New Year’s Eve: what can you eat to ring in the New Year?

New Year’s Eve during my childhood meant a big family party at my grandmother’s house. Those events stayed with me in such a profound way that I eventually wrote and produced a play about them called New Year’s Eve at Grandma’s House. Food was a major part of those parties but many if not all of those treats are off my eating list since having a angioplasty done in 2012.

My low-salt, low-fat Super Bowl treats. Try them for New Year's Eve too.
My low-salt, low-fat Super Bowl treats. Try them for New Year’s Eve too.

If you’re in a similar boat, take some heart, there are low- and no-salt treats you can still munch on this New Year’s Eve. You’ll still have to watch the fat in many of them, but it’s better than sitting home alone waiting for the clock to strike 12 by yourself.

My suggestion would be to host your own party so you can pick the menu and control what’s available. If you go out instead, check ahead. My wife and I plan to have dinner and go dancing at a place with a menu of fish and lean beef, perfect for me to ring in a New Year.

Happy New Year everyone!
John

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Going fishing, day 2: walleye for dinner tonight

Fish is on our 12 days of Christmas menu again tonight, but this time it’s walleye, another Midwest favorite, especially in Wisconsin where I spent my undergrad college years.

My walleye with peppers and onions.
My walleye with peppers and onions.

Walleye may taste fishier than most to some people who are sensitive to such things, but I find it a filling, hearty fish for a cold winter’s night.

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

Try it with a salt-free honey mustard marinade as I did this past year. And then start thinking about New Year’s Eve which is almost upon us!
John

Haul in some fish dinners this week; steelhead trout tonight

Time to switch gears and cook up some tasty fish dishes this week after the pasta and other heavier treats of Christmas week just past. so our 12 Days of low-fat, low-salt, low-sugar meals switches into fish mode for this New Year’s week.

Start it in a pan coated with a spray olive oil.
To cook your steelhead, start it in a pan coated with a spray olive oil.

Today’s recipe is for steelhead trout, a variety of the ubiquitous trout (at least in the Midwest) that you can get at many local fish counters.

Steelhead trout served simply with lemon on the side.
Steelhead trout served simply with lemon on the side.

Because of its pink color, steelhead can be confused with salmon but it is trout, so prepare it as such. Fry it up with lemon juice for a tasty dinner main course tonight!
John

Rosemary chicken, a nice change of pace

My 12 days of Christmas low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar recipes have been heavy on Italian accented dishes so far, you can see my heritage at work in those. So here’s a change of pace today, a simple rosemary chicken dish that can be served with a side of green beans or even a peppers and onion mixture to add some additional flavors.

Chicken rosemary skewers were wonderfully flavorful and easy to make.
Chicken rosemary skewers are wonderfully flavorful and easy to make.

The original recipe comes from the Food Network, but I’ve left out the salt to reduce the sodium content. I made this as a summer outdoor recipe this past year, but you can just as easily make it in the oven inside, or grill the skewers on your stove should you have a grill top there.

Enjoy as we start the second week of the holiday season and our holiday low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar recipes.
John

Salmon salad for a lazy Saturday dinner treat

The 12 days of Christmas are speeding by and, at this point, you likely have had your fill of big meals. So why not something light for dinner tonight, like a salad topped with something left over from one of your earlier feasts?

My wonderful salmon salad.
My wonderful salmon salad.

My Saturday suggestion is a salmon salad, a big bowl of spring greens and tomatoes topped off by a piece of salmon that may be left over from your Christmas Eve fish feast. A tilapia fillet also would work as a topping as would chunks of leftover crab or lobster you also may have eaten Christmas Eve.

Today is a day to relax, enjoy the blessing in your life, and have a low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar diner treat.

John

The day after Christmas: try some whole-wheat, low-salt, low-fat pizza

You made it through Christmas in one piece, congratulations! But you likely still have hungry mouths to feed around you, so here’s something quick and easy for dinner that still fits, barely in the low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar category.

I’ve crafted a pizza with a store-bought whole-wheat crust and salt-free tomato sauce along with fat-free cheese. Add whatever veggies on top that tickle your fancy, and you’re ready to go. Buy several of these crusts and let guests create their own combination of toppings. But some low-fat cheese for those who don’t want the no-fat too. You can chuckle about their arteries clogging up after they leave!

I've come up with a relatively low-salt, low-fat pizza, but any takeout will have both too much salt and too much fat in the cheese, even without adding meats.
I’ve come up with a relatively low-salt, low-fat pizza, but any takeout will ahve both too much salt and too much fat in the cheese, even without adding meats.

These are quick to make, serve with a side salad and any leftovers from Christmas to maintain a fun Italian theme for two days in a row. Continue reading “The day after Christmas: try some whole-wheat, low-salt, low-fat pizza”

Merry Christmas! Here’s some low-salt, low-sugar dinner recipes

The wonderful smell of tomato sauce cooking on the stove is wafting through my house as I write this post. What better special treat to make for Christmas Day than an Italian pasta dish with whole wheat or multi-grain pasta and low- or no-fat cheese?

Baked mostaccoli, or do you call them ziti?
Baked mostaccoli, or do you call them ziti?

For a side dish, make turkey meatballs from extra lean or lean ground turkey, depending on your preference. My 12 Days of no sugar, no salt, no fat Christmas recipes includes two choices for Christmas day, mini-manicotta with low-fat ricotta cheese in them, or baked mostaccoli using the same low-fat cheese.

Either will wow your family and friends, and in my opinion can be one of the few meals you make that will truly fill you up. So enjoy, and check my other recipe for this holiday season.

Merry Christmas to all my readers, thank you for stopping by!
John

No-salt, no-sugar recipes for Christmas Eve: it time for lots of fish

Christmas Eve in the Italian-American culture I grew up in was a time for a family feast of seven kinds of fish.

Whether you’re Italian or not, what better thing to make for Christmas Eve if you’re on a no-salt, no-sugar, no-fat, or low of any of those, diet? Fish is low in fat and most are low in salt. If you’ve been reading along, you’ve seen my 12 Days of Christmas recipes lean heavily on fish dishes.

The Crab Pot seafood feast
We had this seafood feast at a restaurant in Seattle, but you can make your own at home for Christmas Eve.

What are the traditional seven fishes? No one answer exists for that, oddly enough. The answer depended on where people live in Italy as they rely on local fish for their Christmas Eve vigil meals. In that way, they were way ahead of the local food movement only now taking hold in the United States.

So see what fish looks good at your supermarket fish counter or local fish store and then use any of the salt-free, low-sugar marinades I’ve written about here.

Enjoy.
John

Try tilapia for the 2nd day of Christmas

The day before Christmas Eve can be more hectic than either Christmas itself or Christmas Eve. Chances are you still have to go to work and then cook for family and visitors when you get home at night. Or, you’re running around doing last-minute shopping, picking up kids home from college and relatives visiting from afar. You don’t have a lot of time to cook.

A simple tilapia dinner
A simple tilapia dinner

So try a simple tilapia dish. Tilapia fillets cook quickly and you can use a variety of no-salt seasoning mixes to add flavor. Click here to see my recipe.

Go with broccoli for a side, make a big salad for everyone too. If you ant get fresh broccoli or don’t have the time to clean it, try frozen instead.
John

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