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IMMUNE BOOSTERS

6 Oct 2020

With the COVID-19 pandemic unwilling to relent, prospects of a vaccine/cure still distant, and frequent news about known victims disturbing your peace of mind, it’s high time you do something to build up your own defence, if you haven’t done it yet. 

Make immune boosters part of your daily diet as a sure way to be prepared. Consumption of Vitamin C in your favourite recipes cannot cure a viral illness, but it will give your body the tools it needs to be able to battle it out. From smoothies to soups, salads to steaks, ensure that you get a good helping of Vitamin C, B6 and E to help support a healthy immune system.

While we all know that citrus fruits and vegetables are super immunity boosters, the fact is, even red meat (beef and lamb) provides iron, zinc, vitamins B12 and B6, all of which play an important role in keeping the immune system in check. Try these easy recipes:

 

Carrot and ginger soup

 

Ingredients

500gm carrots – peeled

2tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper – to taste

4 garlic cloves – chopped

2tsp julienned ginger

5 cups vegetable broth – divided

1½ cup unsweetened heavy cream

Fresh mint – for garnish

Method

Preheat the oven to 200º C, season the carrots lightly with salt and pepper, drizzle generously with olive oil and roast in a pan at 200º C for 30-40 minutes. When carrots are tender and nicely caramelized, remove them and set aside. Once cool, place carrots in a food processor with the garlic, ginger and 3 cups of the broth. Puree until the mixture is smooth. Transfer the carrot puree to a heavy cooking pot. Add the remaining broth, ginger, a pinch of black pepper powder and cook on medium heat till it bubbles. Turn the heat to low, stir in the cream and switch off the flame. Serve in bowls garnished with mint leaves.

 

Spinach and Berry Salad

Ingredients

1tbsp canola oil

1tbsp orange juice

1tbsp red vinegar

1tbsp balsamic vinegar

1tbsp water

1tbsp lemon juice

½tsp sugar

A pinch of ground allspice

4 cups fresh baby spinach

½ cup each, fresh raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and sliced strawberries

2tsp chopped, toasted walnuts

Method

In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients. In a small bowl, combine spinach and berries and drizzle with dressing. Sprinkle chopped walnuts and toss. For a delightful variety, you may suitably add chopped chunks of avocado, mandarin, grapes or grapefruit as well as olives.

Lemon-Garlic Beef Steak

Ingredients

600-800gm steak (any favourite)

2 large lemons

1tbsp minced garlic

2tsp cracked black pepper

600gm baby potatoes – halved 

2tbsp olive oil

½tsp salt

Method

Preheat oven to 200º C. Grate 1tbsp lemon rind and squeeze 1tbsp juice from 1 lemon. Combine lemon rind, lemon juice, garlic and pepper in small bowl – reserve 1tbsp for potatoes. Press remaining lemon mixture onto all surfaces of beef steak. Cut remaining lemon into wedges and set aside. Place the marinated steak in shallow roasting pan. Do not add water or cover – set aside. Combine reserved lemon mixture, potatoes, lemon wedges, oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt on a rimmed sheet pan and toss to coat evenly. Roast beef at 200º C for 30 to 40 minutes for medium rare, 40 to 50 minutes for medium doneness. Roast potatoes 25 to 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring once. Transfer to carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil nd let it stand 15 to 20 minutes before slicing across the grain. Season with salt as desired and serve with potatoes and lemon wedges.

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