Poached salmon that surprised me with its flavor

I normally don’t like poaching proteins, I find it makes them taste a bit water-logged and bland. So I was pleasantly surprised by this poached salmon recipe I found on Tasteofhome.com.

Mt poached salmon with onions.

The recipe is called Chilled Salmon with Cucumber-Dill Sauce and, as the name says, it’s designed to be served chilled, perfect if you want to make it ahead and serve it the next day. The recipe also calls for light sour cream in the sauce, the only kind I use to cut down on my fat consumption.

The ingredients list is long, but its for the salmon and the sauce:

Ingredients
1-1/2 cups water
1 cup white wine or chicken broth
4 green onions, sliced
10 whole peppercorns
4 salmon fillets (5 ounces each)

Dill sauce:
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup chopped peeled cucumber
4-1/2 teaspoons snipped fresh dill or 1-1/2 teaspoons dill weed
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt (omit the salt)
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Continue reading “Poached salmon that surprised me with its flavor”

Another flavorful way to cook white-meat chicken — and it’s fast!

Early on in this blog I wrote a post asking how many ways someone could prepare white-meat chicken. I was making the transition to how I had always eaten to eating only items my nutritionists had recommended after my first stent was put in, back in 2012.

I’ve since found and written about many options for making the driest part of chickens, the white meat, tastier and more palatable.

Check my recipe page for some of those past recipes. This post will look at a new, simple variation I recently came across, 10-minute chicken.

The ingredients, with my notes about them, are:

  • 4 thin chicken breasts (boneless, skinless) (be sure they’re thin, the thicker the chicken, the longer you need to cook it)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (one for rubbing and one for cooking)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt (leave this out,m you don;t need it)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic (pressed)
  • 2 teaspoons parsley (dried)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme (dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I’m not a fan of hot peppers, I’d substitute Mrs. Dash chicken spice mix instead)

Then,:

  • Rub the chicken breasts generously with oil. Season with all of the seasonings.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat another 2 tablespoons of oil and add the chicken breasts. Cover the pan with a lid, leaving a small gap for steam to escape. Cook for 3 minutes without touching the pan or the chicken. Once the tops of the chicken turn white, flip and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and serve immediately.

Remember to always cook chicken thoroughly. If you can cut it and see red meat or meat that looks more like jelly, it’s not done, the meat should be white all the way through the entire breast.

The No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar Journal celebrates a milestone — 800 posts!

What you’re reading now is the 801st post in the history of the No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar Journal. When we started in late 2012, we never imagined we’d still be going all these years later.

Our initial goal was to help people who, because of heart disease or other ailments, had to radically change their diets to cut salt, fat and sugar. Those three things are in almost everything Americans routinely eat, so eliminating them is a herculean task.

But we have persisted and you have responded, making our No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar Recipe Page the most popular thing on our site. Do a search for such recipes and we will be at the top of your search page just under the paid placements.

Happy 800 posts to us!!!!

When the Pandemic hit, we pivoted to posting recipes that would work for families stuck at home together. We also starting labeling posts with topics such as Pandemic Shopping, to let you know about which no-salt, no-fat, no-sugar items were disappearing from local stores shelves and how to find them in alternate outlets.

We’re on track for a record year for views, thank you, and keep coming back! And tell your friends.

Eating less salt, fat and sugar can benefit anyone, not just those with health conditions already. Hopefully eating healthier can help you not get some of the health conditions that originally prompted the launch of this blog.

Stay safe, stay masked, get vaccinated and stay no-salt, no-fat, no-sugar.

Grilled chicken with an Italian Flair — Grilled Caprese Chicken

Summer grilling season is here and we can always use a new heart-healthy grilled chicken recipe. So try this, Grilled Caprese Chicken. The recipe comes from EatingWell.com.

While you can make this on an outdoor grill, it would probably work best on a grilling pan put on the grill to keep all the juices from dripping down into the fire source, be it gas jets or charcoal. Using a charcoal grill would add that charcoal-ly flavor as well.

Tomato & Mozzarella smothered grilled chicken cutlets

Here’s the recipe and instructions. I’d leave out the salt and get the lowest-fat mozzarella you can find. Some stores may still have fat-free mozzarella. I was able to find it pre-Pandemic, but haven’t seen it since Covid hit and stores starting cutting the variety of items they carry.

Note that the recipe calls for chicken cutlets, which are very thin and cook quickly. If you use regular chicken breasts, either pound them down to a thin consistency or cut them into thinner pieces to avoid under-cooked chicken. A meat thermometer is a must here.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze (you can make this yourself or buy it pre-made), divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (eliminate this)
  • 1 pound chicken cutlets
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (get the lowest-fat mozzarella you can find)
  • 1 small tomato, thinly sliced

Directions

  • Step 1 Preheat grill to medium-high or heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.
  • Step 2 Combine oil, 1 tablespoon balsamic glaze, basil, garlic, pepper and salt in a small bowl. Brush the mixture on both sides of chicken.
  • Step 3 Oil the grill rack or pan. Grill the chicken until it easily releases from the grill or pan, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and top with mozzarella and tomato. Grill until the cheese is melted and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 165°F, 3 to 4 minutes more. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon balsamic glaze and sprinkle with more basil, if desired.

Grilled tuna steak, with a little extra — mango salsa and pineapple

Tuna steak is a great lean alternative to beef steaks. I regularly grill them in the summer months. Here’s a basic recipe for grilling tuna from the Food Network. Leave out the salt, of course.

And here’s how I recently went beyond the basic recipe to add even more flavor to our tuna steaks. I added some low-salt mango salsa I bought at Trader Joe’s. You can see on the TJ nutrition information page the salsa has only 35 mgs of sodium per serving, much less than most pre-made salsas. It also has no fat and only 3 grams of sugar per two tablespoons, enough to coat the tuna.

My mango, pineapple tuna on the grill, and the finished product.

To go even more tropical, I added slices of fresh pineapple. Pineapple sales has been plentiful this summer in the Chicago area. A whole pineapple is going for 88 cents, so I’m using it in more recipes than ever before.

With food prices rising because of the “Pandemic, look for every deal you can find and adjust your no-salt, no-fat, no-sugar recipes accordingly.

A fat-free sorbet for July 4th cookouts

No-Churn Strawberry-Lemonade Sorbet sounded like an easy, fat-free dessert that anyone could make easily at home. It has only two ingredients, strawberries and lemonade mix. How difficult could it be?

Harder than it sounds, I discovered. Here’s the recipe”

Ingredients

16 ounces (about 4 cups) frozen strawberries

3 tablespoons frozen lemonade concentrate

Directions

  1. Add the strawberries and lemonade concentrate to a food processor and process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until scoopable, about 1 hour. The sorbet will keep for up to 2 months.
My lemon-strawberry sorbet, heavy on the leomn.


The three tablespoons of frozen lemonade concentrate stopped me because my concentrate was frozen and liquid. I measured out three tablespoons of the frozen part and added some extra liquid, which proved to be too much lemon (and I love lemon flavor). So I’d recommend dialing down the amount of lemon you use to suit your taste.

I’d also probably opt for fresh strawberries next time. A pound of frozen ones cost me $3.99 but this time of year, fresh ones are often on sale for less ($2.50) and they likely will be more flavorful.

With all those tweaks in mind, this can be a tasty July 4th fat-free dessert option. It does still have sugar (the amount is difficult to determine without nutritional info in the original recipe).

Make these chicken tenders a little healthier with some ingredient swaps

Americans eat way too much breaded, fried food, probably because we find it the tastiest food out there. But when you’re trying to eat healthier, you can modify some old recipes to get the worst of the worst out of them while not forsaking everything you love.

Seeing this BBQ Chicken Tenders recipe reminded me of that.

Ingredients for my barbecue garlic chicken.
Ingredients for my barbecue garlic chicken.

It calls for lots of barbecue sauce, which is normally high in salt and sugar, as well as seasoned bread crumbs which are also normally high in salt. These are barbecued, not fried, so they have that going for them.

I’d suggest you use Localfolks salt-free barbecue sauce, or another low-salt, low-sugar brand if you can find one, and panko breadcrumbs low in salt (check the package, not all panko is created equal when it comes to salt.

Salmon is a must-have for health eating, so treat it right. Here are some tips

Salmon has replaced red meat to a large extent in my diet since my first angioplasty in 2012 brought about a radical rethinking to my eating habits. My recipe page has a hot of salmon recipes you can try.

In another sheet of aluminum foil, place your four pieces of salmon and separate with aluminum foil. Then rub in marinades for each.
Grilling salmon is a luscious experience.

But like any food, salmon not cooked properly can be a disaster, so I was interested in reading This One Mistake Can Completely Ruin Baked Salmon on myrecipes.,com

The headline is a bit misleading because while the piece does say don’t overcook or undercook salmon (that’s the worst mistake), it also lays out some important details to cook salmon properly such as:

  • Don’t cook it cold, let it reach room temperature first.
  • Cook it in an oven at 400 degrees
  • Use a shallow dish or a shallow oven-proof skillet to cook it to allow for good airflow around the fish.
  • Let it rest before cutting/serving.

Remembering those should help you to become a salmon master in no time.

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.

Consumer Reports finds the best low-sodium soup is…homemade!

Processed soups, whether in cans or at deli counters or in restaurants, traditionally are overloaded with salt. Even soups labeled low-sodium have a ton of salt, as I’ve written about the many low-sodium broths on supermakret shelves, for example.

So I was intrigued by a headline I saw about Consumer Reports rating low-sodium soups. Had the venerable journal found a low-sodium soup I’d missed? Not exactly.

Imagine low-sodium soups: I applaud the effort, but taste is lacking, big time.

Consumer Reports’ top choice in the blind test is a homemade minestrone made by its trained chef. It had less sodium and the best flavor of all of them. So if you have a little more time, consider making your own soup. It just might taste better and be better for you,” according to a report on the magazine’s findings by news4jax.com.

Here’s the recipe for that homemade soup:

Consumer Reports’ easy minestrone recipe

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

3 carrots, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ tsp dried thyme

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 (28 ounce) can no salt added crushed tomatoes

3 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth

2 cups water

1 (15 ounce) can no salt added chickpeas, drained

1 (15 ounce) can no salt added kidney beans, drained

1 small zucchini, chopped

1 cup green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces

4 ounces ditalini pasta, cooked according to package directions

4 cups fresh spinach

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions

1. Add the oil, onion, celery, carrots, and garlic to a multi-cooker on Sauté mode or a traditional large pot on the stovetop. Stir and sauté the ingredients for 5 minutes. Stir in oregano, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

2. Add the tomatoes, broth, water, chickpeas, kidney beans, zucchini, and green beans. For multi-cooker: Close the lid with the vent in the sealing position. Change the setting to Pressure mode. Set the timer for 5 minutes. When the multi-cooker beeps, do a quick pressure release according to the manufacturer’s directions. For stovetop: bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 to 35 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

3. Stir in the spinach until wilted, about 1 minute; add cooked pasta. Serve topped with the Parmesan cheese and parsley.

Makes about 10 servings

Nutritional information per 1 cup serving: 210 calories, 4 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 33 g carbs, 9 g fiber, 10 g protein, 190 mg sodium

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