Chickpea Burgers With Tahini Sauce

Serves 4.

Note: These meatless burgers are a lighter version of falafel, which is typically deep-fried. Tahini is a paste made of ground sesame seeds, and is widely available. From “The Easy Low-Sodium Diet Plan & Cookbook,” by Christopher Lower.

• 1/2 c. plain low-fat Greek yogurt

• 2 tbsp. tahini (see Note)

• 1 tbsp. lemon juice

• 1/2 c. chopped flat-leaf parsley

• 1 (19-oz.) can chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed

• 1 garlic clove, minced

• 1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander

• 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

•Freshly ground black pepper

• 1 medium carrot, grated

• 1 egg

• 2 tbsp. flour

• 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

• 2 (6-in.) whole wheat pitas, halved

• 1 c. baby spinach, optional

• 1 red onion, sliced

• 1 Persian cucumber, minced

Directions

To make the tahini sauce: In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, tahini, lemon juice and parsley. Set aside.

To make the burgers: Add the chickpeas, garlic, coriander, cumin and black pepper to a food processor. Process to a rough paste, then add the carrot, egg and flour. Process briefly until evenly mixed but slightly rough. The mixture will be moist. Form into 4 patties.

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties and cook until golden and beginning to crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully flip and cook until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes more.

Warm pitas, if desired. Top each pita half with tahini sauce, spinach and a chickpea patty. Garnish with onion and cucumber.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 351 Fat 14 g Sodium 135 mg

Carbohydrates 45 g Saturated fat 2 g Potassium 198 mg

Protein 17 g Cholesterol 47 mg Dietary fiber 9 g

Pork Chops With Tomato and Fennel

Serves 4.

Note: From “The Easy Low-Sodium Diet Plan & Cookbook,” by Christopher Lower.

• 7 garlic cloves, divided

• 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

• 4 (6-oz.) lean boneless pork chops, visible fat trimmed off

• 2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced (about 2 to 3 c.)

• 1 large onion, thinly sliced

• 2 (14-oz.) cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes

• 1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

• 1 tsp. dried rosemary

• 1/2 tsp. dried thyme

• Freshly ground black pepper

• 1/4 c. chopped fresh basil

Directions

Cut 1 garlic clove in half lengthwise. Rub the cut sides of the garlic on both sides of the chops, then discard garlic.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add pork chops and quickly brown on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer chops to a platter to keep warm.

To make the sauce, reduce the heat to medium and add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the fennel and onion, and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, mince the remaining 6 garlic cloves. Add to the fennel and onions, and cook for 1 minute more. Add tomatoes, oregano, rosemary, thyme and black pepper, and bring to gentle boil.

Return chops to Dutch oven. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 10 minutes.

Uncover and continue cooking for additional 5 minutes, or to desired doneness. Serve garnished with chopped fresh basil.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 312 Fat 15 g Sodium 413 mg

Carbohydrates 18 g Saturated fat 4 g Potassium 281 mg

Protein 29 g Cholesterol 56 mg Dietary fiber 7 g