March 28th-April 3rd, 2019

The Challenge

The problem with salt lies in its sodium content. Your body needs sodium; however, it only requires trace amounts. Many Canadians are living with health conditions such as kidney disease, diabetes, hypertension, and heart conditions that require low or sodium free diets.

For this reason, Salt-Free Canada has issued a challenge to culinary arts students, dietitian and nutrition students and Canadians across the country to develop salt-free recipes. The goal is to feature 150 of these recipes in a special Salt-Free Canada Cookbook marking Canada’s 150th Birthday.

The aim of the cookbook is to increase awareness of the need for salt-free recipes by featuring the next generation of dietitians, nutritionist, and culinary students in their formative years, while producing an accessible cookbook showing Canadians how to prepare nutritious and flavourful food without salt.

The Criteria

  • Competition is open to students of Culinary, Dietitian and Nutritional Arts Programs as well as professional chefs, and amateur chefs.
  • The recipe can not include any salt at all for flavouring.
  • All ingredients must be made from scratch to ensure there is no salt included/added.
  • Each ingredient(s) that is a combination of several items must also be salt-free and not a pre-made ingredient that may contain salt. For example: mayonnaise, tomato sauces, piri piri sauces, stocks/broths, etc.
  • Must include both the Metric and Imperial measurements for ingredients and descriptions.
  • Specify how many servings the recipe will be produced.
  • Photos must be high resolution with a minimum of 300 dpi and a minimum size of 8” x 10”.
  • Photo must leave extra white space (negative space) around for cropping to fit in the cookbook. Please refrain from stylized backgrounds and additional props. We want the book to feature a clean, fresh look.
  • If possible, provide recipe both in English and in French.
  • Must sign the waiver /or agree to the terms in the online submission Form
  • Submissions will close March 31, 2018. However, recipes can be submitted any time before this date.
  • Participants may submit up to 5 recipes for selection. Not all will be printed in the recipe book, but may be published on-line. An independent selection committee will determine which recipes will be published.
  • Participants are encouraged to research renal/kidney, hypertension, diabetes and heart disease diets to extend their knowledge.
  • Collaboration is encouraged.
  • Participants are encouraged to share a story or message that communicates the inspiration behind the recipe. Maybe this was the family’s favourite dish made by Grandma, Mother etc.
  • Participants are also encouraged to include a photo of themselves for publication.

Sample Recipe

Note: Sodium is a mineral found in salt.  All salts are high in sodium.  Most foods have a trace amount of natural sodium in their composition. The idea of salt-free preparation is not to add any additional salt for flavour.  For example, some foods such as, meats, seafood, eggs,  and dairy naturally contain sodium. This sodium content is unavoidable. Participants must not add additional salt for flavour.

Curried Cauliflower Soup with Apple Garnish

Photo and recipe by Chef Marnie Watson
Includes recipes for vegetable stock and Curry Seasoning. Yield- 1.5 Litres – 6 Cups

Metric Imperial Ingredient
30 ML 2 TBSP Unsalted Butter
450 G 1 LB Cauliflower
125 G 1/2 CUP Onion
45 ML 3 TBSP Honey
1.2 L 5.25 CUPS Vegetable or Chicken Stock
125 G 1/2 Cup Potato Small Diced
To Taste Ground White Pepper
To Taste Curry Powder
1 Tart Fuji Apple or Honeycrisp
15 ML 1 TBSP Unsalted Butter
2.4 ML 1/2 TSP Cinnamon
120 ML 1/2 Cup Cream (optional)

Soup Directions

  1. Cut onions into a medium dice.
  2. Cut cauliflower into small florets.
  3. Cut potato into small dice.
  4. Heat butter in a heavy pot over moderate heat.
  5. Add cauliflower and onions and sweat the vegetables until they are about half cooked. Do not let them brown.
  6. Add stock (homemade will guarantee sodium free) Recipe B.
  7. Add potatoes. Bring to a boil.
  8. Simmer (on low) until all vegetables are tender.
  9. Puree the soup either with immersion blender.
  10. Add curry powder and white pepper slowly and simmer. Should be a mild flavor not overpowering! Recipe C.
  11. Add Honey slowly, until desired sweetness is achieved.
  12. Cream can be added right before serving for extra creaminess if desired.

Apple Garnish Directions

  1. Cut apple into small dice.
  2. Add butter to sauté pan over moderate heat.
  3. Add apples and cinnamon and sauté until apple is soft on the outside and slightly firm inside.
  4. Spoon small heap into center of soup and serve.

Recipe B: Vegetable Stock

Yield- 2 Litres – 8 Cups

Metric Imperial Ingredient
25 ML 1.75 TBSP Vegetable Oil
300 G 1.5 LB Mirepoix
62 G 1/4 CUP Leeks Chopped
50 ML 3.5 TBSP Fennel small diced
2.25 L 9.5 CUPS Water
2 Cloves Garlic
50 G 3.5 TBSP Diced Fresh Tomatos


Metric Imperial Ingredient
4 Parsley Stems
15 G 1 TBSP Cracked Black Pepper
2 Bay Leaves
3 ML .75 TSP Dried Thyme


  1. Heat the oil. Add the vegetables and sweat for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the water and tie sachet ingredients into cheesecloth and add.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30–40 minutes.
  4. Strain, cool and refrigerate, freeze, or use immediately

Recipe C: Curry Powder

Metric Imperial Ingredient
30 ML 2 TBSP Cumin Seeds
30 ML 2 TBSP Cardamom Seeds
30 ML 2 TBSP Coriander Seeds
60 ML 1/4 Cup Turmeric Powder
15 ML 1 TBSP Dry Mustard
5 ML 1 TSP Cayenne Pepper


  1. In a dry pan, over medium heat, toast cumin seeds, cardamom seeds, and coriander seeds. This will only take a few minutes. When you can smell the seeds, the oils have been released and they are ready to use.
  2. Add turmeric powder, dry mustard and cayenne pepper.
  3. Store in airtight container until you are ready to use and then grind in a spice grinder, or a coffee bean grinder or with a mortar and pestle.

Submit Your Recipe

Recipes should be saved as a Word document or in PDF format. Images should be uploaded in JPG format. If you are submitting more than one recipe, you will need to complete a separate submission form for each one.

About Salt-Free Canada

This Canada-wide challenge originated in 2012 with Ottawa’s Algonquin College Culinary Program. They were involved in an event called the Blue and Green Soiree. Culinary students were challenged to plan, prepare and serve an amazing array of dishes created with no salt. The challenge was judged by highly recognized chefs such as: Executive Chef Judson Simpson of the House of Commons, Executive Chef Louis Charest of Rideau Hall, as well as Canada’s twice National Gold Plate Winner, Chef Marc Lepine. It was, and still is, a fun, involved, confidence building and rewarding experience for the student chefs.

The pioneering Algonquin event has not gone unnoticed. In fact, in March 2017, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson proclaimed the first “Salt-Free Awareness Week” in Ottawa. More and more students and chefs are becoming involved.

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