5 Sites With Low-sodium Christmas recipes (one is our site!)

Google “Low Sodium Christmas recipes” and you won’t find a lot, unfortunately. We know, we just tried it. But we have found some for you, so don’t lose hope. Ourcommuntiynow,com, for example, runs through where you can find low-salt ways to make turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce. It sounds a bit Thanksgiving, but I have made turkey for Christmas too, so it’s feasible.

Epicurious.com has a page of side-dish recipes that are low in sodium.

Good Housekeeping has a piece called 35 Healthy Christmas Recipes That Still Taste Totally Indulgent. It seems to start with sides too but does have an interesting salad take on the traditional Italian Christmas Eve feast of the seven fishes.

And while not Christmas focued, tasteofhome.com does have 40 Low-Sodium Recipes That Are Kind to Your Heart which has some interesting sounding main courses you could make for Christmas.

And don’t forget to check our recipe page which has a host of special occasion low-sodium recipes to choose from, including a low-salt, low-fat take on a traditional Italian holiday manicotti.

My low-fat, low-salt manicotti, One of these has 128 calories, 1.8 grams of fat and 70 mgs of sodium. I eat five at a time

Pandemic Cooking: A Quick, and Tasty, Tilapia Recipe

I’ve been eating a lot more fish since my heart issues started back in 2012, but fish preparation can sometimes confuse people and take time. So when I came across a recipe called Easy Baked Tilapia (or Cod), how could I not check it out, and try it?

I used tilapia and the result was a very tasty dinner that was, indeed, easy to make. I made one major change to the recipe, however, switching in olive oil where it called for butter in the topping to get a healthier fat into the mix.

My baked tilapia just after it came out of the oven. Using panko breadcrumbs cuts the salt in the dish since they normally have less salt than regular breadcrumbs.

Also, because I had five large tilapia fillets instead of the four in the original recipe, I doubled the amount of everything to make the topping, which worked out great. I also used bottled lemon juice since I did not have a fresh lemon.

So, as with any recipe, be prepared to adjust depending on what you have available for cooking.

Here are the details:

Easy Baked Tilapia

  • PREP TIME 5 minutes
  • COOK TIME 15 minutes
  • TOTAL TIME 20 minutes
  • SERVINGS 4 servings
  • AUTHOR Holly Nilsson
  • COURSE Dinner
  • CUISINE Asian

Ingredients
4 filets white fish such as cod or tilapia
½ lemon
1 ½ tablespoons melted butter

Topping

  • ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1 teaspoon butter melted (I used olive oil instead)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Combine topping ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Rinse tilapia filets, pat dry and place on a pan sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Squeeze lemon juice over the filets.
  • Top with the Panko mixture.
  • Cook 15 minutes or just until cooked through and fish is flaky.
  • Broil for the last minute if desired

And kudos to Spendwithpennies.com for also listing the nutrition information for the dish.

NUTRITION INFORMATION
Calories: 240, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 35g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 100mg, Sodium: 203mg, Potassium: 532mg, Vitamin A: 390IU, Vitamin C: 8.5mg, Calcium: 57mg, Iron: 1.3mg

I think using the oil instead of the butter likely cut some, if mot all, of the saturated fat content too.

Here’s a Guide to Low-sodium Thanksgiving dishes

This year promises a Thanksgiving unlike our usual holidays thanks to the ongoing toll the Covid pandemic is taking. But hopefully people will still gather, albeit in smaller groups, to give thanks. And thos eon low-sodium diets will wonder what they can eat of the traditional Thanksgiving fare. I’d suggest starting our with one of our most popular posts, Here’s your low-sodium Thanksgiving menu!!!

Not enough there to suite your taste? Here are some other sites and recipes to look into:

Time to eat all those turkeys! Happy Thanksgiving!
Buy a fresh turkey to cut salt that comes in self-basting, frozen ones.

Low-Sodium Herb-Rubbed Turkey (Tasteofhome.com)

Low Sodium Thanksgiving (epicurious)

COMPLETE LOW SODIUM THANKSGIVING GUIDE (Hackingsalt.com)

50 Low Sodium Recipes for Thanksgiving! (The Daily Dish)

10 Low-sodium Thanksgiving recipes (Migraine Relief Recipes)

Pandemic recipe idea: Garlic Panko Flounder

I’m a big believer in buying what’s on sale each week and creating meals around those items. Recently, frozen flounder fillets were on sale at my local store, so I bought some and went recipe hunting.

The recipe I found to make them, Garlic Parmesan Flounder, was delicious and didn’t use fatty butter as did so many of the other flounder recipes I came across after a quick search. The cheese does have salt, so go light on it.

My garlic, parmesan flounder

Making it was fairly simple too. Let’s start with:

INGREDIENTS
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
4 fillets flounder
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 c. bread crumbs (I use panko crumbs, they’re lower in salt)
4 cloves garlic, minced
Juice and zest of 1 lemon (I used bottled lemon juice to taste)

Then the steops:

Preheat oven to 425°.

Drizzle 2 tablespoons oil on a large baking sheet. Season flounder with salt and pepper.

Combine Parmesan, bread crumbs, garlic, and lemon zest. Season with pepper.

Dredge fish in bread crumb mixture, pressing to coat. (I first coated the fillets with egg whites to hold the crumbs on)


Place fish on prepared baking sheet and drizzle with remaining two tablespoons oil and lemon juice.

Bake until golden and fish flakes easily with a fork, 20 minutes.

We had them with a side of steamed green beans for a wonderfully tasty fall meal.

A Labor Day grilling option — grilled lemon-rosemary chicken and leeks

Grilling chicken with rosemary and lemon is such a classic, you can;t go wrong making it this Labor Day. And here’s a new take on it that involves grillings leeks to give the chicken an added flavor dimension.

Food Network Rosemary Chicken
Rosemary, lemon and chicken are a natural, and tasty combination.

I found this on one of my go-to recipe sites, CookingLight.com

The claim is it only takes 20 minutes to make. That will likely depend on your skills. The only heart-healthy modification I’d make to this recipe would be to not use the butter or salt. Continue reading “A Labor Day grilling option — grilled lemon-rosemary chicken and leeks”

A pandemic recipe suggestion — steamed shrimp and watermelon salad

Shrimp is always a nice change-of-pace to build a meal around. I’m always looking for new recipes that include shrimp, such as one with fennel and cucumbers I wrote about. So I was attracted to this recipe I found on CookingLight.com for steamed shrimp and watermelon salad.

A wonderfully simple shrimp, fennel and cucumber salad
A wonderfully simple shrimp, fennel and cucumber salad

It sounds pretty basic to make, if you don’t want to devein shrimp, buy them already cooked, I find that a handy time saver. Doing that eliminates the first step of this recipe, which is cooking the shrimp. Continue reading “A pandemic recipe suggestion — steamed shrimp and watermelon salad”

If you love lemons, this recipe, with changes, is for you — grilled lemonade chicken

I was made a lemon-infused tilapia that tasted so lemony, my wife could not eat it. What can I say, I love lemons.

My grandparents all came from a section of Italy that runs from Naples south to Salerno. It’s a region where they grow lemons as big as your head — and they make limoncello, an alcoholic beverage that has become the region’s major export.

Start by lining a sheet of aluminum foil with lemon slices
I often grill fish on a bed of leons.

So anytime I see a recipe with lemons, I’m interested. That’s why Grilled Lemonade Chicken from the Food Network got my attention.

With a few changes, this can be a heart-healthy recipe as well:

The recipes uses chicken thighs. Those are the fattest part of a chicken. They taste good plain, so it’s no great cooking challenge to make them taste good. Substitute chicken breasts.

The instructions talk about skin, that’s also a fat-carrier. I normally cook all chicken skinless.

The recipe also says use Minute Maid lemonade. That’s high sugar, I only buy MinuteMaid’s reduced-sugar varieties. Availability seems to vary by market, so check where you normally shop. Continue reading “If you love lemons, this recipe, with changes, is for you — grilled lemonade chicken”

Stuffed Zucchini and Red Peppers ala Giada

I always enjoy watching Giadi De Laurentiis’ cooking shows, even though she often uses more fat or salt than I can eat on my restricted diet. But this recipe for stuffed zucchini and peppers caught my eye because it uses ground turkey instead of ground beef.

True, it calls for dark meat turkey, which is the highest inf at of any turkey meat. But you can easily substitute lean to extra lean ground turkey to cut the fat substantially.

Zucchini on the gas grill, basted with olive oil and Italian spices.
I normally grill zucchini but I may try stuffing them next.

Having ketchup in here surprised me too, I’d say use it or not to your taste and if you do use it, use a salt-free, low-sugar variety.

So, the ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, grated

1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

1 large egg

3 tablespoons ketchup

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano

1/4 cup dried plain bread crumbs

1 pound ground turkey, preferably dark meat

2 zucchini, ends removed, halved lengthwise and crosswise

1 short orange bell pepper, halved and seeded

1 short red bell pepper, halved and seeded

1 short yellow bell pepper, halved and seeded

1 1/2 cups marinara sauce Continue reading “Stuffed Zucchini and Red Peppers ala Giada”

Tomatoes are a summer gift, even during a pandemic

During this summer like no other, there is one thing to be thankful for — fresh tomatoes are here, whether you grow your own as I do, or buy them from farm stands or in farmers’ markets. When you taste a fresh tomato, you quickly realize those things we buy in the supermarkets are just pretenders to being real tomatoes.

A quick tomato salad I made recently with mozzarella and basil from our garden.

So if, like me, you stock up on tomatoes every summer, here’s just what you need from Cooking Light magazine — 100 Ways to Use Fresh Tomatoes This Summer.

The article is from 2018, but the recipes are largely timeless, so enjoy. Some that caught my eye as I scrolled through them —

Greek Tomato Salad

Cherry Tomato Confit

Red Snapper With Chunky Tomato-Watermelon Salsa

Seared Salmon with Balsamic-Blistered Tomatoes

Bruschetta with Warm Tomatoes

Pandemic snacking: Try sugar-free chocolate pudding

A lot has been written about people gaining weight while they sit home in quarantine because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The so-called “Quarantine 15” likely resulted from people loading up on high-fat, high-salt, high-sugar snacks. It’s been difficult for me not to do the same, and I have had my mini-binges as stress levels rose to hideous heights.

All you need to make pudding at home.

But I have found one snack that has no sugar and minimal fat — sugar-free chocolate pudding. You can buy it in pre-made cups, but those became harder and harder to find in my area as the pandemic persisted, so I bought the box variety instead and made it myself.

Chocolate pudding comes in two varieties, instant which requires no cooking, and the old-fashioned regular kind which requires you to do some very simple cooking. You can use either low-fat or no-fat skim milk, thus controlling the bad-fat levels you eat in the pudding you make.

The instant kind just requires you combines the powdered pudding mix with milk and mix it for a few minutes. I use an electric mixer but you can do it by hand with a whisk or fork too. The traditional kind requires heating the milk in a small pot on your stovetop and adding the mix, combining them in the pot.

This is my production from two boxes of pudding mix.

One regular-sized box requires two cups of milk, a pint, so two boxes work with a quart. I found a larger size box as well that requires three cups of milk.

Once mixed, you pour it into whatever small serving bowls or glasses you want and then put it in the refrigerator to cool and thicken.

If you need some chocolate every day, this I a great way to get it. Enjoy!

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