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Healthy Living Recipes

John Bagnulo: Inflammation is a necessary part of our immune response, helping our white blood cells produce more of the chemicals they use to get rid of pathogens. Inflammation is guided by specific hormones called eicosanoids and is normally balanced by anti-inflammatory hormones. Most people in industrialized nations, however, have diets and lifestyles that tip the balance too far toward inflammation, which can change cellular metabolic capacity and increase the risk for cancer and heart disease.

Both of these recipes have amazing anti-inflammatory effects, especially if you use wild caught salmon with the maple ginger sauce. Wild salmon is one of the richest sources of EPA and DHA, which are both fully formed omega 3 fatty acids that balance the effects of inflammatory hormones. The ginger and garlic in the sauce inhibit the enzyme (cyclooxygenase) that initiates the inflammatory cascade. The Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf has garlic, rosemary, and thyme, and these will help cool the fires of inflammation as well.

Maple-Ginger Tofu (or Chicken or Salmon)

Serves four.

Pick protein of your choice:
1½ pounds tofu, rinsed and sliced into cutlets or triangles
or 1 pound boneless skinless organic chicken breast
or 1 pound organically raised or wild caught salmon

3 tablespoons tamari
3 tablespoons minced gingerroot (or less to taste)
¼ cup maple syrup (can substitute agave)
1 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1 teaspoons sesame oil
1–2 cloves of minced garlic (to taste)

Combine sauce ingredients. Heat skillet to medium-high temperature. Add oil. Place tofu, chicken, or fish in pan and sear on both sides. For tofu and chicken, add sauce and cover, turn to low temperature, and simmer until sauce caramelizes. Top with fresh chives or cilantro and serve. For salmon, after searing on both sides, place in a baking pan (ceramic if you have it), pour on sauce, and bake at 375º F for 10 minutes or until salmon is cooked to your liking. Garnish and serve.

Deb Morgan: I love these dishes served with either mashed potatoes or a nice rice pilaf (see recipe below) and steamed greens (my favorite is Lacinato kale).

Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf

Serves four with leftovers for lunch the next day (great as a cold rice salad).

1½ cups brown basmati rice
½ cup wild rice
4 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
⅓ cup roasted pecans, chopped
¾ cup dried apricots
Salt and pepper
Parsley, chopped

Rinse rices and place in a rice cooker (if you have one) or in a saucepan. Cover with water and turn on rice cooker or, if using a pan, bring to boil, turn down to low, cover, and simmer until done (about 15 minutes). In the meantime, heat sauté pan and add olive oil, then carrot, celery, and garlic. Sauté until carrots are soft and add fresh herbs, diced apricot, and salt and pepper. When rice is done, add your sauté and combine well, forking in roasted, chopped pecans and washed, chopped parsley.

Recipe source: Deb Morgan, Kripalu Kitchen.

Find more delicious and nutritious recipes in Kripalu Recipes.