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Zoodles With Raw Tomato Basil Sauce

These zoodles with raw tomato basil sauce can actually help calm your mind…

noodles with raw tomato basil sauce

Honesty time. I don’t love zucchini noodles. I really want to, but I just don’t. I know everyone, everywhere, is saying that noodles are a great substitute for spaghetti. Yeah, right. Not so much for me. BUT, they are so good for you — especially these zoodles with raw tomato basil sauce — that I made it my mission to figure out why I don’t love noodles as much as everyone else seems to.

This is what I figured out: I just don’t love them when I think of them as spaghetti. When I’m expecting a big heaping bowl of satisfying pasta, any kind of vegetable, no matter how good it is, just isn’t going to cut it. So, here’s my trick. I serve them with a cold sauce (and this one is delicious), so that it seems more like a salad-y dish than a pasta dish. This way I’m not disappointed. And, let me tell you, the flavor is so good, it’s the best salad ever!

I guess it’s a mental thing. A mind over matter thing.

But, I can honestly say, I love these zoodles with raw tomato basil sauce as a side dish for my grilled fish. Or with my collard wrap for lunch. And I used the sauce as a salsa for some grain-free chips too! Ah, a multitasking dish… you gotta love it!

If you are a zucchini lover, you should also try my recipe for Vegan Skillet Zucchini Parmesan!

noodles with raw tomato basil saucenoodles with raw tomato basil sauce

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this recipe for zoodles with raw tomato basil sauce:

Zucchini cools your body off and makes you feel better during those hot days of summer. It helps your body release excess heat and it will make your mind feel more calm.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections. This recipe uses both fresh and sun-dried tomatoes.

Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (I love to do this), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects.

Avocados are one of my favorite foods, both for their health benefits and because they taste great. In Chinese medicine, some practitioners recommend avocados to raise the sperm count. I like them because they are good for anemia, dry skin, palpitations and hot flashes due to menopause.

Oregano is a powerful antioxidant and it is great at fighting bacteria. It’s also known as an herb that brings joy and happiness to people. I even just bought a bottle of oregano essential oil and I put a drop in our smoothies or water when anyone has a cold… it works great!

Celery actually helps stop bleeding — so if you or anyone you know has just had surgery, start adding celery to your dishes! Celery is also great to help lower blood pressure and it’s been known to help with insomnia.

noodles with raw tomato basil sauce

Zoodles With Raw Tomato Basil Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: paleo, whole30, vegan, vegetarian, vegetables, sauce, zucchini noodles, vegetables, zoodles
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: The Fully Raw Diet cookbook
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Zucchini that eats like pasta... the perfect easy side dish. And, everyone should add a few raw dishes to their diet...
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 lb. zucchini noodles (pre-made or spiralized yourself)
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1-1/2 lb fresh tomatoes
  • 2 celery ribs, cut into pieces
  • juice of ½ a small lemon
  • ¾ cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 Tbs fresh oregano leaves
  • ½ an avocado, cubed
  • 3 sun-dried tomato pieces, packed in oil
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic and saute, stirring, until in starts to brown.
  3. Add the zucchini and some sea salt and toss with a tongs just until the zucchini begins to soften a little bit.
  4. In a food processor, combine the fresh tomatoes, celery, lemon juice, basil, oregano, sun-dried tomato, and avocado. Pulse until the consistency of salsa (not completely smooth).
  5. Serve the noodles with sauce on top and pass the extra sauce on the side.
  6. Enjoy!

noodles with raw tomato basil sauce

Simple Fresh Vegetable Soup

This soup has lots of garlic and scallions to keep your immune system strong!
simple fresh vegetable soup

This soup is dedicated to all of my over-40-women-friends… those of you who want all that you deserve: inner health, outer beauty, youthful insides and outsides, a healthy immune system, balanced hormones, weight loss, radiant skin… I know, it sounds like a tall order, but this soup really does have ingredients to heal you inside and out and make you feel and look younger. It’s not magic. Well, actually, it kind of is a little like magic… This simple fresh vegetable soup is the complete package for every woman over 40.

And, it’s really easy to make, so it won’t mess with your work schedule or your busy life.

And, it can be made with whatever fresh veggies you have in your fridge.

And, the base is made with packaged broth.

And, you can just put the whole pot in your fridge and eat it all week long.

One of the things that I tell my clients is that if you make a big pot of healthy soup at the beginning of the week, you will have no reason to grab unhealthy snacks when you come home famished.

OMG, I sound like a commercial for soup! Haha… I’m not selling this soup — I promise —  but I do love it!

Okay, back to this simple fresh vegetable soup. This is so good. The veggies are cooked perfectly — you know what I mean — not mushy but not too crunchy. And the garlic infuses the broth so it has just the right amount of flavor. And there are some non-traditional vegetable soup ingredients like capers and chipotles so that you really feel like a gourmet when you try it.

I topped my soup with some vegan Parmesan, but feel free to use some croutons (preferably grain-free), or some crumbled crackers.

Right about now, I’m getting really sad that there’s no more soup left in my pot…

If you are looking for another easy soup recipe, try my Slow Cooker Vegan Split Pea Soup.

simple fresh vegetable soupsimple fresh vegetable soup

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this simple fresh vegetable soup:

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Scallions, as I tell you often, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb (Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever.

Celery actually helps stop bleeding — so if you or anyone you know has just had surgery, start adding celery to your dishes! Celery is also great to help lower blood pressure and it’s been known to help with insomnia.

Bell peppers help with indigestion. If you are feeling bloated and full from over-eating a lot lately, consuming bell peppers will help reduce this feeling. They are also good for blood circulation and research has shown that they are good for people with a low appetite or anorexia. It used to be common in China to use green pepper tea to soothe indigestion.

In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections.

Zucchini cools your body off and makes you feel better during those hot days of summer. It helps your body release excess heat and it will make your mind feel more calm.

I love mushrooms. In Chinese medicine, mushrooms ARE medicine. They are herbs. They are one of the most healing foods around.1 However, I was taught to stay away from the plain white button shrooms that are so readily available. Recently, however, I learned that I was doing myself a disservice by avoiding these mushrooms. It turns out, if you make sure they are organic, there are lots of benefits in button mushrooms! They are detoxifying, can help get rid of phlegm, ease diarrhea, are good for circulation, and new research has shown that if you eat them often enough, they can reduce cancer cells in the body.

Parsley has been shown to reduce tumors in the lungs and to neutralize the effects of carcinogens, including cigarette smoke. It is high in vitamins A and C, and is good for your heart. This herb is also a natural breath freshener. So, if you have a chance to use more than a few sprigs as a garnish, go for it.

Capers, although small in size, are a big source of anti-oxidants, and they actually can make you feel better emotionally because they activate the “happiness” center of your brain.

simple fresh vegetable soup

Simple Fresh Vegetable Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: soup, paleo, whole30, vegan, vegetarian, simple
Cuisine: American, Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
This is the easiest veggie soup recipe, yet it tastes gourmet! It makes the perfect leftovers all week long!
Ingredients
  • 1 qt vegetable broth
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 4 scallions, sliced (including the root end)
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 med zucchini, diced
  • 1 head broccoli, crowns cut into florets, stems sliced
  • 8 oz white button mushrooms, chopped
  • ¼ lb sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated in some hot water, sliced
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • ½ tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp chipotle pepper with adobo (either just use the sauce or mince the peppers)
  • 3 tsp capers, drained
  • vegan Parmesan cheese shreds, for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pour the broth and tomatoes into a large pot. Bring to a simmer.
  2. Add the garlic, bell peppers, carrots, celery, and broccoli.
  3. Simmer 5 mins.
  4. Now add the rest of the ingredients. Stir and cook 20 minutes, or until the veggies are cooked al dente.
  5. Ladle into bowls and top with Parmesan.
  6. Enjoy!

simple fresh vegetable soup

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Bowl

Pasta rules! And this roasted red pepper pasta bowl is awesome!

roasted red pepper pasta bowl

Yay! Another great, fantastic, awesome, deliciously healing, yet paleo AND vegan pasta dish that tastes like real, classic, homemade Italian pasta. Wow, that was a mouthful! But I honestly don’t know how to accurately describe the awesomeness of this dish without using so many adjectives…

If you know me at all, you know that I will try any and every pasta that I see if it’s paleo. Some are truly awesome. Some… not so much. This lentil pasta is one of my favorites. (See the recipe below for where you can buy it.) It really has the texture and taste of traditional whole wheat pasta. For real — no one will know.

I made this dish a few days ago and I got to do one of my favorite things — feed an unsuspecting guest… My daughter’s boyfriend was here and I was in the kitchen experimenting and I made these pasta bowls. You know young men — they are always hungry… So, he gladly accepted a pasta bowl and ate it. Now, he knows my bent toward all things healthy, so after he ate half of it, he looked up and asked: “Is it real pasta?” I just smiled. He knew the answer, but continued to eat with gusto. Success! After that my daughter ate it and also loved it. The list continued from there. So, to Sam, my willing taste-tester, you are welcome in my kitchen any time!

This pasta is made so amazing by the delicious (and oh-so-easy) creamy roasted red pepper sauce. And then, a few drizzles of pesto and a dollop of cheese (I used a great vegan creamy cheese) and some crisp fresh arugula and fragrant basil. Really, this roasted red pepper pasta bowl is the complete package! I have to send an shoutout now to one of my favorite blogs: Half Baked Harvest, because she came up with the original recipe that inspired me to create this version — ingenious!

If you are looking to try another paleo pasta recipe, try my Vegan Fettuccine Bolognese.

roasted red pepper pasta bowl

Here are some of the amazing ingredients in this roasted red pepper pasta bowl:

Bell peppers help with indigestion. If you are feeling bloated and full from over-eating a lot lately, consuming bell peppers will help reduce this feeling. They are also good for blood circulation and research has shown that they are good for people with a low appetite or anorexia. It used to be common in China to use bell pepper tea to soothe indigestion.

Lentils help lower cholesterol, manage blood sugar levels, are high in vitamin B and protein, and have hardly any fat. They are a good source of long-term energy and are very high in fiber. These tiny legumes also help with digestion and they are the perfect protein to eat in the summer because they actually clear the body of excess heat; long ago, cold lentil soup was prescribed for patients with heatstroke or fever.

Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healty choice. The cashews give this sauce a velvety, creamy texture.

Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (I love to do this), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Arugula has a good amount of calcium and it also contains vitamins A, C and K. It is rich in potassium and it’s extra beneficial in the summer because it actually cools the body down. This delicious peppery green is also believed to be a libido booster. One of the first things I learned when I started really taking care of my health through proper nutrition, was to substitute dark greens for lighter greens whenever possible. One of the easiest, tastiest, and healthiest switches you can make is to swap out some of your lighter salad greens for peppery, dark arugula.

roasted red pepper pasta bowl

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Bowl
Author: 
Recipe type: pasta, paleo, vegan, Italialn
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Half Baked Harvest
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This pasta is paleo, vegan, creamy, and healing! Oh, and did I mention it is awesomely delicious and so easy to make...
Ingredients
  • 16-oz jarred roasted red peppers
  • 10 sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup raw cashews (you can buy them here)
  • ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves (plus more for serving)
  • 12 oz pasta -- I used a paleo, lentil pasta (you can buy the lentil pasta here)
  • a few handfuls of fresh arugula
  • small jar of vegan pesto (whatever kind of pesto you like will be great)
  • 4 dollops of a creamy cheese (I used Kite Hill's vegan cream cheese with chives and it was perfect)
Instructions
  1. Boil the pasta al dente.
  2. Put the red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, cashews, and ½ cup basil into a blender (I used my Vitamix, so it was really quick). Whiz it up until smooth and creamy.
  3. Drain the pasta.
  4. Toss the pasta with as much sauce as you like.
  5. Divide the pasta between 4 bowls.
  6. Top with pesto, arugula, cheese, and extra basil leaves.
  7. Enjoy!

roasted red pepper pasta bowl

Roasted Red Pepper Fettuccine

If you are looking for a comforting bowl of pasta, this roasted red pepper fettuccine will really hit the spot!

roasted red pepper fettuccine

I would eat pasta every day if I could.  There’s just something about it that’s so comforting to me. The bite and texture of perfectly cooked home made fettuccine just takes me to an awesome place.  My favorite thing about visiting Italy is all of the amazing and simple pasta dishes… each time I go I dream about them for weeks to come. (And yes, I’m well aware that if this is what’s filling my dreams, I have a bit of a problem.)

For years, since I stopped eating most grains, I felt deprived (cue the sad-face emoji here). But now that I’ve found so many great grain-free pastas, I am doing the happy dance!

The fettuccine I used in this recipe is grain-free. It’s made from almonds (by Cappello’s) and it has the same texture and taste of homemade traditional fettuccine.

I’m a little out of control though. I’m making so many different sauces and condiments to put on my pasta dishes, that my freezer is overflowing and I’ve become a bit of a food pusher to anyone who comes near my kitchen. The sauce for this roasted red pepper fettuccine is so good that the leftover container didn’t even make it to the freezer; I ate it several days in a row. My intention was to use it as a sauce for vegetables during the week, but I ate it on pasta, again. And again.

I am not a big fan of jarred roasted red peppers for this recipe, but it’s so easy to roast your own that you really should do it this way. You can roast them in the oven, or if you have a gas stove, you can just plop the pepper right on the flame like I do.

roasted red pepper fettuccineroasted red pepper fettuccine

This pasta and sauce combination is amazing:

Bell peppers help with indigestion. If you are feeling bloated and full from over-eating a lot lately, consuming bell peppers will help reduce this feeling. They are also good for blood circulation and research has shown that they are good for people with a low appetite or anorexia.

In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections. This recipe contains sun dried tomatoes, which have the same great capabilities and also taste amazing!

Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (I love to do this), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects.

In Asian medicine, nuts are known to be good for your brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation. So, if you use a grain-free pasta made from almonds, like I did, you get these amazing nutritional benefits too!

roasted red pepper fettuccine

Roasted Red Pepper Fettuccine
Author: 
Recipe type: pasta, paleo, grain-free, sauce, vegan, vegetarian
Cuisine: Italian, vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
 
I used grain-free pasta and tossed it with the most amazing vegan sauce! This is easy, it's delicious, it's healthy... and it makes for awesome leftovers!
Ingredients
  • 2 red bell peppers, roasted (you can do this in the oven or on top of a gas flame) and peeled
  • 10 sun dried tomatoes, not packed in oil (soaked in hot water for about 10 minutes and then drained)
  • 8 large basil leaves
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • pinch of dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 pint multi-colored small tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • ¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • about ½ lb of your favorite pasta (try a grain-free one) (I used Cappello's fettuccine)
  • * Note: this recipe makes enough sauce for at least twice as much pasta as indicated, so if you have extra, be sure to store it in the fridge or freezer for another meal!
Instructions
  1. Put the roasted peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper, oil, and hot red pepper flakes into a blender. Whiz it up until smooth.
  2. Pour the sauce into a pot and place it over medium heat just until very warm.
  3. Cook the pasta al dente.
  4. Drain the pasta and toss it with sauce.
  5. Gently mix in fresh tomatoes and cilantro.
  6. Enjoy!

roasted red pepper fettuccine

Chicken With Artichokes And Sun Dried Tomatoes

This deliciously healing chicken with artichokes and sun dried tomatoes is made in a single pan!

chicken with artichokes and sun dried tomatoes

The night before I was to leave on vacation a few weeks ago, I was making dinner. I knew I wanted to cook something that would last for several days in the fridge… because… wait for it… I was going to a gorgeous beach with my sister — no husbands and no kids!!! I wanted to be nice and leave Steve some food.

I was perusing some of the blogs I love and I came across a dish from Diethood that made my mouth water and was a one-pan meal. I put a bit of my own spin on it and made it fit our needs and wow, it was really good.

I love simple roast chicken. This is simple roast chicken with some great add-ins. It’s chicken with artichokes and sun dried tomatoes. It’s chicken with lots of flavor. It’s healthy. It also has spinach. And carrots. And onion. And it makes for awesome leftovers for several days.

This is the perfect weeknight meal. It’s a great make-ahead main course for when you are entertaining. It’s just a great dish.
Oh yeah, and it’s really easy.

I’m on a big customized-recipe-creation kick right now (okay… always…), so let me customize a recipe for you that will work for whatever’s going on in your body now… I’m such a geek that I really do get excited about doing this. I’ve got a chicken recipe with your name on it…  So CLICK HERE  to be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

Here’s another great one-pan chicken recipe for you to try: Chicken, Potato, And Tomato Skillet.

chicken with artichokes and sun dried tomatoes

Here are some ways this recipe will help you out:

Chicken is something I push people to buy organic if possible. Organic chicken is a great, healthy protein to give you energy, lessen the pain of some types of arthritis, and boost your system when you are particularly weak — like after surgery or childbirth. People who have some conditions that we consider “excess heat” conditions should limit the amount of chicken they eat. So, if you have an illness that gives you a bright red tongue or severe dryness in your body, check with your doctor first. For example, if you have a lot of burning stomach acid, you should avoid chicken for awhile…

Artichokes are a good source of vitamins C and K and they also contain a healthy amount of magnesium. The are low in fat and calories but they do have some fiber, so they are a healthy choice. In Chinese medicine, we recommend adding artichokes to the diet to combat sadness, headaches, indigestion, and diarrhea. In olden times, steamed artichokes were sometimes prescribed to combat a yeast infection.

It is true that spinach contains iron, but it’s this vegetable’s lesser-known qualities that really hold my admiration. Spinach contains a substance that helps eliminate prostate cancer. It’s also great for your bones and also for memory loss. Diabetic patients may find that eating spinach helps combat excessive thirst and can even be good for night blindness. Spinach can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb calcium, so calcium-rich foods should be avoided when eating this leafy green.

In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections. This recipe contains sun dried tomatoes, which have the same great capabilities and also taste amazing!

Carrots help strengthen the organs in your body. They also are good for the eyes (this is their claim to fame) and they promote healthy digestion. Many moons ago, people used to make carrot tea to ward off measles and to prevent cancer. Carrots help detoxify the body and in today’s world of Chinese medicine, they are prescribed to ease constipation and tonsillitis.

chicken with artichokes and sun dried tomatoes

If you make this Chicken With Artichokes And Sun Dried Tomatoes recipe, please be sure to let me know in the comments below. I love hearing how you like a recipe, and I love to answer your questions! If you make it, be sure to take a photo and tag me and post it on Instagram.

Chicken With Artichokes And Sun Dried Tomatoes
Author: 
Recipe type: poultry, chicken, one-pan meal, simple
Cuisine: Recipe adapted from: Diethood
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
 
This one-pan meal is so comforting, so easy, and so healthy. It's flavorful roast chicken and great vegetables and it's delicious!
Ingredients
  • 2 chicken breasts on the bone, cut in half
  • 6 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 med onion, sliced
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1 14-oz can artichoke hearts, drained, and cut in quarters
  • a big handful of sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil (I used 10 large ones)
  • 5 oz fresh spinach
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper
  3. Heat the oil in a large oven-proof skillet.
  4. Place the chicken in the hot oil and brown it on all sides.
  5. Remove the chicken to a plate.
  6. Add the onion, carrots, sun-dried tomatoes, and artichoke hearts to the skillet and sauté just until the veggies start to soften a bit.
  7. Add the broth and the spinach and stir just until it starts to wilt.
  8. Arrange the chicken in the pan with the veggies.
  9. Place the pan in the oven and roast until the chicken is cooked through. (My chicken took 35 minutes in the oven because my white meat pieces were large and the rest was dark meat.)
  10. Remove from oven and place the hot skillet directly on a trivet on your table -- it's beautiful! Enjoy!

chicken with artichokes and sun dried tomatoes

Spicy Chickpea Turkey And Tomato Stew

This spicy chickpea turkey and tomato stew is so warming and healing!

Spicy Turkey, Chickpeas, And Spinach-9643

Why is it that a big pot of spicy stew makes me smile so much?

Do any of you feel the same way?

Whether it’s chili or hot and sour soup or a spicy meat and veggie concoction, just the smell of it makes me happy. Maybe that’s why a huge pot of chili is often on my stove. Or, maybe it’s because I love football and all of the traditional foods associated with the game.  I’m sure it’s partly because a big pot of simmering goodness is the perfect foil for my Chinese herbs.

But it’s mostly because it’s just so yummy! And warming! And filling!

Whatever the reason, this stew came together because I had a hankering for chili, but it wasn’t football Sunday. So, what’s a cook to do? Lots of times, I just make the chili anyway, but this day I felt like something a little different… more like stew I thought… or maybe a touch Moroccan… I just felt like taking regular chili to another level… a little more gourmet if you will (does that sound too snooty???). Since I was only cooking for a few people instead of a regular big football crowd, I figured I’d experiment. And a successful experiment it was!

I love cooking down the aromatic ingredients and then shoving (literally shoving) as many leafy greens as I can into the pot and watching them melt into the gooey goodness in the pot…

Spicy Turkey, Chickpeas, And Spinach (spinach)-9583

“Pots of stuff” or “stews” are great because you can add in whatever you like and whatever your body needs at that point in time. Here’s some of what I put in this gorgeous pot:

Turkey is a healthy meat. Make sure you buy organic, pasture-raised turkey for the highest nutritional benefits. Recent research has shown turkey helps lower the risk of pancreatic cancer; however I did read some research that suggests that if you eat the skin along with the meat, some of this value is reduced, so don’t eat too much skin — this recipe uses ground turkey so it has no skin involved… Turkey also has a great protein-to-fat ratio, so it keeps you feeling full with less potential for weight gain. It’s also rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin B and selenium.

In my acupuncture practice, some of my favorite conditions to treat are stress, anxiety, and depression. I’m also always looking for foods that will add to the effectiveness of these treatments. Chickpeas actually help calm the spirit. They relieve anxiety and soothe irritability… it kind of makes you realize why hummus is so popular…

Most people think of Popeye (am I dating myself??) and iron when they think of spinach. It is true that spinach contains iron, but it’s this vegetable’s lesser-known qualities that really hold my admiration. Spinach contains a substance that helps eliminate prostate cancer. It’s also great for your bones and also for memory loss. Diabetic patients may find that eating spinach helps combat excessive thirst and can even be good for night blindness. Spinach can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb calcium, so calcium-rich foods should be avoided when eating this leafy green.

In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections. This recipe has canned chopped tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes — double whammy!

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better; the onion can actually draw the toxins out of the body!

Chili powder is rich in vitamins A and C and also in essential minerals. Spicy pepper is one of the most nutritious spices available. Consuming small amounts gives you a great source of potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium and selenium. Spicy peppers have been shown to ease the pain of arthritis and muscle soreness.

Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

I love to add my Chinese herbs to anything that simmers on the stove for awhile. This time I added some Bai Shao. Bai Shao is white peony root and it’s great for yin deficiency (think menopausal symptoms…). If you want more info on this herb, just ask…

Spicy Turkey, Chickpeas, And Spinach (pot)-9633

 

Spicy Chickpea, Turkey, And Tomato Pot
Author: 
Recipe type: stew, chili, one-pot meal
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ground turkey, chickpeas, and spinach cook in an amazing, spicy tomato sauce... so warming!
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric (just found this one-- I'm buying it for next time!)
  • ½ tsp (or more if you like more spice) chipotle chili powder (here's one I use a lot)
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika (this one sounds good - let's try it!)
  • 20 oz canned chopped tomatoes
  • ½ cup sliced sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 5 oz baby spinach
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute 2-minutes.
  2. Add the turkey, season with salt and pepper, and stir for about 3 minutes, or until it is starting to get some color.
  3. Add chili powders, turmeric, and smoked paprika. Cook, stirring, until no longer pink.
  4. Pour in canned tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes.
  5. Add chickpeas and bring pot to a boil, then reduce heat to low and add the spinach. Let the spinach wilt and stir until it is all well combined.
  6. Cover and cook on low heat for about 20 minutes or until it's hot and smelling amazing.
  7. Ladle into bowls. Enjoy!