Tag Archives: low sodium

Low Sodium Love: Coconut Shrimp Curry

Coconut Shrimp Curry – who needs salt?

A year ago, I participated in a food blog event hosted by Jessica, the author of the wonderful blog Sodium Girl. The challenge was to make a favorite recipe and reduce the salt as much as possible. As a salt lover, I confess that this terrified me. What if the lack of sodium  led to bland and dull results? How would I put a positive spin on unsaltiness? Well, as you can see from that post, I couldn’t have been more surprised and pleased when my doctored chicken wing recipe resulted in finger-licking deliciousness.

So, this year when Jessica asked if I would participate in a repeat of the challenge, I had less trepidation. I decided to adapt one of the most viewed recipes on TasteFood – Coconut Shrimp Curry – and exorcise it of any added sodium without compromising on flavor. After all, if it’s such a popular recipe, why not make it available to anyone who is watching their sodium intake? In this contest, natural salt found in whole ingredients is acceptable, but no added or processed salt is allowed. Shrimp have a natural saltiness which would be a boost to the flavor. And, as I learned last year, a great way to compensate for reduced sodium is to ramp up the aromatics and spices, which I did with generous amounts of garlic, fresh ginger, chiles and curry powder – all the good stuff, if you ask me. A spoonful of sugar rounded out the stew and a squeeze of fresh lime juice added sharpness and acidity.

And gosh darn it, it happened again. Once again the results thoroughly impressed me. The curry was rich, bright and brimming with flavor. The extra squeeze of lime provided an extra kick and, dare I say, tricked me into thinking there was plenty of salt in the curry. I even cheated and added a pinch of salt to a small bowlful for comparison. And, guess what? I found the results a little too, well, salty. Go figure.

Thank you, Jessica, for inviting me to participate again this year. For more inspiring low sodium recipes that are heart healthy and delicious with a big spoonful of valuable information,  you can read Jessica’s blog here and find all of the recipe links for this Low Sodium Rally here.

Coconut Shrimp Curry

Feel free to add additional vegetables, such as carrots or cauliflower, to the stew. Depending on the heat of the chiles, adjust amounts to your taste. Serves 4 to 6.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped, about 1 1/2 cups
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 green jalapeño pepper, stemmed and seeded, minced
1 red jalapeño or serrano pepper, stemmed and seeded, minced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise, each quarter sliced in 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1 – 26 ounce package Pomi chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 pound frozen large shrimp, defrosted, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup cilantro/coriander leaves, coarsely chopped
1 lime, cut in wedges

Heat oil in deep skillet or soup pot. Add onion and sauté until soft but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, jalapeños and ginger. Sauté until fragrant, 1 minute. Add zucchini and curry powder; sauté 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, coconut milk and sugar. Simmer 10 minutes. Add shrimp and cook until they turn pink and are just cooked through. Add cilantro. Taste for seasoning. Serve immediately in bowls with basmati rice and lime wedges for squeezing over the curry.

Red Hot and Low-Sodium Chicken Wings


Red Hot and Low-Sodium Chicken Wings

This week, I jumped on board a food blog event hosted by Jessica, who has the wonderful blog SodiumGirl. The challenge? To create a favorite salty recipe with low-sodium content. While this obviously prohibited the use of salt, it also required the use of products with no more than 40 mg of sodium per serving. I was eager to give this a try, but a little apprehensive, since I love salt.

It was quite eye opening as I rummaged through my refrigerator and pantry in search of ingredients containing no more than 40 mg of sodium per serving. I am not only referring to staples such as mustard, cheese, sriracha, ketchup, mayonnaise, even Greek style yogurt.  As I scrolled a database for more nutritional references, I discovered that many proteins have a generous amount of natural sodium. My goal, then, was to select a protein with a relatively low amount of salt and devise a recipe around it using low or no-sodium ingredients.

Happily, dark chicken meat came in at a respectable sodium level, with drumsticks and thighs packing 46 mg per serving. This got me thinking about one of my favorite salty foods best associated with bars and football games: spicy wings. So, I decided to try and make a low sodium version of spicy wings.

An important factor in making this recipe is the use of lots of spices. I rubbed the chicken with a blend of paprika, coriander, cumin and cayenne and let the wings marinate for several hours. Then I roasted them in a hot oven for an hour, basting them with a spicy sauce which was a simplified cross between a buffalo wing and a BBQ sauce. Normally a generous squirt of sriracha would play a role in a recipe like this, but weighing in at 100 mg per serving, I improvised. Instead, I  whipped up a basting sauce with Tabasco, tomato paste and brown sugar. The results were excellent. The wings were crunchy, sticky and spicy – just the kind of finger-licking appetizer I imagined, minus any salt. And you know what?  I didn’t miss the salt at all.

Red Hot and Low-Sodium Chicken Wings

I use drummettes, which are the largest part of the chicken wing, because I prefer their relative meatiness. Serves 4 as an appetizer.

Wings:
3 pounds chicken wings or drumettes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2-4 tablespoons Tabasco (to taste)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Spiced Sour Cream Sauce:
1 cup sour cream
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Dash of Tabasco
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro sprigs

Prepare the wings:
Whisk oil, paprika, cumin, coriander, cayenne and black pepper together in a large bowl. Add drummettes and toss to evenly coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours. 30 minutes before roasting, remove chicken from refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 425 F. (210 C.) Arrange drummettes on a oven grill pan. Roast 20 minutes. Turn chicken. Roast 20 minutes more.
While the chicken is roasting, make the basting sauce. Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat and whisk in tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar and lemon juice. Keep warm.
Remove chicken from oven and brush with tomato sauce. Return to oven and roast 10 minutes. Remove chicken and turn. Brush again with tomato sauce. Return to oven and roast until golden brown and cooked through, about 10 more minutes. Serve warm with Spiced Sour Cream Sauce for dipping.

Prepare the sauce:
Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl.