Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sodium Smarts

Not feeling particularly creative tonight - sorry peeps. Howevs, what is very exciting tonight is all of the season premieres! Yes, I like my TV. Tonight's show list? Glee (obvs), Biggest Loser, 90210, Gossip Girl. PLUS Rachel Zoe. Ba-nanas! Side note - the likelihood I'll make it through anything but Glee tonight? About 0 percent, considering Tuesday is my double workout day (spin in the a.m., lift with my trainer at night).

Our selection tonight comes courtesy of another one of those "heart healthy" cookbooks I have on hand. Howevs, as you'll see with this one, many of the recipes, while lower in fat and cholesterol, still have oodles of sodium. Of course I adapted mine to lower it, but still. My personal definition of "heart healthy" includes sodium smart (!) meals. Maybe it's just me. Or maybe its just that this book was published more than a decade ago, before sodium became all the rage as it has of late (much to my joy).

Campfire Mesquite Beef & Beans
Source: Betty Crocker's Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Cooking Today (2000)

  • 1/2 lbs extra lean ground beef
  • 2 c. water
  • 1/4 c. mesquite-flavored bbq sauce (I use Old Carolina BBQ - 35mg sodium/serving - who knew this was right here in the NEO, btw? I sure didn't. Will have to check it out)
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp bouillon granules (I use sodium-free)
  • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained (I use no-salt added)
  • 2 c. uncooked pasta (I used a whole-wheat penne/mac combo I had on hand)
  • Spray a 4-quart Dutch oven with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Cook beef in Dutch oven, stirring occasionally, until brown. Drain.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients except pasta. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered 18 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Spoon beef mixture over pasta.
Notes: Recipe recommends adding salsa (I did - use Newman's Own, which is low-sodium), sour cream (blech) or if you don't want pasta, rolling up in a fat-free flour tortilla (I would use La Tortilla Factory Whole Wheat tortillas, in case you are wondering). We did add some mozzarella cheese - I just used a sprinkle.

Yield: 4 servings
Per serving: 355 calories; 7g fat (sat 2g); choles: 25mg; sodium: 840mg (this is the original, not my variation); carbs: 57g; protein: 23g

The kid didn't have a banner evening - he was complaining of stomach pains, so he went to bed without eating. For some reason, he's not a huge fan of ground beef, so I don't know that he would have loved this anyway. The hubs really enjoyed - he's taking leftovers for lunch tomorrow, and he's not typically a leftover or pack-your-own-lunch kind of guy. I also enjoyed, although I wish that the recipe outlined specific serving sizes (I made assumptions) and started off as a low-sodium meal.

Three Forks

Campfire Meal - although there is no camping in MY future


  1. You know it's good if I'm doing leftovers

  2. What does "howevs" mean??