Stewed kale cabbage with chickpeas and lentils

To boost your immune system, try this Turmeric-Spiced Lentil, Kale and Chickpea Stew, which contains turmeric.

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.

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