Browsing Tag

Anti-inflammatory

Super Healthy Omega-3 Sardine Salad Recipe

August 12, 2015
Omega3_Sardine_Salad_HealthyStacey

Writing this blog often makes me realize that I am not following my own advice. I've written a lot about inflammation, including my most recent cauliflower post. But one of the most important things you can do to keep your inflammation low is increase your Omega-3 intake. And although I make a great effort to cook fresh fish once a week, I think I could be doing a lot better.

So I decided to reassess and see how I can shove it back in. 

I started by adding a spoonful of Omega-3 oil to my smoothie every morning. This made a noticeable difference. For one, I feel more satisfied after my breakfast. And because I am also giving up coffee for a bit (more on that later), I found that it increased my energy and morning concentration.

Feeling these differences only made me want to get even more in my diet. But not through supplementation. Through food.

Enter: the sardine.

Sardines at Jewel

Ahhh, the sardine. The bottom of the aquatic food chain. The kind of canned fish that you’ve passed a million times in the grocery store, but most likely never even considered picking it up. The kind of topping that Michelangelo would put on his ‘za. (The turtle, not the artist).

I know, I know. Your face just scrunched up at the thought of eating one. But in all seriousness, sardines are one of the best and most underrated health foods out there. Better yet, they’re also one of the cheapest. I'm talking less than $2 here. And because they are at the bottom of the food chain – feeding solely on plankton, their mercury levels are much less of a concern than other fish higher up on the food chain.

Need more reasons before you dive in? Well, let me see…

Vitamin D $$Rich$$

This is the stuff that you're supposed to get from the sun (but if you live in Chicago like me, the rays can be PRETTY hard to catch). Sardines have an unusually high amount (one can gets you 63% of your daily intake). Plus, they are a great source of phosphorus, a mineral that is important to strengthen the bones.

Loaded with Protein

Protein = Amino acids.

Amino acids –> Create new proteins.

Proteins = Basis of muscles and connective tissues, antibodies that keep our immune system strong, and deliver oxygen and nutrients throughout our bodies. Good stuff.

Hearty Heart Health

Sardines actually rank as one of the THE MOST concentrated food sources of B12 in the world (one can will get you to 100% of your daily intake). Vitamin B12 promotes cardiovascular wellbeing.

Very Mineral-y

This is one of the few cases where getting the can is even better than getting fresh because with canned sardines, you’re getting the whole animal – bones and all. Don’t get grossed out; sardines are so small and cooked so thoroughly that even the bones are soft enough to eat, providing a concentrated source of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats in one easy peasy package. I’m talking 35% of the recommended daily intake in one can.

Oh yeah, and the whole point – They are Omega-3 ROCKSTARS

They are one of the most concentrated sources of the Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which have been found to lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels; one can of sardines actually contains over 50% of the daily value for these important nutrients. One can is actually equivalent to taking a fish oil supplement, but with even more added benefits. That’s insane.

Anyways, enough chit chat for today. I’ve got a great recipe to help you get a little sardine love in your life. I’m 99% sure that, even if you don’t think you like sardines, you’ll like them like this. And everything else in the recipe is also really, really good for you. Can’t go wrong. Right?

Much Love,

HealthyStaceySignature

Like what you read today? Think somebody else would like to learn about sardines and Omega-3? See those cute little social shapes underneath this post? They're for sharing! Click one to post to Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or comment right here on the blog. I would love to hear from you.

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SOURCES

  1. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=147
  2. http://paleoleap.com/eat-this-sardines/
Super Healthy Omega 3 Sardine Salad Recipe
Print Recipe
This may be the easiest, quickest meal recipe I've ever put on this blog. It is stupid, simple, but ridiculously satisfying and really really good for you. Every single ingredient is beneficial to your health. I know what you're thinking - SARDINES? Yes, sardines. If you're ever going to love them, it will be in this form. So go ahead. Un-scrunch your face and give them a try. You just might LOVE them.
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Super Healthy Omega 3 Sardine Salad Recipe
Print Recipe
This may be the easiest, quickest meal recipe I've ever put on this blog. It is stupid, simple, but ridiculously satisfying and really really good for you. Every single ingredient is beneficial to your health. I know what you're thinking - SARDINES? Yes, sardines. If you're ever going to love them, it will be in this form. So go ahead. Un-scrunch your face and give them a try. You just might LOVE them.
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: person
Instructions
  1. Slice your 1/2 avocado in a grid, then scoop out the meat with a spoon OR literally squish both sides of the shell together and squeeze out the avo.
  2. Toss the rest of the ingredients in there - including your sardines! And mash them up with abandon.
  3. Eat up and reap the benefits.
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Cauliflower is the New Black + Cauliflower Dip Recipe

July 29, 2015

Cauliflower_HealthyStaceyBlogYou know how they say fashion recycles every 20 years? I think it’s the same with food. Cauliflower isn’t new. It’s been around for years. It’s the stuff that Mom would steam with broccoli and carrots. It wasn’t really a favorite. It was just kind of a necessary part of eating your vegetables.

Not so anymore. Cauliflower is making a comeback my friends. I knew it the moment I went to LA and saw it on every trendy restaurant menu – cauliflower chips, cauliflower battered like chicken fried steak, cauliflower smashed up into “mashed potatoes,” cauliflower crumbled up and pressed into a pizza crust, and my personal favorite – roasted cauliflower nachos (best experienced at Petty Cash Taqueria in LA). Even more recently at the blog retreat I attended, it was the main course at Seven Lions Restaurant – Cauliflower Steak, dressed and plated just as if it was a real steak.

Petty Cash LA Cauliflower Nachos

Seven Lions Restaurant Cauliflower Steak

Call me a bandwagon-hopper, but I'm all for it. It is an incredibly versatile vegetable that can be crumbled, crispied and pureed into something completely different. And because it has a milder flavor, it serves as a good base for something really creative and unheard of – Cauliflower Mocha Mousse maybe? 

CauliflowerFoodProcessor

But the best part of all is – you guessed it – it's GOOD for you. Not just like a little good, like 77%-of-your-daily-vitamin-C-good. There are a zillion complicated reasons why (cardiovascular support, digestive support, boost brain health), and I was tempted to go into each and every scientific one of them. But then I realized there are articles like this one from World's Healthiest Foods, this one from Dr. Mercola and this one from WebMD that do it for me. So instead, I'm going to concentrate on my favorite reason. Here it is, quick and dirty. 

CAULIFLOWER IS AWESOME BECAUSE IT HAS ANTI-INFLAMMATORY BENEFITS.

Okay, I tried. But I can’t just leave it at that. Let’s do a quick inflammation review so you understand the bigger picture.

Inflammation is a necessary process that occurs when your body is trying to protect you from foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses.

However, there is such a thing as too much inflammation. It happens when your immune system accidentally triggers an inflammatory response when there is no threat. Excess inflammation in your body can lead to a whole mess of problems:

Asthma, allergies, autoimmune diseases, heart disease, cancer and any other diseases related to the organ the inflammation is impacting.

Our pal cauliflower is a rockstar inflammation fighter.

First of all, it is an excellent source of Vitamin K. And vitamin K acts as a direct regulator of our inflammatory response. So it can possibly reduce inflammatory markers throughout the body.

In addition, it contains this long, unpronounceable word (glucosinolates) that can easily convert into a molecule called ITC. Because ITC can operate at the genetic level, it can prevent the initiation of inflammatory responses at a very early stage.

Our stomachs are very susceptable to inflammation (bloating, gas). And all that disruption to our digestion, can lead to some serious issues. So I always love it when I find that eating a certain food can combat the inflammation in the very place that it is headed (your gut). 

So I thought to myself – How else can I get more of this into my diet without just eating raw cauliflower (BORING)? One thing I love more than anything is a gooood dip. When I get home, I go straight into the kitchen for something crunchy so that I can dip it into something smooth and creamy. In the past, my go-to has always been hummus. But with the garbanzo beans in hummus, that doesn’t work out so well anymore (refer to What is Paleo? post for why).

Cue: Cauliflower Dip.

Creamy, rich, smooth, and filled with endless flavor opportunities. I’ve probably made it about 5 times since my first batch and it just keeps getting better. I alter it a bit every time, but I’m going to give you my tried and true recipe and leave it up to you to add in or take away. That’s the great thing about a puree, you can’t really mess it up too much. Just be sure to taste test as you go.

Cauliflower Dip Recipe

YellowCauliflowerDip_HealthyStaceyBlog

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Cauliflower, chopped up into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric (combining Turmeric and Cauliflower boosts its anti-inflammatory benefits)
  • Juice of 1 lemon + zest
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon paprika to garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Steam cauliflower until it’s soft, but not mushy (approximately 15 minutes but that depends on your steamer situation)
  2. Remove from heat and let cool
  3. Toss in food processor with the remaining ingredients, except olive oil
  4. Turn processor on and slowly pour olive oil in (you will know if you’ll want to add more or less based on your preferences; I personally like mine pretty creamy)
  5. Taste as you go! Add in more spices or salt and pepper. This is all about how you like it. Think it could use something else? Like carrots, garlic, herbs – go for it! This is the fun part. 
  6. Garnish with lemon zest and paprika
  7. Dig in with something crunchy

Cauliflower Dip

The best part is, this stuff will store for a little more than a week. So every time you come home, you can reach for a homemade dip that will taste better (and make you feel better) than any store-bought hummus could.

Okay cauliflower. That's all I've got to say about you…for now.

Much Love,

HealthyStaceySignature

Like what you read today? Know somebody who loves a good dip? See those cute little social shapes underneath this post? They're for sharing! Click one to post to Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or comment right here on the blog. I would love to hear from you.

Can't get enough of all this healthy stuff? Then sign up for the newsletter where it says "Enter Your Email" at the top of this page. Too much of a commitment? That's cool. I also have a sweet Facebook page, deep-thoughted Twitter page, food-pornish Instagram handle, and recipe-filled Pinterest page.