Spring is here, and I’m loving all the green coming to life outside. I’ve also been aware of the need for far more greens in my diet; I occasionally take a liquid chlorophyll supplement, but that isn’t meant to be a replacement for the real thing.
But when the weather’s cold, I want comfort food, and I indulged in it this winter… and I noticed something — perhaps why they call it comfort food — it put me to sleep after eating.
Sometimes, that’s what you need. But we’re coming out of hibernation now. I want food that energizes me and helps build up my body.
But it’s not really salad season yet, either.
The solution came to me when I was flipping through a book I picked up at a thrift shop: soup! Yes, this is a great way to get your greens in when the weather is still chilly outside. Cooking the greens also helps break down their cell walls, making them easier to digest and releasing their nutrients. And since you’re consuming the cooking liquid too, you don’t lose them.
I looked up the recipe from the book when I got home, and based my own version loosely on this. Even though I didn’t have any astragalus on hand, the ingredients I put in are excellent in their own way for immunity, energy, and overall health.
I started with chopping ginger, garlic and onions, as well as some gorgeous shiitake mushrooms, which were grown by a local mycophile — what a blessing. One of them was as big as my hand! Another was heart shaped. It’s amazing how many times I see hearts in my food! Real love, nourishment, and healing from real food. ^_^
I cooked the first three in broth (no mushroom stock at the store, and the mushroom bouillon was loaded with migraine-inducing ingredients. This was the cleanest stuff I could find), letting them cook until they were nice and soft, especially the onions. I used broth instead of oil for cooking because oil is an inflammation-causing food. It’s also high in calories, and causes a phenomenon called “sludge-blood” — also known as the food coma we get into after eating comfort foods. Which is the opposite of what I’m going for here…
Then I added the chopped shiitake mushrooms and more broth, along with a little raw apple cider vinegar, which adds even more nutrition. I didn’t have or use any soy sauce.
Next, I chopped and added two bunches of greens — bok choy and rainbow chard, which are both very mild flavored, so ideal for people who don’t like or eat greens often. (You can also forage for greens, which would be even better — this time last year, I was in England/Wales and we were making soup out of nettles and wild garlic.)
It looks like a lot, but their volume is reduced significantly in the cooking process. Tip: cook with the lid off to preserve more of the green color — covering with a lid is what turns greens an unappetizing brown.
Simmered on low for 45 minutes, and served with fresh scallions. I also added some fresh ground black pepper, which helps improve nutrient bioavailability, and a little celtic sea salt, which helps improve your chances of actually eating it and enjoying it.
I know most people think eating healthy is a chore or a goal, rather than a normal part of life. But now it’s more important than ever that we make healthy eating a priority. This is an easy way to do it. It took me only a few minutes of active chopping and stirring, and I made a big pot of it that I can eat over a few days. Reheating it again will practically make it fast food, except this food is actually real food.
If you are trying to shift to a healthier diet, this is one way to do it. Rather than overwhelming yourself with a total overhaul, just focus on “food as medicine” for one meal a day.
Especially now, as more invasive and dangerous health measures are being pushed on us, it’s crucial that we have our health under our own control, which we can do by eating right. The people who are getting vaccines are also the people who eat Krispy Kreme. We are not the same.
The last time I went to Krispy Kreme, it was to get an empty box for trolling my coworkers on the last day at the office.