Sodium is all the Buzz!
Too much sodium is all the buzz at ONIE. Salt is an important part of our diet but most Americans are consuming 3436 mg of sodium/salt every day, which is much more than the 2300 mg recommended daily amount. Canned soups, boxed rice mixes, and macaroni and cheese all contain large amounts of sodium/salt. For example, some boxed rice mixes have almost half your daily value for sodium in 1 cup. Spanish rice mixes are a good example. Many of these mixes contain 1000 mg of sodium in 1 cup! Similarly, frozen or refrigerated chicken nuggets average 500 mg of sodium in 3-4 nuggets. Flavored nuggets or strips, such as BBQ or buffalo style, add an extra 80 mg of sodium. Canned soups typically have 870 mg of sodium per ½ cup. There are reduced sodium varieties containing 470 mg per ½ cup but that is still a lot of salt. Another favorite, boxed macaroni and cheese, averages 800 mg of sodium per 1 cup.
At ONIE we promote healthier choices while not giving up the foods you love. By making your own version of food that you love, you can reduce the sodium. For example, make your own Spanish rice by cooking brown rice and adding flavorings that you like. Chicken nuggets can be replaced with chicken fingers. ONIE has a chicken finger recipe that is certified to meet the 1 for 1 test, that is there is no more than 1 mg of salt/sodium or less for each calorie. Today, we have two new recipes that are quick and easy and can replace the unhealthier versions purchased from the grocery store: tomato soup and macaroni and cheese.
Serving size: 1 cup
½ cup onion, chopped
½ tsp minced garlic
½ cup celery, chopped
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cups no-salt-added tomatoes
½ cup water
- In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add the onion, garlic, celery and pepper flakes and sauté until softened.
- Add the tomatoes and water to the saucepan; bring to a boil and then lower heat to simmer. Cook 20 minutes.
- Puree in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Stovetop Mac N Cheese
Serving size: ½ cup
½ lb elbow macaroni
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
¾ cup 1% low-fat milk
¼ tsp black pepper
¾ tsp dry mustard
1 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
- In a large pot, cook pasta according to box instructions (do not add salt).
- Drain and rinse cooked pasta. Return pasta to pot.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, pepper and dry mustard. Stir into the pasta and add cheese.
- Over low heat, stir ingredients continuously for 3 minutes or until creamy.