Monday, February 18, 2013

Remaking the Sandwich in the Little RV

One of the reasons we choose to RV full time is because without our own kitchen and ingredients we simply would not be able to travel at all.  Rob has several medical conditions including Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and has to severely limit his salt intake.  Most prepared foods are so laden with sodium that eating a regular diet of those foods would literally kill Rob. 

Low sodium cooking presents special challenges but doing so while traveling and with a tiny kitchen can make it even more challenging. 

On this page I want to share my strategies, products I use and where to find them, and perhaps some recipes.  My hope is that someone out there will find this information and get a head start on learning how to cook and eat a diet low in sodium but good tasting so they don't have to go through countless hours of research like I did. 

Here is an easy example of how to remake an American staple,  the sandwich.  Rob loves a ham and cheese sandwich.  Unfortunately a standard ham sandwich has nearly a full daily allowance of sodium.  Ham is just not in the cards or our kitchen.

Ham sandwich:
 Bread, 2 slices                    300 mg sodium
 Ham, Boar's Head 2 oz.       520 mg sodium
 Cheese, American 2 oz.       700 mg sodium
 Miracle Whip, 1 Tablespoon  105 mg sodium 
Total                                   1625 mg sodium

Sandwich remake:
 Pita Pocket, 1                     170 mg sodium
 Roast beef, Boar's Head 
 No Salt Added, 2 oz             40 mg sodium 
 Cheese, Boar's Head 
 Lacy Swiss, 2 oz                  70 mg sodium
 Miracle Whip, 1/2 tsp.          55 mg sodium
 Stoneground mustard
 no salt added, Westbrae        0 mg sodium
Total                                    335 mg sodium

By making just those simple ingredient changes you still get a tasty sandwich but you have reduced your sodium intake by 1290 mgIf you don't have access to Boar's Head products at your grocery store deli ask what they do have.  I find very low sodium turkey and roast beef in many grocery stores.  I usually ask to read the label because they don't always seem to understand what I am looking for.  Sometimes they will offer me a "lower" sodium product.  That only means that it is lower in sodium than most other similar deli meats or cheeses.  It still might have hundreds of milligrams of sodium.  Your best weapon is to read the label.  

Another alternative is no sodium added tuna.  Made in a pita pocket with no sodium added relish and Miracle Whip it carries an even lower sodium count than the roast beef sandwich.  

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