This is an ambitious meal, definitely for a day when you have some time to spend in the kitchen.
Your efforts will be well rewarded, though. Moist and flavorful, the turkey basks in a delicious and well-balanced sauce. Many healing ingredients comprise this meal. Fennel is closely related to parsley, carrots and dill. It has played an important role in the traditional food culture of France and Italy, dating back to ancient times. Supporting many of the body’s systems, fennel is particularly helpful for cardiovascular and colon health.
Roughly chop onions, fennel, mushrooms and chard. Peel and mince or press garlic. Grate ginger.
Grate ginger. Juice limes. In a small bowl, whisk together sesame oil, ginger, tamari, lime juice and pepper. Marinate turkey in this mixture for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, start rice; bring 2¼ cups chicken broth and 1 can coconut milk to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in rice and ½ teaspoon salt; cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from heat, set aside.
When the marinating hour is nearly up, preheat oven to 350°. Oil a large, ovenproof skillet and heat over medium-high heat.
Remove turkey from marinade, discard marinade. Dust with coconut flour and fry about 1 minute on each side.
Cover and bake until turkey reaches an internal temperature of 170°, or about 10 – 15 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
For the sauce, whisk together fresh ginger, tamari, rice vinegar, red wine vinegar, maple syrup, almond butter and 2 tablespoons water. Set aside.
Sauté green onions and garlic in coconut oil over medium heat. Add fennel and mushrooms, continue to cook, stirring frequently until mushrooms soften. Add broth and chard and cook until bright green. Toss veggies with some of the sauce.
Serve veggies and turkey over rice, with a drizzle of sauce.
Preparation: 1 hour and 45 minutes
Coconut oil is a healthy fat, which has been shown to have numerous beneficial effects on the aging brain.
Coconut oil is made of medium chain fatty acids that have been shown to help improve cognitive functioning in older adults with memory disorders. Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamins A and C and antioxidants. Ginger supports digestion and also has anti-inflammatory properties. This is a mild, lightly sweet soup that is popular with the whole family. I serve it over the holidays and it is always well received.
In a soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add shallot and a splash of broth and sauté about 2 minutes. Add ginger, sauté another 2 minutes. Add curry powder and stir until fragrant.
Add remaining broth, carrots, and sweet potatoes, and simmer on medium-high heat until vegetables are tender (about 15 minutes). Add coconut milk, and salt and pepper to taste.
Use an immersion blender or blend in batches, making sure blender is not more than half full. Return to soup pot and reheat.
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges
Serve piping hot, in bowls, garnished with cilantro and fresh lime wedges.
Preparation: 30 minutes
The romance of northern Africa infuses these tasty patties.
The rich medley of textures and flavors blend beautifully, adding interest and delight to the ground turkey. Healing herbs and spices enhance turkey’s natural gifts. Turkey is rich in vitamins B3 and B6, as well as the protein, selenium and phosphorus. Turkey provides a fair amount of Omega-3 and works to lower the Omega-6: Omega-3 ratio. Turkey is associated with a decreased risk for pancreatic cancer, and aids in stabilizing insulin level.
Blend in a food processor, or use a knife to finely chop shallots, garlic, thyme, basil and chard. Set aside.
Juice enough lemon for 1 teaspoon and zest enough lemon for ½ teaspoon. Chop mint leaves, chives and green onions. Seed and dice cucumber.
Toss yogurt and salt with cucumber, mint leaves, chives and green onions. Mix well and set aside.
Mix lemon zest, turmeric, pepper and salt with chard mixture. Fold in turkey and mix well. Form patties and roll edges in hemp hearts. Refrigerate patties for one hour.
Fry patties in oil over medium heat, about 8 minutes per side.
2 cups mixed greens
Serve patties over a bed of greens, drizzled with sauce.
Preparation: 30 minutes active, plus 1 hour to set
The natural sweetness of sweet potatoes, along with the protein of black beans give this hearty soup a satisfying heft that will sustain you between meals.
This soup is loaded with vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. Cabbage is also prized for its cholesterol lowering properties. Red cabbage offers additional nutritional benefits, including a high amount of protective phytonutrients. Enjoy this soup any time of year, and take it with you in a thermos for a burst of energy and protein during the day.
If you’re using dried beans, soak half a pound of beans overnight. Otherwise, drain and rinse two cans of beans. Peel and chop the shallot, garlic and sweet potatoes. Chop the cabbage. Juice the lime.
In a large soup pot, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add in the shallot, garlic, pumpkin seeds and cook until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in sweet potato. Cook for 5 minutes. Add in broth, water, lime juice, black beans, and red cabbage. Stir well. Add the turmeric, cumin, chili powder and coriander. Stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer on medium-low heat until sweet potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes.
Remove 2 cups of soup; blend with a countertop or immersion blender. Return to soup pot, stir in salt and pepper.
Peel and cube avocado, chop cilantro. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with avocado cubes and cilantro.
Preparation: 1 hour
Beets make a surprisingly delicious red sauce that pairs beautifully with spaghetti squash.
Spaghetti squash is a winter squash that has long, tender, noodle-like flesh that makes a fun alternative to pasta. Winter squash are prized for their abundant B-vitamins, including B1, B3, B6, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) and folate. Their carotenoid content provides antioxidant benefits. Winter squash contains moderate amounts of Omega 3 fats in the form of alpha-linolenic acid, which plays a role in supporting cognitive function.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise, scoop out seeds and spread coconut oil over cut sides. Place squash cut sides down in a baking dish and bake 45 minutes or until tender.
Peel and chop shallot, garlic, beets and cauliflower. Chop carrots and basil.
Heat coconut oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic and cook until shallot is translucent, stirring frequently. Add beets, carrots, thyme, and rosemary, and cook for a few more minutes.
Add ½ cup broth, coconut milk and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat; use an immersion blender or carefully transfer to a countertop blender and puree along with 1 cup broth. Return to pot, add basil and warm for a few more minutes.
When squash is done, scoop out flesh and fluff with a fork. Divide among plates and drizzle with sauce.
Preparation: 1 hour
“Zesty chicken patties are a delightful retreat from the bland chicken patties of yesterday.”
Replete with antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, zesty chicken patties are filled with healing properties that will satisfy even the most discerning of palates. They are bright, colorful and pack a tasty punch. Make a big batch on the weekend for a week’s worth of easy lunches. Rolling the patties in hemp seeds provides a visual and textural surprise, as well as an added dose of Omega 3.
Peel and finely chop the garlic. Finely chop the cilantro and onions. Grate the ginger.
Mix garlic, cilantro onions and ginger along with the chicken, chile, fish sauce, salt, pepper, lime juice and turmeric. Form into patties, rub lightly with oil, and roll edges in hemp seeds.
Sauté or grill about 8 minutes on each side, or until done.
Mixed salad greens for serving
Serve over a bed of your favorite greens.
Preparation: 15 minutes
My poached egg bowl makes a warm and gently nutritious meal.
Not just for breakfast, my poached egg bowl also makes a great lunch or light dinner. Feel free to add any leftover veggies you may have in the fridge. Quinoa and spinach are both members of the chenopod family, known for their unique carotenoids that are especially beneficial to nervous system health. Spinach is also rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant flavonoids. Spinach is thought to have originated in ancient Persia, brought to China by the 7th century and Europe in the 11th century.
Cook quinoa according to package directions, enough to make four servings. Peel and finely chop garlic and shallot. Chop spinach. Shred carrots. Grate ginger.
Heat one inch of water along with vinegar in a shallow pan over high heat. When the water begins to simmer, lower heat to medium and gently crack eggs into water, add salt and pepper. Continue to simmer until whites are opaque.
Sauté shallot, garlic and spices in coconut oil; add quinoa and spinach. Continue cooking until spinach is just wilted; keep warm until ready to serve.
Divide quinoa and spinach mixture into bowls, serve with an egg.
Preparation: 20 minutes
This is a pretty, warm dish, perfect for entertaining or enjoying at home on a cold day
The sweet potatoes pair beautifully with the mushrooms and the rich coconut milk sauce. This dish is comprised of healing ingredients that will delight your entire family and impress your guests. You will get plenty of essential amino acids from the quinoa. Chicken and cremini mushrooms provide B-vitamins, particularly B3 (Niacin), which is a powerful antioxidant. Spinach provides vitamins K and A, in addition to calcium, magnesium and zinc. This combination promotes tissue repair and helps to alleviate the damage associated with the aging process.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Cook quinoa according to package directions, enough to make 6 servings.
Slice chicken into strips. Slice mushrooms. Peel and slice shallot. Dice sweet potato.
In a frying pan, brown chicken in coconut oil on both sides. Add broth, mushroom and shallot, and continue to cook a few minutes longer, stirring frequently.
In a small bowl, whisk coconut milk and another cup of broth.
Place sweet potato in baking dish, add chicken mixture, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour coconut milk and broth over. Cover and bake 20 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are soft.
1 tablespoon capers
2 cups baby spinach
Just before serving, stir baby spinach into warm chicken and sweet potato mixture. Spoon over quinoa and sprinkle with capers.
Preparation: 45 minutes
Amaranth pancakes are nutty and substantial.
Without gluten you won’t get light and fluffy diner-style pancakes. Nonetheless, they have a delicious, cake-like texture that will carry you until lunch. Maybe you’d like to consider making a double batch and carrying a few with you for hearty mid-afternoon snack? Cultivated by the Aztecs 8,000 years ago, amaranth was a major staple of ancient diets in Mexico and Central America. It is now used throughout the world and provides many health benefits. Recently, Amaranth is gaining more attention due to its remarkable nutrition. It is gluten-free and is the only grain with a documented Vitamin C content. It has high protein content, as well as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties; its high in calcium, iron, phosphorus, carotenoids and fiber. Enjoy this beneficial ancient grain along with the other vitamin- and mineral-rich ingredients in these hearty pancakes.
These muffins are delicious and nutritious.
They make a nourishing and energy-sustaining snack food. The soluble fiber of the dates helps regulate blood sugar levels while providing a rich source of B vitamins, potassium and magnesium. The walnuts are an excellent source of antioxidants and help reduce inflammation. Walnuts are one of the highest vegetarian food sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. Additionally, the cinnamon not only boosts the flavor of the muffins but also has been shown to have a blood sugar lowering effect. A half-teaspoon a day of this common spice has also been shown to lower LDL cholesterol. Due to the natural sweetness of the dates, the maple syrup is listed as an optional ingredient. For those who are gluten-free, try experimenting with gluten-free flours such as coconut flour. While I don’t often recommend spelt flour, once in awhile, you can incorporate a good quality spelt flour, particularly when paired with so many nutritional ingredients.