Vacation eating — joy or fear?

I’m trying to walk a middle ground, which has meant ordering seafood as often as possible and minimizing my pasta, pastry and gelato intake.

Maintaining a heart-healthy diet takes a lot of inner discipline given that we’re surrounded by so many food options that are high in salt, saturated fat and sugar. The task becomes even more daunting when you’re on vacation, especially in a foreign country with even more foods you love.

I’ve been vacationing in Italy, my ancestral homeland, with a large group of cousins. That means meals here have been wonderful family affairs with so many food options its difficult to count them all. But most involve salt and sugar. What to do, fear everything I eat or put diet concerns aside for the duration of the trip?

Pasta portions are smaller in Italy, thankfully.

I’m trying to walk a middle ground, which has meant ordering seafood as often as possible and minimizing my pasta, pastry and gelato intake. Southern Italy is a wonderful place to eat seafoods. I had a piece of amberjack in a light tomato sauce last night, for example, something I rarely see on US menus.

I’ve also had oysters and clams, albeit with pasta. Pasta portion sizes are smaller here than in the US, which is a good thing since we tend to fill plates to overflowing at home.

Gelato, of course, is the hardest goodie to pass up, especially when everyone else keeps pushing for it. And with that, I don’t do small portions well.

Grilled vegetables are on every menu in Italy, a wonderful, simply side dish .

I’m assuming I’ll gain weight on this trip, we’ll see how much when I’m back in the States and have a scale again. Then it will also be back to strictly watching the salt, fat and sugar,

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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”

Expect your food shopping bills to rise in 2018

Last year was a good one for food shoppers with several factors keeping retail prices down. But don’t expect the same in 2018, predicts Cooking Light magazine and the Wall Street Journal.

Smart shopping means buying items low in fat, salt and sugar. Know how to fill your shopping cart while avoiding this evil trio of additives.
Smart shopping means buying items low in fat, salt and sugar. This year, it also will mean watching for sales and bargains as food prices rise.

Commodity prices have been rising but food retailers have absorbed those rather than pass them on to consumers in the face of increased competition from online retailers like Amazon. That could change in 2018. something has to give, basically, retailers can’t keep paying more for what they buy without eventually charging you more for what you buy from them. Continue reading “Expect your food shopping bills to rise in 2018”

Pinterest’s Top 10 Food Trends to Watch in2018

January 2018 is almost half over and I still have a lot of January predictions and review stores to post, so I’ll do my best to get them online this week. Here’s the first, a look at Pinterest’s annual Top 10 Food Trends, as reported in Cooking Light magazine.

Imagine low-sodium soups: I applaud the effort, but taste is lacking, big time.
If you plan to join the souping trend, make your own or check salt content, even on so-called low-salt soups.

Continue reading “Pinterest’s Top 10 Food Trends to Watch in2018”

Top 10 Most-Viewed No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar posts for 2017

Continuing our look at the great year we had in 2017  at NoSaltNoFatNoSugar.com (65.965 views from nearly 35,000 visitors), this post looks at the most viewed elements on our site last year. I’ve already written about the Top 10 Most Viewed Recipes.

Trader Joe's organic low-salt marinara sauce was a bit peppery for my taste but will do in a pinch.
Trader Joe’s organic low-salt marinara sauce was a bit peppery for my taste but will do in a pinch.

This goes beyond that to look at the site as a whole, so our Top 10 non-recipe items for 2017 were:

  1. No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar Recipes. Our recipe page is the big winner for the second year in a row. We’ve made it easier to search by type of recipe which I’m sure helped. Interestingly, an often used search term that brings visitors to that page is ‘no salt, no sugar’ recipes. People don;t seem as concerned about far as they used to be.
  2. Salt-free teriyaki sauce — a taste test of three varieties. Visitors are interested in any low-salt sauce or condiment, as you can see as you continue to read this list. Almost any sauce we traditionally use has too much salt in it.
  3. Finding a low-salt salsa — Hola, they are out there. The search for low-salt sauces extends to salsa.
  4. What Can You Eat on a No Salt, No Sugar, No Fat Diet? An early post to this site, I’ve updated this several times to let people know there is hope even without salt, fat and sugar.
  5. Costco Food Court Salads: you can make them healthier. A good post to read how you can strip the garbage off a salad to make it healthy again. I have one of these every Thursday.
  6. Salt free marinades — they do exist, search online. I’ve since found them in local stores too, but it takes some searching.
  7. How to find a low-sodium Thanksgiving turkey. Any self-basting turkey is loaded with unneeded salt. Who needs it!
  8. Low-salt, low sugar barbecue sauce: a great find. Thank you Localfolks.
  9. Trader Joe’s salt-free marinara sauce: worth a try. I usually make my own but this is great in a  pinch too.
  10. Panko breadcrumbs at Costco: a great deal. Unfortunately Costco doesn’t carry these any longer, but always buy panko instead of regular breadcrumbs to cut salt. Check labels though, some ‘flavored’ panko varieties still have tons of salt in them.

Top 10 No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar recipes for 2017

It’s top 10 year-in-review list time again and we’ll join the trend by writing about our Top 10 Most Viewed No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar Recipes for 2017. Our No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar Recipe Page, featuring scores of recipes we’ve found and/or tried ourselves, was far and away the most viewed thing on our site in 2017, drawing 14,101 views.

Baked mostaccioli, gotta love it, and it’s low salt and low fat.

But I wanted to drill down a little deeper to see which recipes on the page visitors were clicking on most. The results :

  1. Clean Eating Crock Pot Chicken: tried it, loved it.  Unfortunately the source blog for this disappeared, so you’ll have to wing it from the pictures I posted.
  2. Low-sodium Thanksgiving stuffing: here’s how to make it. The secret’s in the bread you start with; you can find sodium-free bread!
  3. Simple can be delicious, try this no-salt chicken recipe.  It’s called Sheet Pan Chicken with Roasted Baby Potatoes.
  4. 5 low-sodium meals to consider. This links to five recipes on Cafemom.com and thankfully those are still there for you to try.
  5. A Chinese food recipe that actually works as low-sodium? This is a broccoli beef stir-fry recipe form the American Heart Association.
  6. How to make a low-fat, low-salt turkey meatloaf. I love this recipe and make it at least once a month.
  7. Chicken parmigiana for everyone: here’s a low-salt recipe. The secret, again is in the bread, or breadcrumbs in this case. Go with panko, they are generally much lower in salt than other breadcrumbs.
  8. Ahi tuna on the grill, with a lime twist. How can you not love Ahi tuna?
  9. Low-fat mashed potatoes — here’s how. This time, the secret is in the milk and fat used.
  10. Low-salt, low-fat baked mostaccioli. A holiday favorite for me, it’s a splurge but still a lot lower in fat and salt if you use this recipe.

Happy New Year, and check our recipe page for lots more you can cook up in 2018!!!