5 healthy low-salt recipes so full of flavour you won't miss the seasoning

·5-min read
By cooking with pepper, herbs and spices, you can make tasty meals without added salt (posed by models, Getty)
By cooking with pepper, herbs and spices, you can make tasty meals without added salt (posed by models, Getty)

It’s salt awareness week. Obviously, you were aware of the existence of salt… but this week charity Action on Salt wants to bring our attention to the fact too much can lead to major health issues.

Reduce the amount you eat by whacking up the flavour with these taste-packed dishes.

Chicken tagine with apricots

Chicken and olive tagine
Chicken and olive tagine (Getty)

Moroccan-inspired and tastes like a holiday. What’s not to love?

Serves: 2

Ingredients

2 tbsps olive oil

4 chicken thighs

1 small onion, chopped

zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 tbsp tomato purée

1 tsp ras-el-hanout

1 clove of garlic, thinly sliced

1 tsp ginger, finely chopped

1 tbsp tomato purée

1 tsp ras-el-hanout

30g dried apricots

30g stoned green olives

500ml chicken stock

1 tsp honey

black pepper

chopped parsley and toasted almonds

Method

1. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and add the chicken. Cook, turning regularly, till skin is browned. Transfer to a plate.

2. Heat the rest of the oil, lower heat, and add the onions. Cook, stirring, till softened (10 minutes). Add the lemon zest and juice, garlic and ginger and cook for 2 - 3 minutes to release the scents.

3. Add the tomato puree, ras-el-hanout, apricots and olives and pour in the stock. Bring to the boil then lower to a simmer and add the chicken.

4. Stir occasionally for 10-15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the stock has reduced by around half.

5. Stir in the honey, season with pepper, and scatter with toasted almonds and parsley.

Read more: Quick and easy recipes for kids lunchboxes

Baked salmon with pesto crust

Baked salmon with a pesto crust (Getty)
Baked salmon with a pesto crust (Getty)

Healthy and very easy, this is an ideal weeknight dinner, served with rice or couscous.

Serves: 2

Method

1 tbsp olive oil

2 salmon fillets, skin on

1 tbsp lemon juice

½ tbsp lemon zest

1 tbsp grated Parmesan

2 tbsps basil pesto

30g breadcrumbs

black pepper

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180° fan)

2. Mix the olive oil and lemon juice, and brush all over each fillet. Place them on a baking tray.

3. Mix the pesto, Parmesan, breadcrumbs and zest, press the mixture onto each fillet, and season with pepper.

4. Bake for around 12 minutes, until the fish is cooked through and topping crisp.

5. Serve with extra lemon for squeezing.

Watch: Simple steps to a healthier life

Thai green curry with prawns

Thai green curry with prawns (Getty)
Thai green curry with prawns (Getty)

Spicy and satisfying, with prawns for added protein. A healthy "fakeaway" everyone will love.

Serves: 2

Ingredients

2 tbsps sesame oil (or sunflower oil) separated

1 clove garlic, chopped

1” fresh ginger, chopped

1 tsp lemongrass paste

2 shallots, chopped

2-3 green chillies, chopped

1 tbsp fish sauce

a handful of coriander

juice of 1 lime

200ml coconut milk

1 tsp brown sugar

40g trimmed green beans

half a green pepper, sliced

150g prawns

a few basil leaves

Method

1. Blend together (or bash with a pestle and mortar) 1 tbsp oil, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, shallots, green chillies, fish sauce and coriander.

2. Heat the other tbsp oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat, and cook the paste, stirring continually, for 2 minutes.

3. Add the lime juice, and stir through.

4. Add the coconut milk and the beans, and stir in the brown sugar. Bring to the boil, then turn down to simmer for 10 minutes.

5. De-vein the prawns (if required) and add. Cook for another 2-3 minutes till they turn pink.

6. Serve with boiled rice, garnished with the basil leaves.

Read more: The diet mistakes that could be killing us

Veg chilli with guacamole

Veg chilli with guacamole (Getty)
Veg chilli with guacamole (Getty)

Easy and full of filling flavour. Batch-cook this one for the week ahead if you’re busy.

Serves: 4

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1 red onion, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 red chilli, finely chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp cayenne

1x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

200ml water

2 peeled sweet potatoes, cut into chunks

1x 400g tin black beans or kidney beans

black pepper

1 avocado

juice of 1 lime

Method

1. Pour the oil into a casserole pan over a medium heat.

2. Add the onion and pepper and cook for 10 minutes or until softened.

3. Add the garlic, chilli and spices, and stir through.

4. Pour in the tomatoes, water and sweet potato and bring to the boil. Reduce to simmer.

5. Cover and cook for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are cooked through and the liquid is reduced.

6. Add the beans, stir though, season with pepper.

7 Peel and chop the avocado and pour over the lime juice. Season with black pepper. Serve scattered over the chilli.

Read more: 3 seriously lazy one-pot recipes from around the world

Spaghetti with garlic, fennel and tomato

Spaghetti with garlic, fennel and tomato (Getty)
Spaghetti with garlic, fennel and tomato (Getty)

Simple but delicious – this is one to add to your ‘staples’ list.

Serves: 2

Ingredients

2 tbsps olive oil

1 fennel bulb, chopped

1 tsp fennel seeds

2 garlic cloves (leave whole)

1 small red onion, sliced

2 large tomatoes

2 servings of pasta (check packet for cooking instructions)

handful of fresh basil leaves

juice of ½ lemon

black pepper

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160° Fan).

2. Pour the olive oil into a baking tray and add the fennel, seeds, garlic and onion. Roast for 8-10 minutes, then add tomatoes to the tray for another 10-15 minutes.

3. Cook the pasta in salted water then drain, leaving 1cm cooking water in the pan.

4. Squeeze the garlic and tomatoes from their skins, then mix everything through the pasta. Add the lemon juice, torn basil leaves, a drizzle of olive oil, and plenty of black pepper to serve.

Watch: Mum of three Jen shows you how to make simple three-ingredient pizza with the kids

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