LUCY BURDETTE: All this week I'm celebrating the publication of ASKING FOR MURDER, my third advice column mystery, as an ebook. These books (written as Roberta Isleib), star a clinical psychologist who also writes an advice column. The character, Rebecca Butterman, is close to my heart, as she does the kind of psychotherapy work that I used to do. She's also a very good home cook--in ASKING FOR MURDER, she makes a wonderful meal for a man she is sort-of dating, a good friend, and a murder suspect whom she wants to grill. Cooking not only helps her think, it shows people she cares about how much she loves them, and gives her something to do while grilling bad guys. So her spaghetti carbonara is what I wanted to make for you today:
"I diced the pancetta and scraped it into the frying pan, then began to mince an onion, the first Vidalia of the season. The hot oil would bring out the sweetness—a luscious contrast to the salty Italian bacon and cheese."
Are you swooning?
Unfortunately, this summer I've suffered with several serious bouts of vertigo and nausea, and finally had the problem diagnosed as Meniere's disease. This involves too much fluid in the inner ear.
First line of treatment? A diuretic and LOW SALT DIET. Goodbye spaghetti carbonara! Goodbye olives and bloody Marys with the glass rimmed in salt! So long soy sauce and Chinese food. The list goes on and on. In fact, once you start reading labels (which I have to), you will be astonished and appalled at how much sodium gets packed into food. And as my brother said when I told him about this development: "But I love sodium! Sodium makes food taste good."
Sigh. But the symptoms are awful, so I have no choice. I will have to be cooking differently. And I thought there might be others of you who need to reduce salt in your diet for various reasons, and might find what I learn to be useful.
I'll start with the first thing I made--I needed protein and potassium and good easy food fast. So I made this:
Strawberry Banana Smoothie
1 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen (I had frozen from the garden)
1 cup plain yogurt or milk or some of each
1 tsp almond extract
2 cups of ice
Add the ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth. That's it!
Something delicious and nutritious to sip on while reading Asking For Murder, which you can download right here.
Reviews: Asking for Murder is good escapist reading, a charming and sometimes gritty mystery with an appealing protagonist who sleuths, cooks and psychoanalyzes.
-- Marilyn Dahl,
It's springtime in Connecticut and psychotherapist Dr. Rebecca Butterman's fancy has turned to hamburgers...and murder, in Asking for Murder, the best entry of this series to date.
Jennifer Monahan Winberry,
Roberta Isleib's new novel Asking for Murder is a unique mix of murder mystery and psychological exploration. The characters are believable, likeable, and easy to relate to. The prose flows well and the dialogue is intelligent. I couldn't put this book down.
-- Jennifer Melville,
Lucy Burdette writes the Key West foodie mysteries. KILLER TAKEOUT is coming next April, but is available for pre-order today!
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