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.

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!

Beware false claims, like this story promising 20 healthy Easter side dishes

Always beware of any claims that a meal, or a dish, is healthy. Healthy is a relative term. A high-salt dish isn’t healthy to me, yet main cooking sites routinely include them in lists of healthy meals, for example. I was wary when I saw this piece, 20 Healthy Easter Side Dishes, and rightly so as it turned out.

As I scrolled through the list, I saw many with potatoes (to be avoided if you’re worried about glucose levels, salt and creams/fat. Several also ahve nuts, which I can’t eat, so those are also out for me, though they may be ok for you.

Simple grilled veggies work as a side dish.

What did that leave for me? Maybe Asparagus and Tomato Skewers with Honey Mustard-Horseradish Sauce but a quarter of a cup of honey seems like a lot of sugar. The recipe did not include nutrition information, so I’m not sure.

The basic and always tasty steamed artichoke works, if you omit the melted butter to dip it in. The sautéed wild mushrooms with spinach will work if I substitute Mrs. Dash salt-free teriyaki for the soy sauce in the original recipe.

Eating truly healthy is always a challenge, try your best and don’t fall for healthy claims. And for truly low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar sides, check my recipe page.

If you love the Mediterranean Diet, this post will make your day

While I never get overly excited about claims for eating and how it impacts our bodies, I do try to follow the current favorite when it comes to so-called healthy eating plans, namely the Mediterranean Diet. I’ve written about it before and likely will again.

Veggie plates are common in Italy, why can’t U.S. places offer the same?

So when I came across this post, 23 Mediterranean Diet Recipes That Support Healthy Aging, I thought I’d share it with all of you.

The post includes a slide show, which I tend to find tedious especially when many of the slide recipes, like Mediterranean Lentil and Kale Salad, don’t appeal to me.

But take a look, with 23 to choose from I’m guessing some, like one-pot garlicy shrimp and spinach, might strike your fancy.

Pandemic Cooking: Slow-cooker chicken recipes

Here’s some help if you’ve become stuck in a recipe rut while cooking at home so much during the pandemic, 12 Slow Cooker Chicken Dinners Under 370 Calories. But beware, low-calorie doesn;t necessarily mean low-salt, low-fat and low-sugar. As always, look at the details before trying these and substittue when necessary.

Low sodium broths are not created equal, always read the nutrition panels.
Low sodium broths are not created equal, always read the nutrition panels.

For Slow-Cooker Lemon Greek Chicken, for example, substitute chicken breasts for the fatty thighs in the recipe. You also can use fat-free feta. The cheese is likely where a lot of the salt is as well, leave it off to cut salt considerably.

The Slow Cooker Chicken and Barley Soup does recommend low-sodium broth. Compare packages to see which low-sodium broth really is low-sodium. Read my post on that here.

Some good advice for a truly heart-healthy diet

The term heart-healthy diet has been co-opted by all sorts of people to push their favorite products. Many processed foods call themselves heart-healthy when they are still loaded with salt, fat and sugar. So it’s refreshing to see some tips for a truly heart-healthy diet in this piece, Ask A Dietitian: What Makes a Diet Heart-Healthy?

One of my favorite here is to develop a collection of seafood recipes you can’t wait to eat. A good place to start is on our recipe page, where we have a seafood section all ready for you. Supermarket fish counters often give away seafood recipe cards too. You may have to modify them to take out butter and salt, but they’re a starting point for you.

Use some spray-on canola oil to cook your tilapia
Tilapia such as these would work for fish tacos.

Another good tip is to use more spices instead of salt in your cooking. When you do, be sure to buy salt-free spice mixtures. Many pre-mixed spice offerings are loaded with salt. If you see salt listed as the first ingredient on such a mix, you know it is primarily salt, avoid it.

Check the article for other tips, just click here.

Check out our newly expanded recipe page

The most popular page on my food blog, by far, is my no-salt, no-fat, no-sugar recipe page. People are hungry for healthy recipes and we do our best to supply them on that page. Check it out, we’ve just expanded it, adding a section of pandemic meals, recipes we’ve been trying during the pandemic when we’re all cooking more at home.

And we’ve also added a slide show of some of our favorite dishes. Enjoy and let us know what else you’d like to see on that page..

We’ve taken down the picture of my low-fat, low-salt manicotti that was on the top of our recipe page, replacing it with a slide show of some of our favorite healthy dishes.

You can never have too many salmon recipes, so here’s 26 more

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

Trying to stay on a heart-healthy diet means giving up almost all of the foods I once enjoyed.

Salmon, thankfully, is not one of those, however. Current nutritional thinking is that salmon has “healthy” fats and so is fine to eat for everyone, regardless of health concerns. In our house, salmon really has come to replace beef several nights a week.

So I have a lot of salmon recipes on my recipe page. But you can never have enough.

So I was happy to read this piece on EatingWell.com 26 High-Protein Salmon Dinners for Weeknights. Some of these don’t appeal to me because they’re highly spiced, but others, like one-skillet salmon with fennel and sun-dried tomato couscous, sound intriguing.

A nice feature about these recipes is they include nutritional information so you can see if they’re truly healthy, i.e. low in salt, fat and sugar, or just claiming to be. Remember, never assume a recipe is healthy just because whoever posts it says so.

A supermarket recipe that might actually be healthy

Supermarkets often supply recipes to encourage people to shop for the items they’ll need to make a given dish. These days, they will call a recipe “healthy” even if it’s still loaded with salt, fat and sugar. But one I received recently from my local Jewel store (owned by Albertson’s) actually might be healthy and tasty as well

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

It’s called one pan salmon. The ingredients list and my modifications and comments:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
20 cherry tomatoes
1 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken broth [I’d use the lowest sodium broth you can find here to cut salt]
1 lemon (sliced)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt [cut this, not really needed with all the other flavors here]
12 ounces linguine [go for whole wheat to address sugar concerns you may have]
4 (4 oz) Waterfront BISTRO® Salmon Fillets [note the branding here, as I said, they want you to buy this but any salmon will do]

Here’s more on preparation:

Cooking Instructions

Step 1

Preheat a 12-inch sauté pan to medium high heat. Add olive oil and onion, sautéing until onion is translucent.

Step 2

Add tomatoes, stirring occasionally, giving tomatoes time to get slightly charred and then burst.

Step 3

Add garlic and cook one minute.

Step 4

Pour in wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to pick up the brown bits. Add broth, lemon & seasonings.

Step 5

Add pasta and bring to a boil.

Step 6

Place salmon filets in and cover pan.

Step 7

Cook 7-9 minutes, until pasta is al dente, and salmon is pink. Top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and basil.

If you try this, let me know how it turns out.

5 Sites With Low-sodium Christmas recipes (one is our site!)

Google “Low Sodium Christmas recipes” and you won’t find a lot, unfortunately. We know, we just tried it. But we have found some for you, so don’t lose hope. Ourcommuntiynow,com, for example, runs through where you can find low-salt ways to make turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce. It sounds a bit Thanksgiving, but I have made turkey for Christmas too, so it’s feasible.

Epicurious.com has a page of side-dish recipes that are low in sodium.

Good Housekeeping has a piece called 35 Healthy Christmas Recipes That Still Taste Totally Indulgent. It seems to start with sides too but does have an interesting salad take on the traditional Italian Christmas Eve feast of the seven fishes.

And while not Christmas focued, tasteofhome.com does have 40 Low-Sodium Recipes That Are Kind to Your Heart which has some interesting sounding main courses you could make for Christmas.

And don’t forget to check our recipe page which has a host of special occasion low-sodium recipes to choose from, including a low-salt, low-fat take on a traditional Italian holiday manicotti.

My low-fat, low-salt manicotti, One of these has 128 calories, 1.8 grams of fat and 70 mgs of sodium. I eat five at a time

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