Archive for the 'Low-Sodium' Category

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Baked Veggies with Tahini Sauce

This is one of my favorite ways to use a few handfuls of veggies languishing and almost forgotten in the produce drawer of the refrigerator. This can even be a quick meal if you buy one of those pre-cut bags of broccoli and cauliflower and use baby carrots. Makes 2 to 4 servings.

4 cups chopped broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots (combined)
2 teaspoons olive oil
salt, pepper, and freshly ground coriander seed to taste.
1 recipe Tahini Sauce

Place oven rack in top position. Preheat oven to 450.

Toss veggies with 2 teaspoons olive oil and place on large cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and ground coriander. Bake on top rack for 15 minutes for crisp vegetables.

Serve topped with tahini sauce.

Variations

  • Main Meal: Serve over your favorite whole grain for a main meal version.
  • Great with any other vegetables or add a little onion and garlic for variety.
  • The tahini sauce is particularly good with cauliflower, especially if you turn it after 15 minutes and cook for an extra 10 minutes until it starts to brown.
  • Omit the salt and use a reduced sodium tahini sauce for a low-sodium version.
  • Can be easily made gluten-free.

More information for Baked Veggies with Tahini Sauce recipe:

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 15 min
  • Total time: 30 min

Tahini Sauce

This is great on just about any type of vegetable, but it is absolutely awesome with baked cauliflower. Makes 4 servings.

2 teaspoons olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup tahini (more or less to taste)
1/4 cup water
1 freshly squeezed lemon
1 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
freshly ground pepper and salt to taste
chopped parsley (optional)

In a cold saucepan, add all ingredients, except the parsley, and whisk together. Over low heat, gently warm the sauce to just above room temperature, and be careful not to simmer or boil. Tahini stays creamier and maintains a much better consistency at lower temperatures. Add additional water as needed if it seems a little too thick.

Top with parsley and serve with Baked Veggies or Grilled Vegetables and Tofu.

Variations

  • Omit the salt and use a reduced sodium tahini sauce for a low-sodium version.
  • Naturally gluten-free.

More information for Tahini Sauce recipe:

  • Prep time: 5 min
  • Cook time: 5 min
  • Total time: 10 min

Tempeh Salad

This is my standard summer salad when I want a light, quick lunch with vegetables and some protein. I usually make a batch of Italian Marinated Tempeh in advance and then have it available for a few salads throughout the week. Makes 2 to 4 servings.

4 cups of lettuce or spinach
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 sliced tomato or cherry tomatoes
1/2 sliced avocado
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup Italian Marinated Tempeh
Annie’s Naturals Goddess Dressing to taste.

Toss the lettuce, carrots, tomato, pumpkin seeds and tempeh together. Top with sliced avocado and serve with Goddess Dressing.

Variations

  • Use packaged tempeh bacon if you don’t want to make marinated tempeh.
  • Avocado and tomatoes are great in the summer, but during the winter, you’ll want to experiment with other vegetables.
  • Top with balsamic vinegar and olive oil or another favorite salad dressing, instead of Goddess Dressing.
  • For a low-sodium version, use the low-sodium variation of the Italian Marinade and serve with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to replace the Goddess Dressing.
  • Can be easily made gluten-free by choosing an appropriate salad dressing and brand of tempeh.

More information for Tempeh Salad recipe:

  • Prep time: 5 min
  • Total time: 5 min

Italian Marinated Tempeh

Italian Marinade

This is my favorite marinade for tempeh, but it’s also great with tofu or brushed onto vegetables before you throw them on the grill.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup tamari
1 minced garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed between fingers
1 teaspoon minced onions
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and stir or whisk to combine.

Variations

  • Experiment with some different spices.
  • This marinade can be a little strong for some people. If so, you can add 1/4 cup of water or vegetable broth to tone it down a bit.
  • Omit the tamari for a low-sodium version. Add a little extra balsamic vinegar or water if you need more liquid.
  • Can be easily made gluten-free.

More information for Italian Marinade recipe:

  • Prep time: 5 min
  • Total time: 5 min

Italian Marinated Tempeh

This is great as a side dish, but my favorite way to use it is as part of the Tempeh Salad. Makes 4 servings.

1 8 ounce package tempeh
1 batch Italian Marinade recipe (see above)

Cut tempeh into 1 to 1/2 inch wide cubes. Combine marinade and tempeh in a sealed bowl. Cover and shake well until all pieces are coated.

Place in the refrigerator for one hour or overnight shaking the container every now and again (when you think of it) to coat all pieces. The tempeh will begin to absorb all the marinade.

When ready to cook, heat a non-stick skillet over medium low heat. Add tempeh and any liquid and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring to turn the pieces until all of the liquid has evaporated or been absorbed. Serve immediately or keep in a covered container in fridge.

Variations

  • Slice the tempeh into larger strips and grill them instead of cooking them on the stove.
  • Omit the tamari in the marinade for a low-sodium version. Add a little extra balsamic vinegar or water if you need more liquid.
  • Can be easily made gluten-free.

More information for Italian Marinated Tempeh recipe:

  • Prep time: 5 min
  • Cook time: 10 min
  • Total time: 15 min

Pictured: Italian Marinated Tempeh used on a Tempeh Salad.

Barley Stuffed Acorn Squash

Served in half a squash, this makes a really nice main dish or side for any fall holiday dinner. While it has quite a few ingredients, most of them are fairly common so this dish comes together more quickly than you might expect. Makes 2 servings.

1 large acorn squash*
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
1 stalk chopped celery
1 medium chopped carrot
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons port or red wine (preferably out of the glass you’re drinking while making dinner)
1 cup cooked barley
1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes (reconstituted in water and retain the water)
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut squash in half, remove seeds, and bake cut side down for 30 minutes.

While the squash is cooking, sauté the onions in oil for about 5 minutes or until they start to turn translucent. Add celery and carrot and sauté until they are tender, but still firm. Add mushrooms, and continue cooking until they are soft and start to release their juice. Add garlic and stir to combine. Add port or wine and simmer for about a minute.

Add barley, raisins, pine nuts, sun dried tomatoes and walnuts. Stir to combine. Add sage, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. If it gets too dry, add some water from the sun dried tomatoes and add a drizzle of olive oil.

Continue to cook over low until everything is combined and hot. You can remove from the heat and cover to keep warm if it starts getting too done or drying out before the squash is ready.

After the squash has finished cooking cut side down for 30 minutes, flip them over to fill with stuffing. Add stuffing to interior of squash, mounding as needed, and bake covered another 20 to 30 minutes. For a crunchier top, remove cover for the last 10 minutes.

Variations

  • Try this with quinoa, brown rice or other grains in place of or in combination with the barley for something a little different.
  • Experiment with different dried fruit to replace the raisins – dried cherries or cranberries are good.
  • If you are using a small acorn squash, you can probably cut the recipe in half. You could also reduce the stuffing recipe and not heap them as full.
  • Easily made low-sodium.
  • Replace the barley with quinoa or rice for a gluten-free version.

More information for Barley Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe:

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 60 min
  • Total time: 75 min

* Note: This recipe is for a large acorn squash. If you are using a smaller squash, you’ll want to reduce the amount of filling made. If you end up with extra filling, it makes a great side dish or snack for later in the week or to eat while you are waiting for the squash to come out of the oven.

Indian Spiced Cauliflower

This is a lighter, less saucy, baked version of something similar to Aloo Gobi, but without the potatoes. I think it’s a nice compliment to the Chana Masala and Creamy Red Lentil Dal when served together in a big Indian meal with rice or naan. Makes 4 servings.

1 medium head cauliflower
3 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
1 tablespoon freshly ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
red pepper flakes to taste
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the cauliflower into medium sized florets and place in a large mixing bowl.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together olive oil and all of the spices except for the cilantro. Drizzle the oil and spice mixture over the cauliflower. Add the cilantro and stir to combine. Add a little more oil if it seems too dry for your taste.

Transfer spiced cauliflower mixture to a glass baking dish. Cook covered for about 30 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender. Stir once or twice during baking.

Variations

  • For the saucy version, add some chopped or pureed tomatoes.
  • Substitute potatoes for some of the cauliflower. You might need to cut the potatoes into smaller chunks or plan to cook it a little longer with the potatoes.
  • Can be easily made low-sodium and gluten-free.

More information for Indian Spiced Cauliflower recipe:

  • Prep time: 20 min
  • Cook time: 30 min
  • Total time: 50 min

Chana Masala

A relatively simple Indian dish for when you don’t have a lot of time to spend making dinner. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

4 cups cooked brown basmati rice
2 15 ounce cans of rinsed and drained chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 28 ounce can tomato puree
1 cup vegetable broth or water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon vegan margarine
salt and cayenne pepper to taste

Sauté onions for 3 to 5 minutes or until translucent over medium heat. Add garlic and spices. Stir and cook 30 seconds stirring constantly.

Add tomato puree, vegetable broth, chickpeas, lemon juice, and margarine. Mix well. Cover and cook for at least 15 minutes stirring occasionally. You can also cook it a little longer to get better blending of flavors.

Serve over rice.

Pictured: Chana Masala (left) and Creamy Red Lentil Dal (right) with naan.

Variations

  • Use fresh tomatoes, instead of tomato puree (you’ll need to increase the cooking time to thicken).
  • Serve with naan, instead of (or in addition to) the rice.
  • Experiment with adding a few additional vegetables.
  • Can be easily made gluten-free and low-sodium

More information for Chana Masala recipe:

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 20 min
  • Total time: 35 min

Creamy Red Lentil Dal

This is a creamy variation of a more traditional red lentil dal that is great comfort food on a cold evening. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

4 cups cooked brown basmati rice
1 cup red lentils
2 cups water or vegetable broth
1 can coconut milk
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cardamom
freshly ground pepper and salt to taste
cayenne pepper or chopped hot peppers to taste

Pick through the lentils to make sure that there aren’t any lentil shaped stones that crept in during harvesting. Rinse the lentils in cold water and set aside in a strainer.

Heat the oil over medium heat and add the onions. Sauté for 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent to golden and soft. Add garlic, ginger, coriander and cumin. Sauté for about a minute. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the lentils and remaining ingredients, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 40 minutes or until the lentils are tender.

Serve over rice.

Pictured: Red Lentil Dal (center) with Chana Masala (upper left) and Indian Spiced Cauliflower (upper right)

Variations

  • Serve with naan instead of (or in addition to) the rice.
  • You can use an immersion blender to make this even creamier.
  • Can be easily made low-sodium and gluten-free.

More information for Creamy Red Lentil Dal recipe:

  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cook time: 50 min
  • Total time: 60 min

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

This is one of my favorite potluck foods to bring when I know I won’t have many vegan choices, since it seems more like a real meal than a salad. Makes 8-10 servings.

Quinoa Ingredients

1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups water

Vegetable Ingredients

2/3 cup finely chopped sun dried tomato
1/3 cup kalamata olives, sliced
3/4 cup pine nuts (toasted)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Marinade Ingredients

1/3 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon agave nectar or sugar
1 – 2 cloves minced garlic
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
freshly ground coriander, to taste
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaf
1/3 of a minced medium red onion

Rinse the quinoa, then dry roast until you smell a nutty aroma while you boil the water in another pot. Add the boiling water to the quinoa, turn the flame down to a low simmer and place the lid on the pot. Cook for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit for an additional 5 minutes with the lid on. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool.

Combine ingredients for the marinade, pour over cooled quinoa and stir to mix. Add sun dried tomatoes, olives and pine nuts. Stir again. Cover and refrigerate 2-6 hours or more.

Before serving, cover the top with sliced cherry tomatoes.

Variations

  • Add other chopped vegetables for variety.
  • Use half white and half red quinoa for a more colorful salad.
  • Can be easily made gluten-free.
  • Omit the olives for a low-sodium version.

More information for Mediterranean Quinoa Salad recipe:

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 30 min
  • Total time: 45 min

Pasta with Fresh Veggies

This is a great summer meal when the fresh veggies are plentiful and the tomatoes are ripe and delicious. The only caveat is that this really isn’t a traditional “sauce”, but more of a vegetable topping for pasta, so you might want to encourage people add a little olive oil to taste at the table. Makes 2 to 4 servings.

1/2 pound cooked pasta (any variety)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
8 sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon wine
1 small sliced zucchini
1 sliced summer squash
1 chopped roma tomato
1 cup fresh spinach
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
salt, freshly ground black pepper or other spices to taste

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, mushrooms and wine. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until mushrooms start to soften.

Add zucchini and summer squash. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes until vegetables have softened.

Add tomato, spinach, basil, salt and pepper. Add water, vegetable broth or a little more oil if it seems too dry. Cook for at least 3 to 4 minutes, but you can cook a little longer if needed.

Variations

  • Add sun dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, pine nuts and / or artichoke hearts.
  • Experiment with other vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower and bell pepper.
  • Make a smoky version with grilled zucchini and summer squash, but reduce the sautéing step to 1 minute, since they are already cooked
  • Add 1 8 ounce can tomato paste for more tomato flavor.
  • Can be easily made low-sodium.
  • Make a gluten-free version by serving over another grain.

More information for Pasta with Fresh Veggies recipe:

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 15 min
  • Total time: 30 min