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Low-sodium recipes still pack a flavor punch

Using the right blend of seasonings -- without salt -- can make delicious sloppy Joe sliders.
Using the right blend of seasonings -- without salt -- can make delicious sloppy Joe sliders. Getty Images/iStockphoto

Donna Johnston of Long Beach, Mississippi, wants a low-sodium recipe for sloppy Joes, and, as usual, a reader is happy to oblige.

Tammy Jordan e-mailed her favorite sloppy Joe recipe that contains only 100 milligrams of sodium per serving.

The recipe combines frozen seasoning blend, which is made up of onion, bell pepper and celery (or the trinity), seasoning, ketchup and mustard, but no salt.

“These sloppy Joes are easy and delicious,” Jordan said.

A skillet full of these would be great for today’s Super Bowl. Just add the buns and any desired toppings. Easy does it entertaining. Add some chips, dips and a dessert and the stage is set for game day food.

As promised, I have a no-salt seasoning blend that I have made since I had a gourmet shop that Hurricane Katrina destroyed. This blend keeps well in an air-tight jar. This seasoning mix contains no salt yet packs a punch to any recipe.

I have found that if there is enough seasoning or lemon juice in a recipe, salt is not needed. Oregano and lemon juice work well together on grilled or baked chicken or fish. No one ever knows the salt is missing.

My daughter and I marvel at how well lemon juice and herbs make foods taste so good.

One teaspoon of salt has 2,300 milligrams of sodium, which is 300 milligrams more than the recommended daily allowance. A low-sodium diet means eating no more than 1,500 milligrams of the stuff daily, according to experts at www.howstuffworks.com.

Those like Johnston who must follow a low-sodium diet not only have to watch salt intake but need to read food labels. Sodium is a hidden ingredient in most processed foods. That is why cooking with fresh vegetables and ingredients is so important. Processed foods also slow down metabolism and decrease energy levels.

Pork chops with orange sauce contains no salt and is a quick-fix dinner recipe for family or company.

Salute to high school chefs

K. Mortensen bought a King cake at a Coast supermarket, and her nephew brought home a slice of King cake that his cooking class at Harrison Central High School made.

The family did a taste test.

“The cooking class won hands’ down,” said Mortensen. “I think students and especially the teacher should have a mention in your column about how students are learning life lessons.”

Well, K. Mortensen, I agree.

The students in these culinary classes are so talented. I have seen first-hand how well they do in national competitions, especially Skills USA, and how much they enjoy these classes and competitions. Food Network’s “Iron Chefs” have nothing on these students.

Bravo to the school districts that have seen a need for culinary classes and life skills.

LOW-SODIUM SLOPPY JOES

1 pound ground beef

1 bag frozen seasoning blend (chopped onion, pepper and celery)

2 tablespoons onion powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons black pepper

4 tablespoons ketchup (use more if needed)

2 tablespoons yellow mustard (more if needed)

Buns, slider buns, or Hawaiian rolls

Cook beef in skillet until just starting to brown. Add seasoning blend, garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper. Cook until meat is browned, and onions and peppers are soft. Drain grease from meat and return to skillet over low heat. Add ketchup and mustard to meat and cook on low for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve on buns or rolls of your choice. Makes 8 sloppy Joes on regular-size bun or more on slider buns or Hawaiian rolls. (100 milligrams sodium per serving in meat mixture).

– Submitted by Tammy Jordan

NO-SALT SEASONING BLEND

1 tablespoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons celery seed

1 1/2 teaspoons ground white pepper

1 tablespoon dry mustard powder

2 teaspoons dried finely chopped lemon peel

1 teaspoon pepper

Mix all the ingredients together in a small mixing bowl, stirring until thoroughly combined. Store in a dark, cool place in a tightly sealed container. Use on meats, poultry and fish or at the table for a salt-free substitute.

PORK CHOPS IN ORANGE SAUCE

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon pepper

4 boneless pork loin chops (about 6 ounces each)

3/4 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons sugar

6 whole cloves

1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 cup water

Combine paprika and pepper; rub over both sides of pork chops. Brown chops in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray.

Combine the orange juice, sugar, cloves and orange zest; pour over pork. Cover and simmer for 4-5 minutes or until a thermometer reads 145 degrees. Remove chops and keep warm.

In a small bowl, combine flour and water until smooth; stir into cooking juices. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Discard cloves. Serve sauce with pork chops.

– From Taste of Home magazine

Andrea Yeager can be reached at ayeager51@cableone.net and Cooks Exchange, 205 DeBuys Road, Gulfport, MS 39507.
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