Broccoli & Brussels Sprouts

KITCHEN MEDICINE TIPS

  • Enjoy cruciferous vegetables to de-tox the liver in preparation for the heavier, richer foods of winter. Include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale.

  • Enjoy parsley-based sauces to support liver and blood purification.

  • Eat root vegetables to ground you into the same earth from which they came.

  • Highlight the pungent flavor of leeks, garlic, onions, and shallots to feed your gut's beneficial bacteria with inulin, a pre-biotic compound. The alium family of vegetables also supports a healthy immune response to the cold and flu viruses.

  • Sample some capsicum family spices. Chiles, chipotle, and cayenne accelerate metabolism and improve circulation to those cold fingers and toes.

Most of all, be well, take a deep breath before each meal, and enjoy your food!

BROCCOLI STRASCINATI

Strascinati means 'dragged' or 'dredged' in Italian. The broccoli gets dredged in this delicious sauce.

You will need:

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 bunch broccoli (about 1 pound), stemmed and cut into florets

  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled

  • ½ teaspoon crushed red chile flakes

  • 1 teaspoon salt

Heat oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Add broccoli; cook, turning occasionally, until lightly browned, 6–8 minutes. Sprinkle in 2 tbsp. water; add garlic; cook until golden, 2–3 minutes. Add chile; cook until toasted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt.

BRILLIANT BRUSSELS SPROUTS

You will need:

  • l pound Brussels sprouts

  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil

  • 1 teaspoon each: salt and black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon brown mustard

  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme

  • 1 teaspoon chile flakes

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Slice each of the sprouts in half.

Arrange the sprouts on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil, salt, and pepper.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until crisp.

In a serving bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, vinegar, mustard, thyme, and chiles.

Add Brussels sprouts once they are cooked. Toss well to incorporate and serve with your favorite protein.

Some of my favorite proteins are:

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Get Creative with Summer Sauces

This summer, try to preserve the abundance from your gardens or local farms to enjoy on cold winter days. These three sauces are wonderful fresh and keep well, too. 

To preserve them, just sterilize half pint mason jars and lids by pouring boiling water oven them while they are in the sink. 
Prepare a water bath by filling a soup pot with water and bringing it to a boil.
Fill jars three quarters of the way with sauce, screw on the lid, and place in boiling water for 5 minutes. 
Extract, set aside, and test the lids 24 hours later. 

Lids need to resist the touch in order to be completely canned.
If a lid bows when pressed, eat that jar right away of freeze it.

Click this link for an easy oven canning method for cooked sauces (like tomato, apple, and jams).

Be well and enjoy today.

Parsley Cashew Spread


Coarsely chop:
1 bunch fresh parsley (about 2 packed cups)
1 clove garlic

Place in a food processor with:3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup cashews
½ teaspoon salt

Blend well.
Enjoy with toast, over pasta or cooked rice, or as a side salad.

GET CREATIVE: Add dill and serve over boiled potatoes. Grate carrots into the sauce, blend in a blender, and serve as a dip for steamed broccoli.

Cilantro Tahini Sauce


Chop 1 bunch fresh cilantro (about 1 ½ packed cups).

Place in a blender with:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
½ teaspoon each: coriander and salt
2 tablespoons tahini

Blend well.

Try it with pinto beans and corn tortillas or black bean soup and corn bread. Click here for recipes.

GET CREATIVE: try mixing cilantro with ¼ cup shredded coconut, 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and 1 tablespoon tamari (fermented soy sauce).

Basil Sunflower Sauce


Coarsely chop:
1 bunch fresh basil (about 2 packed cups)

1 clove garlic

Place in a blender or food processor with:
¼ cup sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt

Blend until smooth.

Try it with sliced tomatoes and goat cheese.

GET CREATIVE: Use walnuts instead of sunflower seeds. Add 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Try using sacred basil (tulsi) and coconut oil instead of basil and olive oil. Add a tablespoon of raw honey, blend, and serve over ice cream.

Medicinal Culinary Spices

Health is a changing state of balance. Illness, pain and food cravings are signals of the body’s disharmony. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a centuries-old healing modality that persists today with doctors, naturopaths, and acupuncturists, explains that food is medicine. To satisfy the whole being, TCM encourages including five flavors in each meal: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, and bitter.


The five flavors correspond to five elements: Earth is sweet, Metal is pungent, Water is salty, Wood is sour, and Fire is bitter. Each element maintains balance with a moderate amount of its corresponding flavor, but illness occurs when a flavor is used in excess.

Each flavor also corresponds with a time of year. See how you can incorporate foods to match the season. Spring is sour. Summer is bitter. Late summer is sweet. . Fall is pungent. Winter is salty. The sour flavor and the wood element influence the liver and gall bladder.


Try cooking with these herbs and spices to support the transition into fall:

Garlic: high in Vitamin C and pungent sulfurous compounds, which reduce inflammation in the body; nature’s strongest anti-biotic; contains polysulfides, which trigger blood vessel dilation to reduce blood pressure; anti-microbial and anti-bacterial, controls overgrowth of Helicobacter pylori bacteria in the small intestine thus helping to reduce heartburn and eventual ulcers.
 
Ginger -  warming, anti-inflammatory, soothes stomach cramps, reduces flatulence, alleviates common cold and flu symptoms.



Parsley – Rich in Vitamin C to decrease inflammation, beta carotene to help prevent infection and strengthen immunity, and folic acid (B vitamin) to support cardiovascular health. Contains volatile oils that can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens as well as ease the burn of insect bites and stings.


Rosemary – antiseptic herb that contains rosmarinic acid, which stimulates the immune system, increases circulation, and improves digestion and concentration. Anti-inflammatory, digestive, and aromatic, the potent herb both aids in digesting fats and decreases the risk of infection from contaminated foods.

Sage –Improves memory by decreasing the growth of neurovascular plaque in the brain. Soothes the digestive tract, dries excess mucus from all membranes, and provides crucial phytonutrients which counteract the effects of oxidation, not only in human blood but also in cooking oils and nuts.
 
Thyme –Contains thymol and other volatile oils, which have antimicrobial activity against bacteria. Helps preserve foods and protect them from microbial contamination. Thymol helps increase the percentage of healthy fats, such as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid) in brain, kidney, and heart cell membranes.