By: Blake Kohn
This challenge was complete karma for me. When I found out that I was selected to participate, I was in Mexico, on spring break with my family, and I’m pretty positive that I was licking the rim of salt on my margarita when the email came. To say I like salt is a complete understatement. I’m the girl that licks the bottom of the bag of pretzels.
It’s all rather ironic since I do pay attention to the food I eat and cook. I make nearly every meal at home, use almost all fresh foods, and I can size up the calorie and fat totals of just about any dish. But sodium is my Achilles heel. Until recently I didn’t even know what whether 500mg of sodium was a lot for a soup, or not. (Hint: it’s pretty high!) I guess that’s why Cooking Light dubbed me the Sodium-Clueless mom. If it weren’t so accurate, I might have been offended!
This month has been all about trying new recipes, reading the labels on the food at the grocery store, and ordering my margarita without salt. I also read cover to cover the October Cooking Light issue (only occasionally turning to page 58 to admire my photo) and learned so much about the salt content of food I always assumed was better for me, but really wasn’t. I couldn’t believe that turkey pepperoni wasn’t the better choice over regular pepperoni for our family pizza and movie nights.
The changes that worked for me and for my family were amazingly simple. I write an appetizer recipe blog and this month, I halved every salt quantity on every recipe. And you know what? I don’t think any of the taste was compromised by doing so. I also replaced all salt in our house with kosher salt, and I started seasoning our veggies each night with lemons and limes. Fresh squeezed lemons on green beans with toasted almonds…delish!
The biggest change we made was switching out store-bought taco seasoning with a homemade one that had no salt at all. I have to admit, that I was extremely skeptical with this particular change, and worried that I was messing with a Kohn family favorite. But, by golly, they liked it.
I’ve been really happy to participate in this challenge and have found the changes fairly easy to make. Hopefully, we will now have an even more balanced diet, and I’ll keep looking for ways to improve. (Next stop: replace the soups I eat for lunch with a low-sodium variety and make homemade meatballs for the kids lunch instead of the premade frozen kind.) I can’t say that my margaritas are always going to be without salt, but everything else is here to stay.