Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Super Garlic Stir-fry Bowl...

Lately I’ve just been craving real, simple, whole, foods, and my craving’s have perfect timing because that’s exactly what my body needs right now. I know I promised to post more about my experiments with “Cookin’ Crunk” and about my Artisan Vegan Cheese making but last Monday I started getting a strange cough. By Wednesday it had gotten much worse and I was feeling quite poorly overall. I spent most of the day in bed, and by the weekend the cough had escalated to downright awful. So I broke down and went to the doctor the other day and was diagnosed with Pertussis, that’s Whooping Cough for those of you who don’t know the medical lingo. How I got Whooping Cough and who from I have no idea. I was vaccinated against it as a child, and I’m never around children - sick or otherwise - unless I happen to pass them on the street or in the store, and so far as I know I haven’t been around any sick adults either. I thought whooping cough was a dead disease, something that only surfaced in third world countries, but apparently I was wrong. After doing a bit of research I read that it has been making a fierce comeback in the United States particularly over the past 3 years. In 2012 alone there were three massive outbreaks in Washington, Wisconsin, and Vermont, and the reports of whooping cough in those areas are considered to be at epidemic levels. Personally I blame all these people who refuse to vaccinate their kids for fear of the Autism boogie man, but I wont’ get into that.

So how do you get whooping cough if you’ve been vaccinated? Well according to the doctor vaccines aren’t always 100% effective, sometimes they may prevent you from getting a disease entirely, and sometimes they may only limit the severity of the disease vaccinated against. Also vaccines apparently aren’t designed to last for a person’s entire lifetime. They’re really just meant to get you through childhood, since most of the diseases vaccinated against are more contagious - and dangerous - to children. Unfortunately for me there isn’t much the doctor could do in the way of treatment, the whole point of vaccinating is prevention, because once you get an illness like whooping cough there isn’t a cure or a treatment, you have to just let it run it’s course all on it’s own and that can take as long as a month or more. I was told that because I’m healthy and came in relatively early I might be able to kick it sooner but we’ll see.

Since conventional medicine didn’t have a lot for me I looked to my training as a holistic health practitioner to see if there was anything I could do for myself, still even natural treatment options are limited. Licorice Root, Garlic, Plantain Leaf, Mullen, Anis Seed, Echinacea, and Elderberry, are the main herbs I’ve been using but I started using those way back last Monday when the cough first came on and they’re only providing moderate and brief relief. So in addition to supportive herbs I’ve decided to simplify my diet for the time being. Smaller portions, only whole foods, little to no oil, no sugar, very limited salt. A lot of greens, a lot of fresh veggies, fruit, garlic, ginger, and wheatgrass. I think it’s helping, at least it feels good to nourish myself with whole foods. The following recipe is what I made for dinner last night and I think it turned out extremely well, it’s so packed with flavor you wouldn’t even know it didn’t have any salt, or sugar, and wasn’t cooked in oil. The important thing with this recipe is to cook it at a lower heat to preserve some of the crunch of the vegetables. It's equally important to add the garlic in closer to the end of cooking so that it retains as much nutritional potency as possible while still mellowing out a little. I'll admit this is really garlicky so it's not for the faint of heart, but you can cut back on the garlic a little if you like. Garlic is a great food for illness, and a lot of garlic is always my personal preference. Delicious and filling! I do also add a tsp of sesame oil after cooking to add a bit of sesame flavor but you can leave that out if you wish .

As for the rest of it, hopefully I’ll start feeling better soon, but in the meantime you may have to wait for those other posts I promised because honestly most days I’m not really in the mood to do too much.

Super Garlic Stir-fry Bowl

2 tsp Garlic Chili Sauce
2 Large Carrots peeled and sliced
4 C Bok Choy chopped. Leaves and stems separated.
6 Shiitake Mushrooms sliced
1 C Sliced Red Cabbage
! C Frozen Lima Beans thawed
8 Cloves Garlic sliced thin
3/4 tsp Ground Ginger
2 Tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Amino’s
Water as needed - about ½ C
1 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil per serving (Optional)
Sesame Seeds
1 ½ C Brown Rice

- Cook Brown Rice in a rice cooker according to manufacturer instructions or in a pot according to package instructions.

- Meanwhile add Garlic Chili Sauce and ground ginger to a large saute pan with roughly 1/4 cup of water. Turn on the heat to medium and bring it to a simmer.

- Add in the sliced carrots, and the bok choy stems. Saute on medium for about ten minutes until softened.

- Add in the Shiitake Mushrooms and sliced garlic and saute for another 4-5 minutes. Add in more water if the pan is getting dry.

- Add the Red Cabbage, Bok Choy Leaves, and Lima Beans. Saute until Red Cabbage is wilted but still has some crunch and lima beans are heated through.

- Add in the Bragg’s and toss to coat.

- Distribute the rice evenly amongst bowls, top each bowl of rice with a generous helping of the sauteed veggies, sprinkle with desired amount of sesame seeds, and drizzle 1 tsp of Toasted sesame oil over each bowl.

- Serve and enjoy!

***Note - Remember to leave out the sesame oil to make this oil free, and you can make this soy-free by using a soy-free sauce, in place of Bragg's.***

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