CRISPY BAKED WALLEYE

Albert Lea, Minnesota also known as “The Land Between the Lakes” is a quaint southern Minnesota city of 19000 residents nestled between beautiful blue Fountain and Albert Lea lakes. Pickerel Lake, another picturesque lake with a small park is located on the south end of the city. I visited this city for the first time in 1987 and soon thereafter, my husband and I moved to Albert Lea to continue our  careers and came to enjoy life in this small town.

Crispy Baked Walleye

Much to our dismay, we found out that scenic Pickerel and Albert Lea lakes were just too shallow for our little speedboat. Once we launched our little speedboat out in Albert Lea Lake and on our cruise back our motor became stuck in the bottom of the lake. Canoes, kayaks and pontoons glide over these lake s with ease.

Fountain Lake in early Spring

We were later blessed with my late father in law’s larger 1969 Dorsett  cabin cruiser. We traded our small speedboat for this since as he got older he wanted a smaller boat to take in and out of Madison Lake where he lived. We have spent many warm summer days cruising around beautiful Fountain Lake which is situated right in the heart of Albert Lea. Below is a picture of our 1969 vintage Dorsett cabin cruiser and my husband Jim. We like to joke around that he is the captain of our boat, I am first mate and our dog Angel was the mascot. Angel is now an angel in doggy Heaven since she passsed away in 2018. We adopted another dog in 2019 and he is now the official mascot.

Digital StillCamera 1969 Dorsett Cabin Cruiser
Digital StillCamera Captain Jim with mascot Angel
Digital StillCamera Dorsett Captain Jim

We dreamed of one day living on this beautiful lake. We also prayed for ten years that the Lord would bless us with a one story rambler with at least three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a walkout basement on Fountain Lake. Our dreams came true as our prayers were answered when we purchased a home  on Fountain Lake in 1998. Low and behold, it was a rambler with four bedrooms, two and one half baths and also included an office, living and family room, two kitchens and  a walkout basement. It was actually a duplex and we rented out the lower level apartment for a period of time to family members and we now live in the entire home. Don’t give up on your dreams and continue to pray. God is faithful and will make a way.

 

Digital StillCamera Fountain Lake view

Albert Lea will be hosting the 72nd annual Minnesota Governor’s fishing Opener May 11, 2019 on Fountain Lake. 521-acre Fountain Lake is approximately 14 feet deep and features many bays and over 20 species of fish, including walleye, northern pike, large mouth bass, crappie, catfish and yellow perch. Most of the fishing openers have been in northern and central Minnesota cities so its nice to have this one in southern Minnesota this year. As I recall, there has been some ice left on some of the northern Minnesota lakes on some of the May fishing openers in past years. The ice is usually off Fountain Lake by the end of March or early April so no worries here! This is such an exciting event for our scenic little city and we are quite honored as a city to be able to host this fun event. Minnesota fisher men and women spend their winters dreaming of their first fishing opener. Just to be outside with the fresh air, blue sky, birds chirping as you float along on the beautiful lake with the bright sun shining down on you is Heaven itself after a long five months of winter.

CRISPY BAKED WALLEYE
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • Four 6-oz walleye fillets
  • 1½ cups crushed Cornflake crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • Seasonings:
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper Salt free Seasoning blend
  • Garnish: Lemon wedges and 1 TB chopped fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. combine the crushed Cornflake crumbs and spices in a shallow wide pan and stir to combine. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl. Dip each piece of fish into the beaten eggs and then roll into the Cornflake crumb mixture to coat. Spray non-stick coating spray on a baking sheet or shallow cake pan. Place the fish on the baking sheet and bake 10-13 minutes until fish is done and flakes easily with a fork.Serve with lemon wedges and garnish with fresh chopped parsley. If you prefer, increase Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper Salt Free seasoning from 1 tsp to 2 tsp to enhance the lemon pepper flavor.in the Cornflake crumb coating.
Notes
Information presented in this blog is not intended to be used for medical advice. Please consult your personal health care provider for medical and/or nutritional advice.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 6 oz fish fillet Calories: 282 Fat: 1 gram Saturated fat: 1 gram Trans fat: o grams Carbohydrates: 28 grams Sodium: 227 mg Protein: 40 grams Cholesterol: 193 mg

 

Walleye is so delicious and is a favorite summer food of many Minnesotans. Typically, it is served batter fried in many Minnesota restaurants and fish fries. It is my all time favorite kind of fish so I am featuring a recipe with a crispy coating that is baked rather than deep fried. This trims the calories by almost 40% and is much more heart healthy and Blue Zone friendly. Albert Lea was the first city in the nation to begin a Blue Zones Pilot Project in 2009. This initiative encouraged citizens of Albert Lea to begin to exercise more, improve their nutritional intake, have  a sense of purpose, reduce their level of stress, belong to a faith based community of fellow believers, put family first, socialize regularly with friends and include one to two small servings of red wine on alcohol free grape juice on a daily basis. For more information on the Blue Zones projects check out www.bluezones.com/2012/07/albert-lea-mn-where-are-they-now/

Crispy Baked Walleye, Maple Mashed sweet Potatoes, Watermelon Wedge and Iced tea with Lemon

Serving suggestion: Serve with baked or mashed sweet potatoes, fresh spinach salad, watermelon wedges and iced tea. See my former blog HoneydewsKitchen.com November 2014 blog post for a recipe for Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes. The vintage china set belonged to my maternal grandmother and my mother passed it down to me. My maternal grandmother passed away at age 47 as a result of hypertension which led to a fatal stroke. The medical community didn’t have the life saving blood pressure medications that we have at the present time. I never met her since she passed away before I was born. My mother gave me her name Mildred as my middle name. I have this and her beautiful china to remember her by.

Here’s hoping that you catch the biggest fish on the fishing opener in Minnesota!

 

DARK CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BREAKFAST BOWL

I have to admit that I am one of those people who love peanut butter and banana sandwiches. I used to pack these in my brown bag lunches or consume open face for a grab and go breakfast.  Recently, I was wanting to create a nutritious breakfast bowl using one of my other favorite breakfast foods which is oatmeal. At the same time, I also desired to add some of my all time favorite comfort foods, dark chocolate, peanut butter, almonds and bananas to my oatmeal. After some experimenting in my vintage kitchen, I came up with the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Bowl. It is a feast for the eyes, delicious yet nutritious and a snap to prepare. Your kids and grandkids would even go for this. My husband and I enjoy it at breakfast or even for supper if I don’t want to slave all afternoon over a hot stove in my vintage kitchen. Saves more time for having fun and enjoying life!

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Bowl

Some of you probably remember your mother cooking oatmeal or cocoa flavored Malt-O Meal on the stove for your breakfast before you walked to school in the morning. This was before the instant microwave oatmeal, mind you. It turns out mom was right that oatmeal is good for you.  Yes, oatmeal is incredibly nutritious since it contains a  soluble fiber called beta-glucan which has been proven to lower cholesterol and even help improve insulin response possibly reducing blood sugar as well in people with Type 2 Diabetes. Hold the sugar and honey though if you have diabetes and sweeten with stevia. If you do sweeten with dark chocolate chips as my recipe calls for, count into your carbohydrate controlled meal plan accordingly.  A once cup serving of oatmeal is also a good source of magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, phosphorous, zinc, folate, Vitamins B-1 and B-5. Recently you may have read about the importance of gut health. Good news for oatmeal lovers: the beta-glucan in oatmeal forms a gel like substance when it mixes with water in your digestive tract and this solution coats the stomach and digestive tract. This coating feeds good bacteria in the gut which increases their growth rate contributing to a healthy gut.

The Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Bowl toppings of dark chocolate chips, sliced almonds and a banana really dress up the oatmeal and add a fabulous taste. To get the good peanut butter taste, I stirred in PB Fit, a peanut butter powder which contains only 50 calories per two tablespoons, 2 grams of fat, 70 mg of sodium, 1 gram of fiber, 5 grams of protein, 4 grams of carbohydrate and 3 grams of sugar. I began a weight loss meal plan January 1 and have lost 9 pounds so I desire to limit my calorie intake at this time as many of you may want to do also. If you don’t want to use the PB fit you can use a non-hydrogenated peanut butter or almond butter where the oil rises to the top. Just stir the oil in when you open it.

Peanut butter and PB Fit as well as the almonds are an excellent source of protein. As you may be aware, protein is made up of amino acids which help to grow, maintain and repair various tissues in the body including your muscles. Protein also has a very filling effect so that you remain full and satisfied longer after you consume your meal. Fiber also has a very filling effect. Almonds are also an excellent source of fiber, monounsaturated heart healthy fat and are a good source of vitamin E, magnesium and manganese.  Since nuts including almonds and peanuts are a high fat source, they also contain a moderate amount of calories per serving. Due to this fact, sprinkle approximately a one tablespoon serving on your cereals or salads or enjoy a small handful for a power snack during the day. If you on the other hand, consume a large quantity of them, your calorie intake will be much higher.

Last but not least, dark chocolate is a very healthy food that likewise can be enjoyed in moderation. Dark chocolate is very delicious and a small amount can help satisfy that sweet tooth. You can purchase the dark chocolate kisses, candy bars and chocolate chips to name a few versions of it.   Nutrition professionals recommend that you look for the less processed chocolate that contains at least 65% cacao. Not only does dark chocolate have a higher concentration of disease fighting antioxidants and flavonoids than milk chocolate, it is also lower in added sugar content. You might notice that your mood improves and you feel better after eating a small amount of dark chocolate. Science has proven that  it stimulates the neural regions in the brain associated with pleasure and reward. Research studies have also demonstrated that consuming dark chocolate in moderation can improve heart health, decrease stroke risk, improve vision, and may even increase the HDL (good) cholesterol.

DARK CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BREAKFAST BOWL
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dry 100% whole grain old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 TB dark chocolate chips
  • 2 TB slivered almonds
  • 4 TB PB Fit or 2 TB peanut or almond butter
  • 1 banana
Instructions
  1. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan on the stove. Stir in oats. Cook over low heat for 3 minutes and then stir in the PB Fit or peanut/almond butter. Cook for approximately 2 more minutes until oats are well cooked. Remove saucepan from heat source. Spoon the oatmeal into 2 bowls. Sprinkle 1 TB of slivered almonds on the oatmeal. Slice ½ banana on each bowl of oatmeal. Sprinkle 1 TB of dark chocolate chips over the oatmeal also. the dark chocolate chips will begin to melt over the hot oatmeal breakfast bowl. Stir chocolate chips, slivered almonds and banana into the oatmeal prior to consuming if desired. Enjoy!
Notes
The PB fit used in this recipe is manufactured by Better Body foods. It is gluten free, non-GMO, Vegan and Koshe, contains 85% less fat than butter and 50% fewer calories per serving than traditional peanut butter. Obviously, you can't spread it on toast but it is delicious when incorporated into smoothies, quick breads, cereals and other recipes. It can be purchased in a variety of grocery stores including Walmart.The nutrition information in this recipe has been calculated using the PB fit. If you use peanut butter, the calories per serving would be 423 and the fat content would be 17 grams per serving. Other nutritional values would remain the same.

1 serving = 3 carbohydrate choices on a diabetes meal plan

Information in this food blog is not intended to provide medical and/or nutritional advice/recommendations. Consult your personal health care provider for your personal medical and nutritional advice/recommendations.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ recipe Calories: 373 Fat: 12g Saturated fat: 3 grams Unsaturated fat: 9 grams Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 46 grams Sugar: 8 grams Sodium: 70 mg Fiber: 7 grams Protein: 11 grams Cholesterol: 0 mg

 

Here’s hoping that you enjoy this Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Bowl as much as we do  and use this on a regular basis for your breakfast each morning!

PINA COLADA SMOOTHIE

Woohoo, hallelujah spring has finally arrived in Minnesota! I can see green grass under the snow drifts in my back yard. Folks around here can’t recall a winter with so much snow since the 70’s. It is melting now. There are threats of flooding but this too shall pass.

Pina Colada Smoothie

What does this have to do with a pina colada  smoothie you might ask? Spring is here so I am celebrating this in my vintage kitchen by creating a smoothie that reminds me of the tropics and the warmer weather to come.  Before long my tulips and daffodils will be blooming. I purchased the vintage small milk jugs at my local antique store here for only $2 each. Now that is a bargain!

This smoothie contains only four ingredients so you can whip this up in no time in your blender or magic bullet. It serves as a quick breakfast in the morning, a delicious snack or dessert and it is very nutritious so there is no guilt involved.

This smoothie deserves superstar status due to its high protein content, low calorie content, and it also provides 29% of the recommended daily value (RDV) for Vitamin C, 8% of the RDV for calcium and is an excellent source of potassium.  As you may be aware protein is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body and manufacturing hormones and enzymes. It is also an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage and blood. Protein also has a very filling effect so that you are satisfied after you have consumed it in a meal or a snack. Vitamin C promotes healing and is beneficial for our immune system. Calcium is important for building and maintaining strong bones and teeth. Potassium plays a role in maintaining fluid balance in the body as well as keeping our brains, nerves,  heart and muscles functioning normally on a constant basis. Occasionally, a physician may recommend that a person limit potassium if they have kidney failure so always discuss your food intake with your personal physician, health care provider or dietitian if you have concerns about your food intake.

 

PINA COLADA SMOOTHIE
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 5.29 oz container of Dannon Lite Toasted Coconut flavor Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple, juice packed, undrained
  • 1 medium banana, frozen
  • 1 cup crushed ice
Instructions
  1. Place all of the ingredients in your blender or magic bullet. Blend until all ingredients are combined well. Serve immediately.
Notes
If desired, you may substitute a different brand of yogurt. I have used organic yogurt or even plain or vanilla Greek yogurt. You may wish to add 1 packet Stevia or honey to taste with the plain yogurt. If using the plain or vanilla flavored yogurts, you can add 2 tsp of flaked coconut to give the smoothie the coconut flavor.Dairy Free/Paleo diets may substitute a dairy free yogurt such as a soy or almond milk yogurt as an example.

This food blog is not intended to provide medical or nutritional advice. Please contact your own health care provider for medical and nutritional advice.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ recipe Calories: 163 Fat: 0 grams Saturated fat: 0 grams Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 36 grams Sodium: 23 mg Fiber: 3 grams Protein: 8 grams Cholesterol: 5 mg

 

Happy Spring to all my readers and may God bless you in every area of your life!

TURKEY VEGETABLE WILD RICE SOUP

With thanksgiving just two days away, holiday hostesses everywhere are busy with details including last minute trips to the grocery store, preparing that favorite cranberry  orange  salad that grandma used to make every year and last minute house cleaning. The day after Thanksgiving it seems that we always have lots of leftover turkey on hand. My husband grows tired of turkey sandwiches in no time at all and says where’s the beef? Turkey vegetable wild rice soup is the perfect solution to the leftover turkey dilemma in my house. Your family will love it on these cool November days. This soup is also a nutritional superstar since it is chock full of antioxidant rich vegetables, healthy spices, broth, leftover turkey and wild rice. Wild rice is harvested in northern Minnesota and is an excellent source of fiber and  magnesium. It is also a very good source of zinc, folate, phosphorus and iron as well. Wild rice is also a gluten free grain so can be enjoyed by people who must  avoid or limit gluten in their diets. Since I am a Minnesota girl at heart, I really enjoy wild rice, especially as a side dish over the holiday season or in soups that I prepare this time of year.

Turkey Vegetable Wild Rice Soup is  very nutritious, filling and perfect for waist watchers. Soup fills you up not out! A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition surveyed 20000 adults and found that on average, the soup eaters weighed less and had smaller waists than those who didn’t consume soup several times in a week. Soup is very satiating so it is a healthy first course for your meals. You will likely eat much less at your meal after you have consumed a bowl of soup. Creamy or cheesy soups are much higher in fat and calorie content however so choosing broth based soups would be more beneficial. Canned soups are also very high in sodium content so make your own with low sodium broths or choose low sodium or sodium reduced versions if you prefer to use canned soups. Be a food detective also by checking your food labels. Avoid broths or soups containing monosodium glutamate which is an excitotoxin.

Serve this soup with a hard roll, fresh fruit and sparkling cranberry juice for a quick and easy meal.

The recipe calls for broth which is the broth from which you roast your turkey in. I add a cup of water in the roaster pan when I roast my turkey so that I will have plenty of broth to make gravy with and save in the refrigerator for soup the next day. If you would like to you can make bone broth from the turkey carcass after you have removed the meat from the bones. Google a recipe for turkey or chicken bone broth for preparation instructions. Bone broth is an excellent source of collagen, which is the protein found in vertebrae animals-in their bones, skin, cartilage, ligaments, tendons and bone marrow. As we age, our own cartilage in our bodies diminishes. Collagen from the turkey or chicken bone broth when consumed as a part of your diet on a regular basis may actually help restore our own cartilage according to Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DMN, CNS. Bone broths also contain minerals such as sulphur. calcium, magnesium and phosphorus that your body easily absorbs. The collagen and minerals in bone broth may be very beneficial for our joint health. Bone broth  may also improve our gut health and is immune supportive according to a research study from the University of Nebraska which discovered that the amino acids produced when preparing chicken stock  helped reduce inflammation in the respiratory system and improved digestion. Of course, we have all heard that consuming chicken soup is good for us when we have a cold or the flu and science supports this. This soup freezes well so you can keep it on hand in your freezer and easily prepare during cold and flu season.

Turkey Vegetable Wild Rice Soup

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
TURKEY VEGETABLE WILD RICE SOUP
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups diced cooked turkey
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice
  • 1 cup cooked fresh or frozen sliced carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen broccoli or okra
  • 1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 TB coconut or olive oil
  • 32 oz turkey or chicken broth or you may use chicken or turkey bone broth
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ chopped green onions or fresh chives
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp turmeric
Instructions
  1. Melt the coconut or olive oil in a medium sized frying pan. Add chopped celery, green onions or chives and mushrooms. Saute until the vegetables are tender. Place these ingredients in a large pot or dutch oven on your stove. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well with a large spoon. cook on your stove until the soup boils and then simmer for at least one hour until all of the vegetables are tender. Serve immediately. You may also prepare this soup in a large crock pot. Place all of the ingredients in your crock pot and cook on the medium setting for three hours.
Notes
Information in this food blog is not intended to be taken as medical advice. Always consult with your personal health care practitioner for medical and/or nutritional advice.

Recipes and blog content are subject to copy right laws.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/ 12 of recipe Calories: 101 Fat: 2 grams Saturated fat: 1 gram Unsaturated fat: 1 gram Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 10 grams Sodium: 409 mg Fiber: 2 grams Protein: 11 grams Cholesterol: 13 mg

 

Turkey Vegetable Wild Rice soup

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Take time to count your blessings!

GARDEN FRESH CHILI

It’s late October already. Most of our beautiful fall leaves have fallen to the ground but there are still a few golden and red trees shimmering in the sunlight today in our neighborhood. With a chill in the air, I decided it was a great day to cook up some chili using some of my frozen cherry tomatoes and chives from the garden that we tended over the summer. This chili can be easily prepared in your crock pot before you dash off to work in the morning or outside to rake your last leaves of the season.

Garden Fresh Chili

My husband and I are moving towards consuming more grass fed meat in our diet so the recipe calls for grass fed ground beef. I purchased the family three pack of grass fed ground beef at Aldi’s recently and it came out to four dollars a pound. Of course, you can use regular ground beef or ground turkey if you would like to. Grass fed beef mainly comes from cattle that are fed only grass and other foraged foods throughout their lives. On October 15, 2007, the USDA established a standard definition for the “grass fed” claim that requires continuous access to pasture and prevents animals from being fed grains or grain based products. Conventional beef cattle usually consume a diet that includes grains such as corn. Grass fed beef has the following benefits: lower in total fat, more heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids and higher levels of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) a type of fat that can help reduce heart disease and cancer and grass fed beef  is higher in precursors for Vitamin C and E. Raising grass fed cattle is also environmentally friendly since it can hep decrease greenhouse gas emissions. I like the taste of grass fed beef better also.

 

Garden Fresh Chili served with Sparkling Cranberry Spritzer

GARDEN FRESH CHILI
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Meal, Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound (16 oz) grass fed ground beef
  • 2 cups raw, halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup Fruit Raspberry Salsa (may use another brand or flavor of salsa if desired)
  • 1 14.5 oz can of Dell Monte Stewed tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
  • 1 15.5 oz can of drained and rinsed kidney beans
  • 1 15.5 oz can drained and rinsed black beans
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh chives or onion
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp each garlic and onion powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
Instructions
  1. Brown ground beef in a frying pan and drain off fat. Place ground beef in a large cooking pot or crock pot and add the other ingredients. Draining and rinsing the canned beans will reduce the sodium content. You could also purchase low sodium beans or pre-cook your own dried beans if sodium content is a concern.If preparing the chili on your stove top, bring to a boil and lower the heat, simmering for at least 30 minutes . If preparing in the crock pot, cook on the low setting for 3-4 hours. You can also cook on high heat and it will be done in approximately 2 hours.
Notes
Information presented in this food blog is not intended to provide medical advice. Please contact your personal health care provider for nutritional or medical advice.

1/12 recipe = 1 carbohydrate choice
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/12 recipe Calories: 172 Fat: 6 grams Saturated fat: 1 gram Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 19 grams Sodium: 187 mg Fiber: 4 grams Protein: 11 grams Cholesterol: 23 mg

 

When shopping for my chili ingredients, I came across  Del Monte stewed  tomatoes with basil, oregano and garlic. They have sea salt added and are non-GMO so I used these in my recipe.

Chili is not only tasty on a cool day but super nutritious also. It is a great source of vitamin C  and potassium(from the tomatoes), Vitamins K and A (from the chives) fiber, iron, (from the beans and beef) Vitamin B12, B6, selenium, zinc, phosphorus (from the beef) as well as magnesium (from the beef and beans). Serve it along side a fresh fruit salad, whole grain (or gluten free) crackers and some sparkling water or cranberry juice and you have an easy and nutritious meal for your family.

We traveled through several small cities along the Mississippi River on a recent fall trip. We did spend the evening at the New Albin Inn in New Albin, Iowa and explored this quaint small town the next morning. We purchased several local items at the new Albin Meat Market. It reminded me of an old general store. I purchased this Spirit Valley Raspberry  Fruit Salsa which I used in this chili recipe. They had a small wine section also and we bought a bottle of Cranberry Crush wine since it won the first prize at the Iowa state Fair in the wine division. The wine is made by the Winneshiek winery in Decorah, Iowa. It was a very sweet tasting wine that we both enjoyed. I mixed it with some cherry flavored mineral water to make a spritzer and it was very good. My husband snapped a picture of the old narrow lighted bridge below which is built over the Mississippi river in Lancing, Iowa.

Easy to Prepare Garden Fresh Chili

I have included some pictures from our annual fall leaf tour. We traveled over to the river road along the Mississippi River and the colors were gorgeous!

Mississippi River View in La Crosse, Wisconsin
Marina in La Crosse, Wisconsin

 

Awesome Autumn View

 

 

Gorgeous View of Mississippi River and Wisconsin from Iowa State Park

 

Mississippi River View, Pikes Peak State Park, Mc Gregor, Iowa

 

TROPICAL TURKEY SALAD

Yah, my tulips are blooming and spring has arrived here in Minnesota. What better time to enjoy salads as a main course at meals. With the last blizzard just 3 weeks ago, I was beginning to wonder if spring would ever arrive this year! Soon we’ll be gardening, boating, swimming, fishing and hiking in area parks. Since short and swim suit weather is arriving soon, why not begin to eat healthier if you have slacked off in that area and cut a few calories in the meantime. That is one of the reasons I am swapping out calorie and fat laden mayonnaise and trimming down this salad with protein rich Greek  yogurt. By substituting the Greek yogurt dressing in place of regular mayonnaise in this recipe, you are saving 315 calories, 40 grams of fat, 68 mg of cholesterol and 340 mg of sodium per serving. If you really like that mayonnaise or Miracle Whip taste in the salad and still want to save some calories and fat, you can substitute the reduced fat versions. I was very pleased with the taste of the yogurt and honey dressing in this salad however.

If you’re not as big of yogurt fan as me or are avoiding dairy products, you can easily use a vinaigrette dressing in place of the yogurt dressing or use one of the many varieties on dairy free yogurt on this salad. I had an extra turkey in my freezer from last Thanksgiving which I hadn’t yet prepared so we recently enjoyed a turkey dinner with all the trimmings for a few meals. I had plenty of white meat left over which I sliced and used in this salad. Chicken breast would work well also.

Tropical Turkey Salad

 

Tropical Turkey Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Lunch or Dinner Main Dish Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2½ cup cooked and cubed turkey or chicken breast
  • 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt or nondairy yogurt such as coconut or almond milk plain yogurt
  • 1 TB honey
  • 1 medium avocado chopped
  • 1 cup fresh or canned juice packed, drained pineapple chunks
  • 1½ cup red grape, halved
  • 1½ cups celery, chopped
  • ⅔ cups pecan halves
Instructions
  1. Cut a fresh pineapple lengthwise and remove stem. Using a filet knife, carve out fresh pineapple and dice into chunks. Prepare the dressing for the salad by combining the Greek yogurt and honey in a bowl and whisk well. Place the remaining recipe ingredients in a large bowl and toss together. Next, fold in the yogurt dressing. Refrigerate until chilled. Place the pineapple salad mixture into hollowed out pineapple shells. (You will need two fresh pineapples, scooped out and halved for the four servings.) Serve immediately. If you prepare these in advance, be sure to refrigerate until serving time to prevent food borne illness.
Notes
Information in this food blog is not intended to provide medical advice. Please contact your personal health care provider for nutritional or medical advice.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ recipe Calories: 324 Fat: 11 grams Saturated fat: 0 grams Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 26 grams Sodium: 358 mg Fiber: 2 grams Protein: 28 grams Cholesterol: 50 mg

 

 

 

Summer weddings are popular here in the north so if you are planning a bridal shower or even a baby shower luncheon this salad would be a hit due to it’s  taste, appearance and ease of preparation. If you’d rather not take the extra time to cut, carve and chop fresh pineapple, use the canned pineapple chunks packed in juice and serve the salad on a bed of greens in a serving bowl or plate. A glass of sparkling grape juice or wine complement this  main dish salad. Cheers and enjoy!

Tropical Turkey Salad served in a pineapple boat.

My food blog tends to feature some of my favorite recipes as well as vintage treasures in my home. I use my vintage singer sewing machine as a serving table prop in many of my food blog photos. My mother purchased this for me shortly after I was married years ago at a Mapleton, Minnesota antique store. Of course, I was wanting to decorate our home attractively and on a tight budget also. I purchased some material for fabric drapes for the windows above my dining room window seat and for cushions to match. Fabric drapes were all the rage in the eighties, mind you! I also purchased fabric for living room drapes on sale. With the help of my mom and mother in-law, I sewed the drapes, fabric shades and window seat cushions on this antique sewing machine pictured below with our puppy.  Wow, was I ever proud of myself after that accomplishment and wish that I was equally that ambitious at the current time to take on another sewing project like that.

My vintage Singer sewing machine and cockalier puppy.

 

 

SWEET POTATO VEGETABLE SOUP

The north wind is a howling on this cold blustery evening.  A foot of fresh snow blows around during yet another January blizzard here in Minnesota.  It was the perfect weather to cook up a crock pot of hot soup to enjoy on this cold day. I made a pre-blizzard grocery run to pick up my soup ingredients on Sunday. As I glanced out of my kitchen window to watch the big fluffy snowflakes fall, I chopped up my vegetables and boiled my chicken and sweet potatoes on my stove. I let my mind wander and  thought of palm trees blowing in a gentle breeze by a beautiful blue ocean and heard the waves crashing into shore. Reality check, I heard the snow plow drive by and realized that I was back in my warm cozy kitchen preparing soup. A girl can dream can’t  she.

Sweet Potato Vegetable Soup

 

Serve with a glass of red wine or sparkling cranberry juice.

I love sweet potatoes so I wanted to include these in my chicken soup. I usually add egg noodles  to my chicken vegetable soup but I decided to swap those out in favor of sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes have enjoyed a superfood status due to their abundant supply of  nutrients which include Vitamin B6, folate, Vitamin C, potassium and manganese. They are especially high in beta-carotene which is the pigment responsible for giving  them their vibrant orange color. These nutrients in the sweet potato promote good vision, enhance immunity and help boost brain function. The high fiber content also has a very filling effect and increases satiey. The other vegetables in this soup are equally nutritious as well. People who frequently consume healthy soups containing lean protein sources such as chicken breast as an example, low sodium broths and a variety of vegetables tend to  be leaner as well as consume more nutrients when the soups are served as a main dish or as a first course to a meal.  Plan to serve a green salad and some fresh fruit with your soup  and you have yourself a very healthy and easy meal.

I enjoy collecting vintage china, tea pots, antiques and bird houses which add a decorative touch to our home.

SWEET POTATO VEGETABLE SOUP
Author: 
Recipe type: soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1.5 pounds chicken breast or thighs, skinned, cooked and diced
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled and diced
  • 1.5 cups chopped cabbage
  • 1 cup diced red peppers
  • 12 oz bag of frozen stir fry vegetables
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 medium sliced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic and herb flavored Mrs. Dash
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground sea salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 2 cups water from boiled sweet potatoes
  • 3 cups chicken broth from cooking chicken in or low sodium brand
  • Remove all of the skin and fat from the chicken breasts or thighs. Boil chicken in water in a large pan on the stove until tender. Drain chicken, reserving 3 cups of broth. Refrigerate the broth and wait for the fat to harden on the top and skim all fat from the reserved broth. Boil the sweet potatoes in water and cook until tender. Peel the sweet potatoes. Reserve 2 cups of this broth for the soup. Add chicken broth, sweet potato broth and chicken to a large crock pot and turn on high setting. Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan and saute the chopped cabbage, onion, celery, garlic, peppers and mushrooms until tender. Place this mixture along with the bag of frozen stir fry vegetables and all of the seasonings in the crock pot. Cook on the high setting for at least 2 hours until all the vegetables are tender and serve.
Notes
Information in this food blog is not intended to to provide medical advice. Please contact your personal health care professional for medical and nutritional advice.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/ 12 of recipe Calories: 95 Fat: 1 gram Saturated fat: 0 mg Unsaturated fat: 0 mg Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 11 grams Sodium: 201 mg Fiber: 3 grams Protein: 8 grams Cholesterol: 20 mg

 

This makes a large batch of soup so you can enjoy eating this for a few days or freeze the leftover soup and reheat again when you are in the mood for a hearty soup. If you prefer, you can omit the meat and you will have a vegetarian meal. For a vegan meal, use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth in your recipe. Enjoy and stay warm out there!

Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes. I love to spend time out on the lake canoeing and boating each summer. I prefer to sit by the warm fireplace with a mug of hot cider and look out at the frozen lake watching the snow mobilers and ice fisherman in the winter months.

CRUNCHY GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE

Green bean casserole is my go to recipe for a quick side dish at meal time. You can easily prepare this at the last minute after work or even prepare this in advance before you go to work and place in your casserole dish. Refrigerate it and bake in the oven or microwave the prepared casserole after you get home from work. It is an easy dish to bring to those potlucks as well. I remember that my aunt used to bring this casserole to our family holiday celebrations.

CRUNCHY GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 12 oz packages of frozen green beans
  • 1 8 oz can of drained, sliced water chestnuts
  • 1 cup of fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 10.5 oz can reduced sodium cream of mushroom soup
  • 1½ cups whole walnuts
  • 1 tsp. Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper or Garlic and Herb Seasoning Mix
Instructions
  1. Saute the sliced fresh mushrooms in the olive oil in a small frying pan. Oil or spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Add the 2 packages of frozen green beans, mushrooms, water chestnuts, Mrs. Dash and reduced sodium cream soup or 1½ cups of the cashew white sauce (see recipe below in my blog) to a large bowl. Stir all the ingredients together and place this mixture in a casserole dish. Top the green bean casserole with the whole walnuts. Bake in a preheated oven uncovered at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or microwave in a glass covered casserole dish for 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve immediately.
Notes
Recipe nutritional information per serving has been calculated using the reduced sodium cream of mushroom soup.

This food blog is not intended to provided medical advice. Contact your personal health care provider for medical and/or nutritional advice.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅛ recipe Calories: 212 Fat: 15 g Saturated fat: 2 grams Trans fat: 0 mg Carbohydrates: 15 grams Sodium: 140 mg Fiber: 4 grams Protein: 5 grams Cholesterol: 0 mg

 

The original version of this recipe calls for a can of french fried onion rings as a topping but I wanted to change it up a bit so I used whole walnuts as an appealing and healthy alternative to top it off. I also wanted to add some crunch for a different texture so I added some water chestnuts to the recipe.If you would like to make a main dish out of this casserole, add 1 1/2 cups of cooked sliced chicken, turkey breast or angus beef. This casserole is a good source of dietary fiber, copper, magnesium  and manganese.

Last but not least, I added some sauteed mushrooms since they are a favorite vegetable at our house. I use a homemade white sauce or reduced sodium version of cream soups when my recipes call for a cream soup of some kind. In order to add some extra flair and flavor when reducing sodium in your recipes you can add other sodium free seasonings such as Mrs. Dash or experiment with garlic powder, cumin, Italian seasoning, turmeric or curry powder in your recipes. If you prefer to use a white sauce in place of the reduced sodium canned soup, refer to your cookbook or google a recipe online. The typical recipe usually calls for milk, flour and butter. If you would prefer a non-dairy vegan white sauce, I found a recipe for five minute cashew sauce at A Pinch of Yum food blog which looks very good. Recipe for Five Minute Cashew Sauce: 2 cups cashews, 1 1/4 cup water or broth, 1-2 cloves garlic 1 tsp salt (use less if desired) Directions: Place cashews in a bowl. Cover with water or broth and soak for about 2 hours. Drain and rinse thoroughly. Place soaked cashews in a food processor or blender with the 1 1/4 cups broth or water, garlic and salt. Puree until very smooth in consistency. Makes approximately 2 cups. Add 1  to 1 1/2 cups of this to the casserole mixture in place of the canned cream soup.

Crunchy Green Bean Casserole

I did prepare this casserole for one of my family Christmas celebrations as the picture above shows.

 

 

 

ACORN SQUASH WITH WILD RICE STUFFING

I can certainly feel a chill in the air here in Minnesota. Most of my fall gardening projects are done now and my rosebushes are covered to protect them in anticipation for those long winter months ahead. This is the time of year that I love to spend time in my warm cozy kitchen preparing  recipes using the squash that I  harvested from my garden that we planted last summer. Squash tend to keep very well long after they have been harvested so we can enjoy them in the cold months ahead of us.

Serve with fresh fruit and a kale salad for a delicious and nutritious meal.

Wild rice is also grown and harvested in northern Minnesota.  I recently decided to prepare a delicious main meal that incorporates both the wild rice and acorn squash. I served the Acorn Squash with Wild Rice for lunch recently on one of those cool days and we really enjoyed the taste and texture of this meal. My husband and I are also very nutrition conscious  and we enjoyed the meal for it’s awesome health benefits as well.

Serve with a glass of sparkling cranberry, grape or pomegranate juice or red wine.

Acorn squash is an excellent source of immune supportive Vitamins A  and C. It is also a good dietary source of potassium, manganese, copper, niacin, folate, thiamine and Vitamin B6. Just a 1/2 cup of cooked acorn squash provides 20% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) or daily value(DV) of Vitamin C for healthy adults as well as 4 grams of fiber.  The B vitamins which include niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12 help to maintain a healthy metabolism, nerve function, adrenal function, liver function and are also valuable to skin and eye health. The B vitamins help the body convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose) which is used to produce energy in our bodies. The B vitamins also help the body metabolize fats and protein.

ACORN SQUASH WITH WILD RICE STUFFING
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish or Side Dish
Cuisine: Regular, Vegetarian or Vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 3 medium acorn squash, (approximately 1½ pounds each) halved lengthwise with the seeds removed
  • 3 TB olive oil or melted coconut oil
  • 2 TB pure maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup celery stalks, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup finely chopped mushrooms
  • 1 tsp thyme seasoning
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice (prepare on your stove or in a rice cooker)
  • ¾ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • ⅓ cup chopped dried cranberries,
Instructions
  1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Place the squash cut side up on a baking sheet. Brush the squash with 1 TB melted coconut oil or olive oil on the inside of the squash halves .Add 1 tsp of pure maple syrup to each squash half. Sprinkle ground cinnamon on each squash half. Roast squash in the oven or approximately 50-60minutes or until the squash is tender. If desired, you may microwave the squash until tender, ( approximately 18-20 minutes per 2 squash halves).
  2. Place 2 TB of melted coconut or olive oil in a large frying pan and saute the chopped onions, garlic, mushrooms and celery until they are softened which may take about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and black pepper to this mixture and stir well. Add the cooked wild rice, dried cranberries and chopped walnuts to the vegetable mixture in the frying pan and gently fold in. Continue heating until the mixture is warmed through, approximately 3-5 minutes .Remove the frying pan from heat source.
  3. After you have removed your cooked squash from the oven, add the wild rice filling mixture to each squash half. Serve immediately
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅙ th recipe Calories: 375 Fat: 14 grams Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 62 grams Sodium: 27 mg Fiber: 6 grams Protein: 7 grams Cholesterol: 0 mg

 

Acorn squash and wild rice are also  very good sources of dietary fiber. One half cup of cooked accorn squash provides 4.5 grams of fiber. One cup of cooked wild rice provides 3 grams of fiber. According to Web MD, the average American consumes 15 grams of fiber per day. The Institute of Medicine recommends that healthy women consume 25 grams of fiber per day and healthy men consume 38 grams per day. Some people may need to limit dietary fiber for certain medical conditions so please consult your family physician or your personal registered dietitian for guidelines concerning this.

Wild rice is a good source of protein, folate, manganese, zinc, phosphorous, niacin, Vitamin B6 and magnesium. Most Americans tend to fall short of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) or daily value (DV) for magnesium. One cup of cooked wild rice supplies 13% of the daily value or ( RDA) for magnesium , 7% of the daily value or (RDA) for iron and 6.5 grams of protein. I love the taste and texture of wild rice, not to mention all of the nutritional benefits of this grain.

This recipe would be a delicious addition to your Thanksgiving menu.

Vintage Canned Foods found by my mother in her attic

My food blog Vintage Nutrition Kitchen is inspired by many of the vintage china and serving bowls, platters, glassware and goblets that were passed on to me by my mother, grandmother and great aunt. I found that I was letting these unique and beautiful items sit in my china cabinet admired, but unused. When I began writing this food blog, I wanted to use these precious family treasures as serving dishes for my food blog creations. I also love to collect and display vintage kitchen gadgets in my cozy country themed kitchen. My mother was exploring the attic of our century old home when I was a child and she found the vintage food cans pictured above. She cleaned them off and she shellaced the cans to preserve the finish on them. I have them proudly displayed in a china cabinet in my living room. She certainly had a knack for finding old things. She was digging in our garden of the home that I grew up in and ended up finding a century old nickel that time. As I grow older, I am finding that I appreciate those memories more and more.

Minneopa State Park, Mankato, MN

 

Fall is certainly one of my favorite seasons here in the midwest. Although it gets very cold here during the winter months, we are blessed to be able to enjoy four different and colorful seasons. My husband, mother in law and myself took a fall leaf tour near Mankato, Minnesota a few weeks ago and I am including some of the beautiful pictures that I snapped that day.

Seven Mile Park, near Mankato Mn

 

I admit that I took a little break from my food blog  and plan to publish my food blog Vintage Nutrition Kitchen monthly in the future. So far this has been a very enjoyable and relaxing hobby for me. I may end up changing and shortening my food blog domain slightly  so that it is compatible  with Twitter.  I will keep my readers posted of any changes. Have a  wonderful Thanksgiving!

 

Farm-Fresh feed.png

HEALTHY HOLIDAY CHEESEBALL

Wow, It is hard to believe that there are only four days before Christmas. If you are like me, you are still putting all the finishing touches on decorating your home for this season, baking last minute Christmas cookies and wrapping that last present and placing it under your Christmas tree. I prepared this cheeseball last night for my husband’s work place Christmas party today. As usual, I wanted to modify my original recipe calling for cream cheese, shredded cheese, chopped nuts and a one ounce packet of ranch flavor dressing mix. I purchased the 1/3 less fat Neufchatel Cheese to replace the higher fat cream cheese. Next I walked over to the cheese aisle in the grocery store, admiring all of the wonderful varieties of cheese. I selected a few for the holiday season and also purchased a package of Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese made with 2% Milk in place of the shredded cheese made with whole milk. I chose the reduced fat version because I have found that these do not alter the taste and still have a smooth consistency. The revised version of this recipe still contains dairy fat, but much less now per serving with these minor changes. Dairy products are a good source of calcium and protein so I  use them in my diet for that reason. I have used some organic dairy products and find the taste of these is very good. My favorite dairy food of all is Black Cherry  Greek Yogurt.

Healthy Holiday Cheese Ball

 

I used ground walnuts in my recipe but you could use ground pecans or another variety of nuts as well. Walnuts contain heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids called alpha linolenic acid (ALA). ALA is a very beneficial for heart health and may also reduce inflammation in the body. Walnuts are also a rich source of polyunsaturated fat, including an omega-6 fatty acid called linoleic acid which also benefits our hearts. Walnuts have also been linked to improving brain health and prevention of cancer in some medical studies. Including a handful of nuts in your diet each day is also a great way to receive dietary fiber, protein and heart healthy fats. Add them to snack mixes or cereal in the morning also. Two tablespoons will provide 100 calories, 10 grams of fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 0 mg of sodium, 2 grams of carbohydrate, 2.5 grams of protein and 1 gram of dietary fiber.

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HEALTHY HOLIDAY CHEESEBALL
Recipe type: snack
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 20 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 8 oz packages ⅓ less fat Neufchatel Cheese
  • 1½ cups Reduced Fat Shredded Cheddar Cheese made with 2% Milk
  • 1¼ cups chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 3 tsp Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Salt Free Seasoning Blend
  • 2 tsp minced Dehydrated Onion
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Set cream cheese out at room temperature in a large bowl for ½ hour before mixing the ingredients together to make it easier to work with. Mix seasonings into the cream cheese with a spoon or mixer. Crush the chopped nuts. After the seasonings are mixed into the cream cheese, add the cheddar cheese and mix well. Form into a ball and roll in the chopped nuts. Refrigerate until serving time and serve on a platter with a variety of crackers and raw vegetables.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/20 of recipe Calories: 130 Fat: 11 grams Saturated fat: 4.75 Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 3 grams Sodium: 142 mg Fiber: 0.5 grams Protein: 5 grams Cholesterol: 22 mg

 

If you are a label reader, you will no doubt find that many prepackaged seasoning mixes are very high in sodium content and many also contain monosodium glutamate which I prefer to avoid in my diet. For this reason, I experimented with my spices on hand in my cupboard and substituted the Garlic and Herb salt free Mrs. Dash Seasoning Blend, garlic powder, onion powder and dehydrated minced onion in place of the ranch flavored dressing mix.

Serve the Healthy Holiday Cheeseball for your Christmas or New Year’s Eve celebrations.

 

 

You may wish to serve this cheeseball with a variety of crackers and raw vegetables for your Christmas Eve or New Years Eve celebrations. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year readers.

Merry Christmas

I love decorating my kitchen with vintage table cloths or table runners, antique pictures and other vintage memorabilia. I purchased the table cloth pictured above at an antique store here in my small Minnesota city of 18,000 residents that I reside in.  It is right at home on top of my old singer sewing machine purchased for me by my late mother in an antique store in Mapleton, Minnesota. The The Singer Sewing Machine is displayed in my entryway to my home. My advent wreath with red candles sits on top of my old sewing machine welcoming guests into my home.

Singer Sewing Machine in the Entryway of my Home

 

Have a Merry Christmas as well as a blessed and prosperous New Year!