One of the favorite American dishes is also one of the easiest dishes to be made as a potent flu bug fighter. We don't even realize it because it's been so altered from its original form, but getting back to what food really is, we discover all of the fresh and functional foods in this one favorite and powerful dish....spaghetti!
Elegant in its simplicity, it is also a super easy food as a "catch-all", meaning its easy to adjust for all of the preferences around your table. It's inspired enough to entice adults, perfect teen fare, and toddlers love it. It's even easy enough for babies.
Now the real tragedy, as I mentioned is how processed this perfectly fresh and functional food has become, totally negating everything I just said about its healthy benefits.
So in this season of flu and cold bugs, let's treat our bodies to what it really wants....real, healing functional foods.
Functional foods are foods that go beyond the food pyramid. They're what I call the plant medicines we were to consume to maintain innate health. They're things like medicinal greens, herbs, mushrooms, and other forest vegetation. When its a functional food, it serves the functional needs of the body. It is not merely eaten by "category", ensuring you have one of each on your divided plate. One doesn't even realize how easy it is to add functional foods to their plates.
Spaghetti originated using real and natural foods fresh from the garden...tomatoes, onions, garlic bulbs, even fermented wine from the cellar. Noodles were handmade, and while I'm not going to ask you to do that, I AM going to ask you to go beyond the white flour glue sticks we call pasta noodles. With all of the options now, it's easy to accommodate any need, from gluten-free, to the protein rich and totally carb free lentil, chickpea, or bean pastas.
And please, FOREGO the cans. Tomatoes are incredibly acidic and perfect to leach the metal from the cans. Sure it can be bought in the jar, but you're still missing the fresh immune boosting nutrients and enzymes from fresh foods.
How about RAGU instead? With its collaboration of fresh crisp and juicy tomatoes, onions, garlic, red peppers, it's easy to create something from nothing. The best part is all of the functional food you can add to it that you didn't even realize! Basil, parsley, oregano! They ALL are amazing functional plant medicines. In fact, oregano oil is my go-to natural antibiotic. I just put a few drops right into the sauce and you can forget about having to drop the spice right into your mouth, and with every bite, you're fortifying your body's natural antibiotic defenses. Not only that, but garlic is the known number one natural antibiotic and there's plenty fresh real garlic in ragu. The other functional foods: basil, parsley, thyme...all are antibiotic, antiviral, or antibacterial foods. The wine is a fermented functional food known to support the circulatory and cardiovascular system as well as assist good bugs in the gut. Apple cider vinegar also assists in this, is a natural antibiotic as well, and perfect for balancing the stomach acidity levels.
It's fast, delicious and a fan favorite If your kids don't like the chunks, just pulverize a few in your Ninja and they'll never know the difference.
Here's the easy peasy recipe:
3 roma tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 each red, green, yellow bell peppers
2 Tablespoons basil
2 Tablespoons oregano
2 Tablespoons parsley
1/2-1 cup red wine
a splash of apple cider vinegar
pinch of salt
Sauté the oil with the minced garlic and onions until starting to brown and soften. Add the diced peppers and stir. Then add the diced tomatoes and herbs. Finally add the red wine, apple cider vinegar and salt. On low cook down until the vegetables are tender.
Serve over any pasta, though my favorite lately is lentil pasta. Excellent protein and you'll never know the difference! Though you should, so you can honor it properly as the beautiful food that's working to build your body.