recipe

Grilled Peach, Macadamia Nut Cream & Basil Pizza

The garden is finally in and some of our summery produce is arriving. The Northeast has been excessively cold this year and our spring has been quite delayed. Peaches were finally in season at the grocery store this week and I couldn’t wait to make something succulent and summery. Grilled peaches came to mind on a creamy macadamia nut cream with a flatbread crust. Savory and sweet combined. I pre-make flatbreads that can be used for pizza crusts, as tortillas or even a flatbread. They can be frozen to pull out for a quick meal. The recipe for a garlic flatbread can also be found in The Anti-Inflammatory Kitchen Cookbook. This recipe is dairy free, vegan, low-histamine, anti-inflammatory, low in sugar and delicious!

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Grilled Peach, Macadamia Nut Cream & Basil Pizza

Recipe makes 4 pizzas

Active Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

Flatbread crusts:

2 1/2C 1:1 all purpose GF flour mix or 1C white rice flour, 1C tapioca flour, 1/2C brown rice flour and 1/2 tsp xantham gum

pinch of salt

3 Tbs extra light olive oil + 2 Tbs for cooking

1/2C water (use more or less so the dough comes together into a firm ball)

  1. To make the crusts, mix flour, salt, 3 Tbs extra light olive oil and water. Add more or less water to make a firm ball.

  2. Preheat a medium skillet over low-medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil. Break the dough into 4 balls. Press ball out into a flat tortilla shape about 1/3 inch thick on a board floured with tapioca flour. I use a pot lid to cut out a perfect circle from the dough.

  3. Add flatbread to pan, cook about 2-3 minutes or until slightly golden brown and drizzle top of the flatbread with olive oil before flipping. Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes on the other side. Let cool on a plate and repeat with the remaining dough. Set aside. If you have extras these freeze well in a gallon freezer bag.

Macadamia Nut Cream Filling

1C macadamia nuts or cashews or sunflower seeds (soaked for 1 hour in water and drained)

pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 lemon juiced

3-4 Tbs water

  1. In a food processor combine soaked and drained nuts or seeds, a pinch of salt, vanilla extract and lemon juice and 3-4 Tbs water as needed to thin out cream. Puree until smooth and set aside.

Toppings:

2 peaches sliced into 1/2 inch thick pieces

1/4C fresh basil leaves (that have been chopped)

1/4C fresh peach jam, thinned with 2-3 Tbs water

  1. Preheat grill or grill pan to medium heat. Put sliced peaches on for 3 minutes and flip and cook for 3 minutes more. Remove and set aside.

To Assemble:

  1. Take 1 flatbread and top with a few spoonfuls of macadamia nut cream and grilled peaches. Drizzle a few spoonfuls of the thinned out peach jam over the top and garnish with fresh basil.

Got questions or comments? Feel free to contact me through the Contact page!

Cauliflower Steak with Coconut Rice, Roasted Green Beans and Scallions

I was dreaming of cauliflower today. It is so hard to just eat a little when it is roasted! This easy anti-inflammatory, low-histamine, vegan lunch or dinner is easy to make and delicious. I especially love the deeply roasted scallions as they come out as little scallion chips…. yum! Cauliflower is a nutrition superstar as it is rich in vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants sulphorane and glucosinolates which may help to reduce the risk of cancer and may help decrease the risk of heart disease.

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Cauliflower Steak with Coconut Rice, Roasted Green Beans and Scallions

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

For the rice:

1C short grain brown rice

1/2C coconut cream solids (from 1 can of canned coconut cream, just don’t add the liquid from the can)

pinch of salt

1 3/4C water

For the veggies:

1 large cauliflower sliced across into cauliflower steaks

Seasoning for cauliflower: 1 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, pinch of salt, 2 Tbs diced scallions

1C green beans

1 bunch scallions (cleaned and cut in half, longways)

2 Tbs olive oil

pinch of salt

Toppings: 1/4C roasted pumpkin seeds

Directions:

  1. Put all of the rice ingredients into a medium pot. Heat over high heat until it comes to a boil then reduce to low to simmer rice until it is cooked. Stir occasionally, this will take about 40 minutes.

  2. While rice is cooking, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle large sheet pan with olive oil and lay cauliflower on the pan, scallions and green beans. Sprinkle cumin, turmeric, diced scallions, garlic and a pinch of salt over the cauliflower. Sprinkle a pinch of salt on green beans and scallions. Drizzle remaining olive oil over the top of all of the veggies. Roast for 30-40 minutes until everything is golden brown, turning once about halfway through cooking.

  3. When everything is golden and rice is cooked, add rice to plate with cauliflower steak, green beans, and scallion chips and top with roasted pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!

    This meal freezes very well, simply make separate portions of all components and then reheat for a quick lunch.

Eat for your Health!

Pea and Basil Pesto with Rice Noodles and Zucchini

It has been quite a crazy few weeks! I am happy to be back to recipe creation mode after a great trip to California. I love making different pestos since it provides so much flavor and is a great way to concentrate some really healthy anti-inflammatory foods! This latest variation was my attempt to boost some protein in my pesto sauce. Peas are a great source of protein, providing 8g in 1C. Peas are also a good source of fiber, vitamin K, manganese, vitamin B1 and some vitamin C and also available at almost any grocery store.

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Pesto is so versatile. You can use any blend of nuts or seeds, add in many different veggies and other herbs. Try adding in kale or Swiss chard for another hidden veggie boost. Try this for your next quick dinner. This recipe from start to finish is only 20 minutes.

Pea and Basil Pesto

Time: 20 minutes

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

1C cooked peas (can be from frozen)

1/3C extra virgin olive oil

1 clove of garlic

1/4C pumpkin seeds, cashews or sunflower seeds

2 Tbs water (if needed to thin out the sauce)

pinch of salt

1C fresh basil

Directions:

  1. Put all of the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until well combined and smooth.

  2. Meanwhile cook gluten free noodles according to package directions and sautée or steam zucchini, broccoli, or asparagus.

  3. Serve sauce over veggies and gluten free pasta.

Variation: Try using this pesto spread on bread or in a wrap instead of hummus for a vegetarian sandwich! Load up the wrap with grilled veggies and micro greens to make a filling anti-inflammatory lunch!

Eat for your Health!

Histamine Intolerance & DAO Enzyme

DAO Boosting Salad

DAO Boosting Salad

Do you get headaches, bloating, fatigue, diarrhea, acid reflux, a runny nose or flushing after eating aged meats, cheeses, barbecue sauce, balsamic vinaigrettes, wine, soy sauce or even avocados? If so you could be someone with histamine intolerance. Histamine intolerance is condition where individuals most commonly have a decrease in the enzymes DAO (Diamine Oxidase) and HMNT (Histamine N-methyl transferase). If these enzymes do not work properly the body cannot break down histamine as efficiently and the body can get overloaded with histamine which leads to a variety of symptoms.

Research has recorded the effects of histamine intolerance for years. A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that approximately one percent of the population has some degree of histamine intolerance. The full roster of symptoms includes: acid reflux, allergic reaction, arrhythmia, asthma, brain fog, congestion, diarrhea, joint pain, flushing of the skin, headache, hives, and hypotension.  That’s not a large percentage, but it still adds up to a lot of people. Many more people have a histamine related condition such as allergies, migraines, asthma, chronic hives, IBS, and interstitial cystitis. Changing the diet may also help in these conditions.

Studies also show us that a low-histamine, anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce many symptoms of histamine intolerance in Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (a condition where there are too many overactive mast cells in the body that release too much histamine).

Researchers have found that patients with migraines, eczema and hives, have lower DAO enzyme levels. Studies found that following a low-histamine diet for 6 to 12 months, helped to increase patients DAO levels and decrease histamine related symptoms. Medical research indicates that the most effective ongoing therapy for histamine intolerance is the limitation of histamine-rich foods.

Histamine is also only one side of the story. When histamine is released in the body it is joined by many inflammatory molecules that increase systemic inflammation in the body. Using our super anti-inflammatory foods are just as important as avoiding histamine to help reduce symptoms.

So how can we improve our DAO enzyme levels and reduce inflammation?

Give your body the RIGHT nutrients:

  • Vitamin C (good sources are red peppers, most fruits, and veggies)

  • Vitamin B6 (good sources are turkey, banana, chickpeas, salmon and other meats)

  • Magnesium (good sources are swiss chard, black beans, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds

EAT a low histamine and anti-inflammatory diet to decrease your circulating histamine and inflammatory molecule levels and improve your DAO enzyme levels.

The Anti-Inflammatory Kitchen Cookbook will go in detail on the research of how the low-histamine & anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce the symptoms of histamine intolerance, mast cell activation syndrome, allergies/asthma, eczema & atopic dermatitis, interstitial cystitis, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis. The book will provide a roadmap to following the diet and yummy irresistible recipes. Here is a DAO Boosting Salad recipe to get you started!

DAO Boosting Salad

Rich in the right blend of nutrients to support your body’s breakdown of histamine. Tons of vitamin C, antioxidants, magnesium and B6.

Makes 4 servings

Salad Ingredients:

4C mixed greens

1 head of broccoli chopped into small pieces

1 sliced red pepper

1C chickpeas

2 scallions diced

1 carrot shredded

1/4 C pumpkin seeds

Dressing:

1 tsp ginger freshly grated

1 clove garlic

1 Tbs coconut or brown sugar

1/4C sesame oil

1 Tbs chia seeds

1/2 tsp salt

  1. Chop and combine all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the dressing separately and toss well with salad. Enjoy right away.

Resources:

Izquierdo-Casas J, et al. Low serum diamine oxidase (DAO) activity levels in patients with migraine. Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry. 2018; 74 (1): 93–99.

Kovacova-Hanuskova, E, et al. Histamine, histamine intoxication and intolerance. Allergologia et Immunopathologia (Madrid). 2015; 43 (5): 498–506.

Magerl, M, Pisarevskaja, D, et al. Effects of a pseudoallergen-free diet on chronic spon- taneous urticaria: A prospective trial. Allergy. 2010; 65 (1): 78–83.

Maintz, L, Novak, N. Histamine and histamine intolerance. American Journal of Clini- cal Nutrition 2007; 85 (5): 1185–1196.

Maintz, L, Bieber, N, Novak, N. Histamine intolerance in clinical practice. Deutsches Ärzteblatt. 2006; 103 (51–52): 3477–3483.

Maintz, L, Benfadal, S, et al. Evidence for a reduced histamine degradation capacity in a subgroup of patients with atopic eczema. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2006; 117 (5): 1106–1112.

Music, E, Korosec, P, et al. Serum diamine oxidase activity as a diagnostic test for hista- mine intolerance. Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2013; 125 (9–10): 239–243. http://www. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23579881

Wantke, F, Gotz, M, et al. Histamine-free diet: treatment of choice for histamine-in- duced food intolerance and supporting treatment for chronic headaches. Clinical and Experimental Allergy. 1993; 23 (12): 982–985. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/ doi/10.1111/j.1365-2222.1993.tb00287.x/full

Crunchy Coconut Granola

Crunchy, a little sweet and super nutritious. Homemade granola is simple to make and super delicious! This is one of my favorite things to make on the weekend. Here is the recipe for crunchy coconut granola. Loaded with chia seeds, coconut, extra light olive oil to provide a hefty dose of healthy fats and fiber to keep you full all morning. Try mixing in different fruits for different flavors. I used a few dates this time but using freeze dried fruit to mix in at the end is also a great way to add flavor and be histamine friendly.

Crunchy Coconut Granola

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

4C rolled oats

1/4C chia seeds

1C shredded coconut (no sugar or preservatives)

1/3C extra light olive oil

1/3C maple syrup

pinch of salt

1C dates chopped small or 1C freeze dried fruit

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl except the fruit.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper.

  3. Put granola on parchment in an even layer. Bake for about 20 minutes stirring halfway through baking. Then add the fruit, mix in and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the granola is golden. Serve with your milk of choice!

    Store in airtight containers for up to 1 week or freeze in containers.

Looking for more anti-inflammatory, low histamine, healthy and quick recipes?

Pre-order now!

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Lighten Up the Holidays!

Winter Cabbage Cranberry Salad (Recipe Below)

Winter Cabbage Cranberry Salad (Recipe Below)

Do you ever worry about weight gain during the holidays? Not only is it a busy time of year but food tends to be everywhere. Parties, holiday meals and food gifts can make it challenging. I have a few tips that can be helpful for managing this holiday season while eating great and taking care of your body too.

  1. Eat Mindfully

    This means you can have bites of some treat foods, just don’t go overboard. Don’t munch on snacks at a party if you are not hungry, but if you are hungry have a sensible portion.

  2. Walk More

    Many of us overeat when we have a holiday meal or party. The food is just so good! Walking helps to reduce blood sugar levels and improves digestion.

  3. Change up the Meal

    Many holiday foods are healthy, some others just need to be tweaked! Check out the recipe for mushroom and onion green beans a mock up of green bean casserole that is only 75 calories per serving vs. the traditional 200 calories per serving. Using mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes can also save you over 100 calories per 1 cup serving. We know that plant foods are better for us so load up on the veggie sides!

  4. Go Easy on the Carbs

    It is so easy to load up on potatoes, rolls, stuffing and then 1-2 pieces of pie. Try picking fewer carby sides with your turkey and veggies, so you can save more carb room in your day for a good slice of pie! Aim for 1/4 plate of starchy sides to save room for pie. Moderation never tasted so good. Try the winter cabbage cranberry salad (recipe below) as another veggie side that provides a nice crunchy bite and cranberry flavor.

  5. Eat Pie

    Treat foods are soul foods in my mind. They are delicious make us happy and are an important part of the holiday season. Eat mindfully, a reasonable portion and enjoy without guilt.

Enjoy these recipes on your holiday table this year!

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Mushroom and Onion Green Beans

Makes 6, 1 cup servings

Ingredients:

4C fresh or frozen green beans prepared

1 large onion sliced

1 clove minced garlic

1C sliced white mushrooms

Pinch of salt and pepper

1 Tbs butter or vegan butter spread

1 Tbs olive oil

 

1.    Combine olive oil, green beans, onion, mushrooms, salt and pepper in a skillet over medium heat. Sautee until onions are golden, green beans and mushrooms are cooked. In the last few minutes of cooking add butter to create a creamy sauce and serve.

 

Winter Cabbage Cranberry Salad

 

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 small head of shredded green cabbage

1C dried cranberries

1 small head of shredded purple cabbage

1/2C slivered almonds or pumpkin seeds

 

Dressing:

2 Tbs maple syrup

1/4C olive oil

Pinch of salt

2 Tbs cranberry juice (unsweetened)

 

1.Add all salad ingredients into a bowl.

2. Toss dressing in a separate bowl and toss to coat salad. Serve immediately.

Quercetin: An Anti-inflammatory and histamine Lowering Flavonoid

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The old adage eating an apple a day keeps the doctor away, has some truth to it. Apples are not only a delicious fall favorite, but are also rich sources of vitamin C and this weeks featured flavonoid - quercetin. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid with high antioxidant action and also acts as a mast cell stabilizing compound.  Not an apple person?  Other food sources with high levels of quercetin are berries, grapes and onion.  

What is a mast cell stabilizing compound and why should we want to eat bioflavonoid heavy foods?  Some individuals with histamine intolerance or mast cell activation syndrome have overactive mast cells which can increase a variety of symptoms that are affected by the release of histamine and inflammatory molecules. Symptoms can include allergies, eczema, atopic dermatitis, interstitial cystitis, migraines, flushing, acid reflux, and diarrhea among many other possible symptoms.

Flavonoids have been shown to prevent some allergies and reduce allergy symptoms.(1)  For histamine intolerant individuals, quercetin has been found to stabilize mast cells and lower histamine, prostaglandins and cytokine release, equal to, if not better than, the common mast cell stabilizing medication called cromolyn sodium (a commonly prescribed medication for individuals with mast cell activation syndrome).(1)  Quercetin works as an anti-inflammatory compound by reducing release of inflammatory enzymes cyclooxyrgenase (COX) and lipoxygenase (LOX).(2) In other experimental studies quercetin has been shown to reduce asthma and allergic rhinitis symptoms (sneezing, sniffling).  In one study, it was found that individuals who ate just two apples each week, had a lower incidence of asthma because of their quercetin intake.(3)

To make sure you eat at least two apples this week, try making this fall harvest buddha bowl!  Rosemary roasted chickpeas, roasted apples, onions, sweet potatoes and beets creates a warm flavonoid rich meal to help lower inflammation.  The recipe below makes 4 portions, so I made one bowl for me and froze three servings for the weekday lunches. The oven does all the work so it is quick and easy to prepare.  The roasted apples and sweet potatoes provide a delicate sweetness to this filling bowl. For more antioxidant rich meals, pre-order The Anti-Inflammatory Kitchen Cookbook, coming out February 2019.

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Fall Harvest Buddha Bowl

Makes 4 servings

Time: 45 minutes (including roasting time)

Ingredients:

1C dry quinoa

1 sweet potato

1 large golden beet or 2 small

2 apples

2 Tbs olive oil

1 large red onion

1 sprig of rosemary

1C chickpeas

pinch of salt

1. Add 2C of water to quinoa in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil with the lid on. Once it is boiling drop heat to low and let it simmer until all the liquid is absorbed about 20 minutes. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, slice beets, sweet potatoes, onions, apples into 1/3 inch pieces. Drizzle 1 Tbs of olive oil on the sheet pan and lay vegetables and apples on in a single layer. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes until golden brown and tender.

3. While the vegetables are cooking, toss the chickpeas in 1 Tbs of olive oil, and add about 1 Tbs of chopped rosemary and a pinch of salt. Spread evenly onto a sheet pan and bake for about 15 minutes until golden. Set aside.

4. Assemble your buddha bowl! Add quinoa, veggies, and chickpeas. With another pinch of salt over the top or a drizzle of olive oil you are ready to eat.

Sources:

1.Zuyi, W, Bodi, Z, et al. Quercetin Is More Effective than Cromolyn in Blocking Human Mast Cell Cytokine Release and Inhibits Contact Dermatitis and Photosensitivity in Humans. Plos One. 2012. 7(3) e33805.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3314669/

2. Yao, Li, Jailing, Y, et al. Quercetin, Inflammation and Immunity. Nutrients. 2016. 8(3): 167.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4808895/

3. Mickek J, Jurikova, T, et al. Quercetin and Its Anti-Allergic Immune Response. Molecules. 2016; 21(5): 623.

http://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/21/5/623/htm