Read an Excerpt
Cutting down on salt, or sodium, in your diet is a good idea for a lot of reasons. Maybe your doctor recommended that you reduce your sodium intake to control high blood pressure or congestive heart failure. Maybe you just decided on your own that you’d like to cut down on salt.
You may have put off making the change if your idea of low-sodium cooking is that it would be about as tasty and appealing as cardboard on a plate. Well, you’re in for a wonderful surprise! Regardless of your reason, if you’re trying to cut the salt, this second edition of the American Heart Association Low-Salt Cookbook is your cookbook!
Much has changed on the food front since 1990, when the first edition of this cookbook was published. For instance, convenience foods, low-sodium foods, and other ingredients that simply didn’t exist or weren’t widely available a decade ago are easy to find now, so we’ve incorporated lots of them into the existing recipes. We’ve also reduced the total fat and saturated fat in many of them. In addition, this updated cookbook contains more than 50 brand-new recipes. With their emphasis on fresh ingredients, herbs, and spices, both the old and the new recipes pack flavor into each dish. You’ll be so impressed by these taste sensations, you’ll never miss the salt. Finally, the revision includes fiber in the nutrient analysis of every recipe.
Most of us know from experience that change—any change—is hard. Changing longtime eating habits is no exception, so take it slowly, one step at a time. With this book to help you make gradual changes, you can devise a low-salt eating plan that lets you eat healthfully without feeling deprived. In a few months, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start eating this way years ago.
Acknowledgments The credit for originally recognizing the need for a low-sodium, low-saturated fat, low-cholesterol cookbook—and for the hard work and dedication that goes into developing such a book—goes to a group of American Heart Association volunteers in the Cleveland area.
The teamwork and expertise of those volunteers resulted in the publication in 1978 of Cooking Without Your Salt Shaker. The task force members and significant contributors were Sharon Reichman, R.D., chairperson; Charlene Krejci, R.D.; Karen Wilcoxon Izso, R.D.; Grace Petot, R.D.; Sally Gleason, R.D.; Tab Forgac, R.D.; Rosemary Manni, R.D.; Auretha Pettigrew, R.D.; Robert Post, M.D.; Mary Ann Weber, R.D.; and the Cleveland Dietetic Association, Diet Therapy Section.
That cookbook was available only through the American Heart Association, but its popularity convinced us to offer it to a wider audience. At the same time, changes in science and trends in food preparation prompted us to update and expand the book significantly in the American Heart Association Low-Salt Cookbook, published in 1990.
Now we’ve done it again. In this new edition of the American Heart Association Low-Salt Cookbook, our recipe developers have added exciting recipes to give you more variety. They have also updated many of the recipes from the first edition, using new ingredients and more convenience foods.
Thanks to all those who worked on this second edition—this is a real upgrade to low-salt cooking! American Heart Association Science Consultant: Terry Bazzarre, Ph.D.
American Heart Association Consumer Publications Director: Jane Anneken Ruehl
American Heart Association Science Editor: Ann Melugin Williams
American Heart Association Senior Editor: Janice Roth Moss
American Heart Association Editor: Jacqueline Fornerod Haigney
American Heart Association Assistant Editor: Roberta Westcott Sullivan
American Heart Association Senior Marketing Manager: Bharati Gaitonde
Recipe Developers: Carol Ritchie Nancy S. Hughes Ruth Mossok Johnston Frank Criscuolo Sarah Fritschner Christy Rost
Nutrient Analyst: Tammi Hancock, R.D.
You’re about to learn a new and exciting way to cook—less salt, more flavor.
They Said It Couldn’t Be Done
We often hear the claim that food cooked without added salt is boring, flat, and tasteless. The recipes in this book will prove that’s wrong.
With low-salt cooking, you’ll learn to use your imagination. You’ll try spices and herb combinations you may never have heard of before. You’ll create new taste sensations with exotic spices and oils, with wines and liqueurs. Since one of the greatest challenges in cutting down on salt is the high amount of sodium found in many commercial products, including condiments, you’ll even learn to make your own low-sodium versions of mustard, horseradish, chili sauce, pickles, and other foods that can spice up your meals. Because food manufacturers realize that not everyone needs or wants high-sodium products, they’ve added many lower-sodium food products since the first edition of this cookbook was published. We’ve used reduced-sodium, low-sodium, and no-salt-added ingredients in many of these recipes.
The most important thing to remember is that cooking without added salt can be as easy or as elaborate as you wish—and it can always be deliciously flavorful.
What You Can Do About Heart Disease and Stroke
Through years of research, much of it supported by the American Heart Association, science has learned about many of the possible causes of heart attack and stroke—and what can be done to try to prevent them.
We know that the most effective ways to help prevent these and other cardiovascular diseases are •Controlling high blood pressure •Being physically active •Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight •Controlling diabetes •Having a desirable blood cholesterol level •Avoiding tobacco
As a result, more and more Americans have begun to take charge of their own health. Millions are watching what they eat—counting calories, cutting down on saturated fat and cholesterol in their diet, and helping to control their high blood pressure by reducing the salt in their diet. Millions are walking, running, and working out at health centers. Millions more have stopped smoking. All these lifestyle changes work together to promote health and prevent disease.
Eating with Your Heart in Mind The recipes in this cookbook can help you make changes toward a more healthful lifestyle. Low in salt, they are also low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Watching your fat intake does more than just help your heart. It helps your waistline, too, if you also limit calories. All these changes can help lower your risk of heart and blood vessel disease.
Depending on whether you feel adventurous (Buffalo Baked in Pumpkin, page 183) or in need of comfort food (Meat Loaf, page 158), you’ll find a choice of sure-to-please recipes in this cookbook. When you savor the exotic taste of our Mango-Havarti Crepes (page 14) or a light, flavor-filled bite of Mediterranean Fish Fillets (page 82), you’ll realize that help-your-heart cooking is creative and delicious.
So go ahead and take the salt shaker off the table. Then pick up this cookbook. Consider it the beginning of a great culinary adventure.
If you have questions, ask your doctor or call your local American Heart Association or 800-AHA-USA1 (800-242-8721). Also, check our website at www.americanheart.org. We’re here to help.
How to Use These Recipes
When planning menus, remember to read the analysis accompanying each recipe to help you keep track of your sodium, saturated fat, cholesterol, and calorie intake. Also listed are total fat, monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, protein, carbohydrate, fiber, calcium, and potassium values. All values are rounded to whole numbers.
Note that the values for saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fat may not add up precisely to the total fat value in the recipe. That’s because rounding affects the total and also because the total fat includes not only fatty acids but also other fatty substances and glycerol. Fatty acids are the chemical form that saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats have in foods. Each type of fat consists of several different fatty acids.
Each analysis is based on a single serving. The analyses do not include optional ingredients. They also do not include ingredients suggested as accompaniments unless this is noted in the analysis.
In addition to listing the number of servings, we’ve indicated the size of the serving in ounces, cups, or tablespoons.
Most calories in alcohol evaporate when heated, and this reduction is reflected in the calculations. When a marinade is used in a recipe, some of the liquid is discarded. This is also accounted for in our calculations.
All the recipes were analyzed using mostly unsalted or low-sodium ingredients, such as no-salt-added tomato sauce and light soy sauce. In a few instances where we used “regular” ingredients, such as “acceptable margarine,” you may wish to use the low-salt version.
If a recipe calls for acceptable margarine, we used corn oil stick margarine in the analysis. For these recipes, choose any margarine that lists liquid vegetable oil as its first ingredient. Some recipes, especially baked goods, need acceptable stick margarine or light stick margarine for texture. Many other recipes can be made with light tub margarine, which is lower in fat (and higher in water) than the others. We used the lowest-fat margarine possible in each recipe.
For “acceptable vegetable oil,” we used canola oil in the analysis. Acceptable vegetable oils include monounsaturated oils, such as canola and olive, and polyunsaturated oils, such as corn and safflower. (For more information on fats and oils, see pages 354–356.)
Special Diet Instructions If your doctor or dietitian has given you a low-sodium diet instruction sheet, check it against the ingredients in our recipes. If there is a difference—for example, your instructions tell you to use only unsalted bread but our recipe calls for regular bread, follow your sheet. Such substitutions will result in slightly different values from those listed in our nutrient analysis for that particular recipe.
Finally, although specific ingredients are listed for each recipe, feel free to experiment or substitute when necessary—as long as your ingredient substitutions don’t add sodium or fat. For instance, interchanging herbs, spices, vinegars, and vegetables offers variety without substantially changing the nutritional value of the dish. Above all, remember the cardinal rule of adventurous cooking and eating: Have fun!