Thursday, August 26, 2010

Flavorful Low-Sodium Family Meals

I love cooking at home... it allows me to really experiment with flavors and of course cut out all the other stuff we don't really need. Like all that excess sodium and sugar found in some prepared foods! ...and of course, I get to make the things I really love to eat!

My DH, a vegetable farmer, always likes to say that salt it a cheap way to provide flavor. If vegetables are picked at their peak, they don't need any cheap tricks. The problem of course comes from out of season foods, or foods that have been picked before they have vine ripened. Trying buying what your local farmers market has to offer, or look for local produce stands. I know, sometimes that is easier said than done.

So, how do I inject flavor without pulling a sodium shortcut? Real herbs & seasoning, of course! I tend to be a bit heavy handed with the garlic and love bringing in old favorites from my garden such as basil, thyme, oregano and chives. I tried to look at the herbs I used on a regular basis when planning my garden. All of the heavily used ones have a prominent spot in my backyard garden project. With a bit of weeding, water and compost, they pretty much take care of themselves. But before I had the room to garden and the time for even a window herb box, I did a lot of cooking with Mrs. Dash.

When I think of this kitchen staple, I still think of one flavor, the original. I remember people saying, "just add a bit of Mrs. Dash." I have used it on everything from my scrambled eggs to poached chicken. I even knew people who enjoyed it on their popcorn! But, have you seen all the flavors there are now?
"15 flavors of Mrs. Dash® Salt-Free Seasoning Blends add delicious taste to everything in your kitchen from seafood to salads, and always with no MSG. Each Mrs. Dash® Seasoning Blend is an all-natural blend of 14 natural herbs and spices and adds unique flavor to every dish." For inspiration, check out all the great Mrs. Dash products!

At the top of my list would be to try the Mrs. Dash® Italian Medley Seasoning Blend. Yum, doesn't that sound good? Sounds like the perfect addition to my pasta creations.

Well, if you are looking for some low-sodium meal inspiration, be sure to check out the Mrs. Dash website for a whole host of tips, ideas and great recipes. Wouldn't you like to try this delicious recipe tonight:

Baked Chicken Siciliano Recipe

Ingredients:
  • 3 Tbsp. Mrs. Dash® Tomato Basil Seasoning
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 oz. can no-sodium tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. shredded low fat Parmesan cheese
  • cooking spray
Directions:
  1. Heat a large sauté pan to medium. Spray pan with cooking spray and sauté chicken breasts on each side for 2 minutes.
  2. Combine tomato sauce with 2 Tbsp. of water and 2 Tbsp. Mrs. Dash® Tomato Basil Seasoning.
  3. Add tomato mixture to chicken. Sprinkle evenly with remaining Mrs. Dash® Tomato Basil seasoning and Parmesan. Turn heat to simmer and cover. Cook an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat. Keep covered. Rest 2 minutes. Plate, spooning pan juices over each breast.
  5. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until chicken reaches 170°F (77°C).
So, how do you make low-sodium meals for your family? I would love to hear your ideas and recipes.

Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post while participating in the Mrs. Dash and TwitterMoms blogging program for a chance to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here
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