Tag Archives: garlic

The YogaLean Benefits of Garlic

Mmm, garlic! I can’t get enough of this tasty, aromatic ingredient and love to incorporate it abundantly in my home recipes. Garlic adds an irresistible depth of flavor to my dishes and it’s an essential part of that comforting aroma we often associate with fresh, home cooking. But, in addition to its sensational culinary properties, garlic is packed with a variety of powerful health benefits that are enormously helpful in keeping us lean by guarding our immune systems against infections, detoxifying the liver, and even lowering blood pressure.

 

Here are the primary reasons I love garlic, plus a couple of my favorite recipes that include it generously.

 

*Garlic Boosts Immunity    

Garlic is a fierce defender of the immune system with great capacity to prevent and banish colds. Garlic has been called a natural antibiotic because of its high concentration of manganese, calcium, vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, vitamin C, phosphorous, copper, potassium, and selenium. This combination of nutrients unite in garlic like a veritable bacteria-and-virus-fighting army. If you feel yourself starting to sniffle, this is the ingredient to grab for in the grocery store. I also like to supplement my immune defense by taking garlic capsules, a potent alternative to eating it in food, (and startling your partner with the smell of your breath!)

Here’s one of my favorite garlic-y recipes, perfect for staying cold-free, lean, and satisfied, especially in the wintertime!

 

Beth’s Immunity Soup

 

What You’ll Need:

4 to 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth

2 teaspoons olive oil

5 cloves crushed garlic

finely minced hot peppers (as many as you like depending on your spiciness preference)

½ teaspoon cumin

¼ cup cilantro

2 ½ cups chopped tomatoes, juices included

juice of one lemon

brown rice (optional)

avocado (optional)

 

Make it Lean:

  1. In a stockpot, bring broth to a slow boil

  2. in a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté garilc and hot peppers and a dash of cumin.

  3. add the cilantro, tomatoes, adn lemon juice to the broth. lower to a simmer and mixi n the garlic, peppers, and remaining cumin.

Optional:

  1. Add brown rice if you would like carbs

  2. Garnish with avocado

 

*Garlic is a great Detoxifier  

Garlic triggers the liver to release toxins from the body, allowing you to better digest and metabolize food, and helping to maintain a healthy, lean stomach.

 

*Garlic Lowers Blood Pressure

Garlic has a natural ability to lower blood pressure, which is very favorable for those of us who navigate fast-paced lives and high stress levels, which can spike blood pressure or increase it over time. According to the Mayo Clinic, garlic releases nitric oxide, naturally dilating  blood vessels to decrease blood pressure.

 

This flavorful salad has superb detoxifying and blood-pressure lowering power of raw garlic, plus the diuretic properties of artichoke and the citrus freshness of lemon.

 

Lemon Garlic Artichoke Salad

 

What You’ll Need:

5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup olive oil

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup parsley

3 cloves garlic. diced

12 baby artichokes– frozen or canned, chopped

6 cups mixed greens

 

Make it Lean:

  1. In a blender, blens the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, parsley, and garlic until smooth and thick (approx. 2 to 3 minutes.)

  2. Toss dressing with artichokes and serve over mixed greens

 

Garlic is an all-around wonderful ingredient with a very versatile set of uses in cooking and so many lean benefits. Keeping your breath mints handy, I recommend consuming garlic in abundance to keep your body’s natural defenses up, to detox your liver, and to help keep your blood pressure in a healthy range. YogaLean loves garlic!

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Yellow Eye Bean Salad with Sorghum

Beans are a great source of protein. I enjoy experimenting with different beans to bring variety into my diet. Yellow Eye Beans are high in dietary fiber and iron, low in sodium, and contain no sugar, saturated fat, or cholesterol. One cup of Yellow Eye Beans (boiled) is approximately 250 calories. This recipe can be made with another bean if you cannot find Yellow Eye Beans.

 

I hope you enjoy this light yet satisfying bean salad. The flavors and textures make each bite enjoyable. Serve with Gluten Free crackers or rolls if you wish to add carbohydrates to the meal. Traditionally Yellow Eye Beans are cooked with honey or molasses and are made into a baked bean side dish. I love this recipe as it allows the flavor of the bean to shine, rather than overpower it with sugar. If your local store does not have dry yellow eye beans, you can find them for sale on Amazon.

 

Enjoy this YogaLean recipe and find others at HealthyRecipeVariations.

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 10.52.21 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Base Ingredients:

2 cups of DRY Yellow Eye Beans

3 cups of water

3 cups of low sodium vegetable broth

1 bay leaf

4 cups of vegetables – cut in even sizes – I used a variety of bell peppers, onion, garlic, and sweet potato.

Olive oil for sautéing vegetables

1 cup of low sodium vegetable broth for preparing the vegetables

2 cups of spinach

1 cup Sorghum ( I use Bob’s Red Mill)

 

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 10.52.52 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Variations:

Substitute your favorite bean for the Yellow Eye Bean

Substitute red cabbage (diced) for the spinach

Substitute quinoa or millet for the sorghum

Vegetables: Staples include onion or shallot and garlic

 

Combinations can include:

mushroom, bell pepper, and basil

carrot, sweet potato, and tarragon

leek, sweet potato (or potato), and parsley

 

Instructions: After the beans are hydrated, it takes 30 minutes or less.

Rehydrate the beans (and bay leaf) in the liquid. I like to do this overnight.

After the beans have hydrated, slow cook them until they get soft…but still have an amount of firmness. The cooking stopping point is a moment to reflect on personal preference. If you want a little bite to your bean salad, stop cooking before the beans crack open and get soft. If you wish the soft texture to the bean salad, allow them to cook longer. Coking time is 1-2 hours.

 

Prepare the sorghum according to package directions (3 to 1 ratio). For the liquid, I use a combination of water and low sodium vegetable broth. This takes 30 minutes or so.

 

After the beans and sorghum are ready, dice the vegetables you wish to use.

 

Add the vegetables to a pan with 2 TBSP olive oil. Sautee and stir for 3 minutes then add 1 cup of low sodium vegetable broth. Allow the vegetables to soften some with the liquid.

 

When the liquid is almost absorbed by the vegetables, add the sorghum, and 3 cups of cooked beans. Stir.

 

 

Serve on a bed of spinach, stir spinach in the mixture and serve, or put the mixture in a “to go” container and take with you as a work-day lunch!

 

The dish is wonderful warm or cold. Garnish with sesame seeds or sunflower sees for added texture!

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