Winter Flu-Buster Stew

This flu-buster stew is packed full of cold-fighting nutrients, flavour and colour that it’s bound to have you feeling right as rain in no time! It contains Ginger, garlic, onion, lemon, chicken, coriander (cilantro), carrots, wild rocket, buckwheat and beetroot.

Some of the flu-busting and health benefits of these super ingredients are:

Organic Ginger RootGinger: Ginger improves the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body. It clears the ‘microcirculatory channels’ of the body, including the pesky sinuses that tend to flare up from time to time. It also has natural pain killing and anti-inflammatory properties.


മലയാളം: Garlic

മലയാളം: Garlic (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Garlic: We all know garlic is good for you, and but some of us don’t realise just how important garlic is. Not only is is back full of potassium, Vitamins A, B, B2 and C, Calcium, Zinc but its a powerful antioxidant thought to have strong cancer-fighting abilities. Amazingly, In a 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, allicin powder was found to reduce the incidence of the common cold by over 50%, and allicin powder also was found to reduce the duration of symptoms in those patients already suffering from colds. (Advances in Therapy, July-August 2001, Volume 18, pages 189-93.) WOW!

The beetroot, also known as the table beet, ga...

Beetroot: Beetroot contains potassium, magnesium, iron, vitamins A, B6 and C, folic acid, carbohydrates, protein,antioxidants and soluble fibre. Vitamin C is hailed for its immune boosting and cold fighting properties along with a whole host of other benefits.


This image shows a whole and a cut lemon.

This image shows a whole and a cut lemon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Lemon: There are many health benefits of lemons that have been known for centuries. The two biggest are lemons’ strong antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting powers and their use as a weight loss aid because lemon juice is a digestive aid and liver cleanser. Lemons contain many substances–notably citric acid, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, bioflavonoids, pectin, and limonene–that promote immunity and fight infection.

Inside out, double stuffed and roasted chicken

Chicken: It turns out grandma was right. Chicken soup has been scientifically proven to ability to inhibit neutrophil migration which slows the production of mucus. It all gets a bit sciency but you can read about it here: Chicken soup inhibits neutrophil chemotaxis in vitro. 

Along with the science, it’s a good source of protien which gets the nod of approval from all cavepeeps.

Red onion centered

Onion: The health benefits of onion could fill up pages and pages but basically onion contains the highest levels of quercitin of all foods. Quercitin has been shown to thin the blood, lower cholesterol, raise good-type HDL cholesterol, ward off blood clots, fight asthma, chronic bronchitis, hay fever, diabetes, atherosclerosis and infections and is specifically linked to inhibiting human stomach cancer. It’s also an anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and antiviral!

Carrots on display at local greengrocer

Carrots: We all know carrots are good for you, with high levels of vitamin A,C, K and beta carotene which is a powerful antioxidant.

Buckwheat:I added buckwheat groats, partly because of their nutritional benefits and to add some bulk to the stew. There are conflicting opinions as to whether on not Buckwheat is actually Paleo. It is in fact a fruit and not a grain, related to rhubarb and sorrel but that said it is high in carbohydrates. I believe each individual has to cater the requirements to their body and for me, the positive nutritional benefits of buckwheat outweigh the negatives but everyone is different. If you are at all dubious, this can be left out as it’s not a key ingredient.  Some of the positives of buckwheat are:

  1. Buckwheat contains all 8 amino acids which are essential for good health.
  2. Buckwheat is high in magnesium,iron,copper,zinc,manganese,phosphorus and also B vitamins.
  3.  It is high in fiber which we all know is good for us and keeps our bowels moving.
  4. It is high in flavonoids which act as an antioxidant which help protect your body against free radicals.
  5. Buckwheat contains omega 3 oils.
  6. It lowers glucose levels which is helpful for people with diabetes.

So now after reading all the benefits for you I’m sure you feel better already!! if not, here’s what you need:


  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 medium sized raw beetroot
  • 350g Baby carrots (or regular carrots diced)
  • 150g buckwheat groats (soaked then rinsed and drained if desired)
  • 1 whole chicken
  • Handful of fresh coriander (cilantro leaves)
  • Handful for wild rocket
  • 1 spring onion
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 L cold water
  • 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking method:

In a non-stick large saucepan, saute the onion and garlic in your fat of choice for 1 minute. Peel and dice the beetroot and carrots then add to the pan and saute for a further 5 minutes. Peel (with a potato peeler) the giner and grate it straight into the pan then add the water, spring onion, coriander and gently place the chicken into the broth. If you have a non stick pan this should’t need much attention. Cover and simmer on a low heat for an hour. We did a yoga session on the balcony whilst it was cooking which was amazing!

After an hour, remove the lid and turn the broiler (grill) on to a medium-high setting. Gently life the bird out of the stew and onto a baking tray, grind some salt and pepper on the skin and place under the grill for 5 mins. This crisps the skin right up and makes for a delicious juicy bird.

While your bird is grilling, taste and season the stew. Add the wild rocket leaves, lemon juice and if desired some apple cider vinegar and fish sauce (Nam Pla). I know this might sound a bit odd but I honestly swear by it, it added that depth and dimension the dish was asking for! Khalid thought I was crazy when I told him afterwards!!

The beetrooot gives this super-stew a beautifully rich red colour.

flu buster stew2012-12-20 21.08.51Enjoy and stay well over winter 🙂

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