May 1, 2012

Salt: Friend or Foe?

Tricks, Tips and a Recipe
Salt: Friend or Foe?

By: Leanne Ely

Happy Tuesday, Y’all!

It’s time once again for Tricks, Tips and a Recipe. Today you’ll learn a tip, a trick and you’ll get a great recipe to try it out with. Neat, huh?

Don’t forget tomorrow is the radio show, Saving Dinner with the Dinner Diva! The show is on every Wednesday at noon EST. Bookmark this page and show up tomorrow– You can call in LIVE with your questions—about food, cooking, nutrition, anything you can think of! If you can’t listen live, you can always listen to the archives.

Today’s focus is on: SALT

Salt is an essential nutrient. Our bodies NEED salt. Note that I am not saying we need a LOT of salt, we just need some (about 500 milligrams a day). This is one of the reasons I much prefer sea salt to other salts—it’s fresher, lighter and won’t bog you don’t like regular old table salt. Table salt has chemicals in it to keep it from clumping; such as sodium silicoaluminate, calcium phosphate or magnesium carbonate for example. No one needs chemical additives in their food!

And here’s a TIP:

To prevent salt from clumping up in your saltshaker, add a couple of grains of rice to absorb moisture. I bet you’ve seen restaurants do this on occasion. It really does do the trick and keeps your salt free flowing with no chemicals, yay!

And a TRICK:

I like to keep my salt in a dish so I can grab it by the pinch instead of risk oversalting it with a saltshaker. Obviously, you have to have a saltshaker on the table, but for cooking, I use a little salt cellar—it’s a little dish with a lid and keep it right by the stovetop. Works like a charm and helps me to gradually salt to taste without risking too much salt.

And your RECIPE:

Herbed Skillet Chicken
Serves 4

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water — divided
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil

In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken and cook 10 minutes or until slightly browned, turning once. Combine thyme, garlic powder, onion powder and salt and pepper; sprinkle over chicken. Remove chicken, keeping warm and add 1/2 cup water to the skillet, using a wire whisk to scrape the pan and get up
all the browned bits. Bring water to a boil, add chicken back in; cover, and reduce heat and cook 10-20 minutes, depending on thickness of chicken, until chicken is done. Remove chicken from skillet. Combine cornstarch and remaining 1 tablespoon water. Add to pan juices; cook until thickened and translucent, stirring or whisking constantly. Taste the sauce, add more salt and pepper if needed, reheating for just a minute. Pour sauce over chicken and sprinkle with parsley.

Per Serving: 202 Calories; 13g Fat; 19g Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 40mg Cholesterol; 332mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain (Starch); 2 ½ Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 1 Fat.

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