A different option for low-salt, canned tomatoes

I’m a big fan of making my own tomato sauce (we called it gravy in my Italian-American family) to have with whole wheat pasta. Almost any prepared sauce from a store, be it jarred or canned, will be loaded with salt.

Something new to me, extra heavy tomatoes.
Something new to me, extra heavy tomatoes.

Look for the low-salt canned tomatoes when making your own, though, usually any San Marzano tomato will be lower in salt than no-name varieties, as I’ve written before. That said, I was surprised to find a new variation on canned tomatoes at our local Valli Produce.

As you can see, the can calls them “Extra Heavy Crushed Tomatoes.” I thought that was just marketing hype until I opened them. They were really thick, more like a tomato paste than crushed tomatoes. Continue reading “A different option for low-salt, canned tomatoes”

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Merry Christmas! Here’s some low-salt, low-sugar dinner recipes

Merry Christmas to all my readers, thank you for stopping by!

The wonderful smell of tomato sauce cooking on the stove is wafting through my house as I write this post. What better special treat to make for Christmas Day than an Italian pasta dish with whole wheat or multi-grain pasta and low- or no-fat cheese?

Baked mostaccoli, or do you call them ziti?
Baked mostaccoli, or do you call them ziti?

For a side dish, make turkey meatballs from extra lean or lean ground turkey, depending on your preference. My 12 Days of no sugar, no salt, no fat Christmas recipes includes two choices for Christmas day, mini-manicotta with low-fat ricotta cheese in them, or baked mostaccoli using the same low-fat cheese.

Either will wow your family and friends, and in my opinion can be one of the few meals you make that will truly fill you up. So enjoy, and check my other recipe for this holiday season.

Merry Christmas to all my readers, thank you for stopping by!
John

Chicken Parmesan: a low-fat, low-salt alternative recipe

Bake in a 350-degree over for about an hour. If you must have cheese, go for fat-free mozzarella, but be careful of the salt you’re adding by using even fat-free cheese. I’ve come to eat them without cheese so I don’t have to worry about the added salt.

Chicken Parmesan is a classic Italian-American dish, served in many an old-school Italian restaurants and once a favorite of mine. But the traditional way of preparing it, breading a chicken breast and smothering it with cheese, is out for me since my angioplasty and my new low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar diet.

So I’ve come up with my own modified version, which I alluded to in a recent post about Trader Joe’s no-salt added marinara sauce. Here’s a step-by-step guide to make this dish. Continue reading “Chicken Parmesan: a low-fat, low-salt alternative recipe”

Trader Joe’s salt-free marinara sauce: worth a try

The taste was a bit peppery to me when I first tried it. Like many ingredient offerings that go low-salt, the makers here may have thought pepper was a good substitute. I generally just want to taste the tomatoes though.

I wrote last year about finding a low-salt pre-made tomato sauce for the days when I don’t have any of my home-made version frozen and ready to use or don’t have the time to make some from scratch. I’ve bought Muir Glen and also found some house brand salt-free sauce at my local Jewel. Recently, though, I saw another choice at Trader Joe’s, its private label marinara sauce with no salt added.

Trader Joe's organic low-salt marinara sauce was a bit peppery for my taste but will do in a pinch.
Trader Joe’s organic low-salt marinara sauce was a bit peppery for my taste but will do in a pinch.

The taste was a bit peppery to me when I first tried it. Like many ingredient offerings that go low-salt, the makers here may have thought pepper was a good substitute. I generally just want to taste the tomatoes though. The pepper taste was still there after cooking. If you’re a pepper fan, you should enjoy it. For me it was just ok. Continue reading “Trader Joe’s salt-free marinara sauce: worth a try”

Can You Find Pre-made Low-Salt Tomato Sauce?

I’ve also been searching for prepared tomato sauce with little or no salt. Standard brands in mainstream supermarkets have tons of salt in them. But I found this Muir Glen product that fits my needs in a pinch.

Tomato sauce (or gravy as my Italian-American family called it) is one of the few sauces I can still eat since my angioplasty and being put on a no-salt, no-sugar, no-fat diet.

But making sauce from canned tomatoes can create a product with way too much salt, depending on the tomato brand and variety you buy.

Always check for salt in any canned tomato product you buy.
Always check for salt in any canned tomato product you buy.

But who has hours to spend making tomato sauce more than on a rare occasion? So I’ve also been searching for prepared tomato sauce with little or no salt. Standard brands in mainstream supermarkets have tons of salt in them. But I found this Muir Glen product that fits my needs in a pinch.

You can see on its nutrition label that it has only 10 mgs per serving or 70 mgs for the entire can. The can is enough for a meal for two, or two servings, in my estimation, not the seven servings the can indicates. But even then, half a can and 35 mgs or salt is several hundred mgs less than any mainstream brand. The sauce itself was a bit watery for my taste, but it worked well to use it for baking chicken in tomato sauce and giving some flavor to otherwise dry chicken breasts.
John