By Gina Greco, Senior Brand Marketing Specialist, SEMCA
We love the fall for so many things – cooler temperatures, the vibrant colors of autumn, and pumpkin-spiced everything (of course)! With the change in season and current state of our world, it’s important to be mindful of the choices you make every day for your health and wellness. We are sharing 3 of our favorite immune-boosting recipes on the blog that are filled with nutrient-dense foods and will nourish you from the inside out. If you make any of these, be sure to tag us on Instagram @sharphomeusa and use the hashtag #SimplyBetterLiving and #SharpHome.
Orange-Ginger Smoothie from the Endless Meal
This recipe is full of whole foods and makes a great grab-and-go breakfast option or mid-afternoon snack. It includes oranges, which are full of vitamin C, and carrots, which are high in vitamin A. The “zing” from the ginger and anti-inflammatory properties of the turmeric makes this one nutrient-dense smoothie! A great optional add-in would be a handful of leafy greens like spinach or kale.
- 2 navel oranges, quartered and peeled
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled
- 1 – a 1/2-inch piece of turmeric, peeled (or 1 teaspoon powdered turmeric)
- A pinch of black pepper
- Add all the ingredients + 1 cup of ice cubes to your high-powered blender (I love my Vitamix for this) and blend on high until smooth. Add up to a cup of water for a more juice-like smoothie.
Lentil Soup from I Heart Vegetables
Nothing screams comforting and nourishing like a big bowl of soup, especially on a crisp autumn night. This recipe is one of our favorites and can be totally customizable with what’s in your pantry or fridge. Have some leftover zucchini sitting around? Toss it in! Want to add some extra protein? Shredded chicken is the solution! The options are endless, and the final product will give your body a little extra boost.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 large sweet potato (about 1/2 lb.) diced into ½” cubes
- 1 15oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup red lentils, uncooked and rinsed
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup kale, destemmed and torn into 1” pieces
- Salt to taste
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat for 1 minute.
- Add the onion and cook over medium heat for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the garlic and ginger and continue to cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
- Add the turmeric and paprika and continue to cook for 1 minute.
- Add the lemon juice, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, red lentils, and vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
- Once the soup begins to boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the sweet potato is soft.
- Add kale and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until the kale has softened and wilted slightly.
- Season with salt to taste.
Blackened Tempeh, Avocado, Kale Salad with Vegan Cajun Ranch from Feasting At Home
Salads get a bad reputation for being boring and bland, but this recipe is anything but! This recipe includes tempeh, which is a wonderful plant-based protein that is high in B Vitamins and has immune-boosting benefits. Additionally, making the base of your salad with Kale will boost up the vitamin C and antioxidant benefits, even further making this one seriously dense and delicious bowl.
Cajun Vegan Ranch Dressing
- ⅓ cup vegan ranch dressing (or sub your favorite store-bought ranch)
- ½ –1 teaspoon Cajun spice blend (or sub ¼ teaspoon paprika and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne)
- 1 block tempeh
- 2–3 tablespoons Cajun Spice like Black Magic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4–5 leaves of Lacinato kale, tough stems removed ( or use 3 cups pre-shredded kale )
- 1 teaspoon oil, pinch salt, lemon zest from ½ a lemon
- 4 radishes, sliced ( or sub cucumber slices… or ribbons are nice)
- 1 scallion, sliced
- 1 avocado, sliced
- ¼ cup pickled onions ( optional)
- Optional add-ons sprouts or microgreens, cooked quinoa, large whole wheat tortillas, sauerkraut.
- Stir the Cajun spice into the dressing, starting conservatively. Taste, and add more to taste. You want it bold!
- Add the tempeh, whole to a sauté pan of generously salted water, just enough to cover it. Let simmer gently for 8-10 minutes to help soften and reduce bitterness. Slice it into ½ inch wide slices and generously coat each side with Cajun Spices.
- Pan-sear the tempeh in a little oil until crispy and heated through. Set aside.
- Stack the kale ( removing any thick stems) and cut into thin ribbons. Place in a bowl and add a teaspoon or two of olive oil ( just enough to barely coat), a pinch of salt, and lemon zest. Massage with your fingers until tender. To the kale, add the radishes, scallion, pickled onion, and avocado. Toss with some of the Vegan Ranch dressing, enough to coat. ( You can also keep everything separate, especially if making grain bowls)
- Either divide the salad among bowls or place it in a warm, whole wheat tortilla, topped with the blackened tempeh and sprouts.
- The salad is hearty enough that it will taste good the next day.
Immunity-Boosting Hot Chocolate from Clean and Delicious
Life’s too short not to finish the day with something sweet (at least that is what I always tell myself)! This hot chocolate recipe includes mindful ingredients like raw cacao, which is full of antioxidants and natural sweetness from the honey. A big cup of this at the end of the day is an excellent way to sneak in additional nutrients and immune benefits for you and your family.
- 1 cup of milk, either whole milk preferably grass-fed or plain unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated peeled turmeric root
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. coconut oil optional
- Place the milk, cocoa powder, sweetener, turmeric, cinnamon, and coconut oil in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, occasionally whisking until the cocoa and spices are mixed well, and the mixture is warmed through.
- Pour into your favorite mug and enjoy!