8 Tips to Shake the Salt

shake off the salt

The American diet is rich in high-sodium foods and, between processed foods and eating out, we are often getting much more than we need. Some say salt is a substitute for the flavor that used to exist when we consumed fresh, locally-grown produce. Though an easy way to flavor food, salt is a cheap and rather pedestrian flavoring agent.

Excess salt is a danger to the body and the brain. It can raise blood pressure, risk of heart attack and stroke, put a strain on your kidneys, and more. Did you know it can also lead to over-eating and cause weight gain?

Here are some tips to enjoy satisfying flavor in our foods, without added salt.

  1. Huddle up with herbs. What cuisines do you enjoy – Italian, Mexican, French, Indian? Choose some herbs that fit the flavor profiles and add them to your dish. For example, oregano, rosemary, and basil are go-to Italian herbs for elevating your pasta dish.
  2. Citrus zest and juices. Grate the skin of organic lemons, limes, or oranges for sweet and/or savory meals. Spritz fresh lime onto your tacos or lemon into a lentil soup.
  3. Roasted root vegetables. Lightly toss your favorite root vegetables (such as beets, parsnips, etc) in melted coconut oil and roast at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until tender, turning over once halfway through roasting.
  4. Eat slowly. Chewing your food well breaks down the carbohydrates, making it taste sweeter. Slowing down while eating introduces your tastebuds to the complex flavors in your food and makes for a more pleasurable meal experience.
  5. Caramelized onions. Sauté diced onions in some olive oil, stirring frequently until browned (about 45 minutes to 1 hour). Use in a French onion soup or on rice dishes, burgers or veggie burgers, omelets, and more!
  6. Organic food can be more flavorful. Try some organic strawberries or eggs and see if you can tell a difference between them and their conventional counterparts.
  7. De-glaze the pan. By simply using some balsamic vinegar, which combines with those sticky brown bits in your cooking pan, you can make a delicious sauce.
  8. Spice it up. Cumin adds a depth of flavor to a number of dishes, as does adobo, curry powder and even nutmeg.

Evaluate your salt consumption and then challenge yourself to incorporate one or more of these ideas. Your tastebuds and body will appreciate it.

 

Meatless Monday: Cauliflower & Walnut Crumbles

cauliflower taco

Whether you’re trying a Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, or want to creatively use some delicious and healthy faux ‘ground beef’ crumbles, it’s your lucky day! This recipe provides a delicious alternative to store-bought processed soy crumbles with questionable ingredients. It’s smoky, savory and completely plant-based.

Use it for tacos, lasagna, spaghetti and marinara sauce, chili, and wraps!

Ingredients

1 head of cauliflower (about 3 cups)
8oz fresh mushrooms (we used cremini)
1 cup walnuts
3 tablespoons coconut aminos or tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinaigrette
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons adobo seasoning
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper and of salt

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. After removing the core and leaves of the cauliflower, start pulsing it in food processor (depending on how large your food processor is, this may require multiple batches); it should have the look and consistency of rice. Pulse the mushrooms and the walnuts until about the same size pieces as the cauliflower. Add cauliflower, mushrooms, and walnuts into a large bowl and mix in coconut aminos or tamari. Stir in all spices including salt and pepper and mix well. Line baking sheet with parchment paper (to prevent sticking) and spread mixture on top. Bake for 25 minutes then stir and turn mixture (to ensure evenness) before baking another 15-20 minutes.

If making tacos, garnish with cilantro, chopped red onion and romaine lettuce, and your favorite salsa. For spaghetti sauce, add meat crumbles to your heated tomato sauce along with some chopped parsley and stir well.