Spice Up Your Diet

07 Jan 2016
POSTED BY Y Magazine
The New Year is a perfect time to eliminate salt from your diet. Herbs and spices make for the perfect sodium substitute

Making a New Year’s resolution? Don’t forget salt. Around the world, people consume more sodium than is recommended by nutrition and health experts, but fear not, as new research shows cooking with spices and herbs could help you ditch the salt shaker and meet your sodium recommendations.

Keeping a resolution to cut salt from your diet is easy. Use simple spice swaps to create tasty, low-sodium meals. From seasoning eggs with basil instead of salt to adding spices and herbs to no-salt tomato sauce, McCormick Kitchens offer these easy tips and recipes to make low-sodium meals full of flavour:

  • Beat 1/8 teaspoon herb instead of salt into two eggs before scrambling.
  • Add oregano, garlic powder and red pepper to no-salt added tomato sauce for a tasty, low-sodium pasta dinner.
  • Try making citrus-herbed chicken with asparagus, fiesta citrus salmon or tuscan pasta (recipes below). These dishes don’t call for any salt. Instead, they swap in basil, garlic powder and oregano.

For more low-sodium tips and recipes to spice up your diet – such as shaved vegetable salad with Italian herb vinaigrette – visit McCormick.com/recipes to keep your New Year’s resolutions on track. To see the full Anderson study, which examined the effects of a behavioural intervention that emphasised spice and herbs, and how it impacts sodium intake, visit McCormickScienceInstitute.com

Recipe: Fiesta Citrus Salmon


Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4


  • 1/4  cup orange juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp McCormick Perfect Pinch Salt-Free Fiesta Citrus Seasoning (or similar brand), divided
  • 2 tbsp packed brown sugar, divided
  • 450g salmon fillets


  1. In small bowl, mix juice, oil and 1 tbsp each seasoning and sugar. Place salmon in large re-sealable plastic bag or glass dish. Add marinade; turn to coat well. Refrigerate 30 minutes, or longer for extra flavour.
  2. In another small bowl, mix remaining seasoning and sugar. Remove salmon from marinade. Discard any remaining marinade. Rub salmon evenly with seasoning mixture.
  3. Grill salmon over medium-high heat for six to eight minutes each side or until fish flakes easily with a fork.


Tuscan Pasta


Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Serves: 6


  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can no-salt added tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar (optional)
  • 2 tbsp packed brown sugar, divided
  • 2 tbsp McCormick Garlic Powder (or similar brand)
  • 2 tbsp McCormick Perfect Pinch Italian Seasoning (or similar brand)
  • 1/2 tbsp McCormick Black Pepper, ground
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 450g courgette, sliced
  • 225g sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 170g pasta, such as spaghetti or linguine


  1. In medium saucepan, mix tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar and seasonings. Bring to boil on medium heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes.
  2. In large skillet, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add courgette, mushrooms and onion; cook and stir four minutes or until vegetables are tender-crisp. Stir tomato sauce into vegetables.
  3. Meanwhile, cook pasta as directed and drain. Place pasta in serving bowl. Add vegetable mixture, toss.


Citrus Herbed Chicken with Asparagus


Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4


  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp McCormick Garlic Powder (or similar brand)
  • 1/4 tsp McCormick Black Pepper (or similar brand), coarse ground
  • 450g thin-sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp McCormick Basil Leaves (or similar brand)
  • 1 tsp McCormick Oregano Leaves (or similar brand)
  • 450g asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice


  • In shallow dish, mix flour, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder and pepper. Reserve two tbsp. Moisten chicken lightly with water. Coat evenly with remaining flour mixture.
  • In large nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium heat. Add 1/2 of the chicken pieces; cook three minutes per side, or until golden brown. Repeat with remaining chicken, adding additional oil, if necessary. Remove chicken from skillet; keep warm.
  • In medium bowl, mix stock, basil, oregano and reserved flour mixture until well blended. Add to skillet along with asparagus. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer three to five minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened, stirring frequently. Stir in lemon juice. Return chicken to skillet; cook two minutes, or until heated through.

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