Tom and I were watching one of the many cooking shows we watch .. and a famous chef, whose name escapes me, said a trick to spruce up any dish is fresh herbs. Well, we have an herb garden so I was anxious to hear his tip. Combine several cloves of garlic, 15 - 20 fresh basil leaves and 2.5 cups olive oil in a blender. Puree, then pour into ice cube trays ... remember those?? ... and freeze. When they were solid, I popped them into a labeled Ziploc bag and tossed them back in the freezer.
So, for last night's dinner with my grandson, Aidan (he's seven), I cooked some spaghetti pasta and after I drained it and while it sat in the sink, I tossed some chopped onion, fresh mushrooms (about 1/2 pound) in the pasta pan and sauteed them until they were cooked through. I tossed in a drained can of diced tomatoes and two "garlic/basil ice cubes" and the drained pasta. I tossed it and served with a sprinkling of feta and Parmesan cheese and a bit of salt and pepper. It was wonderful! Aidan ate it all, though he prefers canned mushrooms!
So for Tom's dinner at work tonight, imagine my surprise when I pulled out the leftover pasta/tomato/mushroom/garlic/basil concoction and it was half gone!! He took some to work ... now I have to wonder if he noticed there was no meat in there??? Only time will tell!
Super Bowl's over and like any other get-together - sports or otherwise - there are certain foods required to celebrate in a proper fashion. You know what I'm talking about, don't you? I thought so. I love Super Bowl food and knew I had better make some plans before the weekend hit and I'm glad I did. But isn't it hard sometimes to always keep your heart and your health at the forefront? Do you get tired of passing on your favorites and feeling sorry for yourself? Well, fear not my friends I've got some options for your next event.
Buffalo wings, although delicious, can total to an astonishing 1,188 calories per serving - and you know you won't eat just one serving, right? I found a recipe by Chef Rocco DiSpirito where the wings have been replaced with low-fat chicken tenders, store-bought low fat buffalo sauce, and reduced-fat blue cheese dressing slash the calories by more than a third. Sound good? They were wonderful! My Buffalo wing loving husband said so!
No serving size was listed so I suppose we are to know how much is in a serving size, right? Two tablespoons? A quarter cup? Your guess as good as mine but I can assure you it isn't as much as what you might think ... remember ... moderation is the key to keeping your heart healthy!
Now, how about those luscious cheese stuffed potato skins? Yummy, right? Of course, but the fat from the cheese, sour cream, and butter make heart conscience eater go into cardiac arrest! Need a healthier version? Here you go ...
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 h 16 mins
Total Time: 1 h 31 mins
1. Preheat oven to 425º.
2. Pierce potatoes with a fork (do not wrap in foil). Bake potatoes at 425º for 1 hour or until tender. Cool potatoes 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat bacon slices according to package directions until crisp; crumble bacon. Set aside.
4. Cut potatoes lengthwise into 4 wedges. Scoop out as much potato pulp as possible without tearing potato skins. Reserve potato pulp for another use.
5. Arrange potato skins on a foil-lined baking sheet. Coat both sides of potato skins with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with pepper and salt. Bake at 425º for 13 minutes or until lightly browned. Sprinkle skins evenly with bacon and cheese; bake an additional 3 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve immediately with dressing.
Yield: 16 servings (serving size: 1 potato skin and 1 teaspoon dressing).
Have you noticed the serving size? Hmmm ... that's what gets us, isn't it? The potato skins ... yeah, ONE piece, that's it. That is a serving size. So how many did you plan to eat?
About 3 cups
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking/Cooling Time: 20-25 minutes
Level of Difficulty: Easy
The bottom line remains the same ... think before you eat ... eat in moderation ... adjust your recipes with lower fat choices, replace fatty milks with soymilk or if you prefer lower fat cow's milk, use baked chips or vegetables instead of greasy chips and don't be afraid to make substitutions to keep your ticker ticking.
Often I hear people say they're going to start eating better … tomorrow. Or, I hear them say they're going to start exercising … tomorrow. This morning on my way to the grocery store with my six year-old grandson in tow he asked if we could take a walk. I explained we had shopping to do and chores at home. Then he reminded me I said I needed to walk more and asked if we could walk all around the store before we started shopping. It seemed like a reasonable request so once we entered the store we walked passed the carts and he pointed where he wanted to start. Off we went. We got a pretty good pace going, dodging people and carts, and as we approached the toy section of the store, he said, “We need to keep up our pace, Grandma, so let's just keep going we can look at the toys later, OK?” What could I say?
Believe me I sure didn't want to walk especially with so much on my agenda, but I asked myself if not, when? Yes, when would I get a walk in when my day was already packed with things to do? If not now, when would I have the time? Or make the time? I agreed and we walked and not only did we get two laps in we opted to do it again … the other way … to unwind, as my grandson stated in a very matter-of-fact manner. I'll have to admit I felt rather pleased with myself to not only get a walk in, but please my grandson, as well.
Then a funny thing happened after we finished our walk. I felt very inclined to pass the chip aisle, pass the cookie aisle, to stand up straighter, to have a goal and I spent a bit more time thinking about a couple new recipes I'd found that would fit into my "new found" self! When I find a recipe I want to try I usually tuck it into a notebook and find it many months later … however, today I knew I had to give one ... or two of those recipes a try. I remember most of the ingredients and hit the aisles head-on. The first recipe was for a unique pizza … ah, salad … well … both!
Tossed Salad Pizza
The other heart-healthy salad I found was one that was all wrapped up ... literally!
Now I ask you this – if you are going to delay doing something ask yourself … if not now, when? Perhaps there is no time like the present! Form an intention for yourself today!
I am ...
... a former blogger for a health site, which means eating healthy aka heart smart
which has become a passion for me. I will start at the beginning when I first
discovered I had high cholesterol.