Tag Archives: flavor

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!!

Saturday Afternoon Veggie Roast

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Saturday Afternoon Veggie Roast

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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

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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.

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.

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.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

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.