Thursday, March 27, 2014


   Angie’s Kitchen
By Angeline M Duran Santiago

It's been a while since I shared what's going on in our home. Jacob's pump was adjusted and his sugars went from lots of lows back to highs. So, I'm adjusting the pump tonight myself. Yup, gotta be nurse and doctor here, too. (lol)

A pilon for grinding garlic.
One of the things we keep struggling with, (besides my weight) is keeping dinnertime fun and interesting, without sacrificing Jacob's health. It's like everything is high in carbs, and high in sodium. This over due blog is in response to some friends who want an idea how I cook. I'm not a chef. I'm just an old school, Brooklyn girl who can be a little ghetto in the kitchen like most of you out there who know what a Puerto Rican kitchen is like. We can create a whole meal with a lot as well as with barely anything, (Yeah, you know I'm referring to white rice with eggs or salchichas) We've learned to make things happen in times of plenty and in times of need. I don't just cook how my Boricua mom taught me, but I mix my roots, my Italian and Irish friends, and all the blessed people in my life who have shared a family recipe with love for my son Jacob over the years. 

I had asked for some dinner ideas to try at home and got a few. Unfortunately, they were meals I already make at home. So, it's back to being creative, going online for recipe ideas, and learning from the older people in my life (Best teachers ever). If you have family background with High Blood Pressure, or Diabetes, you should also change how much salt, (if any) you add to your meals. I assure you that if you start off without the salt, your kids won't even notice it's gone. I use pepper to season eggs, no salt. Sometimes I cheat and add a little adobo, but I try not to. I try to add green beans or cucumbers to the meal when I can.

So, what's mealtime like here? I think it's good. My kids complimented my "Grandma's Spaghetti" tonight. I buy the pasta I find with the less carbs. Usually the store brand has the least. I look at the sauces and use the one with least carbs and sodium. I wish I knew how to make homemade sauce, but I don't. I don't use ground beef. I only use ground turkey because it is healthier, you don't get all the oil and salt, and it settles much nicer in your stomach. Buying garlic bread is tricky as it will also have lots of everything that's a big no in our home. So, if you purchase the lowest carb whole wheat bread, you can make your own garlic bread. I think it's so much more delicious when you make your own.

My rice is made with no salt. Just water, rice and a small amount of oil. I use a lot of vegetables for my beans just the way mom taught me. Except, no salt, and a small amount of adobo. I make my own recaito or some call it sofrito. I only use Sazon with achiote if I ran out of Tumeric.
For my beans, I use onions, parsely, oregano, green and red peppers, garlic, cilantro and sometimes potatoes. Beans have a lot of carbs and adding potatoes increases the carbs. So, I try to add natural flavors and it taste great. Sometimes I add a dash of pepper.

My meats are seasoned with adobo, oregano, parsley, and tumeric. I don't fry anything, unless it's an absolute emergency. I make everything in the oven or I broil the meal. Watch it so that the water doesn't evaporate and then it ends up fried or burned. You can usually make most meat in the oven.
Tomorrow my bigger kids are having friends over and movie night. Movie night means pizza, popcorn and all the goodies for a Friday get together. When buying popcorn, I always choose low sodium and butter. My contribution to the gathering is something Jacob loves and they do too. I will be making a grilled chicken salad.  I love preparing salads with lettuce, spinach, mixed greens, tomatoes, avocado, radish, cucumbers, sometimes bits of cheese, and grilled chicken. I put it on the table and my family love it with nachos. I will also have a small fruit salad on the table. This way Jacob can make healthy choices and still enjoy the party. Oh, I'm sure he'll go for a piece of pizza, but he knows if he wants to feel well once he goes to sleep and not have crazy high sugars, he will need to make smart choices. Don't worry, I don't allow going crazy with the food that is a bad choice for my son, but Movie night is cheat night in our home.

Another way I prepare salad is by making Mexican night style salad. I place tacos, sauce, cheese, and a big bowl with a chicken salad, or ground turkey meat on one bowl and the salad on another. They make their own tacos and love it. I make soup when I can. I add veggies, celery, carrots, etc. I make noodles or rice on the side, just a little, then place it in a small bowl for those who want to add it to their soup. It's filling and healing.

We try to buy almond milk when we can. Our cereals are usually the ones with the fiber, the oats and barely any sugar. But, like I said, when they get used to it, it's what they eat without a problem. Why am I so picky? I have to keep my son healthy. His food portions are measured. We use 
a measuring cup set to measure his meals and then that lets us do the math for how much insulin he'll need to get. It's not a perfect science, but I am still learning and don't think I'll ever have it all together. 

Don't get me wrong.We cheat every now and then. He's still a kid and I have ice cream sometimes, movie night on Fridays with pop corn or pizza(high in carbs). So he has to limit the amount he'll eat. Once in a blue moon I let him have something else. But I always have something tasty and healthy as first choice before the option for pizza or any high carb meal. I hope this answers your question (dear friend who asked) on how I cook. It's not all but I can't fit it all in one blog. Hope this at least helps for now. I'll share more later with more details. God bless you.

If you like this blog, go ahead and share it. Let the blessings keep moving forward.

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