Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Vegetable soup soothes pangs of pregnancy

The Saucy Cook

By Mary Jo Spiegel
Enquirer contributor

When Lucy was pregnant she craved ice cream, hot fudge and sardines. You bet Ricky got it for her - pregnant women's cravings are not to be trifled with.

Ann Douglas, author of The Mother of All Pregnancy Book (John Wiley & Sons; $15.99), says more than 60 percent of pregnant women experience cravings, though more go for ice cream than the proverbial pickle. And why not? Like no other time in life, pregnancy is a time to enjoy food, put on weight and be happy about it. (My packing on 69 pounds of mashed potatoes with my son might be extreme.)

But when Shelly Vosshall, formerly of Cincinnati and now living in Seattle, wrote of her craving for "cheap vegetable soup" while awaiting her bundle of joy, I knew it was serious.

• Susan Bock in Blue Ash wants healthy recipes for family picnics.
• Dave Bentley remembers stuffed green peppers served at Stang's Delicatessen in College Hill. The peppers were soft, possibly filled with sauerkraut, and eaten more like a pickle than a main dish. Anyone have the secret to making these?
• Do you have a favorite version of Italian wedding soup for Lady Bates in Green Township?

• Let's hope this easy hamburger and vegetable soup from satisfies Vosshall. Of course, if a lust for pickles should kick in, the 10-day International Pickle Week starts this Friday. Thank goodness: Like Ricky who also craved sardines and ice cream by the end of the I Love Lucky episode, you donžt have to be pregnant to have a craving.

Vegetable-Burger Soup

1/2 pound ground beef

1 (16 ounce) can stewed tomatoes

1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce

2 cups water

1 (10 ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables

1/2 envelope dry onion soup mix

1 teaspoon sugar

In large heavy saucepan lightly brown ground beef. Drain off excess fat. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, frozen vegetables, soup mix and sugar. Bring to boiling then reduce heat. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. Makes 6 servings.


• Beverly Lynch, food and beverage director for the Golden Corral Buffet and Grill chain, declines to divulge the company's banana pudding recipe for Addie Bolinger in Hamilton. But she did offer a few tips, incorporated in this version from

Banana Pudding

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1 1/2 cups cold water

1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix

2 cups heavy cream

3 ripe bananas, sliced

1/2 cup lemon juice (optional)

36 vanilla wafers

In a large bowl, stir together condensed milk and water. Stir in pudding mix until smooth. In a separate bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks form.

Fold whipped cream into pudding mixture. Dip sliced bananas in lemon juice to prevent browning, shaking off excess juice. Stir bananas into pudding mixture and refrigerate overnight for flavors to blend.

In a 2 1/2 quart serving bowl, alternate layers of pudding with layers of vanilla wafers. Chill until serving and consume as soon as possible. Makes 8 servings.

Send food questions, tips, recipe requests and recipes to Saucy Cook, the Enquirer, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati 45202. E-mail: Include name, neighborhood, e-mail and phone number.

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