Over the Salt

Mindful choices for healthy and low sodium cooking


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Almond Pear Tart

rialoader-2016-peartart

Almond Pear Tart – Recipe by Colleen Loader, Photo by Ria Loader

Delicious, only sightly sweet, almond pastry with pears and apricot glaze. The fresh, firm, pears are in season right now at our local farmer’s cooperative. Almond meal was the perfect accompaniment. The nutty flavor is a favorite from almond croissants and I enjoyed finding a new way to incorporate it into a recipe.

Ingredients

A blind-baked sweet pastry shell
1-2 Firm Pears
2.5 cups almond meal
3 eggs
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup apricot jam
1/4 cup water

Equipment

Mixing bowl
Metal spoon
Paring knife
Pastry brush
Small preparation bowl
Measuring cups and spoons
Preheat oven to 400F

Making

Start with a sweet pastry shell and blind bake it (see recipe)
In large mixing bowl, place almond meal, sugar and vanilla.
Add 3 eggs and stir to combine ingredients.
Pour into cooled pastry shell and level out.
Peel and core pears. Slice thinly and arrange in a fan
(hint: it will fan more easily if you place base of pear against outside of pastry)
In small preparation bowl, mix water and apricot jam together to form thin glaze.
Brush apricot glaze over the pears to thoroughly cover the top of the pie.
Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes until pears are soft and almond base is set.

Serve warm or cool with whipped cream and ice cream or enjoy as a simple slice.

 


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Baking madness

This weekend I’ve made five batches of baking.

  1. CHEESY SCONES
    Two batches of cheesy scones
    Scone recipe (2 cups flour, half cup sugar, one egg, 1ts baking soda, one stick butter, half cup milk)
    Added half a package (1 cup) grated pepper-jack cheese
    Baked at 400 for 18 mins


  1. SULTANA SCONES
    One batch of sultana scones
    Same recipe as above but half a stick more butter for ‘flakiness’
    Used quarter cup regular sugar and quarter cup brown sugar for ‘taste’
    Golden sultana raisons
    Made a dozen 2.5″ scones


  1. SOUTHWESTERN EGG MUFFINS
    Two batches
    A dozen eggs, whipped with cayenne pepper and italian seasoning
    Poured over finely chopped sweet peppers and a large pinch of grated sharp cheddar
    Baked at 375 for 22 minutes in large silicon muffin pan (dozen)
    Delicious with guacamole, served warm



We are set for the week with quick finger food now, savory and sweet.


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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.

whiteMushrooms2

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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Quick easy pancake crepes

These are not really pancakes, nor yet crepes, but fall somewhere in between as ‘pancrepes’. The main difference is in the consistency of the batter and the number of eggs. I also serve these as sweet rather than salty. Most recipes call for salt, which I leave out altogether, or call for both baking soda and baking powder. I just use a teaspoon of baking powder for the whole mix, bringing the whole down to a fraction of the salt found at restaurants. You can leave the egg out if you like – I like the flavor it adds. Same for the whipping cream. You can use just milk, or milk and water to make a thinner recipe.

Pancake crepes 'pancrepes' with maple syrup and lemon

Pancake crepes ‘pancrepes’ with maple syrup and lemon

Ingredients

2 cups of flour 1/3 cup of baking sugar (fine) 1 cup milk 1/3 cup whipping cream 1 egg 1 teaspoon baking powder Butter for the pan Maple syrup and ‘true lemon’ crystals or lemon juice

Preparation

Sift flour and baking powder a couple of times to combine Combine with the sugar Make a well Pour milk into the well, mixing the dry into the wet to avoid lumps Keep pouring the milk in a little at a time until all combined. Reserve some milk. Pour in the cream and mix in with a fork or knife Add the rest of the milk (you can add more to make the mix thinner if you like) Rest the mixture in the refrigerator for half an hour or so before cooking Put it into a container with a spout so you can pour it Heat a non stick skillet until a drop of water sizzles Add a little butter to coat the pan Keep the butter handy to coat the spatula Pour small circle into the pan and tilt the pan around to make the circle larger (4-5″) When first bubbles form (count 15) turn it over (count 15) Makes around 25 ‘pancrepes’ 5 minutes to mix the batter | wait half an hour | 15 minutes cooking time (you can make the batter the evening before and cook these up for breakfast) Put remainder into a container and microwave for 15 seconds for each plate of 3 Makes an easy stand-by snack if you are busy around the house


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Wild catch coho salmon

It is that lovely time of year when Coho salmon is fresh-caught and available in the local market, along with fresh local greens. Refrigerated, but not frozen, the salmon bakes up in just twenty minutes for a medium rare salmon steak. This is my second week enjoying it with a light salad and smashed yellow potatoes. Seasonal and delicious, both wins.

Medium rare coho salmon over potatoes with green salad. Photo by Ria Loader

Medium rare coho salmon over potatoes with green salad. Photo by Ria Loader

Ingredients

Salmon
Butter lettuce
Tiny tomatoes, halved
White baslamic infused with peaches and citrus
Yellow potatoes, steamed, mashed

Cooking

Oven at 350 degrees
Salmon steak with lemon zest, mango puree and pepper
Bake for 15-20 minutes

Rough slice butter lettuce
Slice tomatoes in half
Drizzle with white baslamic infused with peach / citrus
(white baslamic will do okay. Add some zest to taste)

I added a scone sliced in half as I had made those the previous day

Coho salmon, fresh scone and greens - Photo Ria Loader

Coho salmon, fresh scone and greens – Photo Ria Loader


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30 minute scones

Scones or biscuits

Scones photo by Ria Loader September 2014

My sister taught me this recipe when she was here over the summer. In Australia we call these ‘scones’ and in America, these are often called ‘biscuits’. It’s a quick recipe that relies on the ‘shortness’ of the pastry by way of butter. In this case, it is low salt, and low sugar, but not low in fat, just so you know. The buttery taste is the point, in this case. Something that satisfies the craving for fat, but without blowing out the salt requirement. Giving in to cravings occasionally is a good way to stick to the low-salt diet.

Ingredients

2 cups of flour
2 tablespoons flour for coating the final mix
1/2 cup baking sugar (or splenda, xylitol, date sugar, your choice)
1 egg (optional)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk (or substitute)
1 stick of butter

Optional

Chopped dates, apricots, sultanas, raisons

Method

Combine the dry ingredients – flour, sugar, fruit
Soften the butter and combine by hand until it makes ‘crumbles’
Make a well in the middle
Add the milk (Colleen says the milk should be 1/3 up the well so vary accordingly. I just pour it by eye)
Combine by hand until it sticks together
(yes, you can add extra flour or milk to make it sticky but maleable but do not overwork it)
Form into a rough square about an inch thick
Cut with a knife into 12-16 pieces
Rough form with palms and put onto parchment covered baking sheet about 1/2 inch apart
Put into pre-heated oven at 400 degrees farenheight for 18-22 minutes until golden
Done when they spring back
Cool for 5 minutes and enjoy!

Eat within 3 days or freeze to enjoy later

Visual Stages - photo by Ria

Visual Stages – photo by Ria overthesalt.com


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Refreshing summer salads II: fresh fruit salad

RedWhiteBlueSalad-RiaLoader

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.