Holy Salt! The Honey Soy Salmon Challenge

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Asian foods are some of my favorite food! Especially Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. However, soy sauce is often used in them. Sadly soy sauce is basically just salt. The Pioneer Woman has a great recipe for Honey Soy Salmon. It is quick, easy, and delicious! I decided to attempt to make this recipe, but using less salt. A challenge, but a fun one!

Aldi is our go to grocery store. We often shop there for pantry, meat, and frozen items and then go to our local farmer’s market for produce.  Most of the food used in the recipe and that I will be showing will be from Aldi.

First thing first, the salmon.  I was told growing up the wild caught fish is always better than farm raised fish. However, this is highly debated. I tend to agree that wild caught is better for most fish, but there are arguments for farm raised. Nutritionist, Monica Reinagel , wrote an article outlining the pros and cons for both sides. I found it to be a great source to find the arguments for both sides and help you decide what is best for your family.

 

 

When buying remember to look at the nutrition facts. The first thing I check is the ingredient list. Pink Salmon is the only ingredient with these. Sometimes, frozen meat have added salt to help preserve it, so I make sure that we don’t buy anything with unnecessary salt. The next area I look at is serving size. Each piece of salmon is one serving. Then I look at the Total Fat, Saturated Fat, Trans Fat, and Sodium. The goal is to be less than 20% for all of these. Salmon has a lot of healthy fat and very little saturated and no trans fat. You need healthy fat in your diet to help raise the HDL, aka the Good Cholesterol.

Since the goal for this recipe is to lower the salt, that is what I will be highlighting. There is only 75 mg of sodium in the salmon, so pretty low. The FDA recommends having less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day.

To season the salmon, the recipe calls for pepper and salt. I use pepper and then paprika instead of salt. Look at that color!

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The recipe then called to cook the salmon in butter and olive oil. We have an oil shop in my town called The Oilerie . If it sounds familiar, it is because they were featured on Shark Tank. They have a great selection of olive oils that are infused with different flavors. This is a great way to cut salt without losing flavor. The olive oil I used for this recipe is called Fior Fiore Italian E.V.O.O. This particular olive oil has a butter flavor to it. We are trying to use less butter in cooking, so this olive oil was a great substitute.

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Next is the sauce for the salmon. There are only 3 ingredients in the sauce: soy sauce, honey, and limes. I used reduced sodium soy sauce. If you see the words “reduced sodium”, beware! It means there is a lot of sodium in the original product. The reduced sodium product has less than the original, but still a lot. If you look at the soy sauce in the blue label, it has 940 mg of sodium per 1 tablespoon. The reduced sodium soy sauce, the green labelled bottle, has 630 mg of sodium per 1 tablespoon. Still a lot! I was using the sauce for to coat 3 salmon pieces and used 3 tablespoons total in the recipe. That means, so far there is 705 mg of sodium per serving.

Luckily, that’s it for sodium. For the rice, I made quick brown rice. The brown rice has no sodium! I used the zest of the limes to season the rice. The vegetable for the meal was steamed green beans and I used the olive oil above to season it. No sodium was added to this either then. I then chopped cilantro and added it to the top of the salmon.

 

Alex is not a huge fan of salmon, but he said this dish was delicious! It had a sweet and sour taste from the lime and honey. The soy sauce helped season the entire dish as well. The paprika added a little zip to the salmon as well. The sauce was nice and gooey and coated everything perfectly. It didn’t feel the need to add extra soy sauce to the dish as I often do whenever I have take out Chinese food. It is one of the highest in sodium dish I have made since going on the diet with a total of 705 mg. However, since we knew that it would be higher in sodium Alex made sure the rest of his meals had limited sodium. For the entire day, he had less then 2,000 mg of sodium. As stated earlier, the sodium recommend by the FDA is less than 2,300.

There you have it! A way to make a dish with tons of sodium a little healthier! The most important thing to keep in mine is to keep sodium low for the entire day if you know you will have a meal with a little higher sodium amounts. Also, remember to read the labels!

And don’t forget to wash down the meal with a nice glass of wine!

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Recipe for the Honey Soy Salmon can be found here.

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