Let’s stop the sea salt nonsense

Sea salt has become a cooking darling in recent years, but unfortunately that has come with the myth that it is somehow less salty than salt mined from the ground. Salt is salt folks and if you have high blood pressure, or if you don’t want to get high blood pressure, cut the salt today, period.

Salt is salt, whether from the sea or underground. Cut it from your diet.
Salt is salt, whether from the sea or underground. Cut it from your diet.

I was glad to see this piece in Recordonline.com which tried to debunk the sea salt myths.

“Contrary to some popular belief, sea salt and table salt contain the same amount of sodium chloride. Switching won’t help you with your high blood pressure,” wrote Fred R Cicetti in his column, The Healthy Geezer.

Continue reading “Let’s stop the sea salt nonsense”

Here’s what to do with the salt you’re not eating

Cutting salt from your diet is a major part of what this blog is all about. Since trimming my salt intake after a 2012 angioplasty I’ve lost weight and gotten my blood pressure down.

Here are some salt uses that won;t hurt you -- they all involve cleaning.
Here are some salt uses that won’t hurt you — they all involve cleaning.

But we still have salt in the house, for when guests ask for it. It seems to get little use otherwise, just taking up space in my pantry. So I enjoyed this video a friend sent me called 7 Salt Life Hacks You Should Know. Continue reading “Here’s what to do with the salt you’re not eating”

Greener food, local and natural all pop up in Euromonitor’s food trends

The year is still young enough to look at food trend predictions for 2016. Euromonitor, an international research firm, came out with its top trends for this year and included a food section. It’s expecting to see what it terms “Greener Food,” by which it means,

“More of us will be eating greener. More people will care about cutting down on food waste in and beyond the home, try harder to avoid unhealthy food and overeating and be keener on more natural, local and seasonal food. More of us will consider cheaper food past its best before date and shop in retail chains selling it. And even fast food is getting greener,” writes Euromonitor analyst Daphne Kasriel-Alexander.

MY cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet, ready for roasting
How perfect does produce need to look before you’ll buy it?

People will accept uglier food than in the past, in other words blemished fruits and vegetables that Americans seem loathe to pick up in a supermarket, in order to cut food waste, she reasons. Continue reading “Greener food, local and natural all pop up in Euromonitor’s food trends”

Activity-based food labeling? Wow what a concept

Reading food nutritional labeling is something I advocate religiously on this blog. Few people realize just how much salt, fat and sugar is in most items they pick up in a typical supermarket. Those who are aware are increasingly shopping at non-traditional supermarkets and food vendors, but I fear they’re not reading labels either, simply assuming what they buy at such stores in healthier. Big mistake.

I recently came across a fascinating concept out of England regarding labels — putting icons on labels to show how much of a given activity, say running, you’d need to do to burn off the calories in a given food item you buy. Continue reading “Activity-based food labeling? Wow what a concept”

Why fresh vegetables aren’t on sale at supermarkets

Supermarket ad flyers feature what the industry calls loss-leaders, items a supermarket is marking down to draw you into the store so you’ll buy processed foods with higher mark-ups. Vegetables used to be among these loss-leaders but I’ve been noticing lately than they’re not popping up on sales as much as they once did.

Mondelez has to compete with fruit for the healthy snack trade, can it?
Supermarkets realize shopper demand for fruit and vegetables is going up, so expect to see those items put on sale less often than in the past.trade, can it?

The reason is that people apparently are finally getting the message that they should be eating more fresh veggies and fruits and so are buying more. This was driven home to me in a recent Supermarket News opinion piece that’s worth a read. While it’s aimed at stores, it makes the point, “The growth of fresh and perishable products has been steady and strong.” Continue reading “Why fresh vegetables aren’t on sale at supermarkets”

My Diet is Better than Yours: episode update and review

I blogged recently about the new ABC show, My Diet is Better than Yours. I’m not sure I’ll write about it every week, but thought enough happened last week to write about it again here.

A second so-called fitness/diet expert got booted by the person she was trying to train. The cLean Momma Diet is history for this season, it seems, and the advocate of it got a bit testy when she got the boot, blaming her contestant for not following the plan. Really, sour grapes? Bad form, I’d say.

The No diet Plan is , so far, my favorite, but it does have a diet component, drop the processed foods and eat more fruits and veggies -- not exactly rocket science but something most people have trouble doing.
The No diet Plan is , so far, my favorite, but it does have a diet component, drop the processed foods and eat more fruits and veggies — not exactly rocket science but something most people have trouble doing.

It does bring up a good point though — each of our bodies is unique and what works for one person often does not work for another.  Continue reading “My Diet is Better than Yours: episode update and review”

The winning recipe for Battle Eggplant at the Frank house

We had a fun cooking challenge at our house this Christmas that we dubbed Battle Eggplant in honor of the original Japanese version of Iron Chef. I gave each of my adult children and their partners an eggplant and challenged them to come up with original dishes in one hour, using any ingredients they could find in our kitchen. I wrote recently about the recipe my son and his wife created, Jerusalem Eggplant Surprise.

Jenny and Daniel creating their winning eggplant dip recipe.
Jenny and Daniel creating their winning eggplant dip recipe.

This spot gives you the recipe for my daughter and her friend Daniel’s winning recipe, an eggplant dip.

Here is her description and the recipe, as best she remembers it. Ingredients were flying out of our spice cabinet fast and furious during that hour, so you may have to experiment a bit to find the exact recipe ingredient amounts. Continue reading “The winning recipe for Battle Eggplant at the Frank house”

From the Ground Up North, a site for foodies to bookmark

I recently wrote about an eggplant recipe my son and his wife created for our Christmas dinner. What I didn’t mention in that post was that my son is passionate about in the local food movement and has his own blog, called From the Ground Up North, to spotlight local food undertakings in the upper Midwest.

The logo of From the Ground Up North
The logo of From the Ground Up North

You can read his blog by simply clicking on this link. He also recently was a guest on an Internet radio outlet that calls itself Food Freedom Radio. You can listen to his interview about food and the differences between regenerative and sustainable agriculture by clicking this link to the podcast version fo the show.  Continue reading “From the Ground Up North, a site for foodies to bookmark”

An original eggplant recipe from the Frank family, next generation

Christmas 2015 brought a rare and special gift for me, both my adult children and their partners were able to be back in our home for Christmas dinner. My son lives in St. Paul, Minn. these days and my daughter is even farther away in Portland, Ore., so this was truly a very special holiday for me, and one that ended up producing some new holiday dishes I recommend to you, especially if you’re a fan of eggplant as I am.

I was creating an extensive low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar Christmas menu but also was thinking about my daughter’s vegetarian diet when I decided to give my children a menu challenge of their own — we would stage Battle Eggplant ala the old Iron Chef show, a program we enjoyed watching together when they were younger.

The contestants, from left to right, Matt and Kelsey, me, Daniel and Jenny.
The contestants, from left to right, Matt and Kelsey, me, Daniel and Jenny.

I presented them each with a large eggplant and opened our kitchen to them in terms of spices and other ingredients. Anything we had was open to use, much like the Iron Chef shows. My wife’s family, which came after the cooking was done to eat dinner with us as well, would be the judges and not know who made which dish. Continue reading “An original eggplant recipe from the Frank family, next generation”

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