The recipe calls for frozen or fresh medium shrimp, but I prefer smaller shrimp in dishes. So I got canned since I didn’t see any of the small shrimp in the freezer. The downside is there’s a lot of salt in canned shrimp. I figure boiling the shrimp removes some of the salt though. I also avoided the condensed soup in the recipe because the only condensed version of cream of celery at Whole Foods was super high in salt. If I remember correctly, it was about 33% U.S. R.D.A. per serving. So I got an uncondensed kind and used a little bit more. It was pretty thick stuff, so I only increased the amount used by a couple of ounces over the book’s recipe. I bought bread made in store, which unfortunately doesn’t list the sodium content. It is the third ingredient on the list though. I’m thinking the sodium I don’t know about in the bread is balanced somewhat by the amount of sodium taken out by boiling the shrimp.
12 oz. canned shrimp (1980 mg sodium)
1 celery stalk
½ large onion
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
about 12 ounces creamy celery soup (720 mg sodium)
¼ cup milk (32 mg sodium)
½ teaspoon sage
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
dash of pepper
10 oz. crusty bread loaf
Cut bread into cubes/small chunks
Bake bread at 350° for 15 to 25 minutes to dry it out/firm it up
Boil shrimp for about 3 minutes (if fresh/frozen, until they are opaque)
Chop the celery
Chop the onion
Cook celery and onion in butter until tender (can use the same as the shrimp)
Add soup, milk, sage, thyme (crush first), and pepper
Add eggs to the concoction
Fold in bread chunks
Fold in shrimp
Transfer to 1.5 quart casserole dish
Bake covered for 30 minutes at 350°
Bake uncovered for 15 minutes.
Let it cool.
Pretty tasty is the result. About 4 servings. About 690 mg sodium per serving, done my way.
Also, now I know basically how to make stuffing. Can’t say it tastes a whole lot better than boxed though, which is cheaper. This has less salt. Without the shrimp the price might be comparable and the salt in this really a lot less.
And yeah, I know I’ve been harping on the salt a lot lately. It’s been one year today since my grandfather died, and I’m basically of the opinion that a high salt diet was the proximate cause of his heart attacks in the last year. The doctors told him on a couple of E.R. visits that salt intake was what caused his shortness of breath that prompted the 911 call. Can’t know what would have been; without the salt it might have been just as bad. Still, I owe it to myself to make these changes now rather than when I have heart problems at 83.
Yesterday I made a pasta sauce not from a jar for the first time ever. I’d planned on making it on Monday, but what with my thumb getting partially removed and the last dish lasting longer than I expected…
Since my basic cookbooks don’t have a vodka sauce recipe in them, I turned to the internet. AllRecipes.com had a vodka sauce recipe, and that’s what I started with. Steps below are how I made it, which is not exactly what was in the linked recipe.
1 cup vodka
2 tablespoons olive oil
¾ pound prosciutto
3 heaping teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
One 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
One 15 ounce can no salt added tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
heat olive oil in a large pan
sauté prosciutto, garlic, parsley, and basil until prosciutto is evenly brown
simmer 10 minutes
add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and 1 cup water
simmer 15 minutes
cook 2 minutes
I’m guessing it’ll make six servings. Four so far, and it looks like about two are left.
The sauce was thinner than I expected. Next time I’ll just omit the cup of water. And drop the prosciutto down to a quarter or half pound at most. Normally I’d have used no salt added diced tomatoes too, but when I was poor last month, Deirdre was kind enough to donate a can of diced tomatoes to me. This kind would actually qualify as low-sodium under F.D.A. rules, but when you add it all up it’s still quite a lot.
Prosciutto: 7680 mg
Diced tomatoes: 1540 mg
No salt added tomato sauce: 70 mg
Cream: 160 mg
Total sodium: 9450 mg
Per serving: 1575 mg
That does not include the pasta. Definitely up there in salt. Cutting down the prosciutto will cut a lot from that. Not sure if there are lower salt prosciuttos out there.
I promised to write about what I cook in an effort to cook more. But I didn’t promise this would be stuff you’d want to eat.
The recipe comes from the Better Homes & Gardens Biggest Book of Casseroles. It turned out pretty tasty, though a little saltier than I was expecting. I should find out if any of the local butchers do a low salt bulk sausage. Doctor told me I was to watch my salt. I don’t like to be rigid about it, but seeing Gramps ingest salt licks when he was supposed to watch his salt too, and end up in the hospital for it, has been illuminating.
Recipe is how I made it, not exactly how it is in the cookbook.
1 lb. bulk sausage
½ small onion
3 cups crisp rice cereal
¼ cup rice
4 ounces cheddar cheese
1 can cream of celery soup
¼ cup soy milk
1½ teaspoons butter
Chop the onion.
Shred the cheese.
Grease a 2 quart casserole dish.
Pre-heat the oven to 325°.
Cook sausage and onion over medium heat.
Combine 2½ cups of the cereal with the rice.
Spread the rice mix on the bottom of the casserole dish.
Spread sausage and onion over the rice.
Spread the cheese over the sausage.
Mix the soup, eggs, and soy milk.
Pour eggs etc. over everything else.
Melt the butter.
Mix butter with last ½ cup of cereal.
Sprinkle cereal over the top of the casserole.
Bake uncovered for 45 minutes.
Edited to add: Daniel suggests in the comments on LJ that most of the salt comes from the soup. Not exactly true, though that is biggest single contributor of sodium. I’m pretty good about checking sodium content of the foods I buy and got the cream of celery soup that had the lowest sodium content of any of that kind of soup at Fred Meyer.
Here’s the sodium contributions to this dish, taken from the nutrition labels:
I made this soup last week when I was staying over at my grandparents’ place. Gramps is supposed to be on a cardiac diet, so most boxed meals and canned soups are out. But soup made from scratch can be prepared without salt frequently, so I brought over The Ultimate Soup Bible to pick through. Nothing too fancy, cause my grandparents aren’t fancy eaters. And with a small kitchen and old equipment, I wouldn’t be able to complete a lot of fancy steps.
Recipe is what I made, not what’s in the book.
6 tablespoons margarine (I would have used butter, but that’s what they have)
1 medium leek
¾ teaspoon fresh ginger
¾ cup unsweetened almond butter
1 medium carrot
½ cup frozen peas
1½ cup frozen cooked chicken
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 cup cream
Melt the margarine in a dutch oven kind of pan
Chop the leek
Chop the ginger
Sauté the leek and ginger until it turns soft
Chop the carrot
Add almond butter, carrot, peas, and chicken, and ½ cup of water
In my quest to find more rice recipes (cause I have a giant bag of rice and it’s cheap), I tried this recipe for Spanish rice from Greg Atkinson’s West Coast Cooking. Really easy, fresh ingredients, pretty tasty.
2 cups long grain white rice
1 medium onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 large tomatoes
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 bay leaf
Rinse the rice several times in cold water
Let rice drain in strainer
Chop the onion
Cut the tomato up
Put tomato, onion, garlic and oregano in a blender
Remove mixture from blender when the blade just spins through the tomato chunks
Put mixture in food processor and/or chop stuff by hand until the chunks are much smaller
I took this recipe for a carmelized onion tart from The Pie and Pastry Bible and modified it a bit to make it a bit easier. I don’t own a tart shell, so I just used a shallow pie plate. I also didn’t use any of the fancier pie crust recipes the author suggested. Just a plain old whole wheat pastry flour, unsalted butter, and chilled water pie crust. As always, recipe below is what I did, not exactly what’s in the cookbook.
Single shell pie crust
1 egg white
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
6 medium sweet onions
½ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
3 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
½ ounce Gruyère cheese
pitted Manzanilla olives
Pre-bake the pie crust
Lightly beat egg white
While still warm, brush the crust with egg white
Peel and thinly slice onions
In skillet, heat the olive oil and butter over low heat
Sprinkle onions with sugar, salt, and pepper
Cover and cook without stirring on lowest possible heat 45 minutes
Shred Gruyère cheese finely
Preheat oven to 400°
Raise heat on onions to medium
Stir and cook onions until all liquid has evaporated and they are golden
Turn heat to low
Add garlic and thyme
Cook for 3 to 5 minutes
Fill pie shell with onion mixture
Sprinkle with Gruyère cheese
Place olives on top
Bake for 20 minutes or so (until cheese is melted and top is brown)
The result was heavenly. Several folks told me it was the best of the 20 or so pies we had at the last Pie Night. It might become one of my staple pies. Easy to make and so very very tasty.
This recipe comes from Farm Journal’s Complete Pie Cookbook, which I picked up for free outside Michael’s Books in Bellingham. It worked out pretty good, though I might do something slightly different next time. Instead of coconut flakes, I might use shredded coconut. Since coconut doesn’t soften too much during the cooking, it resulted in kind of a crunchy/fibrous texture. That was minor though. Turned out to be an excellent pie, and pretty easy to make.
As always, recipe is how I made it, not exactly how it appears in the cookbook.
A couple of months ago, I tried out a pastitsio recipe in the Better Homes & Gardens Biggest Book of Casseroles. Looking at the index, I realized the cookbook had a different recipe for pastitsio 60 pages earlier. That’s my one gripe about the cookbook; it doesn’t group similar recipes very well. There’s five or six mac and cheese recipes scattered throughout. Why not put them all together? Anyhow, the other pastitsio recipe had fewer pre-made ingredients, so I decided I would try it. It’s better.
The following is my attempt.
1 pound ground beef
1 large onion
8 ounce can tomato sauce
¼ cup sherry
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1½ cups milk
1 cup shredded Romano cheese
Cook beef and onion until meat is browned and onion is tender
Add tomato sauce, sherry, and cinnamon to meat and onions
Heat until bubbling
Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes
Cook penne pasta according to directions
Lightly beat 2 eggs
Toss cooked pasta with eggs and 2 tablespoons of butter
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat
Stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth
Add milk (slowly)
Cook until mixture is thick
Lightly beat 2 eggs
Stir mixture into the eggs
(make sure meat, pasta, and sauce are all finished)