FOOD OF THE MONTH Garlic
Garlic is one of the most powerful foods on the planet, but did you know it can also help keep mosquitos away from you? That's right, eat as much garlic as you can in the summer and those irritating little buggers will leave you alone. Known for its pungent, sweet flavor, (pungent when raw, sweet when roasted), garlic, makes the perfect seasoning for just about anything, and particularly grilled vegetables. When you use this healing food in your dishes, you will be protecting yourself from coming down with colds, infections, and digestive issues.
Used since the dawning of Egyptian, Indian and Chinese civilizations, garlic was renowned for its incredible healing abilities. And the Greeks also used garlic in their spiritual rituals, placing it at crossroads to gain favor with the Goddess, Hecate. (Underworld Goddess of magic, charms, and enchantment.) It has strong antibacterial properties. The ancients used garlic to kill infections and treat deadly diseases way before the invention of modern medicine.
It also contains anti-carcinogen and anti-fungal properties. Garlic can help lower blood pressure, lower high cholesterol, and stabilize blood sugar. Good for digestion, garlic promotes healthy intestinal flora, and is so medicinal it can eliminate toxins from the body, ranging from snake bites to poisonous metals. And if that is not enough, it can also stimulate your metabolism to give you energy.
The whole garlic is called, bulb. The little individual pieces are called, cloves. When buying garlic, look for the bulbs to be firm, and when you see green growing out of the top, that means the garlic is old. The best way to store garlic is on your countertop, not refrigerated. To get the skin off the garlic, place a clove on your cutting board. Put your large, vegetable cutting knife flat over the top, and bang down on the knife. This cracks the clove and the skin will come right off!
Grilled Vegetables in a Miso Garlic Marinade
1 lb. asparagus (cut in long pieces)
2 onions (cut in chunks)
1 yellow summer squash (cut in flat pieces)
4 oz. mushrooms (cut in half)
1 small head radicchio (in the lettuce family, red in color) (cut in chunks)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 T. dark miso
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
12 garlic cloves (minced)
1 T. fresh grated turmeric (1 tsp, dried)
2 tsp, basil
1/2 tsp, cumin
1/2 tsp, paprika
1/2 tsp. sea salt
Put vegetables in a large shallow dish. In a bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients. Pour the marinade over the vegetables. Let sit anywhere from 15 minutes to two hours. Heat a grill, or skillet if cooking inside. Place the vegetables on the hot surface. Cook until browned. Try not to over-crowd the grill, so each vegetable has the opportunity to cook. I usually grill on a cast iron skillet, so vegetables do not fall through the grill. If you grill them on a skillet, you can add a little marinade as you cook the vegetable to add more flavor. If you have marinade left over, you can save it to use another time. You can also use a wide variety of vegetables in this recipe. Choose your favorites.
About the writer: Valerie Wilson
Valerie Wilson is a chef, author, counselor, and host of "Healthy Cooking with Macro Val" on BMSRadio. She teaches macrobiotic, vegan cooking classes in Westland, Mi.