I felt bad enough that I was willing to adjust my diet (and cooking), though giving up my favorite foods nearly killed me (and poor John too.) I've gotten better at low-sodium cooking and recognizing how prepared foods slip sodium into everything, and much more sympathetic to other people's eating problems. I even wrote to the advice columnist at the Sunday New York Times about how to handle invitations to dinner parties. His advice? Let the hostess or host know, and if their menu is set and doesn't accommodate your needs, either offer to bring something or suck it up and eat before you go. (Yeah, don't write to him looking for coddling LOL.)
Two nights ago we had a group dinner with friends where three people needed low sodium food, one couldn't have sugar, one wouldn't eat onions, and one couldn't have uncooked vegetables. How's that for a puzzle?? We ended up managing to satisfy most everyone, but it's not easy. With the holidays coming up, I'm wondering, how do you handle guests with special dietary needs? Do you always ask ahead of time for restrictions or preferences? And if you have an allergy or strong preference, how do you take this out into the world?
After you've answered those questions, please feel free to try my cole slaw recipe with peanut sauce--adapted for low sodium eaters, but still delicious!
Lucy's Cole Slaw with Peanut Sauce
This is a version of a recipe I found in Mindfull: Over 100 Delicious Recipes for Better Brain Health, adapted for low-sodium eaters. I wondered if I might have enjoyed cilantro more than the mint that was suggested in the cookbook, so you can take your pick. We also had a small bag of key limes, given to us by our Key West neighbors, so I used those instead of regular limes. Either would work. You can also choose what kind of sprouts to use--I found some beautiful radish sprouts at the farmer's market that added an extra zip.
Ingredients for the sauce:
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 to 4 green onions, washed and sliced
2 to 3 cloves garlic
1 inch fresh ginger, chopped
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons ketchup (no salt if needed)
3 tablespoons unsalted peanut butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon hot chili sauce
For the slaw:
One half head cabbage, finely sliced
Two grated carrots
2 to 3 chopped scallions
two key limes or one regular, juiced
1/2 red pepper, julienned
1 cup radish sprouts
1/4 cup chopped mint leaves or cilantro
Prepare all the vegetables and mix them in a large bowl.
Meanwhile sauté the green onions, garlic and ginger in the oil for 2 to 3 minutes until soft. Add the other ingredients and simmer another few minutes. Let this cool. The sauce will be quite thick.
Before serving add to several tablespoons of sauce to the vegetable slaw and mix thoroughly. Or serve it on the side and let diners add.
Low-sodium adjustments: use no-salt ketchup and unsalted peanut butter.
And PS, I made this with the recipe on an iPad--the thing kept disappearing--annoying!