Stir it up – Low-Sodium Stir-Fry
- 2 to 4 boneless chicken thighs, depending on number of guests or how hungry you are (90 mg per 3 oz serving)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch (0 mg of sodium)
- 1 beer with hints of fruit flavor, such as Blue Moon (0 mg of sodium)
- 2 tablespoons salt-free Chinese Five Spice
- 1/2 cup of fresh Shitake mushrooms
- 1 bunch of Chinese broccoli
- 1/2 cup of diced bell pepper
- 1/4 cup of green onion
- handful of sliced garlic
- ½ teaspoon of chili pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil (0 mg of sodium)
1. Cut chicken thighs into strips – about 1/4 of an inch thick.
2. Put the chicken into a bowl with the Chinese Five Spice, a half can of beer, and cornstarch. Mix with your hands to make sure everything is coated. The cornstarch will help adhere the spices to the chicken.
3. Heat a large wok or pan on the stove. After a minute, add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. To test if the oil is ready for cooking throw in one slice of onion or garlic – if the oil spits, it’s time to get cooking.
4. Put the chicken (leaving most of the sauce in the bowl) into the sizzling pan. Let the chicken cook for 8 to 10 minutes until it is no longer pink.
5. Put chicken back into the bowl with the sauce. It’s OK, no health hazard here. You’ll be cooking them again in just a few short minutes.
6. Reheat the second tablespoon of sesame oil in the pan. When hot, throw in the garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until crisp and light brown.
7. Add Shitake mushrooms, Chinese broccoli, half of your green onions, bell peppers and chili pepper flakes. If the veggies look a little dry, drizzle with sesame oil or orange juice (just a few teaspoons or so) to help them rehydrate.
8. Add chicken and marinating liquid to the rest of the ingredients and stir it up.
9. Before serving, give it a taste. If it needs more flavor, throw in a dash of white or black pepper, some paprika, maybe some ground mustard – give it a try to find your personal favorite. If the sauce has cooked down, add more beer.
10. To serve, ladle the stir fry and sauce into bowls with chop sticks and a spoon – you will want to drink up all that warm, soupy liquid – and sprinkle your leftover green onions on top for flare and flavor.
Faux Miso Marinated Cod
- 3/4 cup molasses (0 mg of sodium)
- 1/2 cup sugar (0 mg of sodium)
- 1/4 cup sake (0 mg of sodium)
- 6 tablespoon mirin (0mg of sodium – check nutrition label, many Japanese grocery stores have low or no sodium versions)
- 1 pound boneless black cod or sablefish (46 mg of sodium per 3 oz)
1. Heat sake and mirin in pot over medium flame and simmer for 30 minutes.
2. Remove from heat and add molasses and sugar, and stir until dissolved. Allow the mixture to cool.
3. Cut black cod into 6 equal pieces and place in a shallow dish, large enough so that all of the pieces of cod can lay flat.
4. Pour half of the cooled miso marinade into the dish, add cod, and then pour remaining marinade on top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours to 2 days. Turn the fish every so often so that they get an even coating.
5. Preheat broiler on high.
6. When hot, remove cod from marinade and place on a baking sheet on the bottom rack of oven. Broil until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Turn cod over and broil until fish flakes easily, about 3 minutes more.
7. Serve it up, admire your work and chow on.
Caramelized Fennel Corn Chowda’
- 1 head of garlic, roasted
- 1 bulb of fennel, diced or sliced, either way it’s getting blended
- 1 ½ cups of frozen corn (0 mg of sodium – check nutrition label)
- 1 teaspoon of olive oil (0 mg of sodium)
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tablespoon of heavy cream (0 to 10 mg of sodium depending on brand)
- fresh herbs, chives and parsley work well, roughly chopped or torn
- 2 slices of Alvarado or Ezekiel brand low-sodium bread (10 mg of sodium per slice), cut into 1/2 inch squares and toast in oven
1. To roast the garlic, cut off the tops of an entire head of garlic and put it into a little boat made of tinfoil. Drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil onto the garlic and throw it into an oven on 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until the garlic is soft. If you’re in a rush, skip the roasted garlic and simply sauté roughly sliced garlic in olive oil in a soup pot on medium heat.
2. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in soup pot over medium heat. When hot, add fennel (and garlic if you’re not roasting it). Stir constantly and allow fennel to soften and turn to a nice, brown, caramel color; about 5 minutes.
3. Add the corn and allow it to soften for another 5 minutes.
4. Add the roasted garlic and the cup of water. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes to draw out the flavors.
5. Use an immersion blender or transfer soup to blender. Blend on low to medium for 2 minutes or until the consistency is creamy.
6. Return soup to pot and turn flame to low to reheat. Five minutes before serving, add the cream and stir.
7. Ladle steaming soup into a gigantic bowl or cup and top with fresh herbs, croûtons, and pepper flakes if desired.
- 1 shallot
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 1 small white onion
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 bag of frozen peas (0 mg of sodium – check nutrition label)
- 1 bag of frozen corn (0 mg of sodium – check nutrition label)
- Herb-Ox No Sodium Chicken Broth
- White pepper
- Crème Fraiche (0 mg of sodium)
1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat.
2. Dice shallot, garlic and half of white onion - no need to dice too finely as everything will be blended later on.
3. When oil is hot, add shallot, garlic, and onion to pot and stir until shallot and onion are soft and translucent.
4. Add bag of peas and half a bag of corn to pot. Stir and heat for about 5 minutes.
5. Mix 2 packets of Herb-Ox Low-Sodium Chicken Broth with 2 cups of water, add to soup pot, and bring to a boil.
6. After it has boiled for a 5 minutes, remove pot from heat.
7. Transfer soup to blender or for an incredibly easy and mess-free means of creaming ingredients, use an immersion blender.
8. Blend until smooth. An optional step is to then sieve the soup which will make it incredibly silky in texture, but this is only if you are going for Michelin star perfection.
9. Reheat soup on low until it has reduced about a third – this thickens the soup. Add the white pepper.
10. Chill soup in fridge.
11. Ladle into small bowls and top soup with a dollop of crème fraiche. Other optional crunch worthy toppers include: a few Unsalted Kettle Chips; or a handful of Organic Just Peas; or Just Corn.
12. Your soup is now ready to serve and ready to disappear.
Couscous, Sunny Side Up
- 2 eggs (70 mg of sodium each)
- 1 orange
- 1 cup couscous (0 mg of sodium)
- 1 cup water
- 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 small shallot, chopped
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 poblano pepper
- 2 tomatillos
- 1 jalapeno, diced
- 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- a few dashes of chipotle powder
1. To prepare the tomatoes and poblano pepper, first wash and then remove the stems. For the tomatillo, remove the outer leaves and rinse quickly under water. For the poblano, slice off the very top and make another slice down the side. This will give you access to the seeds, which you can simply remove by hand. Place the tomatoes, tomatillos and the poblano in an oven pan.
2. Turn on the oven broiler to low and place ingredients from step one on the top rack directly under the flame. Allow for them to char on one side for 5 minutes. Turn the tomatoes, tomatillos and poblano two more times until all the sides have had a good amount of heat (a total time of 15 minutes).
3. Remove the tomatoes, tomatillos and poblano and allow them to cool.
4. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium flame and add the shallot and garlic. Allow the garlic to brown and shallot to become slightly transparent, stirring constantly.
5. Peel the charred skin from the tomatoes, tomatillos and the poblano. An easy way to do this is to put them in a paper bag and rub.
6. Add the tomatoes, tomatillos, poblano and the roasting juices to the pot. Blend in a blender or with an immersion blender until mostly smooth and allow it to reduce for another 15 minutes over medium heat. Add pepper to taste.
7. In another small pot, heat 1 cup of water and bring to a boil.
8. Add in the couscous and stir for 2 minutes.
9. Remove couscous from the flame and add juice from one small orange, the jalapeños and the parsley. Mix well.
10. In two oven-safe dishes, layer the couscous and roasted tomato/pepper sauce. Crack one egg in each dish and dust with chipotle powder.
11. Place the two dishes under the oven broiler on low for 5 to 10 minutes or until the whites of the eggs have hardened.
12. To serve, sprinkle leftover parsley on top and dig in.
- 2 lamb chops and 1/2 pound of lamb stew meat
- 1/2 a pound of pappardelle (or ask the counter attendant for the appropriate amount)
- 1 bulb of fennel, diced
- 1 small turnip, diced
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, casually chopped
- 1 tablespoon of flour
- 1 wine glass of white wine
- 3 beefsteak tomatoes (because I find them easier to cut)
- orange zest from one orange
- 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary, chopped
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- ground cumin, red pepper flakes, black or white pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg to taste
1. Set your oven to 350 degrees.
2. In your casserole dish, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat.
3. Once oil is hot, add onion and garlic and stir occasionally until the onion has softened and the garlic has browned. If it begins to stick to or brown your casserole dish, use some white wine or champagne vinegar to deglaze the pot and steal some of that charred flavor for the sauce.
4. Add the turnip and fennel and continue to cook over medium heat until softened and browned.
5. Add the diced tomatoes, rosemary, wine, cumin, pepper flakes and pepper, increasing the heat until the mixture begins to boil.
6. In a pan, heat the second tablespoon of olive oil. When hot, brown your pork chops, about 3 minutes on each side, and add them to the ragù stock.
7. In the same pan, brown the lamb stew meat for about 5 minutes and add it to the ragù stock.
8. Cover casserole and put it in the oven for 1.5 to 2 hours until the lamb can fall right off the bone.
9. About 10 minutes before eating, take the lamb ragù from the oven and put back on the stove, low to medium heat. Begin heating a second pot of boiling water for your pasta.
10. In a separate small bowl, mix some of the ragù juice with your flour. Whisk until there are no clumps and add the thickened sauce back to the rest of the pot.
11. Once the pasta water is boiling, put in the pappardelle and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and add a little olive oil if the noodles are sticking together.
12. When you are ready to serve, plate the noodles and ladle the sauce on top. Garnish with the fresh parsley and grated orange zest.
Orange Pickled Fennel
- 2 bulbs of fennel
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 dried chili peppers
- zest and juice from 1 large orange
- 2 cups white wine or champagne vinegar
- 1/2 a cup of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of black peppercorn
- 1 quart sized Mason jar
1. Take two bulbs of fennel, cut off stems and slice in to crescent shaped spears.
2. Stuff fennel slices, some of the soft fennel fronds from the stem (packs extra flavor), three cloves of garlic and two dried chili peppers into a small Mason jar.
3. Zest one orange and place in the Mason jar with fennel.
4. Heat 2 cups of white wine vinegar, 1/2 a cup of sugar, juice from one orange and a teaspoon of black peppercorns in a pot. Remove from heat once it begins boiling.
5. Carefully (it’s hot!) fill the Mason jar with heated pickling liquid (step 4). The heat tends to reduce the size of the fennel almost immediately, so if you have leftover slices, stuff more into the jar.
6. For added punch, slice fresh ginger and put in jar as well. Once lid is closed, shake it up, allow to cool and stick it in the fridge. In two days, it will be ready for munching.
- 5 to 6 handfuls of seedless black or red grapes
- 2 teaspoons of yellow mustard seed
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cups of white wine or champagne vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of black peppercorn
1. Pick up some plump, seedless black or red grapes and slice off the belly buttons (the top part where the stem was) of five or six handfuls. By taking off this top piece of the grape, you will allow the pickling juices to seep into the fruit immediately.
2. Fill a small Mason jar with the grapes, 2 teaspoons of yellow mustard seed, and one stick of cinnamon. Or, as in my case, use 3 teaspoons of ground cinnamon if you forget to buy cinnamon sticks.
3. Heat two cups of white wine or champagne vinegar in a pot with 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns. Remove from heat once it boils.
4. Let the pickling liquid (step 3) fully cool before filling the Mason jar. This will keep the fruit from becoming too mushy.
5. Shake and shimmy your Mason jar and put in refrigerator. The grapes will be pickled in two days.
BONUS TIP: On my quest to find a good substitute for olives, I realized that a savory grape pickle could do the trick. I think they could act as a mischievous doppelgänger in tapenade and Mediterranean salads, fooling any palate. I can’t wait to test out this theory in the weeks to come.
*Read how the recipe author, Jessica Goldman, aka "Sodium Girl," changed her diet to revive her failing kidneys and improve her life with lupus.