It looks like wetter, colder weather is finally upon us! Now’s the time to feed our bodies with warm, cooked grounding foods which Mother Nature is supplying in abundance. All the lovely squash and root vegetables will spend a great deal of time in the oven before entering our bellies.
Now’s also the time of transition. The fresh local greens, herbs, veggies, garlic, and – if you’re lucky – even ginger, are still available to nourish us with the nutrients we need to build our immune systems and prepare us for the winter days ahead.
In the spirit of taking in as much of this goodness as possible while it’s still around, I often prepare a noodle salad that’s full of these end-of-season boosters. I affectionately refer to it as my “healing” salad and enjoy it whenever I feel the need to boost my immune system (and just cause I enjoy the taste!). Not that it actually “heals” of course, but it is rich in immune-building nutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, curcumin, antimicrobes) that give our immune system the building blocks it needs to fight infections. Absolutely perfect for cold and flu season! Plus, the warm-ish noodles make it where the veggies aren’t super cold, and therefore go down with ease at this time of the year.
But, be warned…this noodle salad is rich in RAW garlic, so if you don’t want people running away from you, it’s best to enjoy post-social events or with everyone around you 😉
My Immune-Boosting Noodle Salad
Makes 2-4 servings (depending on if it’s a side or main)
- 1 bunch (approx. 50 g) of green bean or brown rice vermicelli noodles (or 2 cups cooked brown rice or lentil flour rotini “spiral” pasta)
- 1 head romaine lettuce
- 1 cucumber
- 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
- 2-inch knob of ginger, minced
- 1-inch knob of fresh turmeric, minced (or ½ tsp of turmeric powder)
- 2 pieces fresh lemongrass, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp tamari
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- dash of rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
- 1-2 tbsp dry roasted sesame seeds
- If you’re using vermicelli noodles, boil water in a small pot. Once boiled, turn off the element and add the vermicelli noodles. When the noodles are soft (after about 30 seconds) drain and rinse them under water. Set the noodles aside.
- Wash and chop the lettuce. Set aside.
- Wash and chop the cucumber into quarter-sized pieces. In a bowl, combine the cucumber, noodles, olive oil, garlic, ginger, turmeric, tamari, lemon juice, lemongrass, vinegar and sesame seeds. Mix well.
- Add the chopped romaine lettuce last. Toss again. Adjust seasoning as desired. Serve and enjoy!