Like many folks I know, I’m kicking off 2010 with a cold so I decided to use this opportunity to concoct a healthy, cold-fighting meal.
Of course, the best cold medicine is Mom’s chicken soup, but my Mom lives 1000 miles away and being that I’m on a sodium restricted diet, chicken soup sans salt tastes kind of blah.
Yesterday I decided to go the Chinese Hot Pot route and include lots of health promoting ingredients!
Ginger – Ginger is one of those super-foods that provide a multitude of benefits across a variety of ailments from upset stomach to arthritis. It also happens to be a natural decongestant as well as an antihistamine, making it the perfect remedy for colds!
Garlic - The sulfur compound allicin is responsible for garlic’s unique odor, and has been shown to be effective in fighting common infections like colds and flu.
Scallion - Scallions, like other members of the onion family, have several anti-inflammatory agents that render them helpful in reducing the severity of symptoms associated with respiratory congestion.
Cabbage - My cabbage of choice in this instance was baby bok choy. Cabbage is loaded with Vitamin C and as we all know, you can never have enough V-C when battling the sniffles!
Shitake Mushrooms – Shitake mushrooms contain lentinan, a compound that has been shown to fire up the immune system.
Chili Peppers - Nothing opens up the nasal passages like some good hot chili peppers. The capsaicin in chili’s act as a decongestant for upper respiratory symptoms.
Susan’s Cold-Fighting Soup
3 cups Imagine Organic Low Sodium, Free Range Chicken Broth
4 scallions, sliced
3 long slices of ginger (for flavoring the broth)
8 baby bok choy, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 shitake mushrooms, halved
8 large shrimp, cleaned and tail removed
Black pepper, to taste
Red chili pepper flakes, to taste
Combine first 6 ingredients and let simmer on stove for 15 – 20 minutes. The ginger and garlic will help flavor the broth. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp turn pink, approximately 5 minutes.
1 Tbsp House Of Tsang Less Sodium Soy Sauce (the lowest sodium soy sauce I’ve found)
1/4 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp fresh ground chili paste
I use chopsticks to grab the shrimp and mushrooms out of the broth to dip in the spicy sauce, and eat the rest with a spoon. I kept the broth simmering on the stove top and revisited it throughout the afternoon. It did a pretty good job keeping my congestion under control and to make the dish more filling, I mixed in a little brown rice later in the afternoon.
Nutritional information, per serving (not including the brown rice): 163 calories; 5 grams fat (1 gram saturated fat); 24 grams carbohydrates; 11 grams protein; 340 mg sodium
Train hard; stay strong.