Recipes to Feed Your Immune Army
Looking for more ways to support your immune system? Here are four great recipes with ingredients that can help support you.
Roasted Red Pepper Dip
Did you know that red peppers contain more immune-boosting Vitamin C than oranges? Serve this tasty dip with sliced veggies for extra nutritional power.Ingredients
• 1 medium red pepper
• 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
• 1/3 cup milk
• 1 small garlic clove, coarsely chopped
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
• 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
• ¼ cup chives, minced
• 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
• To roast pepper: Preheat broiler and line a broiling pan or cookie sheet with foil. Cut pepper in half lengthwise, discard stem and seeds. Broil, cut side down, until blackened and blistered, about 6 to 8 minutes. Wrap pieces with foil and let steam about 15 minutes or until cool enough to handle.
• Unwrap peppers; peel off skin and discard. Cut each half into smaller pieces.
• In food processor fitted with blade, blend roasted pepper with cream cheese, milk, garlic, salt and pepper until smooth.
• Transfer to medium bowl and stir in the parsley, chives and thyme.
Yield: 1½ cups
Asian Grilled Salmon with Ginger
Salmon is a good source of Vitamin D, a nutrient that helps keep a variety of immune cells in working order. It’s also loaded with immune-strengthening omega-3 fatty acids. Warm, spicy and pungent, ginger is bursting with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
• 4 (8 ounce) salmon filets
• ¼ cup white miso (fermented soybean paste)
• ¼ cup mirin (Japanese rice wine)
• 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
• 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
• 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
• 2 tablespoons scallions, chopped
• 1½ tablespoons minced fresh ginger
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Fresh lime juice
• Make the marinade: Combine the miso, mirin, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, scallions and ginger in a small bowl.
• Place salmon in a shallow baking dish, pour marinade over, and turn to coat the other side. Cover and marinate 30 minutes in the fridge.
• Heat grill to high. Remove fish from marinade; season with salt and pepper.
• Grill, skin side down with the cover closed, until salmon forms a golden crust, approximately 3-4 minutes. Then turn salmon over and continue grilling until done. Allow 10 minutes total cooking time for every 1” of thickness.
• Drizzle with lime juice
Yield: 4 servings
Toasted Farro and Scallion “Risotto”
Farro, a distant cousin of wheat, is one of the world’s oldest cultivated grains. Compared with wheat, this hearty grain boasts twice the fiber and more protein, along with magnesium and a carbohydrate called cyanogenic glucosides, which has been found to stimulate the immune system.
• 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 4 scallions, thinly sliced
• 8 ounces farro
• 4 cups (32 ounces) of vegetable stock
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 3 cups cauliflower florets
• 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 4 large eggs (optional)
• Melt butter in a large saucepan, add scallions and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.
• Add farro, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add ½ cup of stock and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until absorbed. Keep adding stock, ½ cup at a time, stirring until absorbed before adding more. Cook farro until “al dente”, approximately 30 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.
• In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil. Add cauliflower, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower, along with vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, to the farro. Season with salt if desired and keep warm.
• For extra richness, boil water in a small saucepan and cook the eggs for 4 minutes. Drain and rinse. Peel the eggs, discarding the egg whites and keeping the yolks whole.
• To serve: Spoon farro into four bowls, adding a few slices of fresh scallion to each and placing a yolk in the center of each bowl. Stir in the yolks while risotto is still warm.
Yield: 4 servings
Cranberry Almond Biscotti
These delightful cookies are bursting with immune-supporting nutrients as well as flavor! Cranberries are a good source of immune-boosting Vitamin C and manganese. And recent studies show that naturally occurring chemicals found in almonds improve white blood cells’ ability to detect harmful invaders and prevent them from replicating, even after almonds are digested!
• 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
• ½ cup white sugar (¾ cup if using reduced-sugar cranberries)
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• 2 whole eggs
• 2 egg whites
• ¾ tablespoon almond extract
• ¼ tablespoon vanilla extract
• ¾ cup sliced almonds
• 1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
• Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
• Combine dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, vanilla and almond extract.
• Add egg mixture to dry ingredients. Using an electric mixer (medium speed), mix just until moist. Add almonds and dried cranberries and mix thoroughly.
• On a floured surface, divide dough in half. Pat each half into a log approximately 14” long and 1½” thick. Place logs on baking sheet and bake until firm and just starting to crack, about 30 minutes. Remove and cool.
• Reduce oven temperature to 300ºF. Cut logs on a diagonal into ½” slices or thinner if you prefer. Place the cut biscotti on the baking sheet and bake an additional 20 minutes until lightly browned. Cool and enjoy!
Yield: At least 30 cookies, depending on how thinly you slice them.