Archive | July, 2014

Should I try the alkaline diet?

7 Jul

Should I try the alkaline diet?

Following the alkaline diet means eating mostly plants, limiting meat, skipping dairy, sweets, alcohol and caffeine and banishing processed food. Sounds like a healthy move, right?

Not so fast. Most of the touted health benefits of the alkaline diet aren’t research-backed. The theory behind it is that our Western diet (rich with saturated fat, simple sugars and sodium and lacking in potassium, magnesium and fiber) produces acid, driving our body’s pH down slightly, making it more acidic. So the thinking goes that having an acidic pH fuels chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease and obesity and promotes ailments like bloating and chronic fatigue. Eating a diet that makes your body more alkaline staves off those health problems. Nice theory. The reality is that your body, especially your kidneys and lungs, maintains a steady pH regardless of what you eat.

Another rub: the alkaline diet isn’t intuitive. For one, some acidic foods—lemons, apple-cider vinegar—are actually considered alkaline-forming because of the way they’re metabolized. And, as with many fad diets, some healthy foods are discouraged—in this case, navy beans, peanuts and whole eggs—because of their “acidic” properties.

However, the main tenet of eating the alkaline way—to fill your diet with plants—is great. Loads of research supports a plant-focused diet for a healthy weight and better health. Plus, some alkaline diet claims like preventing muscle loss and quelling chronic lower back pain have preliminary research supporting them. The diet may also help prevent kidney stones (your diet can affect the pH of your urine and more-acidic urine can increase your risk).

Bottom line: The foods of the alkaline diet are healthy, but the diet’s purported benefits still lack scientific support.

Thai salmon burgers with spicy peanut butter sauce

5 Jul
Salmon burgers are nutritious and delicious, but when they’re drizzled with a Thai peanut butter sauce, they become out of this world. This is one sandwich you will make again and again.

Thai salmon burgers with peanut butter sauce

When I was growing up, my dad used to love making salmon patties. His go-to recipe usually meant canned salmon and some Ritz crackers. I was never a fan of his recipe (sorry, Dad), so I took this basic recipe and jazzed it up. I packed it full of flavorful ingredients and then slathered it with homemade spicy peanut butter mayo. It sounds weird, but it’s totally amazing.

Thai salmon burgers with peanut butter sauce

Thai salmon burgers with spicy peanut butter sauce recipe

Yields 4

Ingredients:

For the salmon burgers

  • 1 pound cooked flaked salmon
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • Mixed greens

For the sauce

  • 1/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter, stirred
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce

Directions: 

For the salmon burgers

  1. To a medium-size mixing bowl, add the salmon and panko breadcrumbs, and set it aside.
  2. To a blender or food processor, add the cilantro, onions, garlic, egg, soy sauce and Sriracha sauce. Pulse to combine.
  3. Pour the blended mixture into the bowl with the salmon and breadcrumbs.
  4. Using your hands, mix together until fully combined, and divide into 4 equal-sized patties.
  5. Place the patties onto a plate, and refrigerate them for at least 15 minutes so they have time to firm up.
  6. Place a large skillet over medium heat, and add the vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot, add the patties. Cook until golden brown, flip, and cook the other side until golden brown.
  7. Serve on buns with a slathering of peanut butter mayonnaise and lettuce.

For the sauce

  1. In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

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