Gourmet Cooking for a Healthy Heart

The picture at the top is of Joe and Holly while camping with Holly’s parents.  Her parents are on the far left, Norman and I, Joe’s parents are on the far right.  The children are Landen, Nathan, Laura, Myiah, and Alex.  This was taken several years ago and since then Joe and Holly have added one more to our family – Luke the sweetheart of all.

These are the recipes I developed over the last 16 years for my husband who had quadruple bypass surgery.  He has stuck to this diet and has had NO more blockages since, all of his bypasses are “as clean as a whistle” according to the doctors.

  The biggest problem was to change all of his favorite foods to olive oil.  There are a few favorite foods that I could not change such as hot dogs so those he has had to eliminate.  We now make our own sausage, mayonnaise, breads, pastries, etc.  Many of these are in this book that we published in 2006.  Since then we have found other recipes and have improved some that are in the book.  These additions and improvements I will add to this page.  The book has 128 pages of recipes and covers all areas of cooking from breads, meats and fish, salads and vegetables, desserts, soups, sauces snacks and help on canning and freezing.  You may buy this book by going to Amazon.com and searching Carol Petts.

   My most often feed back has come on the pie crust.  People who have had to give up solid shortening could not make a good pie crust, they tell me the book is worth the price just for that recipe alone.  Now I do that with a whole wheat and it is even better.  Check my stone ground whole wheat page and get that recipe there.

  The first change that is needed in this book is on page 87.  Applesauce Cake.  I forgot the sugar, it should read add one cup brown sugar.  That is the only recipe I omitted anything. 

Second major change is in the oil for frying.  When you want to deep fry don’t use olive oil as you can not get the oil hot enough without it smoking (breaking down) then all the value of useing olive oil is gone and if you don’t get the fat hot enough for deep frying the foods soak up the fat.  Use peanut oil, it is healthy and will not breakdown at high temperatures.  I don’t like it for cooking in general as it is a greaser oil and does not have all the benefits of olive oil.  

   The other correction is an easier way of making any recipe that includes eggs.  At first I cut in the olive oil because if I didn’t the oil would bind to the flour right away and stay in a lump instead of going into the dough evenly.  Now I beat the eggs and slowly add the olive oil, it makes a mayonnaise type mixture and this goes into the flour evenly, you are letting the eggs carry the oil into the item instead of forcing the flour to do the job.

                              FISH AND CHIPS WITH ONION RINGS

One of our favorite meals is Fish and Chips.  This should be eaten no more than once a week as you tend to over eat with this.      You need two electric frying pans to do this and an oven set on warming about 175 degrees.

Prep-  Wash and cut into large French fry size chips and put in cold water until ready to fry. One potato per person.  This is best done for two as you don’t want too many potatoes in the fat at once, a single layer is about all a pan can take.

Prep-peel two onions and slice. Leave until ready to fry.

Prep- Fish, use any white fish such as cod, tilapia, etc 

Mix a batter consisting of:  3 heaping tablespoons flour ( I now use the sifted whole wheat flour but regular white flour works fine)  2 tablespoons cornstarch 1 heaping tablespoon cornmeal, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup milk( I use butter milk so use 2 tablespoons powdered buttermilk and 1/2 cup water.  I also add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.  You always want some baking soda  when using buttermilk)  Mix this well add more flour if it is too runny or add more water if it is too stiff.  You want the batter to coat each piece but not be so thick you can not shake off the excess batter. 

In the two electric frying pans put about 1 1/2 inches of peanut oil.  You can not use olive oil for this as olive oil breaks down at high temperatures and loses all its good qualities.  Peanut oil does not break down ( you can tell because it does not smoke) set the temperature at 375 and pre heat.  Drain the potato chips and pat dry.  When the temperature is up to about 350 put the chips into one frying pan.  These will take care of themselves and take about 30 minutes to cook.  A light stir once in a while will set you mind at ease and let you see how well they are cooking.

Cut the fish into two inch pieces and put each piece into the batter, remove and let any excess batter drip off and set into a soup bowl, do this with each piece and set aside until the onions are done.  

Put some onion rings into the bowl of batter and turn to coat each, when the fat in the second pan is up to at least 350 degrees add the rings one at a time to the fat, shake off the excess batter before putting them into fat, these take constant watching.  Move them around so they don’t stick together, turn each ring as they lightly brown.  It only takes about a minute at most to brown on a side.  I use tongs, as each is done put onto a paper towel on a cookie sheet.  When each pan is done put the finished onion rings into the pre-heated warm oven to wait for the others.  Repeat with another pan full of onion rings.  Repeat this until all the onion rings are fried, then go back to the fish you have waiting in the soup bowl, roll the fish in the batter that has dripped to the bottom of the bowl and carefully drop into the hot fat.  Brown on each side and put in the oven.  This process should take no more than 30 minutes and by that time the potatoes will also be nicely browned and ready to drain on a paper towel and lightly salt with a no salt salt.  Serve them up and enjoy.  

You can see why I call this a dinner for two.  You have to move fast to get this all fried in the 30 minutes and trying to do it for more than two you would have to start earlier and then the things are not as crisp and nice.  If you want to do this for two couples make a party out of it and have each couple bring their own pans and work on it as a team.

                           ZUCCHINI BREAD

Put 3 large eggs into a bowl and beat well, slowly add 1 cup extra virgin olive oil while continuing to beat, add 3 teaspoons vanilla  and 3 cups grated zucchini.

In a second bowl place 1 cup brown sugar – 1 cup white sugar – 1/2 teaspoon salt –  1 teaspoon baking soda – 1/2 teaspoon baking powder – 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon – 1 teaspoon ground  allspice – 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger – 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves –  3 cups sifted whole wheat flour (any all purpose flour can be used)  mix well and add the egg/ zucchine mix and beat well.

 Pour into 2 greased loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes.  Check after 45 minutes to test for doneness, it depends on the oven and the day how much time it really takes, when the tester (straw or metal stick) comes out clean it is done.  Test at the very top of the bread.  Don’t over cook as this drys it out too much.

3 Responses to Gourmet Cooking for a Healthy Heart

  1. Myiah says:

    This is so neat! I am so glad I came across this site!:) I love the pictures, your memories are so neat! Hope to talk to you soon.

  2. make sure and send me some of your favorite memories to add to the family memories, you don’t have to be 80 to have some great memories. I remember walking down the street with you and Laura to see the big Magnolia that was one of my favorite.

  3. Myiah says:

    I remember that as well! Such great times, I think my favorite might be when you taught me how to make french bread! Or when we had dinner with Rebecca, Chris, Patty, and baby Regina! I believe it was last summer(:

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