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Ask Carb Diva: Questions & Answers About Foods, Recipes, & Cooking, #42

Updated on February 19, 2019
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Linda explores food facts, folklore, and fabulous recipes one ingredient at a time.

We are in the dog days of summer and it shows in the types of questions that arrived in the mailbox this past week. There was a very definite theme.

  • "I'm eating salads" (because it's too hot to cook)
  • "I want to store foods in the freezer for those days that I don't want to cook"(because it's too hot).

Only Mary is slaving over a hot stove (making marmalade) because in Brazil it's always hot!

Let's get started.

What Foods Are Best for Freezing for Later Use?

My mom cooked for many usually 8 of us. She would oversize most meals and freeze for later use. Do you think this is a good idea? And an idea on what foods work best that way?


Eric, a few years ago I wrote an entire article on just that topic. Look for "Cook Once a Month: Prepare 30 Meals for a Family of 4 in Just 1 Day." You don't have to do all of that cooking, but it provides information on how to prep and also a link to the recipes.

As a rule of thumb soups and stews are usually good choices as are meatballs and spaghetti sauce.

Foods That Don't Freeze Well

  • Rice (it gets mushy)
  • Potatoes (they get mushy also), unless they are mashed
  • Cream cheese (it breaks down into fats and solids—an ugly mess)
  • Noodles (they fall apart)
  • Eggs (...don't even ask!)
  • Seafood

Things That Work REALLY Well

  • Meatloaf
  • Meatballs (with or without sauce)
  • Marinara sauce
  • Meat sauce
  • Macaroni and cheese (undercook the pasta)
  • Cabbage rolls
  • Almost any soup that isn't a cream soup

What Can I Make With Sour Tangerines?

I have a tangerine tree, which although it bears a lot of fruit, they are so sour. A good flavor, but really too sour to eat. I know that the oranges they use in marmalade are sour, do you think it would be possible to use these tangerines in lieu of marmalade oranges? I've never attempted to make marmalade but it is one of the things I haven't had since moving to Brazil, and I'd love to have some.


Mary, I have not attempted homemade marmalade (probably because I am the only one in my house who likes it) so I can't give you a recipe from my files. But, Martha Stewart, the doyen of domesticity created a tangerine marmalade with her own two hands. (Insert eye-roll emoji here).

If you do happen to try this, I would love to hear your critique.

My Favorite Things


Each week in this part of the article I share with you the name of one product, gadget, or piece of equipment that I absolutely cannot function without. I promise that it won't be expensive or difficult to source.

The love of my life (in addition to Mr. Carb) is my SALAD SPINNER. I personally own the OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner and use it at least 4 times a week. It has served me faithfully for over 10 years and it one of my favorite kitchen tools. Admittedly it is a tad pricey but I think it is well worth the money. If you can't afford the OXO, please don't deny yourself a salad spinner for your meal prep. I think any salad spinner would be preferable to having none at all.

Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes

I have been making my own salad dressing of pure unfiltered apple vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. But I need different types, the lower the fat the less salt is a preference but not a deal breaker.

Eric, the verdict is in. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) aids in weight loss by promoting a feeling of fullness after eating and can help stabilize blood sugar levels. The six recipes given below are from the website for Yuri Elkaim (regarded as one of the leading fitness and nutrition authorities).

Yuri is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, a former professional soccer player in Canada and France, and the current Head Strength and Conditioning & Nutrition Coach for the nationally ranked University of Toronto Men's Soccer program. A frequent contributor to health and wellness publications and a highly sought-after speaker, Yuri's understanding of functional exercise and energizing nutrition has helped thousands of people around the world achieve their goals and improve their quality of life.

I think his recipes are just what you had in mind (and what the doctor ordered).


Do You Have a Recipe For Passion Fruit Salad Dressing?

I have a question for you based on a wonderful salad I had here. The house salad in the Rainforest Hotel came with one dressing. I tried it and was pleasantly surprised. Can you recommend a recipe for passion fruit dressing?


Flourish, I found two totally different passion fruit salad dressings, both from reliable sources. One relies on passion fruit juice concentrate and is your typical vinaigrette with sherry wine vinegar and a touch of Dijon mustard. A photo of the salad is above. The other recipe uses fresh passion fruit and brings on some heat with canned abodo chili.

I hope one of those sounds like the salad you enjoyed. If not, perhaps you could describe what you liked about the Rainforest salad, and I'll do my best to help you recreate it.

And, it's a wrap. Another fun mailbox. Forty-two weeks. I'll never catch up to Billybuc (unless he stops writing for 3 1/2 years), but am enjoying this immensely. Remember, you can leave your questions below or email me at

See you next Monday!

© 2018 Linda Lum


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