Pain-Fighting Recipes

Pain-Fighting Recipes

By Jeannette Hurt

Fresh Tuna Burgers with Mango Salsa

These zesty tuna burgers not only awaken your taste buds with their depth of flavor, but they can also pack a punch of pain-fighting powers. The omega-3 fatty acids of tuna have been shown to help reduce inflammation, as have the anti-inflammatory compounds of turmeric and ginger.

16 oz. fresh ahi tuna (about 3 to 4 steaks, skin and bones removed), diced

1/2 cup diced seedless cucumber

1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

1/3 cup diced red onion

2 tBSP minced cilantro

11/2 inch piece of peeled ginger

1 inch piece of peeled turmeric

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tBSP tamari soy sauce, preferably reduced sodium

11/2 TSP lime juice (juice from about ½ lime)

1 tsp lime zest (from about ½ lime)

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 TSP wasabi powder

1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

1 tsp sesame oil

Mango Salsa

1 mango, diced

1 tbsp diced red onion

1 tbsp diced red bell pepper

1 tbsp minced cilantro

11/2 TSP lime juice (juice from about 1/2 lime)

1 to 2 dashes hot sauce

sea salt to taste


1 In a large bowl, stir together tuna, cucumber, red pepper and red onion.

2 In a food processor fitted with a standard blade or in a blender, place cilantro, ginger, turmeric, vinegar, soy sauce, lime juice, lime zest, mustard and wasabi powder. Pulse for about 1 minute or until ginger and turmeric are well chopped.

3 Combine mixture with tuna and vegetables, then stir in sesame seeds. Form mixture into 4 patties. The patties will be wet. Chill for 20 minutes in freezer.

4 While patties are chilling, make mango salsa. Stir together mango, red onion, red pepper, cilantro and lime juice. Season with hot sauce and sea salt to taste.

5 Heat a large nonstick pan over high heat for 1 minute. Brush with sesame oil. Heat for 1 more minute. Add patties. Reduce heat to medium-high. Cook patties for 3 to 4 minutes per side.

6 To serve, top patties with mango salsa and place on a whole-grain bun or wrap in lettuce leaves.

Note: You can also top burgers with sliced tomatoes. If you like heat, wasabi mayo is a nice addition.

Makes 4 large or 6 small burgers

Per Serving: Calories: 199; Fat: 3 g; Sat. Fat: 1 g; Cholesterol: 51 mg; Sodium: 313 mg; Carbohydrates: 15 g; Sugar: 11 g; Fiber: 3 g; Protein: 28 g (Hamburger bun nutritional information not included)


Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet yet slightly spicy, these oven-baked sweet potato fries offer a healthy and tasty alternative to their greasy, plain counterparts. Rich in vitamins A and C and filled with fiber, sweet potatoes can be, by nature, quite anti-inflammatory.

1 large sweet potato, about 1 pound, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch-wide by 1/4-inch-thick slices

11/2 TSP extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning

1/4 tsp honey

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large bowl, toss all ingredients together. Lay seasoned sweet potatoes on a large baking sheet.

Bake for 45 minutes.

Makes 4 servings (about 8 fries each)

Per Serving: Calories: 115; Fat: 1 g; Sat. Fat: 0 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 214 mg; Carbohydrates: 26 g; Sugar: 6 g; Fiber: 4 g; Protein: 2 g


Kale Salad with Roasted Tomato and Garlic Dressing

2 Roma tomatoes

2 unpeeled garlic cloves

31/8 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1/4 tsp sea salt, divided

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

1 bunch kale (About ¼ lb), stems removed and leaves torn into tiny pieces

1/4 cup diced red bell pepper

11/2 tsp dried cranberries

11/2 tsp dried blueberries

1 tbsp roasted pistachios, shelled and roughly chopped

freshly cracked black pepper

1 Preheat oven to 350° F. Slice tomatoes in half. Place tomatoes and unpeeled garlic cloves in small pan. Drizzle with 1/8 teaspoon olive oil and season with 1/8 teaspoon sea salt. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove tomatoes and garlic from pan, and remove peels from garlic cloves.

Let cool for 20 minutes.

2 To make roasted tomato and garlic dressing, puree tomatoes, garlic cloves, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard and 2 teaspoons olive oil in food processor fitted with a standard blade.

3 Using clean hands or salad tongs, toss torn kale leaves with remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil and remaining 1/8 teaspoon sea salt. Mix in red pepper, dried berries and pistachios. Toss with dressing. Season with freshly cracked black pepper.

Makes 4 servings (about 1 cup salad and 2 tablespoons dressing per serving)

Per Serving: Calories: 108; Fat: 6 g; Sat. Fat: 1 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 185 mg; Carbohydrates: 14 g; Sugar: 5 g; Fiber: 2 g; Protein: 3 g

Originally published in the Fall 2015 print edition.