Sunday, November 22, 2009

George Foreman Grill: A Helpful Tool

I’m talking about my George Foreman Grill. I use it a lot, especially at lunchtime. It’s the perfect appliance for making grilled sandwiches. For example, today I made my husband a grilled turkey sandwich. Colombus Reduced Sodium Sliced Turkey from Trader Joe’s, sliced Swiss cheese (naturally low in sodium) also from Trader Joe’s, a dab of NSA mustard, and thinly sliced onion, all between two slices of my own homemade low sodium 100% whole wheat bread. The grilling elevated the lunch from a humble turkey sandwich to something special. And believe me, when you’re following a low sodium diet, you need to do whatever you can to make ordinary meals special. No matter what anyone says about eventually getting used to the lack of salt in foods, you really do miss its flavor punch. So you need to look for creative ways to add pizazz – through additional flavorings and seasonings, textural interest, and visual appeal. A grilled sandwich with its crunchy outside and toasty bread takes care of texture, taste, and visual attraction. Adding the onion boosted flavor appeal.

I often make grilled corn tortilla tacos on the George Foreman Grill too. If I have leftover chicken, pork, or beef, I’ll slice it up thinly for the taco filling. A shake of a salt-free Mexican style seasoning and a slice of Swiss also go into the filling. Or sometimes, I’ll just use some slices of the low sodium deli turkey. If I’ve got some roasted chiles, I’ll throw some of those in. I love using corn tortillas because I can easily find a brand that is completely salt free. I like the flavor & aroma of warmed tortillas, and they’re really great slightly toasted and a bit crispy.

I simply spray some Pam on the grill after its heated, place my tortillas inside, spray them a bit, and close the lid. After a minute or so, once the tortillas have softened, I flip them over and fill them. Then I close the lid again and let them cook until both sides are a bit crispy. Sometimes I’ll turn the filled tortillas over. Because I’m not frying the tacos, the tortillas will not get super crisp & crunchy, but that’s OK with me. In fact, I prefer them when they’re at the chewy & slightly crispy stage. I serve the tacos with a low sodium salsa. Again, a pretty good tasting lunch.

I also use the Foreman grill for bacon, up to six slices at a time. Much easier than the frying pan with none of the splattering & mess. Of course, I’m talking about low sodium bacon. (However, when I cook up an entire package of bacon at one time, I’ll use the oven. And then, once the bacon is all cooked, I’ll wrap it up in bundles of four slices and freeze them.) I’ve also made French toast on the grill.

It’s great for quick meals of grilled boneless pork chops, beef tenderloin steaks, and boneless chicken breasts. I’ll grill an entire pork tenderloin too. Sometimes I butterfly it and other times I just grill it and keep turning it until all sides are cooked. And I use it frequently for grilled vegetables. I love grilling eggplant, peppers, and squash with it. I’ve even grilled slices of potato.

Because of the removable plates, I haven’t had any problems with cleaning it either. I can easily wash them by hand or stick in the dishwasher.There are all kinds of sizes available. I use mine so often that I usually just leave it on my kitchen island. I'll put it away when we have special company that I want to impress with my immaculate and clutter free kitchen.


Sarah T. said...

Hmm. I think I'll put one of those on our registry. I just remember the mini one Grandma had that you could heat up a tea sandwich on.

Karen said...

Enjoyed your comment about the beef tenderloin. I do that also and this weekend purchsed a big pork tenderloin and did it the same way. Kept a big chunk for green chile, sliced some as pork chops and two little roasts. The roasts are wonderful rubbed with garlic, rosemary and olive oil. And this pork at Costco has no added sodium.

shambo said...

Thanks for your comments, Karen. I do the same as you. I've purchased the big pork loin packages from Costco and cut them up into roasts and chops for the freezer. The chops in particular are just great grilled or thinly sliced for a stir fry when I want a quick meal.

I've also purchased the pork tenderloin packages. I cut the individual tenderloins into two pieces of about 8 ounces each. They're also easy to thaw quickly and can be pan fried, roasted, or thinly sliced. Great time savers.

And, like you, I really appreciate the fact that Costco's pork has not been enhanced with sodium.

dandeej said...

Hi, your blog is so very helpful! Thank you. As I am trying to minimize the sodium in our diet, one seasoning that I miss is Morton's Natures Seasons Seasoning Blend. Any ideas as to where to start on a salt-free blend that is similar? Here are the Ingredients: Salt, Black Pepper, Sugar, Spices, Natural Onion Flavor, Natural Garlic Flavor, Parsley, Celery Seeds, Calcium Silicate.

Tara said...

Hi! How's your low-sodium lifestyle going? My doctor recently put me on a low sodium diet, and I decided to blog about my transition to that lifestyle! I can't wait to catch up on your archives, maybe I can learn a thing or two!


F said...

Thanks so much for the hard work you've done--have been helping a friend and myself to gather info on low-salt-screaming BP. Consolidation of info is great!! Just great.