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Winterize Your Diet

Our resident chef shares how to winterize your diet this cold and flu season.

Now that our long coats, scarves, gloves and thermals adorn our frigid bodies, it’s time to focus on what needs to go IN our bodies to help prevent sickness (because we know that NO ONE wants to miss time from work on a snowy day, right?!?).

As mentioned in last week’s blog, the winter harvest provides us with powerful immune boosters and healers.  These help us with common winter ailments such as the flu, a cold, runny nose, etc.  Let’s take a look at a few foods to work into your diet that will keep our body going strong for the next few months.

By comparison to warm months, most of us spend the majority of our time indoors during the winter season, and rightfully so; however, in doing that, we miss a lot of the Vitamin D that our bodies generate in conjunction with the sun (some would say the opposite, but that’s another topic…).  According to Medical News Today and various other sources, Vitamin D is great for a lot, including regulating our immune system, reducing asthma symptoms and causes of them, reducing chances of developing multiple sclerosis, bone development and helping your body fight against the FLU and depression. Foods with good amounts of Vitamin D include salmon, shell-fish, tuna, mushrooms and liver.

Vitamin C works alongside D effectively in resisting and beating the common cold.  For what’s currently in season, pick up brussels sprouts, broccoli, kiwi, oranges, grapefruits and the rest of the citrus crew.

Ladies, Vitamin E will help your skin all purty and such; why let winter take away your glow?  Swiss chard, spinach, almonds, sunflower seeds and greens will do the trick; all those turnip and mustard greens is why your grandma still looks so good (she drank the pot liquor, which has all the healthy stuff!).

Vitamin K, good for heart disease and preventing blood clots, can be found in abundance in kale, spinach, brussels sprouts and all types of greens (mustard, turnip, etc.).

Focus on eating more citrus fruit (Vitamin C), nuts (E), green vegetables (K), and fish (D) this winter.  Here is a simple recipe incorporating a few of those elements; add sautéed kale or spinach and enjoy!

Credit: Thinkstock

Credit: Thinkstock


Almond crusted salmon

What You’ll Need:

2 salmon (wild caught) pieces, 6 oz each

½ c flour, for dredging

1 egg (mixed w/ 1 T of water, want it thin)

1 c almonds, finely chopped (in food processor is fine)

½ c breadcrumbs (Panko is preferred)

2 t orange zest

2 T cilantro, chopped

2 t kosher salt

1 t black pepper

1 t garlic powder

Pinch of cayenne

What to Do: 

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place the salmon in a bowl, season with salt, black and cayenne peppers, and garlic powder.

2. Get 3 bowls.  In bowl 1, add the flour;  in bowl 2, add the egg (with water); in bowl 3, mix together almonds, breadcrumbs, cilantro and orange zest.  Starting with bowl 1, coat the salon (flesh, not skin) with the flour (dusting off the excess), dip it in the egg wash (letting the excess drip off), and cover with the almond/breadcrumb mixture.

3. Heat 1 T oil in a large heavy, ovenproof pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the salmon fillets, skin side down, and sear for 2 minutes, without turning.

4. Put the pan in the oven for 6-7 minutes (the panko nut mix should be browned by this time).  Take out of the oven, loosely cover with foil and let rest for 3-5 minutes.


About the Chef:


Chef Cordell passionately pursues educating others how to build healthy cooking and eating habits for life via cooking classes, grocery store tours, kitchen makeovers, public speaking, corporate wellness training, restaurant consulting, etc. Through his nonprofit work, he looks to offer community based solutions for education of,  and access to, healthier food solutions.

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