Tag Archives: food

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.

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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!

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

Mushroom Swiss Chicken Breast

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Had an amazing trip to the French Quarter Festival in New Orleans this weekend. So nice to be feeling well enough to get out and do something like that! I have great pics and stories to come soon, but for now you can have fun and fill your tummies with this lovely dinner I created thanks to Low Sodium Living

Ingredients

4 Chicken Breast (Skin Removed) 2 TBS. Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 tsp. or a packet Herb Ox No Sodium Chicken Broth 1/2 cup white cooking wine (or to lower the sodium even more you can use a regular Chardonnay)  1/2 tsp. chopped garlic (Roasted is better!) 2 can no salt added mushrooms or fresh (I use Baby Bella slices) 1/2 tsp. Mrs. Dash( Onion and herb is my favorite on this but southwest Chipotle adds a nice spice too) 2 tsp. Corn Starch 2 TBS. Cold Water 1 cup Baby Spinach 4 Slices Aged Swiss Cheese 1/4 cup water

Directions

Remove any skin that may be on chicken breasts. You can use boneless if you desire. In a large fry pan, heat olive oil with the chopped garlic and lightly sear chicken breasts on both sides. After chicken breasts have lightly seared, add in your wine and the Herb Ox chicken bullion. Cover and let simmer about 10 minutes and add the water. Uncover, then allowing chicken to simmer about another 10-15 minutes, you may add in your mushrooms and stir so that the mushrooms are in the sauce. Remove chicken pieces and place in a roasting pan in a 350 degree oven. Let your mushroom sauce continue at a high simmer. Add in the 1/2 tsp. Mrs. Dash to the sauce. In about 2 TBS. of cold water stir in the corn starch mixing till you have a milky substance. Slowly mix the corn starch mixture in with the mushroom sauce constantly stirring until a gravy forms. If your gravy is too thin you may use additional corn stach mixture, if it is too thick add more water. Remove chicken roasting pan from oven and pour mushroom gravy mixture over the chicken pieces. Lay the one cup of baby spinach pieces across the top of chicken and return to oven. About 5 minutes before chicken is done lay the swiss cheese pieces over the chicken and spinach. Serve when cheese has melted. The total cooking time for the chicken should near one hour or until you are sure it is fully cooked.

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!!

 

Hickory Chipotle New York

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Sometimes all you you crave is a good old steak!! This was one of those times. Now just like any other dish from this kitchen, my steak is never “just” a steak. Tonight was no different. 

I have a great new obsession with Hickory Liquid Smoke. Some people don’t like Liquid Smoke at all, but I on the other hand would use it on every red meat I cook! even more so now that I am living salt fee. Liquid Smoke adds such a great amount of flavor to your meat, without adding any sodium or calories. 

For this New York Steak we started with a marinade mix of Hickory Liquid Smoke,  Southwest Chipotle Mrs. Dash, Worcestershire, Creamy Horseradish and Louisiana Crystal Hot Sauce. This mix gives a little hickory sweetness with added spice from the Chipotle and horseradish.  

I like to use my indoor stove top grill to grill steaks, gives it a nice grill taste without the need to fire up the outdoor grill. I got my Smokeless indoor grill off amazon.com for $10 and have got great use out of it. 

Grilling red meat always depends on your own preference. I personally like my steak rare to slightly medium rare sometimes. I like the flavor that comes from the moisture in a good rare steak. Just enough heat to warm it through. For my taste I grill the steak for about 4 min on each side. If you enjoy your steak more medium or even well done then of course you would grill longer. The key is to grill an equal amount on each side to make it nice and evenly grilled.

Since I was doing a nice 8oz steak for dinner, I paired it with a simple spring mix and vegetables salad with pomegranate balsamic vinegar dressing. Perfect simple dinner, lots of flavor, anyone will love the flavor of this steak and no one will miss the salt!

Healthy Heart Mexican Cheese Ball

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There is a wonderful shopping resource online for low sodium food, Healthy Heart Market I have spent a lot of time shopping through their sauces, dressings, spices, and mixes and am so amazed with some of the choices. The first thing I have tried is this Mexican Cheese Ball Mix. I do have to say it is Super Yummy! I opted to use whipped cream cheese rather than the standard, because in reading the labels, the sodium was a little lower. The whipped cream cheese from Winn Dixie has only 65mg sodium in a tablespoon as compared to the 95mg in the whipped Philidelphia. This is also a bit lower than the 105-200mg in the standard cream cheese.

The result, i think, was a more fluffy creamy dip mix, rather than a firmer consistency to be molded easily into a ball. I didn’t mind this at all, I was just making it for dip to go with my Hint of Salt Wheat Thins, that have a great offering of only 55mg sodium per 16 cracker serving!

I popped in a movie and snacked on crackers and dip right along with the hubby just like old times! There is always a solution to help make the lifestyle changes feel more normal, you just have to take the time to look for them and adjust. Happy dipping and enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

Mix Mexican Cheese Ball Seasoning Mix with 1/4 cup of water and let stand and reconstitute for 5 min.

Mix the reconstituted seasoning mix with 2 8oz packages for cream cheese. For a tighter mixture to make the actual ball form, it is better to use the regular cream cheese. For a lighter dip type mixture use the whipped cream cheese. I prefer the whipped cream cheese because it is lower in sodium.

After mixing together, refrigerate for 2 hours, to allow flavors to mix well. form into a ball or just serve as a dip, whichever is preferred.

**sorry there is no picture of the finished product, it was almost gone before I remembered to take a picture 🙂 **

COURSE

 

 

Adventure Trying to Eat Out

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Had a busy day, out and about yesterday. Got lots of laundry done, Mrs. Geneva showed me where the Habitat for Humanity thrift store was, as well as the library. While we were in Covington we stopped at Piccadilly for lunch. The thought was that since this was a place that had a cafeteria style, you pick and choose the pieces of the meal you want, it should good choices of food for me to eat there.  Think again. Upon arriving the food smelled great, and the variety was wonderful. I went straight to the vegetable section to see what they had to offer, a lovely colorful array for choices, red potatoes, broccoli, corn, carrots, Lima beans, green beans.

I immediately notices that all the vegetable choices were all rather juicy looking pans. Now of course this could be from sauces, or just water and natural condensation from a steaming process, so I had to ask how they were prepared. Turns out most of the vegetables were cooked in a bacon base, and the others were cooked in a butter base. None of them were just steamed without any sauces or butters. So I explained to the woman that I am on a very low salt diet and need just plain vegetables with out any seasoning or sauces. She proceeded to shake her head and just plainly say “Well you best just go down to the salad then”. No offer to see if they could possibly steam me some thing, not a shred of interest in accommodating my needs, just a direction away from her section. 

So I proceeded down to the salads at the end. Now mind you, this is not a salad bar, this is a bin of lettuce and a bin of tomato and they put up a line of  little side dish bowls with a touch of lettuce 2 slices of tomato and then sprinkle with shredded cheese and bacon bits. Well again I can not just grab and go with cheese and bacon. So I ask this lady if it would be ok to get a little plate with 2 servings of just the lettuce and tomato, no cheese or bacon. She was nice and did this for me without hassle. I also noticed some little fresh fruit bowls, made sure they weren’t canned fruit in a syrup, and added them to my tray. They had no low sodium options for dressing, and you would have thought I was speaking Japanese when I asked if they just had plain vinegar, so i grabbed a couple lemon wedges from by the tea and called it a meal.  I grabbed a root beer at the end of the line, since it was the only non-caffeinated choice other than water. This little lunch cost me $7.50.

Lucky for me, I had a container Planters Nut-rition mixed nuts and some Trader Joe’s Plantain Chips in the car. So I topped my lettuce with a handful of those and my squeezed lemon and it made a tasty salad in the end. 

Now I don’t want this to discourage anyone into thinking that you can’t eat out and enjoy a meal with friends. You can! I had food that was needed to fuel my body for the rest of the afternoon, we had great conversation, we even ran into another member of our kingdom hall and had a nice talk with him as well. All in all it was a nice lunch. 

The lesson in all of this experience is the importance of asking questions, and not being afraid to find out how things are prepared.  I like to think of it in the same way as someone who has allergies, you would not take a chance that something was prepared with an ingredient that could send you into an allergic shock would you? In addition, just as someone with allergies would carry an Epipen, or a diabetic may have to take their Insulin with them when they go out, I like to make sure I have no salt snacks in my purse or car. This way I am never stuck without options of things to eat. To me it is no different, this is a part of my medical process, my food is a key ingredient in my recovery and is as valuable as any of my prescriptions.