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Spice it up!
Cold fusilli pasta with summer vegetables
Mediterranean-style fish with tomatoes

4 smart ways to cut salt
4 smart ways to cut salt

Most Americans should have less than a teaspoon of salt daily. If you have high blood pressure, you may need even less. Flavorful herbs and spices can help reduce your reliance on salt. Try these other tricks:

  • Buy low- or no-salt versions of your favorite foods.
  • Eat fewer frozen dinners and canned soups.
  • Buy fresh, not processed, meat and poultry.
  • Rinse beans under running water to reduce the sodium level.

How do you infuse your meals with more flavor without picking up a salt shaker? Just add herbs and spices! This summer, pick garden-fresh herbs in your backyard or visit a farmers market for the freshest taste.

Cold fusilli pasta with summer vegetables

  8 oz. whole-wheat fusilli
  2 cups cherry tomatoes, rinsed and halved
  1 large green bell pepper, sliced
  ½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
  1 medium zucchini, shredded finely
  1 15½-oz. can low-sodium chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  1 Tbsp. fresh basil, cut into thin strips (or 1 tsp. dried)
  ¼ tsp. salt
  ⅛ tsp. ground black pepper
  1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  ½ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

Cook pasta according to package directions, then rinse to cool. Place vegetables and beans in a large serving bowl. Season with basil, salt and pepper. Add pasta. Combine oil and vinegar, then pour over contents of bowl. Mix until well coated. Divide into four equal portions. Top each with 2 Tbsp. shredded Parmesan. Serves 4.

Per serving: 418 calories, 11 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 455 mg sodium, 63 g carbohydrates, 13 g fiber, 21 g protein

Mediterranean-style fish with tomatoes

  [For fish]
  12 oz. fillets of red snapper or bass, cut into 4 3-oz. portions
  1 Tbsp. olive oil
  ½ tsp. salt
  ¼ tsp. ground black pepper

  [For tomato sauce]
  1 Tbsp. olive oil
  1 red bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch sticks
  1 green bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch sticks
  1 cup canned no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  2 cups canned no-salt-added tomato sauce
  1 Tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 tsp. dried)
  1 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped (or 1 tsp. dried)
  1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped (or 1 tsp. dried)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Rinse and dry fillets. Coat with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until fish flakes easily with a fork at its thickest part. For sauce, heat oil in saucepan. Add peppers and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until firm but tender. Add tomatoes and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until tomatoes are soft. Add oregano, basil and parsley, then simmer for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Serve each fish fillet with 1 cup of sauce. Serves 4.

Per serving: 213 calories, 8 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 30 mg cholesterol, 365 mg sodium, 15 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 20 g protein