Why did I start this blog? I have been having episodes of inflammation in my hands and fingers, feet and toes, and joints for some time now. I’ve consulted the doctor and have had tests done. It’s not rheumatoid arthritis and my uric acid is normal (tho at times borderline normal). In an effort to determine which food triggers the inflammation, I have been systematically eliminating certain foods from my diet and then bringing them back. After several years, I have now come to the conclusion that I seem to be reacting to animal protein in general (like some sort of allergic reaction). Different animal proteins affect me to different degrees; some cause inflammation faster than others. So I have decided to reduce my intake of meat. No, I am not going vegetarian; maybe semi-vegetarian if there is such a thing. I will be adding interesting and not too difficult recipes here as I find them. I will also include arthritis management tips that have worked for me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pako (Athyrium esculentum)

Pako (aka Fiddlehead fern) grows widely along the banks of streams, especially in less disturbed areas. Many of us are familiar with the use of ferns in flower arrangements; the roots are also used for growing orchids. Folkloric medicine has used decoctions of the rhizomes (see note) and young leaves as a cough remedy. The young fronds are eaten (raw or cooked) as a leafy vegetable; pako is a good source of calcium, phosphorus, iron, and vitamin B.

Note: Rhizomes are horizontal underground stems that strike new roots out of their nodes, down into the soil, and that shoot new stems out of their nodes, up to the surface. This rhizome activity represents a form of plant reproduction (Source).

When I chance upon pako in the market, I always buy a bunch. The young fronds and soft stalks make a great basic salad. I simply slice up some tomatoes (you may add your choice of salad ingredients) and drissle it with vinaigrette dressing. For an easy vinaigrette recipe, check this out

Easy Vinaigrette on FoodistaEasy Vinaigrette

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