Getting tired of pandemic cooking? Here’s one way to make it easier

Everyone is eating and cooking more at home during the Coronavrus pandemic and, let’s be honest, it’s a lot of work. Tired of it all yet?

Ordering take-oput from local restaurants is one alternative. But another is looking for ways to simplify recipe prep. This food hack I found for making chicken kebabs is one of those.

It suggests skewering chicken breasts before you cut them up and then creating the kebab pieces. The picture expelains it better than I can, click here to read the full story from Cooking Light.

The Mediterranean Diet brings home the food gold again

You’ll likely hear about a million diet plans as 2020 begins, its national weight-loss time after all. Diet plans come and go more frequently than new car models these days.

But as with cars, it’s a buyer beware situation with diet plans.

Before you try any, do some serious research on its impact on your body and your health. As it happens, U.S. News does that every year, ranking popular diet plans.

The Mediterranean Diet has topped the list again this year. If you’re not sure what that is, click here to see what U.S. News says about it.

Basically, it means don’t eat like any ugly American. Cut out fatty meats, eat more fruits and vegetables and make olive oil your lifetime friend.

Th DASH Diet, which is basically a type of Mediterranean diet, came in second.

How did some of the big, commercial diet companies do? Weight Watchers (WW now) came in fourth, Jenny Craig came in 12th, and Nutrisystem came in 20th.

Good eating in 2020, avoid salt, fat and sugar and it all will be very simple for you.

Thanksgiving is a time to think about turkey (burgers)

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner at your house, there’s likely a giant turkey somewhere nearby just awaiting its moment. But if you’re planning to eat out, or going to someone’s else’s home as I am this year (my son is cooking!!!), you might have an urge for turkey when you get home.

My Applegate turkey burgers with low-fat cheese on a whole-wheat bagel.

So Thanksgiving time could be the ideal time to try turkey burgers, which can be low in fat and salt and satisfy your craving without all the mess of making an entire turkey.

Turkey burgers generally are a good substitute for hamburgers as well since they are generally lower in salt and fat. One caveat, read the package label, some turkey burgers include dark meat and even skin which sends their fat content souring. Many add salt too, especially when they’re flavored somehow.

Applegate Natural & Organic Meats recently sent me some of its turkey burgers to sample. I like them. They pass the fat content (8 grams per burger) and salt content (105 mgs a burger) for a low-salt, low-fat diet. I broiled mine in the oven and was surprised to see them browning. Other turkey burgers I’ve tried usually remain a dull white color.

I think I left them in a bit long, so carefully monitor when you’re cooking them. I had two in a whole wheat bagel (the only whole wheat product in my local supermarket bakery the day I went). I added a slice of low-fat mozzarella cheese and used Localfolks low-salt, low-sugar ketchup to top them off. I also added a side of steamed asparagus.

Applegate turkey burgers are relatively low in fat and salt and have a very clean label in terms of ingredients.

It was a simple meal but delicious, sometimes simple is best, especially after elaborate Thanksgiving feasts. Thanks Applegate, I’d buy these burgers and serve them to company, especially when I do summer grilling.

A fall chicken recipe, modified — chicken braised in two vinegars

I keep on eye on the New York Times for recipe ideas, but usually what they feature has too much salt, fat or sugar for my needs. Such was the case when I recently received a Times email entitled 72 Recipes You Should Make This Fall.

The Times suggests serving this chicken over polenta, I’d do it with a side of green beans or asparagus.

 

Looking through them, I didn’t see many heart-health choices until I came across this chicken braised in two vinegars recipe. The Times uses thighs, high in fat, so I’d substitute breasts and leave off the salt mentioned as something you can add for serving.

The ingredients (with my changes): Continue reading “A fall chicken recipe, modified — chicken braised in two vinegars”

12 days of no-salt, no-sugar Christmas recipes — Chicken with strawberry & pineapple salsa

We’re bringing back a site favorite this holiday season, our 12 days of no-salt, no-sugar Christmas recipes to help you come up with a fun and healthy menu for this busiest time of year.

I’ll be linking to and discussing recipe favorites every day for the next 12, starting today with a recipe I wrote about recently and just made myself this past Sunday, grilled chicken with strawberries and pineapple salsa.

I suggested when first reviewing this recipe that you could substitute Mrs. Dash salt-free taco seasoning for the salt-free steak seasoning called for in the recipe. That worked out really well for me, giving the chicken a nice flavor. I rubbed the seasoning on both sides of each breast I made. Continue reading “12 days of no-salt, no-sugar Christmas recipes — Chicken with strawberry & pineapple salsa”

A Low-salt chicken recipe —Tomato & basil chicken with zoodles

With the holiday season in full swing, it’s a sure bet you’ll be cooking more for the various people who will be showing up on your doorstep this time of year. So I’ve been busy clipping recipes that are low-salt, low-sugar and low-fat, are quick to make, and sound pretty tasty too to share with you.

This post is about a recipe for something called tomato & basil chicken with zoodles.

I saw this in a magazine but it’s also on the Foster Farms (a poultry brand) site.

Ingredients you’ll need are:

4 chicken breasts seasoned with salt and pepper
2 tbsps olive oil, divided
1 tsp chopped fresh garlic
½ cup balsamic vinegar
2 cups cherry or golden tomatoes, quartered
2 tbsps fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper [leave out the salt]
¾ lb zucchini, cut into spirals

Continue reading “A Low-salt chicken recipe —Tomato & basil chicken with zoodles”

Know what a paillard is? Me neither, but this one sounds tasty

Chicken has become my go-to meat choice now that I’ve had two stents put in during the past five years. And I’m constantly searching for more ways to cook it, as you can see on my recipe page. I recently saw this recipe for chicken paillard and I thought, what is a paillard and is it tasty?

Bon Appetit magazine seems to think it is, and for the record, a paillard is simply a piece of meat pounded flat, usually between two pieces of wax paper. Continue reading “Know what a paillard is? Me neither, but this one sounds tasty”

Say it ain’t so Naf Naf Grill. Did you add salt and fat?

I wrote an enthusiastic post about the relatively new fast food chain Naf Naf Grill back in 2014 when I discovered the low-salt content of its pita bread and the low-fat content of its beef in a pita offering. I’ve been touting it to friends and family ever since.

The menu board from a Naf Naf Grill location in Niles, Ill. Other outlets have slightly different offerings.
The menu board from a Naf Naf Grill location in Niles, Ill. Other outlets have slightly different offerings.

So I was shocked and dismayed recently when I checked it’s site and found the numbers have changed drastically for the worse. I’ve written Naf Naf and posted on its Facebook page to get answers but haven’t heard a word yet, very poor customer relations. Continue reading “Say it ain’t so Naf Naf Grill. Did you add salt and fat?”

Know your chicken — here’s a great guide

As red meat has become demonized because of high fat content in recent years, people are turning more and more to chicken, and specifically lower-fat white meat chicken. I’ve been eating more chicken since my 2012 angioplasty on orders from my nutritionists, leading me to continually search for ways to bring some taste to white-meat chicken.chickgravy

When you go shopping for chicken, remember all chicken is not the same and a lot of the things you think you know about what makes for healthy chicken may be plain wrong. Cooking Light recently put out a great overview of the chicken world, The Definitive Guide to Healthy Chicken, which I recommend you read.

It goes after the myths about chickens, which far too many people believe. Continue reading “Know your chicken — here’s a great guide”

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