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Asparagus Salmon Salad

Vitamin-packed green vegetables? Tick. Omega-3 oils-rich fish? Tick. Nutrient powerhouse nuts? Tick. This salad has everything! Plus, it's easy to make and delicious - perfect for the hot months.

Overview

Serves: 2

Prep time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 10 mins

Utensils: bowl, steamer, colander

Storage: keep in the fridge for 1-2 days

Suitability: low carb, low sugar

Ingredients

2 teaspoon salt reduced soy sauce

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

½ teaspoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely grated

8 asparagus spears

handful snow peas, trimmed

8 cos leaves

2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges

50g walnuts, roughly chopped

100g smoked salmon

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Instructions

1. For the dressing, whisk soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice and sesame oil in small bowl. Whisk in olive oil, then stir in ginger.

2. Steam snow peas (2-3 minutes) and asparagus (3-4 minutes). Transfer to colander. Rinse under cold water.

3. Arrange cos lettuce leaves on plate and top with snow peas, asparagus and tomato. Drizzle over dressing.

4. Toast walnuts in small frying pan, stirring frequently for 2-3 minutes or until they slightly darken in colour. Remove immediately. Add to salad.

5. Serve topped with strips of fresh smoked salmon.

Tips: poached chicken (or a few bits from yesterday's roast) can replace the salmon; choose gluten-free soy sauce if you are gluten intolerant

Benefits

Salmon is a great source of marine omega 3s docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). These long chain omega-3s have the best therapeutic benefits for people with inflammatory types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, reactive arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. There is solid scientific evidence that they can help to relieve pain without the side effects of anti-inflammatory medications. Salmon is also protein rich with good amounts of vitamins A, B12, D and E, iodine, selenium, calcium, zinc and iron.

The omega-3 levels of smoked salmon are comparable to those in fresh salmon. The composition of omega-3 fatty acids does not change during the smoking process. However smoked salmon contains higher levels of salt compared with fresh salmon so make sure to vary it with fresh salmon.

Walnuts are one of the few plant sources of omega 3, containing 6280mg alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) per 100g. Research has shown that ALA from a 37g handful of walnuts each day can reduce inflammation. Walnuts can also lower both total and ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol levels without effecting ‘good’ HDL cholesterol.

Tomatoes offer fibre and vitamin C and an antioxidant known as lycopene (which gives the tomatoes their red colour). Lycopene functions as an antioxidant by preventing damage to our body’s cells, which may otherwise increase the risk of cancer.

Note- Tomatoes are part of the nightshade family which some people believe trigger arthritis flares, but there’s limited scientific evidence to support this theory. However if you want to test the theory, try cutting these vegetables out from your diet to see if your symptoms improve.

Ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory and some studies have shown it may help decrease joint pain for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. One study showed that ginger extract reduced arthritis pain in the knee after 3 months of treatment and another showed reduced pain upon standing, pain after walking, and stiffness.