February 23, 2012

2012 Love Your Heart Recipe Rally

Let’s begin with the facts and the numbers, because that’s a very good place to start:
  • The recommended daily sodium intake for a healthy American is 2,300mg, which equals 1 teaspoon of salt
  • The recommended daily sodium intake for over 50% of adults (due to health problems, age, and other needs) is 1,500mg, which equals just over 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • Nine out of 10 Americans (that’s 90%) eat more than the recommended daily intake of sodium, averaging over 3,300mg (and if you really consider the soy-sauced sushi, chorizo burrito, and milk swamped cereal…that number clilmbs even higher)
  • More than 800,000 people die each year from heart disease, stroke and other vascular diseases, which cost the nation $273 billion health care dollars in 2010
  • Over 75% of the high sodium consumption comes from processed foods
  • Most products, from bread to balsamic vinegar to tomato soup to even raw pork and chicken, can range in sodium content due to choices in processing
  • Many low-sodium and no-salt added products (pickles to potato chips) already exist and many sit on major grocery store shelves (thank you, Whole Foods) ready for your snacking pleasure
  • Almost any recipe, sauce, or favorite dish be made from scratch, approximated at home, with creative substitutions and no salt (except for bacon, but that’s on the future to-do docket)
  • And today, a kick-ass group of Virtual Tastemakers have kicked the shaker to the side to make a bounty of low-sodium dishes just for you

For a second year in a row, a group of salt-loving bloggers, food purveyors, and health providers agreed to take on one of the greatest challenges for a cook: Cut back on the salt.

All were tasked with taking a favorite dish and transforming it into something low-sodium (which technically means it has 140mg of sodium per serving or less), without sacrificing look, flavor, or enjoyment.

Why did I make these healthy individuals take on such a task and why did they say yes?

Whereas last year there was a bit more arm twisting and surprise from the participants, today–thanks to many health organizations and the media–it’s clear that everyone can stand to watch the salt. Cutting back on sodium means cutting back on processed foods. And that means eating whole foods and eating well.

From slow food to low-sodium food, the movement in our kitchen and grocery store is the same: Understand what you’re putting in your mouth, stomach, and body.

Take time to look at labels. Know where and how your proteins were raised and why that’s important. Show your pepper and sweet potato respect by roasting them, letting their natural sweet juices do the talking. Swap convenience for cherished time at the stove. Invite others to experiment and enjoy with you. And don’t be afraid to take an old recipe, twist it, and make it your own.

So that’s what today is about. A group of amazing people that want to help inspire you to eat well and to feel well.

Share this link with those who need it and those who think they don’t. Trust me, their hearts will love you for it. And if there is something in the recipe you need to leave out (a pinch of salt, store-bought veggie broth, shrimp, pork, etc and etc) remember to think outside of the box and make some substitutions of your own.

Without much further ado , let me present to you the courageous crew and this year’s LOVE YOUR HEART RECIPE RALLY.

Thank you to ALL of the amazing participants. My heart is seriously a flutter.

And for all you eaters out there, please enjoy and chow on. Heart healthy style.





thick with creamy tahini and perked up with a squeeze of acid







from my other favorite Jess















with low-sodium SourKraut, Swiss Cheese, Rye Bread, and Corned Beef
What? Yes, it’s true. I ate three of them.






Low-Sodium Sweet Potato Wedges and Lemon Chive Yogurt Dip



an online Marketplace with low-sodium products you can use in your cooking and snacking, sweet and savory


Salt-Free, Low-Sodium Fake Crab Cakes

jessg23 February 24, 2012 at 9:58 am

It’s not up yet, going up at 11am PST on Friday!

LiztheChef February 24, 2012 at 10:50 am

Terrific recipes and a great cause. I spend so much time on my site adapting for a low sodium/healthy heart diet and am rarely disappointed with the outcome.

jessg23 February 24, 2012 at 11:02 am

We love you, Liz the Chef!

Stins February 24, 2012 at 4:51 pm

These recipes are just amazing! I can’t wait to try them all (and maybe re-try my own too). Thanks for all the inspiration, Jess!

ellen February 24, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Thanks—great once again!

Pat February 25, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Thanks for all the 2012 Love your heart recipes!

Santina Thelen March 1, 2012 at 7:50 am

I just found your website, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!! I am 31 years old, and had two mini strokes this summer. My doctor put me on what I considered a radical low sodium diet of no more than 800 mg a day. Now I realize he saved my life. I have lost 40 lbs (and counting!) and cant wait to read the rest of your site. God bless~

The Real Housewife of Tazewell March 1, 2014 at 2:36 pm

LOVE LOVE your site! Just got a health scare at 36 – diagnosed with high blood pressure and put on a ridiculous regimen of meds (it runs in the family). My salt intake is critical in lowering my pressure and strengthening my heart. I am mom of 3 and looking to teach my children to be active and proactive in maintaining a heart healthy lifestyle so they won’t one day have to be on medications to control their blood pressure. FOOD and being active is our only defense to combating heart disease and diabetes. Thank you for putting your story out there and making a difference in other’s lives. Cheers!

jean January 25, 2016 at 9:14 am

I am suppose to stay at 1500 or less of sodium a day. Would really like some good tasting recipes.

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