Post 113: A comparison of salt content in pickled and roasted vegetable recipes, Molukhia in Arabic, but its technical term is Jews Mallow

I love sitting down at an Iraqi restaurant  and being served a dish of Spicy pickled vegetables.This recipe calls for 3 Tablespoons of salt. OY! The discussion today is a comparison of Hamutzim recipes. I am experimenting. The goal is to get a tasty treat without the salt.

Salt vs. Sodium Equivalents

Sodium chloride or table salt is approximately 40% sodium. Understand just how much sodium is in salt so you can take measures to control your intake. These amounts are approximate.

1/4 teaspoon salt = 575 mg sodium
1/2 teaspoon salt = 1,150 mg sodium
3/4 teaspoon salt = 1,725 mg sodium
1 teaspoon salt = 2,300 mg sodium

3 teaspoons salt = 1 Tablespoon = 6,900 mg sodium! Ouch!




Copyright © Lauren Wilner and My Jerusalem Kitchen 2011

Hamutzim (pronounced: khawm-ooo-tzeem) are the Israeli version with the plate of bread that comes before your meal at a restaurant. And they are insanely addictive. They usually accompany hummus or go inside a falafel, though sometimes hamutzim merely refers to the bowl of cut up pickles and onion that can also accompany a bowl of hummus, instead of this version, which is cauliflower, cabbage, carrot and red bell pepper.

This recipe comes from Roni, a very nice man in the Iraqi shuk at Mahaneh Yehuda market, who sells large to-go containers but was generous enough to share his recipe with  as well as his phone number in case I ran into any problems. Roni also sells olives and amba (pickled mango), and I (the writer, Lauren) met him a few weeks back When asked for a recipe for amba  he laughed in her face. Guess it’s really hard to make?

“Thanks to my friend Amira’s Iraqi grandmother, as soon as mangoes are in season here, I’m going to take a stab at it. And then I’ll go laugh in Roni’s face. Nevertheless, I was shocked at the likeness of these. They are exactly what I eat in the restaurant. Add them to your salad, eat them with meat, munch on them, stick them in a sandwich or falafel, or enjoy them with some hummus. I’m salivating and going back for more right now.” ( That’s what salt overload will do to you).

Makes about 6 cups

What you need:

One head of cauliflower; leaves removed and florets separated and cut small

5 leaves of cabbage; coarsely chopped into 1″ x 1″ squares or 2″ x 2″

2 small red bell peppers or 1 large red bell pepper; cut into 1″ squares and small strips for variety

1 carrot; cut on a bias

10-12 bay leaves

3 tsp amba spice mix – At an Indian or Middle Eastern spice store, it may be called “Amchur/Amchoor.” Alternately, pull together some ground mustard seeds, chili powder, hot paprika, and a little cumin. But FYI, I’ve made this without the spice mix and it’s still good.

1 tsp turmeric

a pinch of ground pepper

1 tsp peppercorns–the big ones (about 25-30)

3 tbsp salt ridiculously high-need an alternative. I would substitute crushed juniper berries.

8 c water

2 c white vinegar

How to do it:

Cut the vegetables into slices and disassemble the cauliflower into little florets. Wash the vegetables and transfer them to a large pot. Add the water and vinegar and cook until water boils. Once it boils, turn off the heat, move the pot to another burner, add the spices and cover. Allow to sit for at least two hours on the counter. Transfer to a jar and secure tightly. Enjoy!

Copyright © Lauren Wilner and My Jerusalem Kitchen 2011 – present. All rights reserved. The content and images contained on my My Jerusalem Kitchen may not be used without my express and written permission. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lauren Wilner and My Jerusalem Kitchen with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 Although this one looks fabulous, I am putting it on hold

Seasoning Alternatives to salt – Spice it up!

There is a rich world of creative and flavorful alternatives to salt. Get started with this guide to spices, herbs and flavorings and the food items with which they are a particularly good flavor match. Then get creative and experiment!

Here are some seasonings to add variety:

Allspice:Lean ground meats, stews, tomatoes, peaches, applesauce, cranberry sauce, gravies, lean meat

  • Almond extract: Puddings, fruits
  • Basil: Fish, lamb, lean ground meats, stews, salads, soups, sauces, fish cocktails
  • Bay leaves: Lean meats, stews, poultry, soups, tomatoes
  • Caraway seeds: Lean meats, stews, soups, salads, breads, cabbage, asparagus, noodles
  • Chives: Salads, sauces, soups, lean meat dishes, vegetables
  • Cider vinegar: Salads, vegetables, sauces
  • Cinnamon: Fruits (especially apples), breads, pie crusts
  • Curry powder: Lean meats (especially lamb), veal, chicken, fish, tomatoes, tomato soup, mayonnaise Careful Curry powder is a mixture and contains salt.
  • Dill: Fish sauces, soups, tomatoes, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, cucumbers, potatoes, salads, macaroni, lean beef, lamb, chicken, fish
  • Garlic (not garlic salt): Lean meats, fish, soups, salads, vegetables, tomatoes, potatoes
  • Ginger: Chicken, fruits
  • Lemon juice: Lean meats, fish, poultry, salads, vegetables
  • Mace: Hot breads, apples, fruit salads, carrots, cauliflower, squash, potatoes, veal, lamb
  • Mustard (dry): Lean ground meats, lean meats, chicken, fish, salads, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, mayonnaise, sauces
  • Nutmeg: Fruits, pie crust, lemonade, potatoes, chicken, fish, lean meat loaf, toast, veal, pudding
  • Onion powder (not onion salt): Lean meats, stews, vegetables, salads, soups
  • Paprika: Lean meats, fish, soups, salads, sauces, vegetables
  • Parsley: Lean meats, fish, soups, salads, sauces, vegetables
  • Peppermint extract: Puddings, fruits
  • Pimiento: Salads, vegetables, casserole dishes
  • Rosemary: Chicken, veal, lean meat loaf, lean beef, lean pork, sauces, stuffings, potatoes, peas, lima beans
  • Sage: Lean meats, stews, biscuits, tomatoes, green beans, fish, lima beans, onions, lean pork
  • Savory: Salads, lean pork, lean ground meats, soups, green beans, squash, tomatoes, lima beans, peas
  • Thyme: Lean meats (especially veal and lean pork), sauces, soups, onions, peas, tomatoes, salads
  • Turmeric: Lean meats, fish, sauces, rice

Giardiniera (Mixed Pickled Vegetables) I didn’t have the Habanero peppers, so put this one also on the side.

  • Yield : 3 Quarts
  • Servings : 24
  • Prep Time : 10m
  • Cook Time : 10m
  • Ready In : 48:20 h

This no-salt take on an Italian classic is sure to be a hit.  Use these pickled veggies in salads, sandwiches, or as a tasty snack all on their own.  This giardiniera is very spicy!  If you prefer a little less heat, swap out the habanero peppers for 1/2 cup of banana peppers (or any other pepper that you prefer) cut into 1/4-inch rings.  Feel free to experiment with different vegetables, adding your own personal favorites!

This recipes is intended to make one 3-quart jar of pickled vegetables.  If you don’t have a 3-quart jar, use three 1-quart jars, or reduce the recipe by one third.  A serving size is 1/2 cup.

This recipe should not be used for pressure or hot water canning.  These pickles will keep in the refrigerator for up to eight weeks.  The pickles are ready to eat after pickling for two days, but the flavor gets better (and spicier) after a week or more.

Ingredients: No salt Hamutzim-I made this one. I think the dish would have worked with less vinegar.


  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar/ can use a substitute such as rice malt.
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 3 sprigs fresh dill
  • 3 sprigs fennel fronds
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups cauliflower florets, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 dozen pearl onions, peeled/ or red onions sliced
  • 6 habenero peppers, whole-using sliced peppers from the shuk
  • IMG_20150512_194428
    these are the dried peppers that i used- only two
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and cut into halves (lengthwise)
  • 2 cups celery, cut on a bias into 1 1/2 to 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup carrots, cut on a bias into 1/2 inch slices
  • 2 cups fresh baby corn/or sliced corn off the con
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper corns
  • 6 crushed juniper berries.


Step 1

Combine sugar substitute, water, and vinegar in a small saucepan. Add onions, garlic, mustard, and black pepper corns to the saucepan. Pierce the habanero/dried  peppers once on each side with paring knife and add to saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium heat to bring to low boil. Boil mixture for 5 minutes and then remove from heat and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.

Step 2

Blanch the remaining vegetables.  This is necessary because you are not using salt to penetrate.. Makes the job longer. To blanch, bring a large stew pot of water to a rolling boil. Add carrots to the stew pot. Set a timer for 5 minutes. When there are 4 minutes remaining on the timer, add the cauliflower. When there are two minutes remaining on the timer, add celery and baby corn. Once the timer stops, immediately remove all vegetables and place them in ice water. Once cool, drain the vegetables to remove excess water.

Step 3

Strain the vinegar mixture and add the onions, garlic, peppers, and spices to the blanched vegetable mix (does not have to be completely cooled). Line the jar with a layer of the fresh herbs. Mix well and then pack the medley into a 3-quart jar. Pour the vinegar mixture over the vegetables to cover completely. Place the jar in the refrigerator and let sit for at least two days.I hope that this works. I still have about half left.

My lovely Hamutzim jar

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Vegetables-least salt

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Vegetables recipe

Serves four.

  • by Ellie Krieger from Fine Cooking
    Issue 102

When you think of vegetables as a major player on your plate—more of a main course than a side—suddenly they merit more attention and creativity, but that doesn’t mean they need to be difficult. This dish is simple, fragrant, and delicious.

  • 5 medium carrots, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 2 small red onions, each cut into 8 wedges (trim the root end but leave intact to hold layers together)
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 11/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1-1/2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme

Position a rack in the center of the oven, put a rimmed baking sheet on the rack, and heat the oven to 450°F.

In a large bowl, toss the carrots, onions, bell peppers, and squash with 1 Tbs. of the oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables on the hot baking sheet in a single layer and roast until tender, 30 to 35 minutes.

Heat the remaining 1 Tbs. oil in an 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the spices and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the honey and thyme and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Drizzle the spice mixture over the roasted vegetables and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 200; Fat (g): fat g 7; Fat Calories (kcal): 70; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 1; Protein (g):protein g 3; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 35; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 340; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 0; Fiber (g): fiber g 8;

Pickled Vegetables: 10-12 servings from Kosher by Designs Lightens up. As an alternative, use peeled and quartered baby beets, peeled turnips trimmed to half moons, red onions, mint leaves, and half teas white peppercorns. The beets will turn everything pink.

This is an Impressionist version of the jar that I chose that was a flower vase. It is 24 cm. high. Surely the pickiling contents will fit inside.


Pickles Vegetables: Another recipe for the future

3 sprigs fresh dill

3 sprigs fennel fronds

10 sprigs fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

1/2 head cauliflower broken into medium florets

1/2 red onion thinly sliced

10 baby carrots

4 radishes cut in half

4 cloves fresh garlic

3/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1/2 teas juniper berries

1/8 teas fennel seeds

1 cup water

1 cup rice vinegar: 1 cup may have 500 milligrams sodium: however, I found a brand which purports to have 0 sodium and 0 sugar. And I will not need to find a substitute! the two that I have have 45mg/100 ml and 9.8mg/100 ml. I’ll use the second one

1 Tab fine sea salt

1 Tab sugar.

1: Place the dill and fennel fronds on the bottom and stand the thyme around the sides. Add the bar leaf.

2. Layer  all the vegetables and simultaneously incorporate the pickling ingredients.

3. In a small pot, bring remaining ingredients to a simmer, dissolving the sugar or other sugar substitute. Remove from heat and pour over the container of vegetables being sure to submerge them.

4. Allow to cool and place in the refrigerator. The vegetables will be ready in 1-2 days and will keep for a week in the refrigerator. The roasted vegetables without salt but with added herbs will be very satisfying.


Vinegar Substitutes

Vinegar Amount Substitute
Rice Vinegar substitute 1 Tablespoon 1 Tablespoon White Wine Vinegar +plus 1/4 teaspoon Sugar
*OR* 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar +plus 1/4 teaspoon Sugar
Apple Cider Vinegar substitute 1 Tablespoon 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
*OR* 1 Tablespoon of lime juice
*OR* 2 Tablespoons of white wine
Balsamic Vinegar substitute 1 Tablespoon 1 Tablespoon of either Brown Rice Vinegar *OR* Chinese Black Vinegar
*OR* 1 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar +plus 1/4 teaspoon Sugar
Champagne Vinegar substitute 1 Tablespoon 1 Tablespoon of either White Wine Vinegar *OR* Rice Wine Vinegar. Champagne vinegar is very mild, so do not substitute stronger vinegars.
Red Wine Vinegar substitute 1 Tablespoon 1&1/2 teaspoons White Vinegar plus 1&1/2 teaspoons of Red Wine (equal parts vinegar & wine)
White Wine Vinegar substitute 1 Tablespoon 1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
White Vinegar substitute 1 Tablespoon 1 Tablespoon of either Lemon Juice *OR* Lime Juice
*OR* 1 Tablespoon of either Cider Vinegar *OR* Malt Vinegar
Malt Vinegar substitute 1 Tablespoon 1 Tablespoon of either Lemon Juice *OR* Cider Vinegar
Sherry Vinegar substitute 1 Tablespoon 1 Tablespoon of either Red or White Wine (*if you don’t need the acidic property of vinegar in your recipe)
Herb Vinegar substitute 1 Tablespoon 1 Tablespoon of either Wine Vinegar *OR* Rice Vinegar *OR* Cider Vinegar +plus fresh washed herbs
Raspberry Vinegar substitute 1 Tablespoon 1 Tablespoon Sherry Vinegar

Pickled Vegetables: I have this above recipe for about 15 years and will someday try it out to try it out. Now that it’s here I don’t kneed to save the zerox that I kept of it.


This is a very common dish through out the middle east known as molukhia in Arabic, but its technical term is jews mallow. Egyptians are famed for their molukhia. Its picked during harvest time and either dried or frozen, so that it may be enjoyed through out the year. Because this is typically grown in the middle east,although there are a few farms that do grow this in the U.S., its readily available in most middle eastern stores either in frozen or dry form. My recipe is based on my frozen version. Recipes will vary througoht the middle east, depending on region. Molukhia is made a couple of ways, but this is the more common. Molukhia is traditionally enjoyed with a side of rice and a lemon wedge.Try Egyptian Condiment (Daqua)



  • 4 -5cups chicken broth

  • 4 pieces chicken/ turkey wings

  • 2(14 ounce) packages frozen molukhia (minced or chopped, not whole leaves) or find and chop your own as I did

  • 12cup diced onion

  • 34tablespoon allspice(optional)

  • 14cup corn oil

  • 4 -5 garlic cloves


  1. Season chicken and boil chicken and onions(onions will give it flavor and help tame any gamey flavor the chicken may have) in water, until done, make sure you skim the scum off the top of the water as chicken boils.
  2. Make sure you have the above chicken broth, if your running low after chicken has boiled add a bit of water.
  3. Open and add the frozen mlokhia to the boiling broth.
  4. Add maggi cubes.
  5. Add allspice.
  6. Let boil until molukhia has defrosted into the broth, then let cook additional 5 minutes.
  7. Smash garlic up with a mortar and pestle, until its almost like a paste, you may add a bit of salt in the mortar and pestle to help smash.
  8. In a small saucepan, add oil and let oil get hot, place garlic in oil and keep an eye on it stirring frequently.
  9. Once garlic has reached a deep golden brown, but definitely NOT BURNT.
  10. Pour oil and garlic into the molukhia.
  11. Stir let set, serve next to bowl of rice.
  12. Taking a spoonful at a time, place of rice and eat together.
  13. If desired squeeze lemon over the bowl ofmlokhia before eating to add an extra kick.

     In conclusion: If you are buying your salads from a supermarket or from a takeout source, undoubtedly  you are consuming way too much salt.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s