After cardiac rehab, Pritikin ICR patients know how to navigate grocery aisles and restaurant menus with confidence as well as cook tasty low-sodium heart-healthy meals they can enjoy with friends and family.  

Low-sodium meals can be delicious if seasoned appropriately. It should come as no surprise that here at Pritikin ICR, we love a good sodium-free spice blend! We have plenty of sodium-free spice blends we mix up and use in a number of our recipes. Below, you will find one of our favorite homemade spice blends, an accompanying recipe, and two other delicious heart-healthy dishes.

These recipes are just a taste of what patients try in our weekly Cooking School Workshops!

Southwest Seasoning

Many Pritikin recipes call for sodium-free seasoning blends, such as this Southwest Seasoning.

• 2 teaspoons cumin
• 1 teaspoon coriander
• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• 1/2 teaspoon paprika
• 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
• ¼ teaspoon black pepper

1. Simply combine the herbs and spices and mix well.
2. Store in a convenient shaker jar with a tight-fitting lid for easy use and storage.

Enjoy tailoring this flavorful combination to meet your own taste preferences, and feel free to double (or even triple!) the recipe to ensure you always have plenty of this delicious sodium-free seasoning blend on-hand.

Simple Street Tacos

Serves 6: 2 tacos per serving

• 1 cup textured vegetable protein (TVP), rehydrated with 1 cup boiling water
• Canola oil cooking spray
• 1 to 2 tablespoons Pritikin Southwest Seasoning
• 1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
• 1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper
• 1/2 cup low-sodium salsa
• 12 corn tortillas

1. Prepare the TVP, or alternative no-salt-added plant-based protein, according to package directions, yielding about 2 cups. This may be done ahead of time.
2. Lightly mist a medium-sized sauté pan with canola oil cooking spray and warm over medium heat.
3. Add in the onion and red bell pepper. Cook until just softened, about 3 to 5 minutes.
4. Add in rehydrated TVP and 1 tablespoon Pritikin Southwest Seasoning. Cook another 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
5. Add in salsa and heat until warm. Taste mixture and add in more Pritikin Southwest Seasoning 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired flavor is achieved.
6. Serve over corn tortillas.

Pritikin Chef’s Tips
• Add even more flavor and texture by topping each tortilla with some lettuce, red radish, tomatoes, onions, and nonfat Greek yogurt, if desired.
• Consider topping the tacos with freshly shredded carrots as a comforting visual alternative to shredded cheese!

Watermelon Arugula Salad with Balsamic Citrus Dressing

Serves 8: 1 cup servings

• 12 ounces firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
• 4 cups baby arugula, rinsed
• 2 cups seedless watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes
• 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
• 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
• Pinch of ground black pepper (optional)

Balsamic Citrus Dressing
• 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
• ¼ cup fresh orange juice
• 1 teaspoon minced shallots
• 1 teaspoon orange juice concentrate, undiluted
• 1 teaspoon no-salt-added stone ground mustard
• 1 teaspoon dried basil
• Pinch of ground black pepper

1. In a small mixing bowl, vigorously whisk together all Balsamic Citrus Dressing ingredients.
2. Place the cubed tofu in a separate bowl and pour ¼ cup of dressing over the tofu to marinate. Let the tofu soak for at least 5 minutes.
3. Using a large bowl or serving tray, toss together the arugula, watermelon, red onion, tomatoes, and marinated tofu to make the salad.
4. Spoon additional dressing over the salad until desired taste is achieved.
5. Before serving, add a pinch of ground black pepper, if desired.

Pritikin Chef’s Tips
To add more color or flavor, simply add in any of your favorite fruits, vegetables, or greens. You could try blueberries, strawberries, carrots, red radishes, romaine lettuce, or spinach.

Pan-Seared Lemon Salmon

Serves 2: 4-ounce servings

• ¼ cup white wine
• 1 lemon, zested and juiced
• Two (2) 4-ounce salmon fillets, with skin removed
• 1 teaspoon Pritikin Lemon Pepper Seasoning
• Canola oil cooking spray

1. In a small measuring cup, combine white wine, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
2. Season fish fillets evenly on both sides with Pritikin Lemon Pepper Seasoning.
3. Lightly mist a medium-sized skillet with canola oil cooking spray and warm over medium-high heat.
4. Sear salmon on one side, about 5 to 7 minutes depending on thickness of fish.
5. Pour lemon and wine mixture over fish.
6. Cover skillet and reduce heat. Cook for 2 additional minutes. You do not need to flip the fish.

Pritikin Chef’s Tips
• Wonderful accompaniments to this salmon include whole grain rice blends, whole-wheat couscous, quinoa, fresh or frozen corn, spinach, mashed potatoes, or a large helping of colorful, steamed vegetables.
• Per food safety guidelines, always cook fish to a minimum internal temperature of 145°F.