A Labor Day grilling option — grilled lemon-rosemary chicken and leeks

Grilling chicken with rosemary and lemon is such a classic, you can;t go wrong making it this Labor Day. And here’s a new take on it that involves grillings leeks to give the chicken an added flavor dimension.

Food Network Rosemary Chicken
Rosemary, lemon and chicken are a natural, and tasty combination.

I found this on one of my go-to recipe sites, CookingLight.com

The claim is it only takes 20 minutes to make. That will likely depend on your skills. The only heart-healthy modification I’d make to this recipe would be to not use the butter or salt. Continue reading “A Labor Day grilling option — grilled lemon-rosemary chicken and leeks”

A pandemic recipe suggestion — steamed shrimp and watermelon salad

Shrimp is always a nice change-of-pace to build a meal around. I’m always looking for new recipes that include shrimp, such as one with fennel and cucumbers I wrote about. So I was attracted to this recipe I found on CookingLight.com for steamed shrimp and watermelon salad.

A wonderfully simple shrimp, fennel and cucumber salad
A wonderfully simple shrimp, fennel and cucumber salad

It sounds pretty basic to make, if you don’t want to devein shrimp, buy them already cooked, I find that a handy time saver. Doing that eliminates the first step of this recipe, which is cooking the shrimp. Continue reading “A pandemic recipe suggestion — steamed shrimp and watermelon salad”

A Pandemic binge-eating tip — try pre-portioning your snacks

The longer we’re home, the more we seem to eat in these Covid days. Indeed, the Covid 19 has come to refer to the weight people are gaining from being at home. So here’s a tip to try to limit the snacking damage you’re doing to yourself.

How many chips can you eat? Likely the whole bag if you keep it handy.

This site is a little too happy-talk for my taste, but it makes a valid point about pre-portioning your snacks (it talks a lot about healthy snacks, not the potato chips, ice cream, etc people are actually eating). Still, you might find some of the points it makes helpful.

If you search online, you can find some helpful gadgets to help you see what portion sizes are.

I wrote about one such system back in 2013. The point is, don’t eat out of an open bag of chips or container of ice cream. Take a snack-size portion and eat that.

I know it’s easier said than done but give it a try.

Pandemic peach recall — check peaches you bought

Food recalls have popped up everywhere this summer, more nuggets of grief in this pandemic world we live in. The latest recall is for peaches, sold in a variety of retailers across the country.

“Do not eat, serve, or sell recalled loose or bagged peaches packed or supplied by Prima Wawona or Wawona Packing Company LLC, or food made with these peaches” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported August 27.

Image by _Alicja_ from Pixabay

The peaches were sold at retailers such as Target, Walmart, Wegman’s, a variety of Kroeger stores, Food Lion and Hannaford stores. Continue reading “Pandemic peach recall — check peaches you bought”

If you love lemons, this recipe, with changes, is for you — grilled lemonade chicken

I was made a lemon-infused tilapia that tasted so lemony, my wife could not eat it. What can I say, I love lemons.

My grandparents all came from a section of Italy that runs from Naples south to Salerno. It’s a region where they grow lemons as big as your head — and they make limoncello, an alcoholic beverage that has become the region’s major export.

Start by lining a sheet of aluminum foil with lemon slices
I often grill fish on a bed of leons.

So anytime I see a recipe with lemons, I’m interested. That’s why Grilled Lemonade Chicken from the Food Network got my attention.

With a few changes, this can be a heart-healthy recipe as well:

The recipes uses chicken thighs. Those are the fattest part of a chicken. They taste good plain, so it’s no great cooking challenge to make them taste good. Substitute chicken breasts.

The instructions talk about skin, that’s also a fat-carrier. I normally cook all chicken skinless.

The recipe also says use Minute Maid lemonade. That’s high sugar, I only buy MinuteMaid’s reduced-sugar varieties. Availability seems to vary by market, so check where you normally shop. Continue reading “If you love lemons, this recipe, with changes, is for you — grilled lemonade chicken”

More good news for olive oil — cook away with it!

Olive oil is on the ‘good food’ list these days and thanks for that. I love it on salads of all kinds, fish and veggies I grill on my barbecue. But even with all the praise it’s gotten nutritionally, there’s been a long-held caution about cooking with it.

“Many healthy chefs exclusively use it as a finishing oil because of the oil’s low “smoke point.” The concern was that if olive oil gets too hot, it starts to burn and smoke—which can mess with the flavor of the finished dish as well as degrade some of the oil’s health benefits,” recounts Wellandgood.com in a recent article.

A sampling of the amazing olive oil we brought back from Italy.

 

I never believed that, by the way. Now thankfully, it’s being called a false bit of information.

A recent study, “debunks a lot of people’s concerns about olive oil’s smoke points. For one thing, researchers found that both regular olive oil and extra-virgin olive oil can withstand temperatures over 475℉, whether on the stove or in the oven. (When sautéing, the temperature is typically 248℉.),” the article notes.

So cook away with olive oil at your side!

Stuffed Zucchini and Red Peppers ala Giada

I always enjoy watching Giadi De Laurentiis’ cooking shows, even though she often uses more fat or salt than I can eat on my restricted diet. But this recipe for stuffed zucchini and peppers caught my eye because it uses ground turkey instead of ground beef.

True, it calls for dark meat turkey, which is the highest inf at of any turkey meat. But you can easily substitute lean to extra lean ground turkey to cut the fat substantially.

Zucchini on the gas grill, basted with olive oil and Italian spices.
I normally grill zucchini but I may try stuffing them next.

Having ketchup in here surprised me too, I’d say use it or not to your taste and if you do use it, use a salt-free, low-sugar variety.

So, the ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, grated

1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

1 large egg

3 tablespoons ketchup

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano

1/4 cup dried plain bread crumbs

1 pound ground turkey, preferably dark meat

2 zucchini, ends removed, halved lengthwise and crosswise

1 short orange bell pepper, halved and seeded

1 short red bell pepper, halved and seeded

1 short yellow bell pepper, halved and seeded

1 1/2 cups marinara sauce Continue reading “Stuffed Zucchini and Red Peppers ala Giada”

Tomatoes are a summer gift, even during a pandemic

During this summer like no other, there is one thing to be thankful for — fresh tomatoes are here, whether you grow your own as I do, or buy them from farm stands or in farmers’ markets. When you taste a fresh tomato, you quickly realize those things we buy in the supermarkets are just pretenders to being real tomatoes.

A quick tomato salad I made recently with mozzarella and basil from our garden.

So if, like me, you stock up on tomatoes every summer, here’s just what you need from Cooking Light magazine — 100 Ways to Use Fresh Tomatoes This Summer.

The article is from 2018, but the recipes are largely timeless, so enjoy. Some that caught my eye as I scrolled through them —

Greek Tomato Salad

Cherry Tomato Confit

Red Snapper With Chunky Tomato-Watermelon Salsa

Seared Salmon with Balsamic-Blistered Tomatoes

Bruschetta with Warm Tomatoes

Hold the onions: 34 states impacted by salmonella-tainted onions

As if cooking during this Covid-19 pandemic has;t been difficult enough, what with various food shortages and the difficulties associated with grocery shopping, now there’s another worry — several types of onions are being recalled as people become sick from salmonella-laced red onions.

Roughly 400 people in 34 states have become sick because of tainted red onions, California producer Thomson International is recalling red, white, yellow and sweet onions. The problem so far has been with red onions, but the company is recalling other varieties “that could have come in contact with potentially contaminated red onions, due to the risk of cross-contamination,” the Food and Drug Administration said in a statement.

It’s almost impossible to know if onions you bought come from Thomson, the FDA announcement does not list retailers that may have stocked the contaminated onions. So it advises, “if you cannot tell if your onion is from Thomson International Inc., or your food product contains such onions, you should not eat, sell, or serve it, and should throw it out.”

The outbreak has spread to Canada as well.

Here’s a look at states that have been affected, the various shades of blue indicate how many people have become sick because of the tainted onions:

Pandemic binge eating: foods to avoid before bedtime

A lot has been written about people overeating during the Covid-19 pandemic. And why not, with all the tension and changes in routine the pandemic has brought into our lives?

My low-fat, low-salt home-made pizza.

If you’re trying to get a grip on your pandemic eating, try starting with not eating for at least two hours before you go to bed. And, according to this piece on Foodnetwork.com, avoid these eight foods before bedtime:

  • Pizza
  • Coffee
  • Soda
  • Orange Juice
  • Wine
  • Spicy foods
  • Burgers
  • Sugary cereal

Why? Read all about it by clicking here.

 

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