Heart Healthy: 3 Recipes That Have All the Flavor and No Added Salt

Heart Healthy: 3 Recipes That Have All the Flavor and No Added Salt

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healthy-eating-elderlyWe've known for some time now that too much salt can increase blood pressure and harm your heart. Eating less salt in your diet, on the other hand, can lower your risk of high blood pressure.

Unfortunately, many foods that Americans buy have a lot of sodium.

As Americans, many of us have become desensitized to the taste of salt and sugar— the two agents most used to preserve processed food. But great taste doesn't have to come from just those two flavorings; we forget about all the fresh and savory herbs that can liven up our cuisine and make salt less necessary.

To promote the use of these as salt substitutes in the diet, August 29th has been designated National More Herbs, Less Salt Day.

So, in honor of the observance, try some of our favorite low-sodium recipes that feature herbs as their primary flavoring.

Lime Thyme Trout

What You'll Need

2 trout fillets

1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme (you can sub 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon virgin olive oil (canola may be substituted)

1/2 teaspoon black pepper (coarse-ground)

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, ground (may be reduced to taste)

1 lime


1.) Combine all the ingredients (except trout) in a plastic zipper bag. Shake together until of a consistent texture.

2.) Coat trout filets in marinade by gently tossing in plastic bag with mixture, or by generously basting both sides (tossing together works best).

3.) Cover and marinate in refrigerator at least 2 hours.

4.) When you're ready to cook, discard the excess marinade and grill, broil or sauté trout about 10-15 minutes, turning once, until flesh flakes easily with a fork.

Makes 2 servings. Each serving includes just 1% of your recommended daily allowance of sodium! Serve with a side of basmati rice or corn grits, fresh pineapple and a chilled Riesling wine.

Lentil Walnut Stew

What You'll Need

8 ounces (about 1-1/2 cups) of dry lentils

2 cups vegetable stock

1 peeled carrot, chopped into thirds

1 peeled onion (Vidalia are especially good)

1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

1 cup fresh mint leaves

1/2 cup capers, drained and rinsed

6 tablespoons walnut oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

ground black pepper, to taste

herbal salt substitute, to taste


1.) Place lemon juice and walnut oil in a jar with a lid. Cover and shake well. Add salt substitute. Set aside.

2.) Rinse lentils in a fine-meshed sieve under cold water. Place drained lentils in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. When the water boils, remove and drain lentils in sieve. Rinse again under cold water.

3.) Return lentils to saucepan, add vegetable stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and add carrot and onion. Simmer uncovered until lentils are cooked (cook until lentils are al dente).

4.) Remove carrot and onion. Discard or use in another dish. Drain lentils through sieve.

5.) In a large bowl, mix lentils, walnuts and capers. Add ground black pepper (to taste). Add lemon juice-walnut oil mixture (again to taste— you might not use all of it). Toss together well. Allow lentils to cool for about 3-5 minutes. Add fresh mint and toss again.

Makes 6 servings. Low sodium and vegan! Serve warm or room temperature, with a side of warmed pita or naan bread and mint tea. Will keep for 2 days, covered, in refrigerator.

Dijon-Tarragon Chicken Crème

What You'll Need

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 tablespoon butter or Earth Balance spread

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons fresh tarragon, chopped

herbal salt substitute, to taste

ground black pepper, to taste


1.) Heat oil and melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.

2.) Season chicken with herbal salt substitute and pepper.

3.) Place chicken breasts in skillet with butter and oil mixture. Brown on both sides. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and continue cooking approximately 15 minutes, turning once, until chicken juices run clear. Remove chicken and set aside, keep warm.

4.) Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir cream into the pan, scraping up any brown bits left in bottom of the pan. Mix in mustard and tarragon. Continue stirring over medium-low heat approximately 5 minutes or until sauce has thickened.

5.) Return chicken to skillet and coat with sauce.

6.) Drizzle chicken with remaining sauce before serving.

Makes 4 servings. Each serving has 9% of your recommended daily allowance of sodium. Serve with a side of sautéed asparagus, roasted new potatoes and a glass of pinot grigio or rosé.

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Bryan Reynolds
August 28, 2014
Bryan Reynolds is the Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations for Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS). Bryan is responsible for developing and implementing ERS' digital marketing strategy, and overseeing the website, social media outlets, audio and video content and online advertising. After originally attending The Ohio State University, he graduated from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, where he earned a Bachelor of fine arts focused on electronic media. Bryan loves to share his passion for technology by assisting older adults with their computer and mobile devices. He has taught several classes within ERS communities as well as at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute run by the University of Cincinnati. He also participates on the Technology Team at ERS to help provide direction. Bryan and his wife Krista currently reside in Lebanon, Ohio with their 5 children.

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