Sunday, April 19, 2009

Oh No, My links!

So in all my re-decorating I've lost all my links :( bare with me while I restore everything I had there if you have some good links for me leave me a comment or EMAIL ME!

Great Food Articles

I get a newsletter from and they often have some great articles! This time I thought I would share some of them....

Cocunut Oil: Good or Bad?
With the great demise of trans fats in the fast food industry the rise of coconut and palm oil has gone back up---that's right back up...they used to be the oils du'jour in the 80's (or so I'm told :) ). So the big question coconut oil good or bad? Well, this article does a great job at displaying both sides of the argument. Bottom line? Well cocunut (and palm for that matter) oil is one of the very few plant based products that is a natural source of saturated fat and like the article explains "there’s strong evidence that suggests the various fatty acids found in coconut oil, including lauric, palmitic and myristic acid (all medium-chained triglycerides), raise both LDL (bad) and HDL (good) cholesterol and total cholesterol." That's right, it means that coconut oil is considered a medium-chained triglyceride...that's one of the feared words by those of us that suffer of high cholesterol. So that means that for those of us with heart issues, high cholesterol, or just have a healthy respect for high fat, high cholesterol foods coconut oil is a no-no.
What's that? You say that you like to eat out once in a while? Well then there's no avoiding high fat, high cholesterol, high sodium, high everything you shouldn't be eating foods but like my Dr. always says, there's no harm done in doing things you're not supposed to do in moderation...moderation, now THAT'S the challenge! ;D

Top 5 Herbs for Healthy Cooking

Top 5 Spices for Healthy Cooking

Herbs and Spices are the lifeline of a heart-conscious foodie! So naturally I was curious as to what Heatlhy Eats considered their top 5. And these articles certainly did not disapoint! They not only give an excellent explanation of the herbs and spices but also links to great recipes! So definitely take a look!

My favorite herbs and spice? Well, it's funny you they are!

1. Cilandro (hey I'm Mexican, what do expect ;D )
2. Italian Parsley
3. Dill
4. Basil
5. Chives

Sure my fav aren't all necessarily practical for every kitchen but I use them like they are going out of style!

1. Paprika
2. Cinnamon (my oatmeal would not be the same without it!)
3. Cumin
4. New Mexico Chile
5. Nutmeg

So what's your top herbs and spices? Leave me a comment!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Blog Changes

I'm doing a little update on my blog to make it more user friendly and make my recipes more easily accesible, so I'm going to be working on a little sidebar where I will post links to each of my recipes by name (vs. month posted as it is now) but since I have to work on the html code for it, it's going to take a while.

Meanwhile you can look forward to some new recipes coming like Southwest Soup, Low Sodium Pickles, and yes I'm still planning on working on the breakfast sausage and italian sausage but just haven't had time to nail those down yet...pickles are harder to perfect than expected! Oh! And I'm planning on testing out some how-to videos on tougher we'll see how that goes! As always I'm just an email away if you have any questions or comments :)

To Your Health!

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Perfect Pickle Pursuit

I miss pickles! My burgers aren't the same, my movie watching isn't the same...I never realized how big of a part of my life they were until I couldn't have them anymore. And so I did what I always do when it comes to food...I hit the internet and searched for pickle recipes for inspiration.

My first recipe involved apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, water, sugar, alum, pickling spice and dill (and cucumbers of course). However it ended up tasting too much like cloves and even though I like cloves (in small amounts) I wanted a more dill-y pickle. So I simplified my recipe by just using pickling cucumbers, white vinegar, water, sugar, alum and dill. It improved greatly, but it's still missing something. I think I'm going to try adding lemons for some sourness. And so my journey continues. If you have ideas leave me a comment!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spicy Beef & Veggie Stir Fry

Who misses Chinese food? I DO!!!! Well I came across a great product a while ago and even though it's meant to be a marinade I immediately though "stir fry!" So I came up with this recipe, it's easy and very quick. Enjoy!!


(click to enlarge)

1/2 lb. Lean beef thinly sliced & choppend into bite size pieces
12 oz bag of stir fry medley veggies
1/2 cup Mrs. Dash Spicy Teriaki Marinade
1 Orange (just the juice and zest)
2 tsp minced garlic (if you want a mild taste just do 1 tsp)
2 tsp minced ginger
1/2 large onion sliced thin
1 cup sliced mushrooms
pinch of dried red pepper flakes (optional)
3 green onions chopped (for garnish)
olive oil
I also highly recommend a wok

Preheat large pan (medium high heat) or wok (medium heat). Pour enouogh olive oil to lightly coat the bottom (b/c you are using olive oil you want to wait until the wok is completely hot and immediately add ingredients or the oil will burn)

Stir fry onions for about 1 minute stirring constantly only until they begin to look translucent.

Add garlic & ginger and continue stirring for about another minute to give the garlic and ginger a chance to begin cooking.

Stir in meat & mushrooms. Once everything is well incorporated cover and cook for 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally. If you are using a regular pan you might need to add 1-2 tbsp of water so that the meat has some liquid to steam in.

Take the lid off and stir until almost all the liquid is gone (about 1 minute)

Stir in the rest of the veggies, orange zest and orange juice and stir to combine.

Once everything is well combined and the veggies have begun to cook, pour Mrs. Dash marinade.

Stir to combine and cover for another 2-4 minutes, stirring occassionally until veggies are almost completely cooked (if you like them crunchy; their colors would have brighted and the brocoli will begin to wilt but not quite) or completely cooked (if you like the veggies soft; the brocoli will be wilted and soft).

Serve over steamed rice and topped with chopped green onions.

Do you have a special request or a recipe that you love and would like to get it made over into a heart healthy version? CLICK HERE and I will try help you!

New Article!

OK, so as a member of Women's Heart I get a newsletter with all sorts of articles in it. This month There were two that stood out to me....

"Consuming A Little Less Salt Could Mean Fewer Deaths"
It's a very interesting article About how in the American Heart Association's 49th Annual conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention researchers discussed that "for every gram of salt that Americans reduce in their diets daily, a quarter of a million fewer new heart disease cases and over 200,000 fewer deaths would occur over a decade"...a quarter of a million fewere new heart disease cases for just one gram of salt less!!!! Let's do the math shall we?

2.5 grams of salt = 1 gram of sodium
1/4 tsp of table salt = 590 mg of sodium
So that puts 1 gram of salt at less than 1/4 tsp!
If American's reduce their salt consumption by 1/4 of a teaspoon of salt a day there could be more than 250,000 less cases of heart disease and over 200,000 fewer deaths related to heart disease over the next decade! That would mean over 200,000 fewer families that wouldn't have to suffer the loss of a loved one, and a quarter of a million less people that would not have to change their entire lives, wouldn't have to loose their independance, wouldn't have to feel less whole as a human being; wouldn't have to feel "weak" or "broken." It's amazin to me how 1/4 of a teaspoon can make such a big difference!

Furthermore, the article talks about how "currently, americans eat 9-12 grams of salt per day (or 3600-4800 mg of sodium). This amount is far in excess than recommended by most health organizations (5-6 grams/day of salt or 2000-24000 mg sodium)." Not to mention that what we SHOULD be intaking is actually considered by most people the diet that only heart patients have!!!

This article certainly opened my eyes to the fact that although I began this blog as an attempt to make heart patients' lives easier by aiding with the reality that salt does not necessarily equal taste and that yes you can survive a low sodium, low fat, low cholesterol diet, it's become so much more to me. If I can help people become more aware of what they are putting into their bodies and help them become aware that heart disease has become the number one killer in America for both men and women. Then perhaps we as a whole can help future generations cure this epidemic. Perhaps, by teaching mothers to cook "heart healthy" children will think twice about what they are eating and how much exercise they are getting for reasons other than those based on vanity. That is my hope, my goal, my dream.

For the full article CLICK HERE!