On my way to work this bright Monday morning I was thinking about my next blogpost and I chuckled when I heard a song called "Hair of the Dog" by Nazareth explode onto the airwaves. The first line of the song is a "mondegreen" for me, which is a misheard song lyric. We wrote a chapter about mondegreens in Recipe Records, wherein we listed a couple dozen misheard song lyrics, such as the number one mondegreen "Scuse me while I kiss this guy" by Jimi Hendrix; the actual lyric being "'Scuse me while I kiss THE sky." The first line of the Nazareth song has to do with my topic this week, introducing you to another cookbook by Evansville resident, Erik Williams.
Back to the song for a moment..... I remember distinctly the first time I heard this song because I was with my Mom and it contained a REALLY bad word and I was waiting for her reaction ..... it's got a great cow bell and hey, I always was a sucker for percussion. I've always thought the first line of the song was: "Heartbreaker .... Salt Shaker ... "
So I thought this song would be a perfect tie in for Erik's book; that is until I googled the lyrics and found that they are NOT saying Salt Shaker .... they are saying Soul Shaker. Well... let's call it close. I've included a link to youtube so you can see if you hear what I've heard for over 30 years....
Erik Williams is a 33 year-old soon-to-be new father, who was the recipient of a heart transplant a year ago. Erik penned his cookbook, Breaking the Salt Habit, after becoming what I call a self-made expert at the art of preparing and eating a low sodium diet.
Williams was born with a congenital heart defect which ultimately led to the transplant, however he delayed the urgency of the transplant by four years due to his complete diet rehabilitation. He read, cooked, experimented and stayed focused until he compiled a fabulous collection of information. Erik told me he simply wants to help other people who are trying to adopt a low sodium diet. The information is extremely meticulous and complete. Not to mention the fantastic recipes which are created for the average household, like mine, that operates on basic, simple ingredients. Years ago I developed hypertension and franticly researched low sodium diets, but gave up because it seemed impossible to establish new habits. Erik's book has given me new hope for preparing healthy, delicious foods and also choosing healthy foods in restaurants. The recipes are delicious and will appeal to those folks who do not need to monitor sodium intake as well.
Erik's book can be found on his website for $12.95 www.breakingthesalthabit.com
www.amazon.com or www.barnesandnoble.com
He also writes a fabulous blog which contains great low sodium tips and information:
Erik kindly shares his recipe for slow cooker chili-- along with some great tips for prepping the ingredients.
Slow Cooker Chili - by Erik Williams
from his cookbook: Breaking the Salt Habit
2 lb. extra lean ground beef or ground turkey
2 - 8 oz. cans NSA tomato sauce (no sodium added - there are lots of products like this)
2 - 14.5 oz. cans kidney beans
2 - 14.5 oz. cans pinto beans (Erik recommends reading the labels to find the lowest sodium beans & drain & rinse the beans to lower the sodium content)
1 c. chopped onion
1 - 4 oz. can green chiles
1/2 c. chopped celery
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 - 14.5 oz. cans NSA diced tomatoes
2 1/2 tsp. cumin
2 - 3 Tbsp. chili powder (or to taste) (see below for his no sodium chili powder recipe)
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. sugar (you can substitute an equivalent sugar substitute)
Directions: Brown ground beef or turkey in skillet. Add all ingredients in slow cooker. Stir. Let cook for 8-9 hours on low. Yields 8 - 1 cup servings. Williams even includes nutritional information for every recipe.... so for instance the sodium intake for this recipe made with ground beef is 367 mg per serving.
*No Sodium Classic Chili Powder (less than 1 mg) - 3 Tbsp. Paprika, 2 tsp. Oregano, 1 1/2 tsp. Cumin, 1 tsp. Tumeric, 1 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder, 1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
Combine all ingredients in a small container (yields 15 tsp.)
Be sure to grab a copy of this book and quickly work some of these recipes into your lifestyle. Take advantage of Erik's hard work of eliminating the confusing world of sodium intake and even if you try only one new recipe a week, you are creating a healthier life for you and your loved ones.
I still think "heart breaker...salt shaker" sounds cooler .....
Send me an email to put your name in a drawing for a free copy of Recipe Records and Breaking the Salt Habit.
Please share my blog & Erik's blog with your friends!
Peace & Rock & Roll,