Another look at what to eat at restaurants

Almost all restaurant food is awash in salt, far and sugar, so eating out is a challenge for anyone concerned about their heart-health. I’ve created a page of options for eating out that I’ve found, but I’m always on the lookout for other advice. Cooking Light magazine recently ran this piece, These are the Healthiest Meal Choices at 35 Popular Chain Restaurants.

This is what a Costco food court Caesar salad looks like when you unwrap it, a giant cup of fat-filled Caesar dressing and a mound of high-salt, high-fat grated cheese
Stick to salad when eating on the run, and take out the high-fat dressing and cheese. Always carry your own oil and vinegar packets to use instead.

Keep in mind, healthiest doesn’t necessarily mean healthy, it just means least bad.Still, if you find yourself stuck at a Boston Market or an Au Bon Pain, for example, this list may help you.

I was intrigued that the McDonald’s choices didn’t include a salad without the dressings, which are loaded with salt. I always carry my own oil and vinegar so I’m not tied to any dressing served by a restaurant.

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Product review: Sans Sucre sugar-free mousse and brownies

Baking is not usually my thing, I find it a bit too scientific a process as compared to cooking which allows for more freedom to depart from recipes and become artistic. So most of the recipes you’ll find on this blog are for cooking main courses and side dishes rather than desserts.

That said, I love to eat baked goods such as cakes and doughnuts, items I really should try  to avoid on my heart-healthy diet because of sugar and fat they contain.

Sans Sucre Mousse Mix
Sans Sucre Mousse Mix

So when I was approached by a public relations person for a brand called Sans Sucre which makes sugar-free and gluten-free baking mixes, I was intrigued enough by the prospect of guilt-free items that I asked for samples to try to make. (The brand name means without sugar in French, by the way.)

I’ve since tried the sugar-free, low-fat Chocolate Mousse Mix and the sugar-free chocolate fudge brownie mix. Of the two, I enjoyed the mousse more and found it relatively simple to make, even for a baking-challenged cook like me. Continue reading “Product review: Sans Sucre sugar-free mousse and brownies”

Easter no-salt, no-sugar dinner recipes abound here for you

With Easter less than a week away, we’ve been getting a lot fo visitors to a post we did back in 2014, Low-salt Easter dinner: how to enjoy the holiday meal.

One of our many no salt, no sugar recipes. We cut the salt and sugar to a minimum, along with the fat.

That meal included low-salt turkey, green beans in a balsamic/olive oil glaze and asparagus roasted with low-salt panko breadcrumbs and low-fat cheese.

But we also have other Easter suggestions, such as A no-salt Easter side dish — asparagus with balsamic tomatoes.  Continue reading “Easter no-salt, no-sugar dinner recipes abound here for you”

Sugar or sleep, which one do you pick most often?

A recent British study seems to confirm something I’ve always known instinctively from my own behavior — people who don’t get enough sleep eat more sugar than those who do.

I know when I was working I regularly would get only 5-6 hours of sleep a night and so eat sugary treats throughout the day to keep going, even though the sugar energy bursts were not all that long-lasting.

Cutting sugar, as found in treats like this, is extremely tough work, confirms a new study.

Now a new study published in  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that people who get at least seven hours sleep a night may be able to eat less sugar than those who get less sleep.

Some participants in the study were counseled on how to get to bed earlier — things like less screen time, not drinking coffee before bed time and establishing a relaxing going-to-bed ritual. Continue reading “Sugar or sleep, which one do you pick most often?”

Top 10 Most-Viewed No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar posts for 2017

Continuing our look at the great year we had in 2017  at NoSaltNoFatNoSugar.com (65.965 views from nearly 35,000 visitors), this post looks at the most viewed elements on our site last year. I’ve already written about the Top 10 Most Viewed Recipes.

Trader Joe's organic low-salt marinara sauce was a bit peppery for my taste but will do in a pinch.
Trader Joe’s organic low-salt marinara sauce was a bit peppery for my taste but will do in a pinch.

This goes beyond that to look at the site as a whole, so our Top 10 non-recipe items for 2017 were:

  1. No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar Recipes. Our recipe page is the big winner for the second year in a row. We’ve made it easier to search by type of recipe which I’m sure helped. Interestingly, an often used search term that brings visitors to that page is ‘no salt, no sugar’ recipes. People don;t seem as concerned about far as they used to be.
  2. Salt-free teriyaki sauce — a taste test of three varieties. Visitors are interested in any low-salt sauce or condiment, as you can see as you continue to read this list. Almost any sauce we traditionally use has too much salt in it.
  3. Finding a low-salt salsa — Hola, they are out there. The search for low-salt sauces extends to salsa.
  4. What Can You Eat on a No Salt, No Sugar, No Fat Diet? An early post to this site, I’ve updated this several times to let people know there is hope even without salt, fat and sugar.
  5. Costco Food Court Salads: you can make them healthier. A good post to read how you can strip the garbage off a salad to make it healthy again. I have one of these every Thursday.
  6. Salt free marinades — they do exist, search online. I’ve since found them in local stores too, but it takes some searching.
  7. How to find a low-sodium Thanksgiving turkey. Any self-basting turkey is loaded with unneeded salt. Who needs it!
  8. Low-salt, low sugar barbecue sauce: a great find. Thank you Localfolks.
  9. Trader Joe’s salt-free marinara sauce: worth a try. I usually make my own but this is great in a  pinch too.
  10. Panko breadcrumbs at Costco: a great deal. Unfortunately Costco doesn’t carry these any longer, but always buy panko instead of regular breadcrumbs to cut salt. Check labels though, some ‘flavored’ panko varieties still have tons of salt in them.

Top 10 No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar recipes for 2017

It’s top 10 year-in-review list time again and we’ll join the trend by writing about our Top 10 Most Viewed No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar Recipes for 2017. Our No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar Recipe Page, featuring scores of recipes we’ve found and/or tried ourselves, was far and away the most viewed thing on our site in 2017, drawing 14,101 views.

Baked mostaccioli, gotta love it, and it’s low salt and low fat.

But I wanted to drill down a little deeper to see which recipes on the page visitors were clicking on most. The results :

  1. Clean Eating Crock Pot Chicken: tried it, loved it.  Unfortunately the source blog for this disappeared, so you’ll have to wing it from the pictures I posted.
  2. Low-sodium Thanksgiving stuffing: here’s how to make it. The secret’s in the bread you start with; you can find sodium-free bread!
  3. Simple can be delicious, try this no-salt chicken recipe.  It’s called Sheet Pan Chicken with Roasted Baby Potatoes.
  4. 5 low-sodium meals to consider. This links to five recipes on Cafemom.com and thankfully those are still there for you to try.
  5. A Chinese food recipe that actually works as low-sodium? This is a broccoli beef stir-fry recipe form the American Heart Association.
  6. How to make a low-fat, low-salt turkey meatloaf. I love this recipe and make it at least once a month.
  7. Chicken parmigiana for everyone: here’s a low-salt recipe. The secret, again is in the bread, or breadcrumbs in this case. Go with panko, they are generally much lower in salt than other breadcrumbs.
  8. Ahi tuna on the grill, with a lime twist. How can you not love Ahi tuna?
  9. Low-fat mashed potatoes — here’s how. This time, the secret is in the milk and fat used.
  10. Low-salt, low-fat baked mostaccioli. A holiday favorite for me, it’s a splurge but still a lot lower in fat and salt if you use this recipe.

Happy New Year, and check our recipe page for lots more you can cook up in 2018!!!

 

Christmas Eve — Time for the Feast of the Seven Fishes

Christmas Eve is a traditional night for Italians to make the Feast of the Seven Fishes. I’ve written about it before, but the idea seems to be catching on.

Iron Chef Showdown recently had a battle of the feast of the seven fishes and Bon Appetit magazine ran this piece, A Feast of the Seven Fishes Menu That Won’t Take a Week to Cook.

The first question most people ask is ‘what are the seven fishes?’ That’s up to you, and traditionally was up to whatever was available in the local village. So the Bon Appetit take on it is as valid as any other. As a kid, I remember talk of eel and squid and octopus and the horrible-looking salted cod Italians call baccala. Continue reading “Christmas Eve — Time for the Feast of the Seven Fishes”