Like TotallyWiggedOut - start using spices. There is more out there than pork fat, ham hocks, smoked foods and salt. Start learning about how different herbs and spices can make your foods better for you and reduce the amount of sodium.
For grits, polenta and rice - use low sodium chicken broth and add things like low fat cheeses, thyme, oregano, basil, herbs de provence, etc.
Rather than using butter, use olive oil, canola oil or other vegetable oils. The animal fats in butter and lard aren't good for you. Pam is a great option, especially in sauteing or roasting veggies.
Roasting veggies brings out some amazing flavors. Sprinkle them with dried basil and oregano and you've got some good stuff. Make your own dressings (Lemon Caper is my favorite - lemon juice, caper juice, olive oil and capers. Use a little sugar to cut down on the acid. Blend in a blender).
Get away from dressings and start using oil and vinegar. Get a mister for your oil and you'll cut down on the amount of fat and calories on your salads.
Grill! There are some great low fat/low sodium/fat free dressings and marinades out there that can boost flavors and reduce salt.
I've been on a low sodium diet for years since my mom had to go that direction. What really helped was the ability and knowledge to dig into the spice cabinet to make foods and flavors pop without the added sodium. I don't miss the salt at all and as a matter of fact, what too much is for me is just barely for some. So, you can enjoy a great life of low sodium.
Explore! Check out the Vegetarian Polenta recipe I just posted, too. Oh, and instead of using table salt, start using Kosher and Sea Salt instead. You'll use a lot less and get a better flavor.View Thread
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