What’s Cooking?! Low-fat, salt-free stir-fry

Stir-FryLooking for another way to add vegetables and increase the fiber in your dinner meal? Try a stir-fry! Now generally, any dish with the word “fry” in it means that it has been cooked in oil and tend to be high in fat, calories, and salt; but, with some minor adjustments, I still managed to make a flavorful meal that is heart healthy and won’t run the blood sugars off the charts. Here is what I made, but since it’s a stir-fry, you can really add anything you want!
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5 tips for a healthy, homemade steak dinner

Steak-and-potato

I love cooking, but there are definitely times when we get home later than usual, or I’m tired, or I have things to do around the house and I just don’t have time (or don’t want) to make something. Thankfully, my husband has been listening to my cooking tips and can put together an awesome heart-healthy, high fiber meal! Men love their meat, so of course when he is cooking, it’s going to be steak. But check out what he did to keep it low fat, low sodium, and high in fiber!
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What’s Cooking?! Healthier Sausage and Peppers

healthy-sausage-peppers
Looking for a low maintenence meal with minimal prep work and clean up? Try these, low-sodium, no-carb, low-fat sausage and peppers! This is another recipe that is great for leftovers. Top a whole wheat hoagie for a fun sub sandwich, cook them into eggs for a high-protein, high-fiber omelet, or (my favorite) toss them on top of your favorite green with cold tomatoes, feta cheese, and balsamic vinegar for a quick lunch salad.

Ingredients:
– 1 lb low-sodium, low-fat chicken sausage (sliced)
– 1 red pepper (chopped in large pieces)
– 1 green pepper (chopped in large pieces)
– 1 yellow pepper (chopped in large pieces)
– 1 medium onion (chopped in large pieces)
– 2 tbl olive oil
– 2 tbl fresh basil (chopped)
– 1 tbl dried oregano
– 1/2 tbl garlic powder
– 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit
– Brown sausage in a skillet (does not need to be fully cooked, just browned)
– Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix to coat
– Spread mixture into a 9 X 13 baking dish
– Bake for 50 minutes and serve

Need a side dish? Try sautéed potatoes with spinach for complex carbohydrates and fiber without the salt!

What’s Cooking?! Low-Sodium Vegetarian Tomato Noodle Soup

vegetarian-tomato-noodle-soup

Don’t tell my husband, but we had a vegetarian dinner this week! Believe it or not, he didn’t even miss the meat. The beans added protein and the vegetables and whole wheat pasta added fiber to make us feel full and keep us feeling full longer. PLUS, this was a crock pot meal, so while our pizzas were cooking on Monday, I did some veggie chopping and threw everything in a gallon Ziplock bag and all Jason had to do in the morning was dump the liquids and bag of goodies into the crock pot and turn it on. Dinner was ready when we got home; and, clean up was a piece of cake, since all we used was the crock pot.

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What’s Cooking?! Salt-free, high-fiber, low-fat chicken parmesan

chicken-parmesean

Need a quick meal with leftovers that can be used in various ways to keep you from burn-out? My husband and I have a busy week, so we made baked chicken parm last night that we can reheat for either salads, sandwiches, or pasta dishes later in the week. Not only was the meal ready in about 30 minutes, but the recipe is heart healthy (salt free and low-fat) and easier on the blood sugar (higher in fiber and low sugar) than most fried chicken parmesan recipes.

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Is Butter Better?

butter
We have been trained to fear fats; but, our body does need some of it! The most important consideration is the type of fat chosen. Saturated fats are “bad” and unsaturated fats are “good”. Unsaturated fats may improve cholesterol levels while saturated fats make them worse. So, when it comes to comparing butter (saturated fat) to margarine (unsaturated fat), the answer seems simple. Saturated butter: bad and unsaturated margarine: good, but, beware. There is another type of fat, trans fat, that may mask margarine as a healthy alternative.
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What’s Cooking?! Low-sodium, low-fat salad dressing

homemade-balsamic-vinaigrette

I love a good salad, and no dinner is easier than throwing leftovers on a bed of greens and chopping up whatever spare vegetables you have in the fridge. It sounds healthy, too; but, be careful because pre-made dressings and dressing packets where you add your own oil and vinegar can be loaded with sugar and salt! Check out this quick and easy balsamic vinaigrette recipe I found from Joy Bauer with ingredients you likely have stocked in your kitchen.
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5 foods that are hiding all the salt

hidden-salt
Limiting salt is a daunting task. Fast food, restaurants, and convenience foods are FULL of the stuff, making it difficult to decrease salt when we are on the run; and, what’s worse is that when we do commit to limiting salt, it’s not always the obvious culprits that jack-up sodium intake. For your reference, when limiting sodium intake, it is recommended to keep sodium to less than 700 mg per meal and less than 140 mg per snack. Here is a list of 5 surprising items that may be pushing your sodium intake over the limit!

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What’s Cooking?! Mini-Spinach-Meatloaf

Mini-spinach-meatloaf
I love mini-food and using different kitchen items in unique ways! So, I tried mini-meatloaf in a cupcake sheet this week. Low fat ground beef and salt free herbs and spices make this another heart-healthy dish; and, I skipped the sugary ketchup and used oatmeal instead of white bread crumbs, for a diabetes-friendly option!

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