Tag Archives: Recipe

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

 

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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

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!

MySpiceSage

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I found my new favorite shopping site today! My mind is spinning and I am having so much fun sorting through all the spices and information at My Spice Sage

if there is any spice you find in a recipe, and you don’t know where to get it, try here. They have everything I could ever think of, from hibiscus powder to all spice to the coveted saffron! The offerings come in a variety of sizes so you can order a little, like 1 oz or a whole lot, like 5 lb bags! All at decent prices.

No matter what kind of dish you are trying to make they probably have the spices you need. Also if you are like me, and new to the process of spicing up your creations, they have many spice blends to choose from. I am debating on buying their No salt gift set , this awesome set includes 10 different blends. They come in 3 different sizes for the gift set. 4oz. and 16oz resealable bags and 1 cup sifter bottles. 

Included in Gift Set:

 

I am thinking this set will have me so set on spice mixes that I can cook for months! Let the creations flow and the kitchen never will close!

 


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

 

 

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/

Sweet Potato Stuffed Bell Peppers

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Since I didn’t have to continue to worry about my cardioversion, and I didn’t have to fast, I decided to cook instead. In the past I found my self dealing with adversity or disappointment with unhealthy comfort food and a lot of whiskey. This time I took the conscious effort  to keep on my life path and avoid all the harmful crutches.

I have learned well from past experiences, that in my life there is never just one drink to relax, or just one comfort treat. It may be one this time but then the door is open and the next time it is 2. Or the next time it is easier to talk myself into “needing” a drink to relax. The next time the bothersome event is a little less important. Next thing you know “the dog is barking too much and annoying me, I need a drink” or I have been good all week a drive-thru burger won’t kill me turns into “Friday is treat day”, then becomes “weekends don’t count” . 

This is not a diet, this is not a punishment, this is a LIFE. On any given day I enjoy the food I eat, I do not go hungry, I do not deal with hangovers. This is not something I need a break from, or a treat for dealing with it. This time this is a mindset and a lifestyle. The demons that would like to sway my actions to the negative can fight with me all they want, this is one battle I am happy to fight and even happier to win.

Yesterdays little battle was won, and the prize….this supper yummy stuffed dinner….

INGREDIENTS

3 Bell Peppers

1 Carrot

1 Stalk of Celery

½ White Onion

6 Cloves of Garlic

1 Med Sweet Potato

1 Med Summer Squash

1 Tbsp Cumin

1 Tbsp Paprika

1 Tbsp Onion Powder

1 Tbsp Raspberry Red Wine Vinegar

1 Tsp Creamy Horseradish

1 Tsp Ground Red Pepper

1 Tsp Worcestershire Sauce (low sodium)

2 Slices Aged Swiss Cheese

Pre-heat oven to 375ºF

Wash and trim all vegetables thoroughly, peel the sweet potato and carrot. Cut the tops off the Bell pepper and clean and wash out all the seeds and veins. Save tops of peppers to use in baking. Put Peppers aside for later.

Bell peppers waiting to be stuffed

Finely chop the onion ans saute it in a skillet on med heat until translucent and slightly caramelized. While the onion is cooking, either by hand or in a food processor, chop all vegetables (excluding Bell peppers) to a very fine chop. Add prepared vegetables to the skillet with the onions. Add dry seasonings and the red wine vinegar, horseradish, and Worcestershire sauce and saute on medium until carrot and sweet potato start to get tender, stir frequently so not to burn the bottom of the skillet.

Spoon vegetable mixture into the cleaned bell peppers and place the tops on them to create a lid steaming effect for filling. Place on baking sheet and bake in oven for about 1 hour. Remove from oven and remove tops and place ¾ slice of Swiss cheese on the top of stuffed pepper. Place back in oven for about 20 min, until cheese is bubbly and browning. Remove from oven and let cool for 3-5 min and serve.

Fresh out of the oven

Inside the peppers

With just the use of herbs and spices and letting the natural flavor of the vegetables come through, you get a great amount of flavor and very little calories or sodium.

As in recipe on stuffed pepper is Approx: 136 Cal / 4g Fat / 120mg Sodium/ 22 Carbs/ 6 Fiber/ 13 Sugar / 6 Prot

This dish can be switched up with a variety of fillings, such as rice, ground beef, beans, or even added cheeses or cream cheese to give it a creamy texture. One variation I also enjoy is to use portabello mushroom chopped and sauteed. It adds a great mushroom flavor and the texture resembles ground beef. When making changes to the filling just be aware for the added calories, fat and sodium.

Happy High Flavor Healthy Heart Eating


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.