I wrote recently about my low-salt, low-fat baked mossaccioli. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making it.
Start with wheat pasta and low-fat ricotta cheese, about 13 ounces of each (these once came in 16-ounce packages but food makers have cut package sizes rather than raise prices in recent tough economic times).
I consider this dish a splurge but enjoy it immensely as a special occasion treat or a pick-me-up when I’m feeling tired or sick.
Most of the Italian-American classics I grew up with, lasagna, manicotti, stuffed shells, are off-limits to me now because of the fat in the cheese used, not to mention the high salt content of most cheese as well. I also can only eat whole wheat pasta now to get away from simple carbs that could impact my pre-diabetic sugar levels.
I have found whole wheat pastas I enjoy and I have begun finding low-fat and even no-fat Italian cheese. The cheeses still contains high salt levels, though, so I use them sparingly and as a treat.
I’m not faulting the restaurant, food there was quite good. I’m saying always say “no added salt,” when you order out. Cooks add it to everything, thinking it enhances flavor. But if you’re off it, it will do just the opposite.
Eating out is a constant challenge on a no salt, no fat, no sugar diet. Nutritionists have told me to stop because it’s just not possible. But I continue to find places that either cook with no salt, or will if you ask when you’re ordering.
Recently, though, while we were visiting my son and daughter-in-law in St. Paul, Mn., I forgot to ask one night and paid the salt price for it.
I’m not sure if my Game Burger had less fat than a regular beef burger would, but I am sure I enjoyed it. I can only hope it was lower in fat.
My quest to find lean meat options brought me to the Twin Cities one recent weekend and a restaurant my daughter-in-law and son recommended that serves something called a Game Burger.
The Game Burger at the Happy Gnome in St. Paul is a mixture of bison and elk, two red meats known to be leaner than most beef cuts. I had eaten deer sausage at the Berghof in Chicago years ago and not liked the taste or smell. Elk and red deer are the same species and what restaurants sell as elk is often farm raised red deer, I later discovered. But I was willing to try a blend, hoping it would satisfy my taste for a juicy burger on a Saturday night. Continue reading “Ever try an elk burger? Is elk lean?”