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Beef & Arugula Pasta

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You can spend all the time in the world cooking in the kitchen making amazing food but you can also do so in a short amount of time too. This is one of those go-to dishes for something quick but elegant. I LOVE using filet mignon for this recipe the most but you can use any kind of cut you like. I’ve tried flank steak and it works fantastic so long as you slice against the grain. Also, if you’re watching your red meat intake, feel free to use chicken breast instead.

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I’ve made slightly different variations of this recipe such as caramelized onions or none at all, saute mushrooms for more heartiness. You can replace the arugula with fresh baby spinach instead. It’s just as amazing. And as always, feel free to add or replace with any other of your favorite veggies. There’s no wrong way to make it taste good!

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INGREDIENTS

1 – 1.25 lbs New York strip steak
2 tablespoon herbes de provence
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Sea salt & pepper
Olive oil for cooking
1 pound penne pasta
1/4 overflowing cup good quality balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 small yellow onion, halved & sliced
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped
2 big handfuls arugula
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus more if needed
Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (optional)

Fill a large pot with water and bring to boil. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the packaging.

Cover the steak both sides with 1 tablespoon of herbes de provence, garlic powder, salt and pepper by patting it firmly into the meat. In an iron skillet on medium-high heat, drizzle the bottom of the skillet with olive oil and sear the steak on both sides for about 5 – 7 minutes on each side depending on the thickness of the steak. Then, let it finish in the oven at 400 F degrees for about 5 – 15 minutes depending on the thickness. When done, let the steak rest for about 10 minutes.

In a large, deep sauté pan cook the onions in olive oil until they become translucent. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and sauté for another 5 minutes or until the onions are caramelized.

In a bowl whisk together the balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, the remaining herbes de provence, salt and pepper. Set aside. Slice the steak thin into bite sized pieces.

Toss the cooked pasta, steak, and arugula in with the onions and sun-dried tomatoes. Then add the balsamic vinegar mixture together. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil generously all across the top, about 1/4 cup and gently fold everything together until everything is well coated in the balsamic sauce.

Serve with pecorino Romano cheese.

MAPLE CARAMEL BACON BROWNIES

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Soooo… I feel guilty coming up with this batch of gluttony, kinda. Thing is, as I always say, I’m all about moderation. I will choose to eat a small portion of pure guilty pleasurable goodness over a lot of some health-ified OOOOKAY tasting recipe. Yes, this is my excuse. This is me justifying that it’s okay to make this. Make it once a year and share it with EVERYONE and then you won’t eat it all to yourself.

BaconBrownies01The brownie recipe alone is fantastic if you’re all about a chewy, fudgy brownie with a perfect crust and edges. And feel free to add any of your favorite chopped nuts after you’ve combined everything together. Or chocolate chunks if you’re a chocoholic. Mix in some ground Mexican cinnamon for an Aztec flare, along with other spices like chili powder. There’s so many things you can do with a brownie recipe but most importantly, today it’s all about the bacon. CRISPY SALTY BACON! Wrapped around a pool of maple caramel. For goodness sakes!

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Hopefully you’re reading this blog entry because I didn’t include this in the recipe… but I did sprinkle a little bit of pink Himalayan salt on top of everything to really make the bacon pop through all the sugary components. It works amazing. It’s worth at least sprinkling a little on one square first to try if you like it. Anyways, make this at least once… like now!

INGREDIENTS
makes 16 two inch squares

8 – 10 strips crispy bacon, chopped
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 ½ cup sugar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup (1 stick) salted butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
½ cup real maple syrup (grade B)

Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees. Spray an 8 x 8 baking pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl use a rubber spatula to mix the melted butter, sugar and cocoa powder together. Then, add the eggs and vanilla extract. Lastly, fold in the flour until the flour is completely blended into the cocoa mixture. Pour into the baking pan and spread out evenly.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the salted butter. Add the brown sugar and stir until it’s completely dissolved. Increase the heat to a low boil for about two minutes. Stir in the maple syrup and continue to boil for another 2 minutes until thickened. The syrup is ready once it coats the back of a spoon.

Generously pour the syrup over the brownies and sprinkle the chopped bacon on top.

Bourbon Balls

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A friend of mine celebrated his birthday in September and gave me a little hell for not posting a Bourbon Balls recipe on the food blog in honor of bourbon month. I’ll admit I had never heard of bourbon balls before until he mentioned it. WELCOME TO THE SOUTH, JENN! I had discovered there are so many ways to make yummy bourbon balls and I truly wanted to try a few different variations but because I was on a mission to make a batch for his birthday, it was important that I took into consideration of his nut allergy. Instead of using 1 cup of ground pecans, I used shortbread cookies. All that butter, come on… of course it was still good. So, if you’re looking to make this recipe, feel free to use pecans if you like. I have found using pecans is most traditional.

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When making these sexy bite-sized treats it’s important to keep extra bourbon available because depending on the weather that day you may need to add more bourbon. For example, the dry air of Autumn was kicking in and so I had to add an extra splash. And even some times had to dip my finger tips in bourbon that I poured in a bowl to help smooth everything out. Also make sure you use a bourbon that you love drinking.

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A few last things to make your bourbon balls more to your personal liking. You don’t have to roll the balls in cocoa powder, you can use whatever you like. Finely chopped coconut shavings, mini chocolate chips, crushed nuts, powdered sugar, or sprinkles. I lightly brushed edible gold dust on top of mine after rolling them in cocoa powder for a subtle look of class, which you can find at pretty much any craft store or on Amazon.com. Let me know how they come out for you!

INGREDIENTS
Makes about 36 balls

1 cup ground Nilla wafer cookies (about 40 cookies)
1 cup ground shortbread cookies (about 10oz box of cookies)
1 cup powdered sugar
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more reserved
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup bourbon, plus more just in case
2 tablespoons honey or light corn syrup
36 paper candy cups

Use a food processor to ground the Nilla wafers and shortbread cookies until it’s a flour consistency. If there are any big chunks, remove them. Add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and sea salt. Pulse several times until everything is combined together. Then, add the bourbon and honey. Let the food processor run until everything forms together like a big sticky ball. Add a splash of bourbon if the dough is too dry.

Place the bourbon dough in a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Put about an 1/8 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder in a bowl.

Use a medium-sized melon baller to scoop out the bourbon dough. Gently roll the dough in between the palm of your hands until it forms a perfect sphere. Roll each ball in the unsweetened cocoa powder and place in a paper candy cup.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. They also stay just fine at room temperature.

Poached Eggs, Biscuits & Gravy

Confession time. Clearly you don’t really have to live in the South to find “biscuits and gravy” but I’ve lived in the “South” for about a year and a half and have never taken the time to try it, or any Southern food for that matter. Yeah, shame on me. For a foodie lover of many foods, even ones that I won’t eat regularly that I can appreciate… Southern food quite honestly has never looked our sound appealing to me. Doesn’t mean I won’t try it of course. OF COURSE!

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My husband has asked in the past about me making biscuits and gravy. The pictures on the internet, how people describe it and the thought of figuring out another culture of food literally overwhelmed me. So I put it off. I’m pretty sure he asked me again another time. Then I hear among the social crowd how one could go for a good “Southern Biscuit and Gravy.” So, you can see at this point I’m slightly intrigued. Then a friend presented me a challenge; to make Southern Biscuits and Gravy with maybe a twist or make it fancy. I thought, hmmm… okay, now I’m fully interested. I figured at this point there’s enough signs to finally give it a try. What better way to do it than ALL HOMEMADE FROM SCRATCH! Go big or go home!

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I’m crazy… but, it’s really worth it. And not as hard as it appears or sounds. I should’ve known better. I did add a little Italian touch to it. Nothing crazy. Just some fresh minced garlic and oregano. You’ll see. Of course. But I do intend to take this and make a full blown Italian version and truly start an Italian Southern Fusion. We’ll see LOL. All credit should go to my friend of course. I probably would’ve never thought of this on my own, ever. And to make it slightly more classy, I took the basic concept of an Eggs Benedict by cutting the biscuit open in half, placing a poached egg on each one THEN topping everything with the gravy. I must say, the yolk tied in with everything was spectacular. You have to give it a try at least once.

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Last thing. I think this can go without saying that this is definitely not the healthiest breakfast. It’s likely the least healthiest breakfast recipe on this blog. I already have ideas on how we can make this healthier but the question is, will it taste as good? Probably not. Is it even worth it? Ehhhh. Should I even bother when you can just have the better version once in a while instead? Moderation, I swear. It’s your friend. It’s awesome. Okay, go try this recipe like, NOW!

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INGREDIENTS

FOR THE BISCUITS
makes about 10

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the board
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder (without aluminum)
1 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold
1 cup buttermilk (approximately)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven at 450 F degrees.

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, or in the bowl of a food processor. Cut the butter into chunks and cut into the flour until it resembles coarse meal. If using a food processor, just pulse a few times until the consistency is achieved. Add the buttermilk at a slow continuous stream until it’s combined into a sticky dough. If it appears on the dry side, add a bit more buttermilk.

Turn the dough out onto a floured board. Gently pat (don’t use a rolling pin) the dough until it’s about ½” thick. Fold the dough about 5 times, gently pressing the dough down to an inch thick in between each folds.

Use a round cutter to cut into disks. Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet about an inch apart. Brush melted butter on top of each biscuit. Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown on top and bottom.

You can gently knead the scraps together and make a few more, but there’s a chance they may not be as good as the first batch.

NOTE: You can make these biscuits, cut them, put on a cookie sheet and freeze up to a month. When you’re ready for them, place in the oven at 450 F degrees for about 20 minutes.

FOR THE GRAVY

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound pork breakfast sausage
¼ onion, grated
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk, plus more just in case
Fresh ground black pepper
Sea salt

Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, sausage and break it up into fine pieces using a wooden spoon. If it’s too dry, add more olive oil and allow everything to cook through.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the sausage into a bowl leaving the rendered fat in the pan. Add the grated onion, garlic, dried oregano and butter. Stir until the butter melts then add the flour one tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly to make a roux. Continue to stir and let the mixture cook for a minute or two. Don’t let it burn.

Slowly and constantly stir in the milk about ½ cup at a time to work it all together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then, add the cooked sausage back into the pan and stir well. Let everything simmer for about two minutes or until the gravy has reached your desired consistency.

HOW TO POACH AN EGG

Add a dash of white vinegar to a medium pan of boiling water. Crack an egg into a ramekin or cup. Create a gentle whirlpool in the water to help the egg white wrap around the yolk. Slowly tip the egg into the water and let cook for about 3 minutes. Remove the poached egg with a slotted spoon and place on some paper towels to drain any excess water.

Greek Frittata

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There are so many ways to have a fantastic breakfast for a group of people without having to spend a lot of time or buy fancy ingredients. Frittata’s are one of my favorites because I love throwing a bunch of things, especially veggies, together to make a healthy yet filling meal. And because there are no rules, you can totally slice as much frittata as you like and put between two of your favorite slices of toasted bread for an awesome egg sandwich.

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I’m not particularly a big breakfast person but I do force myself to eat something small regardless; but when I’m in the mood for eggs I’m a sucker for a little bit of mayonnaise on toasted bread for my egg sandwiches. (You should try making your own Mayo some time using my Homemade Mayonnaise recipe.) Or just simply put some of the frittata on top of one slice of breast like crostini. You do whatever the heck you want. Not only that but frittata’s can have ANYTHING in it. Better yet, double the recipe for leftovers. You won’t be disappointed.

INGREDIENTS
4 servings

Olive oil cooking spray
Olive oil
5 eggs
5 cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/4 cup small red onion, finely chopped
1/8 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained & finely chopped
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup tightly packed fresh baby spinach, chopped
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Spray a 9 inch round baking dish.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, onions, salt and pepper. Stir and let cook until the onions become translucent. Turn the heat off, stir in the chopped spinach, and let cool.

In a large mixing bowl whisk the 5 eggs, add the crumbled feta and the sauted mixture together.

Add the quiche mix into a round baking dish that’s been sprayed with a cooking spray.

Bake for about 15 minutes at 400 F degrees or until the top is golden.

PASTA WITH TUNA & SUN-DRIED TOMATOES

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Lets face it, we’re always busy regardless what time of year. But with Summer around we are busy on top of wanting to enjoy those days of perfect weather to do the things we couldn’t do otherwise. With this quick dish you can’t get anymore healthy with pasta when you throw together a bunch of tuna, spinach, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes. It’s light and filling enough to not weigh you down on those hot days we’ve been having. I eat this either cold, room temperature or warmed up depending on my mood, it’s super yummy either way.tunapasta01

I’ve made this with arugula instead of spinach and it’s just as yummy. There are no rules so, feel free to use any leafy green and any other favorite veggie that appeals to you. That’s the best thing about cooking is you can eat healthy and make it taste good, it’s all about using lots of fresh flavor and your favorite ingredients. If you’re gluten free, use a GF pasta or any other pasta alternative like whole wheat, quinoa pasta for more protein or zucchini noodles for low carb! You can learn about zucchini noodles and how you can easily make them on my Garlic Shrimp Zoodle recipe. Enjoy!

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INGREDIENTS
6 – 8 servings

1 lb. rotini
Olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 lemon, juice
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon, sea salt
3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, finely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil from sun-dried tomato jar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cans albacore tuna packed in water, drained & flaked
3 cups tightly packed fresh spinach (or arugula)
1/2 cup grated parmesano reggiano

Fill a large pot of water for the pasta and bring to boil. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packaging. When the pasta is done, reserve a glass of pasta water and set aside.

In a large skillet on medium-high heat, drizzle the bottom with olive oil and saute the onions until softened. Add a splash of the reserved pasta water, lemon juice, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, sea salt, sun-dried tomatoes, sun-dried tomato olive oil, and tomato paste. Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for abount 3-5 minutes.

Add the tuna and fresh spinach, toss for a good minute allowing everything to warm through. Then, add the pasta, stir until everything is well incorporated.

Toss the parmesano reggiano while piping hot and serve immediately.

Shrimp Stir Fry

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Stir fry’s are another super easy and fairly healthy dish that I love to make in large batches for a quick meal or paired with anything else you love to eat with a stir fry. I use my favorite Turmeric Jasmine Rice to make it, it really adds more flavor than your standard fried rice flavor but feel free to use whatever kind of rice you like. And you’re certainly not limited to only using shrimp either. Use any kind of meat or fish that you love or simply add more of your favorite veggies. There really isn’t one that doesn’t go great with this.

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INGREDIENTS
about 6 servings

3 tablespoons olive oil + more just in case
12 – 15 asparagus (or French green beans), rough chopped
8 – 10 baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 carrots, grated
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 inch piece of ginger, minced
3 cups cooked turmeric jasmine rice (or your favorite)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
3 eggs, whisked in a bowl
1/2 pound peeled & de-veined shrimp, halved
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce, or more to taste
2 tablespoons fish sauce

In a large skillet drizzle the bottom with olive oil until covered. Over medium-high heat saute the asparagus, mushrooms, carrots, onion, peas, garlic and ginger until everything is almost softened after about 5 minutes.

Add more oil to the pan if needed before tossing in the rice with the garlic powder, onion powder, and white pepper. Stir everything for about two minutes allowing everything to heat through.

Move the rice towards the outer edges of the skillet creating a reservoir in the center. Add a little oil to the center and pour the whisked eggs. After about 30 seconds when the eggs gets a little opaque, use the spatula to scramble it up in with the rice.

Lastly, add the shrimp, soy sauce and fish sauce. Toss everything until the shrimp is cooked to tender after about 2 – 3 minutes. Add more sauce to taste if needed.

Tuna Salad

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Let’s step away from the traditional, boring onion and celery in your tuna salad. I’m a big fan of multiple flavors that hit more than just two parts of the tongue. Instead try my tuna salad with something slightly spicy and salty with pepperoncini’s, sweet and tangy with amazing bread & butter pickles. I love using a little juice of both to keep it from being too dry and having to use too much mayo. I recently shared an easy Homemade Mayonnaise recipe that would go amazing with this, especially if you’re into controlling the ingredients that go into your food.

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Enjoy this not just as a sandwich or wrap but with  your favorite tortilla or pita chips, celery for low carb, top it on slices of zucchini or yellow squash, even slice carrots diagonally to use as chips. As always, get creative!

INGREDIENTS
2 servings

1 5oz can albacore tuna packed in water, drained
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1/4 heaping cup finely chopped pepperoncini’s (about 5 large peppers)
1 tablespoon pepperoncini juice
1/4 heaping cup finely chopped bread & butter pickles
1 tablespoon pickle juice
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon brown mustard
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl break apart the chunks of tuna using a fork then add all the ingredients and mixed together.

Homemade Mayonnaise

Printable Version

Ever look at the ingredients list of your favorite mayo? Especially the ones that claim to be “Olive Oil Mayonnaise” that still use other oils more than actual olive oil? LOL What’s the point, right? Mayo is actually kinda pricey at the store for crap quality ingredients and who doesn’t like homemade anything, anyways? Here’s a quick homemade mayo for you. That way you can use whatever oil you like most and control what goes in it.

This is important: with most oils make sure you love the taste on it’s own. Most cheap oils will make the mayo taste bitter! I personally love using grapeseed oil because it hardly has a taste at all and you’ll never taste bitterness. Once you’ve mastered this in the making, feel free to add your favorite spices as you can really make some awesome spreads with it. Enjoy!

Mayonnaise

INGREDIENTS
makes about 1 cup

1 large organic egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup grapeseed oil (or your favorite good quality oil)

In a standing mixer with the whisk attachment add the egg yolk, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, dijon mustard and sea salt. Whisk everything for about 30 seconds until everything is blended to a bright yellow color. With a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides if you have to.

Continue whisking on medium speed and start pouring the extra virgin olive oil about 1 teaspoon at a time until you’ve used about a 1/4 cups worth. Make sure everything is thoroughly combined before you pour in more each time.

Then pour the remaining olive oil very slow creating a very thin stream. As you see the olive oil accumilate on the sides, hold back the pour and allow the whisking to catch up and continue until you’ve finished pouring it all in. This should take about 8 – 10 minutes. At the very end scrape down the sides and whisk on high for 5 seconds.

Store in a mason jar.

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 is one of 8 B vitamins, all of which are water-soluble, meaning that the body does not store them. It is also known as niacin (nicotinic acid) and has 2 other forms, niacinamide (nicotinamide) and inositol hexanicotinate, which have different effects from niacin.

envision-optical-gold-coast-tuna-filletAll B vitamins help the body to convert carbohydrates into fuel (glucose), which is used to produce energy. These B vitamins, often referred to as B complex vitamins, also help the body use fats and protein.

B complex vitamins are needed for healthy skin, hair, eyes, and liver. They also help the nervous system function properly.

Niacin also helps the body make various sex and stress related hormones in the adrenal glands and other parts of the body as well as improve circulation.

In the United States, alcoholism is the main cause of vitamin B3 deficiency. Symptoms of mild deficiency include indigestion, fatigue, canker sores, vomiting, and depression. Severe deficiency can cause a condition known as pellagra. Pellagra is characterized by cracked, scaly skin, dementia, and/or diarrhea. It is generally treated with a nutritionally balanced diet and niacin supplements. Niacin deficiency also causes burning in the mouth and a swollen, bright red tongue.

Medical grade and high doses of B3 have been studied to prevent or improve symptoms of the following conditions.

FOOD SOURCES

The best food sources of vitamin B3 are found in beets, brewer’s yeast, beef liver, beef kidney, fish, salmon, swordfish, tuna, sunflower seeds, and peanuts. In addition, foods that contain tryptophan, an amino acid the body coverts into niacin with the help of vitamin B6, include poultry, red meat, eggs, and dairy products.

BEST AS SUPPLEMENT

Vitamin B3 as niacin, niacin USP, and inositol hexaniacinate. Niacin is available as a tablet or capsule in both regular and timed-release forms. The timed-release tablets and capsules may have fewer side effects than regular niacin. However, the timed-release versions are more likely to cause liver damage if taken at high doses for long periods of time. Regardless of which form of niacin you’re using, doctors recommend periodic liver function tests when using high doses (above 100 mg per day) of niacin.

INTERACTIONS WITH MEDICATIONS

High doses (50 mg or more) of niacin can cause side effects. The most common side effect is called “niacin flush,” which is a burning, tingling sensation in the face and chest, and red or flushed skin.

People with a history of liver disease, kidney disease, or stomach ulcers should not take niacin supplements. Those with diabetes or gallbladder disease should do so only under the close supervision of their doctor.

Stop taking niacin at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Niacin may make allergies worse by increasing histamine.

People with low blood pressure should not take niacin because it may cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure. Don’t take niacin if you have a history of gout.

People with coronary artery disease or unstable angina should not take niacin without their doctor’s supervision, as large doses can raise the risk of heart rhythm problems.

Taking any one of the B vitamins for a long period of time can result in an imbalance of other important B vitamins. For this reason, you may want to take a B complex vitamin, which includes all the B vitamins.

If you are currently taking any of the following medications, you should not use niacin without first talking to your health care provider.

Antibiotics, Tetracycline — Niacin should not be taken at the same time as the antibiotic tetracycline because it interferes with the absorption and effectiveness of this medication. All vitamin B complex supplements act in this way and should be taken at different times from tetracycline.

Anti-seizure Medications — Phenytoin (Dilantin) and valproic acid (Depakote) may cause niacin deficiency in some people. Taking niacin with carbamazepine (Tegretol) or mysoline (Primidone) may increase levels of these medications in the body.

Anticoagulants (blood thinners) — Niacin may make the effects of these medications stronger, increasing the risk of bleeding.

Blood Pressure Medications, Alpha-blockers — Niacin can make the effects of medications taken to lower blood pressure stronger, leading to the risk of low blood pressure.

Cholesterol-lowering Medications — Niacin binds the cholesterol lowering medications known as bile-acid sequestrants and may make them less effective. For this reason, niacin and these medications should be taken at different times of the day. Bile-acid sequestrants include colestipol (Colestid), colesevelam (Welchol), and cholestyramine (Questran).

Statins — Some scientific evidence suggests that taking niacin with simvastatin (Zocor) appears to slow down the progression of heart disease. However, the combination may also increase the likelihood for serious side effects, such as muscle inflammation or liver damage.

Diabetes Medications — Niacin may increase blood sugar levels. People taking insulin, metformin (Glucophage), glyburide (Dibeta, Micronase), glipizide (Glucotrol), or other medications used to treat high blood glucose levels should monitor their blood sugar levels closely when taking niacin supplements.

Isoniazid (INH) — INH, a medication used to treat tuberculosis, may cause a niacin deficiency.

Nicotine Patches — Using nicotine patches with niacin may worsen or increase the risk of flushing associated with niacin.

These medications may lower levels of niacin in the body:

  • Azathioprine (Imuran)
  • Chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin)
  • Cycloserine (Seromycin)
  • Fluorouracil
  • Levodopa and carbidopa
  • Mercaptopurine (Purinethol)

SUPPORTING REFERENCES

Goldberg A, Alagona P, Capuzzi DM, et al. Multiple-dose efficacy and safety of an extended-release form of niacin in management of hyperlipidemia. Am J Cardiol. 2000;85:1100-1105.

Jacques PF, Chylack LT Jr, Hankinson SE, et al. Long-term nutrient intake and early age related nuclear lens opacities. Arch Ophthalmol. 2001;119(7):1009-1019.

Nutrients and Nutritional Agents. In: Kastrup EK, Hines Burnham T, Short RM, et al, eds. Drug Facts and Comparisons. St. Louis, Mo: Facts and Comparisons; 2000:4-5.

Raja R, Thomas JM, Greenhill-Hopper M, Ley SV, Almeida Paz FA. Facile, one-step production of niacin (vitamin B3) and other nitrogen-containing pharmaceutical chemicals with a single-site heterogeneous catalyst. Chemistry. 2008;14(8):2340-8.

Sanyal S, Karas RH, Kuvin JT. Present-day uses of niacin: effects on lipid and non-lipid parameters. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2007 Aug;8(11):1711-7.

Torkos S. Drug-nutrient interactions: a focus on cholesterol-lowering agents. Int J Integrative Med. 2000;2(3):9-13.

Wolerton: Comprehensive Dermatalogic Drug Therapy, 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier. 2007.