Tag Archives: low sodium crackers

Highfalutin and High Flying

If it seems I am a bit punchy this morning, well I think it is because I am drunk with anticipation. I am about to head off to the airport to board one of Virgin America’s swanky 70’s lounge flyers (which always makes you want a cocktail and a disco ball at 7am) and join my friends in Southern California to celebrate a most special day – Miss Davies’ Wedding! Beyond the normal excitement, I will also be acting as the officiant – or the Pope as I like to refer to myself – so I am most definitely filled with the proverbial champagne bubbles and butterflies.

But as I prepare for my weekend getaway, it is equally important that I make sure my suitcase is filled with appropriate, travel-safe, low sodium goodies. No one wants a grouchy master of ceremonies or a tummy that rumbles so loudly that it interrupts the “I Do’s.”

For that reason, I am dedicating this post to the art of traveling on a low sodium diet. I have written on this subject a few times before and as such, have included links to those articles below. But just to kick things off, here’s what I did to prepare for the few days I will be away from my lovely kitchen:

  1. I grabbed myself a bag of Terra No Salt Added Sweet Potato Chips (and took the air out so that it lays flat in my carry-on)
  2. I bought Unsalted Brown Rice Sesame Crackers and threw them in a plastic bag as well
  3. I cooked up some chicken thighs (this is only for the first day of travel so I don’t worry about keeping it cool)
  4. I made my own granola mix with dried cranberries, strawberries, and puffed rice cereal – perfect for breakfast and 911 snacking emergencies
  5. And finally, I packed a little plastic bag of oatmeal. Just add (hot) water. How great is that? If I am really running out of steam, these oats will do the trick in a jiff

Since the bride is one incredible gal, she actually has all my meals taken care of, having sent her caterer a list of my needs. So in reality, I can actually pack quite light for this trip. But it is always good to be prepared. And since I am realistic with myself about my constant need to be eating something, I am sure my efforts will not be wasted.

For more travel tips, be sure to check out the following posts and as always, shoot questions or concerns my way.

Happy Trails: A list of foods you can find at the airport and goodies that easily fit (and don’t spoil) in your bag

On the Road Again: A dear-diary of what I packed in my bag during a week-long, east coast jaunt

Bon Voyage: Advice for when your travels taken you beyond the American border (and when communication may get fishy)

The Dehydrator: When low sodium astronaut food doesn’t exist, make it yourself! This helpful “kitchen” tool enables you to bring your best home-made, low-sodium meals with you anywhere you go – the woods, the outback, and probably even space.

Big Food, Small People: A slightly strange but successful solution to low sodium grub when your resources are limited

With that, please put up your tray table and fasten your seat belts. It’s time to kick off this wedding celebration and as always, chow on! Happy weekend to you all.

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It’s a Cracker, Jack

I’ve always been quite jealous, when watching TV cooking shows, to see chefs quickly whip up crispy, parmesan wafers, that add an inexplicable flare and crunch to even the most boring dishes.  Like a Caesar salad.  All it takes is a grater, a block of parm, and a non-stick baking sheet. But due to parmesan’s high sodium content, to make and enjoy this treat also requires a body that is not salt sensitive.

So parmesan wafers were out.  But as usual, when I’m told no, I become even more obstinate and determined to find a solution. It just so happened that I have become recently addicted to ricotta cheese, which is generally quite low in sodium.  The particular brand I have been using is only 24 mg of sodium per 1/4 cup.  Scoops of this creamy concoction have found their way into my risotto cakes, pasta, and weekly frittatas.  Yes, I said weekly.

With ricotta clearly on my mind, and in my fridge, I thought, perhaps I could make a cheese wafer/cracker/biscuit out of this low sodium product.  A little interweb searching landed me on the Food Network’s website and a wonderful recipe for parmesan and thyme crackers by the always adorable, always delicious Ina Garten. From there, I traded ricotta for the parmesan, took out the salt, and added a few more herbs and orange zest to create the ideal low sodium, ricotta cheese cracker. In a mere hour, with very little prep or clean up, I had a set of freshly baked, crackers that were as gorgeous as Ina’s, if I do say so myself.

I cannot wait to make these for my next food gathering. As cheese and crackers are always a staple appetizer at these events, I’m pretty sure you cannot go wrong with a combination of the two. It’s like the culinary equivalent of the spork – great separate, but better when together.

So get cracking.  Have a great weekend and chow on.

Ingredients:

  • ½ a stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of ricotta cheese (approx 120mg of sodium for an entire batch of 56 crackers, which means about 2mg per nibble)
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons of herb spice blend, like Herbs de Provence or salt free Mural of Flavor
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated
  • zest from one (small) orange
  • juice from half of one (small) orange – you do not want the dough to be too wet

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Grate garlic and orange using a microplane.

3. Place the butter and flour in a food processor and mix until creamy. Add the ricotta, herbs, pepper, mustard, orange zest, garlic, and juice and combine.

4. Dump the dough on a lightly floured board.

5. Roll into a 13-inch long log and wrap in plastic wrap.

6. Place in the freezer, yes FREEZER, for 20 minutes to harden. When it is almost frozen, it is easier to slice

7. Cut the log crosswise into 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick slices. Place the slices on a sheet pan and bake for 25 minutes.

8. Put out with your appetizer spread, bring to work for a quick snack, or wrap up in some tissue paper as a gift. These goodies stay good for about 3-5 day.s

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