The DASH diet, which was formulated by a branch of the NIH (National Institutes of Health) suggests that Americans eat more foods high in potassium and fewer foods high in sodium, among other recommendations. The diet has shown to be highly effective in reducing weight in teenage girls.
For some Americans the DASH diet may seem unappealing. But plenty of delicious recipes conform to the diet's standards, and plenty more conform with just a few alterations. One example is Potato Kale Soup, a brothy soup with roots in the Portuguese recipe called caldo verde. Wipe the bottom of the pot with a minimum of canola oil to brown the sausage, and use turkey kielbasa instead of using beef or pork sausage (or the soup's traditional chorizo) and you are on your way to a DASH-worthy dish. The potatoes and the kale provide plenty of potassium. Serve with a crusty whole-wheat boule and you have a hearty meal.
Potato Kale Soup
1/2 link turkey kielbasa (5.0g of fat per 2 oz., 490mg of sodium)
3 russet potatoes, in 1-inch cubes
3 cups of kale, ribs removed, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1 quart of water
1 tablespoon canola oil
Pour the canola oil in the bottom of a stock pot or deep sauce pan and wipe it around with a paper towel, removing most of the oil but leaving a coating. Cut the kielbasa into 1/2-inch thick disks and brown the kielbasa, garlic and onion for 7 minutes at medium-high heat in the pan. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook partially covered for one hour. Serve with crusty bread.
The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, which targets high blood pressure, reduced systolic blood pressure by 6 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 3 mm Hg in patients with normal blood pressure in NIH studies, and reduced blood pressure in patients with hypertension by 11 and 6, respectively. The USDA recommends the diet for all Americans.