Cook Lightly, Make Chili
~:: Sodium Girl ::~
Have you heard about all the crazy things you can do with salt?
Turns out you can put that salt shaker to work to remove water stains from your porcelain tub; to make grease, red wine, and ketchup disappear from your rug; to razzle dazzle art projects with home-made salt glitter; to keep ants out of your house; oh, and of course, add flavor to food.
But are you also aware of the number of crave-worthy meals, dinner parties, and please-can-I-have-seconds dishes you can create WITHOUT salt? I know it sounds crazy, but when you remove salt from the spice rack, you’ll start to discover all the other spices, herbs, and tastemakers that have been waiting in the wings.
As a result of Lupus-related kidney failure almost a decade ago, I had to lose the salt. From the beginning of taking on a low-sodium diet, I vowed to never eat bland food nor feel restricted. I promised to be creative, to seek out creative swaps for high-sodium products, to try unfamiliar ingredients, and to think beyond the saltshaker at all times. And in return, I got a full, flavorful, and totally limitless diet and life. As well as the creative license to twist traditional recipes and make them my own. Which is how we get to this salt-free chili that uses the natural sodium in ground buffalo and the sweet, savory, spicy, and umami flavors found in butternut squash, cremini mushrooms, chile peppers to infuse this soupy dish with a deeply satisfying taste.
So for your next meal, put your saltshaker to use on the bathtub or that rug. And give other spices and ingredients a chance to shine.
ABOUT JESSICA: Jessica Goldman Foung is a 30-year-old freelance writer, born and raised in the Bay Area. She graduated from Stanford University in 2005 with a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing and in 2004, just days after her twenty-first birthday, Jessica was diagnosed with a severe case of Lupus that attacked her kidneys and brain. After much soul-searching and skill building, Jessica now uses her challenges as the muse of her career. Her blog www.sodiumgirl.com has been nominated as one of Saveur’s “Best Food Blogs” in 2012 and Jessica low-sodium advice and recipes have appeared in several national publications, including Shape Magazine, Women’s Day, Oprah.com, TastingTable.com, San Francisco Chronicle, Ladies Home Journal, Better Homes & Gardens, Living Without magazine, Arthritis Today magazine, CivilEats.com, and Examiner.com. She blogs regularly for HuffingtonPostLiving.com and currently partners with the American Heart Association, National Kidney Foundation, Stanford Hospital, and Whole Foods Markets on recipe creation and consumer education. She writes for Edible San Francisco and will join the CUESA Board in April, 2013.
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