Salt Substitutes
Answered by: Yvonne Tremblay
Question from: Patricia
Posted on: September 2, 2003

I have a heart condition and am supposed to avoid salt. Do you have a suggestion how else I might flavourize various meats with that view of reducing or eliminating salt?

Using fresh herbs is a great way to add flavour to food and thereby reduce or eliminate the use of salt. For meats I would recommend marinating. You can use fresh herbs or herb vinegars (the acidity also helps to tenderize the meat) and garlic with a touch of oil to carry the flavours. Marinate tender meats (such as chicken) briefly and less tender cuts of beef for several hours in the refrigerator. Sage, rosemary, thyme, tarragon, marjoram, chives and bay leaf. Other good flavour enhancers include mustard, tomato paste, ginger, hot pepper sauce or dried chiles.

You may also use fresh herbs in a sauce you make in the pan following the cooking of the meat. Add a liquid (wine, fruit juice, etc.) to de-glaze the pan, stirring to loosen the brown bits. Add chopped fresh herbs and cook until thickened.

In my book, "Thyme in the Kitchen" you will find Saltimbocca (veal or chicken) made with fresh sage and parsley, with a marsala wine and lemon sauce. Also, Pork Tenderloin wrapped in a puree of sage, thyme, rosemary, garlic and mustard. It is refrigerated for 1 hour then baked. Chicken Piccata with lemon juice, white wine and tarragon. Salt, if used, may be eliminated from any of these recipes. All are very simple and tasty.

For fish, try making a side sauce of plain yogurt (or low-fat sour cream), mayonnaise, fresh dill and mustard. Or, Herb Stuffed Trout (For recipes, see "Thyme in the Kitchen").

For more information on "Thyme in the Kitchen", please visit My book is available from Richters.

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