Today was not a good day for J. She’s been dropping down her dose of the Dexamethasone which she’s been on since April last year to keep the oedema around her tumour under control. Over the last week or two she’s hit the crossover point, where what the Dex is providing is no longer masking what the body’s natural systems provide. It’s rather weird, definitely obnoxious, and very frustrating because it means that she has to slow down the weaning-off process. If she didn’t, her risk of things going really bad would skyrocket.
Today was not a good day because she woke up very tired and nauseous (moreso than normal); the motilium didn’t seem to take the edge off. Then she pulled a muscle in her thigh, and later pulled a calf muscle. All without actually doing anything. After a bout of Doctor Googling later, we reckoned that she might have a touch of adrenal insufficiency, and a potassium deficiency. The heat of the last week or two, coupled with the stress of Christmas and C’s birthday party (not forgetting the underlying stress from the fact that our house still isn’t fixed yet after the storm on 18 November), makes that joint hypothesis seem quite possible.
When she was pregnant with A, she suffered from Restless Leg Syndrome, for which our OB prescribed a 1/4 teaspoon of Epsom Salts dissolved in a glass of water, every evening before bed. That chemical intake redressed the imbalance and solved RLS for her then, and we hope it would do so again today. It appeared that this might not be the case, unfortunately.
Trying to do my bit to help, I checked which foods have high potassium levels and found http://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/high-potassium-vegetables.php. We have several of those in our pantry and fridge right now, so the beef noodle stirfry plan was ditched in favour of this recipe:
- 300g beef sliced very thinly (across the grain)
- 100g baby spinach, finely shredded
- a handful of snow peas, topped-n-tailed
- 80-100g sun dried tomatoes
- 1 head of broccoli
- 1 cup of mushrooms, chopped
- a few cloves of garlic, shredded or finely chopped
- 1/4 long red chilli, finely chopped
- 1 leek, finely shredded
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/8 cup (around 30ml or 1 fluid ounce-ish) soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of honey (to taste)
- freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- 150-200g of fettucine
- approx 50g of shredded parmesan cheese
[The above quantity of ingredients served two adults and two toddlers, it would probably have been ok for three adults if more vegies were served with the dish. Your mileage will vary.]
- Heat a frypan (heavy, steel-based) to a high heat
- Add the oil, ensuring you cover the entire frypan
- Add the beef, quickly stir-frying it to a light brown colour
- Turn the heat down to the lowest possible setting, then
- Add the leek, mushrooms, garlic and chilli then put the lid on and simmer for 5-6 minutes
- Meanwhile, start cooking your fettucine (or other pasta, if preferred)
- Add the soy sauce, broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes to the frypan, stir through and then replace the lid for 2-3 minutes
- Do a taste check and then add the honey, mixing it in to the liquid in the pan first, then stirring through
When you are just about ready (ie, less than 1 minute to go) to serve, stir the baby spinach and snow peas through. Serve on to a bed of fettucine, then sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top.
If you like, add other vegetables. I cooked carrots, and would have steamed some zucchini if I’d had some in the fridge. If you’re so inclined, a bubbly white wine (I’m a big fan of Prosecco) would go nicely with this dish.
You might think “oooh yuck, that’s going to be really salty” because the soy hasn’t had enough other liquid to dilute into, and without the honey you would probably be right. However! The point of this dish is first and foremost to provide a potassium hit for a person in need of redressing a chemical imbalance. J remarked that she didn’t find it too salty at all. I thought it was only a little bit saltier than I would normally have served up – I try to cook with as little added salt as possible.
I don’t have an estimate of the calorie count, or the per-serve cost; I will try to provide those by the end of this week.
J’s having an early night (she was nearly asleep by 8:30!), I just hope that I’ve been able to help. We’ll see.
Update: I forgot to mention that J loved the dish.
Further Update: Here’s a screenshot of the approximate nutritional values for the recipe, via http://www.myfitnesspal.com/recipe/calculator. I am not sufficiently bothered (yet) to sign up with the site so I can save or share my recipes, [alt][prtscr] will have to do