Check FlavCity — lots of recipes but no salt-free choices

I’m always on the lookout for new recipe sites, so I’ve been asking friends where they find their recipe ideas. One suggested a site called FlavCity, so I checked it out.

FlavCity is a massive site, so much so that it sells some of its own products such as cookware and cookbooks.

FlavCity’s home page

And it has a very large recipe section. You can search recipes by main ingredient or by diet/eating preference. But, alas, there’s no way I could find to search for no-salt, no-fat, no-sugar recipes. Or even to search for low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar ones.

There is a clean-eating category but those aren’t necessarily what we’d need to find. I also didn’t see nutritional information for the recipes I reviewed.

So while this site is a great source of recipe ideas, you’ll have to modify them to take out the salt, fat and sugar. In the meantime, find low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar recipes on our recipe page.

For Indian food lovers — two recipes from Spicemode, tested by my Indian-food-loving daughter

I recently received some free samples of Indian spices from Spicemode which I passed on to my Indian-food-loving daughter for her evaluation.

She tells me she tried two recipes from Spicemode’s website: Madras Sweet Potato + Spinach and Mattar Paneer. Her verdict was they turned out well, although not as flavorful as she was expecting. Using the prepared mixes was easier than creating the dishes from scratch, she notes, so that’s the tradeoff. When you cook from scratch you can adjust the flavor to any extreme you like.

That considered, she called the Spicemode spices and ingredients “pretty good” and an easier way to make the dishes than starting from scratch.

Here’s a picture of how hers turned out. She mentions that she didn’t have the marsala sauce called for in one recipe and so substituted vindaloo sauce. Indian food aficionados will understand what that means, I hope.

My wife, who studied Indian cooking in London years before I met her, also kept some of the Spciemode offerings. When she creates a recipe with those, we’ll post about it too.

Say hello to Multo

I started this blog in 2013 because of heart health issues that began in 2012 when I almost died from a blocked artery.

The upshot was that I had to completely change how I ate, finding recipes with no salt, no fat and no sugar. As part of my road since then, I started a local chapter of Mended Hearts, a national support group for heart patients.

At our latest online meeting, we had a demonstration of a new cooking appliance, the Multo Intelligent Cooking System. It’s designed to replace a lot of tools you already have in your kitchen and bring some high-tech to your cooking. And it can create heart-healthy recipes which use little to no salt, fat or sugar.

Cookingpal, the Hong Kong company that markets Multo, was kind enough to send me one to try out in my kitchen. I’ll be doing that in the coming days.

It comes equipped with its own smart pad that has recipes you can make with the Multo. Or you can go into manual mode to create your own. The Multo can steam and saute. It can also create dressings, something I may start with.

In our Mended Hearts demo, Multo Chef Jamie Foy from Hong Kong made us salmon with asparagus, a breakfast smoothie and a pomegranate salad.

You can see the salmon and asparagus, along with some cauliflower also made in the Multo, here.

As I become more adept at using it, I’ll be posting other recipes I try from its recipe library as well as my own creations.

My thanks to Multo for allowing me the opportunity and for bringing Chef Foy to our Mended Hearts online meeting in December.

If you want to learn more about Multo, or buy one, just click here.

A classic use for Thanksgiving left-overs — low-sodium turkey soup

I always hate throwing away my turkey skeleton after Thanksgiving because I would think about using it for soup. This year, I took the extra effort and made the soup, low-sodium of course.

I started with a recipe I found online, but then generally winged it, adding what I needed to give it flavor in the absence of salt.

I had two boxes of low-sodium chicken broth (see photos here) in my fridge, having opened them to use for basting my turkey on Thanksgiving. What was left went into a soup pot after I had sauteed some celery and onion bits. I was lucky enough to get those already cut at a local supermarket that was selling big boxes of celery and onions for only a dollar after Thanksgiving. They were packaged for making stuffing.

Continue reading “A classic use for Thanksgiving left-overs — low-sodium turkey soup”

Thanksgiving leftovers recipes: Turkey naan’wich with cranberry sauce & curry mayo; curry stew with naan

I recently received a giant box of samples from two food companies, Atoria’s Family Bakery and Spicemode, along with some ideas for using their products with Thanksgiving leftovers.

Before accepting the samples, I did what I usually do when food company public relations people approach me about trying samples — I asked if the products are low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar. A lot of companies never respond to those questions. But I received a very nice response from the owner of Spicemode through the PR person.

Continue reading “Thanksgiving leftovers recipes: Turkey naan’wich with cranberry sauce & curry mayo; curry stew with naan”

A great new spaghetti recipe thanks to Stanley Tucci

Stanley Tucci’s Searching for Italy on CNN is a food-lovers’ delight. And if you’re Italian-American as I am, it’s also a wonderful homage to the cooking you remember as a child and to the cooking of regions of Itlay you’ve never been to as well.

I was inspired to try to recreate a dish on his recent show about foods of the Puglia region of Italy, a dish called Spaghetti all’assassina, or assassin’s pasta.

My wife and I made it just from watching the show, estimating amounts on our own. It turned out great, and was so quick to make that we plan to add it to our pasta favorites. We created a short video on how I did it, just click on it below.

And if you need a proper recipe to try it, Tucci’s show has that for you, just click here.

To save you the click,

Continue reading “A great new spaghetti recipe thanks to Stanley Tucci”

Low-sodium Thanksgiving recipes: it’s never too early to start planning your big meal

With Thanksgiving 2022 only about a month away, it’s never too early to start planning your low-salt menu. You can always start with our Recipe Page which has tips on low-salt side dishes and how to find low-sodium turkeys.

Time to eat all those turkeys! Happy Thanksgiving!
Time to start hunting for a low-sodium turkey.

But there are lots of other sources online as well, just click here to see the results of a search I did for low-sodium Thanksgiving recipes.

Some sites to visit and the articles they’ve posted include:

And from this blog, of course, Here’s your low-sodium Thanksgiving menu!!!

With the pandemic winding down, I expect many, many families will have their first joyous Thanksgiving gatherings in several years this fall, so be sure to serve them healthy low-sodium, offerings.

Sleepy Chicken can put you to sleep — permanently! Don’t try this ridiculous TikTok trend

Phil Lempert, who bills himself as the Supermarket Guru, is a long-time observer of the food scene. I regularly watch his podcasts and check his site (we also knew each other from our days of covering the same food conferences, etc.). I was stunned by one of his recent posts, about a TikTok food recipe called Sleepy Chicken.

Apparently, Sleepy Chicken has been out there for a while and is endangering anyone who tries it. It calls for marinating chicken in NyQuil and then cooking it for only 30 minutes.

Sleepy chicken — put this recipe to bed, permanently.

There are so many things wrong with this; the NyQuil can harm you when it heats up, apparently, and the chicken will likely be severely under-cooked, leaving open the possibility of salmonella and other food-borne illnesses that could kill you.

“Simply put, this is absolutely not a safe way to consume either chicken or cold and flu medication,” reports a nutritionist warns.

Do you know what 2,000 calories look like? I’m guessing no, so read on

Everyone has likely seen it somewhere, either on a food label or on a restaurant nutrition page — portions and everything else to do with our daily nutritional intake are calculated on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet. But I doubt most people realize just how few calories that is compared to what average Americans eat every day.

The meal plan involves a lot of food in bowls, not sure why. Photo by Polina Tankilevitch:

So here’s a great piece to read from, What Does 2,000 Calories Look Like? Use it as a companion piece to something I wrote, Picturing 1,500 calories a day; it’s not much. Generally, women are advised to eat 1,500 calories a day while men get 2,000.

The piece has menus that will put you at the 2,000-calorie mark, whether you eat meat or not, which is handy if you cook for a family with members on different diets.

There’s a lot on these menus I wouldn’t touch, but hopefully you’ll find some items you like and can add to your recipe list.

Pork Chops? Yes, they can be low-salt, low-fat too

Pork chops are not normally something I cook at home but I when I recently saw some on sale at Whole Foods, I decided to see if I could create a low-salt, low-fat pork chop dish.

The chops themselves had only 3 grams of fat per four-ounces, an acceptable amount. But with meat that lean, you need to add flavor. Most pork chops in stores don’t have nutritional labels. Because these were branded, however, they did, which helped me decide to buy them.

For flavor, I turned to LocalFolks salt-free, low-sugar barbecue sauce, a favorite ingredient of mine.

You can watch how I prepared them in the video below.

If you prefer reading it, simply oil a pan with olive oil, add the pork chops, baste them with the sauce and cook until an internal temp of 145 degrees.

The temperature you cook at will depend on where you’re cooking these, in an oven or on an outdoor grill, so I use internal temp as the indicator they’re done. Normally you would aim for 375 to 400 degrees as a cooking temp.

Warning, never eat pork if it is still red or pink in the middle, that means it still needs more cooking.

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