Category Archives: Anti-imflammatory ingredients
Turmeric is said to be one of the spices that are most helpful in reducing inflammation in the body. Eating to reduce inflammation is not only beneficial to those with an inflammatory auto immune condition but also plays a large role in cardiovascular health. So be bold and add some turmeric to your food.
This recipe has a bit of a Moroccan flavor to it with the use of both turmeric and cinnamon. Pairing with the oranges and fresh herbs balances out the flavors for a savory dish with just a touch of sweetness.
Chicken Breasts with Turmeric, Shallots and Orange
4 bone in chicken breasts (or thighs)
2 large shallots, minced
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons olive oil or butter
2 oranges in total (one for zesting and juice and one for slicing)
Juice from zested orange
1 Tbs fresh thyme leaves (or parsley)
½ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp cinnamon
Freshly ground black pepper
Splash of soy sauce
- Chop shallots, garlic, thyme (or parsley)
- Peel and chop zest. This is one of the rare times I do not use a microplane for zest because I prefer the coarser texture.
- In a very small pan heat oil or butter, then add shallots, garlic and zest. Sauté on low heat until shallots begin to soften.
- Add spices and combine, heat until fragrance is released.
Put mixture aside to cool.
Slice the other orange into very thin rounds
For each chicken breast or thigh, lift up the skin and put 1 teaspoon of the shallot mixture under each piece. Then add two orange slices under the skin, on top of the shallot mixture.
Seasons breasts on both sides with salt and pepper.
Brown chicken pieces in a heavy pan then bake on a foil lined baking sheet at 375 degrees for 30 – 45 minutes depending on the size of chicken pieces. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.
While chicken is baking prepare the pan sauce.
Heat pan that was used to brown chicken. Deglaze with orange juice and the soy sauce. Reduce to desired consistency and set aside.
When chicken is done, remove from oven, place on a platter and rest for at least 10 minutes. Pour any juices collected at bottom of platter into your sauce.
Arthritis Kitchen Tips:
- To avoid staining, keep your Turmeric in a small container with a shaker top. Also makes it easy to use.
- Sautéing the aromatics and the spices brings out the natural oils in the spices and enhances their aroma and flavor.
I’ve always been a fan of beets. We enjoy them in salads, either grated raw or roasted. Pickled beets are a nice side or condiment and beets are also great when steamed. Turning these bright red nutritional rock stars into soup however is a labor of love that rewards you with such an amazing taste treat that is also really beautiful.
Beet soup or Borscht as it is often referred to is a traditional Eastern European delicacy. Using a recipe from The Soup Bible as an inspiration, the following is a silky luxurious soup. Served with a thick slice of challah this made for a complete, rich and satisfying meal. Not only was this one of the tastiest soups I’ve had in a long time but when I started to read about beets and their unique nutritional profile I got excited.
Beets score extremely high points for being a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and are also assist with detoxification. The reason for this is the high concentration of the betalain pigments that give the beets their vibrant red color. While these reds are present in other foods, they are much more concentrated in beets. Beets belong to the chenopod family of foods that also include spinach and quinoa which are said to have unique and powerful health benefits not found in other types of foods. Please note that these nutritional benefits are depleted somewhat during long cooking times. See Arthritis Kitchen Tips below for cooking guidelines.
1 onion chopped
1 lb raw beets – peeled and washed
2 – 3 celery stalks – chopped
1 small red bell pepper – chopped
4 oz mushrooms – chopped
1 large apple – chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
2 litres/9 cups stock or water
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp dried thyme
1 large bay leaf
juice of ½ fresh lemon
Salt and pepper
Sour cream, Fresh dill
Heat olive oil in large saucepan, add the chopped vegetables and apple and briefly sauté. Add about 3 Tbs of the stock or water, cover and cook gently for approximately 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
Add the cumin, and thyme, sauté for 1 min then add remaining stock, bay leaf and juice of ½ lemon and salt and pepper to taste.
Bring the mixture to a boil, cover and gently simmer for about 30 minutes.
Strain the vegetables, reserving the liquid. Process the vegetables in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy. Return to pan, add the reserved stock and reheat. Check for seasoning, adjust as needed.
Divide into individual serving dishes. Garnish with swirls of sour cream and a few sprigs of fresh dill.
Arthritis Kitchen Tips:
- Do not overcook. In order to preserve their nutritional content beets should only be steamed for 15 minutes or if roasting, under 1 hour.
- Beets can stain your hands when working with them. Wear gloves if you wish or, clean up right away using some olive oil and salt!
- Beet purchased with their green tops attached are generally fresher and younger than beets purchased loose.
Looking for a nutritious grab n go way to kick start your morning?
These muffins are packed with inflammation fighting ingredients, are high in omega 3’s, fiber and antioxidants making them a terrific way to start the day. This recipe uses applesauce, pineapple and carrots making these incredibly moist and full of flavor. Flax is a powerhouse of nutrition, fiber and omega 3’s. Olive oil and walnuts also provide omega 3’s making these such an excellent start to your morning. You can mix and match your ingredients by what you have on hand for fruit and nuts.
This recipe yields 18 large or 24 small muffins. I often individually wrap and freeze most of them. Makes for a really easy grab and go breakfast that can be thrown into your backpack or lunch bag and then enjoyed as is when thawed. How easy is that!
Flax Fruit and Nut Breakfast Muffins
1 ¾ cup white flour
¾ cup whole wheat or spelt flour
¾ cup flax meal
½ – ¾ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3 eggs beaten
½ cup apple sauce
1/3 cup olive oil
½ cup milk
¾ cup diced pineapple
2 ½ cups grated carrots
¾ cup walnuts, chopped
½ cup golden raisins (optional)
1 teaspoon candied ginger on top (optional)
Preheat oven to 375°F line muffin tins with liners or spray with cooking spray.
Combine dry ingredients well in a large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl combine the eggs, applesauce, oil and milk.
Stir in the pineapple and applesauce to the wet mixture then add all to the dry ingredients; stirring just until combined.
Fold in the grated carrots, nuts and raisins. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.
Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or just until lightly browned.
Arthritis Kitchen Tip:
This is a terrific recipe for anyone interested in eating foods that can assist in reducing inflammation in the body. Flax, walnuts, cinnamon and pineapple are noted for the ability to reduce inflammation. Eating food like this can only do a body good.
March is National Nutrition Month, so with that in mind I’ve chosen to share a couple of recipes using salmon, a super food when it comes to its nutrition. High in Omega 3’s, and vitamins A and D, salmon is Arthritis friendly, and when eating salmon you also support heart health, skin, nervous system and cognitive function.
Salmon is rich in flavor and works well with simple preparations using fresh aromatics. My absolute favorite way to cook salmon is in parchment in the oven. It’s a really easy cooking method that’s fast and requires zero clean up. By making a pouch and cooking the fish en papillote it becomes perfectly infused with whatever aromatics you choose. I usually use fresh herbs, lemon, a few slices of onion or shallots, a splash of white wine and some salt and pepper. Use what you have on hand and let your imagination and your taste buds be your inspiration.
Salmon in Parchment
Start with a large sheet of parchment paper, fold in half then round the corners so you have somewhat of a circle. It does not have to be perfect.
Now start layering your ingredients on one half of the parchment. Start with a couple of really thin slices of lemon and a sprig or two of herbs or other aromatics then place the fish on top. If the fish you are using has skin attached, place it skin side down. Season the fish with salt and pepper then top with more aromatics – citrus slices, thinly sliced onion or fennel, fresh herbs like dill, thyme, parsley. Drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil and a splash of wine. Then you are ready to seal up your pouch.
Crimp the edges of the parchment together with a folding/rolling pattern working in one direction all the way around. Your package should look something like this when done.
Place on a baking sheet and cook in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes. Be careful when opening up the packages as there will be hot steam. Enjoy!
Baked Fillet of Salmon
If you do not have parchment on hand you can do a similar preparation in the oven using a shallow glass pan.
For a piece of sockeye or any fresh fillet place skin side down in a shallow glass pan. Season with salt, pepper, top with lemon slices and fresh dill or other desired fresh herbs. Place in a preheated 400 degree oven and bake for 10 – 15 min depending on thickness. Watch carefully as to not overcook the fish. Serve with wedges of lemon.
Last night New Years Eve dinner was pasta with lobster and scallops. I don’t eat a lot of shellfish, New Years however is a time for something a little special and scallops and lobster fit the bill nicely. To keep it simple and easy in the Arthritis Kitchen I purchased a live Atlantic Canadian lobster, freshly steamed right at the store so all the was needed was to remove the tender meat from the claws and tail. Searing off a few small calico scallops rounded it out nicely. Both lobster and scallops are a good source of protein and lower in fat than beef, pork or chicken. Scallops are a good source of B12 and Omega 3’s making them a good way to end the year.
I frequently post on my love for sablefish, also known as black cod. Not only is it an incredibly succulent firm white fish but it is also very high in Omega 3′s which promotes health and is very supportive in reducing inflammation. Shout out to my local grocery store @ThriftyFoods . Usually I’m picking up sablefish at my local fish monger , Granville Island Market or Whole Foods which is fine, but to find in at Thrifty’s is a really great surprise. I hope to see it there often. I wanted to do something with miso and maple syrup having read that as a frequent flavor combination with some of the local chefs.
Marinate fish skin side up for 6 – 24 hours in a mixture of miso, sake, maple syrup and ginger. Remove from marinade and dry of with paper towels. Bake at 400 on a parchment lined baking sheet, skin side up for 10 – 15 min.
Served over a a bed of a reduction of miso, ginger and maple syrup with sides of oven roasted potatoes and asparagus.
This Weekend’s dinner salad is a great combination of flavor, color and texture. Greens lightly dressed with apple cider vinaigrette topped with roasted acorn squash, grilled chicken and a generous sprinkling of pomegranate seeds. The flavor combinations were out of this world and the squash added a hearty component making this a real satisfying meal.
For the squash rings, I poked about a dozen holes into the squash with a fork then into the microwave for about 6 min. Let cool, slice into rounds, scoop out seeds. Sprinkle with seasoning of your choice. I used paprika, turmeric, salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and broil for a few minutes. No need to peel the squash. The skin is tender and chock full of nutrients.
Chicken tenders threaded onto pre-soaked bamboo skewers, season with salt and pepper and grilled in a hot pan. Keep warm in oven. When plating salad, remove chicken from skewers and toss in quick sauce to add flavor. Tonight I used a soy sauce reduction with ginger and some pineapple juice. A substitute of balsamic or a citrus sauce would work well too.
Arthritis Kitchen Tips:
Did you know that winter squash such as acorn is an excellent source of Omega 3. Check out the article today in the New York Times. http://tinyurl.com/6vfl7dj
Microwave squash for a few minutes before attempting to slice into it. Makes it a lot easier for the knife to cut through.
I’ve been cooking salmon quite a bit these days. It’s an excellent source of Omega 3 and high on the list of Arthritis Kitchen favorites. When buying salmon I choose fresh wild salmon exclusively. To me, farmed salmon is not an option. Really fresh fish needs very little preparation in order to make it into something amazing. For this piece of sockeye simply place skin side down in a shallow pan. Season with salt, pepper, top with lemon slices and fresh dill. Place in a preheated 400 degree oven and bake for 10 – 15 min depending on thickness. Watch carefully as to not overcook the fish. I served this with sautéed kale, roasted winter squash and some rice. Simple and nutrient rich. Have extra lemon on hand to squeeze on top at the end when plating.
Today, Wednesday October 12th is World Arthritis Day. As someone living with Rheumatoid Arthritis I am encouraged to see such widespread awareness. Readers of my blog know that my focus is on cooking healthy and inspired meals using ingredients that are known to reduce inflammation whenever I can. Providing your body with nutrients is an essential part of health for anyone and for those that have any sort of auto-immune condition it is even more important to maintain optimum health.
The Arthritis Kitchen is here to share time and energy saving tips and techniques that you can use when cooking in your kitchen. We also feature ingredients that help reduce inflammation in the body.
Tonight’s dinner, sockeye salmon with a ginger soy glaze served over greens and noodles. Salmon is an excellent source of Omega 3 and ginger is an all star inflammation reducing ingredient. What a great meal for World Arthritis Day.
Served this as an appetizer before our Thanksgiving dinner. I made the fig and shallot “marmalade” the night before. Made for an easy to assemble quick appy with really full and developed flavor profiles. Slice rounds of baguette spoon the fig and shallot mixture on top of each round. Add a generous amount of soft goat cheese, and sprinkle with chopped toasted walnuts. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 5-10 min. Serve immediately.
Fig and Shallot Marmalade
6-8 shallots, sliced thin
8 fresh figs, ¼ inch dice
Zest of ½ an orange
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ cup red wine
1 teaspoon honey
A few grinds of pepper
Reduce to desired consistency. Can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to assemble.
Arthritis Kitchen Tip: Walnuts are an excellent source of Omega 3. Increasing your intake of Omega 3 can help reduce pain and inflammation.