I am getting used to my new job that entails to be awake in the wee hours of the night. Some of my batch mates cope up by drinking coffee, sleeping more in the day or eat more due to lack of sleep. I describe myself as a nocturnal person – someone who is awake more at night than morning. I discovered this when I was in college ( either I have this inclination or I developed it that period of my life). My usual study habit is to do all homework and study for exams after dinner time until late at night. I decided to change the habit and sleep early and wake up to study early morning before breakfast. But to my dismay, I found out at the end of the semester, I have lower grades than before. Therefore, I had concluded my brain is more active at night. I do not know a psychologist’s explanation for it but that is what I think of it.
For my grumbling tummy late at night or I say early morning at 4:00 H I have to quiet it down and eat an early morning snack. I do not have yet my baking tools at my new home so I tried making an alternative snack which is easy to do. I also believe it is a healthier option than eating junk foods. I just needed to get a box of nachos at a grocery and prepare the ensalada dip.
Ensalada de Nachos
1 box of nachos (for extra crunch- heat in toaster)
1 green bell pepper
3 medium-sized tomatoes (red/green)
1 white onion
1 lemon (juice)
Finely chopped green bell pepper, tomatoes and onion and mix all together.
Most people do not like ampalaya also known as bitter melon or bitter gourd or bitter squash in English. This is because of the bitter taste of its fruit. But despite of its bitter taste I have been accustomed to eating them since childhood. I have always been at war with my mom when I was young because she always forced feed us the bitter food. Of course, I was a child thinking anything bitter is bad and anything sweet is good for me.Now I know better that some bitterness is good for one’s health.
These past few days, I have been eating ampalaya every other day. It is not that I am complaining but I just wanted to share how good ampalaya is for our body. Also, my five year old nephew needs its healing properties. He has been diabetic since he was three years old and lately he gets normal reading for his blood sugar. There were some research done on the effectiveness of using Momordica Charantia in the treatment of diabetes.
My mom has been able to invent a lot of delicious recipes using ampalaya over the years. From ampalaya omelette, ampalaya salad, ampalaya with ground beef, ampalaya with tuna flakes and noodles, adding it to “pinakbet” and the list goes on. She said one of the secrets to a not so bitter ampalaya is to soak it in water with salt. Few years ago, what we do is squeeze out the bitter juice but we also get rid off the medicinal qualities. Not an option now, but for those who are not prepared for it, you may use this trick it really lessens the bitter taste.
I also took some photos and realized how beautiful the ampalaya plant is. It may be a crumpled, bitter fruit but it makes a healthy, delicious dish.