Category Archives: Food

Spinach Almond Stuffed Mushrooms

Standard

Image

After work yesterday I had a fun trip to town to do some shopping at the Salvage Store. This is a great place that sells dented, overstock and almost expired products. I know some people have issues with shopping for food at these kind of stores, but I have no hangups at all. It is a great place for food shopping for cheap! All you have to do is take the time to look at the dates on packages. Being that I spend extra time looking at sodium content anyways, I don’t find it cumbersome at all to check dates if it means I get good deals.

One of the things I love about our local Salvage store is that they have a produce section. Every Wednesday they get in various vegetables, bags of salad, fruit, and yogurts. It is always different items, so it is hit and miss as to if they will have things I want or need.  This week was a great week! They had tons of packages of spinach for 99 cents each, 3lb bags of apples 2 for $3, and 5 lb boxes of mushrooms for $3! I also scored crumpets that I like to toast for breakfast, that have only 90 calories and 100mg sodium. Great alternative to english muffins. The freezer section was also a wealth of Steamables, microwave veggies and rices., I am fully stocked with white rice, peas, corn, and brussel sprouts that will be easy to toss in the microwave at work or on the inevitable nights i work late.

Since I now had 5lbs of mushrooms to contend with, it quickly became a day of cooking mushroom dishes! I did a wonderful pot of mushroom vegetable soup. I used low sodium vegetable stock, all spice and coconut milk to make a great broth with a lovely asian flavor, added snap peas, baby carrots, and large chunks of mushrooms. Simmered for 2 hours and added a whole bag of kelp noodles. This whole pot of soup only used about one pound of the mushrooms, so I moved on to a fun new stuffed mushroom!

Spinach, Bell Pepper, Almond Stuffed Mushroom.

Image

I started with 1 tbsp unsalted butter, 1 cup chopped vidalia onion, 3 tbsp chopped garlic. Saute the onions and garlic in a skillet until nicely browned.

Image

Remove tops and seeds from approx 10 mini sweet bell peppers and chop or put in a food chopper to get a fine chop texture.Add to the skillet of garlic and onion and continue to saute. While this is cooking wash and remove the stems of mushrooms. My mushrooms are father large so I used 24 of them. If you have smaller button mushrooms you can prep as many as you want to and adjust the mixture accordingly.

I placed the mushroom stems and 1 1/2 cups of raw unsalted almond slivers in the food processor and make a fine ground. Place in a bowl and put to the side.

Add 3 cups fresh spinach in the skillet with the onion and pepper mix and cover to let the spinach heat and begin to wilt. You can also stir it all together to speed the wilting process. When the first 3 cups have wilted and there is room in the skillet add another 3 cups of spinach and repeat the wilting process.

While the spinach is cooking, mix 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1/8 cup salt free herb seasoning mix, 1 1/5 cups matzo crumbs (i use matzo farfel because it is sodium free, you can use bread crumbs or panko if you like). Grind in the food processor to a fine crumb mixture and put in the bowl with the ground mushroom and almonds.

Add the hot spinach and pepper mix to the bowl and mix all the ingredients together to make a nice stuffing texture..

Image

Use a spoon ans generously stuff your clean mushroom caps and place in a casserole dish, I made a large batch so I filled 2 lasagna trays. Sprinkle the tops of the mushrooms with Parmesan cheese.

Image

Cover the dish with foil and place in a 300 degree oven. If cooking large mushrooms like mine, they will take about 1 1/2 hours. If you stuffed smaller mushrooms they will only take about 45 minutes. Just keep and eye on them and cook until the caps are cooked all the way through. When they are almost finished cooking, remove the foil and let brown in the oven for the last 15 minutes.

Image

I was very happy with the outcome of this dish. The large mushrooms I did consist of about 75 calories each and only 45mg of sodium! You can eat a whole plate full and feel no guilt!

I paired 3 of them with freshly roasted brussel sprouts and broccoli for dinner!

Hope you enjoy this mushroom as much as I do! I love a good stuffed mushroom. I have so many variations on stuffed mushrooms, I could do a cookbook just on mushroom stuffing!

Enjoy all the flavor, with none of the salt! Your taste buds and heart will thank you!!

Oscar Night Guilt Free Nachos

Standard
Oscar Night Guilt Free Nachos

I was walking this morning and trying to decide on something fun to make to snack on tonight while watching the Oscars! I usually will just do white air popped popcorn with salt free seasoning. But I think tonight needs a fun snack!

I decided on some yummy guilt free nachos! Super easy and of course low in sodium!

Depending on the size you are feeding just adjust portions accordingly. I am just cooking for me so I baked it in a small loaf size pan.

First I put in a layer of low sodium tortilla chips. I use Marine Coast Vegetables Sea Chips, they get their slight salt flavor from seaweed and kelp instead of salt, so they are only 65mg sodium per 17 chip serving.

Top the layer in 1/2oz of finely shredded Swiss cheese. Then add another layer of chips and 1/2oz of Swiss cheese.

Place in 250 degree oven for approx 10 min to heat and melt the cheese.

While the chips are in the oven, chop 1/4 cup fresh tomato, 1/4 cup low sodium sour dill spears, and 10 Santa Barbara Olive Co. Low sodium black olives.

Take chips out of the oven and top with chopped mixture and spoon on top 2tbsp Walden Farms Bacon Vegetable dip.

The tray I made is about 2 servings, calories per serving is 245, and even better is the low sodium of 227mg per serving!!

I dare you to find a low sodium nacho with this much flavor and fun for you next snack night!!

If you find one be sure to let me know 😉

Let the countdown begin…

Standard
Let the countdown begin…

It was a really good activity day today. I think it was due to the nerves driving me to get in as much cardio as I can before my tests. Started the morning with a nice mile walk with Sammie dog. Managed to take time at lunch to get in another 3/4 mile. And even got in an after work walk with Sammie dog again. According to my FitBit tracker, I got in 7600 steps so far today! Not bad at all, and I feel great!

I have had a great food day as well. Yummy crumpet and egg whites that I posted for breakfast. Salad for my mid morning, and homemade no salt added chicken veggie and rice soup for lunch. For dinner I decided to cook a good size plate of food since I have to fast after midnight. (So there is also room for a late snack)

Tonight’s creation is 98% lean turkey patty, topped with creamy Swiss cheese, sautéed mushroom spinach and Vidalia onion, on a bed of kelp noodles.

The meal is super simple, spray a sauté pan with cooking spray and start to cook onion and mushroom on low heat so they sweat and make a nice moisture in the pan. Add fresh spinach and mix. Cover pan so the spinach will sweat and cook down.

In a skillet, spray with cooking spray and cook turkey patty until fully cooked, turning half way through to evenly cook both sides. In the last 2 min top the patty with Swiss cheese and cover skillet to help steam melt the cheese.

While the Swiss in melting, go back to the mushroom and spinach mix and take a spoonful and put on top of the Swiss turkey patty. With the rest add a handful of rinsed kelp noodles and 1 tablespoon low sodium Worcestershire sauce and mix thoroughly until noodles are warmed through and softened.
You can add any no salt spices you would like to taste. I love just the natural flavor of mushroom and spinach so I don’t add any spices to this dish.

Place the noodle mix on the plate and top with the turkey patty and enjoy!

Healthy and filling dinner for only 256 calories, 10 carbs and 211mg sodium! Thanks to the kelp noodles we cut approx 200 calories that traditional spaghetti noodles would add, as well as cut approx 35 carbs!

Grab a big plate, eat up and feel no guilt! Your heart will thank you!

Saturday Afternoon Veggie Roast

Image
Saturday Afternoon Veggie Roast

20140215-152655.jpgn

On a lovely Saturday afternoon, with the breeze blowing through the open windows and the sound of cows in the back ground, it is a great time to toss and roast a variety of fresh veggies to snack on!

I have found this to be the easiest salt free healthy snack to give me the sensory crunch that is can snack on all day without guilt. I do a whole tray full and then put in a Tupperware container and just leave on the counter to snack on all day as I do stuff around the house.

What can be easier than this:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Cut fresh veggies to medium chunks. You can use anything you like. Today I did baby carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts!

Toss the veggies in 1tbsp of oil, I prefer coconut oil but you can use any oil you like! I have used peanut oil also for a fun taste.

Once the veggies are coated lightly in oil, I like to sprinkle with salt free seasoning. Today I used Mrs. Dash Caribbean blend. There are so many good salt free blends that it is almost limitless possibilities of flavor.

Spread the coated seasoned veggies on a cookie sheet in a single layer.

Place in oven and roast until desired doneness. I like a little crisp on mine, so I leave them in for about 30-40 min, until the smaller pieces start to blacken on the edges.

Take them out and let cool until you can eat them. I like them just by themselves, but you can use any dip also if you like! Walden farms make a couple good calorie free, carb free, gluten free dips, but they do contain sodium so best to use just a little bit of them if your diet is very sodium restrictive like mine.

HAPPY SATURDAY AND ENJOY!!

Rick’s Pickles

Standard

I have managed to find an amazing selection of low sodium pickles!!! You can find them at Ricks picks. They are out of New York and a little pricy but totally worth it if you love the taste of a deli dill pickle but without all the sodium that is so bad for you!!

Here are some of my favorites from their selection!!

sliced dill pickles
low sodium pickle

slices of life

sliced dill pickles

$9.99 | 15 oz.
Here’s a simple pleasure: our traditional sliced dill pickle in an aromatic brine. These crispy slices are made with the freshest kirby cucumbers and premium spices, so treat yourself to this classic with your next sandwich. Slices of Life are a popular craving of expectant mothers … celebrate your life with the pickle ofpregnancy!
whole dill pickleslow sodium pickle

kool gherks

whole dill pickles

$9.99 | 22 oz.

Kool Gherks are our aromatic take on the traditional whole dill pickle. Crunch them whole or slice them up thin and serve with cheeses, charcuterie, even on bread and butter. We use a lot less salt than most picklers, so the brine is great for sipping, and a wonderful aid to digestion. Kool Gherks were prizewinners at the Rosendale International Pickle Festival.

our everyday, anytime pickle.low sodium pickle

classic sours

our everyday, anytime pickle.

$7.99 | 24 oz.

We all puckered up to simple, classic flavor of deli spears as kids. Now we can revisit delicious past with these crunchy, all-natural pickles… minus gunk of artificial ingredients.

One of my favorite snacks

Standard

How to Cook and Eat an Artichoke

Posted by Elise on Apr 16, 2007

How to Cook and Eat an Artichoke

I can imagine, that if you didn’t grow up eating artichokes and if you were encountering them for the first time, they might seem a little intimidating. How one cooks and eats an artichoke is not obvious from its appearance. If you’ve always wondered how to cook and eat the darn things, here are the steps:

Print Options

How to Cook and Eat an Artichoke

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 35 minutes

METHOD

How to Cook an Artichoke

1. If the artichokes have little thorns on the end of the leaves, take a kitchen scissors and cut of the thorned tips of all of the leaves. This step is mostly for aesthetics as the thorns soften with cooking and pose no threat to the person eating the artichoke.

artichoke-1.jpg artichoke-2.jpg

2. Slice about 3/4 inch to an inch off the tip of the artichoke.

3. Pull off any smaller leaves towards the base and on the stem.

4. Cut excess stem, leaving up to an inch on the artichoke. The stems tend to be more bitter than the rest of the artichoke, but some people like to eat them. Alternatively you can cut off the stems and peel the outside layers which is more fibrous and bitter and cook the stems along with the artichokes.

5. Rinse the artichokes in running cold water.

artichoke-3.jpg6. In a large pot, put a couple inches of water, a clove of garlic, a slice of lemon, and a bay leaf (this adds wonderful flavor to the artichokes). Insert a steaming basket. Add the artichokes. Cover. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 25 to 45 minutes or until the outer leaves can easily be pulled off. Note: artichokes can also be cooked in a pressure cooker (about 15-20 minutes cooking time). Cooking time depends on how large the artichoke is, the larger, the longer it takes to cook.

How to Eat an Artichoke

Artichokes may be eaten cold or hot, but I think they are much better hot. They are served with a dip, either melted butter or mayonaise. My favorite dip is mayo with a little bit of balsamic vinegar mixed in.

1. Pull off outer petals, one at a time.

artichoke-5.jpg artichoke-4.jpg

2. Dip white fleshy end in melted butter or sauce. Tightly grip the other end of the petal. Place in mouth, dip side down, and pull through teeth to remove soft, pulpy, delicious portion of the petal. Discard remaining petal.

artichoke-10.jpg artichoke-11.jpg

Continue until all of the petals are removed.

artichoke-6.jpg artichoke-7.jpg

3. With a knife or spoon, scrape out and discard the inedible fuzzy part (called the “choke”) covering the artichoke heart. The remaining bottom of the artichoke is the heart. Cut into pieces and dip into sauce to eat.

artichoke-8.jpg artichoke-9.jpg

Fruit Lables

Standard

Talking Fruit

How to de-code the information on those little stickers
By Marion Owen, Fearless Weeder for PlanTea, Inc. and
Co-author of Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul

While unpacking groceries, you pull out the bag of apples and decide to eat one then and there. You take it over to the sink, wash it off and — with some effort — peel off the little sticker. Pausing to look more closely at the sticker you wonder, “What do those numbers mean?”

As much as we may dislike them, the stickers or labels attached to fruit do more than speed up the scanning process at the checkout stand. The PLU code, or price lookup number printed on the sticker, tells you how the fruit was grown.

As reported by Maria Gallagher, in the June 26, 2002 issue of the Philadelphia Inquirer, by reading the PLU code, you can tell if the fruit was genetically modified, organically grown or produced withchemical fertilizers, fungicides, or herbicides.

Here’s how it works:

For conventionally grown fruit, (grown with chemicals inputs), the PLU code on the sticker consists of four numbers. Organically grown fruit has a five-numeral PLU prefaced by the number 9. Genetically engineered (GM) fruit has a five-numeral PLU prefaced by the number 8. For example,

A conventionally grown banana would be:
4011

An organic banana would be:
94011

A genetically engineered (GE or GMO) banana would be:
84011

The numeric system was developed by the Produce Electronic Identification Board, an affiliate of the Produce Marketing Association, a Newark, Delaware-based trade group for the produce industry. As of October 2001, the board had assigned more than 1,200 PLUs for individual produce items.

Incidentally, the adhesive used to attach the stickers is considered food-grade, but the stickers themselves aren’t edible.

Do you REALLY know what’s in your dinner?

Today, 7 out of every 10 items on grocery stores shelves contain ingredients that have been genetically modified. In other words, scientists are using new technology to transfer the genes of one species to another, and these altered foods are in the market stream. And yet many scientists have concerns about the safety — to people, wildlife and the environment — of this process. That’s why consumers in Asia and Europe are demanding that their food be free of genetically modified ingredients.

To learn more about food safety, GM (genetically modified) foods and what’s wrong with them, and what you can do bring about changes:

Vegetarian Mushroom Burger

Standard

I had fun today, got experimental and made burger patties out of mushrooms. I read somewhere that you can use mushrooms in place of ground beef, so i decided to have a go at burgers! They came out delicious, I may prefer them to the ground beef burgers. Next we will have to try them on the barbecue grill and see how they hold up.

I was only cooking for myself tonight, so this is just the ingredients for one burger. Increase according to the servings desired.

Ingredients:

1 cup Mushroom

1/4 cup Panko

1 tsp horseradish mustard

1 tbsp onion flakes

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp Fortner’s #75 blend

1 egg white

 

Use a knife and hand chop or use a food processor to finely chop the mushroom. In a bowl add panko, seasonings, mustard and egg white and mix thoroughly until fully combined. Form into a patty.

Heat a skillet on medium heat and spray with butter cooking spray.  Cook patty until browned and crispy one each side.

At this point you might want to melt cheese on the patty or grill onions to top the burger. You can also eat the burger patty with lettuce or cabbage wrap instead of a bun.

BBQ Vegetable Chicken Kebabs

Standard

We had a few days of humid and rainy weather so the BBQ has been out of commission most the week. However who can pass up a good Chicken Kebab?

It is such a simple meal to put together. As I have stated on many occasion I love the natural flavors of vegetables. This certainly hasn’t always been the case, but it is amazing how the pallet can change. Once a junk food, fast food and greasy food addict, I now find myself fully satisfied by natural healthy food. I love the absence of the groggy feeling that always came from the overindulgence of high fat processed items. I have grown to love the lack of hangovers and withdrawals from my life.

This morning I woke up and got homework completed, cooked breakfast, and did some research regarding the Jehovah Witness view of creation and the age of the earth. My husband and I had a conversation about this topic yesterday, and I needed to go searching for the proper information to help sway his opinion. It seems that he was under the misinformation that Jehovah Witnesses do not believe in the scientific evidence that the earth dates back as much as 4 billion years. So I had to find out for my self, and to my joy, in the publication Was Life Created it is stated that geologists have shown that the earth is 4 billion years old and astronomers have formulated that the universe may be as much as 15 billion years old and that this does not contradict Genesis because it is an indeterminate amount of time that the creative days took. Fundamentalist Christians believe that the creation days were literal 24 hour days, however there is no foundation for this. Moses referred to all 6 creative days as one day, and even when Jehovah called the time of light day and the time of dark night, this indicates that the term day is relative to different periods of lengths of time.

It seems that I have managed to poke a small hole in my husbands theory that he already knows all the answers that they are going to give him, and that they don’t agree with his view.  I must have been visibly overjoyed and full of energy because my husband asked if I had gotten into his coffee and was high on caffeine. This was not the case, I was just full of joy and a spiritual contentment. I hope that over time I can begin to inch through some of the things he is so convinced that he has to fight against. At least this is one we can mark off the list.

However back to my Kebabs, I used a combination of mushroom, onion, sweet mini bell peppers, and boneless skinless chicken tender pieces. The chicken tenders were marinated in greek yogurt, garlic powder and dill. Cut all the veggies and chicken into about 1 inch cubes and skewer alternating items leaving space for even cooking.

 

 

Grill the skewers on a hot BBQ until the vegetables have a lovely char and the chicken tender cubes are cooked all the way through.

 

 

 

Spice Blends for Any Dish

Standard

I feel a great need to introduce you to the Fortner’s Spice Blends! These 5 different blends have become a regular in many of the dishes being made in our kitchen. Thanks to my Fortner’s blends and the many varieties of Mrs. Dash, you don’t have to be a master of making your own seasoning blends for your dishes. many people are kitchen novices and aren’t highly knowledgeable of spice flavors and combinations of flavor profiles. No mater if you are baking fish, Barbecuing steak, making meatloaf, or just want to spice up some vegetables, there is a mix right for the job. I get the whole collection at the Healthy Heart Market . You can buy them individually or in a pack with all the options together for one price. They cost $3.95-$4.15 each, which you find to be the same as most jars of spices in the market. You can get all 5 in a pack for $18.45 or a 4 pack of the blends (excluding #1) for $14.80.

FORTNER’S #1

All Natural, No Additives & just 10 mg salt per serving

 Nutrition Facts:
Serving size 1/4 TSP (0.5 g)
Servings per container Approx. 86
Amount per serving:
Calories 0
Total Fat 0g
Sodium 10 mg
Total Carbohydrate 0g
Protein 0g
Ingredients: Contains a top quality blend of dehydrated vegetables, celery, yeast extract, spinach, parsley, onion, garlic, herbs, spices and silicon dioxide (to prevent caking).

FORTNERS #37

This salt-free blend is a perfect complement to poultry, pork, and vegetable dishes, skillet frying, and stir-frying.
This salt-free blend is a perfect complement to poultry, pork, and vegetable dishes, skillet frying, and stir-frying.
Fortners Seasonings are formulated by Fortner’s Products from Lake Mills, WI.
All Natural, Salt Free, No Additives.
Serving size 1/4 TSP (0.5 g)
Servings per container Approx. 70
Amount per serving:
Calories 0
Total Fat 0g
Sodium 0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 0g
Protein 0g
Ingredients: A special blend of garlic, paprika, bayleaf, onion, oregano, celery, thyme, sage, allspice, basil, rosemary, marjoram and pepper.

Fortner’s #55

Blend #55 is great with steak, beef, chicken and pork. Great for bar-b-que, broiling, baking, and microwaving.

All Natural, Salt Free, No Additives
Nutrition Facts:
Serving size 1/4 TSP (0.5 g)
Servings per container Approx. 86
Amount per serving:
Calories 0
Total Fat 0g
Sodium 0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 0g
Protein 0g

Ingredients: A special blend of garlic, celery, basil, ginger, paprika, bay leaf, lemon, parsley, coriander, sage, allspice and pepper.

FORTNERS #75

Perfect for Hamburger, Meatloaf, Casserole Dishes, Ground Meat, and Stews.

All Natural, Salt Free, No Additives.
Serving size 1/4 TSP (0.5 g)
Servings per container Approx. 70
Amount per serving:
Calories 0
Total Fat 0g
Sodium 0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 0g
Protein 0g
Ingredients: A special blend of celery, garlic, oregano, allspice, paprika, bayleaf, parsley, rosemary, thyme, sage and pepper

 

FORTNER’S #89

Great for fish, salad, seafood, egg dishes and sauces.

All Natural, Salt Free, No Additives.
Nutrition Facts:
Serving size 1/4 TSP (0.5 g)
Servings per container Approx. 56
Amount per serving:
Calories 0
Total Fat 0g
Sodium 0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 0g
Protein 0g
Ingredients: A special blend of dill, lemon, paprika, rosemary, allspice, basil, fennel, bayleaf, garlic and pepper.