Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Pizza can be healthy: Enjoy

I've mentioned this before but as we had this for dinner, it seemed like a good to mention this again. Dr. Oetker pizza often goes on sale in London for less than $3. When it does, my wife and I pick up a number of 4-cheese pizzas and store them in our downstairs freezer.

Half of each pizza contains only 50mg of cholesterol. Add five slices of Ziggy's pepperoni to each piece and you have a two pizza-slice pizza dinner with only 65mg of cholesterol. I've been told to keep my daily cholesterol intake below 100mg. This dinner does just that.

The green and red sweet peppers, the diced pickled hot peppers, black olives, artichokes and mushrooms all contain no cholesterol but these ingredients help to bulk up the dinner. We find this dinner quite filling and the calories, or points if one uses the Weight Watchers system, are low enough to allow both of us to have a small glass of wine with the meal.

Two tips: fry the mushroom slices first. This removes the excess moisture trapped inside the mushrooms. And fry the pepperoni slices. This removes a little fat. Always a good move.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

French Potato Salad: Made With No Eggs

Some years ago I was asked to bring a potato salad to a family dinner. After making the request, my relative realized eggs were off my diet and I wouldn't be able to have any of my contribution to the dinner. I told them not to worry. I'd find a recipe for potato salad that didn't use eggs. And I did.

I found a recipe for French potato salad posted by a Swedish blogger named Ewa (Eva). She lives in Seattle, WA., and enjoys sharing her recipes. I don't believe she'd mind my posting a link to her site and her recipe for French potato salad: Carrots & Spice (Healthy Recipes for Busy Families.

Over the intervening years I've served this salad to numerous folk and I've had many requests for the recipe or at least the link. This healthy potato salad is popular and deservedly so.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Low fat lasagna

Tonight I served low-fat lasagna. No mozzarella but eggplant instead. I kept the traditional ricotta cheese but used a light, 2% fat, version. I also used a bottled tomato sauce. This kept the preparation time down. And of course, there was no ground meat in my lasagna.

I used a pinch of cinnamon and a tablespoon of fresh basil plus salt and pepper to give the entire presentation a little extra depth. I may add some mushrooms lightly fried in a clove or two of garlic when I make this next. And I will make it again and soon.

When I have the recipe down pat, I'll post an update and add a link to this post.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Maitake mushroom: too beautiful to hide

Maitake mushrooms are incredible. Not only are they delicious, they are beautiful. When I cooked tonight's dinner I could not bear to fold the omelettes and hide the beautiful mushrooms. Tonight, I served my first open-faced omelettes.

Maitake mushrooms can be expensive. I got mine as a 70th birthday gift. I was delighted. A maitake mushroom keeps very well in the fridge. If it is fresh when purchased, it can last several days without showing any signs of deterioration. In other words, it is not hard to eat the whole thing by having a little each day until all is gone.

I broke mine into smaller pieces, weighed the result (I insisted on getting as much on my omelette as my wife) and then I fried the mushroom in olive oil and Becel. (I cannot eat butter. Doctor's orders.) When the maitake was almost done, I added some mined garlic. After about thirty seconds after adding the garlic, I set the pan aside.

Next, I heated some olive oil in a small, fry pan and when hot I added four ounces of Egg Creations. (I cannot eat whole eggs. The yolks are banned from my diet. Doctor's orders, again.) Before the Egg Creations had set, I added the garlic-fried maitake and a few chunks of cheddar cheese plus a little salt and pepper.

I refused to fold my omelette but served it open-faced. I just could not bring myself to hide the maitake. I think it was the right decision. Do you agree?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Maitake mushroom, salmon steaks and zucchini noodles: yum.

The maitake mushrooms, also known as hen-of-the-woods, was a birthday gift. I fried the maitake with garlic, shallots and finely chopped thyme. It was delicous.

The noodle dish had a base of not pasta but zucchini run through a spiralizer. My wife treated the zucchini as pasta and it was delicious. One must overlook the zucchini juice that collects on the plate but, on the bright side, the juice is delicious sopped up with a slice of bread.

The salmon steak would be expensive if it were larger but it wasn't larger and it wasn't expensive. It was delicious grilled for a total of about six minutes. I basted both steaks with a mixture of Becel with olive oil, ground peppercorns and chopped sage.

Because my recipes used for this post are taken from the New York Times and Weight Watchers, I am being a little obtuse as to the exact mix of ingredients. But the point of this post is not to instruct but to inspire. Cruise the Web or give the cookbooks at Winners a look. And enjoy some fine, and oh-so-healthy, dining.

Rainbow trout, Brussels sprout, cauliflower: heart healthy eats

The small serving of rainbow trout cost about $1.75. The vegetables were fresh and mostly locally grown. The dinner wasn't expensive but it was good. Now in my 70s, I am not finding adhering to a heart healthy diet difficult. And it certainly is not restrictive. In fact, I find the challenge liberating.

I am not a chef. I cook but I am a rank amateur. Admitting this makes me feel a tinge of shame. I should have applied myself much earlier in life. Don't make the same mistake.

I did not get really serious about cooking until my doctors told me I had to go on a heart healthy diet. I have a heart condition now and I am at risk for more in the future. My arteries don't need help in plugging up. They can do quite nicely on their own. My genes are working against me.

Have I managed to slow the deteriorating condition of my arteries? I don't know. My doctors are monitoring the situation and they may offer an opinion soon.

The meal featured today is from the New York Times Cooking site. If you pay to read the Times online, the Cooking pages are free. If not, I believe you might find a small number of free hits are allowed each month. Here a some links. Good luck. (And if you like the recipes, don't be cheap. Check out the price of a subscription. You may be surprised. I was.)

Garlicky Brussels Sprout Salad With Apples, Walnuts and Parmesan
Five-Peppercorn Fish Fillets 
Pan-Roasted Cauliflower With Garlic, Parsley and Rosemary

With so much going on flavour-wise, I opted for a simple bed of white, basmati rice for the trout. And I must confess, the cauliflower was a leftover and that is the only reason it made it onto the plate -- but I liked it. A bit of crisp, cold, white wine helped cleanse the palate. Do I dare mention  the wine came from a box.  ;-)