleviate the symptoms and slow the deterioration. Meanwhile, work continues on finding a cure.
And that is where the fund-raiser comes in. Research needs money, and money is sometimes donated at grand events such as the local Great Gatsby-themed party.
Guests will be greeted with champagne, a jazz band, free cigars, free massages, and a live auction.
But our focus on these pages is the food (although the massages sound pretty good right now), so here is what else the guests can expect: lamb chops, crispy asparagus with Asiago cheese in phyllo dough, spinach crostini, and trays of antipasti, vegetables, and cheese.
The food is all in the form of hors d’oeuvres, but the whole thing is only $55, plus it goes to a good cause. And did we mention the free massages?
For tickets or more information, call 734-416-7076 or visit MDAtoledo.org.
The raw food movement is still a bit on the fringe — it suggests that humans eat healthier when they eat food that has never been subjected to heat. Humans are the only animals in the world that intentionally eat cooked meat, they say, and a raw diet is what kept our caveman ancestors healthy.
Those who like to cook their food before eating it are fond of pointing out that most cavemen died before they were 30, but there are other possible causes for this fact: They did not have access to advanced medicine, and they sometimes tended to be eaten by other animals.
If you want to see what the uncooked fuss is about, a raw food potluck dinner will be Tuesday at 6 p.m. at B-Bop Records, 137 N. Michigan Ave. If you go, be sure to take a dish that has been prepared from scratch from ingredients that have never been heated.
Following the dinner at 7 p.m., John Fielder, an Australian osteopath, chiropractor, and naturopathic doctor (naturopathy emphasizes the healing power of nature) will present a video alleging that psychiatry — particularly psychiatric medicines — can be toxic. The video will ask whether psychiatric treatments are responsible for the increase in street violence and school shootings.
Participants are invited to attend the dinner, the video presentation, or both. This event is free, but donations will be accepted.
Fatty and salty foods taste so good, yet they can be so bad for your health.
Fatty foods and those high in cholesterol can lead to heart disease, the No. 1 killer of Americans, while too much salt can increase blood pressure, leading to strokes — the No. 4 cause of American deaths.
So in honor of American Stroke Month, which begins Wednesday, the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association are releasing a new cookbook, Family Favorite Recipes: 43 Dishes for a Healthy Soul.
Forty-three recipes may not sound like a lot, but each one is designed to improve heart and vascular health. The recipes include creamy corn chowder, salmon patties with sour cream and Dijon topping, and vegetable gumbo.
The gumbo recipe follows, just as soon as we tell you that the book is available from ShopHeart.org. Because of deadlines, we do not know how much the book costs, but other cookbooks from the American Heart Association seem to be quite reasonably priced.
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium rib of celery, thinly sliced
1 (14½-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup frozen sliced okra
1 teaspoon reduced-sodium seafood seasoning blend
2 medium dried bay leaves
½ teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1½ cups water
¼ teaspoon salt
6-8 drops red hot-pepper sauce, or to taste
1 cup uncooked instant brown rice
Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook the flour for 1½-2 minutes, or until just beginning to turn light golden, stirring constantly. Transfer to a small plate.
In the same saucepan, heat the oil, swirling to coat the bottom. Cook the onion, bell pepper, and celery for 3 minutes, or until the onion is soft and the other vegetables are tender, stirring frequently.
Stir in the tomatoes with liquid, okra, seasoning blend, bay leaves, and thyme. Stir in the flour until well blended. Stir in the water. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes, or until the okra is very tender and the mixture has thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat.
Stir in the salt and hot-pepper sauce. Let stand, covered, for 15 minutes so the flavors blend. Discard the bay leaves.
Meanwhile, prepare the rice using the package directions, omitting the salt and margarine.
Spoon the rice into bowls. Ladle the gumbo over the rice.
Yield: 4 servings
Source: The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association
Are you overly relaxed? Too calm?
Not feeling jittery enough?
On Saturday, you can get your caffeine fix while supporting local businesses and participating in everyone's favorite craze, social media.
It's the first Citywide Coffee Cash Mob, and all you have to do is buy a cup of coffee at your favorite locally owned coffee shop, take a picture of it (or some other picture that creatively captures the experience), and then share it with the world on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.
Just be sure to use the hashtag #ToledoChooseLocal.
If you want, you can commemorate the event by buying a T-shirt that we have reliably been informed is “cool.”
The participating coffee houses are: Bleak House Coffee (520 Madison Ave.), Downtown Latte (44 S. St. Clair St.), Flying Rhino Coffee (436 13th St.), Plate 21 (3664 Rugby Dr.), The Flying Joe (2130 Preston Pkwy. in Levis Commons), My Daily Grind (120 Louisiana Ave.), Chandler's Cafe (5648 Main St.), Georgette’s Grounds & Gifts (311 Conant St.), Black Kite Coffee & Pies (2499 Collingwood Ave.), and Nedley's Ice Cream & Coffee Cafe (200 E. South Boundary St.).
If you're lucky, you may even get coffee by local roasters Maddie & Bella Coffee Company or Actual Coffee.
Items for Morsels should be submitted up to two weeks before an event to firstname.lastname@example.org.