Turmeric Root

Dating back thousands of years to Southeast Asia, and a relative of the ginger family, turmeric is a nutrient dense anti-inflammatory. Rich in potassium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C and B6, a good source of dietary fiber, protein, calcium, and sodium, with a rich orange-yellow color, and bitter taste. Turmeric root has been used for centuries, particularly for its medicinal property, a compound known as curcumin. The benefits of curcumin have been well studied, and documented.

Dr. Ajay Goel, Ph.D has spent over 20 years studying the prevention and curative effects of botanicals, especially curcumin. Containing over 100 times the antioxidants of dark chocolate and blueberries, curcumin has super antioxidant power. Its anti-inflammatory properties help to prevent the duplication of cancer cells. This happens in various ways. Curcumin inhibits an inflammatory pathway called COX-2 and NF-Kappa B, and by doing so, prevents chronic inflammation. It also prevents the growth of arachidonic acid, which is a major contributor of inflammation in the body. Curcumin can slow or halt the production of certain enzymes that promote inflammation, and can help control the body’s production of cytokines, a protein messenger between cells that can cause dangerous inflammation when found in high numbers.

Not only is curcumin a powerful antioxidant to cancer prevention, but it also has been well documented in its ability to fight heart disease. Curcumin raises HDL (good cholesterol), helping move LDL (bad cholesterol) out of the arteries. It also helps helps lower the heart disease inflammatory markers, CRP and Homocysteine.

Curcumin has also shown great promise in preventing and treating a variety of digestive disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, precancerous polyps in the bowel, ulcerative colitis, and liver damage. Curcumin is also beneficial in reducing arthritis inflammation, and joint pain.

The benefits of using turmeric as a culinary spice in your kitchen are limitless. Even though turmeric contains only 2-5% curcumin, this small amount can still be very beneficial to health. Alternatively adding a curcumin supplement to your daily regiment can be extremely beneficial, especially you suffer from chronic inflammation.

Find delicious recipes using turmeric in my book “Live Simply Plant Based”.

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Burgers

Prep Time Required: 45 minutes

Cook Time Required: 16 minutes in oven or 4 minutes on cooktop.

These burgers are so delicious. They are complex carbohydrate rich, and plant protein dense. When you prepare them yourself, you know exactly what to are eating. Cook up a batch and enjoy over several days, topped on salads, or eaten alone as a snack. Enjoy these burgers for lunch or dinner, delicious served with baked sweet potato fries, and red cabbage slaw, and topped with cashew cheese. Find the recipes for these additions in my book “Live Simply Plant Based”.

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Burgers

1 ½ cups Roasted baby bello mushrooms, carrots, and onions (in a little olive oil and salt)

1 cup cooked quinoa 

½ cup baked sweet potato  

1 cup gluten-free ground rolled oats or quick-cooking oats 

½ cup raw unsalted cashews

½ cup sweet onion, chopped

¼ cup ground golden flaxseed 

¼ cup ketchup or tomato paste 

2 cloves garlic, minced 

1 tbsp. whole-grain Dijon mustard 

1 tbsp. nutritional yeast

1 tsp. smoky turmeric

1 ½ tsp. chilli powder 

¼ tsp. ground Himalayan pink salt 

¼ tsp. ground black pepper 

Directions 

  1. Bake sweet potato at 425°F in oven for 35-40 minutes, and mushrooms (halved), carrots (sliced thick) and onions (roughly chopped) for 15-20 mins at the same temperature.
  2. While sweet potato and vegetables are cooking, cook quinoa, until tender but not mushy. For added flavor, use vegetable stock instead of water. 
  3. Place cashews in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. 
  4. Once sweet potato is cooked, remove sweet potato from oven, scoop out 1/2 cup, discard skinand reduce oven temperature to 350°F
  5. Add onions, mushrooms, carrots, garlic, and sweet potato, to the coarsely chopped cashews in food processor and pulse until mixed well.  
  6. Add quinoa to mixture in food processor, and pulse until mixed well. 
  7. Use a coffee grinder or mini food processor to grind oats and flax separately until they reach a rough flour-like consistency.
  8. Transfer mixture to from food processor to a bowl and add smoky turmeric, chilli powder, nutritional yeast, flax, ketchup/tomato paste, Dijon mustard, oats, salt and pepper, and mix well with your hands. 
  9. Make into 12 burgers. The flatter you make the burgers, the quicker they will cook. Cover a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper, and place burgers on sheet. Cook 8 minutes each side, or saute in a skillet over medium high heat with a little coconut or sesame oil, 2 minutes each side. 
  10. Serve on whole-grain gluten-free buns and top with cashew cheese or ketchup, fresh tomato, red onion, and avocado. Serves 12 

Carolinehalevegan.com