Fall equinox passed us last week, providing a balance point, a moment of equal day and equal night before we delve into the inner journey of fall and winter. By strengthening our immune systems now, we bolster our bodies to prepare for a healthy winter.
Here are some ways to honor this transition:
Take a deep breath before you eat a meal.
Stop to appreciate fall foliage.
Wake up affirming that something wonderful is going to happen today.
Set aside time to prepare a healing, delicious meal. May these recipes inspire you.
Mushroom and Carrot Pilaf
You will need:
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon thyme
10 ounces cremini and shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
5 medium carrots, grated
4 Tablespoons flaxseed meal
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, thyme, salt and pepper; stir to coat in oil, and cover skillet.
Cook for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add mushrooms and lemon juice. Cover and cook until mushrooms release most of their liquid, about 10 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes more.
Meanwhile, grate carrots.
Remove skillet from heat, mix in carrots and flaxseed, and serve warm.
Carrots are an excellent fall and winter food because they tonify the intestines and support immune health. Mushrooms are immune-boosting and high in vegetarian protein.
Quinoa and White Bean Sauté
You will need:
2 cups white beans (soldier or cannellini), cooked
2 inches seaweed (kombu or wakame), for cooking the beans
3 cups quinoa, rinsed and cooked
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 shallots, minced
1 inch fresh ginger root, minced
2 large bunches kale, or other hearty green, chopped
apple cider vinegar and olive oil for dressing
Soak beans overnight. Rinse, drain, and cook with 2 inches seaweed.
Cook beans and quinoa.
Meanwhile, mince shallot and chop kale, parsley and basil.
Sauté shallot and ginger in olive oil for 4 minutes, or until browned. Add kale. Sauté for 5 more minutes. Add ½ cup water and sauté for 5 more minutes. Stir to incorporate, turn off heat, and mix with cooked beans and quinoa. Toss with olive oil and vinegar.
Serve at room temperature.
Shallots and ginger are warming, digestive, and stimulate the immune system.
Miso Walnut Porridge
You will need:
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1 cup walnut halves and pieces
½ teaspoon each: coriander and cardamom
½ cup rolled oats
1 cup water
½ teaspoon miso
Heat coconut oil in a small stock pot.
Add walnuts, coriander, and cardamom. Toast on low heat for 3 or 4 minutes.
Add oats and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat, add miso, stir to incorporate, and enjoy!
This is a terrific breakfast or a wonderful addition to a dinner of poached chicken and steamed kale.
Have you ever had savory oats? I think they're delicious. They also soothe the nervous system and support healthy transit time and elimination. They're a perfect warming grain for fall and winter.