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.

Pandemic food casualty: Costco food-court salads are off the menu

I sat down at a Costco food court this week, something I haven’t done since before the pandemic when Costco foolishly eliminated chocolate frozen yogurt from its menu.

Looking at the new ordering touch screens, I realized another of my old Costco mainstay items is also gone now — food-court salads.

The wall says it all — no more salads at Costco, only junk food now.

This picture I took of the menu wall says it all — Costco has nothing even remotely low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar on its menu anymore.

For years, my regular Thursday meal there would be a salad, without the massively fat-filled dressing, and a chocolate frozen yogurt. Both are gone.

I dropped my more expensive Costco executive membership back when the chocolate yogurt disappeared. Now I’m really glad I did that then. I have no reason to eat at Costco food courts. For the stop I made recenty, I only bought a diet Pepsi for the road.

It will be interesting to see if Costco comes back with a simpler salad like McDonald’s did. Its salad joins its sheet cake, the ill-conceived asai it had replaced frozen yogurt with, and its holdout vanilla frozen yogurt as pandemic food casualties at Costco.

As the pandemic winds down, it’s becoming tougher than ever to find healthy, or at least not unhealthy, fast foods.

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.

First look: McDonald’s 2022 salads – a shadow of what they used to be

McDonald’s has always had a love-hate relationship with salads, offering them primarily for mothers of small children who came demanding Happy Meals. But for me, salads were the only half-healthy item I could eat at McDonald’s, so I modified them to cut salt and carried on.

When the Pandemic hit, McDonald’s pulled salads completely from its U.S. menu. But as this spring arrives, a new McDonald’s salad offering is on store menus. Here’s a first look at the new Southwest Style Salad.

The new McDonald’s salad comes in a deeper plastic bowl than the old one and has a tray of ingredients on top that you add to the salad to build it. I left off the beans.

You can see from my pictures, packaging is radically different than the pre-pandemic Southwest salad. Ingredients are in a little tray that sits atop the lettuce.

Continue reading “First look: McDonald’s 2022 salads – a shadow of what they used to be”

Portion control issues? Here are six hacks to try

How many chips can you eat? Likely the whole bag if you keep it handy. So put some ina small bowl instead.

Portion control is a constant struggle for Americans, we’ve been so conditioned to overeat and always “clean our plates.” I wrote about pre-portioning your snacks as one approach to keep from binge eating treats. Now Cooking Light magazine has tried six other portion control hacks.

These include everything from the color of the plates you use to measuring your portion size with the palm of your hand. There’s also one that counsels to turn off all your screens. Eating while watching TV or being online is a sure way to overeat.

Keeping a food diary also is tried. I used LoseIt for years and it definitely helped, until the point where my daily diet became so repetitious it seemed silly to keep putting it in every day.

Are bagged salads healthy? Here’s a yes, with lots of conditions attached

This year started with recalls of some bagged salads, so it would only be natural for people to wonder just how healthy such products are. A nutritionist tells Cooking Light magazine in this piece that they’re healthy but adds a lot of conditions to that recommendation.

The longer it takes lettuce to get from field to table, the more nutrients will decrease in it. So the processing time of bagged salads should mean they are less nutritious than buying a head of lettuce and doing all your own prep right? Not exactly.

“While bagged salads do experience more initial loss due to washing and chopping, research suggests they may make up for it when packaged thanks to an oxygen-reducing process called modified atmosphere packaging. Most manufacturers use to this type of packaging to maintain the color of leaves and to extend shelf life, but an added perk for consumers is that lower oxygen levels may also slow the rate at which nutrients like vitamin C and folate are lost.

“The thinking seems to be that nutrient loss in bagged salads is comparable, or possibly even less, than a whole head of lettuce stored for the same amount of time,” author  Carolyn Williams, PhD, RD states.

Should you buy bagged salads?

“With nutrient loss and bacteria risk comparable to what is seen in whole heads of lettuce and greens, most consider the benefits of increased vegetable consumption—thanks to the help of bagged salads—greater than potential risks,” she writes.

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”

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.

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