Posts Tagged ‘ Anti Inflammatory ’

Vegetarian Paella

Sadly the past few days I seem to be having an arthritis flare up.  I can feel some serious stiffness throughout my spine and am extremely fatigued.  I am hoping this will pass quickly and will do everything in my power to ensure that happens.

I always try to eat very healthily but at times like this it’s really imperative.  There are several foods found in nature that have anti inflammatory components that I eat and others that are inflammatory and I avoid.  Sadly the inflammatory vegetables are among my favorites so it’s more difficult to avoid them then to eat the correct foods.

Among inflammatory foods are nightshade produce.  Included are tomato, eggplant, pepper, and some potato’s.  These vegetables contain alkaloids and can impact nerve-muscle function.

Anti inflammatory foods that I try to eat regularly are pineapple, mango, papaya, turmeric, cherries, blueberries, olive oil, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower.  I have a daily smoothie using many of the fruits so that part is easy.

When cooking I try to use no more than 1 inflammatory food as an ingredient so as not to overload on them.  For my paella I decided to forgo tomato and stick with mini sweet peppers.  I realize that tomato is often a staple of paella but I decided that I have enough tomato based meals and it is a flavor that often overpowers others.

My other unorthodox addition to this recipe is turmeric.  It’s a spice I can’t get enough of  but am very careful of what I add it to.  Turmeric adds a richness that has to blend well with other flavors to work.  A word of caution, turmeric will stain anything and everything a lovely tint of yellow-orange.  The stain is not easy to remove!

Ingredients

2 cups of rice cooked with 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

3-4 links of soy sausage

8-10 mini sweet peppers cut into 1-2″ pieces

3 cups broccoli florets cut in bite sized pieces

6 oz sliced mushrooms

2 zucchini halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2″ slices

A few teaspoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic chopped

1 vegetables bouillon cube heated with 1/2 cup of water and 1 bay leaf (done in microwave for 2-3 minutes

A few saffron threads

1 teaspoon turmeric, salt and pepper and paprika to taste

1/2 teaspoon adobo seasoning

Directions

Add olive oil to pan and brown sausage links, remove from heat and add veggies saute until lightly browned  and broccoli is bright green, then add garlic and seasonings cook for 1 more minute

Slice sausage into 1″ pieces and add back into pot with vegetables, stir in  precooked rice and bouillon mixture and let stir for a few more minutes.  Serve immediately

If you prefer your vegetables more cooked than that you can bake the entire dish in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes.  It will help blend the flavors but for my personal taste the veggies end up overcooked.

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Fruit Smoothie

I can’t believe I haven’t shared my favorite breakfast yet.  I drink a huge smoothie almost everyday.  I believe my body actually craves them at this point but that may just be my brain saying so.  I have one basic recipe (if you can call it that) and I make many varieties from it.  A few things to note.  I have worn out several inexpensive blenders.  Currently I take out the frozen fruit 1 hour prior to making or refrigerate it the night before.  So far so good on my current model!

Costco sells a huge bag of frozen fruit called Fiesta Mix.  It contains papaya, mango, pineapple, and strawberries.  This is a favorite of mine because 3 of the 4 fruit have great anti inflammatory components.  My next favorite is just a 4 lb frozen bag of mixed fruit I buy at Publix which has peaches, pineapple, strawberries and other assorted fruit.  When blueberries are in season I purchase those separately and toss them in either bag of frozen fruit.

I always throw at least 1/2 a banana into a smoothie and sometimes 1/4ish cup of either soy or plain yogurt.  If I have spring mix for salad I toss a handful of that in.  You barely taste the greens and I figure you can’t get enough of them.  I do my best to pack as much nutritional value as possible into a smoothie so I also toss in a few walnuts for my omega 3s.

Speaking of omega 3’s I just had some blood work done and asked my Dr to test me for any deficencies that vegetarians may be prone to.  B vitamins, folate and all checked out fine, my one issue is vitamin D which ironically is a huge issue with omnivores as well.  So all the talk about missing important nutrients is garbage.  Also My cholesterol is in the low 180s with no medication, not bad for a 45 year old.  My 20 year old son’s cholesterol is in the 120s!  I wasn’t aware that number was possible!

Here is my basic recipe, it makes 1 meal sized serving for me.  2 servings for a snack sized serving.   Please adjust the liquid amounts to your preference of thickness.  Below are some links to other interesting smoothie recipes.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

2 Cups frozen fruit mix of your choice

1 small or 1/2 a large banana

A few teaspoons  soy or fat free plain yogurt

5-10 walnut halves (or  a few teaspoons of organic ground flaxseed)

1/3 cup of water (or I drain the juice from whatever cut fruit I have in a bowl)

1/2-3/4 cup soy, rice, almond, or dairy milk

1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey (optional)

sprinkle of cinnamon and carodomon (if you have)

Directions

Place all ingredients in the blender.  Start blender on a slow speed until the larger pieces of fruit are chopped then raise speed and blend until you see a small vortex in the middle of the blender.  Let it continue for about 1 minute and serve.

Cocoa Peanut Butter Smoothie http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=33099

Peaches and Cream Smoothie http://low-fat-cooking.suite101.com/article.cfm/peaches_and_cream_smoothie

Grapefruit (sounds really interesting!) http://vegetarian.about.com/od/breakfastrecipe1/r/grapefruitsmoot.htm

For those of you willing to try a salad smoothie http://deliciouslivingmag.com/food/recipes/dl_recipe_422/