Cookbook Review: The Easy Low-Sodium Diet Plan & Cookbook by Christopher Lower
It’s rare to find a cookbook where the focus of the book isn’t watered down with a bunch of fluff, and this cookbook is one of those rare finds.
We don’t “need” to worry about maintaining low sodium diets in our household, but we decided that learning more about reducing our sodium intake is just a smart thing to do. We’ve learned a lot from Christopher’s book as well as his blog, Hacking Salt. Everything is presented clearly with lots of great tips that we can use every day.
And the recipes – as the title suggests – are EASY! So many great ideas for meals that don’t break the bank or require a lot of fuss. In addition, Christopher’s suggestions for creating more variety and flavor without salt have been inspiring.
What You Can Expect
Christopher simplifies things in a sophisticated way. His ideas and suggestions are well-researched. He’s not just spinning a different version of today’s so-called answers to yesterday’s so-called trends. He lives a low-sodium lifestyle as if his life depends on it… Because it does.
But he also has excellent taste. Boredom is clearly not an option in his kitchen. He has a wide variety of culinary preferences, and he’s found ways of creating delicious, heart health-conscious options for those preferences in his everyday life.
Christopher has done the homework and he’s created a great resource to share all the information he’s learned with the rest of us. For those requiring lower sodium intake as well as those interested in learning more about healthier cooking, he provides answers to questions so it all makes sense. And when it makes sense, it’s much easier to adapt to.
Anyone who reads this cookbook can benefit from his no-nonsense approach. There’s no fluff. Just facts, and how to use those facts to your advantage. You can’t help but think differently – and cook differently – after reading Christopher’s cookbook. You’ll start re-visiting different paragraphs and recipes, and they begin to make more and more sense. And before you know it, you’ve developed new, healthier habits that come naturally.
As Christopher says on page 11:
“This book will help you re-learn to cook, guide you in finding substitutions (including kitchen staples and condiments), and help you enjoy your way to a low-sodium diet.”
In a nutshell, you can expect dozens of new recipes that aren’t trying to impress anyone with edgy ingredients, over-produced photography, or fancy presentations. You can expect real recipes that allow you to enjoy real food in many different ways.
The book is broken down into intuitive sections starting with health-related information that is likely new to many of us.
Christopher provides easy-to-follow suggestions for re-vamping your pantry and making room for healthier ingredients. There are some eye-opening recommendations for high-salt items to watch out for, and better low-sodium options and brands to migrate to. He even provides budgeting tips and meal plans to take the guess work out of low-sodium meal preparations.
With the variety of recipes in this cookbook, there’s no shortage of menu options! Christopher has included something for everyone. Here are the categories that he covers:
- Broths, Sauces, Spice Mixes and Dressings
- Snacks and Sides
- Salads and Soups
- Meatless Entrées
- Fish and Seafood Entrées
- Meat and Poultry Entrées
See what I mean?
The day after I received the Review Copy of the cookbook, I made Christopher’s Slow-Cooker Hawaiian Chicken recipe. I had everything on-hand, and couldn’t wait to try it! The only thing I changed was, well, the chicken part. I had a small pork roast that I planned to use for another dish, but I knew the recipe ingredients would go just as well with pork. And they did!
I have to say that, as a “traditional” cook, not adding salt to the mix seemed so odd. Old habits die hard, but it’s well worth the effort to learn to think differently in the kitchen. This recipe wasn’t lacking in flavor one bit. It was refreshingly “clean” and we loved the way the flavors of the ingredients came together without adding salt.
It was delicious the next day, too. I shredded the leftover pork and served it over brown rice with some steamed veggies. I love a good dish that works in more ways than one, and Christopher’s Slow-Cooker Hawaiian Chicken (or pork!) definitely fits that bill.
Recipes I Can’t Wait To Try
Of course, all of recipes in the book look and sound absolutely amazing, but I wanted to include a sampling of the recipes to show you just how much variety there is… As hard as it was to narrow them down to a few of my personal favorites, here they are:
- Slow-Cooker Fresh Tomato Sauce
- Indian Mango Chutney
- Orange-Almond Muffins
- Slow-Cooker Garlic Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes”
- Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili
- Thai Chicken Broccoli Soup
- Chickpea Burgers with Tahini Sauce
- Eggplant “Parmesan” Marinara
- Shrimp Jambalaya
- Chili and Red Pepper-Crusted Scallops
- New York Strip Steak with Mushroom Sauce
- Slow-Cooker Curry Chicken
- Lemon Thins
- Chocolate-Mint Truffles
There are so many delicious recipes in the book… I’m not sure where to start!
One of the first things I learned from this cookbook is that small changes can make big differences.
I’ve also learned a handful of “trips & tricks” that I now use every time I go to the grocery store. I’m reading ingredient labels even more than before, and because of the information in Christopher’s book, I’m now looking at different information on those labels.
Christopher has even made sense out of (read: debunked!) some information about “healthier salts” that I previously thought was good ingredient gospel.
Now more than ever, I’m looking at spices and other non-sodium ingredients as opportunities to bring fun, new flavors to our table without piling salt into our bodies. And for those who are carefully watching their fat intake, listen up! Just because something is “low fat” doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Think about it. When they take fat out of food, they add flavor with something, and that something is usually sugars and salt.
We’re now inspired to learn more about healthier ways of cooking in general. The fact that the recipes in this book are low sodium is surprising, actually, given how good they are.
Whether you want – or need – to know more about low-sodium cooking, I couldn’t recommend this cookbook more highly.
Get The Cookbook
“The Easy Low-Sodium Diet Plan & Cookbook” is available on Amazon and it will be available wherever books are sold as of July 18th, 2017.