Figuring Out How to Adjust a Much-loved Thanksgiving Recipe, Low Sodium Diet, VIII

Recap: My dad has congestive heart failure, so he is on a low sodium diet. My husband and I decided that we too could join my parents’ adventure with low-sodium eating.  I’ve been posting occasional updates about our experiences (read my first low-sodium post in the series).

My Thanksgiving 2011 stuffing experiment is working! We have a slow cooker/crock pot full of stuffing, somewhere between eight and ten  servings. We haven’t sat down to eat Thanksgiving dinner yet, but everyone has tasted the stuffing and given a thumbs up.

Here’s what I did.

Early this morning I sautéed onions, mushrooms, celery, raisins, and herbs in a tablespoon of olive oil. The herbs were fresh thyme, rosemary, and sage. I also added two heaping tablespoons of Penzey’s salt-free Herbs de Provence.

I melted two sticks of unsalted butter (0 milligrams sodium), but it turned out that I only used one-and-a-half sticks or even a bit less. I put the croutons made from baguettes (170 milligrams of sodium per serving, check out my last post about the bread crumbs) in a large bowl and added three beaten eggs (about 90 milligrams each), the butter, a box of low-sodium vegetable broth, and two-thirds of a box of low-sodium chicken broth (124 milligrams per serving). After mixing this up, I added the vegetables (0 milligrams sodium) and mixed things up some more.

I added more Herbs de Provence (0 milligrams sodium) and about two pinches of garlic salt (for about 8 servings so less than 100 milligrams added for the entire recipe). I measured out a quarter teaspoon-full and then took the pinches from these. My taste for salt is decreasing, so the pinches did it, and I threw away the rest of the quarter teaspoon. I also added some pepper to taste.

The large baguette croutons absorbed lots of liquid. I put most of this mixture in the crock pot, cooked it on high for an hour, and then put it on low for five hours. Everything has expanded (in fact the stuffing raised the lid of the cock pot right off the base, so I had to take a bit out), and flavors have melded. The stuffing is moist.

When I serve it, I’ll add sliced almonds.

This recipe contains plenty of sodium, but much, much less of it than the recipes that I’ve used in the past. It may become a family tradition, improved eating not just for aging parents but for all of us in the family.

A cool thing, in addition to the low sodium aspect, is that I have one less dish that needs the oven!

Check out these other posts about my family’s low-sodium adventure.

Aging Parents, Disease of Aging, and SodiumLow Sodium Diet: Seniors Get Started in their EightiesHospital Cafeteria with No Low Sodium OptionsMaking Sense of Sodium Labels and NumbersFive Lessons Learned About Cutting Back on SodiumCooking and Eating on Vacation  –  We Kept to the Program on Vacation!Figuring Out How to Adjust a Much-Loved Thanksgiving Recipe  – Making Choices that Lower the CountNew Research About American Sodium Consumption

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