Recipe Corner1/8/09

2009 Resolution: To eat better

Jan. 8, 2009

By Ginger Isham

How about reading food labels for their salt content, which is an enemy to blood pressure? We consume too much salt in our processed and canned foods. The addition of salt makes us crave more of this type of food and it is not good for us. When you cut down on foods high in salt, other foods will taste too salty. My experience in eating out is that restaurants put way too much salt in their food. They could help the public eat a healthier diet by making small changes that require little effort. Also, by serving smaller portions of food.

In searching for measurements of salt I found: 1 milligram is 1/1,000th of a gram; a teaspoon of salt weighs 10.6 grams. One milligram is equal to about 1/10,000th of a teaspoon.

Some foods high in salt that we should avoid or limit in our diet are: store bought salad dressings, mustard, ketchup, luncheon meats, biscuit mixes, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce, bouillon cubes, bacon, canned vegetables and soups. Watch out for the instant puddings and fat-free foods that can be higher in salt. When checking labels, look for sodium benzoate or citrate.

Making your own soups takes little effort and can be tasty with herbs rather than salt. I buy the low-salt, fat free broths and no-salt tomato products and save the water I use when steaming vegetables and cooking chicken.

Vegetable bisque

2 tablespoons no-salt butter

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, sliced

1 celery stalk, diced

1 medium zucchini, diced

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon savory (an herb with flavor between mint and thyme)

2 cups chicken stock

4 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup sherry (optional)

Melt butter in saucepan and add onion, carrot, celery and zucchini. Sauté over low heat. Sprinkle on flour and mix in. Stir in chili powder and savory. Gradually add chicken stock and stir until thickened. Add tomatoes. Puree in food processor or blender and serve warm, garnished with lemon slices. Serve with crusty rolls and a green salad.

Ginger Isham was the co-owner of Maple Grove Farm Bed & Breakfast in Williston, a fifth generation family farm on Oak Hill Road where she still lives.