No Sugar, No Salt Recipes for the 12 Days of Christmas

The holidays are upon us and, if you’re on a no-salt, no-fat, no-sugar diet like I am, you’re likely scratching your head about what you’ll cook for all your guests and family that will keep them happy but also will keep you on your eating plan.

Put your worries aside, The No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar Journal present our special 12 days of Christmas recipes, dishes we’ve tried and loved, and written about here, that you can make for large groups, special gatherings or just a special sit-down dinner for you and your closest loved one.

My low-fat, low-salt manicotti, One of these has 128 calories, 1.8 grams of fat and 70 mgs of sodium. I eat five at a time

My low-fat, low-salt manicotti, One of these has 128 calories, 1.8 grams of fat and 70 mgs of sodium. I eat five at a time

So simply click the links below and let the cooking, and holiday cheer, begin!

Monday, Dec. 22

How to make a low-fat, low-salt turkey meatloaf

Tuesday, Dec. 23

Can You Ever Make a Quick, Healthy Meal?

Wednesday, Dec. 24, Christmas Eve

What Can Someone on a Restricted Diet Eat on Christmas Eve?

Thursday, Dec. 25, Christmas Day

What Can Someone on a Restricted Diet Eat on Christmas Day?

Recipe: Low-salt, low-fat baked mostaccioli

Friday, Dec. 26

Pizza on a restricted diet — an illustrated how-to guide

Saturday, Dec. 27
Turning leftovers into a treat — a wonderful salmon salad

Sunday, Dec. 28

Rosemary chicken: a nice way to add flavor to chicken breast

Monday, Dec. 29

Steelhead trout: a variation better than the norm?

Tuesday, Dec. 30

Walleye: a tasty fish alternative

Wednesday, Dec. 31, New Year’s Eve

Happy New Year: with no and low salt treats

Thursday, Jan. 1

Extra Lean Beefburgers

Friday. Jan. 2

Chicken Parmesan: a low-fat, low-salt alternative recipe

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A low-salt, low-sugar, low-fat recipe for the 1st day of Christmas

Only three days until Christmas and you’re likely beside yourself with things to do, people to see, tasks to take care of before the big day. Plus, you’re likely cooking for guests, kids home from school, neighbors you went shopping with, the list goes on.

Your turkey meatloaf ready to cook

Your turkey meatloaf ready to cook

So what to make while staying on your low-fat, low-salt, low-sugar diet? Continue reading

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Meet Tootie & Dotes: Grow Where You Are Planted, a guest post

Blogger’s Note: My son Matt is an environmental designer and has become a major advocate of the local food movement. Here, he’s introducing us to a new site he’s involved with and obviously believes in. Enjoy.
John

Interested in taking control of your health in the New Year? Curious about urban farming, permaculture and the Good Food Movement? Want to learn more about growing your own food and tips for preserving and preparing it? If you answered yes to any of the following, then check out Tootie & Dotes, a blog-based website that highlights healthy eating, craft goods and the people behind the products.

T&D_Banner

Named after our co-founders grandmothers, two women who gardened and farmed, raised animals and children, and didn’t take shit from anyone, Tootie & Dotes covers three broad topics – GROW, EAT, FARM. Continue reading

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Students will continue getting high salt diets

Congress decided this weekend it’s ok to keep American school-children addicted to high-salt foods. Lobbying by the food industry and school boards succeeded in getting a provision put in a final federal budget bill that will prevent the government from requiring less salt in school lunch menu items.

Congress wants to keep American School children addicted to salt. Shame, shame shame on them.

Congress wants to keep American School children addicted to salt. Shame, shame, shame on them.

This is obviously a major loss for America’s health. As someone who suffered from the ill-effects of too much salt in my diet for years and now struggles to find any prepared foods with low levels of salt, I am deeply saddened, although really not surprised, by this decision. Continue reading

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What happened to my elk burger, Happy Gnome?

I enjoyed an elk burger blend last year on a visit to the Twin Cities in Minnesota so was looking forward to returning to the Happy Gnome there for another this year.

But when I ordered the bison/elk blend burger this year without the accompanying cheese and bacon, I was told the bacon was in the burger itself and so could not be excluded.

My Happy Gnome seafood plate, once I removed the mountain of bread that came with it, white bread I can no longer eat.

My Happy Gnome seafood plate, once I removed the mountain of bread that came with it, white bread I can no longer eat.

I would not have gotten it last year if that was the case, so was quite perplexed. Either the recipe has been changed or the server who took my order last year did not know the bacon was in the meat and so thought as I did that it could simply be excluded. The link I had in my last post to the menu no longer works, I found, so it’s possible the menu was changed. Continue reading

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Farm-to-table restaurants don’t often equal low-salt, low-fat options

Farm-to-table restaurants, or local food restaurants, are gaining popularity across the country these days, especially among millennials looking for alternatives to the highly processed foods they grew up with.

My walleye at Heartland made without salt in the crust, hopefully.

My walleye at Heartland made without salt in the crust, hopefully.

My son, who lives in St. Paul, Minn., is a big believer in the local food movement and so while visiting him recently, we tried a place called Heartland that fits into this new school of fresh, local specialties.

But looking over its menu, I was reminded of our visit to Boltwood in our hometown of Evanston, Ill., another local food restaurant — while this movement promotes local and regional specialties, it isn’t doing any more to cut salt from menu items than are more traditional restaurants. Continue reading

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Finding low-sodium, low-fat food at Mall of America

Mall of America outside Minneapolis is truly the mother-ship of all enclosed shopping malls in the United States. Large enough to have an amusement park inside it, it dwarfs any similar structures.

Crave...most of the orders coming up were burgers.

The open kitchen at Crave…most of the orders coming up were burgers.

But finding low-sodium, low-fat lunch foods there is a daunting task, much as was finding healthy foods at Orlando’s Universal or Disney World.

We bypassed the usual fast food options and high-salt locations like Bubba Gump Shrimp to try a restaurant that billed itself as “fresh, vibrant American.”

Crave talks the talk about fresh but getting what I wanted required some rearranging of menu items, and an extra charge. I had hoped to get a salmon salad much like one I recently made at home. Continue reading

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Turning leftovers into a treat — a wonderful salmon salad

Leading up to and including Thanksgiving, we had house guests for 10 days straight, which meant a lot of cooking, and a lot of leftovers.

Oddly enough, they left Sunday and then my wife left on a business trip Monday, so I’ve had the house, and the leftovers, to myself all week. I’ve eaten a lot of turkey, as you might guess. But we also had made salmon for some pre-Thanksgiving dinners, and there was a large amount of salad already made as well.

My wonderful salmon salad.

My wonderful salmon salad.

So Monday night, I combined the salad with the left-over salmon for a great salmon salad dinner. I heated the salmon with some added Mrs. Dash salt-free teriyaki sauce for added flavor. Then I topped the salad with it and added olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a great dinner treat.

Don’t give up on your leftovers, find creative combos to get the most out of your cooking efforts.
John

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Low-fat mashed potatoes — here’s how

One traditional Thanksgiving dish I’ve largely given up since my angioplasty is mashed potatoes. The milk and butter in them carry too much fat for my low-fat diet.

This year, though, my wife challenged me to make mashed potatoes that were low-fat. And I did with results that pleased her but left me with mixed feelings about their taste.

My low-fat mashed potatoes after whipping them with a hand mixer. Start by skinning and cutting potatoes into chucks to boil. When soft put them ina  bowl and add fat-free milk and Smart Balance to reach the desired creaminess.

My low-fat mashed potatoes after whipping them with a hand mixer. Start by skinning and cutting potatoes into chucks to boil. When soft, put them in a bowl and add fat-free milk and Smart Balance to reach the desired creaminess.

I started by using fat-free milk instead of regular or even 1%. Note that a cup of fat-free milk has 135 mgs of sodium for some reason that escapes me, so even there you have salt to deal with. I doubt I used a cup on five pounds of potatoes though. I don’t measure it in, just keep adding to get to the creaminess I want for the potatoes.

Instead of butter, I used Smart Balance which one nutritionist recommended to me. I actually used a variety called Smart Balance Light which has less sodium, only 80 mgs a tablespoon and 5 grams of fat. I used about four tablespoons, so there was still 20 grams of fat in the five pounds of potatoes. Continue reading

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Happy low-salt, low-fat Thanksgiving!

If you’re like me, you’ve been cooking since the pre-dawn hours today. Hopefully you’ve tried some of my low-salt, low-fat recipes and you saw my warning about checking the sodium content of your turkey before buying one.

So all that’s left is to finish the cooking and enjoy. Thanksgiving is perhaps my favorite holiday of the year because it transcends all religions, or lack of religions, and celebrates the American family coming together to give thanks for each other.

Time to eat all those turkeys! Happy Thanksgiving!

Time to eat all those turkeys! Happy Thanksgiving!

We will be doing that in a very special way at our house this year, my son is with us from Minneapolis, my wife’s brother is coming over and she has relatives and friends here all the way from Holland to share our special feast.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
John

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