Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Nothing Like an Epidemic... bring us all together.

With all of the hype surrounding H1N1 (formerly 'swine flu'), I thought it would be a good idea to make a few notes about which foods (veggie of course) are helpful in boosting your immune system. A little searching on Google turned up the following:

-broccoli: one of my favorites. Steam this one, if you can. You won't flush out all of those antioxidants (which is in great supply) and A, C, and E vitamins

-yogurt: packed full of probiotics that help increase white blood cell count.

-garlic: this is not only used as also has medicinal powers. High in antioxidants also, garlic helps your body's cells against the rigors of daily life. Plus, it tastes f*cking awesome.

-turmeric: this bright yellow spice contains something called 'curcumin' which has been proven to help immune cells resist negative stimulation from viruses and bacteria...essentially acting as an anti-inflamatory agent.

Here is a good list of things that you should add to your diet to keep your immune system in tip-top shape.

There are also a few things that you should avoid to keep your immune system in top shape...sadly they are sugar and coffe.

A few other things to remember about the preventing the transmission of H1N1:

  1. Wash your hands often. Use anti-bacteria hand cleanser (waterless) also. H1N1 is spread from person to person by contact.
  2. Sing the 'ABC' song you learned as a child while washing your hands, or count to at least 20 (i heard that on NPR this morning)
  3. Avoid using other people's phones, keyboards, silverware, etc.
  4. Elevator buttons and remote controls are nasty. Politely ask other people to press those buttons for you.
Symptoms can be found here.

I will try to post a new recipe tomorrow using the ingredients listed in this post and in the links.

Update: I have yet to do this, but it is on my agenda for later this week.

Spicy Curried Tofu with Green Onions, Shitake Mushrooms, and Cous Cous

It has been forever since I posted anything here, so I thought I would share a recipe I made last night. This makes about three to four servings.


1lb Extra Firm Tofu, cut in pieces ( your choice on size)
2 tablespoons of curry powder (or to taste)
2 tablespoons of crushed red pepper (or to taste)
2 tablespoons of garlic powder (or to taste)
5 to 6 fresh basil leaves
1 bunch of green onions cut into 2 to 3 inch long pieces
5 to 6 ounces of shitake mushrooms
1 can or 15oz of cooked garbanzo beans
1/4 cup of lemon juice
2 to 3 cups cooked cous cous (you can use a box of flavored cous cous if you like)
5 to 6 tablespoons of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil to a heavy cast iron skillet, and heat slowly to about medium heat. While oil is heating, press as much water as you can from the tofu without destroying it. Cut tofu into pieces of whatever size you like. Add the tofu and season it in the skillet with the curry, garlic powder, crushed red peeper, shredded basil leaves, salt and pepper (to taste). Cook tofu until all sides are brown, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the remainder of the oil to another skillet and heat to medium high. Add the mushrooms, garbanzo beans, lemon juice, and green onions. Season with salt and pepper. Stir occasionally to prevent the mushrooms from sticking to the pan. Cook until mushrooms are soft and the garbanzos are hot, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Prepare the cous cous by following the directions on the box, or make it ahead of time if you are not using the box cous cous method.

Add a scoop or two of the cous cous to the middle of a plate. Place the mushrooms, garbanzos, and green onions on top of the cous cous. Put some pieces of the fried spicy tofu around the edge of the plate.