Monday, February 18, 2013

Warding Off Sickness & Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts Love

If anyone had told me when I was little that I would grow up to be a broccoli and Brussels sprouts fiend, I'da said they were crazy. I'da been wrong...

Broccoli, Brussels, Onion, Garlic, & Veggie-Quinoa Pasta

I can't get enough of varieties of this meal! So yum!!
This amazing little dish has come to be one of my absolute favorite, yummy meals to make for myself. Quick & easy and ohhh sooo tasty! Also, packed full of healthful nutrients like the natural chemical known as sinigrin found in Brussels sprouts, which broken down through digestion causes the signature smell of these little cabbages (which Corey thinks smells like farts, lol) and is also known to suppress the development of precancerous cells. They are also high in vitamins C, E, A, and K (which promotes healthy bones and body tissues) and the mineral manganese, as well as high in compounds known to help fight cancer and detoxify environmental toxins.  Broccoli is also a wonder food containing many anticancer phytochemicals and aiding the body in detoxification as well as protecting the structure of DNA.* The other ingredients in this recipe are also highly healthful foods, which only makes me love this dish even more. So without further adieu, the recipe:

A Favorite Meal: A Broccoli-Brussels Wonder! 

4-5 large (or small, whatever you have/want) Brussels Sprouts
About 1 C Broccoli, chopped
3-5 Cloves Garlic (as much as you like, I use a lot)
1/2 C Red, White, or Yellow Onion (optional, I prefer red)
1 C Quinoa, Quinoa Pasta, Brown Rice, Amaranth, Millet, or whatever grain or grain substitute you prefer (I usually use quinoa pasta)
Water & Olive Oil
Sea Salt & Ground Pepper
Coconut Aminos, Wheat-Free Tamari, Bragg's Liquid Aminos or Other Sauce
Ghee or Earth Balance Butter

In one pot, boil water for grain (quinoa or whichever you're using) to cook in. Cook grains according to their specific needs, for quinoa pasta use 2 C water for 1 C dry quinoa pasta. Rinse with cold water & set aside (or if you're able, cook this all at once - grains & veg).  Add all chopped ingredients to another pan and fill with about 1-2 in. water and 1 T Olive Oil, salt & pepper. Leave a spot where you can keep an eye on the water. Turn the burner to high and wait for water to boil. When water boils, lower the temp to med. and cover, letting simmer for about 2-3 min. or until broccoli & Brussels are bright green. Remove lid & stir vegetables in pan and continue cooking until vegetables are soft but not overcooked. Remove from heat. Place a layer of cooked grains in a bowl and add vegetables on top. Use some of the cooking water for nutrients that were lost to water in cooking, or if you like the flavor. Add a bit of Ghee or Earth Balance Butter to the top and stir in to melt. Add a dash of Coconut Aminos or other sauce to taste. One last topping I love to add to this, not pictured, is Parma (vegan Parmesan) which is only made of raw organic walnuts, nutritional yeast, and Himalayan crystal salt, or the Garlicky Green variety which also contains organic pumpkin seeds, organic sunflower seeds, kelp, organic garlic, organic hemp seeds, organic sesame seeds, & organic herbs. Whoa, some flava' to your face!
Time to prepare & cook: about 15-20 min.

So, there you have it. My very much staple meal for when I don't know what to make for myself for dinner, but I am craving something warm & home cooked. It's also a really handy meal for those long work days when I just want to be home, eating something yummy that doesn't take too long to cook. I also like to vary it up a little bit by switching out the veggies, like red bell pepper instead of broccoli (although I almost always have broccoli because I love it!), carrots, celery, rainbow chard (add this or other leafy greens in when it's just about finished so they don't overcook), spinach, and zucchini.

In other news, it seems like EVERYONE has been sick lately!! And I mean calling in to work, unable to move (except to run to the bathroom to puke or...) crazy, couch-ridden sick! Yuck! Well, I have been bound and determined not to catch any of this wild sick-flu that's going around, which has led to me doing a pretty good job of sticking to my healthy lifestyle habits. These are things like taking my vitamins every day, eating plenty of green leafy vegetables (every day), eating mostly only organic whole foods and products made from whole foods, using the far-infrared sauna 1-2 times each week, and juicing when I can. About a week before I got back to being so diligent with this, I went through about a week-long period where I felt "the sickness" creeping in on me. To this I said...NO!

Rose Tea (high in vitamin C) & Green Supreme juice
I got my green supreme juice rocking and loaded myself up with healthy, immune-boosting foods and teas like garlic, ginger, lemon, elder-berry, and rose. I was also using Thieves Hard Lozenges twice a day, which really seemed to help as well.  As everyone else was running out to get a flu shot, THIS was my flu shot! And guess what...the "sickness" felt like it was coming on, off and on, for about one whole week (occasional weak feeling, warm feeling, foggy-ish head, etc.) and then one day, it was gone! People around me continued to fall into the sickness, but I was feeling good! This has been very motivating in keeping up with healthy patterns. So far so good, and still feeling well! Another (what I believe was) KEY element of not getting sick has been remembering to take my daily probiotic. One of the chiropractors at my work mentioned that she thought probiotics were the best defense against whatever's been going around (and I happen to agree), so I have been diligently staying on top of eating my fermented veggies (kimchee, kombucha, sauerkraut) and taking my daily probiotic. With all of this combined, and with trying to keep stress-relief activities like meditation, saunaing, and exercise as part of my weekly routine, I am so far staying out of the way of this bug, and hoping to stay on the up and up!

Cheers!
If you've already caught it,  you can still work on boosting your immune system by taking probiotics, using lemon, ginger, and garlic, Thieves hard lozenges, Thieves oil on your feet throughout the day or at night, eating organic whole foods including lots of green leafy vegs, and drinking fresh vegetable and some fruit juice on a regular basis. I also highly recommend using a far infrared sauna if you are working on detoxifying your system (however, probably not the best thing to do while you are actually sick and puking).

Hope you all are having a happy and healthy weekend and looking forward to the week ahead!

Much love and wellness to you!







PS- this signature thing is a work in progress...lol. I need to work on making one without a white background. Baby steps ;-) Til' next time.


Resources:
*The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, Jonny Bowden, Ph.D, C.N.S. 
11 Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts, Healthdiaries.com