I’m already bracing for cold and flu season.
The following health and wellness tips help your immune system work at peak performance:
- Choose foods rich in vitamins C and E. Choose citrus fruits/juices, melons, mangoes, kiwi, peppers, tomatoes, berries, broccoli, cabbage, sweet/white potatoes, winter squash, leafy greens, almonds, hazelnuts, peanut butter, sunflower seeds, safflower oil, whole grains and fortified cereals several times a day.
- Add a zinc-rich food to your daily diet to increase your body’s production of white blood cells.
- Add a turmeric extract, with dosages exceeding 1 gram per day, to your daily immunity-boosting regimen. Turmeric contains powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It also contains compounds called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin.
Turmeric-Spiced Lentil, Kale and Chickpea Stew
2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated or finely minced
4–5 garlic cloves, grated or finely minced
1–2 teaspoons turmeric powder or 2–3 teaspoons fresh turmeric, finely grated
1 tablespoon cumin
1 pound kale, tough stems removed, leaves well-washed and chopped
1 can (15-ounces) diced fire-roasted tomatoes (or use 1–2 cups fresh, diced tomatoes)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 1/2 cups cooked lentils
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas or garbanzo beans, or 1 (15-ounce) can, rinsed and drained
2 cups coconut milk
3 tablespoons olive oil for drizzling
Garnishes: fresh cilantro or dill, chopped green onions or scallions, and lemon or lime wedges, optional
1. In a large, heavy-bottomed stew pot, add the olive oil and heat over medium. Saute the onion in the olive oil for 3-5 minutes until golden. Add ginger, garlic, turmeric and cumin, and saute 2-3 minutes until the garlic is golden. Add the kale and saute 2-3 minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes, salt, black pepper and cloves, and saute for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the vegetable or chicken stock. Cover and turn heat to high and bring to a boil.
3. Turn heat to medium and add the lentils, quinoa, chickpeas and coconut milk. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place stew in serving bowls and drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with fresh cilantro or dill, chopped green onions or scallions, and a wedge of lemon or lime, if desired. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and the author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” Her website is www.divapro.com. To see how-to videos, recipes and much, much more, Like Angela Shelf Medearis, The Kitchen Diva! on Facebook. Recipes may not be reprinted without permission from Angela Shelf Medearis.