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Yesterday I made a salad very similar to the previous day’s but used black beans vs. garbanzos. These where rinsed of their salty liquid and drained before adding to the salad. In retrospect, I would say that fresh herbs shouldn’t be added to the vinaigrette if you’re going to store it in the fridge for a day or so. The tarragon really withered and I wound up fishing it out with a small strainer. Better to add fresh herbs to the assembled salad for visual appeal.

In my hunt to root out salt that’s hidden in plain sight, I looked at one of my go-to seasonings Lemon Pepper. Lemon PepperI have the Lawry’s brand and love it. OMG, it’s loaded with salt! So I found several “recipes” for making my own with zero salt. That was this afternoon’s project. You will find a “recipe” for homemade lemon pepper without salt at the bottom of this post.

Bon Appetit seasoning

Beau MondeIn the past when I’ve made fresh artichokes, I’ve made a dipping sauce that goes like this…add the following to one tub (16 oz.) of sour cream (I like Knudsen’s more than Daisy brand for some unknown reason). 1 to 1.5 t each of Beau Monde mix, Bon Appetit mix, Lemon Pepper mix. Stir, let sit for at least an hour so the flavors can bloom.

Actually it makes a delicious accompaniment to almost any cooked or raw veggie. Well, it should…it’s all salt! Amazing how we can miss what’s in plain sight. Here I thought I was being so good making my own dip all these years using herb and spice mixtures. Wrongo.

knudprod100sourcreamEven 2 T. Knudsen’s sour cream has 10 mg. of sodium. So the moral of the story is that sodium pervades the typical American diet. One can’t escape it. Yes, I know I sound like a person who just quit smoking or drinking or turning tricks and can’t stop evangelizing about it, but that’s sort of how it feels. Weird huh?

So here’s what I found in the category of salt free lemon pepper sources:  The Spice House, Fiesta Spices and Mrs. Dash’s all carry some form of it.

As far as a recipe I found several which are all pretty much the same. You start by preheating your oven to 225F  or toaster oven on its lowest setting. Zest three lemons (about 1 to 2 T). Can I presume you know to avoid the white pith? Mix the zest with 2 to 3 T. cracked black pepper. I put the pepper corns in a heavy plastic bag and using a hammer, cracked them on a bread board.

By drying the two together the oils from the zest will commingle more fully with the pepper. Spread in one layer on a foil covered cookie sheet or toaster oven tray (you may have to do two batches using a toaster oven). Bake, stirring once till the zest is completely dry, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Once the mix is dry to the touch, put it in a mortar and grind to desired consistency with the pestle (or use a sturdy bowl and back of a spoon). Note, you can adjust the amounts for a more lemony or peppery result. If desired, sea salt may be added to the grinding process.  Store in an air-tight container.