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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.

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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.

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

 

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

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!

Getting a Little Nutty

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i wanted to do something a little crunchy but a little sweet with my fish. So i started the search for ideas, and thanks to http://www.hearthealthyonline.com/ I found the perfect direction. I always have a variety of nuts on hand. I love to cook and snack with unsalted almonds, cashews, pistachios, hazelnuts, pecans….the list is endless. I also love a good mixture of nuts and dried fruits, such as the new Planters Nut-rition mixes. 

NUT-rition Heart Healthy Mix (Planters)

 

So what is not to love about a Hazelnut crusted Halibut with a warm berry sauce? I adjusted the recipe a little bit, and instead of using melted butter to dip the fish for crusting, I used a coat of butter cooking spray. I used a mix of organic frozen and fresh blueberries to make the sauce and replace the sugar with Splenda. This lowers the empty calories a little more. 

Ingredients

  • 4 4 – 6 ounces halibut fillets
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons margarine, melted, but not hot
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and/or strawberries) thawed
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 F. Thaw fish if frozen. Rinse fish; pat dry with paper towels. Spray a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with nonstick spray; set aside. In a shallow dish place margarine. In a second shallow dish place chopped hazelnuts. Dip fish in melted margarine. Coat both sides of fillets with nuts. Place coated fillets on prepared pan.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until fish begins to flake when tested with a fork.

While the fish is roasting, puree the berries in a blender or a food processor. Pass the puree through a strainer to remove the seeds. Stir sugar into strained sauce. If desired, place the strained sauce in a small saucepan. Cook and stir over low heat until sauce is warm. Serve the sauce chilled or warmed with the fish

Source: http://my.hearthealthyonline.com/recipe/seafood/northwest-roasted-halibut/

Shake This…..Not That!

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When ever I talk to someone new about living on a low sodium diet, the response is usually the same.

“I couldn’t live without salt”

“OMG how boring your food must be”

“Doesn’t it suck to eat bland food”

“Don’t you miss flavor?”

Maybe it is the fear of the unknown. Maybe it is all the cooking shows that show things constantly being salted. Maybe it is celebrity chefs like Anne Burrell telling people that you have to use salt to have flavor. You see this on almost every cooking show on air.

I am here to tell you, there are a ton of flavors other than salt! I am constantly having to combat the preconceived notion that low and no salt food is bland. The only flavor it is missing is the flavor of salt. Don’t get me wrong, when I first started this adventure, I was afraid of what I would miss. No more salted popcorn, no more canned chili with corn chips, no more spaghetti sauces. Once I got past the focus on what I couldn’t have, I got to start the fun search for what I could have instead.

Like I mentioned earlier we got rid of the microwave. The shelf that it lived on has now become a great place for my spices and bottles of vinegar and oil.  With just one glance you don’t get the slightest notion that this is a house lacking in any flavor. In our kitchen we took that……….

And replaced it with this…..

 

Food full of flavor, REAL flavor! Take it from me, not only will you quickly learn to love the fresh myriad of flavors when you use a full array of spices, but you will actually grow to detest the taste of salt. When that nasty little sodium granule hits your mouth it will actually turn you off.

A no salt life isn’t something to dread. It is something to enjoy, to share, to face with the zeal of any great adventure! It is like the yellow brick road to the  Emerald City and the Great OZ, where I will find myself along side the Tin Man with a happy health life and a happy healthier heart!

 

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.