Over the Salt

Mindful choices for healthy and low sodium cooking


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Sweet and savory onion jam with apricots, golden raisons, chocolate

 

I love the unexpected in cooking adventures, those times when you make something with whatever is on hand. Inspiration and serendipity go hand in hand. Today we had some spare chopped onions left over from making a pie filling. When I checked to see what else we had, the ingredients added up to the right mix for onion jam. Sweet and sour onion jam is very much like chutney. It is something I tend to make frequently as it keeps well in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. It can be used on sandwiches, added to other dishes or used as a garnish for other dishes.

Equipment

Skillet
Wooden spoon
Butter knife
Chopping Knife
Glass jar with lid
Measuring cups and spoons

Turn oven to grill and preheat

Ingredients

1/2 stick of no-salt butter
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup golden raisons
2 tablespoons baslamic reduction with blackcurrants
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup apricot sauce
(or jam if that’s what you have)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon herbs of provence
1/2 teaspoon garam marsala

Making

Put skillet or saucepan on high
Melt the butter and fry the chopped onions
Put in a double handful of golden raisons, which is about a cup
(feel free to use dark raisons, mixed raisons, tiny thompson raisons)
Add spices and stir regularly
Add the brown sugar and continue stirring
Next add the vinegar and the chocolate chips
Add fruit sauce and stir into the bubbling mix
Turn the stove off and allow it to cool down

Spread on flatbread with shredded cheese
(we like sharp cheddar or asiago)
Grill until cheese is melted

Serving

Serve with fruit in season and creme fraiche

 


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Chocolate Chili Meringues

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Light, fluffy, chocolate chili meringue cookies.
Low salt, spicy treats.

Once baked will last about a month if not eaten sooner. Hide them.

Ingredients

Egg whites
1/2 cup baking sugar
Cocoa with chili and cinnamon
2 cups hazennut meal

Equipment

Electric Mixer
Baking sheet with parchment paper
Metal spoon
Glass Bowl

Preheat oven to 400 F

Making

Whip egg whites to stiff peaks
Add baking sugar and whip with egg whites until stiff and glossy
Add cocoa to egg whites and mix on low speed until powder absorbed
Mix on high speed for around three minutes
Remove bowl away from mixer and change to metal spoon
Pour hazelnut flour around edges of bowl and use spoon to fold
from outside to center in lifting motion (down and lift up through center)
Do not over-mix at this stage
Drop spoonfuls onto parchment
Bake for 12 minutes
Remove from oven and allow to cool before moving from paper
Slide a butter knife under cooled meringues to lift and store
Store in air tight container
Makes 3 dozen

 

 


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Ginger Honey Shortbread

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Gluten, dairy and sucrose free shortbread recipe with a dash of spice. This recipe makes approximately 30 shortbread.

The recipe substitutes coconut oil for butter.

It substitutes gluten free flour for regular flour.

It substitutes coconut sugar for baking sugar.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of Gluten Free Multipurpose Flour
1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar
4oz Coconut Oil
1 egg
3Tbl Honey
2Tbl Crushed Ginger
1tsp Xanthum Gum
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

Equipment

Baking Tray
Parchment Paper
Mixing Bowl
Measuring cups and spoons
Wooden Spoon or Silicon spatula
Oven preheated to 325F

Mixing Method

Soften Coconut oil with a spoon till creamy. Do not melt.
Add Baking Powder, Xanthum Gum and Coconut Sugar, stir until creamy.
Add Honey, Ginger and egg, stir until all combined
Add Flour and stir until has formed a soft sticky dough.

Cooking Method

Use 2 teaspoons to form oval shaped lozenges and spoon onto baking tray covered with parchment paper
Place in oven and cook for 15 minutes until golden brown
Cool on tray then store in an airtight container


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Coconut Ice treats

2016-05-11 14.01.08.jpgI was visiting in Australia recently and tasted a childhood treat, Coconut Ice. My sister, Colleen, helped me track down a version of coconut ice from Darryl Lea, the confectionary company. When I got back to Seattle, I wanted some more, so I hunted down recipes online.

The American version of  coconut ice is made with condensed milk, confectioners sugar and finely shredded coconut. I tried it out, but ultimately took it to work to share with work mates It wasn’t to my taste. The milk gave it a different flavor and it wasn’t quite right.

Next, I tried out a couple of Australian and British recipes, settling on a version made with Coconut oil (copha), coconut (shredded), confectioners sugar, vanilla and egg whites. This made a smooth, delicious recipe that set up in the refrigerator. It lasted about a month after making, which I think shows quite a bit of restraint. I only ate it occasionally, and I di remember to share.

Warning: Not a health food. Eat sparingly as a treat.

Recipe

(with conversions done from metric)

1/2 cup coconut oil

Half cup of coconut finely shredded

A cup of confectioners sugar (sifted)

2 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

red or yellow food dye

Instructions

Combine the dry ingredients, add vanilla and egg whites

Add the coconut oil (if solid, melt it to butter consistency)

It needs to be stiff enough to hold together (like playdough) but not too hard

Divide in two. Add the food dye to one portion.

Put the white part down first into a food storage container (about an inch thick), then the colored mixture on top. Refrigerate for an hour. Lasts in the refrigerator for a month.

Allow to sit at room temperature for 15 mins before serving

Enjoy!

 


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Tipsy Tarts

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Tipsy Tarts – Photo by Ria Loader 2014

 

Tipsy tarts are a treat for the holidays. Laced with rum and brandy and sweetened with honey, the fruit steeps for a week in the refrigerator.

I tend to avoid cherries and nuts in my holiday fruit mix and instead use a more European combination of raisins, apricots and dates. I start with soaking chopped dates in boiling water with molasses overnight and then add the other fruit until the bowl is half full. Add half a cup each of a decent brandy and a dark rum. This time I included dark agave syrup, and a jar of local honey. Covered with plastic and put it in the fridge, stirring every day for a week. The fruit soaked up the grog and became sticky and delicious.

Spooned the resulting mix into tiny pie tarts (you can make your own or buy them pre-made – there are even gluten free varieties available).

I added a cup of the mix to a date cake and made delicious holiday cake as well.

Enjoy!


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Fall mushroom hot pot

This weekend, we picked up some fresh mushrooms to make a delicious one-pot savory dish to serve with rice.

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Ingredients

3 large cups white mushrooms, sliced
silken tofu, rough chopped
thyme, pepper
garlic, 2 teaspoons
Worcestershire sauce 1/4 cup
lime and lemon juice
coconut milk
olive oil

Cooking

Sautee the mushrooms in olive oil and garlic
Add lemon, lime and Worcestershire sauce
Stir in coconut milk and simmer with thyme
Add chopped tofu
Add pepper to taste
Serve with rice and orange wedges for color


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Refreshing summer salads II: fresh fruit salad

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Red white and blue fruit salad – Image by Ria Loader

The past few weekends have included a trip to the local farmer’s markets, both in the U District in Seattle, and the new Shoreline Farmer’s Market at City Hall. The fresh produce has been delicious – tomatoes, tiny potatoes, greens and fresh fruit. This week I’ve been making fruit salad as part of dinner. It’s a good combination with a protein, and with creamy gouda on the side, it feels like dinner and dessert at the same time.

Red, white and blue

For 4th July, I made a red, white and blue salad using berries and nectarines.

1 pint raspberries
1 pint blueberries
3 medium sized white flesh nectarines
2 tablespoons raw agave nectar
crystalized lemon (1/4 teaspoon)

Chop the nectarines in 1/2 inch chunks, wash and combine the berries. No salt in the recipe at all. You can feel free to substitute the agave nectar for something else, sugar free vanilla syrup works, or honey if you like it better. The lemon adds a brightness of flavor to the raspberries. You could also use lemon juice.