Simply Less Salt
A report from Statistics Canada was published the other day stating that we are consuming way too much salt. The recommended daily sodium limit is 1,500-2,200 mg for 1–3 year-olds and 2,300 mg for ages 14 and up. Canadians are consuming on average upwards of 3,092 mg per day. It’s easy to cut back on adding salt to your cooking, but the real problem is hidden in the processed foods we eat. Processed meats, frozen dinners, hot dogs, prepared soups, salad dressing, pasta, crackers and other snack foods are the biggest culprits. Start taking a look at the sodium levels on the nutrition labels of some of the things you buy.
The only way to control your salt intake is to avoid packaged foods and cook more things from scratch. No time? With a little planning and wise grocery shopping, it’s really not that difficult. Here’s a recipe for macaroni and cheese that your kids will love. It takes no longer than the boxed variety but it is smooth and creamy without all the salt and chemicals. To round out the meal, there’s a recipe for spinach salad with a sweet maple dressing that you may even get the kids to eat too.
QUICK (BUT BETTER THAN KD) MACCARONI & CHEESE
- 2 cups macaroni
- 2 eggs
- 1 385 ml can evaporated milk
- 2 1/2 cups shredded old cheddar cheese
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
In large pot of boiling salted water, cook macaroni until tender but firm, about 8 minutes.
In bowl, whisk together eggs, 1 cup of evaporated milk and 2 cups of cheese. Drain macaroni and return pan over low heat. Add butter; stir to melt. Pour egg mixture over buttered noodles along with three-quarters of the cheese.
Increase heat to medium and stir constantly until thoroughly combined and cheese starts to melt. Gradually add remaining milk and cheese, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and creamy, about 3 minutes. Do not have the heat up too high or sauce will curdle. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
BABY SPINACH SALAD WITH WARM MAPLE-CRANBERRY VINAIGRETTE
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp cranberry juice
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
- 6 cups baby spinach
In small saucepan over medium high heat, whisk together vinegar, cranberry juice, olive oil, maple syrup, salt, pepper and cranberries until warmed through. Place spinach in bowl and toss with vinaigrette. Makes 4 servings.
©2007 SayItCornell.com / SayItCanada.ca. All rights reserved.
Laura Buckley is a chef and recipe consultant. She trained at the Stratford Chefs School and has worked in the kitchens of some of the top restaurants in Toronto. She also ran a catering company, called Eats of Eden, cooking for rock stars to royalty. She develops and tests recipes for cookbooks and magazines, teaches cooking classes, and is co-editor of All Stirred Up (Random House, 2003) and recipe developer for The G.I. Diet Cookbook (Random House, 2006). Laura is on the board of directors of the Women’s Culinary Network and a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier and Slow Food. She lives in Markham, Ontario with her husband and adolescent twins.