Boost your immune system with these quick meals amid coronavirus

Ama Nunoo Ama Nunoo | Editor March 19, 2020

Kimchee fried rice, Photo: Sun Basket

Many people get devastated anytime they hear coronavirus in the news. In fact, anytime one scrolls through their timeline on social media, there is one coronavirus meme after the other.

Now more than ever, people need foods to boost their immune system to fight against the virus. Yes, it is good to practice all the safety measures that health experts recommend.

However, if your body is not fortified enough, the virus will hit you the hardest if you catch it. We sure hope no one does get it though. The good thing about immune-boosting meals is you don’t necessarily have to wait for flu or allergy season to fortify your system and they are very easy to make.

Immune boosting meals are also the easiest way to feed your body with antioxidants, vitamins, and more superfoods that fortify your immune system.

Here are three super easy recipes you can try at home. Remember you can tweak it to suit your pallets but don’t tamper too much with the major ingredients.

Image result for Lemon chicken breasts

Photo: National Pancreas Foundation

Lemon chicken breasts

Ingredients

1/4 cup good olive oil

3 tablespoons minced garlic (9 cloves)

1/3 cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on (6 to 8 ounces each)

1 lemon

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Warm the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the garlic, and cook for just 1 minute but don’t allow the garlic to turn brown.

Off the heat, add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt and pour into a 9 by 12-inch baking dish.

Pat the chicken breasts dry and place them skin side up over the sauce. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper.

Cut the lemon in 8 wedges and tuck it among the pieces of chicken.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts, until the chicken is done and the skin is lightly browned.

If the chicken isn’t browned enough, put it under the broiler for 2 minutes. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot with the pan juices.

 

Image result for Kimchee fried rice

Photo: The Kimchee company

Kimchee fried rice

Ingredients

1–2 tablespoons oil (peanut oil gives this great flavor!)

½ cup onion- diced

2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger

1–2 cups chopped veggies – mushrooms, red bell pepper, zucchini, peas, carrots

½ cup kimchi– chopped, more to taste.

2 cups cooked, chilled rice

½ teaspoon soy sauce (optional, only if necessary)

1/2 teaspoon bonito granules (optional, but yummy!)

salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup chopped scallions

⅛ cup cilantro

2 large eggs, poached, fried – or top with crispy tofu!

Garnish with sriracha or hot sauce

Instructions

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring, then turn heat down to medium. Add ginger and veggies. Saute until ginger is fragrant and veggies are tender, stirring often, about 5-7 minutes.

Add chopped kimchi, and cook until heated through, about 1-2 minutes. Add rice, and continue cooking and stirring until warm and combined, about 3 more minutes. (Add a bit more oil or a little water if too dry.)

Taste and adjust flavor by adding soy sauce, salt, bonito granules as desired. (*Kimchi adds a lot of saltiness, so add salt sparingly and to taste, as each kimchi is different. If tasting bland, add soy sauce.) Stir in the scallions.

You could also stir in a handful of greens at this point, like baby spinach or arugula.

Divide among two large bowls.

Top with fried or poached egg.  Sprinkle with cilantro and a generous squirt of Sriracha sauce. Serve immediately, breaking the yolk and letting act as a sauce over the rice.

 

Image result for Ginger carrot soup

Photo: The Spruce Eats

Ginger carrot soup

Ingredients

2 tablespoons sweet cream butter

2 onions, peeled and chopped

6 cups chicken broth

2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

1 cup whipping cream

Salt and white pepper

Sour cream

Parsley sprigs, for garnish

Directions

In a 6-quart pan, over medium-high heat, add butter and onions and cook, stirring often, until onions are limp. Add broth, carrots, and ginger. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender when pierced.

Remove from heat and transfer to a blender. Don’t fill the blender more than halfway, do it in batches if you have to.

Cover the blender and then hold a kitchen towel over the top of the blender*. Be careful when blending hot liquids as the mixture can spurt out of the blender.

Pulse the blender to start it and then puree until smooth. Return to the pan and add cream, stir over high heat until hot. For a smoother flavor bring soup to a boil, add salt and pepper, to taste.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with dollop sour cream and parsley sprigs.

When blending hot liquid, first let it cool for five minutes or so, then transfer it to a blender, filling only halfway. Put the lid on, leaving one corner open. Cover the lid with a kitchen towel to catch splatters, and pulse until smooth.