Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Low Fat and Low Salt Condiments

When I first started my low-fat, low-salt diet, I bought a number of extra seasonings thinking that I would be using them regularly. The first three days I did use them. After that, my salt-jaded palate cleared and I began to enjoy what food really tastes like for the first time. I still occasionally use Mrs. Dash Table Blend but for the most part, I use the spices I like in the proportions I choose.

I have really started to enjoy the flavors in brown rice, vegetables (especially mushrooms), and fruit. I occasionally use my seasoned sour cream. This was my first attempt at creating a condiment. I mixed 1 teaspoon of horseradish with ½ cup of non-fat sour cream and added garlic powder, onion powder, freshly ground pepper, and Mrs. Dash Table Blend. It has quite a bit of flavor and is good on beef, chicken and pork. I have since added 1 teaspoon of prepared mustard to the blend and sometimes carry it with me when I eat out.

Seasoned Sour Cream

½ C Non-fat sour cream
1 t. Horseradish
1/8 t. Onion powder
1/8 t. Garlic powder
Ground black pepper to taste
Mrs. Dash Table Blend to taste
1 t. Prepared mustard (optional)

One teaspoon contains, 3.33 calories, no fat, .33 g protein, .5 g carbohydrates, and only 13.54 mg sodium.

Vinegar is almost miraculous in its ability to wake up the flavors of foods. It is good splashed on or cooked in. I keep a cruet of vinegar on the table at home and on my desk at work. My standby is apple cider vinegar but, I also love balsamic, wine vinegars of all types, and herbal vinegars. I’ve found that using vinegar takes away any thought of using salt.

I love salsa and use it on eggbeaters omelets and with my corn tortillas and fish tacos. I have found that among the commercially available salsas, the mild one typically have less sodium. My favorite is Frieda’s mild salsa found in produce section of my supermarket. It is best to make your own by chopping a couple of tomatoes, some onion, some red or green bell pepper, cilantro, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and the hot pepper of your choice (jalapeno, habanero, chile). Genuine Tabasco sauce is the low salt choice as some of the imitators can have up to 200 mg sodium per teaspoon while Tabasco has only 10 mg. I also like salsas that are made with fruit. One year I made and canned four different varieties of salsa and gave them at presents at Christmas. The favorite was this salsa with a Polynesian flavor.

Polynesian Salsa

1 cup chopped peeled pineapple
1 cup chopped peeled mango
1 cup chopped yellow or red bell (red is sweeter) pepper
2/3 cup chopped peeled kiwi fruit
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon fresh lime or lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon minced Serrano chili* (with seeds)
Ground white pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and season with white pepper to taste. The white pepper is important. Just as much of the hot in Hot Sour soup comes from the white pepper, much of the kick in this salsa comes from it as well. So, feel free to kick it up as much as you want. Until you find your comfort level, you might want to start by adding ½ teaspoon, letting it sit so the flavors blend, and repeat until you find the right balance for yourself. This salsa is great on chicken breasts and mild white fish.

Polynesian Salsa (per 2 Tablespoons): Calories, 9.22 calories; .05 g fat; .58 mg sodium; .16 g protein; 2.34 g carbohydrates.

More on condiments later.

Here's my recap from yesterday.

Daily Dietary Recap-3/13/2007
Calories Protein Carbohydrates SodiumFat % Calories from Fat
1358.12 69.38 g 209.47 g1046 mg 21.01 g 13.92%


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