Anti-inflammatory Sesame Sea Noodle Salad
6 April 2013 | 7 comments
Inflammation is a nasty thing that seems to underpin nearly all chronic disease states. Triggers can be any of the following; excessive consumption of omega-6 fatty acids (found in corn, soy, sunflower and safflower oils), over use of drugs, alcohol, refined sugars (there are ten sugar cubes in a can of coke!), trans fats, dairy products, red and processed meats, refined grains, and food additives.
But don’t sweat it just yet! Diet can massively help. Over the course of this month, I’m going to be experimenting with plant-powered anti-inflammatory meals.
So here is my first post for my Anti-inflammatory themed April. Made out of kelp noodles, this salad has three different kinds of sesame – black sesame seeds (OMG. Yum), sesame oil, and tahini – for a triple hit of polyunsaturated fats. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are the good fats we want to eat, they’re good for heart health, especially lowering cholesterol. There is no sugar, dairy, grains or anything artificial and pro-inflammatory in today’s recipe. Just healthy yumness!
Here’s why these special ingredients kick butt:
Are fat, cholesterol, gluten and sugar free, with a neutral taste that takes on the flavours of the rest of the dish. They are a raw food, are rich in minerals and amino acids, and are a great substitute for pasta or rice – perfect for those who are gluten sensitive!
Sesame Seeds, Sesame oil and Tahini
Sesame seeds are small but pack a powerful nutritional punch. They are high in polyunsaturated fats, which you need but cannot make yourself. The omega-3 fatty acids they contain are powerfully anti-inflammatory. They are high in protein, high in calcium (even higher than milk!), low in carbs and are cholesterol free. They are also high in fibre, lubricate the bowel, can relive constipation and get rid of intestinal worms. They’re a great source of vitamin E, and also contain vitamins B1 and 2. Tahini is simply a paste made out of ground sesame seeds. The unhulled variety are a wholefood so are more nutritious, but taste slightly more bitter.
Are part of the cruciferous family, and are mildly anti-inflammatory. Radishes are useful for detoxifying the liver, and have special sulphur-based chemicals that stimulate the bile to keep the gallbladder happy. They have a slight laxative and diuretic effect, and so are great for efficient digestion. They can help soothe urinary tract infections – especially if you brew yourself a tea from the actual leaves. Radishes help keep you looking lovely too – the high vitamin C content is used to make collagen for supple, elastic skin, and the high water content keeps it nice and hydrated.
Is a reddish brown seaweed high in protein. You can buy it whole, in hairy looking chunks, or flaked, which is much prettier, and easier to sprinkle over your salads. It’s a rich source of iodine, which supports thyroid function. Dulse contains a little bit of every dietary mineral. It is a good source of lignans – making it cancer protective, and also of fucans, which can decrease the body’s inflammatory response. It is a medicinal food, so a little goes a long way.
Anti-inflammatory Sesame Sea Noodle Salad
| serves 2 |
- 200g kelp noodles
- 1 tablespoon dulse flakes
- 1 cup of shredded carrot (I used orange, yellow and purple for colour)
- 1 radish
- 12 snow peas
- Thinly sliced red onion, add enough to your taste
- A few teaspoons of sesame oil
- 2 tablespoon black sesame seeds
- 1 avocado
- ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons of dulse flakes
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1-2 inches (depending on your taste) of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- ¼ teaspoon flaky sea salt
- Freshly cracked pepper
- First, put the kelp noodles in a bowl of water for 10 or 15 minutes while you prepare the rest of the meal. Then, rinse and drain them, and gently untangle with your fingers. Pull them apart into threads, you can even use kitchen scissors to cut them into more manageable strands. Toss them with the sesame oil and the dulse flakes and arrange on a plate.
- Layer the shredded carrot, radish, onion and snow peas over the kelp noodles.
- For the sauce, simply add everything to the blender till nice and creamy, then pour over the noodles.
- Sprinkle lots of crunchy black sesame seeds over the top and serve.