June 28, 2011. Written by Leila Ruth Novales
“Home cooking is a catalyst that brings people together. We are losing the daily ritual of sitting down around the table (without the intrusion of television), of having the opportunity to interact, to share our experiences and concerns, to listen to others…
But bringing ready-cooked meals home is not the same as cooking in your own kitchen, where you are in control of the ingredients you use, where you fill the house with good cooking smells, and where you all share in a single dish, taking a helping and passing the platter on to your neighbor. Nothing can replace that.”
~ Marion Cunningham, from the introduction to Lost Recipes.
My blood pressure readings last night and today have not been so good. My readings have been improving but after eating that McDonald’s Big Mac Meal, my blood pressure has shot up. Tsk tsk tsk…
Now I know for sure that fast food is a mortal sin for me. An absolute No No! Never should I eat fast food again. In addition, I’ve been eating restaurant food,and I just know that the sodium content is sky high in these foods. I guess when I eat out, I really have to stick to salads.
Home cooked meals is the key to controlling my blood pressure. This way, I know and can control exactly what goes into my food. I totally agree with what Marion Cunningham said about home cooking. As Ralph Guzman (RatedRalph.com) always asserts, “Food brings people together.”
Now, if I can just become more efficient with my time at home so that I can plan and cook at least 3 days in advance for our meals that would include lunch as well so that I won’t have to resort to eating out… I have been starting to do that with soup. I have two more frozen batches of home-cooked soup in my freezer. I need to set aside some time to plan in advance a week’s worth of meals…
Anyway, since it’s Monday, I got to go home early. I still have some fresh mint that I haven’t had a chance to cook yet so I decided to cook Minty Mushy Peas and Eggplant Mint Salad. The Minty Mushy Peas actually call for butter but I used unsalted butter so at least it’s not so very, very bad (health-wise). I decided to add tofu to the Eggplant Mint Salad so that we can get more protein. I got these recipes somewhere online a loooooong time ago when I would buy tons and tons of organic fresh mint. I’d usually use the fresh mint with my hot chocolate. (I love hot chocolate!)
Anyway, here are the recipes in case you’d like to try them out. I have photos as well but they don’t look too appetizing. In fact, the peas dish look a bit gross because of the peas’ green color but it actually was quite tasty. In fact, surprisingly, my daughter (who claims to hate peas) loved it!
Minty Mushy Peas
Ingredients: 1 medium potato (I used two), peeled and diced; 500 grams frozen peas; handful of mint leaves; butter (the recipe calls for 2 large knobs; I used about 2 tablespoons); sea salt (I used lake salt); black pepper (I used freshly ground black pepper)
Procedure: Boil potatoes in salted boiling water until really tender. Add peas to the pan and boil for another 2 minutes. Add the mint and boil for 1 minute more. Drain well. Leave for 1 minute to steam. Mash with a potato masher. When mashed, add the butter and season to taste.
Eggplant Mint Salad
Ingredients: Cooked eggplant – cubed; chopped mint leaves; plain yogurt; garlic; cayenne (I also used tofu. Since it didn’t say how to cook the eggplant, I boiled the eggplant and the tofu. I think, though, that it would taste better if the eggplant was grilled instead.)
Procedure: The recipe said to toss all the ingredients together. What I did was I minced the garlic and mixed that, the yogurt, mint leaves, and cayenne first before I added the eggplant (and tofu) and then I tossed them together. It was actually quite surprisingly flavorful (well, for me and my daughter anyway) I think it would taste better if I hadn’t added tofu but wanted to get in a bit more protein for our meal.
My Daily Health Journal
Breakfast: Sugar free fiber cookies
Lunch: Grilled red snapper with pear slices, tomatoes and onion slices, cream of mushroom soup (I think this soup was not a good idea but it’s so comforting to the stomach and I was really hungry already), ginger ale, small coffee latte (soya milk instead of cow’s milk–I’m lactose intolerant)
Snack: Interestingly, none. I got home early enough to cook dinner.
Dinner: Minty Mushy Peas, Eggplant Mint Salad
Physical Activity: 20 minutes walking
Treatment/Therapy: Lunch at CJW with Aisling — yes, I consider this therapy because CJW is such a relaxing place with a soothing ambience and has one of the best restaurant service I’ve encountered in Beijing.
Medication: Yes –Cozaar and the Chinese herbal medicine
Sleep: 6 ½ hours
Positive Thoughts: “Make for the Center, and the rest need not trouble you.” -Douglas Harding, British Philosopher
Blood Pressure: AM: 155/100 PM: I’ll update tomorrow because I take my PM BP just before I sleep when I’m in bed already.