What’s Really Kosher in a Sea of Salt? Plus a recipe for Arroz con Pollo

November 29, 2018

So what is the scoop on salt?  Is sea salt better than regular salt?  Well….there is not much of a difference in the salt world.  I have table salt, Kosher salt and some sea salt at my house.  All gets used but only occasionally. The difference is in the processing, texture and maybe the taste.  Kosher salt and sea salt are the closest, both having larger crystals. And the big difference between Kosher, sea salt and table salt is the grain size. 

The primary ingredient in all three is sodium chloride.  All three of these salt choices can impact blood pressure.  The guidelines suggest that sodium intake is less than 2300 mg per day.  If you are older than 51 (yeah that’s right), African- American or have high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease the guidelines suggest 1500 mg per day.  So which one should I choose?  They all contain about the same amount of sodium.  Let your taste buds or maybe your eyes choose.  Sometimes I use a small amount of Kosher or sea salt on my roasted veggies right before I serve them so it looks like there is a lot of salt.

Look for recipes with strong flavors where you don’t realize you are taking in less salt.  You can add more turmeric to this recipe if it suits your taste buds!

Arroz con Pollo

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable Oil Spray
  • 1/1/2 lbs boneless, skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ½ to 1 small onion, chopped
  • ¼ medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 c uncooked rice
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • 1 c  frozen corn or green peas

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray a 13 x 9 x 2-inch casserole dish with vegetable oil spray. 
  2. Cut the chicken into bite-sizes pieces. 
  3. Put in the casserole dish. 
  4. In a small bowl, stir together the olive ole, garlic, pepper and paprika. 
  5. Brush on the chicken.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cooked through. 
  6. Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. 
  7. Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom cook the onion and bell pepper for 3-4 minutes or until soft.  Stir in the rice. 
  8. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the rice begins to brown, stirring frequently. 
  9. Stir in the broth, tomatoes, turmeric. 
  10. Simmer, covered for 20 minutes.  Stir in corn and chicken. 
  11. Simmer, covered for 10 minutes or until heated through.

Nutrition Information: 277 calories, 3.5 gms fat, 66 mg chol, 125 mg sodium, 31 gms protein

Recipe Source: American Heart Association 3rd edition Low Salt Cookbook

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This is another in a weekly series of healthy recipes from Kay MacInnis, registered dietitian at Providence Health in Columbia, S.C.

Kay promotes health and wellness, helping cardiac and diabetes patients eat their way to healthier lives. She works in consultation with the trained chefs at Providence, combining her nutrition knowledge with their food prep know-how to create delicious, healthy dishes for patients and the public. She also conducts a number of health and wellness events for the public, including the monthly Providence Cooks! classes.

"She doesn't just give you the fish, she teaches you how to cook it."

 – a Kay MacInnis fan and Providence Cooks! regular.