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31
Jan

The Best Winter Comfort Foods to Eat While You Watch the Big Game

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avocado-saladAs much as I love the alkaline lifestyle, I will be the first to admit that when you think “comfort food,” getting off your acid is probably not what comes to mind.

In fact, most comfort food that we typically associate with this time of year is far from alkaline. It’s some of the most acid-forming food you can eat like pasta, fried chicken, pizza, burgers, fries, chili, and heavy, super sweet desserts.

And when the Super Bowl rolls around every year, that’s what most people eat. All I can say is, it’s a good thing the Super Bowl falls in February rather than in the middle of swimsuit season!

But as you know, it’s not just about how you look when you eat those foods. It’s more about how you feel, which is bloated, lacking energy, feeling guilty, and only wanting to stay on the couch eating junk.

I don’t want you to have to feel that way just because you want to enjoy the big game or anything else that makes you want comfort food during the cold winter months.

There are ways to eat alkaline and indulge in comfort food at the same time. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

Before we get into specific recipes that are alkaline comfort foods, I want to break down what makes a comfort food low in acid:

  1. It’s mostly plant-based – This is a good indicator of whether a food is worth your time or not. Is it mostly or completely made of plants? If so, it’s probably worth eating.
  1. It’s low in sugar – Even if a dish mostly comes from plants, it’s possible to be really high in sugar. So this is one to keep an eye on for sure. But fruits that have a lot of sugar like bananas, pineapples, and oranges can be balanced with alkaline ingredients like coconut, avocado, and almonds.
  1. It’s not processed – Does it come with an ingredient list? Is the ingredient list full of chemicals you can’t pronounce? Remember that the best foods you can buy come from the perimeter of the grocery store, not the aisle in the middle with all of the packaged, processed foods.
  1. It’s full of vitamins and minerals – There are two factors that make a food alkaline or acidic: 1) how much sugarcolorful-salad it has, and 2) how many vitamins and minerals it has.
  1. Bonus: It’s colorful – While a food doesn’t have to be colorful to be nutrient-dense, most plates full of healthy ingredients do feature a variety of colors. A white or beige plate is a warning sign of acid!

So if a dish delivers plenty of vitamins and minerals, not much sugar, and it comes from mostly plants, not packages, that’s a pretty good indication it’s more alkaline than acidic.

Now that you know what to look for, let’s talk about some comforting alkaline dishes.

What do you crave when you want comfort food?

spag-squashIs it pasta you get excited about?

Spaghetti Squash with Marinara Sauce

This basic veggie pasta and marinara sauce can be endlessly adapted to keep you craving more.

My homemade marinara sauce recipe is so much tastier than the store bought kind… and of course, it’s much more alkaline too.

Did you know most store bought sauces add sugar, MSG, and other “flavoring agents” that are substitutes for the flavor that comes from real food?

Worse off, they are LOADED with the unhealthy Omega 6 Fatty Acids like Soybean Oil which has contributed to the massive imbalance in the average American’s Omega 3 to Omega 6 Fatty Acid ratio (Next to your blood pH, this ratio is one of the most important numbers in your body, and should ideally be 1:1, no more than 1:4 respectively, yet the average American is 1:25 which is leading to all kinds of health issues including chronic inflammation and chronic disease!)

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS FOR MARINARA SAUCE

3 medium tomatoes
1/2 cup basil leaves (loose)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
1 tbsp. lemon juice, fresh squeezed
1 large clove garlic
1 tsp. sea salt (Celtic Grey, Himalayan, or Redmond Real Salt)
1 tsp. black pepper
Optional: 1 tbsp. of any of the following, chopped: Rosemary, sage, or tarragon Optional: 2 cups of spinach (great way to sneak more greens in)

INGREDIENTS FOR SPAGHETTI SQUASH

1 medium spaghetti squash
2 tsp. coconut oil
2 tsp. minced garlic
Sea salt to taste (Celtic Grey, Himalayan, or Redmond Real Salt)
Black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS FOR MARINARA SAUCEtomato-vine

For a smooth sauce, place all contents in blender and blend until smooth. For a ‘chunky’ sauce, set 2 tomatoes and the herbs aside. Blend everything else until smooth and creamy. Now place the contents in a food processor. Then add the 2 tomatoes and herbs, pulse ingredients together, leaving the sauce a bit chunky.

DIRECTIONS FOR SPAGHETTI SQUASH

Preheat oven to 375° F. Slice spaghetti squash in half. Scoop out seeds and stringy flesh with a spoon. Rub a teaspoon of coconut oil over each half (inside, not outside). Rub both insides with minced garlic and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.

Place face down on a baking sheet and bake at 375° F for 35 minutes. Carefully, use a fork to ‘shred’ the spaghetti squash into strands. Heat a saucepan over medium heat.

Place squash in a pan and cover with marinara sauce (I use about 2/3 of the sauce and save the rest). Toss to combine until warmed through. Top with fresh basil and red pepper flakes prior to serving.

Alternatives:

Zucchini Pasta with Spinach Lemon Pesto – Warm and satisfying pesto sauce on spiralized veggie noodles.

Cozy Winter Pasta – Kelp noodles and veggies with flavorful aromatics.

What about alternative healthy alkaline snacks you can munch on while you watch the game?

sweet-potato-chipsSWEET POTATO CHIPS

These sweet potato chips are way better tasting and better for you than the store bought kind. And they’re easy to prepare a big batch, so you can enjoy them as you watch the game and then with lunches or as snacks throughout the week.

Feel free to get creative with the spices you use. This recipe features sea salt, black pepper, and cumin, but cinnamon and sea salt would also be delicious, or even a light dusting of cayenne pepper.

INGREDIENTS [Serves 4]

4-5 sweet potatoes
Coconut oil
Sea salt (Celtic Grey, Himalayan, or Redmond Real Salt)
Black pepper to taste
Optional: Cumin to taste

DIRECTIONS

Slice sweet potatoes with a mandolin fitted with a thin slice blade (I highly suggest using this as opposed to slicing with a knife, as they will bake much better), or thinly slice.

Once your sweet potatoes are all sliced, put them into a large bowl. Drizzle with coconut oil (you want them coated but not drenched). Season with sea salt, black pepper, and cumin (optional). Toss well, and place sweet potato slices evenly distributed on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake in a preheated 200° F oven for 45 minutes, then flip sweet potatoes over. Bake for an additional 45 minutes to 1 hour until sweet potatoes look super toasted. Allow to cool on the baking sheet before serving (they will crisp as they cool). Feel free to add more spices if so desired.

Optional: You can dehydrate at 115° F for 24+ hours (or longer for desired crispiness).

Alternatives:chickpeas

Salty Sesame Soy Chickpeas – The Asian flavors on these roasted chickpeas make an addictive combination.

Baked Zucchini Chips with Cool Dill Dip – An addictive dip for these salty chips or any veggie chips you make.

Or is it hearty, hot dishes that warm you up from the inside?

Hearty, Veggie Winter Soup

This warm, satisfying soup is perfect for winter days when you want to eat deliciously alkaline.

 INGREDIENTS  [Serves 4 with leftovers]

3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 leeks, green parts removed and thinly sliced
2 carrots
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves removed and chopped
1 cup of thinly sliced savoy cabbage
6 cups of vegetable stock, yeast free
1 15oz can of white beans or lentils, drained and rinsed
Handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
Sea salt to taste (Celtic Grey, Himalayan, or Redmond Real Salt)
Black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add leeks, carrots, and fennel and cook until leeks are soft and slightly browned, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and rosemary and cook for another minute. Add the cabbage and sauté another minute.  Add stock and bring to a boil. Add the beans and cook on low for 10 to 15 minutes, until veggies are tender. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Other Alternatives:

Bold, Comforting Autumn Quinoa – This warm quinoa bowl features sweet potato, beet, Swiss chard, and carrot.

Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes – There’s nothing more comforting than a roasted tomato filled with delicious, nourishing whole grains.

Raw Chili – A zesty vegetarian chili recipe that will warm you up from the inside.

Want more alkaline winter comfort foods?

All of these recipes came from the Recipe, Meal Plan & Shopping Guide included in the Get Off Your Acid 7-Day Cleanse. If you’re ready to get rid of the common ailments that have been plaguing you, this is perfect for you.

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