Tag Archives: cravings

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.

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One of my favorite snacks

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Continue until all of the petals are removed.

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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.

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Vegetarian Mushroom Burger

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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.

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. 

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

Low Sodium Hamburgers

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It is a wonderfully beautiful day here in Louisiana, perfect for the BBQ! We were sitting around this afternoon watching the Food Network and had the urge for hamburgers. So away to the kitchen and hamburgers we made to satisfy the craving.

I love grilled hamburgers with lots of flavor. Some people don’t like burgers with lots of spices and additives. Some people see it as more “meatloaf” than standard hamburger. For me, the more spices the better!

Ingredients

1 lb Ground Beef

1/4 cup Panko

1 tbsp Horseradish mustard

1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp Onion flakes

1 tsp Chili flakes

1/2 tbsp Garlic powder

1 egg

DIRECTIONS

This is super easy, Mix all spices, panko and egg into ground beef until thoroughly combined. I prefer to cover and place in the refrigerator for about an hour to let the flavors merry together. This will make a much more flavorful burger.

Form meat into patties, the mix makes 4 approx 4oz burgers. Grill or skillet cook the burger to the desired temperature. **Tip – to keep the burger patties from shrinking too much, create a divot in the patty with your thumb to prevent shrinking too much. (not sure why this works but it does:)

I splurged just a bit and used onion buns for my burger. They have 310 mg of sodium in each bun, but they taste so good I just really wanted to have one for a change. Since the burger buns only have 99mg of sodium the whole thing with a slice of swiss cheese added amounts to less than 500 mg for the entire burger. We also grilled red onion slices and baby bella mushroom slices, and topped the burger with tomato slices and slices No Salt dill pickles.

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

 

Rainy Day Beef and Bean Stew

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Woke up today and the weather was gloomy, overcast, thunder and rain. What a perfect day for a slow cooked beef and bean stew! This is something that you can put on in the early afternoon and check on periodically while you do other things around the house. I love a stew every once in a while, especially on days like this. 

After a wonderful weekend of exploring the French Quarter Festival, it was great to have a gloomy day at home relaxing. The Hubby fell in the shower last night, and we think he may have bruised a few ribs, so no heavy work for him for a few days. I always say that a good beef stew loaded with garlic and spices will cure any ailment…so hopefully this will aid in his recovery.

Ingredients

**the measures of the spices are an approximation, and as always have fun and adjust the amounts of each to suit your taste. Everyone likes and dislikes tastes and heats of spices in dishes differently. My hubby loves spicy food and still eats salt so he adds red pepper, pepper and salt after it is served to suit his pallet. Lucky for me, our kitchen cooks for MY lifestyle and pallet and he adjusts for him later 🙂 I am loved 

Directions

clean and Soak dry beans in covered container overnight

Score roast approx 1/8 inch deep on both sides, coat with the mix of dry spices. Depending on your favorite flavors coat with a mix that suits your fancy. 

Heat on high 2 tbsp oil in a large soup pot, sear both sides of the roast for about 5 min per side, starting with the fat side down. 

Remove roast and deglaze pot with red wine. Add stir fry pepper mix and garlic to red wine and reduce by half. 

Cut roast in to quarters and place back in the pot, add soaked beans and water to cover the meat and beans. Bring to a rapid boil. After it comes to a boil, reduce heat to low-medium and slow simmer for about 2 hours. Taste the broth at this point and season to preference with non sodium seasonings.

When meat starts to become fork tender remove from pot and shred with fork. Return the meat to pot and continue to simmer for about 1-2 more hours. 

serve by itself or over rice.

Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount per Serving
Calories 542
Calories from Fat 151.0
Total Fat 16.78g
Saturated Fat 0.03g
Cholesterol 189mg
Sodium 56.85mg
Total Carbohydrate 36.68g
Dietary Fiber 22.39g
Sugars 2.62g
Protein 75.43g

Cream of Mushroom Soup

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I Love pork chops with mushroom soup gravy. Unfortunately the canned mushroom soup I used to used is way out of my sodium intake limit. This great recipe makes for a nice mushroom soup for a sauce, or even to use on green bean casserole.

Low Sodium Cream of Mushroom Soup

What You Need…

1 lb Chopped Fresh Mushrooms. ( Can be made with some or all Portabella mushrooms to!
3 cups No Sodium Herb Ox Chicken Broth
1 tsp. canola oil
2 medium onions chopped (you can mix in some green onions if you like!
1 Thinly Sliced Carrot
1 stalk of celery chopped
1- 5 oz can fat free evaporated milk
3 Tbs whole wheat flour (check for sodium you want no sodium)
1/4 cup fresh parsley or 2 Tbs chopped seasoning jar type
1/4 t thyme
Ground Pepper and No-Salt salt substitute to taste

Start by combining the 3 cups of mushrooms with half of your Herb Ox chicken bullion in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil and let heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes. Transfer to a blender or food processor and puree then return to saucepan.

In a large non-stick skillet, cook the onions, carrots and celery in the canola oil for about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the mushrooms and stir occasionally until all is thoroughly cooked. Add the mushroom puree and the rest of your Herb Ox broth.

In a small bowl, whisk the milk and flour together until smooth and all lumps are gone. Stirring constantly with a whisk bring soup to a simmer but NOT a boil. Add herbs and peppers and salt substitute to taste. serve immediately and refrigerate left over’s.

IDEAS’ – You may want to double this recipe while you are at it and save some of the cream of mushroom soup for other recipes. You can freeze it and use it for turkey and chicken casseroles, broccoli, etc.

Source: Low Sodium Living

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!!