A simple dish from days gone by — spaghetti with olive oil and garlic

I’m old enough to remember when Catholics couldn’t eat meat on Friday, a sign of sacrifice we no longer practice. As a child, there were many alternatives for me since I didn’t eat fish then. It was either pizza or an Italian dish called agilo e olio, basically spaghetti with garlic and olive oil.

Spaghetti Agilo e olio — spaghetti with garlic and olive oil

So it was a trip down memory lane for me to find this recipe for it on Cooking Professionally. Even if you don’t consider yourself a great cook, you can make this in minutes and impress your family and friends.

The recipe is simplicity itself.

Ingredients

• 1 pound spaghetti, uncooked 

• 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 

• 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 

• 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 

• 1/4 cup chopped parsley 

• 1 cup parmesan, grated, optional

I use only whole wheat or multigrain pasta these days, too much regular pasta can cause blood sugar issues for you.

Cooking it all is a nine-step process:

Continue reading “A simple dish from days gone by — spaghetti with olive oil and garlic”

If you love salmon, you will love some of these side dishes

Salmon is a go-to main course for anyone trying to eat less unhealthy fat and more healthy fat. I regularly make it now instead of the steaks and burgers I once ate before my heart surgeries. This piece from Myrecipes.com gives you 30 potential salmon side dishes. Match those with the salmon recipes you’ll find on our recipe page.

In another sheet of aluminum foil, place your four pieces of salmon and separate with aluminum foil. Then rub in marinades for each.
Grilling salmon is a luscious experience.

Avoid the ones with cream (bad fat) and if a recipe calls for salt, leave it out or cut it drastically.

You’ll see several asparagus dishes in here, I normally grill asparagus outdoors in the summer to go with salmon.

I’m planning to try the first side discussed, lemon-feta green beans, but will use the fat-free feta I regularly buy at a local supermarket. I love the idea of searing lemons. And kudos to the recipe for not adding salt — the cheese is salty enough.

Baked Halibut with Wine and Herbs — tasty and low-salt (if you leave out the added salt)

I wrote recently about buying some halibut at a new Amazon fresh store. I don’t often cook halibut, so I went looking for a recipe and came across this one: Baked Halibut with Wine and Herbs on Foodnetwork.com.

Halibut on a carrot puree that I had in a restaurant long before Covid limited me to takeout options only.

Ingredients

4 sprigs thyme

8 sprigs parsley

2 bay leaves, preferably fresh

8 cloves garlic, smashed

2 (1 pound) halibut steaks, 1 1/4-inch thick, from tail end of fish

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper [leave out the salt]

3/4 cup dry vermouth [I used white wine instead, its what I had available]

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

12 cherry or pear, red and yellow tomatoes, for garnish

The recipe goes on:

Continue reading “Baked Halibut with Wine and Herbs — tasty and low-salt (if you leave out the added salt)”

9 Amazing Broccoli Recipes? Let’s not get carried away, one of these sounds good

Somewhere, P.T. Barnum is smiling at this headline, 9 Amazing Broccoli Recipes Everyone Will Love. It is on a vegan website, but even there, amazing broccoli recipes? Really?

A low-salt broccoli beef recipe from the American Heart Association.
A low-salt broccoli beef recipe from the American Heart Association.

But the headline did its job, it got me to stop and read it. In fact, it’s gotten me to write about it a second time! I wrote this post back in June 2021, picking out the one recipe in nine I thought sounded good, roasted garlic lemon broccoli.

So kudos to the headline writer. As for the other eight recipes, check them for fat and salt content before trying them. And then there are some with nuts, which I never eat. If you’re nut-averse too, eliminate those as well.

A tip to make roasted veggies crispier

Regular readers know I love roasted veggies. You’ll find recipes on my recipe page for roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic lemon broccoli, and roasted vegetables with pumpkin seed gremolata that’s great for special occasion dinners. So when I saw this piece from Eatingwell.com, The #1 Tip for Extra-Crispy Roasted Vegetables, it grabbed my attention.

This simple potato recipe provides a fun summer side dish.
Cornstarch on roasted potatoes? Maybe.

The secret is — cornstarch! Yes, I was surprised too. I use cornstarch primarily to coat my pizza stone so low-salt pizzas we make don’t stick to it while baking.

Keep in mind cornstarch is a refined carb, so don’t use a great deal of it if you’re concerned about heart health or sugar levels in your blood.

The story instructs:

Continue reading “A tip to make roasted veggies crispier”

Book Review: “Easy Vegan Home Cooking” — looks easy, and tasty too

Fans of PBS cooking shows likely are familiar with Laura Theodore, known as the Jazzy Vegetarian. She has a new cookbook out, Easy Vegan Home Cooking, that includes more than 125 vegan recipes.

I showed it to my vegetarian daughter, who has her own cooking blog. Her verdict — there are several recipes she’d like to try. Another note — the book has several very easy recipes, like how to grill veggies, which would be good for beginning cooks. Perhaps those recipes should be called basic rather than easy.

We also looked through the book for a recipe we would like to eat together — I still eat some meat — and came up with the zucchini lasagna. The recipe in the book includes vegan ricotta, tofu basically. I’d opt for regular ricotta and my daughter agrees, she still eats regular cheese although she does buy vegan varieties from time to time.

Other recipes she thought sounded interesting, and not your run-of-the-mill vegan fare, include:

Continue reading “Book Review: “Easy Vegan Home Cooking” — looks easy, and tasty too”

A tasty and very simple-to-make sea bass recipe

Sea bass is usually an expensive fish, but if you get a deal on it (as I did buying in bulk at Costco), here’s a simple baked bass recipe that I found surprisingly tasty and quick to make. You can find the complete recipe on Food.com.

My sea bass was delicious.

First, the ingredients, most if not all of which, you should already have handy:

  • 1lb sea bass (cleaned and scaled)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon italian seasoning or 1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh coarse ground black pepper [I found this a lot of pepper, adjsut accordingly]
  • 1 teaspoon salt [omit this to stay low-salt}
  • 2 lemon wedges
  • 13 cup white wine vinegar (optional) or 1/3 cup white wine [I used white wine vingar, it made the dish].

To make the dish:

  • Preheat oven to 450F°.
  • In a cup, mix garlic, olive oil, salt, and black pepper.
  • Place fish in a shallow glass or ceramic baking dish.
  • Rub fish with oil mixture.
  • Pour wine or vinegar over fish.
  • Bake fish, uncovered, for 15 minutes; then sprinkle with parsley or Italian seasoning and continue to bake for 5 more minutes (or until the thickest part of the fish flakes easily).
  • Drizzle remaining pan juices over fish and garnish with lemon wedges.

I served my sea bass with a side if steamed carrots as you can see in my photo.

Looking for a New Year’s Diet — try this 7-day Mediterranean plan

While I’m not a big believer in the idea that what we eat can impact our health to any major degree (I think heredity plays a much larger role), I do follow guidelines for cutting salt, fat and sugar in my diet because of my past heart health issues. figuring I should use all the weapons available to keep my heart ticking. And when it comes to such efforts, the Mediterranean Diet has repeatedly been recognized as healthiest.

Roasted salmon caprese, one of the seven recipes included in this 7-day plan.

Wondering how to follow it? Here’s a seven-day recipe plan from EatingWell.com that puts you well on your way to be a Mediterranean Diet aficionado.

There are a few meals in this plan I wouldn’t eat, such as the one involving white beans. And, as with any recipe, check the nutrition information before you make any of these.

Watch for levels of salt, fat and sugar. Remember, almost no one eats what is defined as one portion in such recipes, so do the math for how much you think you’d eat to get true salt, fat and sugar content.

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