Over the past couple of days I have been afflicted with the plague that has spread over Boston. Yes-I realize that "Plague" is a bit strong for a common head cold-but that is what it has felt like- I can be overly dramatic if I want. Normally when I feel myself coming down with a cold I make myself a big pot of chicken soup and nurse my way back to health the good old fashioned way. Unfortunately, this time, I was refusing to believe I was sick when I was in the grocery store, and so bought ingredients only for my week of dinner salads that I had planned. However, I have been able to get myself better with a few simple things that I had in the house.
First off, Liptons Chicken Noodle Soup. The horrible dehydrated stuff. I don't know why this stuff is so good- but it is delicious. Luckily, I had a couple of boxes in my cabinet.
Second, I bought a big chunk of fresh Ginger Root that I was planning to use for marinades etc. Luckily for me, Ginger has a lot of fantastic medicinal uses to it. Indian and Philippine cultures use it for teas etc to treat the common cold, and sore throats, and so Ive been adding it to much of my cooking for the past couple of days.
My first use was a trick that a friend of my taught me ages ago, chopped pieces of peeled ginger make a fantastic, and healing tea. So into a loose tea infuser I placed about a tablespoon of chopped ginger, and a few pieces of lemon rind as well. I added some honey to the mug, steaming hot water and some lemon juice and had a delicious tea that cleared out my sinuses quite nicely.
Later I made a few more substantial items. First I made a marinade out of more ginger, a Serrano pepper, as well as some (still) leftover champagne for a nice piece of pork that I had. After grilling in my grill pan the meat had taken on a really nice gingery flavor with a little bit of heat from the pepper. The champagne (which I'm now obsessed with cooking with) complimented both versions of spicy- the ginger and the pepper with a slight sweetness that really played in nicely. I sliced the pork over a salad of fresh veggies that I tossed with a ginger vinaigrette and I had a delicious meal!
Later, as a side dish I melted just a little pat of butter in a sautee pan and added a very healthy helping of (again) fresh ginger, and another Serrano pepper seends and all. When I could smell the very aromatic ginger and the spice of the pepper all throughout my kitchen, I then added some snow peas. A few minutes tossing them around and they picked up all of the great flavors from the pan. These were a delicious dish that I ate for a couple of days that were able to clear my head immediately.
Ginger is absolutely my go to now when Im feeling under the weather. However, it is also fantastic for treating, or helping to reduce the risk of other afflicitions as well. On going studies (ie dont quote me here) see that ginger can assist in the fight against heart disease, and in easing the pain of morning sickness and chemotheraphy. Ginger is just one of those foods that should be a part of a healthy lifestyle-in my "expert" opinion of course.