November 26, 2012

Anti-inflammatory foods for the holidays

Sweet and Spiced Walnuts

From Healthy Starts Here!

Walnuts provide us more heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, the fatty acid with the anti-inflammatory properties, than any other nut.

These are fabulous for a mid afternoon snack when your body is crying out for protein. Better yet, have a small handful of these and an apple, with the peel on, for a great flavour combo, a fabulous hit of nutrient dense heart healthy foods, and a terrific afternoon snack that will help prevent your mood from dipping down to the dark side.

OR serve them with drinks when company comes over this holiday season.

1 tbsp + 2 tsp (25 mL) ground cumin

1 tbsp + 2 tsp (25 mL) ground coriander

1 tbsp (15 mL) paprika

1 tsp (5 mL) cracked black pepper

1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon

½ tsp (2 mL) cayenne

¼ cup (60 mL) pure maple syrup

4 cups (1 L) whole walnuts, I prefer California walnuts


  1. Adjust oven rack to the middle. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 9×13-inch (3.5 L) rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the cumin, coriander, paprika, cracked pepper, cinnamon and cayenne till well combined. Add maple syrup and whisk together till thick and well combined.
  3. Add walnuts and using a rubber spatula mix till the nuts are really well coated.
  4. Pour out onto prepared pan. Spread them out into one layer.
  5. Place in oven and roast for 14-16 minutes or until the nuts are dry and crispy looking. Don’t let them burn, so check at 10 minutes to see if they are browning on the bottom. If they are carefully pick up the edges of the parchment paper and roll them around. Or if that sounds too complicated, try using a flipper to flip the nuts around. Return to oven.
  6. When done remove from oven and leave on baking sheet till completely cooled. Toss to break up any that are sticking together.
  7. They need a day to let the flavours really meld, but if you’re in a hurry just make sure that they are completely cooled. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.


Makes – 4 cups

One serving = ¼ cup (60 mL) One serving contains: 204 Calories, 18.2 g Total Fat, 1.7 g Sat Fat, 0 g Trans Fat, 4 mg Sodium, 8.3 g Carbs, 2 g Fiber, 3.1 g Sugar, 4 g Protein

Diabetes Food Choice Values Per Serving: ½ Carbohydrate, ½ Meat and Alternatives, 3 ½ Fat

Tip on the spicy meter:

These aren’t too spicy. If you’re looking for a bigger spicy kick jump up the cayenne to

1 tsp (5 mL).



Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Turmeric and Cracked Black Pepper

From Healthy Starts Here!

This is my go-to sweet potato or squash dish. The combination of the turmeric and the cracked black pepper make it spicy with a fabulous golden orange colour. Good for your brain, your immune system, your heart, and your taste buds.

The anti-inflammatory ingredient here is, everything, especially the turmeric.

2-3 sweet potatoes, scrubbed well

2 tsp (10 mL) canola oil

1 tsp (5 mL) turmeric

½ tsp (2 mL) cracked black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cube sweet potatoes. Place in a large bowl and toss with oil. Add turmeric and cracked pepper and toss until well coated.
  3. Place into prepared pan, scraping any extra oil onto the sweet potato, and roast in the oven for 30-45 minutes or until soft and golden in colour. Time will vary according to how big or small the cubes were. Serve.


Makes about 2 cups (500 mL)

One serving = ½ cup (125 mL) or more One serving contains: 57 Calories, 2.4 g Total Fat, 0 g Sat Fat, 0 g Trans Fat, 3 mg Sodium, 9.2 g Carbs, 1 g Fiber, 1.6 g Sugar, 1 g Protein

Diabetes Food Choice Values Per Serving: ½ Carbohydrate, ½ Fats


Spicy Salmon Cakes

From Ultimate Foods for Ultimate Health

Salmon is a super star in the omega-3 department, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Fresh or canned, eat salmon two times a week for health.

Make these full size for a family dinner or make 36 appetizer sized ones to serve to company during the holidays.

1 ½ cups (375 mL) Post Cereal Spoon Size Shredded Wheat + Bran

2 Tbsp. (30 mL) low fat mayonnaise

2 Tbsp. (30 mL) low fat plain yogurt, I used the Greek style 0% fat yogurt

1 Tbsp. (15 mL) Dijon mustard

½ tsp. (2 mL) Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp. (10 mL) chili garlic sauce

½ onion, coarsely chopped

½ red pepper, coarsely chopped

2 – 7.5 oz. (213 g) tins sockeye salmon, well drained

¼ cup (50 mL) finely chopped cilantro

1 Tbsp. (15 mL) lime juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. (220°C).
  2. In a food processor, pulse the Shredded Wheat until fine. Measure out ½ cup (125 mL) to be use as the coating and set aside.
  3. Add the mayonnaise, yogurt, Worcestershire, garlic chili sauce, onion, and red pepper. Pulse until well combined, but still semi chunky.
  4. Add the drained salmon, bones and all! Pulse until mixed in, don’t puree.
  5. Add the cilantro and the lime juice and pulse until combined.
  6. Using a ¼ cup (60 mL) ice cream scoop with a release button scoop out 8 salmon scoops and place into reserved crumbs OR use a 1 tbsp (15 mL) scoop and make 36 mini app sized salmon cakes.
  7. Press the salmon gently into the crumbs, slightly flattening them into ¼- ½  inch thick.
  8. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Serve.


Makes – 8 – 3-inch (8 cm) cakes OR 36 appetizer sized salmon cakes

One serving = 2 -3 inch cakes or 9 mini ones as a main

Each 2 large cakes contains

280 Calories, 13 g Total Fat, 2 g Sat Fat, 0 g Trans Fat, 265 mg Sodium, 20 g CHO, 3 g Fiber, 21 g Protein


And it ended up all being about the feather Christmas Tree! Love, love hanging out with Dina on Breakfast TV in Toronto!







3 Comments on “Anti-inflammatory foods for the holidays

[…] mL) per day. Pack a serving as a portable snack. For a recipe for Sweet and Spiced Walnuts click here. Goal: having one serving 4-7 times a […]

July 30, 2013 at 4:50 am

Good morning Mairlyn,
I was askedd to bring a dip to our family barbecue this weekend. (25 people)
Ny niece is bringing a layered mexican salsa cheese dip.
I was thinking of maybe a spinach dip but open for your suggested recipes.
Thanking you in advance!

August 1, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Hope this doesn’t arrive too late for help – I am a big believer in small amounts of apps. So although a spinach dip sounds fabulous (hopefully its lower in fat than most) I’m all about the antipasto platter. Put out an assortment of olives, sun-dried tomatoes, grape tomatoes, marinated artichokes, and maybe some crackers and that’s it. It’s my go to app for a big BBQ.
Hope that helps,
Peace, love and fibre,


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