A quick spring salad — radicchio and asparagus give it variety

The trick to keep salads from getting boring for those of us who eat a lot of them is to mix up the variety of items to add to the basic lettuce. This salad, using bibb lettuce along with radicchio, and asparagus, popped up recently in a Cooking Light email I receive and I thought it sounded worth sharing.

Ingredients are simple and easy to prepare (leave out the salt as we usually advise):

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt  (who needs this)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups thinly sliced radicchio
  • 1 cup diagonally sliced asparagus
  • 1 head Bibb lettuce, leaves separated and torn (about 6 oz.)

Continue reading “A quick spring salad — radicchio and asparagus give it variety”

A fall chicken recipe, modified — chicken braised in two vinegars

I keep on eye on the New York Times for recipe ideas, but usually what they feature has too much salt, fat or sugar for my needs. Such was the case when I recently received a Times email entitled 72 Recipes You Should Make This Fall.

The Times suggests serving this chicken over polenta, I’d do it with a side of green beans or asparagus.

 

Looking through them, I didn’t see many heart-health choices until I came across this chicken braised in two vinegars recipe. The Times uses thighs, high in fat, so I’d substitute breasts and leave off the salt mentioned as something you can add for serving.

The ingredients (with my changes): Continue reading “A fall chicken recipe, modified — chicken braised in two vinegars”

Pasta, swordfish, eggplant — if you like all those, try this

Pasta is always a favorite for me, although these days I eat only multigrain pasta because of my heart issues. I normally make my own tomato sauce to avoid high-salt processed alternatives. But occasionally, I’ll try something without a traditional tomato sauce, like this fun-sounding dish, Sicilian Swordfish Pasta With Eggplant and Tomatoes.

Rigatoni with swordfish, eggplant and tomatoes.
Rigatoni with swordfish, eggplant and tomatoes.

Swordfish is a relatively healthy fish when it comes to the type of fat it contains, but eating large amounts of it could cause other problems since it’s a fish that can contain high levels of mercury (sorry, every food seems to have its ups and downs healthwise doesn’t it).

The recipe is fairly simple to make.

Step 1: Fry the Eggplant
Step 2: Infuse Oil With Garlic
Step 3: Add Swordfish and Cook
Step 4: Add Tomatoes, Wine, and Herbs
Step 5: Add Eggplant, Then Finish

For all the details, simply click here to go to the site where I found this recipe.

Easter no-salt, no-sugar dinner recipes abound here for you

With Easter less than a week away, we’ve been getting a lot fo visitors to a post we did back in 2014, Low-salt Easter dinner: how to enjoy the holiday meal.

One of our many no salt, no sugar recipes. We cut the salt and sugar to a minimum, along with the fat.

That meal included low-salt turkey, green beans in a balsamic/olive oil glaze and asparagus roasted with low-salt panko breadcrumbs and low-fat cheese.

But we also have other Easter suggestions, such as A no-salt Easter side dish — asparagus with balsamic tomatoes.  Continue reading “Easter no-salt, no-sugar dinner recipes abound here for you”

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”

Zucchini lovers rejoice — here’s 10 recipe options

Zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables to grill. Normally I just spray on some olive oil and some Italian spices and leave it at that, eating it as a side dish for such main courses as swordfish, tilapia, salmon and Fourth of July cookout favorites.

Zucchini on the gas grill, basted with olive oil and Italian spices.
Zucchini on the gas grill, basted with olive oil and Italian spices.

So I was excited to see a recent New York Times Cooking headline: Our 10 Most Popular Zucchini Recipes. I expected there would be some in there that are not low-salt, low-fat or low-sugar and I was right. Continue reading “Zucchini lovers rejoice — here’s 10 recipe options”

Mayo Clinic offers ‘heart healthy’ recipes

The Mayo Clinic has a so-called heart healthy recipe page that can give you some new cooking ideas.

Clean eating crock pot chicken
Clean eating crock pot chicken is a favorite heart healthy recipe of mine.

I say so-called, because I question some of the ingredients in some of these recipes, wondering about things like baking powder which has salt in it, for example. I was surprised to see any baked goods on the heart healthy list since baked cooks always seem to be a problem for my blood pressure and my weight. Continue reading “Mayo Clinic offers ‘heart healthy’ recipes”

Baby carrots more ways than you can imagine

Baby carrots are a simple yet tasty side dish. I steam them for dinner or eat them raw as a nibble food when we have guests over. I’ve also posted a recipe to turn them into a salad.

So I was excited to see this Food Network post about 14 ways to use baby carrots. Some of these are just plain wacky. Carrot freezer pops? Well maybe.

Carrot freezer pops? Not sure how tasty these would be.
Carrot freezer pops? Not sure how tasty these would be.

Carrot juice is not my cup of tea (pun intended). And the glazed carrots involve butter which I don’t eat any longer. I may try them with just the honey or maybe with some olive oil first and then the honey to get a healthy fat on them. Continue reading “Baby carrots more ways than you can imagine”

Recipe Rehab — a show worth watching

Recipe Rehab apparently is in its third season but I only just discovered this show that’s on CBS. It started as a YouTube series in 2012. The show takes an unhealthy recipe that a family says it loves and turns it over to two chefs who come up with healthier versions.

Chef Richard's re-imagined chicken and waffles. Not exactly gut-busting.
Chef Richard’s re-imagined chicken and waffles. Not exactly gut-busting.

A nutritionist rates the redone recipes for fat, carbs and, I’m very happy to say, salt content. In two shows I watched, Chef Vikki failed to get top scores from the unseen nutritionist because of high salt content in her redone dishes. Shame on her for still including so much salt.

One of the shows I saw took chicken and waffles, which I used to love but haven’t had since my angioplasty in 2012, and redid it. The new alternatives really weren’t chicken and waffles, but they were game tries to come up with something to satisfy the family involved.

The last episode I saw took something called Tater Tot Casserole and re-imagined it. I was stunned anyone would eat the original recipe, given it included two different creamed soups and evaporated milk along with tater tots, four cups of cheese and dark meat turkey, the fattest turkey of all. It looked like a white gooey mess.

Chef Vikki again disappointed by including some tater tots in her redone recipe. Please, those alone likely put her over the salt threshold.

This show basically does what I’ve done on my recipe page, take favorites and find ways to get the salt, fat and sugar out. So I recommend it. Check its website for more tips too. Recipes from the show are up there, but I don’t see a way to binge watch the show there. Will try to do that elsewhere.
John

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