Summer Colds - What helps?

Happy Wednesday !  Screen Shot 2013-08-07 at 6.57.21 PM

I have been lucky for nearly a whole year, and have not gotten sick. (I just rolled on wood). My immune system took a beating last week at work due to lots of wake up calls and early mornings. Also, combine that with a crazy gym challenge, and not much sleeping or napping at the weekend – I got a cold. On a scale of 1 - SHUT UP I'm dying....  I am probably a 5 and nowhere near “Shut-up i'm dying” but I felt close yesterday.

I am not a good patient. I view being sick as my body telling me to slow down, but there is so much to do and see and i battle with frustration of not being able to bounce around.  So I take a deep breath and resign myself to the fact that I need to get better and rest.

My goal is to create a cookbook on food for healing – that is where all my research now lies. On feeling sick I have do's and don'ts which some will not agree with. Do’s include: Vitamin C (Pure) every 3 hours, lots of water, sleep, sleep and more sleep, lemon tea or any good immune support teas, echinacea and Neti-pot to help clear out your sinus. Don't - Don't eat dairy as it’s bad for sinus and stay away from caffeine and alcohol. (So hard as I love coffee).  I personally don't use over the counter medicine if it's just a cold or virus because it’s pointless, it’s just masks the symptoms and you feel ok but the body is still run down. I may have broken that last one on Monday but for the most part I am focused on getting better.

My Naturopathic Dr - Dr Peter Bongiorno has been an amazing help in my 7 years in NYC, and even through my knee surgery I really focused on alternative medicine. If you live in New York city or Long Island, if I can give you any advice please check out his clinic, it honestly is one of the best finds in my life.

Anyway back to food for healing. I am finally able to cook and researched what foods are good for a cold and flu. Onion, Garlic, Tomatoes, Kidney beans...CHILI. So what is a good choice of food that has those things? CHILI CON CARNE ! (Here is top 10 reasons why this is good for you)

Eating chilli can help prevent colds and the flu if you make it with the right ingredients. The following recipe has an arsenal of immunity-boosters. All of the vegetables (including the onions and garlic) offer immunity-boosting phytochemicals, but the tomatoes are particularly powerful. In addition to the phytochemical lycopene, tomatoes contain potassium and vitamins A and C. The beans supply an immunity-boosting isoflavone called daidzein, and the hot chili will open up your nasal passages if you're congested.

What you need - Ingredients

  • 1 large onion or 2 banana shallots, chopped
  • 10 cloves garlic, finely chopped - The recipe calls for 2 but I really love garlic and want to get better.
  • 2 red chilli deseeded or keep half with seeds if you like it spicy (Again use 1 if you do not like hot as hell)
  • 2 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked and roughly chopped
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • 500g good quality beef mince
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 fresh tomatoes or 1 beef tomato, roughly chopped
  • 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 100-200ml beef stock
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 400g kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper

 Chili - Lets learn how to make this ! 

1) Sweat the onion, garlic, chilli and thyme in 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan. At the same time, brown the mince in a separate pan over moderate heat in a little oil.

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2)  I threw in some extra turmeric and the bay leaves at this stage just because I wanted the flavor to be more impactful. Most recipes will recommend you to do this when you are adding the stock. You can decide what works best for your taste.

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2)  Add the all dried spices to the onion mixture and cook until they release their aroma. Then stir in the beef and mix well. Add the fresh and tinned tomatoes and leave to cook down a little for about 5 minutes.

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4) Pour in the beef stock and stir in tomato puree to taste. Drop the cinnamon in then bring to the boil and leave to simmer.

5) Once the sauce is beginning to thicken add the kidney beans and leave to cook for another 5-10 minutes to allow the beans to soak up the flavors. Taste, taste and taste and add in more chili, salt and pepper here if needed. Most recipes say to add chives and sour cream. If you are congested the worst thing you can do is eat dairy so I have skipped that step.

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Voila !!! The end product...and easy peasy chili recipe - Enjoy !!!!

Next post will be a great review of a Portuguese restaurant called Aldea !!

Have a great weekend of mischief, if you want good coffee and some treats ! Try Fika ! - A friend and I enjoyed the below from Fika yesterday to help cheer me up  ! 

Jeanette xx

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