Category Archives: Low Carb
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.
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.
Swiss chard is one of my favorite leafy greens and whenever I can get my hands on the rainbow variety I grab it. I’m not sure if it has a different taste than the regular red kind but it sure does look pretty on the plate.
Swiss chard is most often served as a side dish at my house. Usually steamed and then dressed with a small amount of butter a sprinkle of really good salt and sometimes a splash of vinegar on top. So good! If you haven’t tried a bit of acid with your chard I suggest you give it a try. Use any white vinegar, I usually use a rice wine vinegar for a light touch. I like the contrast of flavors and brightness that it gives.
Local cherries are in season and the deep red, almost black cherries from BC’s Okanangan are in the markets now ready to be enjoyed. I keep going back to buy more, they disappear so fast. I usually just enjoy them when they are in season but I’m tempted to stock up now while they are at their peak
You can then add these amazing super fruits as a topping to yogurt or ice cream, add to a smoothie, make a fruit crumble, use them in your baking or use them as an ingredient in a savory dish….I’m thinking venison chops with a cherry port reduction sauce would be amazing!!
Stock up the freezer: After you have removed the stones you can freeze fresh cherries for future use. Removing the pits is really easy. Simply use a sharp paring knife and slice around the cherry, twist and remove the stone. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper and place cherries cut side up in a single layer. Once frozen, place in a freezer bag or container to enjoy later.
Eat cherries to reduce inflammation and help gout:
Cherries are one of the super foods when it comes to reducing inflammation in the body. Cherries are said to reduce levels of uric acid which when high can contribute to gout. Research also points to cherries reducing levels of nitric oxide in the body which is known to be high in those with rheumatoid or osteoarthritis arthritis.
I was visiting with family last week while on vacation and my Mom made the most delicious, refreshing summer salad of watermelon, cucumbers, mint, tarragon and lime. She served it with sliced cold chicken and a half a cob of the sweetest summer corn. My sister remarked that she couldn’t think of anything better to serve guests for lunch. I couldn’t wait to get home and make it for my family. It is so simple, and the combination of the lime along with the mint and the tarragon give an outstanding flavor profile that pairs beautifully with the watermelon and cucumber. Give this one a try – it’s amazing.
As far as this recipe being a fit for the Arthritis Kitchen, watermelon is the star here. High in antioxidants and an excellent source of both vitamin C and vitamin A. This thirst quenching treat is said to reduce the inflammation that contributes to conditions such as asthma, diabetes and arthritis.
Watermelon Cucumber Salad with Mint, Tarragon and Lime
- 2 English cucumbers
- 1/4 large watermelon
- 1/4 cup lime juice (3-4 limes)
- 2/3 cup torn mint leaves
- 2 tbsp tarragon leaves, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
Slice cucumbers in half lengthwise. Scrape out and discard seeds. Chop cucumber and watermelon into small chunks and place in a large bowl. Stir in lime juice, herbs and salt.
Salad will keep well, covered and refrigerated, up to 2 hours.
*This recipe originally comes courtesy of Chatelaine magazine.
When the weather is warm and the farmers markets are at their peak we tend to eat salads more often. I like to dress the greens with a simple vinaigrette using apple cider vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper. Using a good quality, unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar that contains ‘the mother’ not only gives you nutritional properties but also provided a superior flavor to most commercially produced varieties.
Our Spring weather has been unseasonably cool and damp these days and I wanted to make something to warm us up. This quick and easy chicken soup is full of healthy vegetables and the Arthritis Kitchen anti-inflammation fighting ingredient turmeric in the broth.
First saute chopped leeks, onion in a small amount of olive oil. Add some aromatic seasoning like dried thyme, black pepper. When onions begin to soften, add carrots, celery or whatever veg you want and give a quick turn in the pan. Then add 1 litre of good quality chicken stock and an equal amount of water. Add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric. Not only does this give extra warmth and flavor to the soup but it also gives the broth a nice color. Bring to a good simmer then add in 1 – 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts. Make sure covered with liquid and poach for 20 min. Remove chicken and keep warm. Check soup for seasoning – adjust as desired with salt and pepper. Just before serving shred the chicken and return to the soup. Top with freshly chopped flat leaf Italian parsley.
In my ongoing mission to eat foods that support health, tonight’s selection is wild coho salmon fillet loaded with with inflammation reducing omega-3,s. Research has shown that Omega-3′s can reduce tenderness in joints, decrease morning stiffness, and allow for a reduction in the amount of medication needed for people with rheumatoid arthritis.** see link http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/omega-3-000316.htm
Season each side with salt and pepper and baked in a pre heated 400 degree oven for 7 min. I made a quick sauce using minced shallots, ginger, soy sauce and lemon juice.
This has become a favorite side dish at my house. I originally got the idea when visiting friends and they served a delicious combination of roasted butternut squash and leeks. It is super simple, super good and very nutritious. Butternut squash is an inflammation reducing ingredient so I like to cook with it. I also enjoy its versatility. Roasting it along with the leeks is a terrific way to bring out the flavors of this winter squash. This side goes great with any roasted meat and is something you can just put in the oven along with whatever else you are making to save from having to prep at the stove. What you need: 1 butternut squash peeled and diced, 2 medium size leeks cleaned and sliced into rings. Salt and pepper and olive oil. Toss all ingredients in a glass baking dish cover with foil and bake until 1/2 done. Remove foil for remainder of cooking to slightly brown. Times depend on oven temp. I bake at 400 if on its own and at 350 or whatever my oven is on for another dish. Total time is generally 50 min – cook until your preferred tenderness.
Arthritis Kitchen Tip – Prepping the Squash: Trying to break down a large butternut squash is a chore for most anyone but if you have limited strength or use of your hands or arms it can be seriously daunting. I find the following method provides the most stability when working with squash and produces effective results with the least amount of effort.
- 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.
- 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.
Tonight I made stuffed peppers. I used a mixture of ground chicken, onions, celery, garlic, diced fresh tomatoes and rice as the filling. Topped with montery jack cheese and broiled to perfection.
I cut off the tops of the red peppers, halved the yellow pepper and removed the seeds. Then I brushed with oil and grilled on the BBQ til slightly charred and beginning to soften. For the filling I first browned some diced onion, then added diced celery, chopped garlic and sauteed until translucent. I seasoned with salt, pepper, Watkins Chicken Seasoning, and an Italian Seasoning blend – I also added several generous shakes of turmeric because this is the Arthritis Kitchen after all and turmeric is high on the list if inflammation reducing ingredients.
To this mixture I added about 1 cup cooked rice and some fresh diced tomatoes. Topped with grated cheese. Bake at 350 until bubbly, then broil until cheese is slightly browned. Grilling the peppers added such a great favor to this dish.
Arthritis Kitchen Tip – Breaking up ground meat in the pan. Ground chicken is rather sticky when beginning to brown. I was needing to do way too much hand work with a spoon to break it up. I grabbed my potato masher and worked through the mixture without having to do a lot of hand or wrist movements. I’ve seen a device designed to do just that – break up ground meat in the pan. Until I have one of those, using the potato masher is my cooking with arthritis tip of the day to save strain on your hands and wrists.