Salmonella rears its ugly head in Illinois

Salmonella cases, likely from undercooked ground beef, are popping up in Illinois. It may be surfacing in other states as well.

That’s because the source of the bad beef has yet to be discovered.

A lean burger, along with peppers and asparagus. I love rare burgers but will be cooking mine a little more until the source of this recent salmonella outbreak is found.

“So far, the Illinois Department of Public Health has reported 26 confirmed Salmonella cases linked to tainted beef. The state said that the specific source of the bad beef has not been found but that all the illnesses were reported across Illinois starting on April 25 and continuing through May 18,” reports the Evanston Patch.

“Some cases in other states are also under investigation by the CDC and state health departments, but Illinois has reported the largest outbreak of cases,” the Patch reports.

So if you’re grilling burgers this summer, be sure to cook the beef to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. That should kill any salmonella before it gets into your gut to do unpleasant things to you.

Craving sugar (I am)? Try these fruits

Of salt, fat and sugar, sugar is the hardest for me to get out of my diet. I live for candy, cake, etc, all of which are bad for me trying to stay on a heart-healthy diet. So what can I do? How about trying some fruit?

This piece from lists eight fruits that can help satisfy your sugar craving.

Try getting your sugar from fruit instead of candy and cake.

Usually these “healthy” lists include lots of things I don’t eat but this list has six fruits, out of eight, that I actually like.

Fresh figs are a favorite for me but I have to limit my intake to avoid stomach issues from them. Dried figs are available year-round, but the sugar is concentrated, so beware if you’re on a sugar-restricted diet. A doctor told me the same thing about avoiding grapes when I received nutrition advice for my diabetic mother.

I don’t think of apples as sugary but they made the list too as did pears.

Good luck trying these, always check with your do

A.I. for menu planning? Not just yet, says Bon Appetit magazine

Artificial intelligence is all the rage these days, with people speculating it will put us all out of work and worse in the not-too-distant future. But like most things tech, the hype right now seems a bit ahead of the reality, at least when it comes to meal planning, says Bon Appetit magazine in a piece headlined, Please Don’t Ask ChatGPT for Diet Advice.

Can chatgpt give you salmon four ways? I think not. Stick with my recipe page for now.
Can Chatgpt give you salmon five ways in one page? I think not, so stick with my recipe page for now.

“With few boundaries around what you can ask the app, users can quickly find themselves flooded with dangerous and completely unvetted dietary advice and potential nutritional misinformation,” notes the article’s author. “When I asked two experts to review and rate a handful of bot-created meal plans for common diets, they noted a couple of major red flags—and none of the plans passed with flying colors… They both agreed: AI-generated dietary information could easily promote disordered eating behaviors.”

The issue is that the A.I. chatgpt is telling you what it thinks you want to hear. In other words, it lies without really knowing what that means. That is the true danger of A.I., in my opinion. Its the ultimate echo chamber right now.

So, do your own meal planning, at least for the next few years. You can start on my recipe page which has lots of low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar meal options.

5 tips to make sandwiches healthier, a guest post

Sandwiches can be really sneaky. Often, they seem like they have all the potential for making a healthy lunch.

Afterall, they’re mostly always some combo of veggies and meat, right? And they have the added benefit of being highly portable. 

But sandwiches sometimes are secret saboteurs of a healthy diet.  

Here are five reasons sandwiches aren’t always the healthiest and what you can do about it.

Continue reading “5 tips to make sandwiches healthier, a guest post”

Best place for brunch? My favorite cities top a new list

Did you know April is national brunch month? Me either, who comes up with these things?

A great egg-white omelette should be part of any first-rate brunch offering.

I recently received a press release, from of all places, rating the best brunch cities in the country. No surprise that the top three — New York, San Francisco and Chicago — are three of my favorite U.S. cities, maybe my three most favorite.

I don’t go to brunches much anymore because to me the best are all-you-can eat and that’s not very heart healthy. Casinos in the Chicago-area where I live once had massive buffets, but those closed during Covid and have not come back. Not exactly brunches, but in my mind they tend to blend together.

The survey lists 200 cities and includes fun little subgroups like Most Brunch Vendors per Square Mile (Miami wins) and Most Brunch Clubs (New York). You can click through to get details on various cities too.

I write about some pretty serious food issues here, so it’s nice to take a break once and a while and write about fun things like brunch. Enjoy your next weekend brunch but try to eat healthy in the process.

New food words — believe it, the dictionary says it’s so

Cooking up more healthy foods for you in my outdoor kitchen. Thanks for reading all my posts!
I may have a chef’s jacket, but I can still learn new food words.

We all talk about food daily, don’t we? And we usually use the same words for it, a steak is a steak isn’t it?

But according to The 9 New Foods Words in Merriam-Webster and How to Cook Them, there are new food words you need to know.

Pumpkin spice leads the list, an easy one so you won’t be intimidated. But then comes omakase, ras el hanout, mojo and more.

Take a look at the list and the recipes suggested to see how current your food knowledge is, and to amaze your friends next time you talk about food.

Avoid these late-day habits to avoid weight gains

Binging on ribs? Don’t, not if you want to drop some pounds.

While this blog isn’t mainly concerned with dieting and weight loss, we do write about it from time to time because, more often than not, heart patients like me need to drop some pounds.

So we’d suggest checking out this piece at, 5 Things You Should Not Do After 5 P.M. If You’re Trying to Lose Weight, According to a Dietitian.

They’re pretty common-sense, if you think about them. Like not opening a refrigerator without a plan. Or binge-eating late in the day.

But, if you need reminders, print the list out and put it on your fridge! Staying up too late is the toughest pone for me. I’ve always enjoyed being awake when everyone else is asleep. I feel the world can’t hurt me then.

Anyone else?

10 more salmon recipes to add to your files

In another sheet of aluminum foil, place your four pieces of salmon and separate with aluminum foil. Then rub in marinades for each.
Soon it will be time for grilling salmon outside again in my Midwest home. Can;t wait. In the meantime, check out these baked salmon recipes.

I’ve written in the past that you can never have too many salmon recipes. So here are 10 more from All are baked, which is healthy, ut check recipes to see if you need to eliminate any salt, fat or sugar that ingredients may bring.

Salmon with Green Beans and Smashed Potatoes, the first recipe listed, looks simple to make and tasty, I’d leave out the salt and go with a fat-free mayo. If you’re worried about sugar intake, substitute red potatoes too. This recipe shows its nutrition info, which is always helpful.

Not all the recipes have nutritional information however. Crispy Sheet Pan Salmon with Lemony Asparagus and Carrots sounds tasty too but has no nutrition info, sadly. I may try it anyway.It also includes mayo, get that fat-free. And again, leave out the salt, you don’t need it for fish.

A five-ingredient salad option you may want to modify to cut salt

Salads are my go-to lunch most days of the week, so I’m always looking for new ideas to brighten up my daily lettuce. So how could I not read a story headlined, I wasn’t a salad lover until I tried this recipe?

It turns out the actual salad is called Fall Chopped Salad with Spinach, Butternut Squash, Apples & Cheddar on

Spinach is the main ingredient along with an apple, butternut squash and even maple syrup.

One of my salads with salmon, fat-free feta, mushrooms, tomatoes and a variety of lettuce types.

The full ingredient list:

  • 1 small (1 1/2 pounds) butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 4 cups) 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided 
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided 
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper, divided 
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup 
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 
  • 8 cups packed baby spinach, roughly chopped 
  • 1 medium Honeycrisp apple, diced 
  • ½ cup diced sharp Cheddar cheese 
  • ½ cup toasted chopped pecans

I’d leave out the pecans, the salt, maybe the squash and certainly the syrup to cut the sugar. I’d also add some spring mix lettuce to flesh it out a bit. The apple might be a nice touch.

If you try it, let me know what you think of it.

Always hungry? Me too, here are reasons why

An old McDonald’s salad. This never filled me up.

Friends tend not to believe me when I say I’m always hungry, but it’s true. I can pretty much eat any time of day and not feel full unless I really stuff myself, hence my current weight issues. So this piece got my attention: 8 Eating Habits That Can Leave You Feeling Hungrier.

I do several of those, like eating fast and mindless munching, not to mention filling up on unsatisfying foods.

Thankfully, this piece claims to have solutions for these habits, so give it a read and see if it helps you.

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