Tag Archives: Daily food

Spinach Almond Stuffed Mushrooms

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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.

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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.

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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..

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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.

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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.

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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!!

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:

BBQ Vegetable Chicken Kebabs

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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.

 

 

 

Honey Mustard Dill Chicken

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I officially made it through the first week of school without any major problems. Adjusting to the extra work is harder then I thought, but it is all falling into place. I have managed to walk with my dog a mile every day. Tomorrow is the 1st, and I have planned to extend the walk to 2 miles! I have been doing the 1 mile walk for 2 weeks now, so I think I am ready to up the distance. I will take it easy, and of course have my phone, in case there are any problems. I am so happy with the progress I have made so far. I finally broke the 280 mark, my weight is down to 278. That is down 32 pounds from when I got home from the hospital January 6th. I have officially been free of alcohol, cigarettes, salt and caffeine for 122 days. Hard to think back to just one month ago, I could barely get down the driveway to the mail box. It is amazing what a difference good nutrition, good doctors,  positive attitude and a spiritual foundation can make! 

I have fallen behind on posting here, but I also have fallen behind on making fun food. Have to admit there have been a few nights of salads, and bowls of fruit. 

This meal however was super yummy, and pretty easy! 

Ingredients for 2 servings:

8oz boneless skinless chicken breast tenders

1tbsp Honey mustard

1 tbsp dill 

1tbsp greek yogurt

1 cup White rice

1 cup Summer squash slices

Mix the greek yogurt, dill and honey mustard together and coat the chicken tenders. Place in covered container in fridge and let flavors mingle for about an hour.

Pre-heat oven to 375° place chicken tenders on a baking sheet and bake for 30-45 min depending on size, turning once. Always cook chicken until there is no pink left in the middle.

The rice is just prepared as indicated on package, and topped with spray butter and pepper. The Summer squash is sliced about 1/2 inch thick and grilled in a skillet that has been sprayed with butter flavor cooking spray. I love the flavor of summer squash so I choose not to season them, just let the natural grilled flavor come through. This is one easy, healthy and low calorie meal.

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.

The beginning of awesome things to come

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Yesterday was the first day of my new online classes. I have decided to pursue a bachelor degree in Business management and technology. Iwill be taking classes online and thanks to transfer credits it will only take me until 2/2014 to complete!

I have already in the last 2 days found that it is going to take some work to balance my time. The new responsibilities added to my days  have left me lacking in time for all my workouts and cooking and housework. I think tomorrow I will sit down and create a schedule of duties and decide how to balance things better. The last thing I would want to do is get discouraged, or let any of my other healthy life activities slip.

I have faith that Jehovah will steer me in the right direction and allow me to find the right balance for my life. There are many people that are far busier than me. I have no children to raise or job schedule to work around, so this should be no problem at all, as long as I stay focused and driven.

Tomorrow I have to get back in the kitchen and create satisfying food for dinner, rather then just settle for a cheese sandwich like this evening. Most important in these initial stages of adjustment is to not let my nutrition slide!! My food is what gives me joy, energy and life!

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.

Daily Numbers

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*** Always check with your doctor before starting any diet restricted to below 1200 calories per day.  My caloric intake is extremely low due to my current medically sedentary lifestyle. The average adult should have a caloric intake of 1500 – 1800 calories per day***

Weight Calories Sugars Carbs Fat Protein Cholesterol Sodium Fiber
285.0 1101 31 118 32 59 80 1173 13