Tag Archives: love of salad

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.

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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!

Sometimes I Just Love a Salad the Size of my Head

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Living a low sodium healthy life sure obviously includes lots of vegetables, fruit and of course many many salads! Lucky for me I like fresh food and salads. The key to not get burnt out on salads is to make them fun, and use a wide variety of toppings. 

You can never go wrong with chopped fresh veggies. The wonderful thing about fresh veggie is that you can load up your plate and fill up your tummy and still keep the calories really low. I have found an endless supply of yummy options. I usually keep my fridge well stocked with spinach, lettuce, cucumber, carrot, bell pepper, radish, mushroom, celery, cabbage, broccoli, snap peas, red onion and tomato. These are all wonderful low calorie and no salt flavor options. 

For a busy schedule it is easier to prepare a large storage container of salad, and store it in the fridge, for easy access to make a quick salad for a lunch. I like to take time on Sunday to prepare my salad for the week. If you don’t have time in your schedule you can always spend a little extra money on pre-made salad topping veggies from the produce isle. Most grocery stores carry some sort of mix that is usually a diced carrot, celery, onion, radish and other assorted veggies, depending on brand. This is a quick option for the busy working person, or parent trying to work healthy food into a hectic day of kids activities.

Another key to keeping the calories down on your salad is choosing the right dressing. At first I found looking for salad dressing to be one of the hardest things. The I discovered my love for balsamic vinegar. Since most dressings I came across were way to high in sodium, most range from 140mg to 400mg per 2 tbsp serving, I had to experiment. I found a wide selection of balsamic and red wind vinegar at our local Winn-Dixie. I stocked our pantry with great infused flavors, like raspberry, pomegranate, tarragon and garlic. Pompeian makes a great selection, and they have 5 calories and  no sodium but loads of flavor. Another dressing idea is simple lemon juice, works well alone and in combo with the bitterness of vinegar. Some people use a drizzle of olive oil, which has no sodium, but if you are watching calories real closely is 120mg per tbsp. I avoid the oil calories and go with just vinegar. There are other dressing choices that I have found at healthyheartmarket.com , but I haven’t had a chance to order them yet. I will definately let you know after I have tried some of their no salt products.

When Making a salad as a meal, you can changer things up by using unsalted nuts, dried fruit, and sunflower seeds. To replace my croutons, and still have a crunch on my salad,  I like to use Roasted Plantain Chips from Trader Joe’s. Another lovely crunch can come from crunched up Vegetable Root Chips also from Trader Joe’s. 

What does all this information amount to?? Well today I made an excellent example of a Low salt, low calorie salad meal. The toppings consisted of 3 oz carrot shreds, 1/8 cup celery, tomato, 1/4 cup plantain chips, 1/5 cup unsalted pistachio nutmeat, and 1 tbsp low sodium turkey bacon pieces. It was finished with 2 tbsp Ken’s lite Sweet Vidalia Onion Dressing. This dressing is right on the line of my 120mg sodium per serving limit, but is worth it for the taste sometimes.

This huge awesome salad was a super filling meal and the whole thing was approx 300 calories, and only 317mg of sodium in the whole plate. It has 8 grams of protein thanks to the turkey bacon and pistachios. If you want to drop the sodium and calories even lower you can replace the dressing with balsamic vinegar, this would remove 80 calories and 120mg sodium from the plate. I went with the dressing today because I has skipped breakfast to go to a doctor appointment so I could justify the extra calories and sodium in lunch.