We’ve learned to avoid foods like yeast, moldy cheeses, peanuts and corn that can introduce fungal metabolites into our bodies. Then, there are those foods that feed fungus: grains, alcohol, sugar, starchy vegetables and legumes that the body converts to sugar. These are also on our “to be avoided” list.
But what about those foods that actively fight fungus? There are a number of foods that do just that, and as we’ve heard from Doug (and Hippocrates!) we are to “let food be our medicine and medicine be our food.”
There are many healthy things we can eat that both strengthen our immune system and fight fungus. Vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, low-sugar fruits like berries, some citrus (lemons, limes, grapefruit,) coconut, and most herbs and spices are all beneficial.
Possibly one of the most powerful anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal substances we can consume is garlic. For centuries, people have used garlic in cooking, not only for its taste, but also for its health benefits. It’s said that even the Greeks used to feed garlic to their athletes before they competed in the Olympic games!
In countries like Italy, Korea and China, there seems to be a correlation between less disease and more garlic consumption. The problem is that people in these cultures consume as many as 8 to 12 cloves a day!
While I can’t honestly think of a way to encourage you to include quite that much garlic in your daily diet, I can offer a menu for garlic lovers that will, at least on occasion, help you to take advantage of the health benefits of this delicious herb. (Yes, it’s considered an herb!) In addition, regularly try to add garlic to your diet by including it in salad dressings and dips, vegetables, soups, meat dishes and even juices. Your body will thank you! And if you’re worried about your breath, try chewing on some parsley afterwards, which is also good for you!
CHICKEN AND CAULIFLOWER WITH MELTED GARLIC
8 bone-in, skin on chicken thighs
30 cloves of garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh, minced thyme
6 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon white pepper (can substitute black pepper if necessary)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 medium head of cauliflower
1/4 cup thick Greek yogurt or sour cream
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon butter
Heat the oven to 300.
Press on each garlic clove with the heel of your hand to mash slightly and break loose the skins. Discard all the garlic skins. Set aside all but 4 cloves of garlic. Press (in a garlic press) or finely mince the 4 cloves. Rub these onto the chicken.
Add remaining herbs and spices (but not the remaining garlic cloves), and toss the chicken until the seasoning is evenly distributed on the chicken.
Place the chicken in a small roasting pan in a single layer, skin side down. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
Remove pan from oven and with tongs, turn chicken pieces skin side up and scatter with remaining cloves of garlic. Re-cover and bake for 1 hour longer.
During last 15 minutes of baking, prepare cauliflower.
Wash and cut cauliflower into small pieces. Steam until tender, about 10-12 minutes. Cover with foil and keep warm until chicken is ready.
After the last hour of cooking the chicken, remove the roasting pan from the oven and remove foil. Gather about 25 cloves of the now roasted garlic from the chicken and reserve. Turn broiler on high and put pan back in oven, several inches from the heat. Broil chicken for about 5 minutes, just until skin is crispy.
Place cauliflower into food processor along with yogurt or sour cream, butter, salt and pepper and all those delicious cloves of sweet garlic. Process until smooth.
Place a generous serving of cauliflower on each plate and top with two chicken thighs.