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Goodcooking.com Cookbook Review---

Salt Free Cover

 


Title: You Won't Believe It's Salt Free!
Author: Robyn Webb
178 pages; Glossy Softcover, $17.99 US/Ł11.99 UK/$21.99 CAN
Publisher: Da Cabo Press Boston 2012
Reviewed by, Chef John Vyhnanek


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The review---

You can cook any recipe you like without salt but will it taste good? The answer is probably not. In order to overcome this, you will have to make adjustments here and there, and it's not easy if you don't have a deft hand in cooking.

To your rescue comes a new cook book by Robyn Webb, You Won't Believe It's Salt Free, 125 Healthy, Low-Sodium and No-Sodium Recipes Using Flavorful Spice Blends, published by Da Cabo Press. There are many good sounding recipes in the book and the dozen or so color photos look great. Being a seasoned cook I can pick out what makes the recipes work and if you paid any attention to the book’s title you could too! It's the little extra seasoning as in flavorful spice blends. You can now trick the tongue. Professional chefs have been doing this for years. You be surprised how extra garlic, and very little or no salt, can intensify the flavor. A boost in flavor comes in the form of herbs de Provence in the Herbs de Provence Squash. Tequila, lime and honey in the Tequila Lime Chicken raises the flavor level in a big way and the lavender and orange zest in the Lavender Biscotti dances on the tongue.

The author talks salt in the first chapter of the book and reminds us of its potential for causing health problems if not used in moderation. Unfortunately some of us have already been told by medical professionals to stop consuming it for various reasons. The second chapter educates us on the seasonings that are listed in the book and their usage. The remaining chapters are recipes with their preparation procedures and each one comes with basic nutritional information in the form of a little framed box.

I chose to test the above mentioned recipes. It was straightforward with the Herbs de Provence Squash: zucchini and yellow squash were sliced lengthwise, rubbed with olive oil, garlic, herbs de Provence and sprinkled with a little crushed red pepper flakes and grilled. Lemon wedges were sliced up for the garnish and to be squeezed on the grilled vegetables---yum, the herbs, hot pepper flakes and lemon juice tricked my taste buds---who needs salt?

The Tequila Lime Chicken was another so simple recipe; chicken legs were marinated in tequila, lime juice, olive oil, salt-free Caribbean Citrus seasoning, honey and lime zest. This recipe gives you the choice to grill outdoors or broil inside, I chose to broil them, with great results. Tasty and nicely cooked, but next time I'll try grilling them to add the charred flavor!

Okay, dessert time, yes biscotti can be served by itself for dessert! And you might say, well desserts don't have salt anyway, and you'd be wrong! Ask any baker or pastry chef and they will tell you that without a little salt their masterpieces wouldn’t taste so good! In the author's recipe the combination of orange zest, honey and lavender blossoms fools the palate again. I settled down with a large freshly made latte with two shots of espresso and dipped the biscotti one after another, consuming more that I should have---they were that good!

Treat yourself and buy the book, you don't have to be on a salt-free or salt restricted diet to enjoy it. There are many creative recipes and some old stand-bys too all of which are easy to prepare. There are a few that require a bit more skill but any cook with some experience can easily master them all.

Good Cooking likes this book!

Recipes Tested!

Grilled Squash Herbs de Provence Squash

8 Servings/Serving Size: 1/2 Squash
Squash Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes

I was first introduced to herbes de Provence, well, when I was in Provence! Little beautiful jars of the tantalizing mixture lined just about every little shop from Arles to Aix en Provence. I just love having some around whether I end up cooking with it or not. inhaling the aroma of the herbs, with its hint of lavender, always brings me back to happy days in sunny France.

2 medium-size zucchini
2 medium-size yellow squash
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Garnish
Fresh lemon wedges

1. Slice the zucchini and yellow squash lengthwise into long, 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place the slices in a single layer on two large baking pans.
2. Place the garlic and oil in a small saucepan and cook over medium-tow heat for 6 to 7 minutes. just until fragrant. Add the herbes de Provence.
3. Pour the oil mixture evenly over all the zucchini and yellow squash and let stand for 10 minutes.
4. Prepare an outdoor grill. Coat the grill rack with cooking spray. Heat the grill to medium-high. Carefully place the zucchini and yellow squash on the grill, arranging them so the slices do not fall through the grill rack. Cook the squash until browned, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Serve the squash with lemon wedges.

Herbs de Provence is a mix of dry herbs typical of the Provence region in Southeast France.
The mix varies varies widely and usually includes basil, fennel seed, lavender, oregano, rosemary, tarragon and thyme. Although it traditionally is a blend of dried herbs, fresh herbs can also be used.

Basic Nutritional Values
Calories 95
Calories from fat 80
Total Fat 9.0 g
Sainted Fat 1.5 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholestrol 0 mg
Sodium 5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 4 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 2g
Protein 1 g

Tequila Lime Chicken Tequila Lime Chicken

4 servings/serving size: 4 ounces

Marinating time: 4 to 5 hours, or up to 24 hours preparation time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

This is one of those wonderful fix-and forget recipes. In just a few hours, chicken legs are infused with a zesty South of the Border flavor with a kick from the marriage of tequila and Caribbean Citrus seasoning. A very versatile marinade; try this with beef, pork, or lamb as well.

1/2 cup tequila
1/2 cup freshly squeezed time juice
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon for brushing if needed
1 tablespoon salt-free Caribbean Citrus seasoning
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon fresh lime zest
1 pound chicken legs

1. In a large bowl, combine the tequila, lime juice, olive oil, Caribbean Citrus seasoning, honey, and lime zest and mix well. Add the chicken legs, cover, and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 4 to 5 hours or overnight.

2. Preheat an outdoor grill with the rack set about 6 inches from the heat source. Set the heat to medium-high. Coat the grill rack with cooking spray. Or prepare an oven broiler with the rack set 6 inches from the heat source. Cover a broiler tray with aluminum foil and coat the foil with cooking spray.

3. Add the chicken legs and grill or broil for 25 to 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through to an internal temperature of 180 degrees F. If the chicken appears dry as it cooks, brush each leg with a little olive oil.

BASIC NUTRITIONAL VALUES
Calories 215
(175 without skin)
Calories from Fat 115
(80 without skin)
Total Fat 13.0 g
(9.0 g without skin)
Saturated Fat 3.0 g
(2.0 g without skin)
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 50 mg
(45 mg without skin)
Sodium 55 mg
(50 mg without skin)
Total Carbohydrate 6 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 4 g
Protein 15 g
(13 g without skin)

Lavender Biscotti

Lavender Biscotti

Buy the book for this and the other recipes!

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