Monthly Archives: November 2009
This photo showcases two Arthritis Kitchen favorites. Butternut Squash & Leeks and Chicken with a Turmeric Spice Rub. I had used the combination of turmeric and cinnamon before and wanted to do something along those lines for last nights chicken. I came up with an exotic spice rub featuring turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and star anise. The addition of orange to the sauce at the end really went well with the flavors and was a different combination using turmeric. I will be making this again for sure.
Using a motar and pestle or a spice grinder combine:
- 2 star anise
- 8 black peppercorns
- pinch chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp ginger powder
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
Combine all spices and rub into chicken pieces. Pan sear on both sides to crisp skin and brown evenly. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 40 min.
Remove zest from one orange, set aside. Slice orange into rounds and sear in pan that chicken was browned in until nicely colored on both sides. Set aside. Deglaze pan with 1/4 cup of red wine and loosen all brown bits from bottom of pan. Reduce by half. Add zest from the orange and 1/2 cup chicken stock. Reduce to desired sauce like consistency. Remove chicken from oven when done, plate and spoon sauce over then garnish with orange slice.
- Use your largest, sharpest knife – do not use a serrated edge flexible knife for this job
- Cut the squash in half as if sawing a log in half. Smaller pieces are easier to handle.
- Turn cut side down with the flat surface on the cutting board – root side up.
- Slice through the squash length wise across the root end.
- Using vegetable peeler, peel squash to remove thin top layer of skin.
- Dice or prepare as needed for recipe.
- Here is the link to my Butternut Squash and Leek Recipe.
Breaking down the squash in preparation for cooking can be a challenge. Cutting the squash into more manageable pieces makes it easier on your hands and does not require as much strength from when using the knife. I find the following method provides the most stability when working with squash and produces effective results with the least amount of effort.
Juicy delectable pomegranate seeds are showing up at our table a lot lately. I love them in salads and as a topping for yogurt which was today’s breakfast. Pomegranates are generally available year round but their peak season is September to January making them pretty much at their best now. Pomegranates boast a long list of health benefits – just do a Google search and you’ll see what I mean. One of the benefits I recently discovered is their contribution to healthy bone and cartilage growth which makes them great for anyone with Arthritis conditions of any kind. I also love the shiny gemstone look that they add to your plate. Very festive actually.
Its hard to know where to begin when listing the health benefits of adding flax to your diet. Flax is one of the best plant based sources of omega-3 fatty acids and is also very high in fiber. One of the many things that flax is said to be good for is reducing inflammation in the body so that makes it a perfect fit for the Arthritis Kitchen. Today I made waffles and added 1/2 a cup of flax to the recipe. I use Golden Flax. I find it lighter in taste and texture. I purchase it in the cooler section of my local organic market then keep it in the freezer.
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup golden flax meal
- 1 Tbs sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 eggs – separated
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/3 cup oil
Sift dry ingredients together. Whip egg whites to soft peaks. Combine egg yolks, oil and milk. Add mixture to dry ingredients, stir to blend. Fold in egg whites. I find that any batter that I add flax to takes a lot longer to cook. Not sure why but that is always how it seems to be. These were delicious. A lot heavier than a conventional waffle but a lot more satisfying. We served ours with fresh raspberries and warm maple syrup.
I wanted to make something using apple cider vinegar and decided on this recipe from All About Braising by Molly Stevens. This recipe has both apple cider vinegar and ginger making it a perfect fit for the Arthritis Kitchen. I love braising as a method of cooking. You do some initial prep work and then the dish practically finishes itself in the oven. The added bonus is you fill your house with the best warm and cozy cooking smells you can imagine. The combination of the apple cider vinegar and maple syrup in this recipe made for a perfect balance of sweet and sour.
This recipe calls for bacon. It didn’t make it into the photo for some reason. I could see this working well without the addition of bacon and would perhaps add more salt if making a vegetarian version.
Red Cabbage Braised with Maple & Ginger
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
2 slices thick-cut bacon (2 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion (6 ounces), thinly sliced
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 medium head red cabbage (about 1 3/4 pounds), quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Preheat oven to 300
In an oven proof skillet or dutch oven cook bacon (if using) remove from pan when crisp. Melt butter then add onions. saute until beginning to soften. Season with salt and pepper. Add apple and ginger. Raise heat then add cabbage 2 hand fulls at at time, stirring with each addition. Cook for about 6 min. Add vinegar and maple syrup stir well. Cover and place in a 300 degree oven for 1.5 hours.
This was so delicious. There are lots of left overs and its supposed to be better the next day. Can’t wait.
I find it hard to resist the fresh Brown Turkey Figs when they come into season mid autumn. I like using fresh figs in savory dishes. Their texture is both chewy and silky at the same time and there is a slight crunchiness from the seeds. They are meaty like mushrooms when cooked down. I made a pan sauce using diced figs, onion, balsamic vinegar, red wine and a small amount of honey to balance the acidity from the vinegar.
Fig and Balsamic Chicken, Jasmine Rice and Rainbow Chard
Arthritis Kitchen Tip - Increase the absorption of minerals. This meal had several health benefits going for it. Figs are high in fiber calcium and potassium, the chard is a super star on the vitamin scale with high levels of vitamin K, A and C. And, the surprise health star of the meal is the vinegar. The acid in vinegars increase the body’s ability to absorb minerals from food. This qualifies this meal as an Arthritis Kitchen favorite for the vitamins, minerals and delicious taste.
In my ongoing quest to cook with foods that are known to help Arthritis, I am cooking again with turmeric and ginger. Using these two ingredients as the main flavor components when making a curry has been a wonderful discovery for me. You get the rich flavors and warming feeling of a curry dish but without the spicy heat. The ginger and turmeric go so good together and the flavors pair well with a variety of vegetables and meats. I’ve used chicken, beef and pork for the proteins and for veg, always onions and lately celery and yams but any stir fry veg works great. The aromatics are garlic, ginger and lime zest and the spices are turmeric, salt, pepper and a small amount of cumin. I served over brown rice. This dish is delicious, nutritious and has ingredients that are known to reduce inflammation making it an Arthritis Kitchen favorite.
Okay, I’ll admit it – I was on a bit of a cooking kick this past weekend. My third entry in my Sunday of French Cooking was individual Pear and Apple Tarts. I wanted to make a dessert using fresh pears, I also had some apples on hand and kicked up the flavor with lots of ginger and cinnamon for the Arthritis Kitchen good for you component of this dish. I even did the pastry from scratch for these ‘free form’ tarts. The pears and apples were sauteed in butter until nicely browned on both sides and tender. The addition of spices and a generous splash of brandy made for a wonderful combination of flavors.
It is not often that everyone in my house is up and about around the same time on a Sunday morning so we rarely enjoy a Sunday breakfast together. This weekend had us all on the same schedule so I wanted to make a nice breakfast and French Toast was what I chose to do. I had some frozen blueberries and a mandarin orange and made a quick sauce from that for a topping. Served with real maple syrup and good strong coffee. Great start to the morning.
I love a good French Onion Soup. It’s a hearty meal in itself and full of properties that are good for anyone suffering with inflammation. I used 3 types of onions this time. White, red and yellow. Not sure it it tasted different from just using one type of onion but it was a nice thing to try. I did the traditional crouton and topping of Swiss cheese. It was terrific hearty yet light meal. I made this yesterday and had an extra portion for today’s lunch. I took the soup in a container on its own and brought toasted crouton and cheese for topping. No broiler at work to brown the cheese but it all worked out and was a real treat.
French Onion Soup
- 3 med onions – sliced very thin
- 2 Tbs butter
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp sugar ( I use brown)
- 2/3 cup white wine
- 3 Tbs brandy
- Salt and Pepper
- Slices of stale baquette or other French bread.
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 cup gruyere or other swiss cheese – grated
Saute onions in butter and oil on med high heat until beginning to soften, about 6-8 min. Add ½ of the wine, reduce heat, cover and cook low and slow stirring occasionally until onions have reduced in volume and are golden, about 15-20 min.
Take off the lid, raise heat and add 1 – 2 tsp of sugar. Cook for about 10 min or more until the onions are a deep golden brown. Deglaze with remaining wine, add brandy and stock and season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer soup for 10-15 min.
Meanwhile, prepare the croutons. Slice bread, toast under broiler until lightly toasted on both sides. Rub each slice with the cut side of the raw garlic. Set aside.
Ladle soup into bowls, float a piece or pieces of the toasted bread into the bowl, top generously with the grated cheese. Broil until cheese begins to brown and is bubbly.