Hot Stuff: 2 Spicy Dishes to Bolster Your Immune System
The next time you feel a cold coming on, reach for your spice cabinet and your fridge’s produce drawer to help rev up your immune system. With antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and sometimes even antibacterial properties, spices have long been prized for their medicinal qualities. From breakfast to dinner, spicy ingredients like cinnamon, allspice, cayenne, Chinese 5-spice powder, turmeric, curry powder and chile peppers step up to the plate to help keep you healthy.
Raisins ’n’ Spicy Hot Oatmeal (pictured above)
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons sliced almonds, chopped
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
1 teaspoon oat flour
1/2 teaspoon coconut sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon salt
In a small saucepan, bring 3/4 cup water to a boil. Meanwhile, place the oats, raisins, almonds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flour, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, cayenne and salt in a small serving bowl; mix well.
Stir in the boiling water and cover for about 3 minutes before eating.
Spicy Sichuan Beef with Mixed Vegetables
1 pound beef stir-fry strips
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chili bean paste
1 tablespoon tamari
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
1 carrot, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 scallion, chopped
2 red jalapeno chiles, stemmed, seeded if desired and thinly sliced
4 red shishito peppers
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet. Add the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes; drain on paper towels.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the chili bean paste, tamari, rice vinegar, sugar and Chinese 5-spice powder.
Using the same large skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over high heat. Add the carrots, celery, garlic, scallion, jalapeno and shishito peppers; cook, stirring constantly, until lightly charred, about 1 minute. Stir in the beef and the chili bean mixture; cook for 1 minute and season with salt.
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Silvana Nardone is the author of the Silvana’s Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Kitchen: Timeless Favorites Transformed.