Old Food; New Food

9 Mar

Well, it seems Kaukab’s daughter has something she doesn’t.

High blood pressure. Evidently, no matter how much olive oil, garlic, and parsley Kaukab fed us, the other party’s genes won out.

Of course, the news could have been far worse, but it forced me to rethink food. Salt, in particular. I’m good about using salt sparingly when I’m in the kitchen. And I stick to water for my choice of daily beverage. But, eating out? That’s an entirely different animal. Even the bistros and cafes tend to overdo its application.

I don’t eat out regularly, but even in small doses it’s enough to exceed my salt limit. Even so, I had to admit that changing what I ate was my responsibility. This required me to take immediate assessment of the foods I enjoy–potato chips, potato chips, and potato chips. I wasn’t prepared to give them up entirely, but I figured if I could eat the ones with ‘no added salt,’ I could reduce my salt intake rather significantly, especially if I chose to eat fruit in place of them.

My great potato chip search led me to a playful world of alternative veggie chips: carrot, sweet and blue potato, and zucchini. Sassy chips…and tasty, too.

But, I haven’t stopped there. I decided to re-visit brown rice. I had only tried it once…once upon a time…and had decided, rather quickly, that it wasn’t for me. Little did I know then of the many varieties available, so I had closed the cookbook on that. But, recently, I had been served a cold brown rice salad, with finely chopped red and yellow peppers, garlic, red onion, cilantro, and cucumber, infused with a cider vinegar dressing made up of vegetable oil (I used Canola), honey/sugar (I used REAL maple syrup–couldn’t get the honey jar lid open), mustard (I used dijon), cayenne or red pepper flakes (I used a jalepeno–finely chopped, seeds removed), and the evil, no-good salt.

My friend’s recipe was easy and really good. I didn’t write it down, just pulled out items from the pantry/fridge as the litany of ingredients passed through the telephone wire (yes, some of us still talk on land lines). Not necessarily a good strategy, in that I may have excluded an ingredient, or two, now that I’m thinking about it. None-the-less, it matters little. This is the kind of salad you play with, depending on your tastes and pantry offerings. I put in some sliced black olives and used green onions in place of the red; green peppers in place of the red and yellow, since that’s what my fridge offered me.

Oh, and I left out the garlic. On purpose.
Call me a rebel.

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