From the Archives: Spring 2007 Issue of Lupus Now
Healthful Eating: Food For Energy...& Thought
By L. Ann Binstock
SPRING'S WARMER TEMPERATURES and sunnier days may inspire you to begin a new exercise program. If so, part of your new routine could include a commitment to making a few home-cooked meals each week to add some fuel to your fire. Using a variety of fresh ingredients and conveniences like a crock-pot or rice steamer can make the task worthwhile and manageable.
"Let's face it: Restaurant food, canned foods, and deli food are never going to be as soothing and medicinal as grandma's chicken soup was for you," says Rebecca Wood, award-winning cookbook author and diet consultant. "It's really critical for someone with lupus or anyone with health issues to eat fresh-prepared and easy-to-digest foods."
Wood, who lives in Ashland, Ore., believes eating well can have a significant impact on a person's energy level. "For example, in my chicken soup recipe I stress using the bones in chicken. Bone stock is energizing."
She also talks about the importance of eating root vegetables. "People today are very good about eating leafy, green vegetables, but they often overlook root vegetables such as carrots, turnips, parsnips, radishes, rutabagas, parsley root, and celery root."
Keep in mind that recipes you choose can be adapted to include seasonal local produce or your personal temperature consideration. "Some people with lupus are cold all the time, and they could amp up the garlic and ginger in the chicken soup recipe," Wood says. "But if someone is feeling hot or flushed, then he or she could use more cilantro in the soup."
Maybe most important, Wood reminds people looking for high-energy foods not to fall into fad diets. "The media is always telling us there's a quick fix," she says. "But the answer is always balance, not magic bullets."
For more recipes from Rebecca Wood, visit www.rwood.com.
Five-Minute Curried Salmon
Salmon poached in coconut milk is meltingly tender and flavorful. Stir in green curry paste and you'll have an instant curry feast. Coconut milk and curry paste should be available in your local supermarket.
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk, light
1 pound wild salmon fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon green curry paste (not powder), or to taste
5 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
salt to taste
1. Place the coconut milk in a wok or large sauté pan over high heat until almost boiling; do not cover the pan. Add the salmon and salt, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 3 minutes, or until the fish is almost cooked.
2. Stir in the green curry paste, scallions, and lime juice; simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 1 minute or until the salmon is just cooked. Taste and add additional green curry paste if needed. Garnish with the cilantro. Serve hot alongside pasta or rice.
Per serving: 205 calories, 9 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 48 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber.
Black Bean Chili with Jalapeños
While you can make this recipe with fresh (uncooked) jalapeños, taking the time to roast the chilies makes for a more robust flavor. For a milder taste, substitute Anaheim or poblano for the jalapeño chilies. Also, look for salt-free or low-sodium cans of tomatoes and beans. You may easily double or quadruple this recipe.
2 jalapeño chilies
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, diced
2 15-ounce cans black beans, with their liquid
2 ripe, medium to small tomatoes or 1 15-ounce can tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1. To roast chilies, place them over hot coals, under the broiler, or hold with tongs over a burner on your stove. Roast and turn until the chilies are uniformly charred. Place in a tightly sealed bag and let them sweat for 10 minutes. Wearing rubber gloves to protect your skin, hold chilies under running water and peel off and discard the charred skin. Slice lengthwise into halves and remove and discard the seeds and their membranes. Chop.
2. In a large saucepan, warm the oil and sauté the cumin 1 minute or until it's one shade darker and aromatic. Sauté the garlic and onion until the onion is softened or lightly browned.
3. Place beans, tomatoes, chilies, and the onion mixture in a soup pot. Add salt to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, with the lid ajar, for 20 minutes to blend the flavors. Adjust for seasoning, stir in chopped cilantro and lime juice and serve.
Per serving: 321 calories, 12 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 17 g protein, 48 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber.
Easy Chicken Soup
Thanks to the long simmering of the chicken bones, this delicious "Grandma's medicine" is a nutrient-dense energy tonic and restorative.
5 chicken thighs (with skin and bone), washed
1 carrot, chopped
1 turnip, chopped (or rutabaga, parsnip, celeriac, daikon, or
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery with leaves, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 thin slices fresh ginger root
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup parsley, dill, or chives, chopped for garnish
1. Place the chicken in a pot and add enough water to cover the chicken by 2 inches. Bring just to the boiling point, but immediately reduce the heat and simmer (do not boil), uncovered, for 10 minutes. Skim off and discard brown foam that rises to the top. Cover, with the lid slightly ajar and simmer for 2 hours. In the last 30 minutes, add carrot, turnip, onion, celery, garlic, bay leaves, and ginger root. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
2. Carefully remove the chicken, place it on a cutting board and allow it to cool enough so you can comfortably handle it.
3. Pick meat off the bones and cut into bite-sized pieces. Discard skin and bones.
4. With a spoon or fat skimmer, remove fat from surface of the soup. Remove the bay leaves and ginger slices. Return the chicken to the broth. Adjust the seasoning. Re-heat if necessary. Garnish and serve.
Per serving: 286 calories, 18 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 39 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber.