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.
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.
Pasta is always a favorite for me, although these days I eat only multigrain pasta because of my heart issues. I normally make my own tomato sauce to avoid high-salt processed alternatives. But occasionally, I’ll try something without a traditional tomato sauce, like this fun-sounding dish, Sicilian Swordfish Pasta With Eggplant and Tomatoes.
Swordfish is a relatively healthy fish when it comes to the type of fat it contains, but eating large amounts of it could cause other problems since it’s a fish that can contain high levels of mercury (sorry, every food seems to have its ups and downs healthwise doesn’t it).
The recipe is fairly simple to make.
Step 1: Fry the Eggplant
Step 2: Infuse Oil With Garlic
Step 3: Add Swordfish and Cook
Step 4: Add Tomatoes, Wine, and Herbs
Step 5: Add Eggplant, Then Finish
I’ve been blogging this week about easy summer grilling meals that also are low in salt, fat and sugar. Today’s pick is chicken breast topped with a low-salt, low-sugar barbecue sauce like the LocalFolks variety I buy.
Red meat is something I eat very sparingly since my two stents done in 2012 and 2017. When I do have it, I opt for the leanest possible meat.
When thinking about having a steak, I opt for a filet mignon, waiting for them to go on sale at local stores and then stocking up for the summer. I normally eat only four- or five-ounce sizes.
Grilling these is fairly simply, a guide I found online says 10-12 minutes for medium-rare, turning once. I like mine extremely rare, so usually go four minutes per side before checking it. That’s on a gas grill with burners at medium heat. I season with a salt-free pepper mixture we buy at our local spice store.
At the same time I’m doing the steak, I’ll put on trays of asparagus and cut-up zucchini, each with olive-oil sprayed on and an Italian spice mixture liberally applied. Cooking time depends on how thinly you sliced your zucchini, I usually check at 3 minutes and turn them if they’ve begun to brown. Same for the asparagus which tend to take a minute or too longer. Check the links here for more specifics about cooking time for each.
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.
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.)
Salmon really has become like steak once was for me, a satisfying, relatively quick main course that I now have at least once and often twice a week. My recipe page has a variety of ways to prepare it, many involving salt-free Mrs. Dash and other brands of marinades as well.
But as I was getting ready to make dinner recently, I recalled an old favorite I hadn’t made in years, mustard-crusted salmon. Mustard is a condiment I can eat without worries since it usually does not include salt, saturated fat or sugar. I grew up in New York eating, more often than not, a spicier brown mustard, the Gulden’s brand to be specific.
So I still look for brown mustard today and used it in this recipe from Rachel Raye instead of Dijon mustard. Another substitution I made was using a slat-free spice mixture from a local spice story instead of herbes de Provence which I did not have handy. I also served it with asparagus instead of rice.
Cooking it was easy in the oven and it came out flaky and moister than when I’ve done it on the stove top in a frying pan.
Here are the details from Rachel’s site, she is the queen of quick meals, nice to see such a healthy one:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Rub the salmon with the olive oil. Place on a foil- or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with the dill and herbes de Provence. Spread the mustard over the top, using a table knife or rubber spatula to cover completely.
Bake the salmon until no longer translucent, about 15 minutes.