Pandemic Gardening: Here’s some tips for planting in pots

The Pandemic has changed American behavior in countless ways, but one healthy aspect of it has been that people started growing more of their own food.

Pandemic vegetable gardens sprang up across the country last year and it’s likely people already are planting again for this summer. Here’s a good piece for those with little space who rely on big pots for their planting, 10 Vegetables That Thrive in Pots, No Garden Required.

To be fair, I don’t know if I consider herbs and edible flowers as vegetables, but the story does list others like lettuce, tomatoes, kale and even min eggplants. And there is one I never heard of, cucamelons, also known as mouse melons.

The pandemic prompted me to clear out some space on the side of our house for a new raised garden this spring. I’ve planted it with green beans, which can grow even in shady spots such as where the garden is.

So even apartment dwellers whose only outside space might be a terrace can get into the gardening movement, enjoy.

Cholesterol and Heart-Health: Not Nearly as Simple as We’d Like It To Be

Keep your cholesterol numbers down, particularly the “bad” cholesterol, and you’ll keep your heart healthy…at least that’s what we’d like to think. Sadly, Americans constant search for easy answers about eating and good health gravitate to simple solutions that, most of the time, are simply wrong.

That goes for cholesterol too, according to this article entitled What everyone gets wrong about cholesterol in food on Cnn.com.

The biggest issue, the article notes, “the amount of cholesterol in your food doesn’t necessarily translate to the amount of cholesterol in your blood vessels..”

To elaborate, the article goes on:

‘”Eating foods rich in cholesterol does increase blood cholesterol, usually by a small, but still significant amount,” explained Dr. Stephen Devries, a preventive cardiologist and executive director of the educational nonprofit Gaples Institute in Deerfield, Illinois. But the effect of eating foods that contain a lot of cholesterol “may not be as high as one might expect, because most of the cholesterol in blood actually comes from the body’s own production.” When you consume a bunch of cholesterol, your body will usually make less to compensate.’

Are eggs bad for us because of cholesterol? That’s a more complicated question than you might imagine.

So sorry, it’s not as simple as we’d like. Believe me, I know from first-hand experience. I’ve been on cholesterol-lowering medication since my first stent in 2012 but it didn’t prevent a second blockage in 2017 (and a second stent) and my blood pressure has been elevated recently, so a third blockage could be developing which may require a third angioplasty this summer.

Our bodies and their relationships with what with eat are still much more complex than we know, or would want them to be unfortunately.

Cucumbers everywhere — here’s 34 recipes to use them

Cucumbers have been on sale a lt lately at my local food stores, which is great since I love putting them in my daily salads. But you can do so much more with them too, as this piece, 34 Recipes to Use Up All Your Fresh Cucumbers shows.

It’s slide show of recipes, so it will take some time to scroll through them all, but you’re bound to find ones you can enjoy.

Chicken and cucumber lettuce wraps sounds good to me, for example. although I would leave out the penaut sauce, I can’t stand the taste of peanuts and many people are allergic to them.

You can find some of my favorite cucumber recipes on our recipe page, just click here.

Sabra Hummus recall — check the states to see if you’re affected

Salmonella has reared its ugly head again, this time in a tub of Sabra hummus. As a result, roughly 2,100 cases of the product ahve been recalled in 16 states by maker Sabra Dipping Company, LLC.

The states affected are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Indiana, Mississippi, Maine, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, New Jersey, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

Details of which products are involved:

  • Product name: Sabra’s 10-ounce Classic Hummus
  • UPC code: 300067
  • Best by date: 4/26/21
  • Production date: On: Feb 10 Between: 18:00:27 and 23:49:00

If you have this in your fridge, you can return it to where you bought it or visit www.sabrahummusrecall.com for a refund. Consumers can also contact Sabra Consumer Relations at 1-866-265-6761 for additional information Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. eastern time.

A different take of making your own pizza

I was recently contacted about a new cookbook coming out, the No Sugar Baker Cookbook of Healthy Living and No Regrets. I just received a review copy and will be writing about it soon.

In the meantime, the author sent me a recipe to share. Recipes in the book are geared to diabetics and others watching their sugar/glucose intake. So I was interested to see if the sample recipe also would be low-salt, low-fat. Well, not exactly, I need to modify it a bit, as I often do. But I am intrigued about the idea of using almond flour for the crust. I usually buy a low-salt, super thin crust for mine, you can see that recipe by clicking here.

See my modifications in italic below

No Sugar Baker’s Sausage and Broccoli Pizza To Die For!

Ingredients for Dough:

1 and 3/4 Cs. Almond Flour

½ C. Pasta Sauce (Low Carb) — look for no-salt-added pasta sauce; Trader Joe’s sells one, as does Hunt’s

½ t. Xanthun Gum or Corn Starch

1 t. Baking Powder

2 Eggs — I tend to only use the whites of eggs, or low-salt egg-white substitutes

1 T. Melted Butter — try a lower-fat butter alternative or olive oil

Splash of Seasonings: Salt, Garlic Powder, Italian Seasonings, Onion Powder — leave out the sale and use salt-free versions of the others

Combine all ingredients in food processer into dough ball. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Using parchment paper, roll out dough to desired thickness. Place dough on sprayed baking sheet. Prick dough with fork. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes. Flip dough and repeat.

Ingredients for Topping:

1 Lb. Cooked Bulk Sausage — omit, too much fat. If you must add meat, try extra lean ground turkey

2 C. Fresh Broccoli

1 C. =Pasta Sauce (Low Carb) — see above

2 Cups Mozzarella Cheese – use reduced-fat or fat-free Mozzarella, Kraft makes both but the fat-free is difficult to find in most stores.

Fresh Arugula or Basil

Olive Oil

Spread pasta sauce onto crust. Top crust with sausage and broccoli! Finish by topping with mozzarella cheese. Bake for another 10-12 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes. Cut fresh arugula or basil to the top and lightly add a glaze of olive oil! Cut and enjoy!

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