The first food predictions for 2023: complex heat, comfort food, street food will be in next year

I just saw the first of many food predictions for 2023, this from The Food Institute, a food news site, which predicts that complex heat, comfort foods and street foods will be in next year.

When I go off my post-angioplasty diet, I want it to be for amazing treats I love. Nathan's hot dogs fit that bill.
Street food anyone? When I’m in New York, I always head to Nathan’s for hot dogs.

“Spicy food has been gaining popularity over the last decade, but today’s consumers crave more than just heat—they want to learn about different peppers and the complexity of their flavors,” the Institute reports, citing a survey by Spoonshot.com which I couldn’t access directly from the link provided. This flavor trewnd, like the others, is being driven by Covid and its aftermath.

There are also cuisines that are trending, as consumers seek new experiences through food, where spice levels are more complex and at higher levels than U.S. consumers are generally used to—Indian, West African, etc.” Robyn Carter, founder and CEO of Jump Rope Innovation told The Food Institute. “As those cuisines continue to go mainstream in 2023, we’ll see more complex heat ahead.”

Nostalgia and the desire for comfort food that reminds you of happier times is a trend that has been around and will continue next year.

And consumers looking for new food experiences while trying to hold down their food costs will turn to street food, which also carries an air of authenticity for Gen Z consumers, the Institute article notes.

What will you be eating in 2023? We’d love to know, leave your comments here to tell us.

Think cereal is healthy? Think again when it comes to these not-so-magnificent seven

We blogged recently about proposed new food labeling requirements that would allow foods to be labeled “healthy” if they met certain criteria for salt, fat and sugar content, along with other requirements. Pundits already are looking at what those rules would mean for certain groups of products, like breakfast cereals.

CNBC.com recently reported that these seven cereals would not be considered healthy under the new rules:

“For a healthy stamp from the FDA, cereals have to contain three-fourth ounces of whole grains and no more than 1 gram of saturated fat, 230 milligrams of sodium and 2.5 grams of added sugars,” CNBC reports.

These are only the tip of the unhealthy iceberg, expect a lot more processed foods to be called out if these new labeling rules get enacted.

What’s healthy? New rules are coming from the FDA to help answer that question

The Food and Drug Administration has new rules proposed for labeling foods healthy, rules that go to salt, fat and sugar content. These rules will allow foods to put labels on the front instead of the back of their packaging and to call themselves “healthy” if they meet the new criteria, reports the Washington Post.

A comparison of old and newly proposed nutrition panels on food labels.A comparison of old and newly proposed nutrition panels on food labels.A comparison of old and newly proposed nutrition panels on food labels.
Expect to see nutrition claims on the front of packaging under new FDA guidelines.

“Under the proposal, manufacturers can label their products “healthy” if they contain a meaningful amount of food from at least one of the food groups or subgroups (such as fruit, vegetable or dairy) recommended by the dietary guidelines. They must also adhere to specific limits for certain nutrients, such as saturated fat, sodium and added sugars. For example, a cereal would need to contain three-quarters of an ounce of whole grains and no more than 1 gram of saturated fat, 230 milligrams of sodium and 2.5 grams of added sugars per serving for a food manufacturer to use the word “healthy” on the label.” the Post reports.

It’s good to see salt content getting more attention, maybe now we’ll start to see some meaningful reductions in salt content for processed foods.

Sadly in recent years, even food and what is healthy have become political footballs. The Obama administration was strongly behind improving school lunch menus and encouraging children especially to develop healthier diets. The Trump administration abandoned those efforts. The Biden administration seems to again be addressing America’s obesity epidemic and poor eating habits. Hopefully, that will continue even if Republicans regain control of Congress in the upcoming mid-term elections.

Low-sodium Thanksgiving recipes: it’s never too early to start planning your big meal

With Thanksgiving 2022 only about a month away, it’s never too early to start planning your low-salt menu. You can always start with our Recipe Page which has tips on low-salt side dishes and how to find low-sodium turkeys.

Time to eat all those turkeys! Happy Thanksgiving!
Time to start hunting for a low-sodium turkey.

But there are lots of other sources online as well, just click here to see the results of a search I did for low-sodium Thanksgiving recipes.

Some sites to visit and the articles they’ve posted include:

And from this blog, of course, Here’s your low-sodium Thanksgiving menu!!!

With the pandemic winding down, I expect many, many families will have their first joyous Thanksgiving gatherings in several years this fall, so be sure to serve them healthy low-sodium, offerings.

Sleepy Chicken can put you to sleep — permanently! Don’t try this ridiculous TikTok trend

Phil Lempert, who bills himself as the Supermarket Guru, is a long-time observer of the food scene. I regularly watch his podcasts and check his site (we also knew each other from our days of covering the same food conferences, etc.). I was stunned by one of his recent posts, about a TikTok food recipe called Sleepy Chicken.

Apparently, Sleepy Chicken has been out there for a while and is endangering anyone who tries it. It calls for marinating chicken in NyQuil and then cooking it for only 30 minutes.

Sleepy chicken — put this recipe to bed, permanently.

There are so many things wrong with this; the NyQuil can harm you when it heats up, apparently, and the chicken will likely be severely under-cooked, leaving open the possibility of salmonella and other food-borne illnesses that could kill you.

“Simply put, this is absolutely not a safe way to consume either chicken or cold and flu medication,” Eatthis.com reports a nutritionist warns.

Another spice to consider — Casa M Spice’s Cattle Drive packs a kick

I’m not sure why, but I seem to be hearing from a lot of new spice companies lately. I recently reviewed some offerings from Burn Pit and now I’m going to tell you a bit about Cattle Drive from Casa M Spice Co.

I asked to sample Casa M’s Cattle Drive because it’s marketed as low sodium. And it is, 30 mgs a serving. The company says of it, “Use to replace pepper on your table and add to anything you’d add black pepper to.”

Casa M’s Cattle Drive and its nutrition info.

The original formula, which I tried, is rated at two peppers, but it tasted more peppery, read hot peppers, to me than that.

Continue reading “Another spice to consider — Casa M Spice’s Cattle Drive packs a kick”

McDonald’s new salads are harder to find than I thought

A post I wrote earlier this year about McDonald’s salads coming back to post-Pandemic McDonald’s menus has gotten a lot of attention. But what I didn’t realize when I wrote it was that the decision to bring salads back is being left to operators at the local level.

Apparently finding a salad at McDonald’s these days is a hit-or-miss proposition depending on where you live and which store you try. Very sad.

Not every McDonald’s in a given market has salads any longer. Some comments on my post alerted me about this. And when I tried online ordering from various McDonald’s in Chicago’s northern suburbs, I found only my favorite location in Winnetka, Il., had the new, slimmed-down salads.

Apparently, having any healthy options on its menu takes too much time and labor for McDonald’s to prepare, so it’s concentrating on unhealthy burgers until the day comes when people aren’t eating them any longer. Sort of reminds me of Sears ignoring the Internet while Amazon ate its lunch and its business. Sad, if my local outlet drops salads, my days of going to McDonald’s will be over.

Here’s a 7-day no-added-sugar meal plan

Having eaten a ton of sugar in my two weekend trips to New York City in August and early September, I’m more concerned than usual about my blood sugar levels. So I recently posted about unexpected ways your blood sugar can rise and today I’m posting this 7-day no-added-sugar diet plan from Eatingwell.com.

My lemon salmon. I used leek instead of scallions and it came great. I loved the garlic flavor.
My lemon salmon…salmon is one of the items on this 7-day plan that I do enjoy.

The plan is based on the Mediterranean Diet, which doctors and nutritionists generally is the best to follow for those concerned about their health.

Continue reading “Here’s a 7-day no-added-sugar meal plan”

Advice on why your blood sugar may be high

Of the three harmful foods — salt, fat and sugar — sugar has been the hardest for me to kick because, let’s face it, I love chocolate and chocolate cakes of all kinds. I jsut spent two weekends in my old home, New York City, where sugar embraced me everywhere I turned. Back in Illinois now, I have to get serious again about cutting the sugar.

My wonderful chocolate dessert at the Orrington.
A wonderful chocolate dessert I had in 2015. Cake is extremely difficult for me to give up.

So this piece is very helpful, 5 Sneaky Reasons Your Blood Sugar Is High. It turns out your sugar levels can be impactd by more than jsut what you eat.

Stress, dehydration, lack of sleep, even hormones can impact your sugar levels, the piece outlines. Medications you take also can contribute to higher sugar levels.

The article on Eatingwell.com concludes:

“Getting to know your body and why you may experience an unexpected blood sugar high will help you to be better prepared should it happen. It’s important to stay connected to your care team and seek out the help of your primary care provider when you experience unwanted or potentially dangerous symptoms.”

Burn Pit BBQ spices offer good flavor, kick in the hot offerings

Back in July, I received some spice samples from a Wisconsin company, Burn Pit BBQ. I’ve since had the opportunity to use them, and to get reviews of the spiciest ones from my formerly food-blogging daughter who loves hot sauces. We agreed all our experiences with the samples were positive. We can recommend these to spice lovers.

A sampling of Burn Pit BBQ offerings we tried.

I particularly enjoyed the garlic seasoning, called Ground Pounder, on my steaks. My daughter tried the hot sauce and found it flavorful with a hint of cajun seasoning. We both tried the Fire in the Hole mixture and found it hot but not overwhelming, a plus for someone like me who avoids the hottest of the hot.

Keep in mind these are not salt-free mixtures, but can be considered low-salt (the garlic mixture, for example, has 110 mgs of sodium in half a teaspoon; Fire in the Hole has 95 mgs). Nutrition information for each offering is viewable on the company website.

Continue reading “Burn Pit BBQ spices offer good flavor, kick in the hot offerings”

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