Immune Boosting Curry

Going into the New Year with a strong immune system can really benefit you during cold and flu season. This recipe contains over 20 immune supporting nutrients including the immune boosting white ones!!  For a full list of nutrients and details, refer to the chart below. 

Servings: 4 – 6

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1 small onion, cut into chunks
  • ½ stalk broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 medium bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium heirloom tomato, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 4 yellow baby potatoes, quartered
  • 1-2 tablespoons (depending on your spiciness preference) organic yellow curry paste. I used the Mekhala brand*
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • Pinch of sea salt x2
  • One 14-ounce can of organic coconut milk
  • ¾ of a 14-ounce block of extra firm organic tofu

Optional: Seed ranch thai green hot sauce, thai basil, handful of curry cashews. 

* A good rule of thumb is to start with mild spiciness and then increase the amount slowly until you reach your desired spice level.  

Preparation

  1. 1.Cook rice according to directions. 
  2. 2.Add sunflower oil to a medium to large soup pot. Heat over medium heat. 
  3. 3. Add garlic, ginger and onion. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. 4. Add broccoli, bell pepper, tomato, carrots and baby potatoes to the pot. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
  5. 5.Add the curry paste and mix thoroughly. Saute for another 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. 6.Add water, maple syrup and pinch of sea salt. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until vegetables are soft. To save time, you can cook this in an instapot.
  7. 7.While the vegetables are cooking, dice and saute the tofu in a medium sized pan with a pinch of salt for at least 10 minutes.  Flip tofu once ½ way through.
  8. 8.Add coconut milk and tofu to vegetable mixture.  Simmer for another 2-3 minutes. 
  9. 9.Serve over ½ cup of wild rice, black rice or red rice. 
  10. 10.Top with optional Thai basil, Thai green hot sauce or curry cashews. Enjoy!

CHART: IMMUNE BOOSTING NUTRIENTS IN THIS RECIPE

Italian Rainbow Cookies

VEGAN HOLIDAY RECIPE MAKEOVER

Want to indulge, but not overindulge in a treat this holiday season.  Try this fun-to-make made-over recipe that tastes yummy but isn’t as painful around the waistline. Lots of steps, but easy to make!

A usual Italian rainbow cookie recipe is made with up to 3 sticks of butter, 1 cup of sugar (plus extra found in some of the ingredients), 4 eggs and a lot of artificial food coloring.

To give this recipe a vegan makeover, here’s what I did:

  1. Used only ¾ cups of plant-based butter – replaced the rest with 1 ½ bananas and 1 cup of apple sauce.
  2. Cut the sugar in half and used maple sugar instead of white granulated sugar.
  3. Used organic, unbleached flour.
  4. Subbed out the egg for aquafaba.
  5. Used 100% fruit juice sweetened jam instead of cane sugar sweetened.
  6. Used low sugar oat milk chocolate chips – the closer to zero grams of sugar, the better!
  7. Replaced the artificial colors with natural coloring (e.g. made from beet root).

This recipe contains about 1/3rd of the saturated fat of the non-vegan recipe, has no cholesterol and contains less than ½ the amount of sugar.  

Servings: Makes 36 cookies – serving size is 2 cookies 

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup plant-based butter
  • 1 ½ – 2 ripened bananas – pureed
  • 1/3 cup maple sugar OR 1/6 cup maple sugar and 1/6 cup turbinado sugar.
  • 7 ounces almond paste
  • ¼ cup soy or almond milk
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups organic, unbleached all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour 1-1)
  • 1/3 cup aquafaba
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Red and green natural food colorings
  • ½ cup 100% fruit juice sweetened raspberry jam
  • ½ cup low sugar vegan chocolate chips 

Directions

  1. Add parchment paper to 3 medium size baking sheets.   
  2. Preheat oven to 350° (375°if you live in altitude). 
  3. Put butter, sugar and banana into a large sized bowl. Blend with a hand mixer until the sugar has fully dissolved in the butter. 
  4. Add the butter mixture to a food processor. Break almond paste into pieces and add to the butter mixture. Blend until mixture is smooth and firm. 
  5. Place mixture back into the bowl. Add in dairy free milk, apple sauce, and almond and vanilla extract. Using a hand mixer, blend together until mixed well and smooth. 
  6. Fold in the flour a little at a time until you have a well-blended dough. 
  7. In a small bowl, beat the aquafaba and cream of tarter with a hand mixer until it forms stiff peaks. Fold it into the dough mixture and stir until it is fully mixed. 
  8. Divide the dough evenly into 3 bowls. Add 7-8 drops of red food coloring to one bowl and mix thoroughly. Add 7-8 drops of green food coloring to the other bowl and mix thoroughly. Leave one bowl plain.
  9. Pour the red dough batter onto a baking sheet. Use a spatula or knife to spread the dough until it reaches the edge of the pan.  It will be a very thin layer.
  10. Repeat step 9 with the green dough and then the plain dough.
  11. Place in the oven and bake for 8-12 minutes (8-10 minutes in altitude). Cookie dough is ready when you insert a toothpick into the dough, and it comes out clean.
  12. Allow the sheets to cool for at least 10 minutes. 
  13. Once cooled, cut each dough recipe into two even halves.  Then fold one half over onto the other half (using the parchment paper) and line them up as evenly as possible.
  14. Starting with the green cookie/cake, spread ¼ cup of the jam on top. Carefully transfer the white dough and place on top of the green layer. Top the white cookie/cake with the other ¼ cup of jam. Lastly carefully place the red cookie/cake on top.
  15. Cover the top red layer with parchment paper and place in the refrigerator. Place heavy books on top of it and let chill for 3-4 hours.
  16. Once chilled, remove the books and then remove recipe from the refrigerator. Melt chocolate and spread ½ of it (I used less) onto the red layer cookie/cake. Fully cover the red layer. 
  17. Place back in the refrigerator and chill until chocolate hardens (about 10-15 minutes).
  18. Carefully flip the cookie/cake over and spread the remaining amount of chocolate on the bottom layer. Refrigerate again for 10-15 minutes.
  19. Slice into approximately 36 cookies.  Please note: the chocolate and jam may have dripped over the side, so make sure to cut that off so you can see the vibrant colors. Enjoy!

Tempeh “Neat” Balls

Tempeh is really good crumbled and used as a great substitution for ground beef. This “pseudo” meatball recipe is an excellent of protein and iron and contains a considerable amount of fiber, potassium and Omega 3’s. 

Servings: 5-6

Ingredients

  • One 8-ounce package of tempeh – If you’re not a big fan of tempeh, you can sub out 1 cup of cooked lentils instead. 
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon white miso
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic minced
  • ½ cup Italian style breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley – chopped into tiny pieces
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 2 pinches of granulated onion, sea salt and pepper
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds (optional)
  • Extra virgin cold pressed olive oil  

Recipe adapted from the New Baguette Tempeh Meatballs Recipe. 

Directions

  1. 1. Add parchment paper to a medium size baking sheet.  Lightly sprinkle with olive oil. 
  2. 2. Preheat oven to 375°. 400 degrees if you live in altitude. 
  3. 3. Chop the tempeh into tiny pieces. You can even pulse in a food processor to really break it down. 
  4. 4. Add the chopped tempeh to a medium sized sauté pan along with the soy sauce, water and minced garlic. Cook on medium heat until the liquid is evaporated, about 10 minutes. Let it cool slightly.
  5. 5.  While the tempeh is cooking, add the miso and tomato paste to a medium sized bowl and mix them together using a fork. Then add the breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, parsley, Italian seasoning, granulated garlic and onion, salt and pepper and optional caraway seeds. Mix together thoroughly with a spoon or spatula. 
  6. 6. Form tempeh mixture into balls and place on baking sheet.
  7. 7. Bake for 10 minutes and then flip with tongs to the other side. Cook 10 – 15 minutes more. 
  8. 8. Serve on top of cooked zucchini or spaghetti noodles. Top with your favorite spaghetti sauce. Enjoy! 

Banana Cream Pie

Banana Cream Pie

This veganized version was inspired by the banana cream pie my mom made when we were kids. My mother discovered the recipe in an old Betty Crocker cookbook that was given to her as a wedding present. The recipe was a favorite of my grandfather, my mother and now me! Hope you enjoy this family recipe as much as we do.

Serves: 8

Prep time: 5 hours – much of this time is for the mixture to cool.

Banana Cream Pie

Ingredients

  • Organic pie shell – I used the Wholly Wholesome brand.*  
  • 2 tablespoons organic, non-gmo cornstarch
  • ¼ cup vegan sugar (I used ½ maple sugar and ½ turbinado sugar)
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened plain organic soymilk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ripe bananas pureed
  • One 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 medium banana for slicing once pie is finished

*Time permitting: you can make your crust from scratch using a preferred recipe. 

**IMPORTANT: PLACE COCONUT CAN IN THE REFRIGERATOR THE NIGHT BEFORE PREPARING THE RECIPE**

Directions

  1. Bake pie shell according to directions on the package. Let cool.
  2. Prepare pudding by adding cornstarch, sugar and salt to a small saucepan. Whisk in soymilk and banana puree.  
  3. Heat on medium heat until mixture boils. Whisk continuously Then reduce heat to low and cook for another 4-8 minutes (depending on altitude).
  4. Once the mixture forms a thick gel, remove from the heat and whisk in    one teaspoon of the vanilla. Let cool for 10 minutes.   
  5. Once cool, put mixture in a bowl and cover it with a lid. Place bowl in the refrigerator and cool for 2-3 hours. 
  6. At least ½ hour before the mixture is done cooling, whip the coconut cream.  Remove the coconut can from the refrigerator carefully. DO NOT SHAKE. Open can and scoop out only the hardened coconut part on the top.  Discard the liquid part or use it in another recipe. 
  7. Add ½ teaspoon vanilla and maple syrup to the recipe. Whip with a hand mixer until light and airy about 2-4 minutes. Cover bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. 
  8. Once the pudding is cooled, combine pudding mixture with coconut cream and stir until combined. 
  9. Add combined mixture to the cooked and cooled pie shell. 
  10. Top with sliced bananas. Place back in the refrigerator for at least another ½ hour so that the pie will set. Cut into pie slices and serve. 

Top with extra whipped coconut cream if desired. Enjoy!

LIGHTEN UP!

An After-Thanksgiving Light Soup to Cleanse and Detox

This recipe is filled with whole and light in calorie vegetables to help you reset after the ultra-stuffing Thanksgiving meals. It also uses a couple of canned ingredients to help speed up the recipe making process. Enjoy!

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, cold pressed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced and chopped in half
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried Italian herbs
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Optional: sprinkle of granulated garlic and onion
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ of a large head of cabbage, sliced
  • One 28-ounce can of fire roasted and diced tomatoes
  • One 15.5 ounce can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • Optional: dried mushrooms to add flavor to the broth

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery. Cook until the vegetables begin to soften, approximately 6-8 minutes. Add garlic, Italian herbs, salt, pepper and optional spices, stir and cook for 2 minutes more.
  2. Add broth, cabbage, fire roasted tomatoes, kidney beans and optional mushrooms. Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in vinegar.
  3. Serve in a soup bowl immediately.

TIP TO ADD MORE FLAVOR: Let soup sit overnight so that all the flavors will meld. Enjoy the next day for a light dinner.

Nutritional info: This recipe is extremely low in calories, an excellent source of fiber Vitamin A and C. It is also a good source of folate, calcium, iron and potassium.  

Pumpkin Mousse Chocolate Bombs

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups of fresh baked pumpkin (about 1 ¼ pumpkin) or 1 can (15-ounce) pureed pumpkin (without added sugars or additives or preservatives).
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup of low sugar (4 grams or less per serving) or unsweetened sugar, chocolate chips.

Directions

IMPORTANT: The night before preparing the recipe, place an unopened can of coconut milk in the refrigerator.

To prepare recipe:

  1. Take the coconut can out of the refrigerator and open it.  Scoop out the solid part of it and place in a large mixing bowl.  Discard the liquid or use it for another recipe or drink. 
  2. Using a mixer, whip the coconut milk into a cream.
  3. In another bowl, combine the pumpkin, syrup, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla and mix well.   
  4. Gently fold the coconut cream into the pumpkin mixture.
  5. Pour the mixture into six 2 ½ inch chocolate molds and fill them up. Level off the top with a knife. 
  6. Place mold in the freezer and let set for at least 2 hours.
  7. Melt ¾ cup of chocolate chips in a sauté pan over low heat. Brush the chocolate into six additional silicone molds (cover the entire mold with chocolate) and freeze for at least 20 minutes. 
  8. Once set, gently pop out the pumpkin mousse out of the mold and place on a dessert plate. 
  9. Gently pop out the chocolate half spheres and place them over the pumpkin mousse spheres. 
  10. Serve and enjoy!

Give Thanks to Stuffed Squash – Georgia Candy Roaster Squash

“It’s Just Another Meatless Monday” Whoa.. Whoa… 🎵Today’s Recipe brought to you by #AnOunceOfNutrition is #GeorgiaCandyRoasterSquash

Just Another Meatless Monday – Georgia Candy Roaster Squash


Made with Colorado grown Georgia Candy Roaster squash, this recipe will dazzle and amaze your friends and family this Thanksgiving!

This slightly sweet, smooth and buttery taste squash can grow up to 15 pounds, essentially the size of your forearm. Nutritionally, it’s an orange one so an excellent source of Vitamin A! It also is rich in Vitamin C and Fiber. Can’t find this type of squash? Choose acorn or another locally grown squash in your grocery store and follow the instructions for the stuffing below.

Serves: 6
Prep time: 30-45 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes to an hour

Ingredients

1 whole Georgia Candy Roaster Squash sliced in half with the seeds removed

1 tablespoon melted plant-based butter

Salt and pepper

1 cup wild rice

2 cups vegetable broth made from whole vegetables

Extra virgin olive oil – cold-pressed

1 cup chopped celery

½ cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon plant-based butter

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon fresh sage

Granulated garlic and onion

½ cup fresh cranberries – you can sub these out for dried cranberries sweetened with fruit juice instead if you don’t like the tart taste of cranberries.

2 tablespoons maple syrup

¼ teaspoon chopped pecans

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°.

Add wild rice, veggie broth, a pinch of salt and a splash of olive to a medium size pot. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 45 minutes. Add parchment paper to a large baking sheet. Then lightly brush the cut side of each side of the squash with butter and then add a sprinkle of salt and pepper to them. Brush on some maple syrup if you like a sweeter taste. Then place cut side down on the baking sheet and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until squash is soft but still holding its shape.

If using fresh cranberries, add them to a small sauté pan with maple syrup. Cook on medium-low heat until cranberries pop and absorb the syrup or approximately 20 minutes.

Add butter to a large sauté pan and melt on medium low heat. Add celery and onion and cook for approximately 12 minutes or until celery is soft. Once cooked add Italian seasoning, sage, and a sprinkle of granulated garlic and onion. Remove from heat. Add rice, cranberries and pecans to the celery and onion mixture and mix thoroughly. Turn squash over and scoop out part of the inside in the middle. Add rice mixture to one of the halves. Place the other half on top. Tie with cooking twine to hold squash together.

Serve immediately on a serving plate. Have guests cut off a piece, REMOVE THE SKIN and enjoy!

For extra flavor, top with gravy or cinnamon and nutmeg.

ENJOY! Share a photo of your finished recipe!
#MeatLessMonday #veganrecipes #thanksgivingrecipes #squash #ShareYourRecipePic

COLORADO CANTELOUPE MOCKTAIL

Colorado Cantaloupe Mocktail

COLORADO CANTALOUPE MOCKTAIL

Mocktails are alcohol-free drinks that were invented to mimic regular old cocktails with alcohol.
Typical bar made mocktails contain some pretty unhealthy ingredients including simple syrup, refined sugar, sodas, high fructose corn syrup, concentrated juices, artificial colors (think Red 1), and artificial flavors.
Healthier versions are homemade using fresh local fruit, cold-pressed juices and fresh herbs and spices.
Try this much lighter, healthier version using fresh Colorado cantaloupe and fresh mint.
Ingredients:
1 Colorado-grown cantaloupe (rind removed, deseeded and cut into chunks)
½ cup fresh, cold-pressed orange juice
¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
2 cups ice
Optional: Drizzle of local raw honey
Fresh mint leaf sprigs and triangle sliced cantaloupe for decoration
Instructions:
1. Add the cantaloupe, orange juice, lime juice, mint leaves, ice, and optional honey to a blender. Blend until smooth.
2. Pour into 4 cocktail glasses and serve immediately.
@reportercathy An Ounce of Nutrition
#CFVGA #coloradoproduce #cantaloupe

How Plants Boost Your Immune System

I’ve been receiving a lot of questions about how to boost your immune system to help prevent the coronavirus.  While I can’t guarantee that you won’t get the virus, here are some of the ingredients that may give your body a fighting chance.

First of all, what is your immune system? It is a conglomerate of cells, tissues and organs working together to help fight off germs. It helps your body recognize foreign invaders. Foreign invaders may include bacteria, viruses or other toxins.

How does the immune system help protect our body? White blood cells are an important part of protecting our body from disease.  This includes the phagoyctes that destroy invaders and lymphocytes that helps the body remember the invaders and destroys them before they can infect you. The T Cells are probably the most important white blood cell in protecting our body from the coronavirus, because they can tailor our immune system to fight against viruses our body has not seen before. They eat them up!

So how can you boost your immune system during this challenging time? Stay physically fit – it raises your levels of T Cells, limit alcohol and get enough sleep.  And of course, eat more plants!

The best plants to consume:

1. The White Ones: A chemical found in white color vegetables (specifically garlic and onions); called allium can significantly boost your immune system. It does this by increasing your white blood count significantly and therefore your ability to fight off disease. Eating 2-3 cloves of garlic a day can give your immune system a big boost. Raw garlic of course is the best choice, but some people cannot tolerate it raw, so adding it towards the end of cooking is best. Plus, cutting the garlic and letting it sit for 10 minutes before using will significantly increase the amount of allium that is released.

Onions are also rich in anti-oxidants to help protect bacteria and viruses from attacking our cells. The darker the onion, the more antioxidants it contains. This means the white onions contain the lowest amount, the yellow have more and the red onions have the most. The onions that have the strongest flavor and therefore make us cry; are also the richest in anti-oxidants. Probably the best onion to consume to boost our immune system is the scallions or green onions with a white bulb. These onions are the closest to their original wild form and have about 140 TIMES the amount of anti-oxidants in them.  Eating at least ½ cup of onions at a meal is the recommended amount.

2. The Pungent Ones: Yes, this includes garlic and onions but also the other strong flavored vegetables like ginger and hot peppers. Fresh ginger contains the active compounds phenolic and terbene that help keep the virus from attaching to our cells which stops the virus it in its tracks. It is especially important for preventing respiratory infections like those found in the coronavirus. These active ingredients also help combat chills and fever. The recommendation is about 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger a day to give your immune system a nice boost.

Hot peppers contain the compound capsaicin, an active ingredient responsible for its heat with anti-inflammatory properties. It contains anti-viral properties but also slightly raises our body temperature, which triggers our immune system to take action. The recommendation is to eat hot chili peppers at least 4 times a week (a couple of slices at a time).

3. Soluble Fiber: There are two types of fiber, the insoluble and soluble ones. Insoluble fiber isn’t absorbed and passes quickly through our digestive system. It bulks up our stool with water and makes it easier to pass.  Soluble fiber on the other hand, takes a longer time moving through our digestive system. It dissolves in water to form a gel (think oatmeal in water) which binds to and carries toxins out of our body.   It also helps protect the lungs from viruses, reduces inflammation and boosts our immune activating T cells. Foods that are rich in soluble fiber include oats, apples, beans, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, broccoli, pears and many other grains and fruits and veggies.

4. Resveratrol rich foods: Resveratrol is a powerful anti-oxidant found in a lot of red, blue or purple colored fruits.  Fruits that contain the highest amount of resveratrol include elderberries, wild blueberries, goji berries, raspberries, cranberries and pomegranates.  Oh and yes, red wine!  Resveratrol keeps viruses from infiltrating our cells and spreading. If you’re looking for an added dose to boost your immune system, consider a whole food liquid supplement that contains a lot of the red berries.

Fun Fact: Sales of elderberry syrup has doubled during the coronavirus outbreak.

5. Herbs and spices: Many herbs and spices, especially as an oil have antiviral properties.

For Example:

      • Oregano contains the compound carvacrol which has been shown to inactivate stomach viruses.
      • Ingredients in the leaves and stem of the sage plant have been shown to prevent viruses from entering cells.
      • Rosemary contains the plant compound oleanolic acid which may keep the virus from attaching to our cells.
      • Curcumin is the bright yellow compound that is responsible for the color of the spice turmeric. One of the main benefits of turmeric is that it reduces inflammation and fights off infection.
      • Cinnamaldehyde, the compound found in cinnamon that is responsible for its flavor and smell has been shown to inhibit the growth of viral infections.

And there are many, many more!

6. Tea: Tea contains powerful disease fighting properties that keep infection at bay. Black tea contains the naturally occurring compounds including polyphenols that can hinder a virus from infecting our cells. Green tea is the most anti-oxidant rich tea and therefore, a stronger anti-viral tea, because it is kept from being exposed to oxygen that changes the color to black, which reduces the amount of antioxidant properties it has in it. It contains catechins that possess antiviral properties that keep the virus from infecting our cells and increasing T cell function so it can do its job.

This is only a short list of anti-viral rich plant foods and ingredients, but hopefully it will give you enough of an idea to get started. If you would like more information on anti-viral foods during the coronavirus outbreak, please reach out.  An Ounce of Nutrition is offering free anti-viral rich foods advice during over the next month.