Hello, and welcome to another Food on Friday topic. Since it is the month of November, and in the USA that means Thanksgiving, and Thanksgiving means turkey, and it is Dementia month on this blog. Well, you get the idea of today’s topic.
Studies show that following the MIND Diet, and or the Mediterannean Diet may help prevent Dementia. So, I thought I would try to find a video on how to make a Mediterannean style Thanksgiving turkey. Now, I am not sure my husband will go for this. He is responsible for cooking the turkey, not me. He enjoys it! I know it’s crazy! But, I can certainly put the idea in his head. I am not a huge lover of Greek yogurt, but I can half the amount and increase the Olive Oil, instead. I found some of the seasoning blend, mentioned in the video on Amazon. That is not an affiliate link. Turkey is very low-fat meat, especially if you eat only white meat, and avoid the skin. Watch the video below to learn how to make your own Mediterannean Thanksgiving Turkey. Turkey does contain Phosphorus, as do most meats, naturally. So, be mindful of your portion sizes if you have CKD and especially if you have issues with phosphates.
Welcome to another Food on Friday topic. This week it was my turn to be the judge and pick the theme for our family cookoff challenge. I chose a dollar store meal. The Dollar Tree is not close to us, but we do have a Dollar General and Family Dollar right here in town. So, I gave them both the rules of one shopping at each store and spending only 10 dollars. I did not specify they could only use the stuff they bought so both of them used ingredients we already had at home to add to their meal.
First up, my daughter. She chose Dollar General for her store. Now, where we live our Dollar General does have a small fresh food section. She chose a bag salad mix, hot dogs, and hot dog buns. She did not put much thought into this, but I was happy she chose some fresh veggies. She chose the most expensive brand of hot dog buns, instead of the freshest, and these buns were not that good due to not being fresh. Hot dogs are not something I eat often, but they were quite delicious as she fried them in butter we had at home. Not the healthiest, but delicious. Since she knows I follow diet restrictions on a regular basis, she could have chosen a lower fat hot dog and less sodium. She used salad dressing we had at home and croutons we had. This was a very simple meal and only cost $8.65, but it could have been less if she bought a more affordable hot dog bun. While I was browsing the food, as she shopped, I noticed some really good deals if you are living on a very tight budget. They had single-serve frozen dinners for only 80 cents. I forget the brand, Michelina maybe, but if you really are in a squeeze these would be a good lunch option. They probably are not the healthiest but if it is all you can afford then that is what you need.
My husband got The Family Dollar by default, lol. Family Dollar does not offer any fresh food though they do have frozen veggies and fruit. I have bought these items in the past and had no problem with them. Unlike the Dollar Tree whose frozen veggies are sometimes not that great. My husband spent $9.65 and put a little more thought into his dish. He made a traditional Goulash-type dish using one pound of ground beef, 1 can of diced tomatoes, 1 can of Hunt’s spaghetti sauce, and 1 box of Rotini pasta. He used leftover salad from my daughter’s meal the night before, a plus there. He also used some cheese we had at home to add to the salad because he has to have it, but I tend to pick it out. He also used an onion that we already had on hand. His meal was actually very good, like really really good. It had great flavor and was well thought out. I do not typically use that brand of spaghetti sauce because I think it has high fructose corn syrup in it, but it won’t kill me. This meal was fast and easy to make and even someone who can’t really cook could make this. I do like the meat selections that the Family Dollar offers over Dollar General.
I have never found organic products at either of these stores. It does not match their price point as being a more affordable option, but it would be nice if organic items were more affordable for areas that only have these kinds of stores. Now, they may be there, and I just have not seen them. I do not grocery shop at these stores often. My family did not care for this challenge and complained profusely right up to the day to cook. They felt like this was not quality enough food for them, oh how spoiled we have become. Neither of them, obviously remember the days when we were living paycheck to paycheck and living on a very tight grocery budget and eating these very foods. After their meals were created they were both very surprised at how good their meals actually were. Food does not have to be organic or expensive to taste good. The whole debate about organic vs non-organic is not settled yet. I like organic better, but I don’t always get it. Be mindful of what you eat and do the best you can.
My husband obviously won this challenge. We finally decided on a prize. Each winner gets a 5 dollar scratch-off, and yes my daughter got 2 so far. Though, I think I got ripped off, lol. She won 8 dollars too! My husband will pick the next theme and it will be mother vs daughter and I don’t intend to lose this time.
This is meant to be good family fun or friends! It is a great way to get in the kitchen with your kids and get them thinking about cooking, meal prepping, shopping, budgets, etc. Try it and let me know what you do in the comments. Share your post if you have a blog.
Sorry, I always forget to take pictures when we do this. I will try to remember for the next one.
I totally forgot to share this on Tuesday, so I am sharing it today instead. There will be a few other tidbits in this post.
On Tuesday, my husband, daughter, and myself held the second round of our Family Cook Off. This is meant to be fun, family time, and a little competition too. This time my husband was the judge, and it was me against my daughter. My husband picked the theme of grilled cheese with one other topping. At first I thought, how dreadfully boring, but I was able to find a fancy grilled cheese that I was sure was a winner. Apparently, I was wrong because my daughter won, even though my husband was impressed with my culinary grilled cheese skills. I called foul because mine was way more creative, but hers had bacon, so yeah bacon. I do not care for bacon, but I still had to at least taste it, and I admit it was very good.
Caitlin’s Grilled Cheese: Brioche bread, American cheese, bacon slices, sweet red onions, and Thousand Island Dressing. I have to admit the dressing added a very nice touch with the bacon. I did not care for the onions on it, and tomatoes probably would have made more sense.
My Grilled Cheese: Brioche bread, Kerry Gold Savory Cheddar Cheese, blueberries cooked down in Balsamic Vinegar and a tiny bit of brown sugar. Honestly, this was delicious, though I think the vinegar was a smidge too much for me. But, if I had used an even stronger cheese I think it would have been a knockout. The savory cheddar is strong, but wasn’t strong enough. I also think I should have gotten more credit for trying a healthier grilled cheese, just saying.
We wanted to do these challenges each week, but it really is too much to plan and get ready for it weekly. So, we are thinking twice a month will work better. I get to pick the theme for the next one, and I am thinking obviously about pumpkins. It won’t have to be pumpkin food, but rather it can be shaped like a pumpkin, or any other pumpkin theme. I already know my recipe, lol. Is that cheating? Hmm.
My husband and I have challenged ourselves to lose 10 pounds before Halloween, and then next month to keep it off. I have lost 2.5 pounds so far, and feeling like this might not be possible. He has not disclosed how much he has lost, but he is cutting his calories.
Pizza is something my family loves. I do like pizza, but it is so calorie, and fat heavy. Frozen pizzas, even so called healthier options, are not really all that healthy imo. So, tonight I will be making some homemade pizza dough, and giving it a try. My family is very fussy about pizza, so I am hoping this will be a hit. Other times I tried were not that successful. They are so used to high amounts of salt, fat, and sugar in the dough. I am going to try herbs to spice up the dough and add tons of flavor! I will be using this recipe for the basic dough, and then adding what I need. I will report next week how it ends up being. I have a lot of shredded cheese in the fridge that I need to use up, as well as some whole wheat flour that I will be mixing with the all purpose flour for the dough. Wish me luck!
Have a Fabulous Friday, and I hope to see you back her Monday!
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Hello, and Happy Foodie Friday! You know October is pumpkin season, right? Well it is. I am funny about protein bars. I am a texture kind of girl so a a lot of them just have a strange texture to me. The only one I have found, and I have tried a lot, are these One Protein Bars, and of course they are quite expensive. I also like fairly clean ingredients and am not crazy about fake sweeteners, though I can tolerate them some. The texture of these are lovely, and that is not an affiliate link I am just showing the one I really do like a lot. I like to keep protein bars on hand in my work bag just in case it is one of those days and a fast meal is the only thing to see my lips.
I have never actually made my own protein bars, but the one in the video below is so easy, and I have Vanilla Bean flavored protein powder already here at the house. My smoothie maker died, and I am not willing to buy another one right now, so protein bars would be great. Since it is pumpkin month, I thought maybe I should try to make these. It won’t be today, or even this weekend, because I work very long days, but I bet I can on Monday. I think the only ingredient I don’t already have is the pumpkin. I won’t use Almond Milk either, I don’t like it much. So, I will have to use regular milk, or evaporated milk. I will let you know if I make them, and how I like them. Monday, is also our next family cook off competition. I won’t give away the theme until Tuesday, when I share the results, but it is going to be interesting. It is my daughter vs. myself this time.
Let me know if you make these homemade pumpkin protein bars, or if you have a homemade protein bar recipe you would like to share, please post it in the comments.
Hello, Hello! As I try to work back more towards a Vegetarian type of eating pattern, I have discovered this wonderfully delicious recipe. If you have read any of my posts on Oxalates this month, then you know why I have steered away from strictly Vegetarian eating.
We actually had this on Friday, but I am sharing it today on Meatless Monday. I did not remember to take pics, but you will get the idea. It is a very simple and delicious meal. The video below is the original recipe, and I will share how I tweaked it for my family, and our preferences below.
Ingredients: Penne Pasta, Feta cheese, Pepper Jack cheese, onions, black olives, butter, garlic, cherry tomatoes.
For starters I used mostly organic products, as that is my preference. I do not always get my preference, but I try. I also do not mix everything together, as I do not eat Feta cheese, and my daughter will not eat olives, or tomatoes.
To make my version put in your hot pan a half of a stick of real butter, or the whole stick as the original recipe calls for. Add fresh minced garlic, and chopped onions. I like Vidalia. I don’t think her recipe had onions, but I include onions in almost everything I cook. Just let that cook gently on low, while your pasta cooks. After the pasta is cooked, and drained, toss it in with the butter, onions, and garlic. You have to be fast here, and serve it quick. It is not as good once it starts too cool, and I would not like this leftover, so be sure and cook only what you are sure will be eaten. I had the olives sliced, cherry tomatoes sliced, and the cheeses all shredded up so each person could add whatever they wanted to their pasta. I also added some fresh chopped Basil to mine, and a little garlic salt. This really was so super delicious, and everyone loved it. It is also relatively inexpensive. Of note, black olives are very high in Oxalates, so use them cautiously if this is an issue for you. Pasta, can also be moderate in Oxalates, especially if you are using a whole grain pasta. I used just regular white organic pasta.
Try this and let me know if you like it. Try my version, and the original below. They are pretty much the same, but just a little bit different.
Come back tomorrow to see my 6 dollar meal that I am making today. I don’t want to give it away, so no hints. I will also be sharing a new family together time challenge.
Are you trying to eat more meatless meals? Let me know what your biggest struggle is to achieve it.
Hello, and welcome to another Food on Friday topic. Following particular diets can be so tricky, and it often makes me wonder what can I eat anymore. But, thank goodness for the internet that allows us to find all kinds of helpful information to make Mindful decisions about food choices.
Do you love pancakes? Do you have CKD, and maybe would like to lose some weight and thought you would try a low carb diet, not Keto btw, but you also need to be mindful of Phosphorus and Oxalates in foods? Argh, good grief even!
A while back I did a post on lower carb banana pancakes. They aren’t as low in carbs, because bananas are pretty high in carbs, but still not bad. Blueberries, however, are very low in carbs and this morning I made the same recipe as above using blueberries. Mmm so delicious.
To make these pancakes all you need is 2 large eggs, and 1/4 cup of fresh blueberries. Smash with a fork, or use a blender, the blueberries up, put in the two eggs, whisk it all together and put in in a non stick pan. Cook just like a pancake, flipping when one side is brown. You can see what mine looked like below. I put on about a tsp of Maple Syrup, but you could use cinnamon as well.
If you are a Dialysis patient you could use egg whites instead of the whole egg to save the 200 mg of Phosphorus in 2 eggs. If you have normal Phosphorus and haven’t been told by your doctor to lower your intake, eat the whole egg, it is delicious. I don’t track my Potassium, but if you do be sure and calculate for your limits.
This one pancake has only 4.3 mg of carbs from the blueberries. Leave off the syrup and you won’t have to add those carbs in, or use sugar free syrup. 1/2 cup of blueberries, and in this recipe you are only using half of that, has only 2 mg of Oxalates. Pancake mix, from a box has 10 mg of Oxalates. These numbers are according to my Oxalate tracker app.
Strawberries are also low in carbs and oxalates, but watch out for raspberries. They are high in Oxalates.
Try them, let me know if you like them in the comments.
Hello, Friday! Are you happy it’s Friday? Most people end their work week today, but I have changed to just weekends, so I am the opposite right now. There are so many hot button issues right now, related to Health: my body my choice, parental rights, masks, vaccines, climate change, lower drug prices, better health care. Don’t worry I will be discussing some of these in the coming weeks, but today I decided to keep it light.
If you read my post from the other day, then you know some of the foods I have been eating while trying to be meat free forever. I forgot to add a few: almonds, raspberries, sunflower seeds, and cocoa. I also talked about the weird symptoms I had been experiencing, and how they pretty much went away when I stopped eating these super high Oxalate foods.
I love smoothies! You may have even read some of my posts on smoothies, and received my free smoothie recipe when you signed up for my Mailchimp newsletter. See below to sign up. I drink a lot of smoothies during the warm months. Even though my smoothies are only about 200 calories, I use them as a meal replacement when I am on the go, or as a light lunch, or breakfast. I do not consume them as much in the colder months. How do I know these foods I have been eating in large amounts are high in Oxalates? I use an app called, Oxalate Food Counts. It will tell you the oxalate levels in various foods. For me, the goal is not to completely eliminate oxalates, but rather to choose lower oxalate foods. I am doing a bunch of research on Oxalates, CKD, and other organs. So, watch for future posts. It is a really interesting topic.
A typical smoothie for me will contain the following, and how to switch out for lower oxalate foods:
Ice, no oxalates lol
Some kind of other liquid source. For me it is usually some 100% juice, and French Vanilla Creamer. I will get into the Vitamin C issue in another post, but a lot of Health Gurus and Influencers push Almond Milk as the liquid source in a smoothie. 1 cup of Almond milk has about 18 mg of Oxalates. Cow’s milk has virtually no Oxalates. If you still would rather have a plant-based milk try Oat Milk which has 8 mg of Oxalates, or Evaporated Milk which I don’t think is plant-based but does have zero Oxalates.
Protein Powder. I use Orgain which is a pea protein powder. 1 scoop of a pea protein powder has 3 mg of Oxalates per scoop. I use only 1/2 a scoop because I think it makes the smoothie gritty. If you use Whey protein it has 0mg per tbsp, Soy Protein powder 2mg per tbsp, and Brown Rice Protein Powder 5mg per scoop.
I use bananas, peaches, blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries. How do they match up? Banana 1 fruit 3 mg, I use 1/2. Blueberries 2 mg per 1/2 cup, Peaches 1/2 cup has 1 mg, Raspberries 1 cup has 48 mg, and Strawberries 1/2 cup has 2 mg. These are for the raw varieties. It may differ for frozen, canned, or dried fruits. But, if you watch some of the gurus and influencers they are pushing more exotic fruits. Let me share some oxalate levels for more exotic fruits, star fruit 1/2 cup 235 mg, cassava cooked 1/2 cup 34 mg, clementine 1 fruit 19 mg, dates 24 mg, elderberry 1 cup 105 mg, goji berries dried 1/2 cup 77 mg, Gooseberry varies but it is very high for all varieties, guava 1 fruit 67 mg, kiwi 1 fruit 16 mg, orange 1 fruit 29 mg, pineapple in canned or dried forms is high, pomegranate 1 medium is 99 mg, tangerine 10mg.
I typically would also add spinach and carrots as well. I have CKD, but no issue with potassium, but I still limited spinach to about a 1/4 cup per smoothie. Carrots I would just throw in some baby carrots. Spinach has per 1 cup of raw spinach 656 mg of Oxalates, cooked is even more. So, for my 1/4 cup of spinach I was still consuming 164 mg of Oxalates. Carrots have 15 mg of Oxalates per 1/2 carrot. I forgot to mention celery. If I have celery I would often throw that in as well, for added fiber. Celery has 15 mg of Oxalates per 1/2 cup. If you want to make your smoothie green, try Kale instead of Spinach, which has only 2 mg of Oxalates per 1 cup. If you really want to get Vitamin A, but want to avoid carrots and sweet potatoes, throw in some Iceberg Lettuce. You won’t even know it is in there and it has only 0mg of Oxalates.
Most actual experts would say that a daily average of Oxalates should be about 150 mg per day. You can see by what I have written that you may be consuming way more Oxalates than the body can handle. You may even add other things, like Turmeric to your smoothie, which is also very high in Oxalates.
If you are Oxalate sensitive, which I think I am, your doctor may tell you to eat 50 mg or less of Oxalates. You can not avoid Oxalates all together, well some people do by going on the Carnivore Diet, but trust me you are going to be constipated, and probably mess up your intestinal biome. There is something called Oxalate Dumping as well, so please don’t just stop eating these foods if you have been eating them in very large amounts.
So, there you have it, ways you can make a low Oxalate smoothie. Check out the app if you are concerned about your intake, any unexplained symptoms you may be having, and speak to your doctor. It is probably best to ask your doctor for a referral to a Dietitian, as most doctors really don’t know much about nutrition.
I think there is a food holiday almost every day. I missed National Smore’s Day, but I will catch it next year. I won’t talk about all of them, don’t worry. Today, August 13th is National Filet Mignon Day. Keep reading to learn more. This post may contain affiliate links.
Steak, everybody loves it! Well, not everyone, but steak is a pretty popular source of meat in the USA, and Filet Mignon is the most tender cut. It is also super delicious when cooked properly. It can also be quite pricey, depending on where you buy it and if you are cooking it yourself or ordering in a restaurant.
I love Filet Mignon!
I only eat steak a few times a year. Why?
It is very expensive, and I am cheap. However, according to my Basket app 10 oz of Filet Mignon is only $7.99. If you eat a 3 oz portion, you will have slightly over 3 portions. I think that is pretty affordable, actually.
I eat a mostly plant-based diet with low quantities of red meats. Red meats are beef, lamb, mutton, pork, veal, venison, and goat meat. If you have been reading along this month, then you know I have been discussing Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis. While researching those conditions I found an article of a recent study that said eating more than 2.5 oz of red meat per day can increase your risk of colon Cancer. This also includes processed meats such as bacon, sausage, etc.
I have CKD. I have been stage 3 since 2017. All best practice says that if you have CKD you should be eating 0.6 to 0.8g/kgofbodyweight/per day. There is an influencer doctor who promotes the Keto Diet on Youtube, and I presume other places, who says it is a myth that high protein diets can harm the kidneys. It is most certainly not a myth, but you can read for yourself. My only point being is that you should listen to your doctor. The one who hopefully you see on a regular basis, orders your labs, and evaluates your labs. If your doctor says it is safe for you to consume the Keto Diet, or any high protein diet, whether you have CKD, or not, then it is probably OK. There are some cases where your doctor may tell you to do a higher protein diet, such as to lose weight quickly in cases where it is needed, and some people with stage 4 or 5 of CKD have what is called Protein Energy Wasting, and may be instructed by their doctor to eat more protein. Make sure you see your doctor regularly and have routine lab work to monitor your kidney function. You may wish to speak with a Registered Dietitian. Proteinuria is a key sign that the kidneys are not filtering properly. Egg yolks, and red meat, create a metabolite that is harmful to kidneys. Read it! I know for sure I feel much better when I consume 50 grams of protein or less per day. I have very little to no inflammation, and I don’t experience hyperfiltration of my kidneys.
Nutrition of 3 ounces of Filet Mignon cooked: These are estimates based on varying nutrition data. Most are close to the same.
Calories: 210 mg
Total Fat: 15 g
Saturated Fat: 6 g
Sodium: 45 mg
Potassium: 250 mg
Phosphorus: 15% of RDA
Protein: 15 grams
Other nutrients: Like Zinc, Vit B 12, Vit B 6, and Niacin, for which it is a good source.
Am I telling you not to eat Filet Mignon? Absolutely Not! I love Filet Mignon, and I enjoy it once in a while. I also eat other meat, and even processed foods. But, I eat them in proper portion sizes, most of the time lol, and in a Mindful way as to the effects it may have on my body. There are other issues besides just protein that goes along with eating meat if you have CKD. Namely phosphorus, sometimes calcium, potassium, and Iron which are all very important issues to consider for people with CKD. Below you will see some videos on how to cook Filet Mignon, and more.
Happy Saturday! I am glad you are here. If you watch a lot of Youtube videos, like me, then you might have been convinced to buy a Salad Spinner. One of my most favorite chefs said in one of his videos that you simply could not live without a salad spinner, unless you wanted to shake your lettuce dry for days. LOL! I am paraphrasing. I don’t remember his exact words. This post may contain affiliate links.
But, I can tell you I hate the thing, and I see no redeeming qualities to owning one. I can see a million of these things probably sitting in a garbage dump somewhere. If you want to save about 25 dollars avoid buying one.
Pro’s of owning a salad spinner:
It makes a really big salad bowl, or mixing bowl.
Con’s of owning a salad spinner:
Price. I know I don’t buy the most expensive brand of anything, so my 25 dollar salad spinner was probably more on the affordable side. Let that soak in.
It is big, and takes up a ton of space in the cupboard, or on the counter. If you have limited space this thing is really just a monstrosity.
It is loud and awkward.
You can easily shake your lettuce, and not for days, for just a few minutes and get the same effect for free.
Don’t buy one, unless you really like to waste your money, or say you own the newest kitchen gadget.
I also get really annoyed by the salads I see some Youtubers make. I mean seriously, the supplements, and whatever weird extras they are adding to a salad, or taking with a salad are ridiculous. If your salad is going to be a meal I can see adding a little protein, and fat, but other than that a salad is pretty healthy already.
What is my favorite salad recipe?
Wait for it.
Romaine lettuce, good quality tomato, Vidalia onion chopped pieces. If I am feeling really spicy I will add about .12 of a cup of roasted sunflower seeds, some chopped red grapes, and a bit of chopped chicken or turkey. My favorite salad dressing is 1 tbsp. of original Kraft Catalina dressing. Full fat! Gasp! That is a whopping 258 calories. Eat some fat with your salad! Your body won’t absorb all those wonderful vitamins and minerals without some fat. Vitamins A,D,E, and K are Fat Soluble vitamins. Your body will not absorb them without some fat. Fat free dressing, fat free cheese, or whatever will not absorb these vitamins. Healthy fats can also be used such as EVOO and make your own salad dressing.
Welcome back to another Food on Friday post! I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe from this new Covid Delta variant. Keep reading to get my thoughts on Dill Pickle Mustard. This post may contain affiliate links.
I have been hearing so much about Trader Joe’s Dill Pickle Mustard, that I had to get some. I was going there anyway, and I was really hoping it wasn’t sold out. It was not, and I got some. It is delicious! Not too dilly, just right. I don’t remember exactly the price, maybe 3 dollars, but it was reasonable. I think people think Trader Joe’s might be higher priced. I actually find them quite reasonable for a specialty store. They just aren’t super close to me. Their meats are kind of high, but I think all meat is unless you are buying junk meat. I don’t even really eat that much meat anymore, but my family does.
But, is it a Healthy Food?
No, because it isn’t food. It is a condiment. So, technically it can not be called a Healthy Food.
No, because if you look at the label below it has no nutritional value at all. In order for a food to be considered healthy it has to have energy ie calories, and some vitamins and minerals. The only quantitative item on the label is Sodium at 50 mg per tbsp. serving. That is a low sodium condiment, though!
Now, I would call it a good condiment that is a healthy choice. It has no calories, no fat, and low sodium. But, you still get all the flavor and spice. The ingredient list is pretty good though hard to read due to the weird colors on the bottle, at least for my eyes. It does have some natural flavoring, and that can means various things.
This is really good on sandwiches, potatoes, meat, eggs even. Try making a salad dressing with it, instead of honey mustard or Dijon mustard. Ooh that sounds really good! I might have to try that. Try it on different food options and see what you think. Let me know in the comments if you like it, or not. I am sure there are other brands besides Trader Joe’s that makes Dill Pickle Mustard, but this is the only one I have tried. Have you tried other brands? Let me know in the comments.
Have an awesome weekend!
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