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Queens Chronicle

Weeknight Wonders

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Posted: Monday, March 3, 2014 1:00 am | Updated: 4:32 am, Mon Mar 3, 2014.

(Family Features) When it comes to making better decisions about the foods you serve your family, today is the perfect time to start.

Poor diet choices can have a huge effect on overall health and well-being. For many families, one of the biggest culprits can be found in the cupboard or even on the dining room table. While salt is one of the most popular seasonings used to make recipes work and add full flavor, its consumption has become a major concern to health organizations everywhere. Luckily, new products aimed towards sodium reduction, such as Salt for Life Sea Salt Blend, allow families to enjoy their favorite meals without cutting out that much-loved salty flavor.

Great Taste, Less Sodium

Please your family’s taste buds and their hearts with delicious recipes that serve up classic appeal without the harmful sodium. Pan-seared salmon and garden-fresh spinach are featured in this scrumptious Lemon-Basil Salmon with Whole Wheat Farfalle dish. Are you in need of a soothing soup for a cold night? Look no further than this hearty recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup. Or, simplify your weeknight meal routine with Sloppy Joes and satisfy a sweet tooth with Chocolate Cookie Brownies. All of these recipes feature the superb seasoning of Salt for Life Sea Salt Blend, which offers 70 percent less sodium than regular salts and combines the all-natural properties of sea salt enriched with potassium. For more great recipes, visit www.saltforlife.com.

Reasons to Reduce

According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average human body only requires about 220 milligrams of sodium per day. However, most Americans take in more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium within that time frame. By taking action to reduce sodium consumption now, you can lessen your chance of developing one of the following harmful associations:

  • According to a study from the Harvard School of Public Health, salt is connected to one in 10 deaths in the U.S.
     
  • New research from Georgia Regents University reveals teens are now consuming twice the recommended amount of sodium per day, and that there is a direct association between this and adolescent obesity.
     
  • Hypertension, heart attack, stroke and premature death can all be attributed to a high sodium diet, according to the American Heart Association.
     
  • A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that children who become addicted to high-sodium foods at a young age increase their risk for developing hypertension later in life.
     
  • On a global scale, hypertension is linked to more than 34 million deaths each year.
     
  • Research conducted by the World Cancer Research Fund reports a reduction in high-sodium foods can reduce the chance of developing stomach cancer.
Sloppy Joes

Recipe: Sloppy Joes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of extra-lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1 onion, small diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 red pepper, small diced
  • 1 1/2 cup no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon Salt for Life Sea Salt Blend Black pepper, cracked
  • 8 whole-wheat hamburger buns

Preparation:

  1. Brown meat and onion in large sauté pan. Strain remaining fat and juices from pan. Add garlic, jalapeno and red pepper; cook about 5 minutes more. Stir in remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 5 to 10 more minutes. Scoop 1/2-cup portion onto each bun and serve.

8 sandwiches

Chicken Noodle Soup

Recipe: Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, small diced
  • 3 large celery stalks, small diced
  • 2 large carrots, small diced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 pound chicken breasts, 1 inch diced
  • 1 teaspoon basil, dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon rosemary, dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme, dried
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 quarts unsalted chicken stock
  • 1/2 pound farfalle noodles
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, rough chopped
  • 4 teaspoons Salt for Life Sea Salt Blend

Preparation:

  1. Brown onion, celery, carrots and butter in large sauce pot, about 5 minutes. Sear diced chicken in pan with vegetable mixture, about 5 minutes. Add basil, rosemary and thyme. Combine corn starch, sugar and 1/2 cup of chicken stock, stir and set aside. Add remaining chicken stock. Bring entire mixture to a boil. Whisk in stock, corn starch and sugar mixture. Add farfalle, boil for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to simmer and continue to cook 5 to 10 minutes. Finish with parsley and Salt for Life.

6 to 8 (1-cup) servings

Lemon-Basil Salmon with Whole Wheat Farfalle

Recipe: Lemon-Basil Salmon with Whole Wheat Farfalle

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound whole-wheat farfalle pasta
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt for Life Sea Salt Blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, cracked
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 (4-ounce) pieces of salmon
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh zest of one lemon
  • 2 cups spinach

Preparation:

  1. Boil pasta according to directions, approximately 10 minutes. Strain pasta from water, season and toss with 1/4 teaspoon Salt for Life, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, garlic and olive oil. Heat non-stick saute pan on medium-high heat with vegetable oil. Season salmon with 1/4 teaspoon Salt for Life and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook in pan until about medium to medium-rare (5 to 7 minutes). Combine pasta mixture, basil, capers, lemon juice and zest. Portion 1/2 cup spinach on top of 1/4 pasta mixture onto plate, mounded in center. Top pasta with 1 piece of salmon.

4 servings

Chocolate Cookie Brownies

Recipe: Chocolate Cookie Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt for Life Sea Salt Blend
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa nibs
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk powdered sugar, cocoa powder and Salt for Life together in large bowl. Whisk egg, egg whites and vanilla into powdered sugar mixture and continue to fold in cocoa nibs and chocolate. Spoon tablespoon-sized portions onto parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 14 to 16 minutes.

2 dozen cookies

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