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Rewriting the low-sodium rules


Heart healthy recipes
Photo: HuffingtonPost.com

By Jessica Goldman Foung for HuffingtonPost.com

huffpoSome people live to eat. Others eat to live. And the there are those of us who aspire to do both.

In 2004, just days after my 21st birthday, I survived an aggressive attack of lupus; my kidneys, however, did not. And from the beginning I vowed to do what I could, on top of receiving amazing medical care, to stay healthy and strong. That meant keeping a strict, low-sodium diet. But as a stubborn 20-something, I was also equally resolute to not eliminate the flavor, spontaneity, or social fun of eating from my life. I refused to eat bland food or feel like a second-class culinary citizen because of my diet. And in a world where salt sits on a flavor pedestal, I decided that it was time to rewrite the low-sodium rules (uninspiring) and prove that salt-free dishes could keep up (exciting).

The result was beet bloody Marys, pad thai with umami mushroom “fish sauce,” and my debut cookbook, Sodium Girl’s Limitless Low-Sodium Cookbook, filled with more than 100 other low-sodium twists on favorite salty dishes. Forced to explore a world of flavor beyond salt (and in turn, my food comfort zone, which was mainly pizza and traditional American fare), I quickly discovered I was a much more boring eater before my restrictions than after. And that, due to my restrictions, I opened my eyes and palate to a wider range of ingredients, cuisines, and culinary tricks that enlivened my kitchen, my plate, and my weekly dinner parties.

Keep reading for a sneak preview of recipes from the cookbook…

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