This recipe was developed specifically with the idea to help boost the immune system, which is essential to a healthy brain.
With zucchini, onions, garlic, mushrooms, quinoa, beans, and lots of spice, this covers nearly every requirement for a brain and immunity-boosting meal.
And - all of the ingredients are EASILY available in Ecuador and any place I've ever lived. It's also incredibly easy to make, especially if you used canned black beans.
Easiest Brain Booster
Makes 4 generous servings
4 medium zucchini squash = I like two green and two yellow for color, but whatever you can find
2 medium ripe tomatoes
1 large or 2 small onions
3 to 4 cloves garlic
220 grams (8 oz) thinly sliced mushrooms - any kind will do and a mixture is even better
2 tbsp. Coconut oil for frying
4 tsps. Curry
2 tbsps. Turmeric
1 tsp. back pepper
2 tbsps. Ground ginger, or a good 1 inch piece of fresh ginger grated
1 tsp. paprika (I like Hungarian but whatever you have – add more to taste)
1 lemon, juiced
Quinoa and Beans
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup cooked black beans
1 to 1.5 tbsp. Olive oil for flavoring mixture
Salt to taste
Lemon pepper or regular pepper – whatever you have, to taste
If you’re using dried beans, obviously you will have had to soak and cook them ahead of time. If using canned beans, one can is sufficient – you will just be adding them to the quinoa once it is cooked.
Cook the quinoa. It takes around 20 minutes so if you’re a slow sous chef, cut up the veggies first. If you’re speedy, cut them up after you start the quinoa. It takes about 20 minutes.
Cut up all the veggies. I cut the zucchini lengthwise, then halve them again and slice the quarters into ½ inch pieces. Tomatoes - into 8 pieces each or so. Cut the onion into slivers to soak up the spices and oil. Crush garlic and ginger if you are using fresh ginger. Thin slice the mushrooms.
Put the coconut oil in your wok or similar pan, heat it just to warm then add the turmeric, curry, pepper, paprika (and ginger if you’re using dried). Stir up the spices with a wooden paddle or spoon until they are aromatic, then throw in the onions.
Cook over medium to medium-high heat, stirring often, for about 5 minutes until the onions are just heading to soft. Then add the garlic and if using fresh ginger, add that now. Mix well and continue stirring to release all the aromatics. You want the onions to be semi-soft.
Now add the zucchini and continue stirring, until the zucchini is just bordering on tender. Add the tomatoes, stir a couple of times. Then add the mushrooms. Keep stirring and add salt to taste. Just before all the veggies are at your desired level of “doneness”, add the lemon juice, also to taste.
I add just enough to brighten up the dish and lift all the spices, but this is definitely a “to taste” thing.
I put any extra lemon juice in with the quinoa and black beans.
Now that the veggies are basically done, your quinoa should be ready. Add the beans to the quinoa along with the salt and pepper and olive oil. The remaining lemon juice can go in here if you like.
Serve the quinoa and rice on the bottom of flat soup-like bowls and cover with your veggies.
Served with a small green salad with purple onion, cucumber, lime and cilantro, you have a high protein, nutrient rich meal full of antioxidants and immune boosters
This is excerpted from Kate’s book due for release September 12: