Slow-Roasted chicken with lots of garlic

Garlic is one of my old-time food loves. Growing up Italian, it was always around and I came to love it. As an adult, I had roasted garlic for the first time and feel in love with that a swell. So whenever I see a recipe that talks about lots of garlic, like this one from Bon Appetit, I’m interested.

Try skinless chicken breasts instead of the whole chicken to cut the fat.
Try skinless chicken breasts instead of the whole chicken to cut the fat.

Slow-roasted chicken with all the garlic was the headline in the BA newsletter I received recently. I had to click through. As with most recipes I see, I’d make some modifications to make it lower-fat and lower-salt. Use chicken breasts instead of a whole chicken as the recipe calls for. Continue reading “Slow-Roasted chicken with lots of garlic”

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Skillet rosemary chicken, modified to cut salt and fat

Food Network has tons of recipes it sends me via regular email newsletters but many of them have too much salt, fat and sugar for my post-angioplasty diet. So I find myself modifying them to suit what I need now. Such is the case with this skillet rosemary

Food Network Rosemary Chicken
Food Network Rosemary Chicken

chicken.

Here are the ingredients Food Network specifies:

3/4 pound small red-skinned potatoes, halved, or quartered if large
Kosher salt
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus 1 tablespoon leaves
1 clove garlic, smashed
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Juice of 2 lemons (squeezed halves reserved)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts (6 to 8 ounces each)
10 ounces cremini mushrooms, halved Continue reading “Skillet rosemary chicken, modified to cut salt and fat”

A Chicago north suburban favorite reborn — Kappy’s

Kappy’s has been in the Chicago suburb of Morton Grove for more than 30 years and was the kind of old-school diner that had the spinning dessert refrigerator in the front with massive cakes and pies in it all the time. When my son was young, I remember taking him there for a birthday meal just so he could get a piece of one of those cakes.

My Kappy's veggie omelette with fruit and whole wheat
My Kappy’s veggie omelette with fruit and whole wheat toast.

Massive pieces of cake are off my menu since my 2012 angioplasty, and they;re apparently not front-and-center at Kappy’s anymore either. A new generation of the owner-family has taken off and freshened the place up a bit.

My wife and I tried it on a recent Sunday. The menu is still immense and I didn’t see many low-fat, low-salt choices despite the new decor. So I went with what has become my standby meal at such places, an egg-white omelette. It was one of the best I’ve had. Continue reading “A Chicago north suburban favorite reborn — Kappy’s”

A new take on a favorite, Greek roasted tilapia

The recipe calls for reduced fat feta, I substituted fat-free feta which I find is relatively easy to find in my area. I also leave out the salt suggested.

Tilapia is a favorite of mine, especially when I want to make a relatively quick, healthy meal. So I’m always looking for new ways to prepare it. I have several you can check out on my recipe page.

My Greek roasted tilapia ready to go in the oven.
My Greek roasted tilapia ready to go in the oven.

Recently, I came across this recipe for Greek Roasted Tilapia in People magazine. Here’s a version that looks very close on Food.com (I can;t find People recipes online, they must be behind a pay wall).

The recipe calls for reduced fat feta, I substituted fat-free feta which I find is relatively easy to find in my area. I also leave out the salt suggested. The recipe is for half a pound of tilapia. Other ingredients are parsley, garlic, tomatoes and black pepper along with olive oil, so it’s pretty basic. Continue reading “A new take on a favorite, Greek roasted tilapia”

A different option for low-salt, canned tomatoes

I’m a big fan of making my own tomato sauce (we called it gravy in my Italian-American family) to have with whole wheat pasta. Almost any prepared sauce from a store, be it jarred or canned, will be loaded with salt.

Something new to me, extra heavy tomatoes.
Something new to me, extra heavy tomatoes.

Look for the low-salt canned tomatoes when making your own, though, usually any San Marzano tomato will be lower in salt than no-name varieties, as I’ve written before. That said, I was surprised to find a new variation on canned tomatoes at our local Valli Produce.

As you can see, the can calls them “Extra Heavy Crushed Tomatoes.” I thought that was just marketing hype until I opened them. They were really thick, more like a tomato paste than crushed tomatoes. Continue reading “A different option for low-salt, canned tomatoes”

Farm-to-table claims — again it’s buyer beware

My personal gripe with farm-to-table places near me is their menus still seem crammed with high-salt, high-fat dishes, no matter where they’re getting their other ingredients.

I recently wrote about how people need to be careful when buying anything labeled grass-fed beef, given that the USDA says it can;t police who uses that when for their products any longer. And now I’ve come across this story from Tampa warning that the rash of new restaurants popping up these days calling themselves farm-to-table may not be what they claim either.

Mondelez has to compete with fruit for the healthy snack trade, can it?
Always check claims of farm-to-table freshness at restaurants.

The food critic for the Tampa Bay Times checked into claims by some farm-to-table places in that area and was not happy with the results.

“This is a story we are all being fed. A story about overalls, rich soil and John Deere tractors scattering broods of busy chickens. A story about healthy animals living happy lives, heirloom tomatoes hanging heavy and earnest artisans rolling wheels of cheese into aging caves nearby,” writes Times food critic Laura Reiley of the so-called farm-to-table restaurant craze.  Continue reading “Farm-to-table claims — again it’s buyer beware”

Gaga for grass-fed beef? You may want to think again

So before you pluck down extra bucks for something that calls itself grass-fed beef, do some research on the producer, it’s buyer beware in this category for the time being.

Food processors spend a lot of money keeping their fingers on the pulse of the buying public and responding when they discern a trend in what consumers want. Unfortunately what they respond with often is not what consumers had hoped to get, or even what they think they are getting.

Is that grass-fed beef? We may never know.
Is that grass-fed beef? We may never know.

Yes, the Department of Agriculture does have a definition for what can be considered organic food, but beyond that when you start talking about products calling themselves natural, genuine, local, or other buzz=terms consumers want, it all gets very, very cloudy. Continue reading “Gaga for grass-fed beef? You may want to think again”