Tuesday, April 20, 2010

No Salt!

"In a new report, the institute, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, is calling on the Food and Drug Administration to set national standards for salt added to processed foods and prepared meals in an effort to reduce Americans' consumption of sodium. "

"Health and Human Services recommends that adults limit their daily salt intake to 2,300 milligrams: about 1 teaspoon. If you are over 40, are African-American or have high blood pressure, you shouldn't have more than 1,500 mg a day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 70 percent of adults fall into one or more of these three categories.

The average American consumes far more, however, eating about 3,900 milligrams of sodium a day. In a study last month from Stanford University, researchers found that reducing the country's salt intake by 9.5 percent could reduce nearly half a million strokes and heart attacks and save more than $32 billion in medical costs over the lifetime of adults."

Article on CNN.  

Surprisingly high sodium, low-calorie foods:
  • cottage cheese
  • pickles
  • ff cheese (or any cheese)
  • ketchup
  • crackers
  • fat-free hot dogs
  • canned food
  • commercial chicken broth

Spring lunch

Life has been so busy lately that I've been living off things in my freezer and the veggies in my fridge, somehow creatively thrown together.  This is a nice one -- arugula, fennel, cabbage with grilled asparagus and grilled Trader Joe's meatless meatballs.

1 fennel bulb, halved
1/4 head of a small head of cabbage
handful arugula salad
salt, pepper,
Galeo's dressing (Miso Ginger)
green asparagus
4 meatless meatballs (Trader Joe's or others).

I sliced the fennel and cabbage thinly into a plastic bowl using a mandoline, added the salt and pepper, and mixed it well. In a serving bowl, I mixed the arugula salad and about 1/4th of the fennel/cabbage salad, and added the dressing. Heated the broiler, and grilled the asparagus and meatballs for about 10-12 mins. It helps to brush the asparagus with some olive oil and add some salt. With the broiling, the meatballs get a nice crunchy crust. Serve asparagus and meatballs with the salad. 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Product Review: Allclad non-stick omelette pan

It's not that I don't have enough kitchen gadgets but since I remodeled my kitchen last summer, a job that included a new professional gas range, I have extended my collection of Allclad pots and pans. They are not only gorgeous but they also work the best on a high-end gas stove and clean well. My non-stick pans, which I used for my electric stove before became difficult to clean due to the high heat on the gas range. When I saw that Williams Sonoma offering a Allclad non-stick omelette pan, I reluctantly gave it a try.  Would the Allclad version of non-stick work?

After the first tryout, I can only recommend it. I used some olive oil spray, and made an omelette mostly with eggwhites, tomatoes, salt, pepper and parmesan. The omelette browned well, did not stick at all, and the omelette pan was easy to clean without any scrubbing or elbow grease. So far, so good!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hydration Central

Lately, I have been feeling tired and worn out, and there was no real reason. So, I thought it must be the usual culprit for sluggishness: lack of hydration. I pureed an entire English cucumber with a half bunch of waterkress and a handful of chives and 2 TB of greek yogurt in the vitamix. Already feeling bouncy again!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Greek Yogurt Chive Dip

The garden starts to turn its colors from gray and brown to green, pink and yellow. Chives and mint are the first herbs each year that announce spring time and a new growing season.. "Hellooooo!" the chives chimed, eat me eat me! So, here we go, a chive greek yogurt dip. 

bunch of fresh chives
1 small container greek yogurt
salt, pepper to taste
1-2 TB water
Optionally: 1 TB sour cream.

Mix the greek yogurt with the salt and pepper until creamy and well-flavored to taste. With a kitchen scissors, cut the chives in 1/4 inch pieces directly into the greek yogurt mixture. Stir. The mixture will get thicker depending on how many chives you add; to make it creamier again, add some water.   Serve with pretzels, crackers or on a slice of rye bread. Enjoy!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Spring Chow Mein

Well, this dish does not really have a name, but it looks like chow mein. However, it is made with very thinly sliced fresh cabbage, stir fried in a spicy terikayi sauce, with green asparagus and shrimp. Delicious!


1/4 head of a small green cabbage
1/3 bunch green asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 oz fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used Maine shrimp)
1-2 TB terikayi sauce
1 ts hot sauce
3-4 TB water
salt, pepper to taste.

Slice the cabbage in very thin slices using a mandoline (works best!). In a wok, heat the teriyaki sauce with the hot sauce and the water, stir and once hot add the shrimp for 1 min. Then add the cabbage and asparagus, mix well, and stir fry on high for 3-4 min. Serve immediately. 

Note: Depending on the shrimp you use, you might have to cook the shrimp longer; Maine shrimp are small and cook very fast. Only the cabbage and asparagus should still be slightly crunchy. If the cabbage is sliced with a mandoline, it wilts and cooks fast when stir fried.