Category Archives: Omega-3

Banana Walnut Loaf

There were about 6 frozen bananas in my freezer taking up room so, it appeared to be time to make a banana loaf.  To increase the nutritional value and add Omega 3’s, this loaf has walnuts but you could easily omit them or add something else. Banana Bread

I found a terrific Martha Stewart recipe.  The only thing I altered was to cut down on the sugar.  (use your own judgment) I’m not much of a baker so I need to pay attention to what I’m doing when baking.  Martha’s recipes are so clearly written, it helps me a lot.  I also found an excellent technique for dealing with frozen bananas in recipes.  By using Amy’s advice, there is no mess and no mashing required.  It wins a gold star for Arthritis Kitchen easy!

Banana-Walnut Loaf

http://www.marthastewart.com/315106/banana-walnut-loaf

Martha’s recipe was foolproof resulting in a beautiful, moist loaf with excellent texture.  The extra step of toasting the walnuts really makes them stand out.  I recommend doing this in a dry skillet or in the oven.  Just be careful not to burn them.

Banana Bread and Asian Dressing 023 (2)

Technique for using frozen bananas – so easy!

http://gospelhomemaking.com/banana-bread/

Check out this blog with a foolproof, easy way of using frozen bananas in baking.  By letting the bananas thaw in their skins and then squeezing them out and then draining you get recipe ready bananas without the need to mash or chop.  They fold beautifully into your recipe.

Salmon in Parchment

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.

parchment 001

parchment 003

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.

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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!

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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.

Pasta with Lobster and Scallops

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.

Sablefish with Miso, Ginger and Maple Syrup

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.

 

Salad with roasted squash, chicken and pomegranate

 

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.

Get your Omega 3’s from Salmon

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.

World Arthritis Day 2011

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.

 

 

Fig goat cheese and walnut appetizers

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.

Salmon in parchment with lemon and dill

One of the easiest ways I know to cook fish is enclosed in parchment paper in the oven.  Cooking in parchment allows you to layer in whatever flavors you want.  It’s a moist heat cooking method that infuses flavor into the fish as it steam cooks in the oven.  An additional bonus – no clean up required.  For this meal I had beautiful wild BC sockeye salmon.  Aromatics of fresh dill, lemon, shallots, salt, pepper, a splash of white wine and a drizzle of olive oil.  Seal in a cut out round of parchment paper, folding over and crimping edges to create a seal.  Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 10 minutes.  Couldn’t be easier. 

Arthritis Kitchen Tip: Salmon is an excellent source of omega 3.  If at all possible buy fresh wild salmon.  The texture and flavor is remarkably superior to farmed fish and it is free of any antibiotics or dyes.  

Arthritis Kitchen on the Road

I took a few days off last week and made a trip to Vancouver Island – my frequent go-to destination for a get away from the city.   Along with getting in some great visits with friends and family I had the opportunity to attend a session put on by the Arthritis Society focusing on tips and techniques for the kitchen.  The session was facilitated by an Occupational Therapist from the Victoria Arthritis Centre and focused on joint protection, managing fatigue and the benefits of setting up your kitchen in such a way to avoid excessive strain.

It was a good reminder to take a look at the set up in my kitchen and look for creative ways to set things up for maximum ease and efficiency.

During my trip I made dinner for a friend of mine while visiting at her home.  While not a new recipe, my Sablefish with miso ginger and soy is most assuredly a favorite and is full of Omega-3 essential acids to help your joints.

Miso Ginger Broiled Sablefish

  • 2 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1 Tbs ginger grated
  • 3 Tbs Miso Paste
  • 2 Tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tsp brown sugar

Combine ingredients into a glass bowl or zip-lock bag.  Add fish pieces and marinate in the fridge 2 hours. Place fillets on a baking sheet and broil 10-15 minutes.