3 Mediterranean Recipes to help you fight Asthma and Allergies

Allergic Asthma and other types of allergies are extremely difficult to deal with. A lot of people from all ages can easily suffer from these types of diseases, but not all of them can cope with it. Surely, you have tried various ways to deal with it – drinking antihistamines, purifying your indoor air, or generally protecting your nose in every way possible. Then again, there is a more palatable route in dealing with this condition.

inhaler

And one of the most delicious ways to choose when dealing with allergies and asthma is going Mediterranean.

Mediterranean Diet: How it helps Allergies and Asthma

Many adults and children suffer from allergies and asthma. Their lungs are constantly bombarded by foreign bodies, or allergens, in the air. When these allergens – such as pollen and dust – enter the body, the immune system believes they are harmful. In an effort to protect itself, the body sends out antibodies to fight off these foreign materials.

Studies and researches have confirmed it: going Mediterranean in your diet helps children and adults cope with asthma. The survey of nearly 700 children living on the Greek island of Crete has showed that a high intake of nuts, grapes, tomatoes and oranges have been linked with a 50-80% lower risk of wheezing in 7 to 18 year olds.

Also, in hospitals and medical schools in Helsinki, Finland and Porto, Portugal, researchers have obtained information about the relationship of diet and asthma control in a group of individuals who had been previously diagnosed with asthma. Basing from past studies, these researches have aimed to enhance the knowledge that they had regarding the effects of Mediterranean diet to asthma.

multitude-of-veggies

What researchers found was really striking: only 25% of the participants had well-controlled asthma, and they were the same participants who closely followed a Mediterranean-diet food plan.

Since asthma is a form of allergy, allergic asthma specifically, and is commonly triggered by allergic reactions to pollen, mold, dust, or spores, experts have had their medical curiosity stirred. This has led into various studies on how Mediterranean diet is able to deal with allergies in general.

Surely, the best air purifier for allergies can easily help. Then again, when it comes to allergies such as allergic asthma, a more directed change in one’s diet can help combat the condition. Hence, going Mediterranean may be one of the easiest and most delectable ways to go.

The Mediterranean diet is chock full of healthy foods like grapes, tomatoes, and nuts. According to scientists, these foods provide the most benefits based on their antioxidant properties.

Antioxidants are known for their disease-fighting ability. They work to sop-up free radicals left in the body as a byproduct of a cell’s day-to-day functions.

So, if you’re looking for the easiest and tastiest Mediterranean recipes out there, here’s where you can start out:

Creamy and Leafy Shrimp Garlic Pasta

This fresh, light, and delicious – not to mention really easy – dish can send you on a Mediterranean trip right in your kitchen, all the while aiding those allergic defenses. Here’s how to make creamy garlic pasta with shrimp and vegetables.

shrimp-scampi

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 6 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 12 ounces peeled and deveined raw shrimp (preferably cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts

 

Preparation

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook 2 minutes less than package directions.
  2. Add shrimp, asparagus, bell pepper and peas, and cook until the pasta is tender, and the shrimps are cooked (approximately 2 to 4 more minutes on the stove). Drain well and set aside.
  3. Mash garlic and salt in a large bowl until a paste forms. Whisk in yogurt, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil and pepper.
  4. Toast pine nuts in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until fragrant. Do this for 2 to 4 minutes.
  5. Add the pasta mixture and toss to coat. Serve with the toasted pine nuts on sprinkled evenly on top.

Turkey and Tomato Panini

These Paninis are one of the most common snacks in a Mediterranean diet, and it can easily be prepared in less than half an hour. A creamy spread full of Parmesan and fresh basil cozies up the turkey and summer-ripe tomato slices for a savory hot sandwich that will quickly become a go-to mealtime solution.

panini

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced reduced-sodium deli turkey
  • 8 tomato slices
  • 8 slices whole-wheat bread
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil

 

Preparation:Have four medium skillets ready for cooking by the stove.

  1. Combine mayonnaise, yogurt, Parmesan, basil, lemon juice and pepper in a small bowl.
  2. Spread about 2 teaspoons of the mixture on each slice of bread.
  3. Place the deli turkey and tomato slices and top it with another bread slice. Do this on 3 more pairs of bread slices.
  4. Heat 1 teaspoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  5. Place 2 panini in the pan.
  6. Place the medium skillet on top of the panini, then weigh it down. Cook the panini until golden on one side (about 2 minutes on the skillet).
  7. Reduce the heat to medium-low, flip the panini, replace the top skillet, and set until the second side is golden (about 1-3 minutes on the skillet).
  8. Repeat with another 1 teaspoon oil and the remaining panini.

 

Mediterranean Breaded Salmon

Here’s a big meal for the family, prepared in just about an hour. You can indulge in a very nutritious breaded salmon dish served with a lot of healthy vegetables. Mediterranean style!

salmon

Ingredients:

  • 1 box (9 oz) frozen baby lima beans
  • 1 medium eggplant, unpeeled, cut into fourths lengthwise, then crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • ½ cup roasted red bell peppers (from a jar), drained, cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1 ¼ lb salmon fillet (1 inch thick)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup plain panko crispy bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

 

Preparation:

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Line the 15x10x1/2-inch pan with heavy-duty foil. Spray foil with cooking spray.
  2. Place lima beans and eggplant in pan. If beans are frozen in solid block, microwave on high setting for about 1 minute or just long enough to break beans apart. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and toss. Spread in single layer in pan, and Bake for 15 minutes.
  3. Mix bread crumbs, lemon peel, oregano leaves, garlic and olive oil in a bowl. This would serve as salmon topping.
  4. Remove pan from oven. Push vegetables to sides of pan, and place salmon skin side down in center. Brush salmon with 1 teaspoon oil, and sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Arrange vegetables in single layer around salmon.
  5. Gently press half of mixture, or about 1/2 cup, evenly on salmon. Sprinkle remaining topping over the vegetables.
  6. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork, and vegetables are crisp-tender. (If fish browns too quickly, cover loosely with foil.)
  7. Spoon beans and eggplant into large heatproof bowl. Toss vegetables with roasted peppers and spinach. Cover the mixture with foil, and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes or until spinach is slightly wilted.
  8. Cut and prepare the salmon into 4 servings. Carefully lift fish from skin with pancake turner to serving plate. Serve salmon with vegetables.

Sensational Sweet and Spicy Sambols

sambol

Being someone who loves a meal with many elements, Sri Lankan food was pretty much my dream come true. Every meal is served with plenty of sides: sauces, chutneys, relishes, and pickles, to make each bite unique and surprising. Sambol is the word for this seemingly endless collection of condiments, and I lost count trying to sample them all in a week.

I believe I mentioned in my previous post about Sri Lanka, how spicy the food is there. Like, blow-your-head-off spicy. And as if the curries themselves weren’t hot enough, the chili-based sambols on the side will certainly commit your taste buds to perplexing levels of pain.

sambol9

sambol9

Pol sambol is the ubiquitous, fiery condiment served at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is probably one of the simplest dishes to make, consisting mainly of chili, shredded coconut, chili, lime, and chili – did I mention the chili? Yea. This mix ranges from very spicy to volcanically hot depending on whose table you’re sitting at.

On the second day of the trip, my tongue seeking refuge in something, dare I say it, borderline bland, I discovered one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted – and it wasn’t bland to say the least, just not sweat-inducing. Seeni sambol, a fragrant, Sri Lankan caramelized onion jam, turned out to be incredible on everything from hoppers to curries, and could turn a pretty plain bowl of red rice into something remarkably special. I became totally obsessed with this sambol and it was the very first thing I attempted to make when I came home. I really cannot tell you enough how awesome this stuff is. Do yourself a favour and make a batch soon!

sambol2

The most memorable experience I had in Sri Lanka was learning to cook traditional recipes with two women in the local village. It was likely one of the most eye-opening culinary experiences I’ve ever had – not only learning from such passionate and experienced cooks, but seeing their traditional kitchen, tools, and techniques really inspired me.

sambol6

sambol6

Take their stove, for example. A large clay bench with large mounds molded into it held the earthenware pots in place, and the heat underneath was adjusted by adding more sticks to the fire, or taking them away. Genius. Above the stove was a large wooden wrack to hang beans, seeds, and herbs for fast drying, which I thought was a brilliant way to take advantage of the residual heat. Ingredients were prepped on the floor, since it’s cooler down there, and also nice to sit while you’re working. The knife to cut veggies was actually attached to a stool, and instead of holding the blade, you hold the vegetables and basically drop them on top, slicing them in the air to fall onto a grass mat. The sambol was made by grinding all the ingredients together on a huge flat stone designed specifically for this task, and as such took all of ten seconds to prepare. Spoons were made from dried coconut shells. The plates were made of woven grass, topped with fresh lotus leaves from the nearby creek. The leaves protected the plates from the saucy curries, and when you were finished your meal, you’d discard the leaf into the compost, so that there was literally nothing to wash! I mean.

This day made me take a long hard look at how much stuff I use in the kitchen. Water, electricity, appliances – these women were literally using nothing but things from the earth around them and it made me wonder how we’ve come so far from that connection. Cooking has become so overblown, and it was this experience that reminded me to cook simpler and eat simpler. Get closer to the earth. I don’t have some grand solution, but it’s food for thought.

sambol8

sambol8

I’ll share a few notes on the recipes…
You will likely think I’ve lost my mind when you begin the task of slicing two pounds of onions (#worthit), but I promise you it is the correct amount, and you’ll see that it cooks down to nearly nothing. I tried half this amount my first time and it just simply wasn’t enough. If you’re going to go for this, you may as well make a batch that will last you at least a few meals, right? Fresh curry leaves are a definite preference for this recipe, but I’ve never been able to find them here in Copenhagen so I used dried. They’re not great, but better than nothing. If you don’t want to gnaw on whole spices or curry leaves you can remove them after the seeni sambol is cooked, but it can be a bit of a treasure hunt situation, just sayin’. Once I’ve smashed the cardamom pods, I like to remove the outer skin and just add the inner seeds to the spics mix. I tend to leaves the cloves and curry leaves in since I like those bursts of flavour.

The pol sambol recipe I’ve written here is admittedly, a wimp’s version. I’ll admit that I can only tolerate spice until it begins to overwhelm the other flavours in the food, so mine is strong but still edible on its own. I invite you to go with your instincts on this one and dial up the heat to suit your tastes. If you can find freshly grated coconut (or a fresh coconut that you can grate yourself) by all means use that instead of the desiccated variety! Some versions of pol sambol include curry leaves, but because I only had dried I left them out. If you can find fresh ones, add about a sprig for this recipe, and crush them well before incorporating.

As far as serving these two sensational sambols go, they are pretty much great with All. The. Things. Rice dishes, curries, stews, soups, wraps, sandwiches, salads…I mean it! Once you taste them I’m confident you’ll find infinite uses for them. The first photo is of steamed brown rice and the Kale Mallung recipe that I wrote from the last Sri Lankan post – still a major fav around here. I love this meal for breakfast with a poached egg, lots of seeni sambol and, ahem, lightly sprinkled with the pol sambol.

sambol3



sambol7

A huge thanks to Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts  and Sri Lankan Airlines for making this incredible trip possible!

Show me your sambols on Instagram#MNRsambol

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

 

sambol

 

Being someone who loves a meal with many elements, Sri Lankan food was pretty much my dream come true. Every meal is served with plenty of sides: sauces, chutneys, relishes, and pickles, to make each bite unique and surprising. Sambol is the word for this seemingly endless collection of condiments, and I lost count trying to sample them all in a week.

I believe I mentioned in my previous post about Sri Lanka, how spicy the food is there. Like, blow-your-head-off spicy. And as if the curries themselves weren’t hot enough, the chili-based sambols on the side will certainly commit your taste buds to perplexing levels of pain.

sambol9

sambol9

Pol sambol is the ubiquitous, fiery condiment served at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is probably one of the simplest dishes to make, consisting mainly of chili, shredded coconut, chili, lime, and chili – did I mention the chili? Yea. This mix ranges from very spicy to volcanically hot depending on whose table you’re sitting at.

On the second day of the trip, my tongue seeking refuge in something, dare I say it, borderline bland, I discovered one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted – and it wasn’t bland to say the least, just not sweat-inducing. Seeni sambol, a fragrant, Sri Lankan caramelized onion jam, turned out to be incredible on everything from hoppers to curries, and could turn a pretty plain bowl of red rice into something remarkably special. I became totally obsessed with this sambol and it was the very first thing I attempted to make when I came home. I really cannot tell you enough how awesome this stuff is. Do yourself a favour and make a batch soon!

 

sambol2

 

The most memorable experience I had in Sri Lanka was learning to cook traditional recipes with two women in the local village. It was likely one of the most eye-opening culinary experiences I’ve ever had – not only learning from such passionate and experienced cooks, but seeing their traditional kitchen, tools, and techniques really inspired me.

sambol6

sambol6

Take their stove, for example. A large clay bench with large mounds molded into it held the earthenware pots in place, and the heat underneath was adjusted by adding more sticks to the fire, or taking them away. Genius. Above the stove was a large wooden wrack to hang beans, seeds, and herbs for fast drying, which I thought was a brilliant way to take advantage of the residual heat. Ingredients were prepped on the floor, since it’s cooler down there, and also nice to sit while you’re working. The knife to cut veggies was actually attached to a stool, and instead of holding the blade, you hold the vegetables and basically drop them on top, slicing them in the air to fall onto a grass mat. The sambol was made by grinding all the ingredients together on a huge flat stone designed specifically for this task, and as such took all of ten seconds to prepare. Spoons were made from dried coconut shells. The plates were made of woven grass, topped with fresh lotus leaves from the nearby creek. The leaves protected the plates from the saucy curries, and when you were finished your meal, you’d discard the leaf into the compost, so that there was literally nothing to wash! I mean.

This day made me take a long hard look at how much stuff I use in the kitchen. Water, electricity, appliances – these women were literally using nothing but things from the earth around them and it made me wonder how we’ve come so far from that connection. Cooking has become so overblown, and it was this experience that reminded me to cook simpler and eat simpler. Get closer to the earth. I don’t have some grand solution, but it’s food for thought.

sambol8

sambol8

I’ll share a few notes on the recipes…
You will likely think I’ve lost my mind when you begin the task of slicing two pounds of onions (#worthit), but I promise you it is the correct amount, and you’ll see that it cooks down to nearly nothing. I tried half this amount my first time and it just simply wasn’t enough. If you’re going to go for this, you may as well make a batch that will last you at least a few meals, right? Fresh curry leaves are a definite preference for this recipe, but I’ve never been able to find them here in Copenhagen so I used dried. They’re not great, but better than nothing. If you don’t want to gnaw on whole spices or curry leaves you can remove them after the seeni sambol is cooked, but it can be a bit of a treasure hunt situation, just sayin’. Once I’ve smashed the cardamom pods, I like to remove the outer skin and just add the inner seeds to the spics mix. I tend to leaves the cloves and curry leaves in since I like those bursts of flavour.

The pol sambol recipe I’ve written here is admittedly, a wimp’s version. I’ll admit that I can only tolerate spice until it begins to overwhelm the other flavours in the food, so mine is strong but still edible on its own. I invite you to go with your instincts on this one and dial up the heat to suit your tastes. If you can find freshly grated coconut (or a fresh coconut that you can grate yourself) by all means use that instead of the desiccated variety! Some versions of pol sambol include curry leaves, but because I only had dried I left them out. If you can find fresh ones, add about a sprig for this recipe, and crush them well before incorporating.

As far as serving these two sensational sambols go, they are pretty much great with All. The. Things. Rice dishes, curries, stews, soups, wraps, sandwiches, salads…I mean it! Once you taste them I’m confident you’ll find infinite uses for them. The first photo is of steamed brown rice and the Kale Mallung recipe that I wrote from the last Sri Lankan post – still a major fav around here. I love this meal for breakfast with a poached egg, lots of seeni sambol and, ahem, lightly sprinkled with the pol sambol.

 

sambol3

 



sambol7

A huge thanks to Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts  and Sri Lankan Airlines for making this incredible trip possible!

Show me your sambols on Instagram#MNRsambol

Let’s block ads! (Why?)