I first got aware of the health benefits of turmeric when anti-inflammatory foods caught my eye. It made sense to me that many lifestyle-related health issues would have their root in long-term inflammation of the body.
Inflammation is the body’s totally healthy response to injury and infection, a way of defending ourselves by sending immune cells and key nutrients to the areas that need them most. Long-term inflammation, however, can be quite dangerous. When inflammation as an immune response is never “shut off,” so to speak, the constant production of immune cells can do permanent damage, leading to cancer, heart disease, arthritis and Alzheimer’s among other health concerns.
Chronic inflammation can be caused by a sedentary lifestyle, lack of sleep, or the foods that we choose to eat or not to eat. It will not come as a surprise that sugar, refined grains, vegetable oils, dairy, processed and red meats, food additives, and alcohol are highly inflammatory foods.
Now which are the most powerful anti-inflammatory foods? With regards to herbs and spices, it’s definitely turmeric, but also parsley and ginger. For fruit, try blueberries and papaya. And for the vegetables, try and incorporate as much seaweed, broccoli, green leafy vegetables and some sweet potato into your diet. Have some walnuts or almonds as your snack between meals.
Today’s salad is one of my summer staples this year: full of anti-inflammatory ingredients. It consists of a lot of well spiced veggies, that roast peacefully and without much work in the oven. The salad keeps well in the fridge, so it’s worth making double or triple portions. It’s hearty, satisfying, yet light and full of flavor. Perfect for the approaching summer and healthwise good for you all year round. I hope you enjoy!
SPICY ROASTED CAULIFLOWER TOMATO SALAD WITH RAISINS
1 medium head of cauliflower
1 1/2 cups of cherry tomatoes, halved
2 red onions, cut into wedges
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
2-3 tablespoons raisins
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
Preheat oven to 200C/400F.
In a small bowl, combine spices with olive oil and stir until well blended.
Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Pour the spice mixture over the cauliflower and stir until cauliflower is well coated. gently add in the tomato halves, onion wedges and bay leaves. Spread out the vegetables in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until cauliflower is starting to caramelize.
Transfer roasted vegetables to serving dish. Add cooked chickpeas and raisins. Sprinkle with chopped parsley for garnish. Serve warm or at room temperature.