Tag Archives: my pantry

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:

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.

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.

 

 

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

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!!