February 22, 2013

Winning: Can’t Be Beet Bloody Marys

Some things feel impossible. Like learning how to tie your shoes. Doing long division.  Making salt-free bloody Marys.

But luckily, there’s this little tiny fiery cheerleader inside all of us, just waiting for those can’t do moments, that lights up and pushes forward to make those bow knots. To use a calculator. Or, of course, make a version of the classic salty brunch drink from scratch, at home, without all that sodium.

Tiny fiery cheerleaders just love a good obstacles. It’s when they do their best work.

And last week, I swam through almost 700 (SEVEN HUNDRED) of your best salty challenges. Salty dishes that you wanted to make over. From chicken and dumplings to corned beef and cabbage. And what I loved most about this long list was how you didn’t hold back. You let your imagination run wild. You dared to ask for the impossible. Because I think you know now that even the most dauntingly difficult salty challenges are never as hard as they seem. And that my tiny fiery doesn’t mind working overtime.

But want to know the best news? A lot of those low-sodium makeover wishes you sent me have already come true — on this blog(kalua pork, enchiladas, corn dogs, hot dogs, pickles, pizza, pretzels) and in my new book (French onion soup, pad thai, teriyaki chicken, clam chowder, corn chowderpumpkin pasta sauce, fish sticks, mac n’ cheese, and buffalo wings, to name a few). So if you’re looking for something, simply type some keywords into the “SEARCH” field to the right and see what salt-free makeover pops up. Or, if you can’t find what you’re looking for, just let me know.

Like a bloody Mary, perhaps? Your wish is my command.

To cap off this week and start of this weekend, I want to gift you the seemingly impossible salt-free beet Bloody Mary recipe from my new book. It’s bright, it’s tangy, it’s peppery, it’s hot. It’s perfect. It’s served in a mason jar.

Doesn’t it just make your mouth water? It’s not impossible, it’s impressive. It’s a winner.

And speaking of winners, I’m happy to announce that Ana C. won the coveted Vitamix from last week’s Love Your Heart Recipe Rally. I see many blended Bloody Marys in her future.

For everyone else that participated — THANK YOU. And get ready, because, guess what. I’m giving ANOTHER VITAMIX AWAY as well as a signed COPY OF MY COOKBOOK. I know. You just fell over. Sorry about that.

All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below for your very own blender of inspiration (aka Vitamix). The giveaway begins today, Friday, February 22nd. So as soon as you are done reading this sentence, simply follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter Widget below and leave a comment on this blog post with your favorite low-sodium substitute for super salty ingredients. The giveaway will close on Friday, March 1st, 2013 at 11:59 PM PST. The winner be notified by email and announced on this blog and the Rafflecopter widget on Monday, March 3rd, 2013. All rules and regulations can be found at the end of this post and in the Rafflecopter Widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And for even more fun, you can catch me and some tasty treats from the book at these upcoming appearances, readings, and cooking demos over the next two weeks…

SEATTLE: February 28th, 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm: Demo – Northwest Kidney Center, Seattle SIGN UP HERE

SEATTLE: February 28th, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm: Reading & Signing – Book Larder, Seattle INFO HERE

SAN FRANCISCO: March 3rd, 3:00 pm: Reading, Signing, & Tasty Bites – Omnivore Books, San Francisco INFO HERE

SAN FRANCISCO: March 4th, 6:30-8:30: Demo, Signing, & Tasty Bites – 18 Reasons, San Francisco, SIGN UP HERE

So come join me for some low-sodium fun. Enter the SECOND VITAMIX givewaway. And get those little fiery cheerleaders revved up and ready.

Cheers and chow on.


from Sodium Girl’s Limitless Low-Sodium Cookbook

makes 10 cups


  • 4 large celery stalks, with extra stems as garnish
  • 2 small red beets, peeled and stems removed
  • 1 1/2 red bell pepper, seeds and stem removed
  • 4 cups no-salt-added tomato puree (one 24-ounce jar has a little more than 3 cups, so you can always fill the jar with 1 cup water and shake to loosen the leftover tomato puree to make 4 cups)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons prepared low-sodium horseradish
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • Ice for garnish

If you are using a juicer, juice the celery, beets, and bell pepper. Place liquid into a pitcher or large mixing bowl and add the tomato puree.

If you are using a blender, put the celery, beets, bell pepper, and tomato puree into a blender. Pulse until you have a vegetable smoothie. Then make a sturdy pouch out of some folded cheesecloth and, over a pitcher or a large bowl, carefully pour the blended veggies into it. Gather the cheesecloth at the top to close and then squeeze. Really squeeze, many times, until all the juice runs out of the cheesecloth and all you have left inside is dry veggie pulp. If you don’t have cheesecloth, you can also pour the veggie smoothie into a fine-mesh sieve and use a wooden spoon or the bottom of a ladle to press down on the puree, squeezing the juice through until you have strained every bit into the pitcher or bowl. Set all your vegetable scraps aside.

Now that you have your vegetable juice, add 1 teaspoon of the horseradish, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, the smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, juice from 1 lemon, and vinegar to the pitcher or bowl. Whisk together and taste, adjusting spices (oh hello, horseradish and pepper) according to your cocktail preferences. I like mine spicy!

Place your pitcher or bowl in the refrigerator to chill, 15 minutes minimum or 2 hours maximum.

When you’re ready to serve, fill glasses with ice. Pour in Bloody Mary mixture and add a celery stalk for garnish. Cut the remaining lemon into wedges and offer them to guests as well for extra citrus punch. Finally, stir, sip, and savor.

+ Sodium Count: Celery: 51mg for 1 large stalk; Beets: 64mg for 1 beet; Canned tomato puree: 15mg per [1/2] cup depending on brand; Prepared horseradish: 20mg per 1 teaspoon depending on brand

Giveaway Rules:

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Winner must be a US resident in order to win.  Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email to claim prize before another winner is chosen. The name of the winner will be announced on SodiumGirl.com and the Rafflecopter Widget once the giveaway has closed. In the event the Sponsor (Vitamix) fails to send the prize, the Host (SodiumGirl.com) will not to be held responsible or liable in any way. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Twitter or Facebook. Complete terms and conditions can be found within Rafflecopter Giveaway Widge above and here.

Giveaway and photos provided by Vitamix. I, Sodium Girl, was provided a Vitamix product as part of the giveaway promotion, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Jenn A February 22, 2013 at 10:58 am

My favorite low sodium substitute is lemon juice. It packs a punch and adds a bunch of flavor. I also love my no-salt chipotle chili powder.

Holly V. February 22, 2013 at 11:26 am

Oh man. So excited for another shot at this most coveted blender. My favorite sub for salt is nutritional yeast. I recently discovered this vegan secret when I had to give up gluten, dairy, and soy. It’s very flavorful and I put it on lots of things-popcorn, baked potatoes, shrimp & grits. Love it!

Patricia Harris February 22, 2013 at 11:40 am

well, it’s not creative, but it’s really good: Herb-Ox Salt-Free Boullion Packets (Chicken or Beef)!

Elisha Pettit February 22, 2013 at 12:23 pm

My favorite, most creative super salty substitute is mincing raw garlic with a little cayenne pepper powder and sometimes add a splash of lemon juice, depending what I am eating. It adds a punch and tastes great with lots of different dishes.

Debra Elmore February 22, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Sounds yummy – I can’t wait to try this!

rosalind berthelot February 22, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Thank you for all your wonderful recipes, as a sodium restricted heart patient I really appreciate the tasty recipes.

Janet February 22, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Homemade cream of mushroon soup instead of one from a can.

Karen Lawrence February 22, 2013 at 1:32 pm

I like to use Citrus juices or a variety of spices, such as smoked paprika , garlic powder, and black pepper.

stins February 22, 2013 at 2:32 pm

I love spicy things! Cayenne, paprika, red pepper flakes, combined with other savory spices punch up the flavor with no need for salt.

Elizabeth February 22, 2013 at 4:01 pm

I sprinkle lemon juice on lots of vegetables instead of using salt.

Jackie B February 22, 2013 at 6:48 pm

A generous squeeze of fresh lime and a shower of chopped cilantro makes almost any dish more delicious, and I never miss the salt!

Lori H. February 22, 2013 at 7:58 pm

I am new to the low sodium life style so I don’t have a favorite substitute. I do like lemon though.

Miah February 22, 2013 at 10:12 pm

A low sodium substitute for me is nu salt

CHAR SLOVENZ February 23, 2013 at 6:04 am

I am gonna love this thing. It has been on my wish list forever. Can’t wait to have my date with it.

Malerie C. February 23, 2013 at 7:49 am

I think some garlic powder might make a good salt replacement for certain recipes

Kevin Yates February 23, 2013 at 10:11 am

Citrus and Heat (cayenne, homemade hot sauce, etc..)

katherine d February 23, 2013 at 12:56 pm

To replace all the sodium in taco meat, step up the spices like cumin and paprika! You won’t miss the salt.

Linda February 23, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Thank you for the Bloody Mary recipe! If you use a blender (all the while wishing for the Vitamix) I bet a food mill might also help to express the juice from the veggie smoothie. Can’t wait to try the recipe.

Sara - Health & Wellness Coach February 23, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Yay for another Vitamix! Hope to get one soon! 🙂

Lindsay February 23, 2013 at 4:07 pm

I love curry powder!

Andrea Shef February 24, 2013 at 8:14 am

hmmm… My favorite low sodium substitute… maybe carrots… instead of cheese 🙂 There are so many! 🙂

Peter G February 24, 2013 at 9:12 am

Rapunzel no salt added vegan vegetable bouillon

Anastasia Harvard February 24, 2013 at 11:20 am

I have found that you can jazz things up with anything super flavorful and you won’t even notice the lack of salt, e.g. anything with spice (cayenne, pepper flakes), lemon or lime, garlic, etc. I never add salt to anything (never have) and I never miss it.

Amanda, RD- The Nutritionist Reviews February 24, 2013 at 1:18 pm

I love using garlic powder in foods to provide flavor without extra calories. I also love using fresh ingredients such as green onions, dill or basil.

Lindsay February 24, 2013 at 9:04 pm

I’ve never had a bloody Mary… I might have to make this one!

Emily G February 25, 2013 at 4:08 am

Salt free vegan bouillon cubes to make broth – you get the broth flavor without the salt and you don’t even miss it!

Marissa February 25, 2013 at 8:56 am

nutritional yeast. I feel like such a hippie every time i say that. =/

Ann February 25, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Is there a reason there is no Vodka in this recipe? I am new to trying to eat a lower sodium diet so I am wondering why you can’t just use no or low salt tomato juice, low sodium Worcestershire sauce, pepper and a celery stick? Then season to taste with other non salt spices to taste….. And of course the vodka.

jessg23 March 1, 2013 at 8:06 am

First, the vodka! I wanted to keep it alcohol free for those that do not drink the hard stuff. As for the low-salt tomato juice and Worcestershire, well, even the “low-salt” versions or not very low in sodium. Which is why this version makes use of the natural flavors (and even sodium) found in whole veggies! And beyond being healthier, it tastes way better than the package stuff.

Dee Parker February 25, 2013 at 1:42 pm

I like to use fresh herbs; I grow them all year.

Denise February 25, 2013 at 3:00 pm

How did I not know about your site? I must be living under a rock …. anyhow, I just stumbled upon you via my friend Cheryl’s site and am thrilled to have found you! I am not a big salt user – tend to only season once cooked, but am always looking for new inspiration that will benefit our diets. My partner, Lenny, has high cholesterol and cutting back a little bit on everything is key for us. I cannot wait to dive into your site even more.


jessg23 March 1, 2013 at 8:04 am

Thanks Denise! I am a HUGE fan of Chezus! And so happy to see you on the blog. Let me know if you and Lenny have any dishes you’d like me to salt-free!

Sara - Health & Wellness Coach February 25, 2013 at 4:02 pm

And I forgot to say my favorite substitute! I like my lemon pepper grinder from Trader Joe’s! Goes great with so many things!

Susan Christy February 25, 2013 at 5:09 pm

I eat mostly Mexican food, so fresh lime and chopped cilantro is all the seasoning I need!

Liz February 25, 2013 at 6:27 pm

I like to make a wet herb rub, sort of like a chimichurri. I put cilantro, parsley, garlic, and shallots in a blender. I slowly drizzle in oil. I finish with a splash of fresh lemon juice and a touch of vinegar (usually white wine vinegar). I use this as a drizzle on grilled meats, veggies and more. I also add spices like curry or cumin to it and make a marinade out of it.

Beverly February 26, 2013 at 8:40 am

I am new to low sodium diet so don’t have a favorite substitute yet.

Valerie February 26, 2013 at 2:38 pm

I use pepper, lemon juice and WASABI. That stuff works wonders!

Laura Wheaton February 27, 2013 at 9:06 pm

I’m a fan of citrus juices as well! Loves squeezing them over my salads, perfect balance 🙂

Anna February 28, 2013 at 9:35 am

I love lemon juice…punched up with lemon zest and pepper, it’s even better!

ANGELA YER February 28, 2013 at 9:26 pm

For me, I use spices like garlic, salt, cumin. I don’t miss the salt at all. We try to limit is as much as we can. Thanks for the chance to win a Vitamix. It’s been on my wish list for a long tim!

Vitaliy Y February 28, 2013 at 9:27 pm

I use no salt bullion cubes. Tastes great!

Dina K February 28, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Bay leaves, onion powder, garlic and curry powder.

Julie February 28, 2013 at 11:17 pm

Don’t have anything too creative, just mixing different spices

Donna February 28, 2013 at 11:19 pm

I use Miso Paste

jessg23 March 1, 2013 at 8:02 am

Hi Donna! Miso paste is quite high in sodium (usually over 700mg sodium per tablespoon). In its place, you might want to try molasses, pomegranate molasses, or even tamarind paste!

Carrie March 1, 2013 at 6:57 am

Thank You for your presentation at the Northwest Kidney Center yesterday was very inspiring!

Lisa Foley March 1, 2013 at 6:58 am

I am also new to low sodium diet and haven’t tried any substitute. Lots of great ideas!!

Maddie March 1, 2013 at 11:32 am

Not particularly original but I used spices, I like celery seed.

Timothy March 1, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Thanks for the recipe and a chance to win. I love all these great ideas to substitute sodium. Never would have thought of half of them.

Elvera Kap March 1, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Lemon Juice or spices like garlic and onion.

Jean March 1, 2013 at 8:57 pm


Kay March 1, 2013 at 8:59 pm


Prasert March 1, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Found a cool recipe online and it’s a low sodium substitute Soy and Teriyaki Sauce and Miso Paste Substitute

Cindy March 1, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Garlic powder is my alternative

Emily Whye March 1, 2013 at 10:30 pm

Wow, I just came across your site by accident when looking for low sodium recipes. I have also been wanting a Vitamix for so long! We don’t really use salt in our foods and try to limit them. Don’t use anything special, just expirement with a bunch of different spices.

Kim L. March 1, 2013 at 10:40 pm

After hearing you speak the other day, I was inspired to go home and make my favorite Indian recipe- saag panner- from scratch without salt rather than ordering it from my local Indian restaurant like I had planned. So in that case I used turmeric, cayenne, coriander, cumin, ginger and garlic and onion to give LOTS of flavor. So delicious and I always feel SO much better when I cook low sodium. I’m excited to start following your blog. I hope you come to Seattle again soon- I know of so many other people that would love to hear you speak – you are so inspirational. Thank you!

Mary Anne March 13, 2013 at 9:37 pm

No need for the blender. Just wanted to say I am inspired by all the work you do!

Mickey March 14, 2013 at 11:00 am

Looks great. But the tomato puree has way too much potassium to use in one drink. Would have dilute and cut it with something to break down the concentrated puree.

Kerse March 15, 2013 at 11:43 am

Oh! Thank Goodness, Ann, I thought nobody was going to mention the lack of Vodka. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a lush, but a bloody mary without vodka is my brunch’s worst nightmare. 🙂

Good to know I can still have a little stiffness in the morning.

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Daniel March 26, 2013 at 3:10 am

I hate salt in food and try to avoid it any time I cook. My husband has already used to it. Sometimes when I cook I just forget to add salt and don’t notice it even when I eat a solt-free dish. Some people find it very strange 🙂

Maria Whitman April 3, 2013 at 3:45 am

As an ex salt junkie all these recipes have given me hope that there is life after salt. Although its been a struggle, I can safely say that the carvings are beginning to subside. This website has really helped. Thank you.

Jerry May 17, 2013 at 4:35 am

Don’t miss salt anymore & try to avoid where I can….so good to see Vodka in this Bloody Mary doesn’t affect those stats! I think I would prefer 1 Lime & 1 Lemon…..but have never had horseradish in a BM before…..looks like I now have something to test this weekend!!

love caulculater August 10, 2013 at 6:22 am

You should take part in a contest for one of the best sites on the web.
I am going to recommend this blog!

shelly January 9, 2014 at 1:48 am

I rarely (aka “never”) salt my food and rarely use salt when cooking unless it is totally necessary for the other ingredients activation. My favorite substitute for salt is long hot peppers. I can add as little fiery flavor as I like (or as my guests like) or, since I like really spicy food I can add more to my own dish after cooking. (especially if I have dried the pepper and crumbled it into flakes). Delicious!

anon begg April 20, 2015 at 9:30 pm


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