Low Sodium Recipes - 7 Cooking Tips Offer Flavorful Low Sodium Results

Low sodium recipes can certainly be challenging. Trying to get the salt and sodium out of a recipe is hard enough, and still have flavorful results without the food tasting like it is missing the salt is the most challenging part.

Here are seven simple low sodium cooking tips to try, for more flavorful low sodium recipes.

1. Choose good quality, fresh ingredients, to start with is a must. You are not easily able to mask any off tastes when your meats or vegetables not up to par. Using the freshest ingredients makes a big difference towards achieving good flavor. Try shopping at your local farmer's market. You will find many varieties of fruits, vegetables, even herbs, that you never see in the grocery store. Locally grown will have better flavor.

2. Browning or caramelizing your food especially meats. This tip will not only give a rich look to your food but adds amazing flavor as well. Take your time doing this part. Lower your heat. You want browned not burnt. For example, caramelized onions can take about 45 minutes, but the flavor is worth it.

3. Invest in a pepper grinder or also called a pepper mill. Freshly ground pepper instead of the regular pepper in a can, gives your recipes a huge flavor boost. Add freshly ground pepper while cooking and a little more at the end or even at the table.

4. Use freshly minced parsley in most low sodium recipes. Folks usually think of fresh parsley for show, just to dress up a plate and make it pretty. It does that and more. Freshly minced Italian flat leaf parsley (not curly), adds a flavor brightness and a freshness to food. When you are cooking, add some of the freshly minced parsley towards the end of your cooking time and always sprinkle more on top of the dish before you serve. You can also sprinkle freshly minced parsley over your entire plate, over vegetables, meats, sauces, soups, salads, etc., for more added flavor.

5. Using fresh lemons will help give a salty edge to many of your low sodium recipes. The regular Eureka lemons versus the sweeter Meyer lemons, work better for this tip. This tip can be tricky. You want the brightness of the lemon without turning your recipe into a lemon recipe. This works especially well for low sodium soup recipes. Ladle a small amount of soup into a bowl. Add a few drops of fresh lemon juice, stir, then taste. Try again if needed. A few more drops of lemon juice, stir, and taste. This will give you an idea of how much lemon juice you will need to add to the pot. Don't add too much as you can always add more but it is difficult to take a too much lemon taste away. Fresh lemon juice also works well in salad dressings and squeezed on vegetables.

6. Find a good tasting salt substitute. A salt substitute without potassium chloride, is preferable. Again most folks pick up that metallic taste in their food from the potassium chloride. You cannot really cover up this taste.

7. Use really good quality salt free or no salt seasonings. Seasonings make a big difference, probably the biggest difference, especially when cooking anything low sodium. For best results find no salt seasonings without potassium chloride, as potassium chloride can add an off metallic taste to your food. Use fresh seasonings. When seasonings start getting old, they lose their flavor, or you might get a flavor change. You want maximum flavor.

These are just a few tips that will help improve the flavor of your low sodium recipes.

Microwave Cooking - Tips For Using, Cooking, and Cleaning Your Microwave

I know this will give away my age group, but I can remember life without a microwave. My teenage daughter thinks that means we started fire by rubbing sticks together!

The microwave oven has certainly made life easier, especially for households like mine where both parents work outside the home. We want our meal times to be fast and easy, while remaining healthy and affordable. Our microwave oven is one of the appliances that help us spend less time in the kitchen.

We use ours all year long, but it really helps in the heat of summer to not use the oven as often and heat up the kitchen at the same time.

It sounds simple, but needs repeating - read and follow your microwave oven manufacturer's instructions. Here's some other safety tips:

· Remember, the food will be hot! Be careful when removing from the appliance
· Never use your microwave if the door does not close completely or there are any other defects
· If you cover the food being cooked, be sure to leave it vented so steam can come out naturally
· Don't use any metal utensils
· Use only "microwave safe" dishes
· Follow recommended cooking times. If the time is a range (5-7 minutes for example), start with the lower time

Now some general cooking tips:

· Cut food in uniform sizes for more even cooking
· Arrange evenly sized food in a circle
· Follow the recipe or manufacturer's cooking directions! Stir at stated times, turn food over when required, and let food stand as directed after cooking
· Margarine can be softened by using half power for 45-60 seconds
· Wrap left over pizza slices in damp (slightly damp) paper towels and cook for 35-45 seconds. The damp paper towels help to keep the crust crispy. Otherwise, you may have a crust that you cannot bite!
· Baked potatoes are a microwave favorite. Just remember to pierce them with a knife to release steam.
· If you are defrosting meat in your microwave (which is a great idea!), be sure to cook the meat as soon as defrosted. The meat may be partially cooked and become a home for bacteria.
· Add salt after cooking. The microwaves are attracted to the salt and can cause your food to dry out.
· Use a dish larger than your food so it won't spill over while heating.

Gotta clean it!

· Place ¼-cup lemon juice and one cup water in a two-cup container. Heat until it boils (about 2 minutes on high). Leave the lemon water in the microwave another 5-7 minutes, then wipe clean with paper towels or a clean dishtowel.
· You can also use a mixture of ½ water and ½ vinegar and do the same thing as above.

Healthy Cooking Tips For Your Home Cooking

Eating healthy is not just picking the right kind of food but also cooking them the right way. Food preparation is also important and contributes to how healthy is our diet. We often stay away from fast food and do home cooking instead, but in doing this, take time also to make sure that you get the most of your healthy food choice.
If you have been watching your diet and counting all those calories to reduce, here are some healthy cooking tips I could share that I have been doing as well.
* Choose organic. As much as possible, go for organic food, fruits and vegetables. They are not just free from pesticide residues but also contain more antioxidants than the non-organically grown ones.
*Choose your cooking oil. Olive oil or canola oil can be healthy choices, and make sure you drain excess oil in fried foods by draining it or using paper towels.
* Choose a healthy method of preparation. You can actually choose to prepare your food without draining it with its nutrients. Broiling, grilling, braising and steaming can retain the nutrients of the food. You can steam vegetables instead of boiling them to preserve its nutrients. Using non-stick pan is not just for convenience in cooking. It is also a good way to reduce the fat added to your food.
* Get rid or replace those high-fat, high-calorie ingredients. In some recipes, you can actually get rid of optional ingredients that contribute to the higher calorie content of the food. For instance, you can choose to omit frosting or you can use yogurt instead of ice cream for your desserts.
* Cook meat to its proper temperatures. This will kill harmful bacteria in the food that cause diseases. Suggested temperatures for steaks and roasts is at least 45°F, ground meat at 160°F and poultry at 165°F. Bacteria that may be spread in grinding meat can bring higher risk of food-borne diseases. You can also reheat leftovers at 165°F, and wait for the sauces and gravy to a boil if you are reheating them.
* Adding and including more fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your recipes is one of the healthy cooking tips you can never go wrong if you want to have healthy diet. Fruits are the better choices for healthy desserts. It always helps to include vegetables in your every recipe. If you don't like them whole and in big pieces, you can actually shred or chop them finely that you won't be able to notice them and put them together in your stew or soup.
* Reduce salt in your food. High sodium intake has been linked to higher risk of high blood pressure and risk of heart attack. If you are staying away from the salt-overloaded restaurant food, you can also try to reduce sodium intake by reducing salt in your home recipes. You can cut on salt and add more spices to add flavor to your recipes.
Good choice of food and starting with these healthy cooking tips and techniques, you can indeed make a difference in your diet and your health.

Cooking Tips For Gas Grills

There are a few things every aspiring grille master out there should know when it comes to cooking tips for gas grills.

1. Make sure you give ample time to get the grill good and hot.

Once you light the grill you should always leave it on high for at least twenty minutes with the lid down. This gets the grill nice and pre-heated. This is important because the food will no stick to the grates and you will get a nice tasty char. It also adds to the experience to have nice restaurant grill marks on the food.

2. Be Patient, only flip your meat once

This step is crucial to cooking your meat nice and even. It can take a little time and practice to get right, but once you have it dialed in it makes all the difference in the world. There is nothing more disheartening then finding out that your beautiful rib eye is well done one side and bloody rare on the other.

3. Never, ever cut into the meat

This is probably the single most important thing to know when it comes to cooking tips for the gas grill. It is also the most common mistake. Do yourself a favor and learn to temp your meat without slicing into it. Once you make that incision you are just releasing all the juices. These juices are where all the flavor comes from.

*side note: The best way to learn how to temp meat without cutting into it is this: Take the tip of your thumb and touch it against each of the fingertips on the same hand. Don't push with any pressure, just touch them together. While touching each finger feel your hand at the base of your thumb (the same hand you are touching finger and thumb with). The firmness of this muscle represents a different temp for each finger. The temps are as follows:

Index Finger - Rare
Middle Finger - Medium Rare
Ring Finger - Medium
Pinky Finger - Well

4. Keep the lid closed

This also lends itself to a much more uniform temp when cooking meat. If the lid is constantly open it cools the air and forces the grates to do all the cooking. This leads to the meat becoming well done on the outside before it has a chance to cook inside.

5. Always wait 10-20 minutes after you take the meat off the grill before you serve it

This technique will lock in the juices and give them a chance to disperse back into the meat. This means when you cut into the meat to eat it, all the juices won't just flow out onto the plate where they do you no good.

If you follow these simple cooking tips for gas grills you will be the hit of the next barbeque for sure!

Cooking Tips Everyone Needs

There is not a single chef in the world that does not have some sort of special cooking tips to offer up to the budding cook. Anyone who has stepped in front of a stove has, at one time or another, needed a little bit of advice.

It may not be an entire lecture on how to cook but just some helpful ideas to make it a little bit easier and help ensure a culinary success. Here are some great tips that anyone can use.

30 minute meals are not impossible and are a great answer to the hectic pace set in our lives by work, family and other obligations. Great food does not have to take a long time to prepare.

Cooking tips to help achieve great meals quickly are to use pre-sliced vegetables from the salad bar or already washed and bagged. You would be surprised at how much time this saves.

Another tip is to use thinner slices of meat. The thinner cuts will cook in far less time. The key is to find high-quality cuts that are tender.

One tip when making food that is invaluable is to know thy audience. For example: you make a wonderful shell fish dinner for a friend. You have spent hours slaving away over a hot stove preparing this culinary masterpiece.

The guest arrives and you suddenly remember that he or she is allergic to shell fish. This might seem humorous if it were happening to someone else but unfortunately you are left with a steaming seafood dinner only to wind up serving hamburgers at the last minute. Know who is going to be eating the meal if at all possible.

Food and cooking can be as complicated or as simple as you want to make it. A sure recipe for disaster is to attempt a new recipe while under time constraints or feeling pressured.

Knowing useful tips when making food mean nothing if there is not a desire to create. Making food is an art and one that takes time and practice in order to master. The greatest tips anyone can give are ones that let you know that mistakes are inevitable but nothing is impossible.

All recipes come from one of two things: a need or a desire for that dish. Tips when making food can come from a variety of places. They can be found within the recipe, on the internet or come from family or friends.

If you find yourself in a difficult situation, ask for some advice. Chances are that you were not the only person to fumble over that particular attempt. Have fun with it and enjoy yourself because in the end what matters most is the experience.