I think the first thing you learn in culinary school is how to properly use salt. Yeah, seasoning with salt… so basic, so elementary. However, if you talk to any person in the culinary industry, this basic technique is so often abused. Using too much or too little salt is a common complaint, and finding that perfect balance, can take time and a lot of tasting spoons!
We are taught that salt is needed to make food taste better, caramelize onions faster, preserve food for long periods of time, etc. and while this all may be true, I believe that most of us have gotten too dependent on salt. A lot of foods are naturally salty and have a such beautiful natural flavor all on their own. I strongly believe in letting these natural flavors shine through. Not only will adjusting the amount of salt used in everyday cooking expand your palate, a lower sodium diet will improve overall health.
Obviously my thinking is different than most; but with the right combination of foods and flavors, and a little retraining of your taste buds, I think you all might start to agree with me! That’s why I am excited to team up with Sunkist and share the Sunkist S’alternative®. Recent studies have shown that using lemon zest and juice, in place of some or all salt in cooking, is an all-natural way to cut sodium without compromising flavor. Check out the chart below on how you can replace salt with fresh lemon zest and juice; and then check out these fresh recipes.
Inspired by the S’alternative, I wanted to come up with a healthy, feel good recipe. I love all the fresh from the garden (or farmer’s market) produce you find this time of year. I am sure many of you are like me and are needing recipes to use up all those fruits and veggies. Today’s recipe is basically a summer garden dumped on a plate, and covered in a scrumptious Lemon Basil Vinaigrette. While this salad is simple and contains little salt, don’t worry about it lacking in flavor. Trust me, things liking grilling the vegetables and tart lemon juice is what makes, as you will see, a tasty take on the summer salad.
1 cup quinoa
2 cups reduced sodium vegetable broth
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
½ small eggplant, sliced lengthwise into
1 medium yellow squash, sliced lengthwise
1 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and halved
1 large tomato, diced
1 (8 ounce) bag mixed salad greens
¼ cup sunflower seeds
Lemon Basil Vinaigrette, as needed (recipe below)
In a medium sized pot, stir together quinoa and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, and boil on high heat for 1 minute. Reduce to low, cover and continue cooking for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and keep covered for an additional 5 minutes.
Heat an indoor or outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Lightly coat the vegetables with olive oil. Working in batches, grill the vegetables until tender and lightly charred; about 6-8 minutes.
Allow vegetables to cool enough to handle. Dice vegetables and toss grilled vegetables with diced tomatoes and cooked quinoa.
Serve vegetable quinoa medley over mixed salad greens, topped with sunflower seeds and drizzled with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette.
2 Sunkist lemons, juiced
1 Sunkist lemon, zested
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup loosely packed basil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt, if needed
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Use immediately, as desired, or refrigerate for use later.
is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sunkist. All opinions are 100% mine. Because of sponsors like Sunkist I
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