September 27, 2011

Cookbook Swap – Food52

This week, I’m doing a little book swap. And I am so excited to tell you about three favorites that are coming to an Amazon near you.

Even though I am a sodium-free eater, I’ve been lucky enough to have my hands, thoughts, and taste buds involved in all of the books. And even though they all contain salt in their ingredient lists, I strongly believe that these beautiful guides are perfect inspiration for some impressive cooking, of the salty or salt-free kind.

So let’s start with the first one. Which really has motivated many recipes in this blog for the last two years. Like my Herbed Couscous, Sunny Side Up. (recipe over here)

Let me officially introduce you to Amanda and Merrill and all the home-cooks at (if you haven’t met already).

Their website is part weekly cooking contest, part food-loving community, and part creative outlet. And finally, it’s going into print.

While I believe I am the only member who cooks without salt, the ingredient-driven competitions constantly fuel my breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.

They drive me to push the boundaries of potatoes or try something new in my torte (or even make a torte in the first place). And best of all, they have a lot of other helpful tools (like the FoodPickler, where you can ask cooking questions and get answers in real time) to help anyone tackle any dish they crave.

But back to the book.

Inside, you’ll find recipes from contest winners (all picked by community winners) as well as some extra honorable mentions (picked by staff). And because each meal comes from a place of pure experimentation and imaginatio, you will feel free to put your own low-sodium twist on it.

Like this Blue River Stew, which I did not create, but helped test. Giving it, of course, a few salt-free swaps.

So whether you pick up a hardcopy or head over to its web page, I happily hand over my favorite cooking muse to all of you.

Enjoy and read on.

Blue River Stew (Salt-Free’d)


  • 2 tablespoons of ground black pepper and 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika, mixed
  • 4 beef short ribs with the bone in
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 Russet potatoes, peeled, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1/2 packet of Herb-Ox Sodium Free Beef Bouillon
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup of blonde beer or light ale with citrus hints (Blue Moon is a great choice!)
  • Handful of chopped parsley
  • Handful of sliced purple cabbage for each bowl


1. Season the short ribs with pepper and smoked paprika on both sides.

2. Oil a large pot with olive oil and increase heat over medium-high flame. Add onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent, 5 minutes.

3. Add the short ribs to the pot and brown on all sides, 5 minutes each side. Stir the onions to the side so they do not burn.

4. Add the beer, water, and beef broth and bring to a boil. When the water is rolling, stir in the corn and potatoes.

5. Lower the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 2 hours. Add additional water if the stew looks too thick. The meal is ready to eat when the meat easily falls from the bone.

6. To serve, place a handful of cabbage at the bottom of the bowl. Ladle stew on top and then garnish with some fresh parsley. Serve the stew with the bones in or take them bones out – whatever pleases and appeases your palate!

lizthechef September 27, 2011 at 2:24 pm

And I’m in it too 😉

sodium girl September 28, 2011 at 3:01 pm

WHAT! REALLY! That is SO cool, Liz. Which recipe?

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