In the past, I’d make beef stew either in the crock pot or stove top, using a seasoning packet and bouillon. I’d use left over steak or stew meat bought at the store, with plenty of fresh and/or canned vegetables. Now that we are low sodium, I can’t just throw in bouillon and seasoning packets. The sodium is in the thousands in both the broth and bouillon.
What we have been learning is the fresher the ingredients, the better the flavor, even without salt. I recently made a beef stew using a low sodium liquid beef broth and just 1 teaspoon of a seasoning packet. I add water 3 times equal to the broth (14.5oz) This keeps the sodium low, but keeps flavor in there. Also, the left over steak was marinated in low sodium Teriyaki sauce, so once cubed and put into the stew, it added flavor.
I add cubed potatoes (Russet give an earthy flavor, red potato are a bit sweeter), celery, carrots, green beans, onion and corn. All add their own flavors to the whole stew. 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic and a bay leaf also.
It simmers for a couple hours, till all veggies tender. We like it thickened so right before serving we mix corn starch with a little water and then pour into stew. It will thicken the whole thing.
Now that we have had ample time to adjust our cooking to very low sodium, its time to start looking at actual measurements of sodium. We did our homework and learned the minimums and maximums of sodium an average, healthy adult should have. 2300 mg is the maximum amount of sodium and can be found in just 1 teaspoon of salt. The minimum is 500 mg. We need sodium, just not an overabundance.
Take the hamburger, for instance. At Chilis, the Old Timer, which is most like burgers we make (or used to make) at home. I thought the calories were bad until I saw the sodium. Go ahead, guess………………………………. Ready? 3,050. Well over the recommended maximum. Then add fries, appetizer, etc. In one setting you could have over 4,000 mg.
Well, we can’t have that, now can we? No siree. I set out to completely take the sodium out and help the swelling go down. It did, and then I decided to keep Old Rooster withing a 500-1000 mg diet. Now, I need to make sure we are keeping to that level but still manage to add flavor to our meals. One of our success is a hamburger, modified to fit low sodium.
Ground turkey hamburger patty (3.2 oz) seasoned with Mrs. Dash, salt substitute, and pepper (60mg), with lettuce (0mg), purple onion slices (0mg), bun (190mg), dill pickle (70mg) and low sodium bacon (95mg). Total 415mg. Almost half his daily. But if we make fries they have no salt. Our ketchup has no salt. We did without cheese because a slice is extremely high.
Now, I need to go figure out the measurements for the killer spaghetti sauce I made tonight using the left over turkey burgers. I mean, it was to die for.