It is that time of year to prepare our immune system as we transition from Summer to Fall.
You’ve had all your ice cream, cheese, frozen drinks at the local 7-eleven or gas station, your favorite dessert and your favorite sheet cake and value city all throughout the Summer. Yes, you ate healthy 80% of time but still you at things you simply were not suppose to. Consequently, now your mucous membranes in your through and nasal passages are irritated. Am I the only one guilty of this?
Well this is exactly how I felt this past Saturday. I was just feeling tired and not wanting to do much of anything. Then I remembered my ex-boyfriends father who would make something called cook-up. Cook-up is a dish where you take lots of left overs from the week and put them in one pot to make a meal. These creative cook-ups were some of the most amazing meals I ever tasted in my life. Boy do I miss those days.
Given my throat was starting to feel itchy, I decided I was going to make a-up my version of a cook chicken soup with lots of left over vegetables, fresh herbs, onions, garlic and cayenne pepper.
I knew I wanted to add a lot of curry, onions, garlic and cayenne pepper because these ingredients combined would help boost my immune system, reduce inflammation and enhance detoxification.
I did not actually make precise measurements. I cook by site, taste, smell and intuition. I was asked for a recipe so I will do my best to offer one for you to try and tweak for your own taste buds. This recipe will only make about 2 servings.
3 antibiotic and hormone free chicken legs
2 quarts of water
1/2 cup of zucchini, cubed
1/2 cup of yellow squash, cubed
3 celery stalks, cubed
2 orange and yellow mini bell peppers, sliced
2 handful of parsley, finely chopped
1 large tomato, cubed
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp pink himalayan sea salt
2 elephant garlic cloves, minced
1 white onion, cubed
fresh cilantro for garnish
- With the exception of the garlic, onions and cilantro, boil all the ingredients above.
- Cook until the chicken is done.
- Add the onions and garlic and boil for a few more minutes.
- Serve 8-12 oz in a large boil, then garnish with fresh cilantro
If you like this recipe, you will probably like recipes in my clean eating cookbook, which can be found on my website at https://wholisticallyimproveyou.squarespace.com.
You will receive you e-book by email.
Wholistically Improve You
I eat broccoli, blueberries, avocados, and flax seeds. I can easily incorporate more sage, sesame seeds, flax seeds and nuts/seeds in my diet.
For years I ate turkey bacon thinking it was a healthier and leaner alternative to pork bacon. Then one day I saw a youtube video on how turkey bacon was processed. It really grossed me out beyond measure. I also learned lots of turkey bacon are loaded with preservatives, artificial coloring, antibiotics, nitrates, and nitrites. As a toxicologist, I learned too much exposure to nitrates and nitrites may eventually cause cancer. I started a clean eating group in October 2015 and was challenged to find a breakfast meat alternative. Applegate has a hickory smoke turkey bacon for your breakfast meat alternative. Applegate’s products are a bit on the pricey side but worth it; one slice typically satisfies my urge for “bacon”. Prior to this healthier option, I would have to eat at least 3 slices of turkey bacon laced with some C.R.A.P. to feel “satisfied”. In my mind since I have to eat less of a healthier product, I’m ok with paying a little more because I fell the dollars and cents balance out.
Applegate Turkey bacon has free of nitrates, nitrites, casein, gluten, antiobiotics and preservatives. And the fat content is lower than most breakfast bacon or sausages.
Now I do not eat this every day. I only eat meat it occasionally.
One day a dear friend took my mother and I to Ramsi’s, an eclictic restaurant in Louisville KY, and they served us an appetizer that consisted of roasted garlic, olive oil, goat cheese and toasted italian bread. This appetizer was absolutely amazing. Consequently, I decided to recreate the roasted garlic at home. All you need is fresh garlic (2 or more), Extra Virgin Olive Oil a frying pan, and a oven preheated to 375 F.
- Rinse the garlic bulbs and pat them dry with a paper towel.
- Slice of the tops of the garlic bulbs. This makes it easier to squeeze out the garlic paste after the garlic has finished roasting.
- Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil onto the bulbs of garlic. Massage the oil onto the skins of each garlic.
4. Place the garlic into a frying pan.
5. Bake (uncovered) at 375 F for 35 minutes or until the garlic is soft.
6. Allow to cool to room temperature.
7. Serve on a serving plate with whole roasted garlic, olive oil, goat cheese, toasted whole grain bread.
8. Spread paste from a 1 or 2 roasted garlic cloves onto toasted bread.
9. If you have left over roasted garlic, squeeze out all the garlic paste, place in a food saver then refrigerate for up to 3 days. For longer storage, place the garlic cloves in a ziplock bag then place in the freezer.
Roasted garlic is great to use as a spread on toasted bread or to enhance the flavor of soups, vegetables, meats or starches.
Finally, I have a recipe to make a pot of black beans while you whisk off to work. When you return home the beans are ready to eat. Make sure you have a crock pot that goes to a warm setting once it finishes cooking.
Grocery shopping list: Dried Black Beans, Garlic Powder, Bay leaves, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Cumin, Black Pepper, Chipotle Powder, Pink Himalayan Sea Salt, Italian Seasonings.
Great as a soup, salad topper or side item.
2 lbs of dried black beans (soaked overnight in water then rinsed)
2 32 oz of Water or Broth
2 tbsp garlic powder
3 dried bay leaves
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp of cumin
1 tsp black pepper
1 red onion or sweet onion (diced)
5 garlic cloves (diced)
2 pinches of italian seasonings
- Soak beans over night in water (1 part beans, 2 parts water).
- Rinse and drain the beans.
- Add organic broth (chicken, vegetable) until you reach 1 inch above the top layer of the beans.
- Add seasonings, onions, and garlic.
- Cook in crockpot for 10 hours.
- Add 1 cup to the beans to a bowl then enhance the flavor with pink himalayan sea salt, chipotle powder, olive oil.
- Great as a soup, salad topper (drain off liquid) or side for an entree.
picture from google images
Overnight Chocolate Oats:
1 cup SILK coconut milk (or almond/cashew milk)
½ cup of dry Old Fashion or Rolled Oats
1 tsp chia seeds
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder (Wholefoods)
2 turns of crushed pink Himalayan sea salt crystals (Trader Joe’s)
1 TBSP Natural Almond/Peanut Butter (0ptional)
1 tsp of pure Vanilla Extract
7 drops of stevia or 1 tsp pure maple syrup (exclude for diabetics)
1 tbsp naturally sweetened chocolate chips (Wholefoods, Trader Joe’s)
- Add oats, chia seeds, flaxseed meal, cocoa powder, pink Himalayan salt (optional), chocolate chips to a 12 oz mason jar. Make several jars for the week, seal the jars, and store at room temperature until ready to use.
- The night before you are ready for oatmeal add all your wet ingredients (coconut milk, vanilla extract, sweetener, natural almond butter).
- Seal the jar and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, stir the oatmeal. Soaking the oatmeal overnight allows the chia seeds to hydrate, swell up and offer the oatmeal a pudding consistency.
- If you do not like your oatmeal cold (like me), then briefly warm it up in the microwave for 1-1.5 minute(s) or until chocolate chips melt.
If you like this recipe, you’ll like our 7-day clean eating eCookbook.