A great guide to grilling times for almost everything

I use these disposable grilling sheets to keep my main grill clean, but this onion trick sounds like a great alternative.

It’s snowing in Chicago today but my mind is already thinking about spring when I can start using my backyard grill for making heart-healthy meals again. I find myself constantly looking up grilling times for various proteins, so I was excited to see this from CookingLight.com, Here’s Exactly How Long to Grill (Almost) Anything.

It has grilling times for chicken, always tricky, beef, pork, fish, shellfish, even vegetables. I’d take a look and print it out since CookingLight.com limits how many articles you can look at each month for free. This is one you’ll likely want to see again and again.

Salmon is always tasty, I wouldn’t worry about losing weight with it

Salmon is still on the healthy fat list, so you can eat it as much as you like, unlike those fatty beef steaks you once ate. I’ve written before you can never have enough salmon recipes and often get mine from EatingWell.com.

Your salmon feast awaits.
I love making salmon in a variety of ways.

But this latest piece from EatingWell, 17 Salmon Dinners That Can Help You Lose Weight, made me chuckle. If you cut the salt, fat and sugar from your diet, i.e. stop eating everything you like to binge eat, you’ll lose weight naturally, so there’s no need for special diets.

Plus, the intro of this piece talks about sauces and creamy pastas — how much salt, fat and sugar are in those?

Still, all that said, take a look, you might find some fun recipes. And you can likely modify those that have too much salt, fat or sugar, by taking offending ingredients out. You have to click through to the actual recipe and then its nutrition information to get the information you need.

Fake chicken is following fake beef into restaurants and supermarkets

Plant-based chicken options are joining plant-based beef and plant-based fish in the American food cornucopia reports The Food Institute. Both KFC and Burger King are offering plant-based chicken offerings in various parts of their worldwide networks, The Food Institute notes.

A Burger Kind UK ad for vegan chicken.

“Plant-based chicken has huge potential because chicken is such a well-loved, versatile and common protein in consumer’s diets,” Marie Molde, a registered dietician at Datassential, told The Food Institute. “Chicken is ubiquitous on restaurant menus, it’s found on 95% of menus in the U.S. today (whereas burgers are found on roughly half as many menus) and is also globally popular.”

Demand apparently is out there for plant-based meat alternatives.

“One in five adults say they want more plant-based foods in their diets, according to The NPD Group’s Darren Seifer, who will be presenting at an upcoming Food Institute webinar on January 18 entitled 2022 Outlook of Plant-Based and Next Gen Protein,” The Food Institute reports.

No word on how much salt and fat will be in these plant-based chicken products.

A walk on the plant side — vegan trends for summer 2021

Wile this blog is not a vegan blog, we do keep our eye on food trends of all sorts and wanted to pass on a summary of a story we saw recently entitled The Next Big Things: Our Top 5 Plant-Based Trends for Summer.

Among those five are vegan fish alternatives, vegan grilling options and vegan gourmet cheeses.

“While using nut-based milks and ingredients like black garlic truffle, dill Havarti and chive is unique, plant-based cheesemakers are also replicating the methods used to make dairy cheeses for more authentic textures and flavors. Including a plant-based cheese will be sure to take your picnic basket to the next level,” the article states.

On the grilling front, “Remember when corn ribs broke the internet? Buckle up for more plants hitting the grill this summer that go far beyond the veggie burger: Think plant-based products like hot dogs, Italian-style sausages and even jackfruit BBQ. From algae-based casing to hickory smoke concentrate, these vegetarian options have unique ingredients making it easy (and flavorful) to incorporate more plants into your cookout. Mixing up your classic grilling go-tos will leave meat lovers and vegetarians alike wanting more,” it notes.

The Herbivorous Butcher in Minneapolis.

And, “Get ready for a new wave of seafood substitutes that will be sure to surprise and impress! Ingredients like legumes and banana blossoms are being used to mimic the flaky texture of the real thing. This means alternative fish sticks, no-tuna sandwiches and a whole new depth of flavor in an otherwise simple fish dinner.”

We were recently in Minneapolis where my veggie-eating daughter bought fake meat at this vegan butcher, one of the first in the world, called The Herbivorous Butcher. She gave it a glowing thumbs-up.

One word of warning, many vegan creations add lots of salt to give the products flavor. If you’re on a salt-free diet, do your bestt o always check labels or get nutritional information from suppliers.

Pandemic Cooking: A Quick, and Tasty, Tilapia Recipe

I’ve been eating a lot more fish since my heart issues started back in 2012, but fish preparation can sometimes confuse people and take time. So when I came across a recipe called Easy Baked Tilapia (or Cod), how could I not check it out, and try it?

I used tilapia and the result was a very tasty dinner that was, indeed, easy to make. I made one major change to the recipe, however, switching in olive oil where it called for butter in the topping to get a healthier fat into the mix.

My baked tilapia just after it came out of the oven. Using panko breadcrumbs cuts the salt in the dish since they normally have less salt than regular breadcrumbs.

Also, because I had five large tilapia fillets instead of the four in the original recipe, I doubled the amount of everything to make the topping, which worked out great. I also used bottled lemon juice since I did not have a fresh lemon.

So, as with any recipe, be prepared to adjust depending on what you have available for cooking.

Here are the details:

Easy Baked Tilapia

  • PREP TIME 5 minutes
  • COOK TIME 15 minutes
  • TOTAL TIME 20 minutes
  • SERVINGS 4 servings
  • AUTHOR Holly Nilsson
  • COURSE Dinner
  • CUISINE Asian

Ingredients
4 filets white fish such as cod or tilapia
½ lemon
1 ½ tablespoons melted butter

Topping

  • ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1 teaspoon butter melted (I used olive oil instead)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Combine topping ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Rinse tilapia filets, pat dry and place on a pan sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Squeeze lemon juice over the filets.
  • Top with the Panko mixture.
  • Cook 15 minutes or just until cooked through and fish is flaky.
  • Broil for the last minute if desired

And kudos to Spendwithpennies.com for also listing the nutrition information for the dish.

NUTRITION INFORMATION
Calories: 240, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 35g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 100mg, Sodium: 203mg, Potassium: 532mg, Vitamin A: 390IU, Vitamin C: 8.5mg, Calcium: 57mg, Iron: 1.3mg

I think using the oil instead of the butter likely cut some, if mot all, of the saturated fat content too.

A Labor Day grilling option — grilled lemon-rosemary chicken and leeks

Grilling chicken with rosemary and lemon is such a classic, you can;t go wrong making it this Labor Day. And here’s a new take on it that involves grillings leeks to give the chicken an added flavor dimension.

Food Network Rosemary Chicken
Rosemary, lemon and chicken are a natural, and tasty combination.

I found this on one of my go-to recipe sites, CookingLight.com

The claim is it only takes 20 minutes to make. That will likely depend on your skills. The only heart-healthy modification I’d make to this recipe would be to not use the butter or salt. Continue reading “A Labor Day grilling option — grilled lemon-rosemary chicken and leeks”

Pandemic ground beef recall: check that chopped meat in your freezer

As if food shopping during the pandemic hasn’t been difficult enough, now there’s a nearly 43,000-pound ground beef recall to cope with.

A processor named Lakeside Refrigerated Services, Swedesboro, New Jersey, produced the beef June 1. The possible presence of E coil is the culprit prompting the recall.

The meat is sold under the Marketside Butcher and Thomas Farms brands and was sent to roughly 700 Walmart and other retailers nationwide.

States where Marketside Butcher Organic Grass-Fed Ground Beef is likely to turn up include Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Vermont, and Puerto Rico.

The recall is a reminder than even organic items can get contaminated, depending on where they are processed and packaged for sale.

Remember safe food-handling tips for July 4th

Lots of people will be touching lots of food this July 4th. So it;s a good time to review how to keep all the food you make and serve that day safe for people to eat, notes the Partnership for Food Safety Education. It’s created this flyer on using thermometers for grilling. It also has some general food handling tips, such as:

  • Not just the grill master, but everyone at the gathering should wash their hands with soap and water before and after handling food.
  • Always use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature of grilled meat and poultry. Print the temperature chart (below) for your refrigerator.
  • Keep your cooler filled with ice, so picnic perishable foods stay chilled to 40 °F.
  • Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry or seafood. Be sure to have plenty of clean utensils and platters on hand.

Happy grilling and a happy 4th to all our readers!!!

Looking for a diet plan? Here’s how U.S. News ranks the plans

I’ve said before this is not a diet site, its a site for helping you cut the salt, fat and sugar from your daily food intake (ok, diet). If you cut all three of those, chances are you’ll be losing weight because you will simply be eating less.

But that said, it’s January and this is when everyone realizes how much they over-ate during the year-end Holiday season and so searches for the best diet to help them drop some pounds.

The Keto Diet got lots of press in 20918, but it’s not at the top of the list of best diets U.S. News has put out for 2019. Number one is the Mediterranean Diet which I think of as very old-school since it’s been around, and recommended by healthcare professionals, for some time. Continue reading “Looking for a diet plan? Here’s how U.S. News ranks the plans”

Eating fresh means knowing when to dump old food too

Heart-healthy approaches to eating usually emphasize eating a lot of fresh, rather than processed, foods. That means your refrigerator should be stocked with fresh produce, fresh fish and fresh chicken, depending on your tastes.

Start with white meat chicken. Cut it into bite-sized cubes.
How long can you keep chicken in your refrigerator, even after you’ve frozen it? Check this list.

But how long can you keep those before they start to spoil, even in the refrigerator?

WebMD has a handy illustrated guide, although the first thing that struck me about it is that we shouldn’t be eating many fo the items covered here — like deli meats, Mayonnaise, butter, most high-fat ground beef and cheese. Continue reading “Eating fresh means knowing when to dump old food too”

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