Confession here: Sometimes I make casseroles for dinner. And yes, I still make that old 1950s favorite: tuna casserole.
I know. Totally uncool. Especially since the recipe requires a can of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup. And even their Healthy Request version has 410 mg. of sodium per 1/2 cup serving.
I also make a fabulous (according to those I've served it to) fish chowder, but the recipe calls for a can of Campbell's Cream of Celery Soup. Also, loaded with the white stuff. I'm trying to cut down and probably, so should you. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost all of us consume too much sodium. High sodium consumption can raise blood pressure, and high blood pressure is a major risk for heart disease and stroke.
One way you and your family can cut down on sodium is to make your own cream soup base. Here's a simple, no-salt-added recipe, which appeared in a magazine called "Clean Eating," a magazine worth thumbing through if you're trying to eat healthier.
Incredibly, the recipe does not call for any added salt. Or cream, for that matter. So I whip up the cream soup from scratch and then substitute it for the Campbell's in many of my dinner entrees.
I sometimes double the batch, depending on what I'm cooking.
I bet it would work great in the classic string bean casserole recipe, too. You know the one--with the addictive fried onion rings on top.
One tip: I do ramp up the flavoring ingredients such as wine or herbs if I use the scratch soup base. If you try it in your dishes, please let me know how it works out for you.
Not Campbell's Cream Soup
Soup Base Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup minced onion
3 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
1 cup low sodium chicken broth, boiled and reduced by half
1/2 cup skim milk
Optional Flavor Ingredients
For Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 1/2 cups chopped cremini mushrooms
For Cream Of Celery Soup
1/2 cup minced celery
For Cream of Chicken
1 cup of finely diced cooked chicken
In a saucepan or pot, heat oil on medium. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add flour and stir for two minutes, until golden brown. Stir in broth, milk and optional flavor ingredients.
Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes, until thickened. Allow to cool and use as desired.
Only 37 mg. of sodium per 1/2 cup serving!