THERE IS A REASON SOME people live longer and stay healthier into their advanced years. Healthy living. Healthy eating. Moderation. The Cambodian shopkeeper has never used alchohol or tobacco, he’s in his 60s, and trim as a rail. The nonagenarian Chinese grocer hawking bok choi and odd-looking fruit experiences as little stress as a Pet Rock and has more energy than the average five-year old.
McDonalds and Coca-Cola both report declining sales. Unless on-the-road gathering stories for American Toolbox, I avoid their products, as most people my age seem to. So it is no surprise I hit the San Kee Lunch Counter once a week for a typical healthy lunch. Tofu and cabbage, stir-fried with sesame oil and oyster sauce. Depending on who makes it, the garlic might be of flame-throwing quantity. One thing is certain. I always feel great after this meal.
- 12 ounces firm tofu, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cut same as carrot
- 1 pound cabbage, cored and shredded
CONTINUITY IS A GOOD thing. Visiting the supermarket, finding the same brands one sees as a kid, ties past with present. Your parents trusted it, you trust it, your kids will (maybe?) trust it. I always reach for the Morton. When it rains, it pours refers to the anti-caking formula Morton uses. Modern climate-controlled homes may have made the motto obsolete. But I always reach for the blue cardboard cylinder when it’s time to fill the shaker or add that all-important ½ teaspoon to the muffin recipe.
In a pinch, when I require salt immediately for ice removal on the front stoop, there is the store brand. Which I’ve used in muffins with no ill-effects. But the blue cardboard container of Morton is always my first choice for chili and muffins. Salt is essential to open up flavors in both savory and sweet dishes. But have Americans been led astray? Taught that excessive salt itself it a good flavor? You can spot these brainwashed Spawn of Advertisements. They salt without first tasting their food. And are usually overweight.
It’s easier than you think to reduce salt. Just cut back. Add other flavors instead. Buy unsalted nuts on your next trip to Trader Joe, pour some in a jar, and add a pinch of salt. After a few tries, you’ll notice a better-tasting snack. And you’ll be on the road to better health.