Day Four (4) of my Low Cholesterol Meal Plan is going well. The three areas of concern are cholesterol, sodium and carbohydrate, in that order. Fortunately, I’m finding many foods which can be easily prepared, depending on specific criteria. My biggest challenge is hiding the leftover Halloween candy which looks so pretty in its festive holiday bowl. I try to reiterate, “A minute on the lips; a lifetime on the hips” each time a Snickers catches my eye. Damn willpower!
I’ve discovered it’s more challenging to prepare a low cholesterol meal that is also low carbohydrate than one with merely lower fat and sodium. Last night, I prepared Sea Scallops with Broccoli Rabe, Sautéed Mushrooms and Garlic. The dish was served over brown rice.
It was a quick meal to prepare and only required a few ingredients. Recipe follows:
Sautéed Scallops with Broccoli Rabe and Mushrooms
- 1 bunch broccoli rabe
- 1 8 oz. pkg. sliced fresh mushrooms (baby bella or button)
- 2 tablespoons rice bran oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
- 3 medium garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
- Sea salt, to taste
- Hot cooked brown rice
- Bring several quarts of water to boiling. Remove any tough or damaged outer leaves of broccoli rabe and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Peel thick, lower stems and tear into large pieces.
- Blanch broccoli rabe by pouring boiling water over it while it is in a colander. Drain well and set aside. Meanwhile, heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add garlic and crushed red pepper. Sauté garlic about 30 seconds, being careful it doesn’t burn. Add mushrooms and broccoli rabe to the pan and toss to coat with garlic/pepper mixture. Heat thoroughly, about 3-4 minutes until vegetables are crisp-tender. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper, if desired.
- In a separate pan, heat about a tablespoon of rice bran or extra virgin olive oil. Meanwhile, season scallops with black pepper and a pinch of salt. When oil is hot, add scallops and sear 2-3 minutes on each side, being careful not to overcook. Watch carefully. When nicely seared (browned) on each side, remove from pan and serve over mushroom/broccoli blend and hot cooked brown rice.
This was a tasty meal. Although the directions I posted call for searing scallops in a separate skillet, last night I cooked them in the same one as the vegetables. (See Photo) I do not recommend this as they were a little overcooked and slightly dry and the vegetables were a little too tender for my liking. Separate pans are the better way to go with this dish. That being said, it was a very tasty, satisfying meal and I would definitely make it again.
Low Sodium, Low Cholesterol Salad Dressing (I adjusted basic recipe from Cooks.com)
- 1/2 c. oil (I used rice bran but you can use olive, canola, etc.)
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice or vinegar (I used raspberry wine vinegar)
- 1/4 tsp. paprika
- 1/8 tsp. dry mustard
- 1 tsp. sugar (or equivalent sugar substitute such as Truvia®)
Combine all ingredients and whisk well. Refrigerate in covered jar. Shake well before use. I added 1/8 tsp. dill and marjoram for added flavor. Yield: 3/4 cup.
For dessert, I had a small bowl of cantaloupe chunks with fresh blueberries and several walnut pieces. Delicious!
Breakfast and lunch have been pretty much the same since I began this meal plan: oat cereal or light English muffin with fruit and coffee or tea for breakfast; yogurt with fruit or salad with hard-boiled egg white or tuna for lunch. Snacks are low cholesterol, low carb chips, fruit, nuts or the occasional piece of dark chocolate (am I bad!)
Remember to drink at least six glasses of water daily. Buon Appetito!
“Our bodies are our gardens – our wills are our gardeners.” ~William Shakespeare