Walden Farms’ reformulated Ranch Dressing Tastes Good, But Note the Salt Content

Walden Farms recently announced a rebranding of its salad dressings to feature more natural ingredients.

Walden touts the dressings by saying they are “proudly free from artificial flavors and dyes, made with real vegetables, fruit fibers and ingredients. Offering a full line of specialty condiments and food enhancers with zero calories, zero net carbs, zero sugar and zero fat, Walden Farms uniquely provides consumers with unmatched attributes vs. other brands in the marketplace.”

While I applaud the no fat, no sugar message, I also would like to see some salt-free varieties offered. In e-mailing with a Walden representative, I requested a sample of the lowest salt dressing in the line, the Ranch dressing.

Continue reading “Walden Farms’ reformulated Ranch Dressing Tastes Good, But Note the Salt Content”

Healthy Emmie sees good eating habits coming as we emerge from the pandemic

It’s always fun to speak with someone who is passionate about food. Online nutritionist Healthy Emmie certainly fits in that category. We recently spoke about her expectations for American eating habits post-pandemic, as well as about her philosophy of healthy eating.

“This pandemic is changing everything, it’s making people look twice at taking health into their own hands, ” says Emmie, who began her healthy eating quest at age 19.

Healthy Emmie

Now 26, Emmie, a vegan, offers a program called the Slim on Starch Weight Loss Program. She developed her eating philosophy as she helped her parents become healthier. Seeing it work on them, she now promotes it to the world.

She believes in whole-food, plant-based eating and includes starchy items like potatoes and white rice — which some nutritionists shun — in her diet.

Her theory — eating only greens (as I did after my first heart surgery) will leave you hungry and likely send you back to unhealthy eating habits. Including healthy starches can fill you up and keep you plant-based.

“Starch is to satiety as water is to thirst,” she says.

You can download her sample one-day eating plan from her website by clicking here. Scroll to the bottom of the page to get it.

Plant-based, whole-food eating for her doesn’t include all the imitation meat products coming to market in recent days. I agree, so many of those are high in salt and fat, they really are no better for you than real meat.

I’ve written in the past that I’m not ready to go completely plant-based (my daughter has, she’s leading the family on that front). But I see world eating habits moving in that direction, especially among Millennials and Gen Zers.

As the Pandemic has progressed, Emmie has seen two types of people — those who used the pandemic early on to get a better grip on their health; and those who binged, gained pandemic pounds, and now need to address being heavier than they want or should be. Her business doubled during the Pandemic, says Emmie, who in based in Boston.

“No matter what has happened during the Pandemic, it’s never too late to get started with a healthy diet, start today,” she advises.

I couldn’t agree more.

Grocery shopping tips from Nicolette Pace

You may have seen Nicolette M. Pace on TV, her demo reel shows her making the rounds of the TV talk shows, discussing food and healthy eating. Her PR people recently reached out to me with her list of healthy grocery shopping and I’ve decided to share them with you here, just click the continue reading button if you’re seeing this on my home page. Enjoy and let me know what you think of them.

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Here’s how American eating habits will change post-pandemic

Two-thirds of Americans are re-evaluating their life priorities because of the Pandemic and that spells a change in American eating habits ahead, according to research from British market research firm Mintel.

Mintel’s Jenny Zegler

“In food and drink, US adults say the pandemic caused the most change in where they eat, how they grocery shop and how they approach their diets. Many of these new habits and attitudes will be routine when “the next normal” arrives in the US. Consumers will have more flexible meal needs, a reliance on ecommerce and a proactive approach to health,” writes Jenny Zegler, associate director of food and drink at Mintel.

(A brief disclosure here. I worked at Mintel from 2012 through the end of 2013, heading it’s food and beverage research group. Jenny worked briefly for me before moving on to bigger and better things at Mintel.)

Continue reading “Here’s how American eating habits will change post-pandemic”

Have you heard about allulose? I’m going to try it

Sugar is one of the big three ingredients we try to avoid but it is the hardest to walk away from. Who doesn’t love sugary things? So the quest goes on for a sugar-substitute that doesn’t carry the harmful side-effects of sugar. I recently read about one such alternative, allulose.

My test products with allulose instead of sugar.

Allulose is made from natural sources. It “is found naturally in very small amounts in foods like wheat, figs, corn, and raisins. It looks like sugar and tastes like sugar — really — but it doesn’t cause your blood sugar to spike and it contains just .4 calories per gram. That’s about 90 percent less than sugar, a stat that has contributed to its buzz.

“You’ll find it, like sugar, in most grocery stores, health food stores, and online. It doesn’t come cheap, though: A 12-ounce bag will cost around $10 dollars,” reports Cleanplates.com.

Supposedly, it has no adverse side effects. What I’m most interested in is if it causes gas and bloating like some of the substitutes used now in sugar-free products.

Continue reading “Have you heard about allulose? I’m going to try it”

The Pandemic isn’t done, and neither are the food shortages that have come with it

The pandemic has meant shortages of various products at mainline supermarkets for the past two years, from the absence of many low-salt products, to even such items as propane for backyard grills becoming difficult to find.

Expect Pandemic-induced food shortages to continue into the fall for a variety of items.

Expect shortages to persist into this fall, reports Today.com, “Rodney Holcomb, a food economist at Oklahoma State University, told TODAY in an email that we can expect to see a shortage of canned foods, but that this has to do more with the container than the actual food,” Today reports. Apparently even aluminum supplies are being impacted b the pandemic.

Also, “Meat and poultry products will still be tight supplies this fall, not necessarily because of a shortage of livestock or poultry but because COVID has processing plants working at less than full capacity,” Holcomb told Today.

A fine line exists between hoarding and stocking up when you see something you use regularly. I have a small basement freezer where I can store meat, poultry and fish items I find on sale.

Hopefully that stockpile will help me ride out shortages this fall and winter.

A modified crock pot recipe for honey garlic chicken

A major purpose of this blog is to take common recipes and redo them to cut out salt, fat and sugar. Here’s a perfect example, a recipe for honey garlic crock pot chicken I found on diethood.com.

To start, substitute chicken breasts for the thighs listed to cut fat substantially. Next, instead of soy sauce use Mrs. Dash salt-free teriyaki, or a similar salt-free brand. I’ve tested several, click here to read about them.

The Pandemic has seen many salt-free products disappear from supermarket shlves, so you may ahve to shop online to find any of these right now.

I’m not sure how high the sugar content is from using honey, if you worry about sugar, use less honey.

I’d also substitute a low-salt, low-sugar ketchup for a regular brand.

Here’s the recipe, with my substitutions noted:

Continue reading “A modified crock pot recipe for honey garlic chicken”

5 tips to make your lunch salad more than just lettuce

I eat salad for lunch almost daily. That started back in 2012 when a nutritionist told me lettuce was basically all I could eat because of my heart issues. She tossed out five pages of my favorite foods I’d brought to show her as all too high in salt, fat and sugar.

MY salad ingredients and the final product

Eating salad every day can get boring fast, lettuce is little more than water in a green form, after all. So, over the years, I’ve come up with some ways to make my lunch salad more than just lettuce with olive oil and vinegar.

The chief hacks I use:

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Grilled Mahi Mahi with Pineapple Salsa — Try it Before Winter Hits

If you’re in a northern climate as I am, your outdoor grilling season is slowly coming to a close. So, before it’s too late, try this wonderful mahi mahi recipe on your grill. It was quick to make (the salsa prep takes more time than the fish).

My grilled mahi mahi, served with corn, broccoli and the salsa called for in the recipe.

This recipe comes from Readyseteat.com, a site I hadn’t visited prior to this.

Here are the details:

INGREDIENTS

Grilling Spray

1 can (10 oz each) diced tomatoes & green chilies, drained [Ileft out the chillies]

1-1/4 cups fresh pineapple, diced

1/4 cup red onion, finely diced

3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided [leave this out, it’s not needed]

2 tablespoons vegetable oil [use olive oil instead]

4 mahi mahi fillets (about 4 ounces each), thawed if frozen

Continue reading “Grilled Mahi Mahi with Pineapple Salsa — Try it Before Winter Hits”

Poached salmon that surprised me with its flavor

I normally don’t like poaching proteins, I find it makes them taste a bit water-logged and bland. So I was pleasantly surprised by this poached salmon recipe I found on Tasteofhome.com.

Mt poached salmon with onions.

The recipe is called Chilled Salmon with Cucumber-Dill Sauce and, as the name says, it’s designed to be served chilled, perfect if you want to make it ahead and serve it the next day. The recipe also calls for light sour cream in the sauce, the only kind I use to cut down on my fat consumption.

The ingredients list is long, but its for the salmon and the sauce:

Ingredients
1-1/2 cups water
1 cup white wine or chicken broth
4 green onions, sliced
10 whole peppercorns
4 salmon fillets (5 ounces each)

Dill sauce:
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup chopped peeled cucumber
4-1/2 teaspoons snipped fresh dill or 1-1/2 teaspoons dill weed
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt (omit the salt)
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Continue reading “Poached salmon that surprised me with its flavor”

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