1 Large Head of Cauliflower (steam in a steamer to soften)
1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil (quality matters)
1 Large Shallot - minced
2 inch piece of Ginger - peeled and minced
6 Cloves of Garlic - minced
3 - 4 Celery Stalks - chopped
3 - 4 Carrots - chopped
2 - 3 Tbsp Fresh Parsley - chopped
1 Bunch of Thyme (Note: I removed some leaves and tossed in a small bunch with stems - removing leaves was a waste of time.)
Fresh Ground Black Pepper (your taste determines how much)
1 Tsp Ground Cumin
3 Bay Leaves (fresh preferably)
1 Large Lemon - juiced
1 Quart Low Sodium Organic Chicken Broth (Trader Joe's is a very good brand)
Fresh Grated Parmesan for a garnish
In a large pressure cooker, heat the olive oil until it shimmers. Add the Garlic, Shallot and Ginger. Mix around and let it cook for about a minute. Add in the spices and herbs. Stir until you smell the aroma of the spices and herbs, about 30 seconds. Add the chopped vegetables. Cook for about a minute. Add the Chicken Broth(or Vegetable Broth). Add the lemon juice. Add the steamed Cauliflower and break it up with a potato masher.
Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes (let the pan hiss for 5 minutes once it begins to hiss.) Turn off the heat and let the pan release pressure naturally. If you have a pan that has a pressure release valve, you can use this to bring the pressure down more quickly.
Mash the cauliflower more once you can remove the lid of the pan. Put a bit of the soup mixture in a blender. Make sure not to put the lid on tight or you could cause a messy explosion from the heat pressure. Puree the mixture (I put half a blender full of soup and gently place the lid on top.)
Pour the pureed soup into soup bowls and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.
How this recipe was created...
The last few days have been intense, my mom's blood pressure was up high, way high, dangerously high. She refused to go to the hospital. I knew if I took her, her blood pressure would only go up higher.
My heart sank to my stomach. My blood pressure was going up; not helping my mom and her dangerously high blood pressure. I was scared. I was horrified. My mom's life is in my hands and I didn't know what to do.
I sort of began to give up. I posted a note on my Face Book page that I was giving up, there was no way I could be my mom's care giver. I was up 3 nights in a row, no sleep and I was becoming insane myself. I couldn't see straight. I began hallucinating! I thought I saw a shadow of a man in my bedroom. My mother's "THE MAN!"
My brother Marty, well meaning in his reply said we'd find Ma a nice home that knows about LBD and that we'd have to make sure we visited every day so that she didn't feel abandoned. Immediately, I knew there were no homes that understand LBD. I cried. I needed a solution, I needed an answer to help her.
I prayed to Mary. I prayed with emotion, pleading with Mother Mary to help me make the right decisions and to find solutions to help ease the trouble we were experiencing. I was giving up hope so I said my Hail Mary prayer.
Out of no where, I had a recall from the doctor visit, the one where I was reprimanded for nearly an hour. Reprimanded because I wasn't forcing my mother to take pharmaceutical drugs, drugs that I have witnessed make her sicker. I vowed to my mom that I would be her voice with doctors and protect her; I must follow through, it's a vow.
The doctor briefly brushed over the fact that my mom's kidney numbers were way high, much more elevated than the last time she had blood work just 2 months before. His focus was her heart and her dangerously high blood pressure, he wasn't thinking about her kidneys. Mistake?
Kidneys. I know that my mom has weak kidneys because of all the Lisinopril she's taken over the years. She had a similar episode with her kidneys at the beginning of the summer. Dr. Barton had recommended Pellitory 2 x's a day. I gave it to her with an antibiotic, her Kidney doctor believed that my mom had an infection. My mom got better. She was able to sleep through the night. Her hallucinations were not so wild once she stopped the antibiotic (Cipro made her nuttier than ever for 3 days.)
Over the summer, I got lazy with cooking. I was tired and went with a fast roasted chicken and vegetables, or a grilled piece of steak. We all began to eat too much meat. It was gradual. My mom became gradually more insane.
Her blood pressure rose. All medicine was not working to lower her pressure, even the natural remedies were not working as well as they had been. I began a journal.
Over the last 4 days I noticed something. I recorded everything. I documented her blood pressure and what she ate. I was able to find a trend. Whenever my mom eats meat her blood pressure rises up way high. Interesting I thought... so I did a google search for a kidney diet. Maybe I can help her blood pressure with the right food to feed her kidneys so that they can finally heal. Blood pressure medicines were not working, there was a different cause and I think we found it. I gave my mom the hopeful news; she's sticking to her new diet.
I relearned how meat is hard on the kidneys. My elderly friend Aggie had kidney disease, she was on dialysis. I saw her suffer. I remembered her diet and trying to help her cook for herself 20 years ago. It all came back to me as I read articles about kidney disease on the internet.
I found a list of foods that are good for the kidneys. I made a list and my mom and I headed to Whole Foods for a vegetable shopping trip. Cauliflower, gargantuan heads were on sale, 2 for $5.00. My mom, she wanted to buy them all because they were so beautiful. I convinced her to just buy one and let me figure out what to do with it.
Cauliflower is good for the brain and kidneys; all that I have ever done with it is steam it and eat it with butter or olive oil poured over it. I've also made potato salad with cauliflower but the mayonnaise sort of defeats the purpose of eating the vegetable. The fat in the mayo isn't very good for our major organ health.
When we got home, I made up this Cauliflower Soup, using no dairy products since dairy is hard on the kidneys too.
Last night, my mom had this dish for dinner. No meat and just a dab of dairy (parmesan garnish.) She slept through the night. This morning her blood pressure was lower than it's been in quite sometime, below 160 systolic is a big wow.
I prayed and my prayer was answered. I found a solution. My mom's blood pressure is coming down and more importantly, I got a really great night sleep last night. All of us did, even my mother!
Who knew that I'd become a Vegetarian out of solidarity to help my mom stay out of a nursing home? Meat, I love the taste of it; but, it's hard on the body, it's hard to digest. Try my Sue's Cauliflower Soup - Kidney Friendly Recipe and let me know what you think.