Category Archives: Shopping

Rick’s Pickles

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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.

Fruit Lables

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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:

Spice Blends for Any Dish

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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.

 

 

Swiss Tomato Tilapia and Maple Carrots

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It has definitely been the busiest week I have had in a long time! Between school work, workouts, grocery shopping, and housework I have been nonstop on the go! I have managed to get out and walk a mile everyday this week, except yesterday. Yesterday we had to go to town to do some shopping and by the time we were done it was way too hot to walk.

This dish is a blend of light spring fish flavor and sweet glazed carrots and sweet potatoes. The sweet potatoes are kind of a heavier fall type meal, but they just sounded so good, I made them anyway. It was, like so many meals, just a process of starting with a taste for carrots and then next thing you know I decided I needed to sweeten them. So the addition of sweet potato, maple syrup, honey and cumin to the saute and this was the result. They turned out so yummy I wish I had made a larger skillet!!

For the Tilapia, I seasoned it with Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil and Garlic Blend, splashed it with a touch of malt vinegar and topped each filet with halves of grape tomatoes. Place the Tilapia fillets in a  pre-heated 375 degree oven and bake for 15 -20 min depending on the size of the fillets. Top the fillets with swiss cheese and continue to cook for 3-5 min to melt cheese.

More BBQ Fun!

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Here in Louisiana we are having exceptionally nice weather! It has not yet passed into the miserable humid weather, that we all know is on the cusp of rearing it’s ugly head! it was a clear and breezy 75 degrees today. This of course means another excelent day to fire up the grill! 

Tonight we had a wonderful dinner of grilled beef chuck eye steak and corn on the cob! It is a wonderful time of year for corn on the cob, and at the Winn-Dixie we picked up corn cobs for 10 for $3.00. The chuck eye steak is one of my favorites on the grill. I always pick out one with a great marbling of fat, which results in a wonderfully tender steak. 

The Hubby just goes with a simple salt and peppered steak for the grill, whereas   I enjoy a marinade of Mr. Spice Garlic Steak Sauce and liquid smoke. 

No salt, no fat, no refined sugar, no cholesterol, gluten free, and wheat free. 
 
 
Nutrition Facts:
Serving size: 1 tbsp
Servings per container: 20
Calories: 20
Total fat: 0
Cholesterol: 0
Sodium: 0
Potassium: 200mg
Total carbohydrate: 4g
Protein: 0
For the Corn on the cob, we made an unsalted butter mixture that consisted of 2 tbsp of unsalted butter, rosemary, dill and cilantro. You can mix whatever herbs in the unsalted butter you like. It all depends on your flavor pallet. We use different combinations all the time. We prefer to grill the corn in it’s own husk. To do this all you have to do is peal back the husk, and clean out the husk stringy inside. Make sure to leave the outer husk attached to the corn cob. Rub 1 tbsp of the unsalted butter mix on the corn cob, and re-cover the cob with the, still attached, outer husk. 
After firing up the grill, or heating the coals if you use a charcoal BBQ as we do, place the corn on the grill first. The corn cobs will take about 20 min to cook. To get an even grill on them turn a quarter turn approximately every 5 minutes.
About half way through the corns cooking time, you should place the steaks on the grill. For a nice rare to medium rare you will only need to cook the steak for approximately 5 minutes per side. Turning once during grilling. 
The hubby also made dill hassle-beck potatoes and harm cheesy Hawaiian rolls to accompany the meal. Not that we needed all of it, I saved more than half of the steak and the potato for tomorrows breakfast. 

Portobello Pizza

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When I want a pizza it is a process to make the dough and the sauce to make sure it is low enough in sodium. I thought I would share with you the best recipe I have found so far for a lovely pizza from Low Sodium Living

Their accompanying sauce recipe makes a nice sauce too. The recipe they have decent specify the size of can to use for things like tomato paste so it is kind of a hit or miss depending on you taste preference. Also you can easily make a large batch of the sauce and freeze in smaller containers for later use on pasta and pizza dishes.

I haven’t tried the no salt mozzarella make at home kit yet, but I definitely am interested in it! If I can make mozzarella cheese at home it will make for some more great options in the future from the kitchen!

Ingredients

1c –  Our sauce pre-made (click here for recipe) (13mg per/serving)
3/4c – Bread Flour
3/4c – Wheat Flour (may use all Bread Flour if you wish)
1pk – Splenda Sweetener
1T – Olive Oil (May substitute or mix Edova for less trans.)
1c – Warm Water
1 1/2c – Portabella Mushrooms
(DO NOT use Pepperoni’s, Sausage, etc. on this Pizza)
1/4 onion
2/3c – mozzarella shredded cheese (package says 170mg sodium/serving) 
1T – Lower Salt Parmesan Grated cheese (package says 70mg sodium/serving)
(you can reduce sodium & fat if you can locate or order unsalted mozzarella cheese!
OUR MAKE YOUR OWN IN AN HOUR here))

Directions

Mix your yeast, splenda and olive oil in the warm water and stir until the yeast is dissolved. Mix this mixture with your flour and stir until blended, should be a dry mixture. You may need to add flour or water to keep the mixture dry enough or moist enough that you can work it with floured hands. Kneed the dough with flour hands for abou 4 or 5 minutes and form into a ball.

Spray a pizza pan with No Sodium cooking spray and place the dough ball in the center of the pan. With flowered hands push the dough out to the enges of the pan turning once and re-flouring hand to help spread it. Place the dough in a warm place for about 15 to 20 minutes then spread evenly again and thumbprint the crust edges.

Spread one cup of low sodium sauce mixture on your pizza. Add your toppings and cheeses and bake in a oven pre-heated at 425º and cook for 20-25 minutes untile your crust is golden brown!

Let Cool a bit before cutting and Enjoy!

Source: http://www.lowsodiumliving.com/portabellopizza.html


Salt Substitutes

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I have had a few questions, and suggestions about Salt Substitutes. There is a few things to concider when you look into salt substitutes.  There are a range of substitute products

Salt consists of sodium chloride, and table salt often has iodine added in. Salt Substitutes are usually potassium chloride. There are also products like Morton’s Salt Lite that is a mix of sodium and potassium. When looking at the nutrition content in the 1/4 tsp serving of these products,

Salt (590mg sodium)

Diamond Crystal Salt Sense flake salt (390mg sodium)

Morton Salt Balance (440mg sodium, 200mg potassium)

Morton Lite Salt Mixture (290 mg of sodium, 350 mg potassium)

Morton Salt Substitute (0mg sodium, 610mg potassium)

Nu-Salt (0 mg sodium, 530mg potassium in 1/6tsp)

No Salt Original (0 mg, 650mg potassium)

lo-Salt (170mg sodium, 450mg potassium)

Biosalt (230mg sodium, 300mg potassium)

As you can see there is a lot of choices with a wide range of nutrition values. 

I had been wanting to do a seafood boil, since we live in Louisiana and it is crawfish season! I managed to find a no sodium liquid concentrate crab boil seasoning. This was a very happy find for me, since I previously thought boil was out of the question because the traditional Zatarain’s granulated boil seasoning has 5110mg sodium in 1/2oz. But the concentrate also calls for salt or salt substitute to be used. So, Of course, Just to be safe I asked my doctor about the use of substitutes when I saw him on Wednesday. This is the explanation I got from him regarding salt substitutes….

For some people, a salt substitute can be a good option for adding flavor to food without adding sodium. On the other hand, too much potassium can be bad too. Normally the body flushes out excess potassium through the kidneys, but people with certain medical conditions may have problems eliminating sodium which can lead to high potassium levels – a condition which can be dangerous. These include people with kidney disease, diabetes, and heart failure.

People who take certain medications are also at high risk of potassium imbalances if they use a salt substitute. These include certain blood pressure and heart medications. Even non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications can contribute to potassium imbalances in people using salt substitutes. For this reason, anyone who has medical problems or is using a blood pressure medication, heart medication, or anti-inflammatory should consult with their doctor before using a salt substitute.

Basically as a person with heart failure I need to avoid the potassium just as much as the salt. Think about the fact that Potassium Chloride is the lethal of the drugs used in the lethal injection used on death row. Though death by potassium is not a common thing, but it is possible. An adult can have serious medical reactions including death from as little as 10 tsp of potassium chloride. There are also cases of infants stopping breathing and even death with as little as 3/4tsp. 

I do not use or recommend salt substitutes in any of my cooking. I prefer herbs and spices for flavor. As I have said before, it only takes about 3 weeks of no salt cooking for your taste buds and cravings to change, and you will not miss(and even grow to despise)the taste of sodium. 

**This post and all posts on this blog are by no means meant to make any medical recommendation or decisions for anyone. Always consult a physician before making any major changes in you diet or exercise routine.

Sources: Nu-salt, Morton Salt, Biosalt, Losalt, Alsosalt, Potassium risk assesment UKSodium and potassium intake and risk of cardiovascular events

Ginger Stir Fry Veggies and Seasoned Cod Filet

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Tonight was a night for veggies and some Cod. After 2 nights of beef and bean stew I was in a fish mood. I really enjoy the sauces I got from Healthy HeartMarket.

 Tonight I decided to showcase the Ginger stir fry for you! 

No salt, no fat, no refined sugar, no cholesterol, gluten free, and wheat free.  This stuff is good for you,  tastes great and is fun to cook with!!
 
Nutrition Facts:
Serving size: 1 tbsp

servings per container: 20
calories: 15
total fat: 0
cholesterol: 0
sodium: 0
potassium: 25mg
total carbohydrate: 4g
protein: 0

 

What better way to love some ginger stir fry sauce, then to do a veggie stir fry. I combined some of my favorites, green beans, summer squash, onion, garlic, baby bella mushrooms and sugar snap peas. All of the vegetables are fresh and not canned or processed.

Ingredients

3oz Cod Filet

1/2 cup Green beans

1/2 cup Summer squash slices

1/4 cup Sugar snap peas

1/4 cup Baby bella mushrooms

1/4 cup White onion sliced

3 clove Garlic

3 tbsp Mr.Spice No Sodium Ginger stir fry

1 tsp Cumin

1/2 tbsp Onion Garlic Mrs. Dash

Butter cooking spray

 

Directions

Heat skillet on medium heat and spray with butter flavor cooking spray. Add chopped cloves of garlic and slices of onion to skillet and cook till the onion starts to become translucent. Add the remainder of the vegetables and begin to cook for about 3 min to start softening process. 

Add Ginger stir fry sauce and cumin and continue to saute covered for about 5 min. 

Season Cod filet with Onion Herb Mrs. Dash and and place on top of vegetables and sauce in skillet. Cover the skillet and continue to cook for about 5 more min to steam the cod.

When the cod is almost done cooking remove lid and let the sauce boil and reduce down for another couple minutes. Serve hot with cod on the top of the vegetables and definitely ENJOY!

My hubby had a fast food hamburger for dinner tonight, so I cooked for myself. If you are cooking for more than one person, of course you can easily just double or triple the ingredients accordingly. More vegetables and more fish portions will take longer to cook, so adjust and keep an eye on your dish to get to desired temperature and consistency. 

Nutrition = calories- 279, sodium – 101mg,  fat- 1g, carbs – 38g, sug – 11g

 

NO Salt Pickle…highs and lows

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Thanks to my lovely subscriber Basil Rene for reminding me that I haven’t reviewed the No Salt Pickle from Healthy Heart Market

As I previously posted, I found a No Sodium Dill Pickle available to order online. As I am an avid Pickle eater and have missed my pickles, almost more than anything else on this journey, I of course jumped all over this and ordered a jar. I was conservative and only ordered one jar, since they were $7.00 per jar, just to try them first.

I ordered a whole bunch of stuff, sauces, salad dressing, spice blends, and the pickles…..the shipping was reasonable and the order came in just a few days. Very speedy service! 

 

But we are here to talk about the pickles!!

THE HIGHS

I really love these pickles, they are crisp, and fresh with a great taste of dill and garlic and spices. If you are expecting a “classic” dill pickle taste, Don’t! They have a little sweetness, but not much when they hit your tongue. This is due to the sugar brine. Then this is followed with a little spicy kick that wakes up you tastes buds with a welcoming “hello”!

I have used these diced in a pasta salad, and sliced on sandwiches and just plain as a snack! They have filled the pickle void in my life! I thought I was doomed to a pickle-less existence. 

THE LOWS

I loved the single jar of pickles so much, that I went to order a couple more so I had backup jars. When I got to the website, I was crushed to find that they are now noted as “discontinued. no longer available”. In my dismay, I sent an e-mail to see if, by some great chance, they had any in stock still. I have not received an answer yet. So in all my joy for finding a lovely dill pickle for my lifestyle, I now am again left with a void. Needless to say the last 4 pickles in this one lonely jar will be used sparingly!! 

Today I did receive the newsletter from Healthy Heart Market  and they now have a new no salt added Bread and Butter Pickle slices. This is no dill pickle, but I am not totally against the bread and butter style, so I think they will have to be given a fair try. 

I have not yet found another alternative to the sadly discontinued No Salt Dill Pickle, but believe me I am looking high and low. If there is somewhere to get some, or a reasonable way to produce them at home, I will find it and definitely let you all know!

NO Salt Tacos!

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As I have told you all before, I located a great place to shop for low and no sodium products, Healthy Heart Market I ordered a few things from them and have had fun trying them out. One thing I have been craving was tacos. Back in my old lifestyle, we used to get the basic packet of McCormick taco seasoning to mix with the ground beef. A 2 tbsp serving of McCormick Taco Seasoning contains 430mg of sodium!! That is 1/4 of the recommended daily intake of sodium for a normal adult diet, in just 2 tbsp of mix. The seasoning packet contains 6 servings. This means you are adding 2580mg of sodium to one pound of ground beef.

Healthy Heart Market offers a great solution in their taco/chili seasoning. 

 

This packet of mix is enough to do 2 pounds of ground beef. For our purpose at home, with just the 2 of us, we used half the packet. All you need is 1 pound of ground beef and 1 cup of water….and any other taco dressings you might want. We used chopped tomato, onion, lettuce, and swiss cheese. My hubby also pan fried corn tortilla taco shells, and dried the extra oil off them completely before serving.

Preparation of taco meat-

You will need 1 lb of ground beef and 1 cup of water.  Saute ground beef until the red is gone.  Add 1/2 packet to water, stir well. Add to meat, simmer 30 minutes.  You’re gonna love it!  If you like your tacos a bit on the spicy side, feel free to add red chili powder or chili flakes as you like.

Such a lovely dinner of tacos there is no need for any additional side dish! Jsut a crunchy plate of low sodium flavorful goodness!!