Eating fresh means knowing when to dump old food too

Heart-healthy approaches to eating usually emphasize eating a lot of fresh, rather than processed, foods. That means your refrigerator should be stocked with fresh produce, fresh fish and fresh chicken, depending on your tastes.

Start with white meat chicken. Cut it into bite-sized cubes.
How long can you keep chicken in your refrigerator, even after you’ve frozen it? Check this list.

But how long can you keep those before they start to spoil, even in the refrigerator?

WebMD has a handy illustrated guide, although the first thing that struck me about it is that we shouldn’t be eating many fo the items covered here — like deli meats, Mayonnaise, butter, most high-fat ground beef and cheese. Continue reading “Eating fresh means knowing when to dump old food too”

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Don’t be taken in but these food buzzwords

Food processors are getting the message that today’s consumer, especially millennials, want to eat healthier and won’t shop in traditional stores unless they change their product mix to reflect that.

Think anything that says whole grain is healthy? Think again.

But rather than simply make healthier products, some processors have turned to buzzwords that appear to mean healthier while not actually conveying anything healthy about a given food. Don’t be taken in by these terms, read labels and actually study what is in a product before buying it.

Here’s a list from Cooking Light Continue reading “Don’t be taken in but these food buzzwords”

Deli shop much? You shouldn’t, but if you do, check this list

It’s literally been years since I regularly shopped in the deli section of a supermarket. The processed meats there are loaded with salt and fat plus other additives most people, not just those of us with heart issues, should avoid.

But if you still get the urge once and awhile, at least avoid the worst of the worst. WebMD recently posted this Best and Worst Choices From the Deli Section.

Among the best– rotisserie chicken, low-sodium turkey breast, roasted vegetables, bean or lentil salad, coleslaw (the kind without mayo), veggie Quiche and sushi with brown rice.

No more bologna for me, bye-bye old friend.

I’d avoid some of those as well because of high salt content.  I once had a long conversation with cooks at Mariano’s, an upscale chain here in Chicago which specializes in prepared foods and has large buffets in its stores, and was told all their offerings would be considered high in salt content for someone like me. Continue reading “Deli shop much? You shouldn’t, but if you do, check this list”

Lettuce recalls are everywhere this summer, take care

After my first stent was put in back in 2012, the hospital nutritionist I consulted with basically told me the only thing I could eat for lunch was lettuce.

This is what a Costco food court Caesar salad looks like when you unwrap it, a giant cup of fat-filled Caesar dressing and a mound of high-salt, high-fat grated cheese
Salads like this Costco one have been off my menu this summer because of recall after recall.

So lunch salads have pretty much become my daily routine. But not this summer. Lettuce recalls have been popping up at both places to eat out like McDonald’s and food retailers like Trader Joe’s and Kroger.  Continue reading “Lettuce recalls are everywhere this summer, take care”

Product review: Sans Sucre sugar-free mousse and brownies

Baking is not usually my thing, I find it a bit too scientific a process as compared to cooking which allows for more freedom to depart from recipes and become artistic. So most of the recipes you’ll find on this blog are for cooking main courses and side dishes rather than desserts.

That said, I love to eat baked goods such as cakes and doughnuts, items I really should try  to avoid on my heart-healthy diet because of sugar and fat they contain.

Sans Sucre Mousse Mix
Sans Sucre Mousse Mix

So when I was approached by a public relations person for a brand called Sans Sucre which makes sugar-free and gluten-free baking mixes, I was intrigued enough by the prospect of guilt-free items that I asked for samples to try to make. (The brand name means without sugar in French, by the way.)

I’ve since tried the sugar-free, low-fat Chocolate Mousse Mix and the sugar-free chocolate fudge brownie mix. Of the two, I enjoyed the mousse more and found it relatively simple to make, even for a baking-challenged cook like me. Continue reading “Product review: Sans Sucre sugar-free mousse and brownies”

Cooking Light goes in for some ‘This is Us’ clickbaiting

Cooking Light often has great recipes, some of which I’ve shared on my recipe page. It’s daily e-mails try, as do many others, to come up with the most provocative subject lines imaginable to get us all to open the newsletters. Recently that included trying to piggyback on the popularity of NBC’s This is Us series.

I found the whole thing goofy enough to blog about it, so indulge me.

The Jan. 27 Cooking Light newsletter came with the subject line “Can Your Crock Pot Really Catch on Fire?” This just after the This is Us episode where a faulty pot burns down a house (if you’re a fan, as I am, you know the rest. I hate that neighbor now, don’t you?)

Clean eating crock pot chicken
Clean eating crock pot chicken is a favorite of mine. My wiring is fine.

I chuckled at the topic line not only because I saw it as Cooking Light shamelessly putting out some clickbait tied to This is Us but also because I can just imagine the poor reporter who was assigned that story having to call around to get comments for it.

She ended up talking to customer service at Crock-Pot and quoting someone who had talked about the same topic on the Today show apparently. Continue reading “Cooking Light goes in for some ‘This is Us’ clickbaiting”

First Look: Innit recipe app has lots of easy-to-follow instructions

The creators of the new Innit recipe and cooking app recently asked me to review it. I’m getting some thank-you items in return (a shopping bag, T-shirt and spatula so far, just thought you should know. That’s not enough to really change what I’m about to say one way or another). The app is free, you can download it by clicking here.

My first impression is Innit is suited to people who don’t like to cook or who have never cooked. Its step-by-step videos, some as basic as how to boil water, can take the novice past any jitters about cooking so they can prepare their own meals rather than relying on take-out every night.

Innit_homescreen
Innit’s_homescreen

The app even provides a shopping list for each dish and can talk to smart appliances  (I don’t have a smart oven, so I can’t test that out).

The app also tells you how long it will take to prepare your meal, giving you an end-time. I’m sure type A people will strive to beat that to show just how good they are.

I was able to find 10 possible recipes. The app’s website says you can personalize recipes to take into account allergies, etc. I haven’t found how to do that yet. I’d like to customize the recipes available to take out fat, salt and sugar, my three evil foods.

One salmon teriyaki recipe,for example, has 3,560 mgs of salt, two days supply for me. I’d substitute Mrs. Dash salt-free teriyaki sauce to cut that considerably. I’ll let you know in a subsequent post if I can find a way to do that.

To find nutritional info for each recipe,you tap on the calorie count to reach the nutrition info screen. Continue reading “First Look: Innit recipe app has lots of easy-to-follow instructions”