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
Quinoa is a versatile grain and easy to prepare.
Recently rediscovered, this ancient cereal is thought to have been the “gold of the Incas”, and is one of the least allergenic of all grains. Quinoa is high in protein, includes all the essential amino acids, is an excellent source of fiber, and a very good source of iron and magnesium. Quinoa is excellent for cognitive support, as it is high in vitamin B-12, which supports brain cells, and manganese, which is an antioxidant. This quinoa pilaf can be a side or a main dish. You can add chicken to this recipe, and/or substitute for the zucchini a variety of different vegetables, such as spinach, chard, artichokes, or carrots.
Preheat oven to 350° F.In fine sieve, rinse quinoa under cold running water 1–2 minutes to remove this grain’s coating of saponin, a bitter, resin-like glucoside, set aside.
On ungreased baking sheet, arrange pumpkin seeds in single layer. Bake for 3–5 minutes, or until slightly darkened in color. Set aside.
Peel and chop shallot. Chop zucchini.
Add quinoa and broth or water to saucepan, bring to boil, and then reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cover and cook until quinoa is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed (20–25 minutes).
Meanwhile, in saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add shallot and ginger and sauté, stirring often, until softened (3–5 minutes). Add zucchini and stir until tender (5–7 minutes).
When quinoa is cooked, add shallot and zucchini mixture and mix in goat cheese. Stir to fluff, add salt to taste.
Serve hot, topped with toasted pumpkin seeds.
Preparation: 30 minutes
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
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
Baked sweet potatoes plus healing herbs make a deeply satisfying dinner or lunch the next day.
White beans, also known as white navy beans, offer numerous health benefits. They are filled with anti-oxidants and are a good source of fiber and protein, and they rank low on the glycemic index. White beans are one of the most concentrated food sources of molybdenum and other trace minerals and are extremely important for good health. Molybdenum is a relatively unknown trace mineral with detoxifying properties. It also aids in the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. White beans also provide magnesium. One of my daughter Madeleine’s least favorite foods are sweet potatoes. When she was asked to take a taste in the spirit of supporting my cookbook—she loved this dish and she keeps asking for it!
4 sweet potatoes
4 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup walnuts
2 shallot, diced
2 garlic cloves
1 can or 2 cups cooked white beans
2 bags raw baby spinach
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Coat sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoons coconut oil. Prick with a fork, and bake, uncovered, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Finely chop walnuts and toast them in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, set aside. Peel and dice shallot. Peel and mince garlic. Rinse and drain beans. Chop spinach. Juice lemon. In a small dish, combine 3 tablespoons coconut oil, cinnamon and nutmeg, set aside.
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
¼ cup chicken stock
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoon coconut oil
Start the beans about 15 to 20 minutes before the sweet potatoes are done. In a large pot or skillet, heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and rosemary and cook, stirring, for about a minute. Add the beans and stock, cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the spinach, cover the pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes or until the spinach is soft. Remove the rosemary sprigs, stir in the lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup parmesan or goat cheese (optional)
To serve, slice each sweet potato lengthwise and open. Spoon cinnamon mixture on each potato, and then spoon on the beans. Sprinkle shredded coconut, toasted walnuts and cheese, if desired, on top.
Preparation: 20 minutes prep; plus 1 hour baking
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