February 2, 2012

Low-Sodium Super Bowl

I apologize for the brevity of this post. But as I run out the door, hair half-dried, sweater half-on, I wanted to make sure you were prepped and ready for the big game on Sunday.

Of course, there are all my old super bowl favorites, which can be found here on this newish nifty site, Pinterest.

But I also wanted to pass on a few tips for you to add a low-sodium, flavorful twist to other classic Super Bowl favorites.

The first, hot wings. And not just any hot wings. Mandarin Orange Hot Wings.

We’re talking sweet and spicy and everything nicey. And because these bird bites bake in the oven, there’s very little work that needs to be done on your part. Meaning you can actually relax and enjoy the chips and dip. Or, you know, watch the game.

Ok, so how do we make these succulent suckers?


First, preheat your oven to 375 dgF.

Rub your wings or drummetes with a spice blend, like Chili 3000 from Penzeys or Gary’s Too Hot Salt Free Seasoning.

Rub ’em real good.

Then, throw them into the oven and set your timer for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a sauce pot, whisk together:

  • 1 1/2 cups of mandarin orange marmalade–I just dumped the whole jar –OH, and you can also sub with apricot or other fruit jams, whatever is available
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon honey or brown sugar

Heat the mixture over medium heat until it starts bubbling. Lower heat to very low and allow the sauce to reduce and thicken for 10 minutes. Taste the sauce. If it is too tangy for you, add a bit more sugar or honey.

Now it’s time to spread the mandarin love.

Turn up the oven to 400 dgF and take out the wings. Use a pastry or grill brush to spread half of that lovely orange sauce all over the top side of the wings, place them back in the oven, and cook for 10 minutes.

Take the wings out again, turn them, spread the rest of the sauce on the other side, and cook for a final 10.

Serve hot or at room temp. Either way, these are killer wings.

And my favorite part? The chunks of orange that add a nice toothy texture to each bite.

Okay. And now, onto macaroni salad. But not just any macaroni salad. No Mayo Macaroni Salad.

Here’s my trick: blended cauliflower. That’s right. It is a vegetarian sneak attack. That makes a white, creamy, and totally tasty substitution for mayo or other dairy creamers.

I used this on my white sauce pizza and plan on using it for hot pasta sometime soon.

But in the meantime, here’s how you make this cool, noodle side with the cauliflower cream.


Break a small head of cauliflower into florets.

Then, fill a pot with 1 cup of water and place a steaming basket inside. The water should not rise above the steaming basket.

Place the florets on the steaming basket, cover the pot, and turn the heat to medium. Let it steam until the cauliflower has softened (but is not mushy), about 8 to 10 minutes.

Carefully remove the florets from the pot and place them into a blender or food processor. Add 1/4 cup of water from the steaming pot (neat, right?) and blend. Blend until the sauce has a smooth consistency. You can add a little more water at this point or even 1 to 2 tablespoons of low-sodium Greek yogurt to increase creaminess. I also like to add 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon crushed chili pepper flakes, and 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika to the mixture. Blend until everything is well mixed.

As for the salad, here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 to 4 cups cooked macaroni noodles
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 6 green onions, finely sliced (and feel free to quickly saute them if you want to dull their zing)
  • 1 apple, chopped into small bits
  • 1 cup fennel, chopped into small bits

Put everything into a mixing bowl with the cauliflower sauce and mix.


Give it a taste and add more pepper or spice as needed.

And that’s it. Keep the salad in the fridge until your guests arrive. And then gobble it up. Without any guilt.

Even if your team isn’t playing on Sunday or the one you love doesn’t win, these low-sodium Super Bowl treats make sure everyone leaves a winner. Or at least really full.

Chow on.



Vasquez Family February 6, 2012 at 11:32 am

Most delicious, flavorful wings we’ve EVER made! Thank you, Sodium Girl!

L. Vitale April 30, 2012 at 7:04 pm

This chicken is fabulous.. So much flavor that you don’t miss the salt at all.

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