Spices and seasonings turn bland meals into delicious creations, but it can be difficult to avoid raising the sodium level in foods when adding them. Instead of loading your favourite dish with salt, look for varieties that will give your meal a healthy, sodium-free kick.
Italian seasoning is typically a mixture of basil, oregano, sage, thyme, red pepper and other herbs. It's free of salt and can be added to spaghetti, lasagne, pizza sauce, chicken Parmesan and endless other dishes. Mix it with vinegar and olive oil for salad dressings or dipping bread. You can be make it at home and add a spicy, bitter Italian taste to otherwise bland foods.
Chilli powder is another useful spice to have on hand, although not all varieties are salt free. Made from dried ground chilli peppers, Mexican oregano, cumin, onion powder and garlic powder, it's useful in spicy dishes like chilli, enchiladas and tacos -- but also serves as a tasty spice rub. Salt-free chilli powder can be purchased online or you can make it in your own kitchen.
Lemon pepper, a mix of cracked black peppercorns and lemon zest, is widely used for seasoning chicken, fish and other seafood, and can be used as a rub as well. Sprinkle some on your favourite pasta dish or salad for a zesty, peppery flavour. Lemon pepper can also be made at home.
Cajun seasoning, a blend of white and black pepper, garlic powder, ground red pepper, onion powder and paprika, is used in Louisiana dishes like crayfish, broiled shrimp and grilled meats. Blackened steaks and pastas are also enhanced with this powerful seasoning, but make sure you read the label before you buy -- some contain salt.
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