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Is It Time To End the Salt Wars?

 

It is according to a July article in Scientific American magazine.

Despite all the brouhaha, admonitions from doctors, and all the magazine articles the research has never shown a definitive link between salt intake and high blood pressure and heart disease, and any link researchers did find was tenuous at best according to this article.

Not only is there no definitive link, lowering our salt intake may not be healthy for us. It may actually harm us. There was a recent study in Europe that showed the less salt intake the greater the risk of heart disease.

This study and previous studies are briefly examined in the article. The article also states that there are great variations in how individuals respond to salt, so that a one-size-fits-all policy is not really possible.

Another study the article cites found: “……..the number of people who experience drops in blood pressure after eating high-salt diets almost equals the number who experience blood pressure spikes; many stay exactly the same.”

And here is the one I never knew and  this just BLEW MY MIND:  “And low-salt diets could have side effects: when salt intake is cut, the body responds by releasing renin and aldosterone, an enzyme and a hormone, respectively, that increase blood pressure.” [Emphasis mine.]

This is a very short and easy to read article and is worth a read.

After reading this article I am going to begin salting my pasta water again!!!!!!!

Featured Recipe    Garlic Braised Brothy Escarole

The best thing about today’s recipe is how super simple, quick and easy it is to make. The next best thing about this recipe is how delicious it is. The third best thing about this recipe is how inexpensive it is. It comes in at less than $1.00 per person.

1-2-3. 888  a-b-c. 999   It is that simple.

This recipe is from the Two Dudes, One Pan cookbook. This cookbook is filled with quick and easy recipes that can essentially be made with one pan.

What’s not to love about that in our super fast paced busy lives?

One Recipe, Two Different Dishes

Essentially this is a side dish for a meat entrée. However, the authors tell us that by adding some cooked pasta and white beans to the finished dish we have a meal-in-one-dish. And that is what I did today. I made the entrée.

The recipe as written is for 6, and I give you the ingredients and cost out for 6 people. However, since it is just me I am cooking for today I halved the recipe and that is what the pictures illustrate. It does not change the process one iota.

I make one change to this recipe. The Two Dudes add water to the dish to cook the Escarole. I use chicken broth instead. The chicken broth just adds a bit more flavor to the dish. If you are a vegetarian you could add vegetable broth instead.

Escarole is a mild, not bitter, leafy green.

It is often mislabeled in grocery stores. In fact, many vegetables are mislabeled in stores. But that is another story all together.

So that you will know what to look for I am linking to a website with a great picture of what Escarole looks like. Sometimes the middle is not as yellow as in this picture. But other than that, it is right on.

The picture comes from culinate.com : Discovering Winter Greens.

This is what you will need for 6 people:

1 tablespoon olive oil

6 garlic cloves

2 large or 3 small heads Escarole

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1½ teaspoons Kosher salt

You will also need:

1½ cups water or chicken broth

Optional for a One-Pot Meal

1 can white beans

Cooked pasta

Here is what you do:

Cook the pasta first. Drain and set aside. I only cook the pasta about half-way through as the pasta will finish cooking in the finished escarole pot.

Wash the escarole. Let dry.

Cut the bottoms from the escarole.

Then slice the escarole crosswise into 1-inch strips. I pile it up in a dish.

Thinly slice the garlic.

At this point I also line everything up. This recipe takes so little time to cook that I need everything right there next to the stove so I can move lickety-split. The pasta is in the sink next to all of this,  draining.

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat.

When the oil is hot add the garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring about 1 minute.

Stir in the Escarole and cook until slightly wilted, about 1 minute. When cooking, escarole is like spinach. It looks like a lot goes in the pot. But it cooks down quickly.

After about 1 minute:

Add the water, or chicken broth, or vegetable broth, which ever you are using.

Bring to a simmer, and cook until the escarole is tender, about 7-9 minutes. Add the butter and salt and, once the butter has melted, serve as a side dish.

Or
to make an entrée one-pot-meal

Add 1 can of white beans drained and the cooked pasta to the dish.

Stir and heat through.

Serve and enjoy!

 Bon appétit!!!

 Cost

1 tablespoon olive oil              $0.24

6 garlic cloves                        $0.24

2 or 3 heads Escarole             $3.24

3 tablespoons butter               $0.27

1½ teaspoons salt                  $0.01

1 can white beans                  $0.99

Cooked pasta                         $0.45

Total Cost for a full meal = $5.44
Cost per person = $0.91

Quote of the Day

Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.

Joshua J. Marine

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