2015 in review

Thank you everyone for an amazing year!


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 57,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 21 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

No Salt, No Sugar Recipes for the 12 Days of Christmas — 2015 edition

Christmas time is here again and so we’re back with our 2nd annual No Salt, No Sugar recipes for the 12 days of Christmas. Last year’s list drew a lot of views and hopefully led to a lot of enjoyable meals.

This year we’re repeating some old favorites but also coming up with new recipes that we’ve posted in 2015. To give you choices, we’re listing our 2015 picks and our 2014 picks below. We’re off to a later start this year (sorry it’s been busy), so we start on Dec. 23 instead of the 22nd as we did last year.

Your salmon feast awaits.
Your salmon feast awaits.

Enjoy and a very Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates the holiday as well as a Happy New Year to all our readers as well!

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

Dec. 23
A New York lunch with family, what could be better, or healthier?

Can You Ever Make a Quick, Healthy Meal?

Dec. 24, Christmas Eve
Salmon, 5 ways

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

Dec. 25, Christmas Day
A party menu that is low in sugar, fat and salt

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

Recipe: Low-salt, low-fat baked mostaccioli

Dec. 26
Salmon salad for a lazy Saturday dinner treat

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

Dec. 27
A salmon dish for garlic lovers

Turning leftovers into a treat — a wonderful salmon salad

Dec. 28
A new take on turkey meatballs — apples and cranberries

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

Dec. 29
An arctic char recipe for Christmas time, or any time

Steelhead trout: a variation better than the norm?

Dec. 30
A Chinese food recipe that actually works as low-sodium?

Walleye: a tasty fish alternative

Dec. 31, New Year’s Eve
Creating a low-salt, low-fat taco dinner

Happy New Year: with no and low salt treats

Jan. 1
Matzo pizza — bringing two cultures together to get the salt out

Extra Lean Beefburgers

Jan. 2
Seafood and pasta, thank you Giada

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

Jan. 3
Grilled chicken recipe for the 4th? Try this rosemary chicken

Need to quit sugar? Here’s why and how to do it

Most of us are well aware that salt, sugar and fat are the demons in our lives that make us unhealthy. The truth is that we do need a little of certain salts in our bodies. And our brains need glucose (a type of sugar) to function. And, incredibly, there are good fats that are absolutely essential to our bodies.

Telling the difference is easier than you think when it comes to sugar at least. It’s important to understand why the sweet stuff is just so bad for us, though. We all understand that too many sweet things can lead to weight gain, but perhaps the reason for it is a little unclear. The energy, or calories, from sugar, can be burnt off quicker than carbohydrates. It gives us that awesome boost of energy just as we need it, right?

A typical vending machine candy bar.
A typical vending machine candy bar.

Yes, there are such things as ‘sugar-highs’, when you have taken on so much sugar so quickly it makes you feel excitable and energized. But that passes really quick, and you can then feel low and lethargic. The process that removes the sugar from your bloodstream can also be damaged over time. This can lead to several health problems, including diabetes. That’s why even children shouldn’t be exposed to lots of sugar. It can just bring the problem on more quickly.

Continue reading “Need to quit sugar? Here’s why and how to do it”

Going salt-free: these substitute ingredients are all you need

You might not think it, but there’s a lot of salt that goes into the food we eat! I’m not just talking about the salt you put on your food at home. When you buy “packaged” foods, they often contain some added salt. For example, things like pasta sauces often contain lots of salt.

Most people will know by now the problems salt can bring to one’s body. Examples include kidney stones, raised blood pressure, obesity and even cancer. The shocking truth is that’s just a small subset of conditions caused by a high salt intake.


If you want to eat more healthily, one thing you can do is reduce or even eradicate salt from your diet. Now, you might be thinking that salt adds flavor to the foods you eat. But here’s the thing: there are plenty of substitute ingredients out there you can use. Continue reading “Going salt-free: these substitute ingredients are all you need”

Fast food breakfast top food story for 2015 — woe is us

Fast food breakfast was named the top food story of 2015 in a survey by Hunter Public Relations, a New York firm that works with food clients, reported Ad Age recently. You can thank McDonald’s decision to offer some of its breakfast items all day for that.

Want half a day's salt in one meal ? Here it is.
Want half a day’s salt in one meal ? Here it is.

Love it or hate it, when McDonald’s does something, the world notices, as this survey confirms. Other reports I’ve seen say McDoanld’s business is up because of its decision, people apparently like buying Egg McMuffins at any time of day.

Maybe they should check the McDonald’s Meal Builder site first to see how much sodium is in an Egg McMuffin — 730 mgs, or about half what someone like me who has heart troubles is supposed to consume in a day. Continue reading “Fast food breakfast top food story for 2015 — woe is us”

Salt or sugar — pick your poison

Sugar has come in for a lot of criticism of late when it comes to health, being blamed for a range of issues. But now Canadian researchers are saying salt is the most demon of the demon trio of salt, fat and sugar.

Congress wants to keep American School children addicted to salt. Shame, shame shame on them.
Americans eat too much salt, period.

“[Sugar is] not of the same impact as salt and not associated with as many diseases. Salt is worse than sugar,” Dr. Norm Campbell with the University of Calgary’s Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta said in a recent CBC News item. “About one-third of hypertension around the world is caused by excess dietary salt, so about 300 million people in the world have hypertension due to excess salt and over two million in Canada,” Dr.Campbell said.

In addition to hypertension, salt also impacts:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis and MS
  • Migraines
  • Gastric Cancer
  • Obesity

Continue reading “Salt or sugar — pick your poison”

No-salt Christmas gifts? Here’s some suggestions

Healthy Heart Market has variety of low-salt and low-fat items. I’ve written about one product from there in the past. I initially bought items from it after my 2012 angioplasty, but haven’t in more recent days as I find more items locally, saving me the shipping costs of ordering online.

Gift boxes from Heart Healthy Market
Gift boxes from Heart Healthy Market

But I’m still on the Healthy Heart Market e-mail list, so I was intrigued to recently get something from there advertising gift boxes for Christmas. Boxes include one for soups, another for condiments, even as Asian box — a good trick since Asian food is notoriously high in sodium. The Asian box includes one of my favorite product, Mrs. Dash teriyaki marinade.

Continue reading “No-salt Christmas gifts? Here’s some suggestions”

A new take on turkey meatballs — apples and cranberries

Turkey meatballs have become a major part of my redone Italian recipe file when cooking at home. I also make them for parties, serving them in my low-salt, low-fat homemade Italian tomato sauce (we call it gravy in my family).

Turkey meatballs are a low-fat, low-salt alternative to beef meatballs.
Turkey meatballs are a low-fat, low-salt alternative to beef meatballs.

So I was excited to see this take on turkey meatballs that includes apples in the meat mixture and a cranberry sauce. The recipe appeared in a recent LoseIt newsletter where LoseIt linked to another site that had the recipe and lots of photos. Here’s the ingredient list:

For the Meatballs:

  • 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup shredded tart apple, such as Granny Smith, washed with peel on
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped sage
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Chopped fresh parsley, optional for garnish

For the Cranberry Sauce:

  • 1 cup whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice

Continue reading “A new take on turkey meatballs — apples and cranberries”

A salmon dish for garlic lovers

Salmon is a fish I love and garlic is another favorite, a is lemon. So I was excited to try a recipe I saw in People magazine for salmon with lemon, garlic and leeks. Oddly enough, I can;t find the recipe online, it may be behind a People pay wall of some kind. So I’ll just detail it for you here.

My lemon salmon. I used leek instead of scallions and it came great. I loved the garlic flavor.
My lemon salmon. I used leek instead of scallions and it came great. I loved the garlic flavor.

Start with 4 pieces of salmon, about 6-7 ounces each. Cut up two scallions and mince two gloves of garlic.

Whisk together a quarter cup of olive oil, the scallions, a tablespoon of lemon juice, a tablespoon of honey and the garlic. The recipe also calls for tamari, a soy product. I’ve never used that and don’t have it in my house, so I just left it out. The dish tasted great without it.

Put the liquid mixture into a large zip-top bag and add the salmon to marinate it. The recipe calls for marinating 15 to 30 minutes at room temperature. I went with 15 minutes because we were hungry and it worked fine.

Continue reading “A salmon dish for garlic lovers”

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