A modified crock pot recipe for honey garlic chicken

A major purpose of this blog is to take common recipes and redo them to cut out salt, fat and sugar. Here’s a perfect example, a recipe for honey garlic crock pot chicken I found on diethood.com.

To start, substitute chicken breasts for the thighs listed to cut fat substantially. Next, instead of soy sauce use Mrs. Dash salt-free teriyaki, or a similar salt-free brand. I’ve tested several, click here to read about them.

The Pandemic has seen many salt-free products disappear from supermarket shlves, so you may ahve to shop online to find any of these right now.

I’m not sure how high the sugar content is from using honey, if you worry about sugar, use less honey.

I’d also substitute a low-salt, low-sugar ketchup for a regular brand.

Here’s the recipe, with my substitutions noted:

Continue reading “A modified crock pot recipe for honey garlic chicken”

Grilled Mahi Mahi with Pineapple Salsa — Try it Before Winter Hits

If you’re in a northern climate as I am, your outdoor grilling season is slowly coming to a close. So, before it’s too late, try this wonderful mahi mahi recipe on your grill. It was quick to make (the salsa prep takes more time than the fish).

My grilled mahi mahi, served with corn, broccoli and the salsa called for in the recipe.

This recipe comes from Readyseteat.com, a site I hadn’t visited prior to this.

Here are the details:

INGREDIENTS

Grilling Spray

1 can (10 oz each) diced tomatoes & green chilies, drained [Ileft out the chillies]

1-1/4 cups fresh pineapple, diced

1/4 cup red onion, finely diced

3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided [leave this out, it’s not needed]

2 tablespoons vegetable oil [use olive oil instead]

4 mahi mahi fillets (about 4 ounces each), thawed if frozen

Continue reading “Grilled Mahi Mahi with Pineapple Salsa — Try it Before Winter Hits”

Poached salmon that surprised me with its flavor

I normally don’t like poaching proteins, I find it makes them taste a bit water-logged and bland. So I was pleasantly surprised by this poached salmon recipe I found on Tasteofhome.com.

Mt poached salmon with onions.

The recipe is called Chilled Salmon with Cucumber-Dill Sauce and, as the name says, it’s designed to be served chilled, perfect if you want to make it ahead and serve it the next day. The recipe also calls for light sour cream in the sauce, the only kind I use to cut down on my fat consumption.

The ingredients list is long, but its for the salmon and the sauce:

Ingredients
1-1/2 cups water
1 cup white wine or chicken broth
4 green onions, sliced
10 whole peppercorns
4 salmon fillets (5 ounces each)

Dill sauce:
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup chopped peeled cucumber
4-1/2 teaspoons snipped fresh dill or 1-1/2 teaspoons dill weed
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt (omit the salt)
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Continue reading “Poached salmon that surprised me with its flavor”

A quick and easy grilled salmon recipe

My grilled salmon with lemon, dill, olive oil and garlic.

We recently had friends over, a rarity during the pandemic but we were all vaccinated, for a Saturday football game at Northwestern and a meal at our house after.

Because they had to leave relatively early, I searched for recipes I could make a day ahead and serve cold. This grilled salmon from wellplated.com was one of the entrees I made and it went over well, so I’d recommend it to you too.

You basically start with slices of lemon and fresh dill on the bottom of a large piece of aluminum foil. Next, baste your salmon with olive oil (the recipe calls for butter, but I substituted the healthier fat in olive oil).

Then top the fish with more lemon, dill and garlic, wrap it all up and grill it for about 14-18 minutes in a 400-degree gas grill (or oven if you’re cooking inside). That’s for a pound and a half or so of salmon.

It is quick, easy and tastes great served cold the next day,

I cooked mine on a cedar plank to add a bit more flavor too. If you try that, be sure to soak the plank in water first or you’ll have burnt wood salmon.

Love artichokes? Love spinach? Try this spinach and artichoke-stuffed chicken

Here’s another way to liven up some dull chicken breasts — stuff them with spinach and artichokes.

The recipe is fairly straight-forward and includes nutrition information so you can monitor salt, fat and sugar intake from this dish. I’m a little surprised it isn’t higher in sodium given the cheese used. Hopefully the reported numbers are correct.

Click through to get all the details.

Continue reading “Love artichokes? Love spinach? Try this spinach and artichoke-stuffed chicken”

Another recipe for tomato lovers — roasted tomatoes

If you’re like me, you’re growing tomatoes in your backyard this summer. Here’s a recipe to turn them into a tasty side dish — roasted tomatoes. I’ve written about making a roasted tomato sauce in the past, if that interests you, click here to read about it.

The roasted tomato recipe comes from the Food Network site and chef Ina Garten. While the recipe details roasting in an oven, you could easily do this on an outside grill as well.

Ingredients

12 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, cores and seeds removed

4 tablespoons good olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 large garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (leave this out or substitute Mrs. Dash salt substitute)

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Arrange the tomatoes on a sheet pan, cut sides up, in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle the garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper over the tomatoes.
  3. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tomatoes are concentrated and beginning to caramelize.
  4. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Grilled chicken with an Italian Flair — Grilled Caprese Chicken

Summer grilling season is here and we can always use a new heart-healthy grilled chicken recipe. So try this, Grilled Caprese Chicken. The recipe comes from EatingWell.com.

While you can make this on an outdoor grill, it would probably work best on a grilling pan put on the grill to keep all the juices from dripping down into the fire source, be it gas jets or charcoal. Using a charcoal grill would add that charcoal-ly flavor as well.

Tomato & Mozzarella smothered grilled chicken cutlets

Here’s the recipe and instructions. I’d leave out the salt and get the lowest-fat mozzarella you can find. Some stores may still have fat-free mozzarella. I was able to find it pre-Pandemic, but haven’t seen it since Covid hit and stores starting cutting the variety of items they carry.

Note that the recipe calls for chicken cutlets, which are very thin and cook quickly. If you use regular chicken breasts, either pound them down to a thin consistency or cut them into thinner pieces to avoid under-cooked chicken. A meat thermometer is a must here.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze (you can make this yourself or buy it pre-made), divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (eliminate this)
  • 1 pound chicken cutlets
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (get the lowest-fat mozzarella you can find)
  • 1 small tomato, thinly sliced

Directions

  • Step 1 Preheat grill to medium-high or heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.
  • Step 2 Combine oil, 1 tablespoon balsamic glaze, basil, garlic, pepper and salt in a small bowl. Brush the mixture on both sides of chicken.
  • Step 3 Oil the grill rack or pan. Grill the chicken until it easily releases from the grill or pan, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and top with mozzarella and tomato. Grill until the cheese is melted and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 165°F, 3 to 4 minutes more. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon balsamic glaze and sprinkle with more basil, if desired.

A simple yet very tasty tomato salad recipe using heirloom tomatoes

I’ve always been a giant tomato fan, perhaps because we always had them handy in the Italian-American household of my youth. I’m always on the lookout for fun tomato dishes, and this one, Tomato Salad with Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette, fits the bill.

I like its use of heirloom tomatoes. If you’ve never had those, find some and enjoy. Their flavor is so much more intense than most store-bought tomatoes. And, as this recipe notes, you can find them in different colors and combine them for a colorful salad.

This salad uses heirloom tomatoes and English cucumber. It also has a simple recipe for a lemon-basil vinaigrette. I’d leave out the salt and use low- or no-fat feta instead of regular feta to get the salt content down even more than the 213 mgs of sodium per serving noted in the recipe.


The ingredient list is:

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (eliminate this)
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 4 large firm multicolor heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 medium English cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • ⅔ cup crumbled feta cheese (look for low- or no-fat feta)

You can watch this video for assembly instructions.

Grilled tuna steak, with a little extra — mango salsa and pineapple

Tuna steak is a great lean alternative to beef steaks. I regularly grill them in the summer months. Here’s a basic recipe for grilling tuna from the Food Network. Leave out the salt, of course.

And here’s how I recently went beyond the basic recipe to add even more flavor to our tuna steaks. I added some low-salt mango salsa I bought at Trader Joe’s. You can see on the TJ nutrition information page the salsa has only 35 mgs of sodium per serving, much less than most pre-made salsas. It also has no fat and only 3 grams of sugar per two tablespoons, enough to coat the tuna.

My mango, pineapple tuna on the grill, and the finished product.

To go even more tropical, I added slices of fresh pineapple. Pineapple sales has been plentiful this summer in the Chicago area. A whole pineapple is going for 88 cents, so I’m using it in more recipes than ever before.

With food prices rising because of the “Pandemic, look for every deal you can find and adjust your no-salt, no-fat, no-sugar recipes accordingly.

A fat-free sorbet for July 4th cookouts

No-Churn Strawberry-Lemonade Sorbet sounded like an easy, fat-free dessert that anyone could make easily at home. It has only two ingredients, strawberries and lemonade mix. How difficult could it be?

Harder than it sounds, I discovered. Here’s the recipe”

Ingredients

16 ounces (about 4 cups) frozen strawberries

3 tablespoons frozen lemonade concentrate

Directions

  1. Add the strawberries and lemonade concentrate to a food processor and process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until scoopable, about 1 hour. The sorbet will keep for up to 2 months.
My lemon-strawberry sorbet, heavy on the leomn.


The three tablespoons of frozen lemonade concentrate stopped me because my concentrate was frozen and liquid. I measured out three tablespoons of the frozen part and added some extra liquid, which proved to be too much lemon (and I love lemon flavor). So I’d recommend dialing down the amount of lemon you use to suit your taste.

I’d also probably opt for fresh strawberries next time. A pound of frozen ones cost me $3.99 but this time of year, fresh ones are often on sale for less ($2.50) and they likely will be more flavorful.

With all those tweaks in mind, this can be a tasty July 4th fat-free dessert option. It does still have sugar (the amount is difficult to determine without nutritional info in the original recipe).

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