White Wine Herb Poached Wild Salmon with Warm Brussels Sprouts and Haricot Vert Salad

How many ways to cook wild salmon?  I can count the ways.  Here’s a good one:

White Wine and Herb Poached Wild Salmon for two.

Incorporating three of the things I love most: wine, herbs and salmon.

1 salmon fillet, skinned & debonned, about 1 lb (½ lb for each)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup water
1 lemon, sliced
6 sprigs fresh sage
salt & pepper

Check salmon fillet for any pin bones, taking care to remove with tweezers. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside. In a large nonreactive skillet, place lemon slices and herbs. Pour in wine and water and bring to a boil over high heat. When boiling, add salmon on top of lemons and herbs, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook, about 10 minutes. Check doneness – if fish is firm and opaque, remove from skillet and drain on paper towels. Set aside until ready to serve.

poaching

Warm Brussel Sprout and Haricot Vert Salad

1/2 lb french green beans, trimmed
1/2 lb brussel sprouts, cleaned and shredded roughly with a mandolin or a very sharp knife
1 shallot, sliced
1 tbs butter
salt & pepper

In a skillet over medium high heat, warm butter until melted. Add green beans and shallot. Season generously with salt and pepper and cook until green beans are just tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add Brussel sprouts, tossing thoroughly until combined. Set aside until ready to serve.

Sage Aioli 

makes 1 cup

1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 cup sage
2 tbs dijon mustard
1 egg
2 tbs lemon juice
3/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

In a food processor, pulse to combine garlic, sage, egg and mustard, about 10 seconds. While food processor is running, slowly drizzle in olive oil until incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add lemon juice, season generously with salt and pepper and pulse to combine, about 10 seconds.

To serve, plate Brussel sprout & haricot vert salad, top with salmon fillet and top with a spoonful of aioli.

*The original recipe called for 1 cup of canola oil and 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.  You can decide.

Is canola oil healthy?
Quality canola oil is on par with some of the healthiest oils out there. Canola oil is higher in anti-inflammatory omega-3s than most vegetable oils, which may help reduce your risk of inflammatory illnesses like heart disease and cancer. Like olive oil, canola oil also contains a boatload of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. In the kitchen, canola has a mild flavor and relatively high smoke point, making it a versatile cooking oil and safe at high heats. Since cold-pressed oils can spoil more quickly than others, they should be stored in dark bottles and refrigerated to ensure freshness.

Bottom Line: Some conventional canola oils are questionable, but you can avoid the dangers and reap the heart-healthy benefits by choosing a quality expeller-pressed or cold-pressed oil that’s also organic or non-GMO.

original recipe at: http://abetterhappierstsebastian.com

 

 

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Health Benefits of Nori

You know…the Seaweed that wraps Sushi

Getty
Getty  (this resembles an ART piece)

although it is also used as a garnish, for flavoring noodle dishes and soups, or as a health supplement. Indeed, as the nutritional value of nori continues to come to light, more and more health food stores worldwide are beginning to sell it in fresh or dried form.

From LiveStrong Website
Photo: LiveStrong Website

List of Health Benefits

And the benefits abound: Seaweed (specifically nori, the kind usually used for seaweed snacks) is a cocktail of nutrients, including high levels of vitamins A and C, and calcium. Vegans can rejoice in the fact that it’s one of the only natural, non-animal sources of vitamin B-12, which is essential for many cognitive and bodily functions. In addition, sea vegetables tout particularly high amounts of iodine, potassium, selenium, iron, and magnesium—unrivaled by land vegetables, as these minerals are especially concentrated in seawater.

Rich in protein – 100 grams of nori contain between 30 and 50 grams of protein, making it one of the plant world’s richest sources of protein and comparable in density to spirulina, chlorella, and soybeans. Protein is needed for building and repairing muscles, building enzymes and antibodies, and cell maintenance and growth.

Lowers cholesterol – According to a study published in the June 2001 edition of the British Journal of Nutrition, when rats that were on an otherwise high-cholesterol diet were fed nori, their LDL cholesterol levels lowered, suggesting that nori plays an important role in stabilizing cholesterol levels. Perhaps this is because nori is surprisingly rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are well-known for reducing LDL cholesterol. They also help lower blood pressure, therefore making nori excellent for the cardiovascular system.

Dietary fiber – Nori is comprised of approximately 33 percent dietary fiber, making it an effective laxative. Also, since high-fiber foods have the ability to make you feel full for longer, nori is also a good weight loss food (a fact that is reinforced by its low calorie and fat content).

Lowers cancer risk – A study published in the May 2010 edition of the British Journal of Nutrition found that the regular consumption of nori was linked to lowered rates of breast cancer for menopausal and pre-menopausal women. This is unsurprising, since nori is rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C that help neutralize the cancer-causing effects of free radicals.

High in iron – 100 grams of nori contain approximately 88 percent of our recommended daily intake of iron, making it an extremely rich source of this much-needed mineral. Furthermore, a Venezuelan study published in 2007 for the Journal of Nutrition showed that nori, unlike many grains and beans, doesn’t contain phytates, which can drastically lower the absorption rate of iron.

Improves bone health – 100 grams of nori contain 280 milligrams of calcium (28 percent of our RDI) and 300 milligrams of magnesium (85 percent of our RDI). While we all know that calcium is good for the bones and is needed to prevent osteoporosis, lesser-known is that fact that we also need magnesium to help absorb it. Since nori contains sizable quantities of both, it is the perfect bone-builder.

Impressive iodine content – Sea vegetables are the plant world’s premier source of iodine, and nori doesn’t disappoint. 100 grams of it contain approximately six milligrams of this extremely important mineral. Indeed, according to the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), one sushi roll wrapped in nori contains 92 micrograms of iodine, which is close to an adult’s RDI of 150 micrograms. Iodine deficiencies are very common in the West and can lead to serious conditions such as goiter and hyperthyroidism.

Aside from the nutrients already mentioned, 100 grams of nori also provide us with vitamin A (288 percent of our RDI), thiamine (60 percent), riboflavin (194 percent), niacin (78 percent), folate (475 percent), as well as impressive levels of phosphorous, potassium, zinc, and vitamins C, E, and K.

Source: Michael Ravensthorpe. He is the creator of the website, Spiritfoods, through which he promotes the world’s healthiest foods.

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I use nori as a topper in a homemade miso soup base.  I start with a soybean paste that is GMO free (getting non-GMO is harder to find these days but if you look hard you’ll find it). Sometimes added chicken stock and then add vegetables (baby bok choy, spinach, broccoli, a little soy, rice noodles, shichimi spice and toasted seaweed.  It is fairly quick, nutritious and delicious.  It sure beats the miso soups you get at any Japanese restaurant.

If you want to know the difference between Kelp and Seaweed:

Seaweed is a very, very broad term that is used to describe the many marine plants and algae that live in the world’s waters. Kelp is actually a subgroup of seaweed and is also the largest form of seaweed. Seaweeds range in size from the microscopic to the massive, while kelp are so large and complex that they form massive underwater forests. You may have seen this marine plant at the beach. Kelp is a type of large brown seaweed that grows in shallow, nutrient-rich saltwater, near coastal fronts around the world. It differs slightly in color, flavor, and nutrient profile from the type you may see in sushi rolls. It contains:

  • iron
  • manganese
  • calcium
  • magnesium
  • copper
  • zinc
  • riboflavin
  • niacin
  • thiamin
  • vitamins A, B-12, B-6, and C

What about too much Iodine?

The key is to get a moderate amount to raise energy levels and brain functioning. It is difficult to get too much iodine in natural kelp but this could be an issue with supplements.

Do you eat Nori or Kelp?

Healthier Lifestyle Inspiration

FACT: YOU CAN’T LAUGH & WORRY AT THE SAME TIME!
inspire2

SO LAUGH MORE! Or at least try to.  Watch a comedy, joke around and find humour in even the worst possible situations.   I did that with a friend last week who was going through something horrible.  It was so bad that I could have made it worse by laughing but instead we ended up laughing over how pathetic the situation was. The end result was she was still in pain…but from laughter.

Right now I’m like: “throw me to the wolves and I will return leading the pack.”  That’s a great quote but really….it’s true!  Don’t even stand in my way.  But first I’ll laugh about it all.

Because as hard as we try to make things right and turn things around for the better there’s usually a few setbacks and challenges.  I know this from living in general but especially since I’ve become a support person for someone very close to me.  Someone who is fighting to overcome an illness.  And it’s really difficult to see someone who is strong both physically and mentally go through a very weak phase.  Even though it strikes in a physical sense it still wrecks havoc with your mental state especially if you cannot do the things you’re used to doing.  Gotta stay positive because hope is what keeps everything going. But it can get discouraging and depressing nonetheless – that’s life.

A friend told me about a place called Inspire Health in Vancouver.  They are a team of professionals who help provide knowledge, tools and services to support overall health during and after cancer treatment.  Their doctors value standard cancer treatments, and will work with you, your family doctor and oncologist to provide the best cancer care possible.

They offer options for better health and a better recovery.  What’s to lose right?

Because as their website says: Growing scientific evidence confirms that stress reduction, eating a healthy diet, exercise and a positive support network can substantially improve health and well-being for people living with cancer and their supports.

INSPIRE HEALTH CARE APPROACH IS DIFFERENT – Cancer vs. Person-Based

Cancer-Based: from the perspective of the cancer-based model, the patient rarely plays an active role in their treatment or recovery. Since the focus is on the cancer, little effort is expended to support patients in exploring the benefits of healthful diet, exercise, spirituality and emotional support or other methods to enhance the patient’s well-being. Focusing solely on the cancer can leave patients feeling disempowered and unsure about how to contribute to their own health and well-being.

Person-Based: Although surgery, radiation and chemotherapy can play a very important role in treating the cancer, it is the person and their health – mind, body and spirit – that is the focus of care at Inspire Health.

They have a lot of things to take advantage of that you can pick and choose from like:  Counselling,  Gentle Yoga, Practice Meditation, Tai Chi, Acupuncture, Nutritional Learning and Cooking for Health.

And for me, being so on top of things nutritionally (and otherwise) spent part of the afternoon yesterday taking a cooking class on how to make SuperSnacks.  The head nutritionist demonstrated six different recipes substituting what you would normally use for something healthier but equally tasty.  Now the fun part: you get to test everything.

I have to mention at this point that I had already made half the recipes before (I know but I had to say that anyway) but this was NO cooking class for dummies.  It was interesting, inspiring and I did learn something new.  You always do.  I registered for a bunch more.  I want to hear all they have to say about food and learn more about healthier baking, fermented foods,  their version of bone broth and mindful eating in general.  Knowledge is power.

And THAT is no laughing matter!

YOU define what is important to you by what YOU dedicate your time to.inspire1

*An Important Sidenote: Today Jia Jia (my BFF) & I are off to Paws for a Cause – by BC SPCA to help fund cruelty prevention and education programs, and the enforcement of animal cruelty laws. Cruelty to animals needs to STOP now!

Thoughts?

Food: cookbooks – the next generation

We’re looking at a few ways of eating that are all the rage these days.

Classic cookbooks like Betty Crocker, Julia Child and The Encyclopedia of Creative Cooking are handed down through generations and are still unprecedented references to go by.  But our lifestyle has changed and along with it our ways of eating too.20150315_122106 - CopyI still enjoy a good old fashioned breakfast on occasion…like once a week.  A break from granola & yogurt.  Except now I spread avocado in place of jam on toast and fresh fruit on homemade waffles.  Well it’s a start.

No longer banned from the food pyramid, (good) fats are now seen as keys to weight loss.
No longer banned from the food pyramid, (good) fats are now seen as keys to weight loss.

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I don’t know what appeals to you but let’s have a look at some of the new age cookbooks as seen on Flipboard.

The paleo diet is also known as the caveman diet—i.e. food you might have foraged or killed.
The paleo diet is also known as the caveman diet—i.e. food you might have foraged or killed.
Move over, kale. There's a new darling on plates, and they call her quinoa.
Move over, kale. There’s a new darling on plates, and they call her quinoa.  (Keen-wah)
Health concerns aside, many people say a gluten-free diet just makes them feel better. Read
Health concerns aside, many people say a gluten-free diet just makes them feel better.
Over a thousand (!) articles and recipes about whole foods, vegetarianism and veganism.
Over a thousand (!) articles and recipes about whole foods, vegetarianism and veganism.
 LOCAVORE A magazine that seeks to strengthen your connection with food, culture and the land.

LOCAVORE
A magazine that seeks to strengthen your connection with food, culture and the land.

A new study (ha!) out of California’s Loma Linda University found that vegetarians live longer and were especially less likely to die of heart disease than carnivores.  The studies found that the mortality rate of meat eaters was as much as 19 percent higher than that of self-identified vegetarians, and the effect was significantly greater for men than for women.  The Loma Linda studies showed an even longer lifespan for pesco-vegetarians, or those who included fish in their diets.

Until the verdict is in, meat eaters would do well to eat ample servings of fruits and veggies, limit intake of red and processed meats, eat fish often, and consume fewer calories overall.  Vegetarians should find ways to get plenty of protein, iron, calcium, zinc, B12 and omega-3 fatty acids, all of which are often lacking in meatless dishes.

So, which category do you fall into?

Source: Flipboard for cookbook photos & New study by Kellee Katagi for Natural Choices.

breakfast photos: d. king

 

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