I grew up eating this soup throughout the cold winters in New Zealand. My mother had a pot on the stove the entire time. swearing that if we ate it regularly we would never catch cold. I would even take it to school in a thermos (sometimes having to run the gauntlet of other kids teasing me for smelling funny) and rarely caught cold while all those other kids were sniffling and sneezing all around me. Garlic has magical anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties due to it's chemical constituent allicin. Numerous studies have also shown allicin to increase your T Cell count. T Cells are our best immune system building blocks and essential in the fight against bacterial and viral infections.
Baking the Garlic Cloves makes the allicin more potent and upping the infection fighting properties. Next time you turn on the oven through in lots of garlic to have on hand and start feeling better.
Total Prep Time : 1 hour
Cook Time : 30 minutes
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a small glass baking dish add the unpeeled garlic cloves with the olive oil and sea salt to taste.
Cover the dish with foil and bake for about 45 minutes until the garlic becomes brown in color and tender to touch. Set aside and cool.
Squeeze the garlic between your fingertips to release the cloves and put aside
In a heavy saucepan melt the butter over a medium heat (do not brown) and add ginger, garlic, onions, thyme and cayenne pepper.
Cook until the garlic and onions become translucent (approx 6 minutes) then add the baked garlic.
Add the broth, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and puree with blender until it is smooth. Transfer back to the saucepan and add coconut milk and heat through.
Serve with salt and pepper, lemon wedges and fresh herbs.
Can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Sweet Potato "Hummus"
Fall is here and there is no better time to highlight the wonder vegetable that is sweet potato.
In my previous post I talked about great foods to eat during the second half of your cycle and the mighty sweet potato was mentioned there.
I love this recipe because it combines the sweet grounding properties of sweet potato with the amazing benefits of sesame seeds in the form of Tahini. Sesame seeds are naturally anti-inflammatory and rich in iron, which your body needs once you enter the beginning of your period. It's also super easy and you can trick yourself into thinking you're having something naughty when in actual fact you are eating nothing but good. The sweet potato replaces the traditional chick peas which can create inflammation and therefore increase your pain during your period.
Spread on whole grain toast or eat dolloped over roasted vegetables like Broccoli and Cauliflower. Deelish!
Total Prep Time: 40 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Wash, peel and cube sweet potato and peppers. Season with paprika, chili powder, a little olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Roast until soft, about 30 minutes.
2. Allow vegetables to cool for 10 minutes. Once cooled, add to a food processor or strong blender with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and additional seasonings to taste.
3. Puree until smooth. Tip: Add small amounts of water to thin out hummus, if necessary.
Keeps for about 4-5 days in the fridge.
Carrot and Ginger Soup
This soup is great use of autumnal root vegetables - but this doesn't only work in the fall, it's a great summer soup as well as the ginger gives it a lovely zing. Ginger has long been used as a natural treatment for colds and the flu and also has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties. Many people also find ginger to be helpful in the case of stomach upset and it is used in Chinese medicine for the treatment of menstrual cramps.
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or equivalent in refined coconut oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
4 inches of fresh ginger - finely grated and peeled
4 cloves of garlic - minced
1 1/4 pounds medium carrots, peeled, chopped (about 3 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
3 cups (or more) chicken stock or canned low-salt broth (chicken is best but vegetable stock can be substituted)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Green onions, sea salt and pepper to serve.
Melt butter or coconut oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until beginning to soften . Add ginger and garlic and sauté an additional 2 minutes. Add chopped carrots and lemon peel and fry until the veggies are just starting to brown and there is some lovely sticky stuff on the bottom of the pot.
Add 3 cups stock, scraping the sticky bits up and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover partially and simmer until carrots are very tender, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly.
Puree soup in batches in blender or use an immersion/stick blender. Mix in lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
Bring soup to simmer, thinning with more stock, if desired. Ladle into bowls. Top each with green onion and black pepper.
The Ginger flavor is fuller the next day so this a great soup to make the day ahead. Be sure to cover and keep in fridge.
Sweet Sensation Soup
This is one of my absolute favorite comfort soups and I thought I would share it after Tanja's blog post on Digestion in TCM. Parsnip, Cabbage, Onion and Carrots are all vegetables that give our bodies the sweet it craves. They soothe the internal organs and energize the mind. Add sweet potato to the other vegetables and you get an energetically grounding mix that counteracts the spaciness that can sometime occur after eating sweet things. Eating this sweet soup can help minimize your cravings for other, less healthy, sweets. It balances your blood sugar levels and helps break down animal products.
Oh, and it's bloody delicious!
Cooking time: 30 minutes
4 Parsnips - chopped into equal sized chunks
2 Carrots - chopped into equal sized chunks
3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 cloves of garlic - peeled
2 medium sized sweet potatoes - chopped
1 large onion - chopped into equal sized chunks
2 cups of chopped cabbage
6 stalks of thyme
6 cups of vegetable stock (I make my own using stalks from organic chard, kale and broccoli, some herbs and leek tops boiled for about an hour in some lightly salted water)
2 tablespoons of your favorite curry powder
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Chopped cilantro/coriander leaves and roasted pumpkin seeds to serve
Toss parsnips and carrots in olive oil and place into a moderate oven and roast until golden brown and soft (approx 20-25 minutes)
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, place potatoes, garlic, onion, cabbage and thyme into the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Boil until sweet potatoes are soft.
Remove stalks of Thyme.
Add the parsnip and carrot to the mix with curry powder. Stir through.
Using a stick/immersion blender blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with some chopped cilantro/coriander leaves, roasted pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of olive oil.
Kimchi - Fermented Wonderfulness
Fermented foods are lacking in the modern day American diet. Cabbage season is in full swing so now's the time to make yourself some delicious Kimchi. Did you know that Koreans eat so much of this super-spicy condiment (40 pounds of it per person each year) that natives say "kimchi" instead of "cheese" when getting their pictures taken?
Total Prep Time : 1 hour
Cook Time : 0 minutes
Ingredients for Day One:
One large Head of cabbage
6 tablespoons of salt
Ingredients for Day 2:
4 scallions, including tops
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Sriracha (or substitute another garlic chili sauce)
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup sliced or grated apple (I love Fuji for their wonderful tart sweetness but any kind will do)
1 tablespoon salt
Cut cabbage into 1-inch square pieces, or a large shred like thick coleslaw (I find this cut makes it easier and more versatile once it's done).
Place in a bowl, and sprinkle with salt.
Add water to cover, and mix well.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let stand in a cool place overnight.
Drain the cabbage and rinse quickly under cold running water.
Cut the scallions into 1-inch lengths, then cut lengthwise into thin slices. In a bowl, combine the scallions with the rinsed cabbage, garlic, chili sauce, ginger, sugar, apples, salt and enough water to cover.
Mix well, and place in a quart jar with a lid. Close the jar, and let stand for a few days in a cool place.
Taste mixture every day, and when it has a good balance of flavor and acidity, place in the refrigerator (this usually takes four to five days depending on the warmth and humidity in your kitchen)
The kimchee will keep for two weeks.
Make a Kimchi Fried Rice, Serve with Eggs for Breakfast or make a delicious kimchi bibimbap