Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Sickies and Recipes to Make You Well

As far as germs go, we've done pretty well around our house this winter.  We were all healthy from the start of the school year through Thanksgiving.  December was a little rough for the two kiddos, but everyone was feeling good for Christmas.  January was stellar.  But, February has arrived, and my son and I both have a head cold.  And, since I started writing this post, you can add my daughter to the list of sickies in our house.  Blah.  It's nothing horrible, but enough to be disruptive and annoying.

So, on Friday I got to thinking about foods that help your immune system stay strong.  We actually think about this a lot in our house.  My husband has gotten into the habit of making a smoothie for the kids every morning.  And, I mean, EVERY morning...without fail.  We're big believers in the power of yogurt and what it can do to keep the digestive system healthy (read: we don't want no stinkin' stomach flu!!).  So, at breakfast time, Jeremy makes them a very simple smoothie of orange juice and vanilla yogurt (dreamsicle!).  Lately, he's bumped it up a bit with some frozen strawberries and, every once in a while, some pineapple juice.  The most recent winning recipe, as determined by the kids, goes like this:

Jeremy's Kiddie Smoothie

2 oz. Bolthouse Farms Berry Boost (we love this brand of juices)
6 oz. orange juice
6-8 tablespoons vanilla lowfat yogurt
3-4 frozen strawberries

Blend well.  Makes two kid-sized smoothies.

My pick for immune-boosting foods is garlic, garlic, and MORE GARLIC!  For years now, I've been making a salad that we call "Caesar Salad".  But, it's not really Caesar Salad....

Caesar Salad "a la Lisa"

1 large head of romaine lettuce, or 2-3 hearts of romaine, rinsed, dried and torn or cut into bite-sized pieces

1/4 cup olive oil (I use extra light vs. extra virgin, because I don't like the stronger flavor of the extra virgin, but that's up to your own taste)

2-3 cloves of garlic

juice of half a lemon

fresh ground sea salt (or Kosher salt) and fresh ground pepper, to taste

1/4 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (or more, to taste)

To make the salad:
  1. Pour the olive oil into a small bowl.  Using a garlic press, press the garlic cloves into the olive oil.  Allow garlic to "steep" in the olive oil for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Put the lettuce into a salad bowl and pour the olive oil and garlic mixture over the lettuce.  Toss to coat evenly. 
  3.  Add the rest of the ingredients to the salad, one at a time, tossing to coat evenly after each addition.
This salad is great alone with some crusty bread, or topped with grilled chicken or shrimp.

Jeremy and I can pretty much polish off a whole salad by ourselves (have I also mentioned it's amazing cleansing properties?!), but the kids actually love it as well.  We usually have it at least once a week.  Just don't plan on talking to anyone else who hasn't also had the salad for about 24 hours after eating it...

When I started feeling like I was coming down with this cold, I wanted to pump up the vitamin C right away.  It was like a reflex!  I had some grapefruit and an orange in the fridge, so I pulled them out to use with my juice press.  My OrangeX citrus juicer is one of the greatest gifts I've ever received!  I love this thing.  My dad and step-mom gave it to me for my birthday, probably ten years ago now.  There is almost nothing better than freshly squeezed orange or grapefruit juice (or a mix of the two).  Here's a shot of the beautiful fruit before juicing...

And, from that fruit, I got this delicious juice...

We actually discovered that the grapefruit juice also makes a great smoothie base.  So, hopefully with all these immune-boosting foods, we'll all kick this cold pretty quickly.  Because, I'm hoping for a week where there are no snow days, everyone feels well enough to go to school, and I make it to the gym for all of my regular workouts.  That would be awesome...

How do you stay well during the winter months?

1 comment:

  1. thanks Lisa. Just made a version of these smoothies but I added Kale and they are drinking it down..except my youngest. So glad I could sneak the Kale in though. :)