Here’s the scene: You’ve spent the day prepping for a little get together (okay, what’s bound to be the hottest party of the summer). You haven’t left one detail unchecked. You’ve procured the wine, built a tremendous cheese platter, and constructed impressive apps full of smoked fish, sea salts, and creamy sauces. Even Ina and Martha would be impressed. But with thirty minutes before the gang arrives, you suddenly receive a call that throws all the hors d’oeuvres and garnish into the air. Sodium S.O.S.!
With limited time and pantry products, though, you need a sodium-free SOS and a way to whip up salt-free snacks that will stand up to your other trays of goodies. You need dishes with zip and pizzazz. You need some cool, no-cook bites that will make your diet-restricted friends feel special, and not different.
So instead of calling off the shindig – remember, hottest party of the year! – check out these three low-sodium appetizers that use very simple ingredients, a little bit of spice, and creativity to wow the palates of every guest.
Directions: Pop a bag of salt-free popcorn in the microwave. So far so good. Then place the popcorn puffs into a medium mixing bowl and allow them to cool. Drizzle 1 to 2 teaspoons of good olive oil over the kernels, mixing it in with your hands or a wooden spoon. And finally, pour another 1 to 2 tablespoons of your choice of spice or herb mixture into the bowl, again, mixing with your hands or a wooden spoon until well distributed. My personal favorite flavor combinations are salt-free garlic powder and dried dill or a cumin, curry, and smoked paprika sprinkle.
Serve different flavors in separate bowls and make sure to have some cocktail napkins on stand-by, just in case those oily fingers end up near that couch.
Directions: Simply dice the tomato, nectarine, jicama (or cucumber), and avocado into small 1/4 by 1/4-inch cubes. Finely chop the green onion, the whole thing (excluding bulb). And mince the jalapeno, discarding the stem and seeds. Then, toast the teaspoon of whole coriander seeds in a frying pan over medium heat until they start to give off an aroma, about 2 to 3 minutes. And finally, mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and serve, mashing the avocado a bit if you want it to have more of a guacamole texture.
Directions: Cut jicama into long French fry-like sticks. Then in a medium bowl, mix 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil with 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, and 1/2 teaspoon dried herbs like dill, tarragon, parsley, or all of the above. Add the jicama sticks to the bowl and toss with your hands until well coated. Serve on a plate or standing upright in a glass.
Sodium Girl: Adventures in a Sodium-Free Life
(Images: Jessica Goldman)