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.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Talinum salad

Imagine if all plants were edible; maybe then no one would go hungry. I was recently introduced to a plant that grows freely around the area where I live and whose leaves are edible. The plant is called Talinum which is a genus of herbaceous succulent plants. Talinum fruticosum grows widely in tropical regions as a leaf vegetable. It can also be grown as an ornamental plant because of its foliage and tiny pink/purple flowers. As a leaf vegetable, T. fruticosum is rich in vitamins (including vitamins A and C) and minerals (such as iron and calcium). I prepare the Talinum leaves as a salad; sometimes I use it in sandwiches in place of lettuce. Pictured here is a simple salad made from Talinum leaves and carrots, topped with some chunks of low-fat cheese and vinaigrette dressing. A slice of bread (here, a mini ciabatta) completes a simple and healthy lunch or dinner. You can add more of your choice ingredients to the salad (for example, mango slices, almonds, grapes, dates, etc).

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