I Love My Heart

Let me share with you a little story.

“In January of 2004, I received a diagnosis that changed my life. I was diagnosed with Lupus, an autoimmune disease that in my case attacked my kidneys and brain. Due to the intensity of the initial “flare up” of the disease, I became renal insufficient and eventually faced kidney failure. Amazingly, through great medicine, wonderful family and friends, and an enormous amount of support, I became stronger and healthier and miraculously, my kidneys partially regenerated. I no longer depend on dialysis and by regulating my diet, I depend on fewer medications.

Seven years later, I work as a full-time food writer (isn’t that ironic!) and I live a full and utterly enjoyable life. My dietary restrictions have transformed into a real passion for food and I hope to be able to pass along my favorite finds to others facing similar dietary challenges. Be creative, be friendly, and be full!”

Pretty inspiring right??  That awesome chic is my cousin (who we will call J).  In order to stay healthy, her body requires that she subsist on a low-sodium diet.  Instead of despairing for her tastebuds — she decided to rejoice it, and became an amazing low-sodium chef-extraordinaire!  This is her blog.  So when J asked me to create a low-sodium recipe to celebrate February being National Heart Health Month, I jumped at the opportunity.  And now I bring you……..


recipe adapted from The Skinny Bitch Cookbook

Ok…I’m pretty damned proud of myself, because not only are these little suckers DELICIOUS, they are also low-sodium, vegan, and healthy!  Pistachios are particularly great for your heart — studies have showed that consumption of these little green orbs of deliciousness are linked with a reduction in total cholesterol levels and a decrease in LDL (or bad) cholesterol and some studies have even linked pistachio consumption with lower blood pressure!  So without further ado (drumroll please):

Makes about 25-30 cookies:

1/2 cup Earth balance butter

3/4  cup Vegan cane sugar (available at natural food store/whole foods)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup almond milk

1 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated

1/3 cup chopped pistachio nuts

2 1/3 cups white whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons ground cardamom


Using an electric mixer, beat the Earth Balance and the sugar in a large bowl until fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the vanilla and beat until blended.  Stirin milk, lemon zest, and pistachios.  Stir in the flour and cardamom.  Mix to form a soft dough.  Cover with plastic wrap and pop in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Remove the dough from the fridge and make tablespoon size dough balls.  Place the dough balls on a greased cookie sheet.  Flatten the dough little with your finger and bake about 13 minutes, or until lightly golden.  Remove from the oven an dlet sit on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack.

Enjoy with some ginger tea (my personal favorite).

Love your heart.  Love your life.  And as my dear cousin J would say…CHOW ON!


  1. Pingback: Love Your Heart Recipe Rally | Sodium Girl

  2. sodium girl says:

    Amazing. These are bitchin’ just like you! My pops will love these (and so will I, but that’s obvious because I like cookies. A lot). Thank you for participating – love that my cuz was a contributor!

    Happy long weekend my dear and let’s cyber cook together again soon!


  3. Susie says:

    I’m looking forward to making (and eating!) these cookies soon – and to sending them to Rachel (but USPS, not FedEx – seriously!)

    Sodium girl – since I don’t eat scallops OR bacon, your yummy substitute looks awesome!



  4. Pingback: Heart Smart Month | Talking Lupus

  5. Pingback: Love Your Heart Recipe Rally

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