Low Sodium Taco Sauce Recipe

Yes, this is a little diversion from my usual sort of post. But we’ve recently started trying to go low-sodium and it’s proving, well, challenging.

I cook from scratch a lot, so I thought hey, no biggie. I knew there’d be an adjustment period and all that. But it turns out that “cooks from scratch” means I bought a lot of tomato sauce (never checked the salt content), and refried beans (ditto), and, whoa, cheese! And jalapenos! And pasta! Not pasta sauce (which I already make) – but the pasta itself!

This is not going to be conquered in a day. But we’re working on it.

The taco sauce is actually pretty decent. Everything is roughly measured, your mileage may vary. But here’s a good base.

Low Sodium Taco Sauce

8 oz can no-salt tomato sauce
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/2 Tsp. chili powder
1 Tsp. vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)

I added all the ingredients to a glass jar with lid – closed lid – shook jar (a lot). Voila! Taco sauce.

I’m probably going to be doing this some more – sharing low sodium recipes that worked, I mean. And maybe asking for some sent this way, too 🙂

P.S. I’ll try to remember to take pictures next time!

Recipe – Mexican white bean soup

Okay, I’m not sure how “mexican” this soup is – though it did have chorizo in it, which is quite often mexican. But the recipe I started with was called “Mexican white bean soup”, so there ya go. I found it here – I think Better Homes and Gardens recipes are great starting points, though I don’t always stick precisely to a recipe. (My friends would be laughing right now if they were reading over my shoulder – “you don’t *usually* follow a recipe? Do you EVER follow a recipe”?”

Mexican white bean soup adapted from BHG recipe

So yes, I modified the original recipe quite a bit – I’m linking it there so you can compare and use more of their version if you want!

Here’s approximately what I did – I don’t measure, so everything is guesswork. But it’s also very forgiving.

Start with a quart or so of chicken or vegetable stock – I had some in the freezer (chicken bones, veggies, heavy on onions, carrots, zucchini bits, and some broccoli stems, which they say shouldn’t be in stock but oh well). To the stock I added 6 good-sized white potatoes, skins left on, diced into approx. 1/2″ pieces. Cook the potaties in the stock for about an hour or maybe more, till the potatoes are soft.

Meanwhile in another pan (iron skillet would be best) I add a cup or more of finely-diced carrots (shredded or grated – very small), some finely grated white cabbage, diced onions, and some shredded zucchini. Nobody knows those veggies are in there, except the carrots – they just add substance and more vitamins. Cook them all in a bit of olive oil till they’re very soft, then add to the potato/stock mixture.

When the potatoes are soft, add at least a couple cans, or up to a pound, of white beans – that are cooked through. There will be a *lot* of veggies in a relatively small amount of stock.

If you have an immersion blender, this is the time to start blending. I still don’t have one – so I took out my handy hand mixer. Using a sieve or slotted spoon, scoop a good portion of the the potato/bean mixture and place in a deep bowl. Then start mixing. No, it’s not as good as the blender – but it does a pretty good job. Keep adding more of the veggies from the soup pot, and pretty soon you’ve got a thick blend to put back in the pot. It’s not a fancy way to do it – but it works.

For seasoning, I took a hank of chorizo (maybe a half pound), removed the casing, and sauteed it on medium heat till it released most of the grease. Wipe some of that out of the skillet, then take the browned bits from the pan and scoop those into your soup. Add some Rotel-type spicy tomato mixture, or just add some diced tomatoes and jalapenos.

Let the soup cook a bit longer to give the flavors a chance to get acquainted – a half hour or more. See if it needs more seasoning.

Filling, cheap, healthy and tasty – this is a good recipe, to start from…!