Tag Archives: low sodium

My favorite marinara

Somehow I forgot to post my marinara sauce recipe with my pizza series.  I use the same marinara sauce for pizza, spaghetti,lasagna…pretty much anything needing a red sauce.  I know it seems weird, but I like having the chunky sauce on pizza.  If you don’t, you could also give it a quick blend before putting it on pizza.  I like to make a big batch of this and store the extra in the freezer for later. It’s great for a quick dinner of spaghetti and some sort of vegetable – a meal even my toddler with increasingly picky tastes will eat.


Marinara Sauce (Makes about 8 cups of sauce)


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 cup diced carrots
1 teaspoon garlic powder
4 (15.5 ounce) cans no salt added diced tomatoes
3 (8 ounce) cans no salt added tomato sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 bay leaves
½ tablespoon dried basil leaves
½ tablespoon dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

1. Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrots. Sauté until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic powder; cook for 1 minute.

2. Add remaining ingredients. Stir to distribute seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cook for 20-30 minutes, until thickened to desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Remove bay leaves before serving or blending.

Nutritional Information (Amount per cup):

Calories: 77
Protein: 2 g
Fat: 2 g
Saturated Fat: less than 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 14 g
Fiber: 4 g
Sodium: 176 mg

Recipe Notes: Chop your vegetables to your desired size. If you are going to blend the sauce, you don’t need to chop them as small. You could also shred the carrot, if you prefer hiding them in the sauce that way. I try to keep this sauce fairly low in sodium, since whatever it is served with has a fair amount of cheese adding the salt. If you want to make a meat sauce, brown the meat before the vegetables. Remove the meat, drain any fat. Then sauté vegetables in oil. Add meat back in with remaining ingredients.

I freeze this in 2 cup plastic containers. It is best to cool the sauce in the fridge before freezing. Freezer bags would also likely work.

Source: adapted from my mom’s recipe

Low iodine adjustment: Use non-iodized salt.  I made this a lot on my low iodine diets.


Filed under Recipes

Black Beans and Rice

My little girl isn’t the biggest fan of meat, but she will eat beans.  While she enjoys them plain, the rest of us prefer a little more flavor.  This dish hit a good balance – spicy enough for adults but not too spicy for kids.  Beans are also cheap, which is nice for my food budget.

I’m including the recipe for making your own beans from dried beans. If you prefer to use canned beans, just use the lower sodium beans and rinse them well. If you haven’t cooked your own dried beans, you should try. It is very easy and tasty.

Black Beans and Rice (serves 4)


1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 1/2 bell peppers, diced
1/2 jalapeno, diced small
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon chili powder, more to taste
2 cups black beans (cooked or about 2 cans)
1 cup frozen corn
water, as needed
4 cups cooked brown rice

1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Saute onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add seasonings. Cook for 1 minute more, stirring to keep spices from burning.

2. Add beans and corn. Cover pan and cook until heated through. If there isn’t enough liquid from the beans, add some water to pan, about 1/2 cup at a time.

3. Serve over cooked rice.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 453
Protein: 15.5 g
Fat: 7 g
Saturated Fat: less than 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 83 g
Fiber: 12 g
Sodium: 227 mg

Black Beans in a Crockpot (makes about 6 cups of beans)

1 pound dried black beans
2 cups broth
4 cups water
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt

1. Sort beans and remove any debris. Rinse beans.

2. Place all ingredients except salt in crockpot. Cook for about 6-8 hours on low, or until beans are cooked to your preference. When beans are almost cooked, add the salt for 1 more hour of cooking.

Recipe Notes: This recipe is very flexible. You can adjust the amounts of vegetables to your preference. If you wanted it to haver more sauce, you could also add some salsa or tomatoes. I use a chipotle pepper powder which is pretty spicy, so I don’t add much. If you are using canned beans, you will need to add some water for sauce. Using beans in the crockpot, you will have some of the cooking liquid. You can presoak the beans before you cook them in the crockpot, but it doesn’t seem to reduce the cooking time much. I made this on the low iodine diet, so I didn’t add any cheese. I’m sure a little shredded cheese would be yummy, though. The nutritional information was calculated using no-sodium broth, since that is what I was using for the low iodine.

Source: adapted from several recipes online

Low iodine adjustment: Use a chili powder with no added salt. Use a broth with no added salt or made with non-iodized salt. Use non-iodized salt.


Filed under Recipes