Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Low Sodium Spaghetti and Meatballs

One of the easiest meals to make is spaghetti and meatballs.  Trying to adhere to a low sodium diet causes this meal to be slightly more difficult, but still totally worth the effort (in my opinion).

After I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, I was told to reduce my sodium intake to less than 2,000 mg per day.  That seems like a lot until you start reading labels and websites with nutrition information.  You could easily consume 1,800 mg in one meal if you're not careful. 

Jarred spaghetti sauce often has high sodium content (over 400 mg per 1/2 cup).  Pasta normally has little or no sodium, so no problem there.  Then you have to be careful how you prepare the meatballs.  The recipe that I use calls for Italian bread crumbs; again over 400 mg sodium per 1/2 cup.  I substitute Matzo Meal with Italian seasonings for the Italian bread crumbs.

The spaghetti sauce can be prepared ahead of time... the night before or earlier.  Sauce freezes well, so you can prepare a batch and pour it into a Ziploc bag and freeze it.  Thaw it the night before, and you can simply heat it like you would the jarred sauce.

Here are the recipes:

SPAGHETTI SAUCE

Ingredients:
1 can (6 oz) low sodium tomato paste
1 can (14 oz) low sodium diced tomatoes, drained
2 cans (8 oz) low sodium tomato sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 packet of low sodium beef bouillon/ broth
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon thyme

Preparation:
Combine all ingredients in large pot and bring to boil.


ITALIAN MEATBALLS

Ingredients:
1 pound lean ground beef (or meat of your choice)
1 egg
1/2 cup Matzo Meal (or corn meal)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon thyme

Preparation:
Combine Matzo Meal and spices in small bowl.  In large bowl, combine meat, egg, and Matzo Meal mixture.  Roll meat into balls and set aside. 

Gently place meatballs into boiling spaghetti sauce and reduce to low. 

Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.


Meanwhile, boil 1 pound of spaghetti.  Pour meatballs and sauce over spaghetti and top with grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

5 comments:

  1. Low sodium packaged foods are often high in potassium which acts like sodium and you get virtually no benefit. Most packages will not have potassium content at all until it says low sodium. Then, if you add the sodium and potassium together, you will have as high a number as if you had a regular product with just sodium.

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  2. @ llilly, could you explan this a bit more please.

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  3. Potassium does not act like sodium.

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  4. Potassium does not act like sodium.

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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