Work With It Wednesday: Super Immunity

stockpot

Dr. Fuhrman’s Famous Anti-Cancer Soup

I’ve wanted to make this soup for a long time. But. It sure looked like a lot of work compared to many of the soup recipes I usually use. Not just cooking time, but actual active prep time. It’s no big deal to let something simmer for awhile, even better if you use a crockpot. This soup has you juicing, blending, simmering, chopping, and seasoning. The good news is that if you have the right equipment, you can make a huge batch that will easily freeze because soups are good like that. This soup has slightly different recipes, depending on which book you refer to. If you watch his DVD, Dr. Fuhrman’s Secrets to Healthy Cookingyou learn that this soup is more of a template, which allows for some room to customize to your taste preferences. The companion booklet shows the templates for various dishes like soups, salad dressings, and smoothies so you can make them your own.

Why famous?

I’m guessing because it’s a recipe he teaches to all new patients and eats all the time himself.

Why Anti-Cancer?

It combines most of the G-BOMBS ingredients like onions, leafy greens and cruciferous veggies.

The template goes like this:

  • Base (liquid)
  • Onion Family
  • Leafy Greens
  • Spices/Flavor
  • Other Vegetables
  • Beans

So I tried the original recipe once following the directions pretty closely. The base called for is 1/2 celery 1/2 carrot juice, juiced fresh. It took some effort, but while I had the juicer out I juiced up some beets for later “blood doping.” I chose split peas and azuki beans just like the video, added the leeks, onion, collards, zucchini, and mushrooms and let them cook. I removed the whole veggies and blended them with vegi zest and seasoning blend. Overall, the taste was much better than I anticipated. The natural sweet and salty taste of the carrot/celery juice was a nice counter to the bitterness of the greens. I halved the recipe and still filled a large stockpot. One thing I did not like was the combination of a mostly pureed soup that small chunks of beans and mushrooms.

So I Used the Template and Created My Own:

Ingredients:

  • 2 C carrot/celery juice
  • 2 C water
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bunch collards, stemmed
  • 1 C mixed lentils and split peas
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 2-3 zucchini
  • 1 each parsnip and turnip, chopped

Directions:

Put the water and dry beans in a large stockpot and turn on high.

While beans start cooking, juice the carrots and celery and add to soup.

Add the veggies and kidney beans and bring to a boil, then turn heat down cover and simmer.

When the large veggies are thoroughly cooked, remove them with tongs to a high speed blender. Leave behind the mushrooms, kidney beans, and chopped veggies. Add cashews and seasonings and blend until smooth.

Return to soup and simmer until everything is done.

Taste and adjust seasoning.

Notes:

I added kidney beans and chunked veggies because I wanted a chunkier soup. I salted at the table for flavor, and added some Tabasco. It might not look good, but it tastes good, and really packs in the greens! While the soup cooked, I kept juicing veggies for other uses and cleaned and stowed the juicer. By then the veggies were ready to blend. It takes some work, but with a little planning, you can accomplish a lot.

I don’t how to improve its presentation, and it soundly denounced on appearance alone. In this case, I used as a topping for a baked potato. So I guess that makes it a McDougall/Fuhrman Fusion dish.

Here it is in all its ghastly, green glory!

Here it is in all its ghastly, green glory!

Posted in Beans, Main Dish, Soup, Uncategorized, Vegetables/Sides | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Slow Cooker Sunday: Basic Split Pea Soup

“peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old”

There’s nothing like hot soup on a cold, snowy day, and one of my favorites is split pea. There are precisely one bajillion variations, but here is a basic one that is so easy to memorize, a recipe is hardly needed. Slow cookers do very well with soup, and split pea is no exception. This makes a great deal of soup, but it freezes well, and while I don’t recommend leaving it in the pot for nine days, you can definitely make it last for awhile. As for cold, split peas thicken up a lot when cooled, and it makes a great sandwich spread or wrap filling with a little lettuce and tomato. The ingredients are also very cheap, so this is a great way to save some money after all that Christmas shopping.

Basic Split Pea Soup

Ingredients:

1 lb split peas (approx. 2 C)

6 C water or stock (if using water, some bouillon is nice)

1 onion, chopped

2 bay leaves

2-3 each, chopped:

  • potatoes (peeled if desired for a smoother soup)
  • carrots
  • stalks celery
  • cloves garlic

2-3 teaspoons each:

  • paprika
  • dry mustard
  • Bragg’s or soy sauce
  • cider vinegar

2-3 dashes each: (optional)

  • liquid smoke
  • Tabasco

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Slow (easy) Way:

Put all ingredients except wet seasonings into slow cooker, and cook on LOW until done, about 6-8 hours. If possible, stir occasionally. 30-60 minutes before serving, add wet seasonings.  You may puree the soup, or leave it chunky, as you prefer.

Faster: (fast slow cooker?)

One hour on HIGH is roughly equivalent to two hours on LOW. So, this dish could be done in 3-4 hours if cooked on HIGH. I did this for lunch, by starting the peas in a preheated cooker and adding boiling water from the tea kettle. I let the peas cook on their own for a couple hours. Then I sauteed the veggies separately and continued as above.

Fastest:

On the stove top, start the peas in water and cook for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, saute veggies separately, then add to peas, and season as above. Cook until peas are done, total time is usually 60-75 minutes.

Greener Veggie Version:

Add a couple cups of chopped broccoli and a couple handfuls of spinach. Other root veggies could be used in addition to, or in place of, the potatoes and carrots, like parsnips, turnips, or yams.

Curry Version:

Replace paprika with curry powder. Replace mustard with a teaspoon each of turmeric and cumin. Skip the wet seasonings. This is best with yellow split peas. Add a handful of  frozen green peas. Add a couple cups of chopped cauliflower and/or spinach if desired.

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Work With It Wednesday: Super Immunity Detox Smoothie

Generally speaking I prefer to chew my food. McDougall, Novick, and Esselstyn all advise against smoothies and juicing. Their reasoning goes that food consumed in liquid form does not contribute enough to satiety, which could lead to over consuming calories later on. I used to do the green smoothie thing for breakfast, blending fruit, veggies, and some hemp protein powder and drinking it after my bike commute. The satiety definitely wasn’t there. The other criticism of smoothies and especially juices, is that with missing or severely disrupted fiber, it digests differently and could negatively impact blood sugar, insulin, and liver function, especially if there is a lot of fruit. I can’t attest to that, but I’ve stuck to chewing my food lately.

Others, like Dr. Fuhrman, think that green smoothies and occasional juices that are heavy on green vegetables can beneficially increase nutrient absorption of the healthiest foods. I thought I would revisit green smoothies to see if I notice anything interesting. And after my success with beet juice, I want to explore vegetable juicing as a performance enhancer. Dr. Fuhrman’s book Super Immunity has a few smoothie and juice recipes, most pretty basic and familiar to anyone who browses health related blogs. But one stood out as unique:

Detox Green Tea (Super Immunity p. 197)

I usually ignore anything with the abbreviation “detox” in its name these days, but I sometimes look to see if there’s something interesting. This one is. It combines green tea with a green vegetable juice then blended with berries. The health benefits of green tea are well covered, and green vegetables and berries are two of Fuhrman’s favorites. So I had to try it. The original recipe calls for juicing bok choy, kale, romaine, and a cucumber. Notice three leafy veggies, and two crucifers. The cucumber freshens the taste. Then in a blender, combine the juice with equal parts frozen raspberries and frozen cherries or strawberries. I tried it his way the first time, although I used a mixed berry blend, so I don’t know exactly what I got. Pretty good, but then I ran out of berries. Next, I only had frozen blueberries since they’re my favorite. But I had a thought, why not use goji berries, another of Fuhrman’s favorites? And why not switch the tea from green to hibiscus? I was inspired by Dr. Greger’s videos about the antioxidant power of hibiscus, and since I drink a lot of straight green tea, made the switch. There is also the fruit punch flavor element of hibiscus which nicely complements the berries.

Green Juice Berry Smoothie

1 bunch baby bok choy, or a few leaves of full size

1/2 bunch kale

1/2 large cucumber, peeled

several leaves romaine lettuce

1 mug brewed hibiscus tea, such as Red Zinger

1/4 C dried goji berries

1/2 C fresh or frozen blueberries (any berries will do, blueberries are my favorite)

Make a green juice by juicing the bok choy, kale, cucumber, and romaine. Put hibiscus tea and goji berries in a mug and brew, allowing the goji berries to plump up and soften. Remove tea bags, and blend everything in a blender.

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Work With It Wednesday: Super Immunity Recipes

Super Immunity Cabbage Salad

Super Immunity Cabbage Salad

Triple Treat Cabbage Salad

(Super Immunity p. 208)

For this week’s Super Immunity recipe I went for a salad that could accompany my slow cooker soups. The name refers to three varieties of cabbage, green, purple, and savoy. I had to modify it because I can’t always find savoy cabbage. So I threw the finished salad onto some romaine. What I like about cabbage salads is that they can be dressed and refrigerated. They will last for a awhile, which lettuce based salads can’t do. They’re also good tossed with pasta for a salad, or as a filling for a san

dwich or wrap. I changed up the dressing as well by not peeling the apple and using walnuts instead of cashews because I know the Vitamix can handle it , and that’s my preference. I also seasoned it with salt and pepper and a little cider vinegar to balance out the sweet taste.

Here is How I Did It:

Ingredients:

1-2 C finely sliced green cabbage

1 C finely sliced purple cabbage

1 carrot, grated

1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

a couple tablespoons each: currants or raisins, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds

Dressing:

1/2 C non-dairy milk

1 apple, cored

1/2 C walnuts

1 T balsamic vinegar (next time I will use cider vinegar)

water (as needed)

Directions:

Blend all dressing ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor until smooth and creamy. Add water to thin if desired. Toss everything in a large serving bowl, reserving some of the seeds for a garnish.

 

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Retro Saturday: Anti-Oxidant Twice Baked Potatoes

Come and get 'em!

Come and get ‘em!

Who doesn’t love potatoes?

From that select group, who doesn’t love twice baked potatoes?

Mmmmm, but wait, what about all that cheese and nastiness?

No need to fear, the Plant Powered Lab is on the job. Here is a potato dish packed with nutrients that tastes great and freezes great. They take some time, but you can make a big batch and stock your freezer for those nights that you’re so tired that you can’t see straight. So, make a kitchen date and cook some soup, a stew, and a batch of these spectacular spuds to stock your freezer for those hectic days in the future.

These take some real work, which is a bit of a drawback, so it is best to combine the prep work with other dishes that are similar. For instance, the sauteed veggies were doubled to use for a soup. The cheeze sauce was doubled so that it could be used elsewhere. A little planning can help a lot. This could also be a social event. Get a couple friends over, pour some beverages, and share the prep work and have a feast with plenty of leftovers to fuel many workouts!

Twice baked potatoes consist of baking large potatoes, then scooping out the flesh into a large mixing bowl to combine with other cooked or raw veggies, seasonings, and a little (vegan) milk to blend. This is a perfect template to add tons of nutrients!

Here is How I Did It:

Potato filling ready bake #2

Potato filling ready bake #2

Ingredients:

6 large baking potatoes

1 bunch greens (I used 1/2 each chard and collards)

1 red bell pepper, diced small

1 onion, diced small

1 carrot, diced small

handful of dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated and diced

1/2 C + pepita cheeze sauce, omitting the jalapeno if desired

1/2 C + soy milk

Directions:

Pierce the potatoes all over with a fork and bake for an hour at 425 degrees. When they’re done, remove from oven and lower heat to 350.

While potatoes bake:

  • prepare the cheeze sauce in a high speed blender or food processor.
  • saute veggies and mushrooms with seasonings.

When potatoes are done, allow to cool a little, cut in half and scoop out flesh into a large mixing bowl, keeping the potato skin halves intact. (tongs help here)

Add cooked veggies to the potatoes in the bowl. Mix, and add cheeze sauce and milk as needed to get a smooth consistency and the taste you crave.

Spoon the potato veggie mixture into the potato skin halves. Spoon a little cheeze sauce over the top, dust with paprika, and return to the oven to bake for another half hour at 350 degrees.

If eating right out of the oven, top with a little sliced green onions or parsley, and maybe some more sauce. Freeze the others for future use.

I shamelessly steal the name from my awesome sister who made a similar dish. The name comes from combining different healthy veggies: red, green, orange, cruciferous, etc. into one great dish. It’s even Dr. Fuhrman G-BOMBS friendly, all categories except berries are covered.

Enjoy!

Posted in Main Dish, Portable, Starches, Vegetables/Sides | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Work With It Wednesday: Super Immunity Recipes

Super Immunity Braised Kale and Squash

Super Immunity Braised Kale and Squash

adapted from Braised Kale and Squash with Pumpkin Seeds (p. 224)

Another Fuhrman inspired immune system booster!

G- greens: KALE

B- beans: AZUKI/BLACK

O- onions: ONIONS & GARLIC

M- mushrooms: NO

B- berries: NO

S- seeds YES

I added beans to the recipe, and mushrooms (maybe shiitake?) could be added. For berries, maybe some currants, goji berries, or raisins.

Here is how I did it:

Veggies ready for braising

Veggies ready for braising

Ingredients:

1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped

3 C peeled, chunked winter squash (I used butternut)

1 red onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1-2 T seasoning blend (Fuhrman’s Vegi Zest is mild, so use more)

1/2 C water

2 T vinegar of choice (balsamic, rice, or cider, I used cider)

splash of Bragg’s or soy sauce

seeds: pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, or a mix (I used a mix)

1 can or equivalent beans (I suggest azuki or black, I used black)

Directions:

Saute onion and garlic in a soup pot for a few minutes while prepping other ingredients.  Add water and remaining ingredients except for vinegar and seeds. Cover and steam over low heat for 20 minutes or so, until kale and squash are tender. Add beans and heat through. Add vinegar, stir, and serve garnished with seeds.

Kale and squash or yams are a natural combination. To make it more McDougall style, serve over a cooked starch, such as brown rice.

Always a winner.

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Slow Cooker Sunday: Moroccan Harira

Ready to go with all important lemon

Ready to go with all important lemon

Slow cookers are a natural for soups, especially bean based soups, because the beans really benefit from slow cooking. It’s cold, so soups satisfy, and so does spicy! Try it with Moroccan spice and see life warm up in many ways. Apparently I wasn’t finished with Moroccan flavors after Fuhrman’s Moroccan greens.

Harira is the traditional dish to end each day of fasting during  Muslim Ramadan in Morocco. When the cannon goes off at sunset, families from Casablanca to Marrekech tuck into a bowl of this wonderful soup that is easily made vegan. The combination of lentils with the bigger chickpeas is divine. If you like spicy, don’t delay! It doesn’t have to be hot, but it does need the spices. Harira is traditionally made hot and spicy with the addition of harissa, a spicy paste unfortunately made with gobs of oil. Ditch it, and use Sriracha or your favorite hot sauce instead.

Ingredients:

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 t each: ground ginger, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric (or a few strands of saffron)

3/4 C lentils

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

5-6 C water or broth

1-2 T broth powder (if using water) I used Dr. Fuhrman’s Vegi Zest

1 C cooked rice or small pasta (optional)

For Serving: All to taste

lemon juice

salt/pepper

cilantro

hot sauce

Combine all ingredients except rice or pasta and garnishes in a slow cooker, cook on High for an hour or so, then turn down to Low and cook for 6-8 hours. To speed up cooking, pre-heat the slow cooker, and saute the veggies first. If your lentils are really old (like mine were) you may want to add the tomatoes later, as the acid in tomatoes can interfere with the cooking of legumes.

Posted in Main Dish, Soup, Stew, Vegetables/Sides | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment