30-min-anti-inflammatory-spicy-shrimp

30-Minute Anti-inflammatory Spicy Shrimp

Have you found yourself wondering whether you have atypical COVID-19 symptoms such as loss of taste and smell?
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 5

Ingredients
  

  • 4 tablespoon Extra Virgen Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped or garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, grated
  • 1 Jalapeño pepper, chopped, seeded (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon each coriander powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon chaat masala (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ green bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • 16 ounces lemon juice
  • Chopped cilantro, cooked basmati rice or gluten-free tortilla

Instructions
 

  • Heat olive oil over a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and saute until translucent. Gently add the tomatoes. Stir the tomatoes and onions and let them cook for about 2 minutes.
  • Add garlic, ginger, coriander powder, turmeric, cumin, red pepper flakes and chat masala (optional). Simmer in low-medium heat for about 10 minutes. Stir the mix and add 1/4 cup of water if needed.
  • Add bell peppers and Jalapeno pepper (optional). Cook for 2 minutes. Add shrimp, coriander, and lemon juice. Mix well and cook for 5 minutes
  • Serve with basmati rice, wild rice or gluten-free corn tortilla.

Notes

Have you found yourself wondering whether you have atypical COVID-19 symptoms such as loss of taste and smell? Sjogren's Syndrome (SS)'s attack on the moisture-producing glands, including salivary glands, can make you feel like you are continuously fighting the COVID-19 virus. People living with Sjögren's Syndrome and patients undergoing radiation therapy for head and neck cancers often experience loss of taste and smell due to severe dry mouth. Saliva and nasal mucus are essential to maintain the normal function of taste buds in the oral mucosa and the olfactory cells in the nasal cavity.
Here is a quick and easy recipe to stimulate your sense of taste and smell! A savoury treat from my Pakistani mom-in-law.

Extra tips:

✔ Use1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes to minimize chopping.
✔ Double-up the quantities, freeze in containers and save a wholesome meal for those flare-up days.
Have you applied to the Let's Get Real Anti-inflammatory Nutrition & Lifestyle Program? Apply here. I would love to hear from you
Sjogren-friendly-cornbread

Sjögren-Friendly Maple Cornbread

Sjögren's Syndrome is MORE than dry eyes and dry mouth, it may come along with severe fatigue, swollen joints, muscle pain, brain fog, thirst, persistent cough, chronic sinus problems...
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 1

Ingredients
  

  • ¾ cup gluten-free whole-grain cornmeal flour (Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used Robin Hood flour)
  • cup packed brown sugar
  • cup Canadian maple syrup
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • cup plain yogurt (or cultured coconut yogurt)
  • ¾ cup lactose-free milk (or your preferred plant-based beverage)

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 F and grease an 8"x8" square baking pan.
  • Pre-heat oven to 400 F and grease an 8"x8" square baking pan.
  • Place the egg in a medium bowl. Use an electric mixer on low-medium speed until the egg turns a pale yellow. Add olive oil, sugar and maple syrup. Mix together until combined.
  • Add dry ingredients slowly into the mixture and mix until combined.
  • Add yogurt and milk at low speed until combined. Let the mixture sit in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  • Pour the batter into the greased pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a tester inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean. Remove the cornbread from the heat and let it cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Notes

Sjögren's Syndrome is MORE than dry eyes and dry mouth, it may come along with severe fatigue, swollen joints, muscle pain, brain fog, thirst, persistent cough, chronic sinus problems, dry skin, brain fog, food sensitivities, burning sensation in the mouth, swallowing difficulties, to name a few. It could affect multiple organs and severely impact your quality of life.
I've struggled to find easy-to-swallow foods since childhood. That's probably why I avoid crackers and bread, I simply choke! I am always looking for different flavours to elevate my mealtime experience due to multiple food sensitivities and a diminished sense of smell and taste.  Finding the right ingredients to make this traditional Maple Cornbread a Sjögren friendly side dish was magical.

Extra tips:

  • ✔ Not all gluten-free flours are created equal. Robin Hood and President's Choice gluten-free flour worked well.
  • ✔ Serve warm with a plant-based spread and cranberry sauce.
  • ✔ Make the recipe completely vegan by replacing the dairy products with the plant-based alternatives aforementioned. To replace one egg, whisk together 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds or chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water until well combined and absorbed.
Let me know if it works for you!
Curious about working with the Arthritis Dietitian? I would love to hear from you.

ingredient links:

gluten-free whole-grain cornmeal flour (Bob's Red Mill)
plain yogurt (or cultured coconut yogurt)
all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used Robin Hood flour)
Cocoa-Chia-and-Hemp-Goodness-

Highlight on Hemp Seeds with Cocoa Chia and Hemp Goodness

I recently started a "Cannabis Corner" on my Instagram account to demystify cannabis in all its forms, including Hemp.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Servings 1

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tablespoons Chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons Hemp Hearts
  • 1 cup coconut milk (or your choice of plant-based beverage)
  • 1-2 tablespoons cocoa nibs
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey (optional)
  • Fruit of choice

Instructions
 

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir with a whisk. Pour it into a mason jar and let it sit for two hours or overnight in the fridge. Add your favourite toppings.

Notes

I recently started a "Cannabis Corner" on my Instagram account to demystify cannabis in all its forms, including Hemp. I am also on a quest to create quick and easy recipes with anti-inflammatory properties, especially when meal planning and cooking are out of the question due to fatigue and pain. I tell you when fatigue hits; I can't be a Martha Stewart in the kitchen. It's too tiring.
Hemp refers to the Cannabis Sativa Cultivar grown for industrial and food purposes. Hemp seeds and their derivatives (i.e. hemp oil and flour) are a powerhouse of nutrients & antioxidants.
Hemp seeds have a nutty flavour giving a great complement to your smoothies, salads, granola, oatmeal, and even your berry sauce toast. 
They are packed with highly digestible plant-based protein and anti-inflammatory fats such as gamma-linoleic which support the production of endocannabinoids, which are chemical compounds that bind to specific receptors in our bodies to promote balance and wellness.
Other nutritional benefits:
  • Promotes heart health as hemp seeds contain Omega 3s, and amino acids, such as arginine that promote nitric oxide production, helping dilate blood vessels.
  • Promotes muscle health due to its high-quality protein, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc.
  • Contains potent antioxidants such as tocopherols which are precursors of vitamin E.
Hemp seeds are naturally gluten-free and it fits perfectly in a plant-based and anti-inflammatory way of eating.  A 2020 study showed that hemp protein products may improve chronic inflammation, although more evidence is needed.

Extra tips:

✔ Make a batch of chia pudding and divide it into mason jars. You will have a power snack or breakfast every day. Add favourite toppings when you are ready to it your pudding.
✔ Use 2 tablespoons of Chia seeds if you prefer a lighter pudding consistency.
Remember to always speak with your healthcare provider or a Registered Dietitian if you are considering any change in your diet.

Ingredient Links:

Hemp Hearts
Whole grain breakfast power bowl

A Whole-Grain Breakfast Power Bowl to Support Your Immune System

I am trying out different recipes with my Instant Pot ,and this Whole-Grain Breakfast Power Bowl was inspired by Maryea Flaherty's "I love my Instant Pot Anti-Inflammatory Diet Recipe Book."
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Total Time 13 mins
Servings 4 cup

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup red quinoa, rinsed (I used Quinoa Royal by Go go Quinoa)
  • cup certified gluten-free rolled oats (Only Oats)
  • cup wild rice, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons Chia seeds
  • 4 tablespoons Hemp Hearts
  • ¼ cup raisins or dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon, powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger, powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • cups almond milk
  • cups water
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
  • Fruit of choice
  • Cashews (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Press the Sauté button and adjust time to 2 minutes; sauté chia and hemp seeds in olive oil.
  • Add quinoa, oats, rice, raisins, dried apricot, cinnamon, ginger, salt, almond milk, and water. Stir and mix all ingredients. Secure the lid and move pressure release valve to Sealing position
  • Press the Pressure Cook button at high pressure and adjust the time to 8 minutes.
  • When the timer beeps, use natural release. Remove bowl from pot. Mix well. Serve with additional almond milk, raisins, maple syrup and cashews if desired.

Notes

Last week, I mentioned in my blog post Supporting Your Immune System When You Are Immunocompromised: COVID-19 Edition that my toddler boy was in close contact with his daycare provider, who tested positive for COVID-19. Luckily, everyone in my family tested negative this week, Yay! I try to keep using supplements to the bare minimum, albeit they are essential in certain circumstances. Here is a simple recipe that can support your immune system with plant-based ingredients: 
I am trying out different recipes with my Instant Pot , and this Whole-Grain Breakfast Power Bowl was inspired by Maryea Flaherty's "I love my Instant Pot Anti-Inflammatory Diet Recipe Book." Please don't feel overwhelmed by the list of ingredients; you probably have many of them in your pantry already!

Extra tips:

    • Use a fine-mesh strainer, and rinse the quinoa until the water runs clear. Quinoa has a slightly bitter taste; rinsing it with water can reduce the flavour.
    • Double up and make a batch of this breakfast bowl. Divide it into mason jars or BPA free plastic containers for the week ahead. You will have a power breakfast every day. Add favourite toppings.
    • Use a plant-based beverage of your choice (coconut, nuts, hemp). Make sure it is fortified with calcium and vitamin D. 
    • You may add a tablespoon of hemp hearts to each serving to boost the protein and fibre.
    • Cooking on the stove:
    • Sauté hemp hearts and chia seeds in olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add all the ingredients and mix well. Cook for about 10 - 14 minutes, until the grains are softened and cooked
    • Instant Pot basics: check out their website for resources and recipes.
  • Remember to always speak with your healthcare provider or a Registered Dietitian if you are considering any change in your diet.
Curious about working with the Arthritis Dietitian? I would love to hear from you.

Ingredient Links:

red quinoa, rinsed (I used Quinoa Royal by Go go Quinoa)
certified gluten-free rolled oats (Only Oats)
Hemp Hearts
EAsy-Feta-Baked-Avocado

Easy Feta Baked Avocado Egg Inspired by the MedDiet Challenge

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Servings 4
Calories 271 kcal

Equipment

  • Pizza Peel

Ingredients
  

  • 2 avocados cut, halved with some of the centers spooned out. Large avocados work better, but whatever is accessible to you works just as well.
  • 4 eggs
  • 1-2 green onions, chopped
  • 4 tbsp feta cheese, grated
  • Paprika, dried basil, salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgen Olive Oil (EVOO)

Instructions
 

  • Fill each avocado half with an egg. It's easier to pour the eggs in a medium bowl and scoop out the egg yolks to put in the avocados.
  • Add green onions, paprika, salt, pepper, dried basil and drizzle with EVOO
  • ️Bake in a preheated oven at 425 °F for 15 to 20 mins, more or less based on your doneness preference.
  • Add feta cheese and serve immediately.

Notes

Does the New Year inspire you to reconsider your personal health goals or start a new habit altogether? You are not alone; a survey by Ipsos for Urban Plates showed that eating healthier and being more active were the top New Years' resolutions in America. That's a lot of pressure for us, especially when we face competing priorities with family, school, and devious inflammatory conditions. So, what does a baked avocado egg recipe have to do with our resolutions?
This year, Oldways -a non-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring people to embrace and enjoy heritage diets, such as the Mediterranean Diet-, initiated a challenge called "Make Every Day Mediterranean" to promote the benefits of this healthful and delicious lifestyle. I began to follow the meal plan, and the effect on my energy and pain levels has been extremely positive. This challenge inspired the Feta Baked Avocado Egg, and that's when I realized that we could establish a positive habit at any time of the year as long as we set our goals and surround ourselves with positive encouragement.

Highlights:

A review by Bhuyan D and colleagues on the health benefits of avocados highlighted a plethora of bioactive antioxidant compounds, including the healthy anti-inflammatory monounsaturated fatty acids similar to olive oil. Some small studies are suggesting that isolated components of the avocado fruit may help reduce pain in osteoarthritis of the temporomandibular joint. The avocado spread is excellent to replace pro-inflammatory food components such as processed cheese and salt. It looks like Avocado needs its own blog post.

Nutritional information (per serving*):

Calories: 271; Total Fat (24g); Saturated Fat (5g); Monounsaturated Fat (12g); Carbohydrates (7g);  Fibre (6g); Sodium (154mg).

Extra tip:

I find this recipe a very satisfying breakfast that keeps you full until lunchtime.  I enjoyed it with a slice of whole-grain and gluten-free toast by Little Northern Bakehouse and kalamata olives.

Strawberry Coconut Bread to Celebrate the Holidays (Dairy & Gluten Free)

Strawberries are always present in my home either fresh (organic) or frozen, especially in the winter time. Apples on the other hand are available all year round, so there is not shortage of this wonderful fruit.

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Gluten Free All Purpose Flour blend (I used Robin Hood flour)
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup icing sugar
  • teaspoon gluten free baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup coconut yogurt
  • ¼ cup Earth Balance (or any dairy free spread)
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup strawberry, puree (may use fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup apples, puree

Instructions
 

  • 1️⃣ Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a bread loaf pan using a vegetable oil spray or  PAM baking spray.
  • 2️⃣ Remove the stems of the strawberries and cut them in half. You may also use frozen strawberries, especially in the winter time. Puree the strawberries in a food processor. My personal favourite is the NinjaMaster Pre Pro System.
  • 3️⃣ Peel the apples using a vegetable peeler with a larger grip for your comfort. Cut the apple into quarters, cut out the core and puree them in food processor.
  • 4️⃣ In a large bowl, cream vegetable spread and sugar together. Add the vanilla extract and mix until thoroughly combined.  Add one egg at a time to the mixture until combined.
  • 5️⃣ In a medium bowl add the gluten-free flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt.
  • 6️⃣ Add the dry ingredients to the creamed vegetable spread mixture. Mix until fully combined
  • 7️⃣ Add the strawberry puree, apple puree and coconut yogurt to the cake batter. Mix until fully combined.
  • 8️⃣ Pour mixture into greased pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Check your bread because all ovens are different. Use a toothpick to check if the centre is done.
  • 9️⃣ Cool completely before serving.

Extra tips:

  • ✔ Store in air-tight container, refrigerate and eat bread within a week.
  • ✔ Store in air-tight container and freeze up to 2-3 months.
  • ✔ Toast a slice of bread on toaster oven and add on vegetable spread. Enjoy it with your favourite cup of tea.

Notes

Strawberries are always present in my home either fresh (organic) or frozen, especially in the wintertime. Apples on the other hand are available all year round, so there is no shortage of this wonderful fruit. What makes this Strawberry Coconut bread so special?
✔ Dairy Free and Gluten Free
Reduced added sugar. Apples are an excellent way to add natural sweetness and moisture to your bake goods.
✔Strawberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C, potassium and fibre. 
Let's compare:
  • 1 cup pureed Strawberries =  144mg vitamin C, 5.5 g fibre and 11.9 g sugars
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice = 131 mg vitamin C, 0.5 g fibre and 22 g sugars
Last Spring, I was invited to speak at the Sjögren's Society of Canada Support Group in London, Ontario.  I always like to bring a little taste of something suitable for people living with Sjögren's that is easy to swallow, low in food allergens, and hopefully tasty.  My Strawberry Coconut bread was a hit and here it is for you to enjoy it!
Crispy Quinoa Breakfast

3 Quinoa Oatmeal Breakfasts to Kick Start Your Day

My weekly meal prep and meal planning are paying off as there are days when the morning stiffness can last up to three hours, especially when the weather is damp and humid.

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Gluten Free Oats (Only Oats is one of my favourite brands)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon, powder
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg, powder
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 3 cups almond or soy milk (or any other milk alternative)
  • cup sweet potato, baked
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ walnuts, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Maple Syrup (optional)

Instructions
 

  • ✅ In a saucepan over medium heat, start by toasting the oat flakes on coconut oil until they are slightly brown.
  • ✅ Add water, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to boil until oats are cooked.
  • ✅ Reduce heat to low and add almond milk, cooked quinoa, coconut, sweet potato, and vanilla extract. Bring to boil and let it simmer for five minutes.
  • ✅Remove from heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes. Serve immediately, add extra almond milk, walnuts and maple syrup if desired.

Ginger Flax Quinoa Oatmeal

  • Add raisins or cranberries instead of sweet potato
  • Add ginger powder instead of cinnamon
  • Add 1 tsp of high quality Omega 3 oil. I use NutraSea as it doesn't have a strong fish after taste. Make sure you add it to the individual serving, not while cooking.

Crunchy Quinoa Oatmeal

  • Add Chia seeds instead of flax seeds
  • Sprinkle with roasted nuts or gluten free KIND honey clusters or gluten free granola for some crunch

Notes

Winter calls for warm and comfortable foods. Although oatmeal was never part of my diet nor my culture, I've learned to embrace the benefits of this soothing food to kick start my days, especially in the cold months. Now, it's a staple in my home.
My weekly meal prep and meal planning are paying off as there are days when the morning stiffness can last up to three hours, especially when the weather is damp and humid. Instead of reaching out for a cookie and black coffee with little nutritional value, I warm up some Quinoa Oatmeal for breakfast to boost up my energy!
Advantages:
✅ Seasonal Foods: Sweet Potato is rich in beta carotene (antioxidant), which converts into Vitamin A once ingested. For better absorption is best to consume it in combination with a fat source (Coconut oil in this case).  Vitamin A is known for its benefits for eye health.
✅Fresh fruit (grapes) to add extra fibre, vitamin C and Vitamin K.
✅Meal prep tip: use cooked quinoa and a baked sweet potato prepared in advance.
Meal Prep Tips:
Batch cooking: double up the recipe and store it in your preferred storage containers.  You may store it in the freezer for up to 1-2 months.
 ✅Prepare for the week: pour the prepared quinoa oatmeal into Mason Jars for a quick grab-and-go breakfast in the morning. You may heat up in the microwave (lid off).  Put in the fridge for up to 3-4 days
Dill-Mushroom-Egg-Cups

Dill & Mushroom Egg Cups

As my Sjögren's Syndrome progresses, I have more difficulty swallowing crunchy foods. Eggs and cooked vegetables are always versatile, soft and delicious.

Ingredients
  

  • 6 large eggs
  • cup homogenized milk or milk alternative
  • 1 cup frozen vegetables
  • ½ cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 green onion stalk, chopped
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese, grated or vegan alternative
  • black pepper, paprika and salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Grease a 12-muffin tray with vegetable non-stick spray.
    In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, paprika, salt and pepper. Add frozen vegetables, mushrooms, dill, green onions until thoroughly combined.
    Pour the mixture into each of the muffin cups until each are filled.
    Sprinkle each muffin cups with cheddar cheese.
    Bake for 20 minutes.
    Serve right away or store in airtight container for up to four days in the fridge or up to one month in the freezer.

Notes

Growing up in a small town in Colombia, eating red meat was a real luxury. My grandmother used to make a beef stew called "Sancocho" every weekend to give us a taste of meat. Little did I know that not having access to red meats all the time as a child would help me to adapt to a plant-based diet when my autoimmune diseases knocked me down.
Chicken and eggs were our main sources of protein. As my Sjögren's Syndrome progresses, I have more difficulty swallowing crunchy foods. Eggs and cooked vegetables are always versatile, soft, and delicious. I was hesitant to try eggs that could be stored to consume on later days until I tried baking egg muffins. You can add any ingredients, especially those veggies you have in the fridge and have not had time or energy to cook. For these egg cups I used: mushrooms, fresh dill, frozen veggies, and green onions.
Savoury-Chickpea-salad-1-scaled

Savoury Chickpea Salad (Chaat)

Chaat is a savoury snack that is widely enjoyed in Southern Asia and features chickpeas as the main ingredient.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 4
Calories 160 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1-19 fl oz can chickpeas, low sodium, washed and rinsed
  • 1 medium potato, peeled, cooked, diced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • ½ cup cilantro, fresh, chopped
  • cup mint, fresh, chopped
  • cup tamarind or plum sauce
  • ½ tablespoon fruit chaat masala seasoning (often includes mango powder, cumin, coriander, dried ginger, salt and black pepper) *see note below
  • Juice from ½ a lime
  • Sprinkle salt to taste (optional)

Instructions
 

  • In a medium bowl, mix together lime juice and tamarind (or plum) sauce.
  • Add in tomatoes, onions, cilantro, mint, and chaat masala spices. Combine all ingredients.
  • Mix in the chickpeas and cooked diced potatoes.
  • Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Notes

Chaat is a savoury snack that is widely enjoyed in Southern Asia and features chickpeas as the main ingredient. Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are legumes that are a great fit with a plant-based diet as they are a good source of protein, folate, and fibre. Chickpeas contain carbohydrates with a low glycemic index (GI), meaning they are slowly digested, absorbed, and metabolized. This leads to slower and smaller fluctuations in blood glucose and insulin levels than foods with a high GI, providing you with a steadier stream of energy. Research shows that low glycemic foods may also decrease inflammation in your body.

Extra tips:

 ✔ Find the fruit chaat masala seasoning at your local grocery store in the international section or buy online. You can also replace the chaat masala with ground cumin, red chilli powder, ginger powder, ground cloves, ground cinnamon, salt, and pepper to taste.
✔ Replace potatoes with sweet potatoes for added fibre and vitamin A.
✔ Add diced avocado to enhance the mixture of flavours and textures. Avocado also contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
✔ Serve as a snack or as a light meal.
First time eating chickpeas? Start with small amounts (1/2 cup at a time) to minimize bloating and gas.
If you feel that consuming legumes is worsening your pain and inflammation levels, a Registered Dietitian can help you identify food intolerances and customize a nutritional plan to your individual needs.
Plant-based rice pudding

Plant-Based Rice Pudding "Arroz Con Leche"

Do you miss comfort foods because of your food sensitivities? I do! There were times when I couldn't go to sleep without having a warm cup of milk.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups Almond milk (or your favourite plant-based beverage), unsweetened
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup parboiled rice, washed
  • ¼ cup golden Sultana raisins
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • ¼ cup raw cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 4 cloves (optional)

Instructions
 

  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, add almond milk and bring it to boil with the vanilla extract and cinnamon sticks.
  • Add rice, raisins, shredded coconut, raw cane sugar, cloves (optional) and lemon zest. Stir every 3 or 4 mins with a wooden spoon.
  • The rice pudding starts to thicken after 20-25 mins. You may add extra almond milk if it gets too thick and cook for 10 more minutes over medium-low heat.
  • Let it cool down for 5 mins. Serve hot. Sprinkle cinnamon powder and shredded coconut. You may also enjoy this rice pudding cold.

Notes

Do you miss comfort foods because of your food sensitivities? I do! There were times when I couldn't go to sleep without having a warm cup of milk.  Those times are long gone.
Arroz con Leche (rice pudding) was a comforting afternoon snack in Colombia. As my autoimmune conditions started to pile up, so did my food intolerances, including fluid milk. Arroz con Leche, especially, brings back the most pleasant memories with my grandparents on a rainy day.
My lovely niece and I love cooking together. She asked, "Tía, let's make Arroz con Leche," and sure, she found a suitable plant-based and dairy-free option on Pinterest. I tweaked the recipe to make it ideal for fellow autoimmune warriors. A little bit of sweetness and comfort can also be part of anti-inflammatory eating and lifestyle.

Extra tips:

✔ Parboiled rice, also known as converted rice, is a more palatable option than wild rice and still provides some nutritional benefits compared to white rice. Parboiled rice has a low glycemic index, which slowly and steadily releases glucose into the bloodstream. Low glycemic foods may help reducing inflammation and promote better blood glucose control.
✔ Parboiled rice is a good source of Vit B3 (niacin) and Vit B6, which are essential vitamins to convert food into energy. Don't we all need that when we're hitting by fatigue!
✔ Cooked and cooled rice is an excellent source of resistant starch, perfect for nourishing our gut bacteria and improving gut health.
Have you applied to the Let's Get Real Anti-inflammatory Nutrition & Lifestyle Program? Apply here. I would love to hear from you
Anti-inflammatory Mayan Spice Hot Chocolate

Anti-inflammatory Mayan Spice Hot Chocolate

Chocolate and coffee are directly connected to my Colombian heritage.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 2

Equipment

  • Saucepan
  • Frother or whisk
  • Measuring spoons

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups plant-based beverage
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably organic
  • 1 tablespoon dark chocolate chunks
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • cloves powder 3 or ¼ teaspoon
  • 2 pinches cayenne pepper or add to taste

Instructions
 

  • In a small saucepan, pour your favourite plant-based beverage (i.e. almond, cashew, hemp). Whisk in cocoa powder, dark chocolate & maple syrup
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly.
  • Continue whisking until all ingredients have melted. Add in the spices. Mix well.
  • Keep stirring till the beverage is fragrant, you may also use a frother to mix.
  • Pour into a mug. Sprinkle cinnamon and cayenne pepper if desired.

Notes

Chocolate and coffee are directly connected to my Colombian heritage. People assume that my favourite beverage is a cup of espresso a few times a day, are they ever so wrong? Although I grew up in a coffee grower town called Amaga; my fondest memory was waking up every morning to the aromatic scent of my grandma's spiced hot chocolate. Far from the highly processed sugary hot chocolate widely available in North America.  I am talking about authentic hot dark chocolate made in water lightly infused with cane sugar, chocolate bean powder, cinnamon, and cloves.
According to History.com, Mayans were the most predominant indigenous societies in Central America, in the pre-Columbian Americas. The word cacao comes from the Mayan ancient word kakaw. Early colonial documents showed that indigenous communities used cocoa flowers to treat fatigue. A growing number of studies are showing the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacity of cocoa flavanols, particularly epicatechin, catechin and procyanidins.
Cocoa helps modulate intestinal microbiota leading to the growth of beneficial bacteria that activates anti-inflammatory pathways. It's a dietary source of magnesium, copper, potassium, and non-hem iron. This Mayan delicacy is not just about chocolate but also other anti-inflammatory ingredients such as cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cloves, and nutmeg. As Fall leaves will soon start blanketing our streets and the weather changes to play games with our energy levels, I invite you to snuggle up to the aroma of this Mayan-inspired spice hot chocolate!
Extra tips:
✔ Use lactose-free milk, goat milk or regular cow's milk if tolerated.
✔ No time to prepare your homemade spice chocolate? Try El Camino chilli & spice hot chocolate made with organic ingredients.
✔ Serve immediately or chill for two hours for a refreshing beverage.
Hemp and walnut energy bites

Hemp & Walnut Energy Bites

Cross-posting from the Arthritis Society's Flourish Program! Looking for an “on-the-go” snack that is tasty and filling? Try these easy energy bites
Prep Time 20 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 16

Equipment

  • Medium Mixing bowl
  • Food processor
  • Your hands

Ingredients
  

  • ¾ cup shelled walnuts
  • ½ cup hemp hearts, divided
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ cup almond butter 
  • cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • cup rolled oats

Instructions
 

  • Place the walnuts and half of the hemp hearts in a food processor and process until fine. Add the maple syrup, almond butter, cranberries, vanilla and oats. Continue to process until all the ingredients are combined.
  • Roll the balls onto the remaining hemp hearts and press lightly until completely covered.  
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Notes

Cross-posting from the Arthritis Society's Flourish Program! Looking for an “on-the-go” snack that is tasty and filling? Try these easy energy bites! 
Hemp seeds and walnuts are excellent sources of plant-based omega-3s, which may be beneficial in decreasing inflammation and promoting heart health. Walnuts are also a great source of melatonin, which plays an important role in improving your quality of sleep. Enjoy all the benefits of these little bites and simplify snack time! 

Extra tips:

  • You can also coat these energy bites in unsweetened shredded coconut or vegan chocolate chips.  
  • Try toasting the hemp hearts on the stove to elevate their nutty flavour. Place a skillet over medium heat and spread hemp hearts evenly in the pan. Allow hemp hearts to brown for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.   
  • Try other dried fruits or nuts for variety.
  • Use certified gluten-free oats like On
I had the privilege of developing more plant-based recipes for the Arthritis Society's Flourish program in 2020 and 2021. Check out The Arthritis Society's website for more anti-inflammatory recipe ideas.
Are you looking for an experienced Dietitian, autoimmune warrior, and lifestyle coach to help you thrive with autoimmune diseases? Let's succeed together!

Thai Butternut Squash Soup to Soothe your Soul

Harvest season is my favourite! Fresh local food is available, particularly the Squash variety from the creamy butternut squash to the versatile Spaguetti squash.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • lb Butternut Squash
  • ½ lb baby potatoes, white, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste or minced
  • ¼ cup Thai red curry paste
  • cups low-sodium vegetable broth or stock
  • 1 can coconut milk (400 ml), organic if possible
  • 2 tablespoons peanuts, unsalted
  • 1 stalk green onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice * Bake the Butternut Squash in the oven at 350 F degrees for 40 minutes to facilitate peeling and chopping

Instructions
 

  • Heat oil in a saucepan at medium-high heat. Cook onion, for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir occasionally.
  • Add baked squash and the potato to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the garlic, stirring for 1 minute or until fragrant.
  • Add the curry paste until the vegetables are coated all over. Add the stock, cover, and bring to boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and allow the mixture to simmer for 20 more minutes.
  • Remove from heat. Stand for 5 minutes.
  • Blend the soup until smooth using a hand blender, then return to medium heat and stir in the coconut milk. Add black pepper to taste. Cook for 5 minutes or until heated through.
  • While soup cooks, combine peanuts, coriander, green onions, and lime juice in a small bowl. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with peanut mixture.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Harvest season is my favourite! Fresh local food is available, particularly the Squash variety from the creamy butternut squash to the versatile Spaguetti squash. Coming home to a warm, soothing, and flavourful soup is just what we need after a cold and busy day.  A wonderful way to warm your soul and tummy is with a creamy Butternut Squash Soup with a spicy twist. 

Highlights

  • Dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan.
  • Butternut squash adds a creamy texture and sweetness to the soup. Squash is an excellent source of beta-carotene (which can be converted into the eye-health vitamin A). Don't forget about potassium, vitamin C, and folacin (folic acid)
  • Thai red curry paste offers a delicious combination of anti-inflammatory ingredients including red chilli pepper, ginger, and turmeric.

Extra Tips:

✔ Double up and store extra soup in individual mason jars or air-tight containers for a grab-on-go lunch option.
✔ Add 1/4 cup of red lentils (washed) on step 5 for added thickness, protein and fibre!

Anti-inflammatory Plant-Based Pasta

Are you looking for an alternative to regular pasta? Try using chickpea-based pasta, which is richer in fibre and protein than whole-wheat pasta.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Saucepan
  • Small Mixing bowl
  • Large salad bowl
  • Serving bowls

Ingredients
  

  • 8 oz (227 g) fusilli chickpea pasta
  • 2 cups broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 cup cauliflower, cut into small florets (optional)
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp garlic, paste or minced
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp Kalamata olive brine (optional)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Instructions
 

  • Bring one large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions, adding broccoli and cauliflower 1 minute before the end of cooking. Drain and rinse promptly with cold water.
  • In a large bowl, while the pasta is cooking, whisk together the oil, vinegar, olive brine, lemon juice, mustard, maple syrup, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Add drained pasta, broccoli and cauliflower, combine all ingredients and coat with vinaigrette.
  • Mix in tomatoes and olives and season with more salt (if desired). Add basil and parsley. Serve immediately.

Notes

Cross-posting from the Arthritis Society's Flourish Program! Are you looking for an alternative to regular pasta? Try using chickpea-based pasta, which is richer in fibre and protein than whole-wheat pasta. 
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are versatile legumes that can be added to stews, curries, snacks and salads. In a time when plant-based products are exploding, bean-based pastas are gaining traction as part of an anti-inflammatory diet. The heart-healthy soluble fibre found in chickpeas helps lower cholesterol levels, improve blood pressure and maintain a healthy digestive tract. The protein in chickpeas can help slow down digestion and regulate blood sugar levels. 

Extra tips:

  • Refrigerate any leftovers in a covered container for up to 1 day.  
  • extra protein, add canned chickpeas or beans. Be sure to rinse under cool water to remove excess sodium before preparing meals. Also, if you don't have one yet, an electric can opener helps ease joint pain. 
  • Avoid overcooking the pasta. Plant-based pasta cooks in less time than their whole-wheat counterparts. 
  • You can use other types of bean-based pasta or whole-wheat pasta. This salad makes an excellent side for a summer potluck, but it works as a main course too.
  • I had the privilege to develop more plant-based recipes for the Arthritis Society's Flourish program. This month, my Plant-Based Pasta Salad was made into a video and featured on several social medial channels. Check out the video:

Sjögren-Friendly Zucchini Salad Bowl

Zucchini, also known as courgette was completely unknown to me until I came to Canada.
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 3

Equipment

  • Spiralizer (if available)
  • Small bowl
  • Large bowl
  • Cutting board
  • Arthritis-friendly knife (click here for helpful tips)

Ingredients
  

  • 1 medium zucchini ends trimmed
  • ½ medium lime, juiced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • ½ Hass avocado, diced
  • cup frozen edamame cooked (as per package instructions)
  • 3 stalks of green onions, chopped
  • cup sliced Kalamata olives
  • Fresh oregano, parsley, and basil to taste (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Using a spiralizer, cut the zucchini into thin spaghetti-like strands. Trim the strands into bite-size lengths, about 8-inches long and place them in a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.
  • Add diced avocado, olives, edamame, green onions, and herbs to the work bowl. Mix in the vinaigrette.
  • Sprinkle crumbled feta cheese to taste.
  • Serve immediately!

Notes

Zucchini, also known as courgette was completely unknown to me until I came to Canada. Unlike other vegetables, zucchini has a high-water content, an ideal option for people suffering from dry mouth or swallowing difficulties. This vegetable is low in calories and rich in antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene. All great antioxidants for eye health. Zucchini is packed with essential nutrients that support bone and muscle health, such as potassium, magnesium, and manganese, but they are found mostly in the skin. Why not enjoy the anti-inflammatory benefits of this simple, yet delicious summer salad!

Extra tips:

✔ Pre-spiralized zucchini can be found in most major grocery stores (arthritis-friendly).
✔ You may serve it as a side dish, an appetizer, or a main meal.
✔ Store in refrigerator up to one day only. Avocado and zucchini tend to oxidate and darken with exposure to light

Equipment Link:

Arthritis-friendly knife (click here for helpful tips)

Crispy Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

We usually think of quinoa as a whole grain, but it is actually a seed.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Servings 2

Equipment

  • Baking tray
  • Mixing bowl
  • Serving bowls

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 1.5 tbsp hemp oil
  • 1.5 tbsp plain Greek-style yogurt
  • 1 cup mixed fresh seasonal fruit
  • 4 tbsp crushed cashews, unsalted (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix quinoa with maple syrup and oil; spread in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until crisp for 13-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let it cool and transfer to a plate.
  • To serve, divide yogurt into two bowls, and top each with fruit, 4 tablespoons of crispy quinoa and crushed cashews.

Notes

Cross-posting from the Arthritis Society's Flourish Program! Quinoa is a powerhouse of nutrients. We usually think of quinoa as a whole grain, but it is actually a seed. This amazing seed is gluten-free, high in soluble fibre, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. It is also an excellent plant-based source of protein, with each seed containing all nine essential amino acids your body needs.
Like many seeds, quinoa contains saponin, a bitter substance found in its outer layer. Saponin is a toxin for many cold-blooded species, but the amount consumed through quinoa is harmless for humans and may have anti-inflammatory effects. While most of the saponin is industrially removed prior to packaging, you can rinse quinoa before cooking to remove any residue and enhance flavour. This nutrient-dense recipe is a great way to enjoy your favourite fruit and boost your energy for the day!

Extra tips:

✔ You may use a more neutral-tasting oil, such as canola or light olive oil.
✔ You may add crispy quinoa to your favourite cereal, oatmeal, chia pudding, cream soup and even salads for added texture.
✔ Store the crispy quinoa in an airtight container or glass mason jar at room temperature for up to 4 weeks.
✔ You may use plant-based fermented yogurt alternatives such as Silk Plain Dairy-Free Yogurt to make this recipe completely dairy-free and vegan.
I had the privilege to develop more plant-based recipes for the Arthritis Society's Flourish program. This month, my Crispy Quinoa Breakfast Bowl was turned into a video and featured on several social medial channels. Check out the video:

Very Berry Chia Jam

A budget-friendly treat to save the last berries in your fridge! It happens to the best of us.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Servings 8

Equipment

  • Small saucepan
  • Potato masher (optional)

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup frozen berries or berries about to go bad (washed)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon, powder
  • ½ tablespoon pure maple syrup (optional)
  • 1-2 teaspoon[s] Hemp Hearts (to sprinkle on toast)
  • Banana slices (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Heat a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Pour berries into the pan and let them defrost, and release water.
  • Mash the berries with a fork or a potato masher (arthritis-friendly).
  • Turn heat down to low to prevent the berries from burning.
  • Once the berries are mashed, add chia seeds and mix them into the berries.
  • Allow the chia seeds to thicken up with the berry liquid.
  • Add in maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon.
  • Mix thoroughly & enjoy!

Notes

A budget-friendly treat to save the last berries in your fridge! It happens to the best of us. We try to eat all our fruits and veggies quickly, but living with chronic pain and brain fog makes us forget those precious berries. This recipe will show you how to enjoy your almost-spoiled fruit, add antioxidants, fibre, and flavour to your breakfast or favourite afternoon snack.

Extra tips:

✔ Frozen berries work just as well. Try different fruits, and you can be pleasantly surprised.
Berries contain various active compounds, such as polyphenolic flavonoids, which emerging research shows their potential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect.
✔ Enjoy your Very Berry Jam on your favourite nut butter toast, pancakes, cheese and crackers, breakfast bowl, yogurt parfait.
This recipe was featured in the CreakyKitchen, February 2021 edition.
Have you applied to the Let's Get Real Anti-inflammatory Nutrition & Lifestyle Program? Apply here. I would love to hear from you. Let's thrive together!
Cocoa-Chia-and-Hemp-Goodness-

Highlight on Hemp Seeds with Cocoa Chia and Hemp Goodness

I recently started a "Cannabis Corner" on my Instagram account to demystify cannabis in all its forms, including Hemp.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Servings 1

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tablespoons Chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons Hemp Hearts
  • 1 cup coconut milk (or your choice of plant-based beverage)
  • 1-2 tablespoons cocoa nibs
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey (optional)
  • Fruit of choice

Instructions
 

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir with a whisk. Pour it into a mason jar and let it sit for two hours or overnight in the fridge. Add your favourite toppings.

Notes

I recently started a "Cannabis Corner" on my Instagram account to demystify cannabis in all its forms, including Hemp. I am also on a quest to create quick and easy recipes with anti-inflammatory properties, especially when meal planning and cooking are out of the question due to fatigue and pain. I tell you when fatigue hits; I can't be a Martha Stewart in the kitchen. It's too tiring.
Hemp refers to the Cannabis Sativa Cultivar grown for industrial and food purposes. Hemp seeds and their derivatives (i.e. hemp oil and flour) are a powerhouse of nutrients & antioxidants.
Hemp seeds have a nutty flavour giving a great complement to your smoothies, salads, granola, oatmeal, and even your berry sauce toast. 
They are packed with highly digestible plant-based protein and anti-inflammatory fats such as gamma-linoleic which support the production of endocannabinoids, which are chemical compounds that bind to specific receptors in our bodies to promote balance and wellness.
Other nutritional benefits:
  • Promotes heart health as hemp seeds contain Omega 3s, and amino acids, such as arginine that promote nitric oxide production, helping dilate blood vessels.
  • Promotes muscle health due to its high-quality protein, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc.
  • Contains potent antioxidants such as tocopherols which are precursors of vitamin E.
Hemp seeds are naturally gluten-free and it fits perfectly in a plant-based and anti-inflammatory way of eating.  A 2020 study showed that hemp protein products may improve chronic inflammation, although more evidence is needed.

Extra tips:

✔ Make a batch of chia pudding and divide it into mason jars. You will have a power snack or breakfast every day. Add favourite toppings when you are ready to it your pudding.
✔ Use 2 tablespoons of Chia seeds if you prefer a lighter pudding consistency.
Remember to always speak with your healthcare provider or a Registered Dietitian if you are considering any change in your diet.

Ingredient Links:

Hemp Hearts
Whole grain breakfast power bowl

A Whole-Grain Breakfast Power Bowl to Support Your Immune System

I am trying out different recipes with my Instant Pot ,and this Whole-Grain Breakfast Power Bowl was inspired by Maryea Flaherty's "I love my Instant Pot Anti-Inflammatory Diet Recipe Book."
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Total Time 13 mins
Servings 4 cup

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup red quinoa, rinsed (I used Quinoa Royal by Go go Quinoa)
  • cup certified gluten-free rolled oats (Only Oats)
  • cup wild rice, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons Chia seeds
  • 4 tablespoons Hemp Hearts
  • ¼ cup raisins or dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon, powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger, powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • cups almond milk
  • cups water
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
  • Fruit of choice
  • Cashews (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Press the Sauté button and adjust time to 2 minutes; sauté chia and hemp seeds in olive oil.
  • Add quinoa, oats, rice, raisins, dried apricot, cinnamon, ginger, salt, almond milk, and water. Stir and mix all ingredients. Secure the lid and move pressure release valve to Sealing position
  • Press the Pressure Cook button at high pressure and adjust the time to 8 minutes.
  • When the timer beeps, use natural release. Remove bowl from pot. Mix well. Serve with additional almond milk, raisins, maple syrup and cashews if desired.

Notes

Last week, I mentioned in my blog post Supporting Your Immune System When You Are Immunocompromised: COVID-19 Edition that my toddler boy was in close contact with his daycare provider, who tested positive for COVID-19. Luckily, everyone in my family tested negative this week, Yay! I try to keep using supplements to the bare minimum, albeit they are essential in certain circumstances. Here is a simple recipe that can support your immune system with plant-based ingredients: 
I am trying out different recipes with my Instant Pot , and this Whole-Grain Breakfast Power Bowl was inspired by Maryea Flaherty's "I love my Instant Pot Anti-Inflammatory Diet Recipe Book." Please don't feel overwhelmed by the list of ingredients; you probably have many of them in your pantry already!

Extra tips:

    • Use a fine-mesh strainer, and rinse the quinoa until the water runs clear. Quinoa has a slightly bitter taste; rinsing it with water can reduce the flavour.
    • Double up and make a batch of this breakfast bowl. Divide it into mason jars or BPA free plastic containers for the week ahead. You will have a power breakfast every day. Add favourite toppings.
    • Use a plant-based beverage of your choice (coconut, nuts, hemp). Make sure it is fortified with calcium and vitamin D. 
    • You may add a tablespoon of hemp hearts to each serving to boost the protein and fibre.
    • Cooking on the stove:
    • Sauté hemp hearts and chia seeds in olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add all the ingredients and mix well. Cook for about 10 - 14 minutes, until the grains are softened and cooked
    • Instant Pot basics: check out their website for resources and recipes.
  • Remember to always speak with your healthcare provider or a Registered Dietitian if you are considering any change in your diet.
Curious about working with the Arthritis Dietitian? I would love to hear from you.

Ingredient Links:

red quinoa, rinsed (I used Quinoa Royal by Go go Quinoa)
certified gluten-free rolled oats (Only Oats)
Hemp Hearts
Sjogren-friendly-cornbread

Sjögren-Friendly Maple Cornbread

Sjögren's Syndrome is MORE than dry eyes and dry mouth, it may come along with severe fatigue, swollen joints, muscle pain, brain fog, thirst, persistent cough, chronic sinus problems...
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 1

Ingredients
  

  • ¾ cup gluten-free whole-grain cornmeal flour (Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used Robin Hood flour)
  • cup packed brown sugar
  • cup Canadian maple syrup
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • cup plain yogurt (or cultured coconut yogurt)
  • ¾ cup lactose-free milk (or your preferred plant-based beverage)

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 F and grease an 8"x8" square baking pan.
  • Pre-heat oven to 400 F and grease an 8"x8" square baking pan.
  • Place the egg in a medium bowl. Use an electric mixer on low-medium speed until the egg turns a pale yellow. Add olive oil, sugar and maple syrup. Mix together until combined.
  • Add dry ingredients slowly into the mixture and mix until combined.
  • Add yogurt and milk at low speed until combined. Let the mixture sit in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  • Pour the batter into the greased pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a tester inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean. Remove the cornbread from the heat and let it cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Notes

Sjögren's Syndrome is MORE than dry eyes and dry mouth, it may come along with severe fatigue, swollen joints, muscle pain, brain fog, thirst, persistent cough, chronic sinus problems, dry skin, brain fog, food sensitivities, burning sensation in the mouth, swallowing difficulties, to name a few. It could affect multiple organs and severely impact your quality of life.
I've struggled to find easy-to-swallow foods since childhood. That's probably why I avoid crackers and bread, I simply choke! I am always looking for different flavours to elevate my mealtime experience due to multiple food sensitivities and a diminished sense of smell and taste.  Finding the right ingredients to make this traditional Maple Cornbread a Sjögren friendly side dish was magical.

Extra tips:

  • ✔ Not all gluten-free flours are created equal. Robin Hood and President's Choice gluten-free flour worked well.
  • ✔ Serve warm with a plant-based spread and cranberry sauce.
  • ✔ Make the recipe completely vegan by replacing the dairy products with the plant-based alternatives aforementioned. To replace one egg, whisk together 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds or chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water until well combined and absorbed.
Let me know if it works for you!
Curious about working with the Arthritis Dietitian? I would love to hear from you.

ingredient links:

gluten-free whole-grain cornmeal flour (Bob's Red Mill)
plain yogurt (or cultured coconut yogurt)
all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used Robin Hood flour)