I read in a magazine a while back that citrus was the new salt. The article went on to explain that citrus (especially lime and lemon) tends to hit the tongue at the same place that salt does. So, it’s a great way to lower your sodium/salt intake. Cool, isn’t it?
That little fact that stuck in my brain for a while, and it’s a trick I’ve started using a lot more in my kitchen. I especially love it when I need a quick salad dressing… While I love my food seasoned (and I do, I’m not a fan of bland), both my husband and I try to watch how much sodium we eat. And, most salad dressings (even the “healthy” looking organic ones) are just loaded with salt. So, lately, I often opt to whip up a quick lemon vinaigrette (and really, it couldn’t be easier) and skip the bottled dressing.
So, imagine my surprise when I was given the opportunity to write about the Sunkist S’alternative! Basically, they are giving people the tools to learn how to season their food with lemon juice instead of salt. By putting away the salt shaker and serving fresh lemon wedges with your food, you can kick the salt habit, reduce your sodium intake, and even boost your potassium. Plus, who doesn’t love a beautiful bowl of lemon wedges!
While I do try to be careful about sodium, there’s always room for improvement, so I took the Sunkist Sodium Quiz to see if I am really on top of the situation. It only took about a minute, but it was a fun way to put my healthy cooking to the test. Check out my results…
Not bad, right? I was pleased with the results… I suppose all of these years of reading labels, cooking from scratch, and making my own dressings is really paying off! I’m sure that there’s still some room for improvement, though… There always is!
Want to see how your cooking and eating styles match up? Check out the Sunkist Sodium Quiz for yourself!
Whether your score well or not, I think there’s always room for improvement and inspiration in the recipe department to keep things interesting. So, I thought I’d share my super simple lemon vinaigrette with you and then as an added bonus, I’m throwing in a quick and easy roasted eggplant, garbanzo, and cous cous salad that pairs beautifully with the dressing. I think it’s great for a healthy lunch that will fill you up and keep you going throughout the day. And, it certainly beats a sandwich!
Simple Lemon Vinaigrette
(Makes 2-4 servings)
- Juice from 1 lemon (approximately 3-4 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until the dressing comes together and is smooth. You can also throw in fresh herbs and spices to jazz it up, if you like!
Roasted Eggplant, Garbanzo, and Cous Cous Salad
(Makes 4-6 large servings)
- 1 medium eggplant, cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups (low sodium) vegetable broth
- 1 cup whole wheat cous cous
- 1/2 pound of dried garbanzo beans, cooked and drained
(or two cans of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained)
- 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- Handful fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- Simple lemon vinaigrette (above)
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
In a mixing bowl, toss together the eggplant, garlic, and olive oil. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Spread the eggplant out in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for about 40 – 45 minutes.
In the last 10 minutes of roasting the eggplant, prepare the cous cous. Bring the vegetable broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the cous cous. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the cous cous, covered, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the cous cous stand for about 5 minutes. Then, fluff with a fork and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Add the roasted eggplant, cooked garbanzo beans, feta cheese, and chopped cilantro to the mixing bowl. Pour the dressing over the cous cous and toss to combine. Serve immediately at room temperature or chilled.