akasha63: (Default)
Vegetables (and fruits) are the foundation of my Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid, and for good reason - fresh produce is the best source of natural nutrients that can help keep your entire body running smoothly. I recommend every healthy kitchen have the following versatile and flavorful favorites on hand:

1.Onions: This classic, pungent vegetable adds depth and richness to any meal. Allicin, a phytonutrient found in most varieties of onions, may be responsible for its health benefits, including the possible lowering of cholesterol and blood pressure.

2.Garlic: This fragrant bulb contains many of the same phytonutrients as onions, as well as antibiotic and antiviral compounds. It may help boost the immune system, prevent colds, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and fight fungal or yeast infections.

3.Spinach: This dark leafy green (and others like it, such as kale and collards) contains lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidant carotenoids that may help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. Spinach is also a source of calcium and folate, a B vitamin that helps to prevent birth defects. Buy organic spinach, since pesticides are commonly used on conventionally grown varieties.

4.Cabbage: This low-cost yet highly nutritious cruciferous vegetable contains nutrients called indoles, which may protect against both breast and prostate cancer. It also provides significant amounts of fiber and vitamin C.

5.Sweet potatoes: Rich in beta carotene, these vegetables may help boost the immune system, deliver vitamin C and folate (which may reduce the risk of heart disease and prevent certain birth defects), and are low on the glycemic index and glycemic load charts.
akasha63: (Virgo)
We had this for dinner tonight. Liz found the recipe on FoodTV.com. We did more of the Richard Simmons version using whole wheat pasta & turkey sausage. We didnt have sage so we used Poultry seasoning. Also we used a parmesan/asiago/romana/mozzarella/provalone cheese blend. Instead of individual crocks it was made cassarole style. We also used a 15oz can of pumpkin with maybe 1/3 cup of cream. Quite the epic win and so healthy.

Pumpkin Baked Ziti
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen, 2008
Prep Time: 20 min Inactive Prep Time: -- Cook Time: 1 hr 0 min Level:
Easy Serves:
8 servings Ingredients
Butter, for greasing
1 pound sweet Italian sausage (1 pound turkey sausage, for Richard Simons' version)
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons oil
1 (15-ounces) can pumpkin puree
1 cup chicken stock
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup heavy cream (omit ingredient for Richard Simons' version)
1 pound ziti pasta, cooked (1 pound whole wheat ziti, for Richard Simmons' version)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan (1/4 cup Parmesan, for Richard Simmons' version)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter (8) 8-ounce ramekins.

Cook sausage in a large, deep skillet over medium heat until fat is rendered about 8 minutes. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels and set aside. Discard any fat from the skillet in excess of 2 tablespoons.

Add onion, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and oil to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally until soft; about 3 minutes. Stir in pumpkin puree, chicken stock and sage. Mix together and add salt. Bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in cream and sausage. Simmer until the sauce comes together and is thickened slightly.

Add cooked pasta and parsley to the skillet and gently toss all the ingredients together to coat. Divide the rigatoni mixture between the 8 prepared ramekins. Sprinkle the tops of each ramekin with Parmesan cheese and bake for 35 minutes until the topping is golden brown.



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