A vegetarian low sodium holiday meal

I decided to make a second holiday meal this year that was for sure healthy, vegetarian, low sodium and dairy free. The bad part of other people cooking for you is that they may not understand the intricacies of your diet. For example, my sister in law made these wonderful chicken bites. She did everything right by not adding salt, but the chicken itself had plenty of sodium. Supermarket chicken and turkey are typically loaded with brine that makes them moist. You have to look for natural chicken or turkey to avoid the salt. Granted, I wasn’t thinking about it either. It’ll take a few mistakes here and there to get things right.

Some good news before I get into the recipes, if you need low sodium foods I typically use Healthy Heart Market. Through them I found Mr. Spice. I purchased a wing sauce by them that is ultra low sodium and tastes great. This is not sponsored. It is so hard to find things that have low to no sodium that I wanted to share a resource. If you want me to do a low sodium post of common items, I can do one of those in the future. Let me know in the comments.

Now on to the recipes. Here are the recipes I am planning for this meal:

Here are the original stats on the Lentil roast. I am not changing the other recipes:

Here are the changes I made to the recipes:

  • I used all low sodium ingredients.
  • I removed the canned lentils and replaced with dry.
  • I replaced the stock cube and water to low sodium vegetable broth
  • I increased the servings to 10 to lower the calories.

Here are the final stats on all recipes:

Lentil Roast with Balsamic and Onion Gravy
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Roasted Balsamic Glazed Carrots and Sweet Potato
Dairy Free Mashed Potato

Here are the final recipes:

Lentil Roast with Balsamic and Onion Gravy

Serves 10

For the lentil loaf

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 medium portobello mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot grated
  • 15 ounce can low sodium kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp ultra low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp mixed dried herbs
  • 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 135 g rolled oats, (gluten-free, if needed)

For the balsamic onion gravy

  • 1 low-salt vegetable stock cube
  • 1 medium red onion, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 200 ml red wine
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp ultra low sodium soy sauce

Instructions

To make the lentil loaf

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a loaf tin with parchment paper.
  2. Bring the lentils and water to a boil.  Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion and garlic until soft. Add the mushroom and carrot and cook for another 5 minutes until softened.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients along with the lentils to a bowl and use a masher to combine. Don’t over-mash, just enough so that the mixture comes together. Add a drop of water if the mixture is too dry, if it’s too wet, add more oats.
  5. Transfer the mixture into the loaf tin and cook for 40-45 minutes until the outside develops a crust and the inside is firm..

To make the gravy

  1. Add the oil to a frying pan and sauté the onion with the sugar for 10 minutes.
  2. Once it’s caramelized, add the cornstarch to the pan and stir for a few minutes to combine.
  3. Pour in the wine, balsamic vinegar and soy sauce and simmer until the stock is reduced by half.
  4. Add the vegetable stock and simmer again for 10 minutes until you are left with a thick, dark gravy.
  5. Serve with the lentil loaf and roast vegetables.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Serves 10

  • 36 ounces raw Brussels sprouts cut in half
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees. Toss Brussels sprouts, oil, water, 1 teaspoon pepper in large bowl until sprouts are coated. Transfer sprouts to rimmed baking sheet and arrange so cut sides are facing down.

2. Cover sheet tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 10 minutes. Remove foil and continue to cook until Brussels sprouts are well browned and tender, 10 to 12 minutes longer. Transfer to serving platter, season with  pepper to taste, and serve.

Roasted Balsamic Glazed Carrots and Sweet Potato

Serves 10

  • 1 pound sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 pound carrot, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Cooking Spray
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.  Add carrots, potato, balsamic, and pepper and toss to coat
  3. Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes or until the veggies are cooked and the balsamic vinegar is caramelized.

Dairy Free Mashed Potato

Serves 10

  • 1 pound russet potato, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  1. Add the potato to a pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and cook until the potato are soft, about 15 minutes.
  2. Drain the potatoes and place them back in the warm pot.  Mash with a potato masher.
  3. Add in the milk and butter.  Fold to combine.

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