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.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Talinum Dip

In one of my previous posts, I talked about talinum (Talinum fruticosum). This herbaceous, succulent plant grows abundantly in the area where I take my early morning walks and just the other day I picked a big bunch. The plant has nice tiny pink-purple flowers and looks lovely in a flower vase. Then my daughter found this recipe for a dip that calls for spinach and I thought, why not use the talinum instead of spinach? After all talinum is also known as Philippine spinach.

Since the recipe uses frozen chopped spinach, I blanched the talinum leaves first, then shocked the leaves in iced water. After thoroughly draining and squeezing out the excess water, I had my spinach substitute.

Here’s the modified recipe. Blend together 2 cups yogurt (I used my home-made low-fat yogurt), 1 packet of soup mix (your choice of flavor; you can also use “ginisa” mix), ½ cup chopped spring onions, a few cloves of garlic and about 1 ½ - 2 cups of chopped talinum leaves (previously blanched, and thoroughly drained). Season with salt and pepper to taste. You may add grated cheese for added flavor. Refrigerate for a while to allow the flavors to come together.

The dip goes well with corn chips, slightly toasted tortillas or pita bread, or vegetable sticks.

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