Low Sodium/Paleo Crock Pot Tomato Chicken Soup

We have our friend Mike here from California. He is on leave with the Marines and we are so happy to be hanging out with him like old times. He was the best man at our wedding, and I’ve only known my husband approximately 5 days longer than Mike. We have been friends for years now, and I think of him more like a Brother than one of Derrick’s friends.

On the first full day he was at our place, the weather was dismal, and he mentioned that soup sounded really good. So, I decided to make some for dinner! I had it on the menu plan (yes, I started a menu plan) for Sunday, but I shifted a few things around and BOOM. Soup night.

My friend Ashley told me that she had found this on Pinterest and it was absolutely amazing. Well, my friends, it was pretty darn good. I’m sure extra sodium would come in handy to most (Mike added some salt) but to our low-sodium brothers and sisters this is one flavorful dish! Derrick ate approximately three bowls of it and Aidan exclaimed “MMMMM!” when he had his first few bites. So… whatever that is worth. I like it too, and had it again for lunch today. Not sure if it got better or if I just didn’t realize how good it was last night. This one is definitely going in the rotation.

This recipe has been adapted from RiverNorthPaleo’s Recipe to meet our low sodium requirements. Also, the picture that I took from my phone is crappy, so this is her’s too!

Low Sodium/Paleo Apricot Glazed Salmon (100mg each)

Sometimes, my husband really surprises me. He is amazing, I already know this, and he is a good cook (duh!) but every once in awhile, he will make something that seems to come out of nowhere and could be served in a 5-star restaurant. Regardless of what he is making, he always has the same focus and attention to detail – so by watching him in the kitchen you never really know when something is going to be amazing or KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF good.

Apparently he found this recipe while I was out of town on business. Wow-za! I should leave more often if this is going to happen each time. He just whipped it up for me when I got home, no big deal; but it was so good that I knew I would have to share it with you pronto! Enjoy!

Thanks tasteofhome.com for this fantastic idea; only slight alterations were made!

Low Sodium Slow Cooker Italian Pot Roast

I decided to try something new. You see, we have this magazine that has turned out some amazing dishes… but we have honestly gotten stuck in on our few favorites. It’s time to try something new! And did I mention that it is a slow cooker magazine? Yea, that is a factor too. HELLO FALL!

I’ll tell you what. This is not the smell to be wafting through our house when you are hungry. Boy oh boy did it make my stomach growl! But it was worth the wait, and Derrick FREAKED out about how good it was. He was in awe (which makes me feel good) with my amazing slow-cooker skills. Yea, I totally threw all of that into a pot and it turned out. Imagine what I could do if I actually tried??

After a hardy meal, the babysitter arrived and we headed out on a date night – Anberlin concert! We had a fantastic time! I always love hanging out with my wonderful hubby.

Well, here is the slow cooker dish. I think you will like it – we enjoyed it and Derrick ate at least a pound for lunch the next day. Always a good sign

Low Sodium Pineapple Upside-Down Cake – 130mg for whole cake

It was Don’s birthday. OK, no it wasn’t, but it was close which is a good enough excuse for cake right? I think YES!

I had just tried out Bountiful Baskets, and in my Juice Pack, I had a nice fresh pineapple. Perfect. I sent a text to my MIL asking if he liked pineapple upside-down cake which was a resounding YES (and he likes it with a little vanilla ice-cream, thank you!) Turns out, that vanilla ice-cream (though you sacrifice sodium, I hear ya) was well worth the sodium expense. Super good!

After a nice meal, we topped it off with this lovely little cake. Oh yes… and I happily ate on it for a couple days after too. Every night… but that is beside the point.

Cooking Rice – An Exercise in Faith

Our rice cooker bowl has gone missing. And by missing I mean lost. And by that I really mean that Derrick took it to work as a quasi-Tupperware and left it there until someone threw it OUT. Not that I have a grudge or anything.

I have mentioned this particular rice cooker in prior posts because I truly felt that this was a tremendous necessity and that I couldn’t live without it. Ha! See what happens when you get attached to stuff?

I had no idea how to cook rice. I mean, you can Google it, and it looked easy enough, but I have anxiety about cooking and hated that I couldn’t check it every two seconds. There is a reason that rice cookers have clear lids…. Sigh.

BUT I faced my fears and gave it a try (though it was under strict supervision of Derrick who had to reassure me that everything was fine every two seconds). Once the time was up, and I removed the lid to reveal beautifully cooked rice, I decided that it wasn’t too bad at all, and that I might actually make it without the cooker.

So, here is the trick that Google doesn’t tell you. You have to have a little faith.

Toddler Apple Slice Pancakes

Another great idea from Pinterest, though I changed up the recipe because I didn’t want to bother with making the syrup or going to the store for pumpkin spice. I do love finding new things for Aidan to try though, because (poor kid) I am pretty stuck in my ways on some of his freezer meals. These were yummy though, and he had a great time! After a few bites, he set his breakfast down just to clap with delight. I would call that a success. I’m going to try to freeze a few of these too and I’ll let you know how it goes; I figure we could use a few more quick breakfast foods.

The only downfall to the whole breakfast routine is that 1) I let him have syrup to dip his pancakes in, which wouldn’t be a problem except that 2) we are having trouble with him occasionally rubbing food in his hair. Needless to say, he ended up with syrup on the side of his head. Ugh. And so the day begins.

I’m excited to incorporate all of my bountiful basket items into various dishes this week, and post on the progress. This is recipe #1. I’ll ultimately post a complete review of the bountiful baskets and the meals that I made from them each time I order. I’ve decided to give them a full try for 5-6 times before I completely decide if it is a good/bad deal for our family. Hurray for something new and fun!

Low Sodium Baked Caesar Chicken

This is one of those recipes that when you read it you think to yourself, “Oh no; I don’t THINK so!” We honestly thought that this would turn into a soggy mess, and that the chicken would dry out, and that all other possible catastrophes would occur and rightly so! But, to our surprise, the reviews were astonishing… people were loving it! The original recipe had this general idea for pork chops, which is what we did the first time we made it. We aren’t big fans of pork, except for BACON, but we thought we could give it a try.

Surprisingly good! And a very quick fix. I turned my attention to tailoring the recipe to a low sodium chicken dish, and came up with this. It has turned into a family favorite, and even Aidan loves to eat this chicken. He begged for some even after he had finished his dinner (he eats earlier than us) and polished off about half a chicken breast! Apparently, it is working for us!

Low Sodium Baked Caesar Chicken – approx. 158mg each

  • 1/4 c flour
  • 1 tbsp Salt Free Garlic & Herb (McCormick Salt Free or Mrs. Dash)
  • 4 chicken breasts trim, wash, and pat dry – 75mg each
  • 1/2 c Lighthouse Chunky Garlic Caesar Dressing – 220mg total
  • 4 tbsp Parmesan cheese – 110mg total

Mix the flour and seasoning together on a plate and place the dressing in a shallow bowl. Coat each chicken breast in the flour, and then submerge in the dressing; remove so the chicken breast is coated completely. Place in a greased glass dish and top with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes at 375.

Optionally, serve with Caesar salad and corn. Enjoy!

Very Low Sodium 30 Minute Dinner Rolls – 5mg each

I totally messed up a recipe. It was a quick fix burger bun recipe that I’ve been dying to try; but true to my character, I got impatient and didn’t totally read all of the directions. I’m more of a skimmer. But do you want to know the really funny thing though? I always read it back to myself after it is TOO LATE to fix anything. Seriously.

In this scenario I was attempting to make some burger buns that I had seen on pinterest; claiming only 40 minutes from start to finish! That is my type of bread recipe! However, I forgot one of the more critical parts of the bread-making processes and I didn’t allow any time for rising (they had allotted 10 minutes) which I didn’t follow, but read after they were half way through baking. Whoops.

Guess what though? They were AWESOME! And they were super cute dinner rolls which we turned into slider buns. I was as shocked as I imagine you are. I’m going to remake them later with the allotted rest time to see if it makes them better/worse (likely bigger!) but for now, I honestly think this is a keeper. And 30 minutes start to finish? That is AMAZING.

Very Low Sodium 30 Minute Dinner Rolls – Approx. 5mg each

  • 2 tbsp bread machine active dry yeast
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour

Add warm water (about 110 degrees), yeast and sugar into a bowl. Let sit and dissolve for 5 minutes. Then, add the oil, egg and flour to the bowl and mix, making a soft dough; this should NOT be sticky. Turn onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 3 minutes.

Divide into 12 palm-sized rolls and place on baking sheet. Bake immediately at 425 for 10 minutes or until golden and cooked throughout. Cute!