I know I promised you a recipe for fresh tomatillo sauce when I posted my recipe for black bean & quinoa tacos, and I promise I’ll get there, but first a plug for eating well…
I think many people have a misconception that eating healthy food means you no longer get to enjoy eating. They envision lifeless, slimy, boiled broccoli (Why am I always picking on broccoli??) and they quickly, and understandably, insist that there’s no way they could live without the food they are used to. But the truth is that a whole food, plant based diet can be full of amazing flavors. And as an added bonus to eating really great tasting food…you get to lead a healthy life!
I was at the grocery store today. Not a place full of healthy people. It is hard to go shopping and see the number of people suffering from sub-par health. I try to mind my own business…but my eyes wander to confirm shopping carts full of processed junk and over the counter remedies to treat the resulting ailments. We live in an imperfect world and our bodies face challenges whether we take care of them or not. But we do get to choose whether to go to battle with a body in a constant state of dysfunction or a body operating at peak performance. So many health problems would be greatly reduced, if not non-existent, simply by feeding our bodies well instead of constantly poisoning them.
I know I’ve said it before, but what you eat matters a great deal. I’m finishing up the last few weeks of my training in family herbalism. The major goal of the program was of course to understand proper use and medicinal actions of herbs. Just as important though, was gaining an understanding of how the body functions and the causes and symptoms of certain ailments. Without that foundational knowledge, determining the appropriate herbal treatment is difficult at best and dangerous at worst. As I near the end of the program, I have to admit that I am less enamored with herbal remedies than I was when I started, but not because they are not effective. On the contrary, they are potent and valuable tools in prevention and treatment of sickness and disease. But like mainstream medications, they should be needed only occasionally. And while the side-effects are much less daunting than those listed on the back of over-the-counter and prescription drugs, many herbs have possible side-effects as well.
So how do we avoid needing even herbal remedies more than infrequently? Research for almost every disease or ailment I studied showed indications that a plant-based diet is beneficial in prevention and/or treatment (No, the program developers aren’t even proponents of a plant-based diet, so this fact is an unbiased observation of research results). What we fuel our bodies with is our first line of defense against the deterioration of our health. We were wonderfully designed by an amazing Creator and given food designed to help our bodies thrive. But the body doesn’t thrive on dead, over-processed food. Fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, and seeds give us life. They are full of the macro- and micro-nutrients, antioxidants, and phytonutrients necessary to support the healthy production and maintenance of our cellular makeup. I love that in one way or another most plant foods are capable of generating new life. Seeds/grains can be sprouted and grown. Roots (e.g., carrots) placed in water will grow new greens. Plant foods are packed with life-giving nutrients.
Sooo…instead of grabbing a can of green enchilada sauce full of questionable ingredients…try making this super simple recipe the next time you need to add a burst of flavor to a dish. Just a few main ingredients, a few spices, and a blender and you’re all set. If you like things spicy, add a jalapeno or two. If you won’t have time to prepare it just before dinner but have time in the morning, it does well in the crockpot. I like to freeze leftovers in an ice cube tray so that I can thaw just what I need when the time comes. Tacos. Enchiladas. Beans & Rice. No-Queso-Dillas. I *love* Mexican food.
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 Anaheim chili pepper, chopped
- 2 green peppers
- 1½ lb. tomatillos, husked and halved
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ bunch cilantro, chopped
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1-2 cups water
- Water saute onions and chili pepper until onions are translucent.
- Puree green peppers and tomatillos.
- Add puree and remaining ingredients to sauteed onions. Start with 1 cup of water, adding more as needed.
- Simmer until sauce thickens and smells savory (about 30 minutes).
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