Tag Archives | winter

Warm Cabbage and Fennel “Salad”

Mister Wes and I always eat dinner at the island in our kitchen. Yes, we have a small dining room table just steps away but for whatever reason the island has become our spot. It’s our table/island for two.

When dinner is ready I take the pots, pans, dishes…whatever dinner is made in, do a 180 degree turn from the stove and plop them directly on the island. I grab some serving utensils, plates and silverware and dinner is served. Voila! And, clean up is a breeze. My leftover containers are in the kitchen island and the dishwasher is pretty much within arms reach of where Mister Wes sits. I clean up leftovers and he puts away the dishes. We make one hell of a team!

If you’ve been following me for a while or have attended a class you know that I LOVE salad. I’m not saying that to be the annoying health nut, nutrition coach over here. Seriously, salad is so damn good….if you can make a good salad that is. I’ve got to tell you, I can make a pretty kick ass salad. I had a cooking class student a while back tell me….

“your salad is better than movie theater popcorn.”

I almost choked on a piece of arugula.

Ok, I’m done bragging about my salad-making abilities. But, now that you have an idea of how much I love salad. Here’s the problem. I don’t love salad so much in the winter. When it’s cold and dreary outside I’m yearning for something warm and comforting. As much as I love salad, eating it in December feels kind of like getting a hug from Frosty the Snowman. Brrrr….

After enjoying some amazing dishes at Thanksgiving, come Monday my body was aching for something green. I’d had it with meat and gravy. I wanted green, crunchy vegetables NOW! When it came time to make dinner I looked in the fridge and the veggies were lacking a bit. But, in the far reaches there were a few things that I could do something with.

Cabbage, fennel, half a red onion, and parsley. Without too much of a plan I sautéed them together and then added some white beans I had sitting in the fridge. I served my creation alongside some delicious shredded pork shoulder that had been bubbling the oven for a few ours (recipe coming soon!). Mister Wes looked at his plate, looked at me and asked, “what’s this?” pointing at my veggie creation. My reply…

“Hmmmm…..how about a hot salad?” Mister Wes, “whatever it is, it’s good!”

Sure, officially it should probably be called a saute but “hot salad” sounds WAY more interesting. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

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Warm Cabbage and Fennel “Salad”

Ingredients

1/2 tablespoon olive oil, butter or ghee (I used avocado oil which I’ve been experimenting with and really love it!)
1 small or 1/2 medium onion, sliced
1/4 head of cabbage, sliced into thumb thick ribbons
1 medium fennel bulb, sliced into pinky thick ribbons
handful of parsley, roughly chopped
1 can (about 1 cup) white beans
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large saute pan or wide pot heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion with a pinch of salt and saute, stirring frequently until it starts to soften, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the cabbage and fennel, another pinch of salt and stir until everything is well combine. Cover with a lid, lower heat just a tinge (especially if you have a hot stovetop) and let cook for 3-5 minutes. Check on it, give it a stir and cook another 3-5 minutes. Letting it sit without lots of stirring will let the bits on the bottom brown up a bit which is lovely.
  3. Taste your cabbage and fennel to check for doneness. You want it cooked but still retaining some crunch. Add the beans and cook a few minutes more until they are warmed through. Before serving stir in the parsley and add salt and pepper to taste.

Note: If you do dairy you could add some freshly grated parmesan on top. This dish can be served as a side with dinner or topped with a fried egg for breakfast!

Comments { 2 } · Posted on December 9, 2014 in Healthy Recipes

Five foods that fight the flu

Some estimates state that Americans get a billion colds each year and there are more than 200 viruses that can cause them. Colds can be just the sniffles or morph into pneumonia that results in a visit to the hospital.

Many of us have just accepted that we will get sick at some point during the fall and winter months.

What if this year you didn’t suffer from a stuffy nose, irritating cough or chills?

It is never too early to start building up your immune system so it is primed and ready to attack an oncoming virus. Interestingly, many foods contain the exact nutrients our bodies need to nourish and strengthen our immune system.

Here are my five favorite foods for fighting off colds and flus.

Cabbage

Cabbage is loaded with vitamin C and is the top infection fighter and wound healer. Other sources include broccoli, parsley, kiwi and mango. Keep in mind that this sensitive vitamin is damaged by heat, so it is a good idea to eat most of your cabbage raw or lightly steamed.

How to use it: My favorite way to use cabbage is to shred it for an Asian style slaw or a green salad with apples and toasted nuts. Experiment with different kinds of cabbage like purple and green cabbage, Napa cabbage, Savoy cabbage. And, don’t forget that bok choy and Brussels sprouts also belong to the cabbage family!

Rustic Cabbage Soup from 101Cookbooks

Garlic

Garlic has been used as both food and medicine for thousands of years. Gravediggers in 18th century France drank crushed garlic in wine believing it would protect them from the plague, and during both world wars, soldiers were given garlic to prevent gangrene.

This little stinker is packed with a phytochemical called allicin, an antimicrobial compound. One study showed that people who took a garlic supplement during cold season were less likely to become sick.

How to use it: Chopping or crushing garlic stimulates the enzymatic process that converts the phytonutrient alliin into powerful allicin. When cooking with garlic, be sure to chop it and let it sit for at least five minutes to allow this conversion to take place.

How to roast garlic in the oven from The Kitchn

Lentils

Zinc is critical for the immune system. When a bacteria or virus enters the body, zinc is responsible for rallying the white blood cells to attack the invader. Other good sources of zinc are grass-fed beef and lamb, pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, cashews and quinoa.

How to use it: Brown and green lentils become very soft when cooked and are commonly used for lentil soup. French lentils keep their shape and are perfect for a warm or room temperature lentil salad with vinaigrette dressing.

Hearty Lentil and Quinoa Stew from Herbal Academy of New England

Mushrooms

Mushrooms often get overlooked as a health food, but they contain two big cold and flu fighters.

The first is selenium, which helps white blood cells produce cytokines that are responsible for mopping up sickness. The second is beta glucan, a type of fiber that has antimicrobial properties that activate cells that find and destroy infections.

How to use it: Shiitake are a powerful mushroom that can easily be found at local farmers markets and grocery stores. Sauté them for a savory frittata or with your favorite greens. You can cook them ahead of time and store them for two to three days until you need them. Keep them in a paper bag in the fridge. The bag absorbs the moisture from the mushrooms, keeping them fresh longer.

Asian Style Shiitake Mushrooms and Baby Bok Choy from Tartine and Apron Strings

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a great source of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant. It helps improve your body’s defenses by helping in the growth and development of the immune system while also neutralizing harmful toxins. You can get beta-carotene from other orange foods like carrots, squash, pumpkin and egg yolks.

How to prepare: Sweet potatoes (and other winter squash) are perfect for roasting. Simply cut into bite-sized cubes, place on a cookie sheet and drizzle with a bit of olive oil and a pinch of salt and roast for 25 to 30 minutes at 375 degrees. You can eat them as is, mix them with sautéed greens or mash them to use as a filling for a vegetarian burrito.

Roasted Sweet Potato, Kale, Sage and Quinoa Skillet from With Food + Love

This article was originally published in The Sentinel and on Cumberlink.com
Comments { 0 } · Posted on October 26, 2014 in General