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RA Natural Way

Sharing what I have learned about treating chronic pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia and indeterminable autoimmune disorders in the most natural way possible while maintaining a positive attitude. Hope. Faith. Love. Yoga. Travel.

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dinner

Caldo verde (gf) (df)

Today was the last day of my Christmas vacation and it was hard to get moving this morning. While the Arctic Outbreak hasn’t reached Florida yet, I decided it was best to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather! For the first time in years, I rode my bike to the nearest Publix shopping center. It was 6 miles round trip and I found that it was a lot more challenging to balance the bike when the basket was loaded up with food!

I did find a new Publix Aprons recipe to try! Caldo Verde is a popular Portuguese soup, traditionally made with collard greens and meatless. Pubix has their version and now I’ll show you mine!

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Time: 40 mins

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 links of Italian sausage (I used chicken sausage)
  • 1 (32 oz) container reduced-sodium chicken broth (I used a vegetarian version)
  • 3 large potatoes, chopped
  • 1 lb kale
  • I added: 1/2 cup of diced yellow onions and 1 cup of sliced portobello mushrooms

Cut sausages into 1/2-inch pieces and cook 4-5 minutes on medium in a stock pot. Add broth and chopped potatoes (and onions if you choose). Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 18-20 minutes or until potatoes begin to soften.

Stir in kale (and optional mushrooms); salt and pepper to your liking, and cook 10-12 more minutes or until kale and potatoes are tender.

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This made so much food! I decided to freeze some and save it for a cold winter night!

Stay warm America!

Ultra Healthy Dinner

After eating pancakes for dinner last night, I decided to be a bit healthier today!

Typically, I cook enough food to leave plenty of leftovers for the week. As a teacher, I need to pack a lunch every day. When I finish cooking, I divide the leftovers into lunch size portions and put them in the fridge. Each morning, I can easily pop a tupperware into my lunch box!

Tilapia, kale and a brown rice, quinoa mix. Full of vitamins and Omega 3s!

tilapiaeditSOC006_XlI put the tilapia in a bowl with lemon juice, salt, onion pepper and garlic seasoning. Let it sit, while I sautéed the kale with olive oil until it wilted. This Seeds of Change mix is wonderful because it’s so easy to prepare and Organic. I dumped the whole package in a pot with a little olive oil and warmed it up on low. Finally, I sautéed the tilapia on medium until fully cooked.

This is a quick, healthy meal and with leftovers, it is also inexpensive!

Before eating this meal, I went for a long walk and did my yoga stretches! This is exactly what I need to be doing every day!

For changes to be of any true value, they’ve got to be lasting and consistent,” -Tony Robbins.

Italian Cooking (gf) (df)

This is a modified Italian recipe for Chicken Francaise that my mother and I cooked for dinner recently. The original recipe is from Ippolito’s, a wonderful Italian restaurant in Atlanta, GA that we used to frequent. Italian food was always my favorite, but with RA it’s hard to find a recipe that fits within my dietary restrictions.

*This recipe serves two.We tripled everything to feed five people and provide excess broth, which was so delicious!

You will need:

  • 2 8-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts (pounded flat)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp fresh garlic
  • 1/2 ounce chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 ounces fresh spinach
  • 2 eggs (beaten) *or egg whites with lactose-free milk
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour
  • 2 ounces olive oil
  • spoon full of capers
  • gluten-free noodles *linguini or spaghetti

Combine the wine, chicken broth, lemon juice and set aside. Preheat a 12-inch pan on the stovetop. Add oil to the pan to heat. Season the pounded chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken first in eggs and then flour.

Once oil is hot, place the chicken breasts in pan and cook on both sides until lightly brown *Do not cook all the way through. Discard half the oil from the pan *if needed. Add a pinch of flour to the remaining oil and chicken. Add entire wine mixture and let simmer until it has reduced by half. Add sun-dried tomatoes, fresh spinach and garlic. Cook until the spinach has wilted.

Serve over your favorite pasta. Ippolito’s suggests linguine, but my gluten-free spaghetti was delicious.

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Buon appetito!

Enchiladas (df) (gf)

My boyfriend surprised me recently by buying ingredients for dairy-free, relatively healthy enchiladas. I love Mexican food and I can usually modify most of it for a healthier version. I wasn’t sure how this dish would turn out… but it came together nicely!

Our Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of lean, organic ground turkey
  • 2 cans of enchilada sauce, spicy or mild (organic if possible)
  • 1/2 cup onions
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded vegan cheddar cheese
  • 1 package corn tortillas

First, pre-heat the oven to 375F. I chose the smaller Pyrex dish because we had smaller tortillas to work with (we would have preferred larger ones). We poured enchilada sauce along the bottom of the pan to help keep the enchiladas from sticking. In a 10-inch skillet, cook the ground turkey and mix in previously sautéed onions. Cook thoroughly; drain.

Spoon the meat into the tortillas and tightly roll. Fit together in Pyrex dish. Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce on top. Bake 10-15 minutes, add cheese and bake another 5 minutes.

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I added a healthy salad: mixed greens, carrot, mushrooms, tomatoes, oil and vinegar.

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IMG_3404editThese turned out pretty Yummy!

Scallops in 20!

Picked up these lovely treats at Native Sun last night. Only took me 20 minutes to whip up a delicious meal!

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Tonight I wasn’t counting calories! I baked the scallops in garlic a butter/olive oil blend at 400F for 18 minutes. Before baking, I squeezed lemon on top with salt, pepper and parsley flakes. The potatoes were garlic, instant and organic, also from Native Sun. I sauteed the organic spinach with garlic for a few minutes and then layered them all together for an incredibly delicious meal! I only wish that I had bought more scallops! I’ve never cooked my own and was nervous about how they would turn out. Don’t be intimidated, this was easy!

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Scallops in salted butter and minced garlic.
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Surprising good! I used fat free, lactose-free milk.

Salmon Delight

While I have always been fond of salmon, it currently ranks #1 on my Eat This list. I am fortunate to live in a town where it is easy and inexpensive to get fresh seafood. Tonight I bought a piece of fresh salmon and a new marinade to bake it in!

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I took a trip to my favorite discount grocery story and found these three items at a fantastic price!

The Masala Maza sauces are All Natural and delicious! Each jar has a recipe on the back. Halibut was the recommended fish for this particular marinade, and I will try the recipe next time. The grill sauce will go wonderful with chicken!

Speaking of Omegas, this oil is full of healthy ones! I’ve been putting it on salad and cooking with it. It is light and lovely.

Here is a picture of the finished product with spinach and rice. The salmon was perfectly cooked and needed no additional seasoning. My boyfriend was quite impressed with my cooking skills tonight!

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Oh my Omega 3’s!

Everywhere I look lately, I see labels saying things like “Great source of Omega 3’s!” This is wonderful news because they are excellent for an RA diet!

What can high-omega-3 foods do for you?   Here are a few benefits that I found on whfoods.org

  • Reduce inflammation throughout your body
  • Keep your blood from clotting excessively
  • Maintain the fluidity of your cell membranes
  • Lower the amount of lipids (fats such as cholesterol and triglycerides) circulating in the blood stream.
  • Decrease platelet aggregation, preventing excessive blood clotting
  • Help prevent cancer cell growth
  • Reduce the risk of becoming obese and improve the body’s ability to respond to insulin by stimulating the secretion of leptin, a hormone that helps to regulate food intake

Many foods listed on my Green List contain Omega 3’s like these:

  • Salmon, Halibut, Sardines, Tuna, Trout, Swordfish
  • Flaxseeds, Walnuts, Butternuts
  • Tofu, Soybeans
  • Collards, Kale and Spinach
  • Oils: Flaxseed, Walnut, Soybean, Canola

This is a list that I compiled from the book Strong Women and Men Beat Arthritis. It has a lot of great information in it, but there are many more updated sources available.

Tonight’s inexpensive but extra healthy dinner: salmon, kale, quinoa and brown rice.

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The kale was purchased at the local farmers market. The salmon came from the grocery store and the quinoa and brown rice package was picked up at my local discount grocery store. The whole meal cost around $7 and only a few minutes to heat up. *the kale in this picture had been previously sautéed with olive oil, salt and pepper.

I’m eating as little packaged food as possible these days, but when you’re on a budget, sometimes you don’t have a choice.

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These are some healthy brands and options:

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Amys-Soup           PinkSalmonPouch-lg

If you aren’t eating Quinoa yet: Read about this > Super Food!

I’ve been eating pastas made with quinoa, cereals and rice mixes such as the one above. Quinoa provides antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients that are super for fighting RA! It also contains heart healthy fats and protein to help us build strong muscles!

Quinoa, kale and salmon are must haves when it comes to flushing harmful toxins from our bodies and growing stronger every day!

Turkey noodle yum!

With all this left over Thanksgiving turkey and chilly weather, I had to make soup!

I searched for easy chicken noodle soup recipes and found this one from Rachel Ray’s 30 minute meals. Then I found another from Betty Crocker and put the two together, modified it a little and created this deliciousness! Seriously, I could eat soup every day!

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This took me a little over 30 minutes to prepare but considering that it was totally a last minute idea, I’m pretty proud of myself. I even had most of the ingredients at home!

You will need:

  • 1 lb of cooked chicken (or in my case turkey) cubed
  • 1 cup of chopped carrots
  • 1 cup of sliced baby bella mushrooms (a wonderful addition!)
  • 5 cups of chicken stock
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 ribs celery chopped
  • small handful of parsley flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • egg noodles (rice noodles for me!)

The most time consuming part of this recipe is the prep-work. You’ll need to cut the chicken into cubes, dice the onion, chop the carrots as small as you want them, slice up the celery and mince the garlic. All of this can take some time depending on how skilled you are with a knife!

I began by sautéing the onion in a little olive oil on low/medium heat. After about 5 minutes I added the carrots and let them simmer for a bit. Then I added the mushrooms and celery for another 7 minutes or so. I kept checking to see how soft the carrots and celery were getting. I don’t like crunchy veggies in my soup.

IMG_3101editWhile this was working, I poured the 5 cups of chicken stock into a large pot and warmed it up on medium. Then I added the turkey and brought it to a boil. I let it cook for a few minutes and then added all of the ingredients from the sauté pan.

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I stirred everything together and brought it back to a boil and added the noodles. I used these rice noodles because I’m not eating gluten…

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I cooked everything together for 6 minutes and tested to noodles to make sure they were done.

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I stirred in the parsley flakes and removed the pot from the burner.

Voila! It turned out fabulous and I proceeded to stuff my belly with hot, nutritious, yummy soup!

This is an inexpensive, healthy meal that should feed 4 or 3 very hungry people! In my case, I’ll have soup for lunch tomorrow!

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Hot and Sour Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

This looks so wonderful!

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I can modify this recipe to fit my dietary needs. I miss the soups I used to eat in Asia! Can’t wait to make this and report back!

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