Naf Naf Grill: finally some fast food that isn’t loaded with salt, fat

I’ve ranted here before about fast food and other restaurants these days that tout selling “healthy” food when in fact their offerings are still loaded with salt, fat and sugar. Some, like the Protein Bar, in Chicago are growing rapidly with these false health claims, basically pushing salt on unsuspecting patrons.

So it’s nice to be able to write about one new chain in our area, the Naf Naf Grill, that actually has new, tasty variations on familiar foods using low-salt and low-fat recipes. A Naf Naf lunch once a week has become a special treat for me. The menu has Midwestern-inspired offerings, but Naf Naf makes its own low-salt pita bread and uses extremely lean beef and chicken for its pita sandwiches while keeping them tasty and filling!

The menu board from a Naf Naf Grill location in Niles, Ill. Other outlets have slightly different offerings.

The menu board from a Naf Naf Grill location in Niles, Ill. Other outlets have slightly different offerings.

This past weekend I visited one of the chain’s original three locations in Niles, Ill., and tried something it doesn’t offer at its outlet on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue near my office, a chicken kabob sandwich in a pita. Continue reading

Posted in eating out, no-fat | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Tilapia, zucchini and corn, a wonderful summer meal

I normally do most of the cooking in our house but recently my wife surprised me with a wonderful cookout meal one Saturday.

She made zucchini and corn on one of our Weber grills, basting the zucchini with a truffle olive oil we bought in Italy last summer.

Our tilapia, zucchini and corn dinner.

Our tilapia, zucchini and corn dinner.

I whipped up a main course of tilapia loins, purchased frozen at Costco, done with salt-free spices from the Spice House, which has outlets here in Evanston, Il. and in Chicago. Continue reading

Posted in ingredients, protein, recipes, seafood | Tagged , | Leave a comment

King Prawn & Pineapple Stir Fry

John N. Frank:

I’d substitute salt-free teriyaki sauce from Mrs. Dash, and leave out the chili powder because I can’t eat spicy dishes.

Originally posted on staceyinthekitchen:

10537142_10152705901497150_2364941598117232514_n

Serves 1, multiply everything x1 to make more except the lime juice, multiply that by 1/2

Cooking time 30 minutes including prep

INGREDIENTS
10 king prawns, shelled (if you’re lazy you can use pre-cooked)
1/3 cup fresh pineapple, cubed
1/2 red chilli, seeds removed, finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh corriander, chopped
1 small carrot, shaved into ribbons
1 cup sweet heart cabbage, sliced
1/2 cup brocolli, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh ginger root, grated
1/4 cup lime juice, fresh or bottled
2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
1/4 cup reduced salt soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Low calorie cooking spray

TO MAKE

Pre-cook the prawns by blanching in boiling water until white all the way through, take off heat and drain.

Prepare a sauce with the soy sauce, sweet chilli and lime juice – set aside for later.

Heat a heavy based frying pan or…

View original 161 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Salmon with Pastrami Rub

John N. Frank:

I might be tempted to try this with no salt and half the sugar.

Originally posted on fitfinnrecipes:

Bold flavors are the thing in my house. I cook salmon as often as possible, therefore I am always trying new ideas for flavoring it. I came a cross a recipe for pastrami rub for a meat, and thought why not tweak it a bit for salmon. Typically bold flavors go well with fatty fish like salmon, and this was no exception. The salmon had a nice flavorful spice crust.

  • 1 salmon filet

For the rub: Mix well together

  • 1 1/2 tbs crushed black peppercorn
  • 1  1/2 tbs ground coriander seeds
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard

Rub both sides of the salmon with the seasoning mix. Place in an oven dish. Bake in 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.

IMG_3636

View original

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

High Protein, Low Carb & Low Fat Foods

John N. Frank:

A good list of some low-fat protein options. I’ve found a 96% lean ground beef as well.

Originally posted on Balance By Brittany:

Eating an effective amount of protein while staying within your allocated carbohydrates and fat for the day is extremely tricky. My best advice is to plan your meals around a high protein source and add carbs once your protein source is set. The following are the best high protein-low carb/low fat protein sources:

Beef

  • Hamburger patty 95% lean ground beef, 6oz = 36 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, and 8 grams of fat

Chicken

  • Chicken breast 6oz = 54 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, 6 grams of fat

Fish

  • Tilapia 6oz = 42 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, 6 grams of fat
  • Salmon 3oz = 19 grams of protein, 0 rams of carbs, 10 grams of fat
  • Cod 6oz = 30 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, 6 grams od fat
  • Canned Tuna(in water) 6oz = 44 grams of protein, 0 grams of…

View original 186 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Swordfish: a great, meaty fish option

I’ve been eating a lot more fish since my angioplasty in 2012. Salmon is my favorite and, so far, still considered healthy, although some disparage farm-raised salmon, which most salmon sold in the U.S. is.

Another meaty, fleshy fish that can remind me of my steak-eating days is swordfish. Trader Joe’s sells it frozen for $8.99 a pound, so about $4.50 a portion if you eat half a pound at a sitting as I do.

Trader Joe's sells swordfish in its frozen fish section for $8.99 a pound.

Trader Joe’s sells swordfish in its frozen fish section for $8.99 a pound.

Cook it through, unlike salmon which can be enjoyed relatively rare, swordfish needs to cook. Continue reading

Posted in ingredients, protein, seafood | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Outer Spice: a tasty low-salt approach to spicing up your food

A food blogger friend recently told me about Outer Spice, a brand of spices that offers no-salt and low-salt varieties. I’m always searching for low- to no-salt ways to give some taste to my post-angioplasty diet these days, so I got in touch with the Texas-based company and asked for samples to review.

Two varieties of Outer Spice, which offers no-salt and low-salt blends.

Two varieties of Outer Spice, which offers no-salt and low-salt blends.

The Outer Spice nutrition label for the salt-free spicy mix.

The Outer Spice nutrition label for the salt-free spicy mix.

I received the no-salt Outer Spice Spicy blend and Outer Spice original with sea salt — 95 mgs per half teaspoon. Tasting them straight out of the jars, the spicy variety tasted perhaps more spicy than I normally eat while the other tasted fine, if a bit salty to my palate which is largely devoid of salt these days. Continue reading

Posted in ingredients, no-salt | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What is the Total Truth about Carbs?

John N. Frank:

As I’ve written before, nutrition science is a moving target with constantly changing theories, but this is a good look at carb thinking at the moment.

Originally posted on The Health Care Spectator:

If there’s one thing I’ve realized when I talk to others about healthy eating it’s that we love our breads. People get really defensive when you so much as suggest too many carbohydrates could be contributing to their poor health issues, but why is it that we all love our breads and pasta so much? Apart from the fact we’ve been told for years how “essential” carbs are in the diet, another reason is the sugar-hit you get from certain carbs is pretty addictive!

What You Need To Know About Carbohydrates

The thing is, many of us think of foods like breakfast cereals and bread as somehow better than sugar, in terms of their effect on the body. So, let’s reacquaint ourselves with what a carbohydrate actually is, so we’re under no delusions.

 What Are Carbohydrates?

As you may know, carbohydrate is one of the big three macronutrients — the other two…

View original 392 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Healthy eating at Taste of Chicago? Think again

I was amused to see recently that insurance company Humana put out a list of so-called healthy food choices at Taste of Chicago, an annual mega-food fest here in the Windy City that ended last Sunday.

Taste of Chicago has gotten smaller in recent years, but the food offerings are still more than I can eat on a  restricted diet.

Taste of Chicago has gotten smaller in recent years, but the food offering are still more than I can eat on a restricted diet.

The last time I went to Taste was 1994, long before my heart surgery. The event is smaller and doesn’t last as long these days as it did then, but it’s still all about eating. Area restaurants set up tents and sell their specialties, so you can go wild trying everything in sight. I don’t even go near it now because I know it would throw me off my restricted diet. Continue reading

Posted in binge eating, eating out | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Fresh figs are a favorite food of mine

Fresh black figs in the fall were one of my favorite treats as a child. My grandfather had a fig tree in his yard behind his Brookyln brownstone and, even after he died, the family maintained that tree so it produced wonderful figs every fall.

Black figs are a wonderful sweet treat that are low in fat and sodium...and taste great.

Black figs are a wonderful sweet treat that are low in fat, sodium and taste great.

An aunt took an offshoot of it and planted that in her yard, creating a second tree that also produced wonderful figs for many, many year until she sold that house and the tree along with it. Her grandson had an Italian restaurant in Brooklyn for years and he would use figs from her yard for special fall treats there. Continue reading

Posted in binge eating, ingredients, no-fat, no-salt | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment