Five tasty ways to keep the flu at bay, courtesy of NYC chefs

Tri-Color Citrus Salad by Florian Wehrli, chef, Restaurant

Tri-Color Citrus Salad by Florian Wehrli, chef, Restaurant Triomphe (Credit: Tri-color citrus salad by Florian Wehrli (Restaurant Triomphe))

What you eat can’t entirely keep the flu away, but there are some things you can reach for that can help you steer clear of those dreaded aches and pains. At the top of the list are garlic, wild-caught salmon, green tea, yogurt, dark chocolate, sweet potatoes, strawberries and almonds.

“To help fight off germs, seek out foods that are rich in vitamin C,” said Bonnie Taub-Dix, RD, a nutritionist in New York City. “Or incorporate foods with vitamin E, like almonds, and omega-3 fatty acids, like wild-caught salmon, into your diet since both can help boost your immune system.”

To make flu prevention fun, read on as New York City chefs share recipes featuring top flu-fighting ingredients:

#1: Baked sweet potato with Greek yogurt and toasted almonds
Recipe by Ralph Scamardella, corporate executive chef at the TAO Group

Ingredients:
Two medium-sized sweet potatoes
Greek yogurt
Sunflower seeds
Honey
Unrefined sea salt
Toasted almonds for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the sweet potatoes in half, lengthwise. Place them in foil, add 2 teaspoons of water and wrap tightly. Place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until tender. Once cooked, unwrap the foil, place the sweet potatoes on a plate, add a dollop of Greek yogurt, sprinkle with sunflower seeds and toasted almonds. Drizzle with honey and season with salt. Serve immediately while still warm.

#2: Sugared Salmon
Recipe by Masaharu Morimoto, executive chef of Morimoto NYC

Ingredients:
4 oz. salmon fillet
2 tsp. salt1/3 cup brandy
1/4 cup Demerara sugar (raw granulated brown sugar)
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 star anise pods, cracked into pieces
2 or 3 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
4 fresh mint leaves

Cut the salmon, holding your knife on an angle, into eight to 12 very thin slices. Lay out the salmon slices on a large plate or tray and sprinkle them with the salt. Cover with a towel to absorb the liquid that is exuded and let stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes. Put the brandy in a small bowl, dip the salmon slices in the brandy to rinse off the salt and let sit for 15 minutes. Cover a dish large enough to hold the salmon with half the sugar. Arrange the slices in a single layer. Combine the remaining brown sugar with the black pepper, star anise and cinnamon sticks and sprinkle over the salmon. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. To serve, wipe the sugar and spice coating off the salmon. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.

#3: Sauteed baby kale with garlic and lemon
Recipe by Chad Tibbetts, chef, Tavern 29

Ingredients:
5 oz. chopped kale
Two cloves garlic (sliced thin)
¼ lemon, juiced
1 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute sliced garlic in olive oil until edges start to brown. Add kale, salt and pepper and lemon juice. Cook until kale starts to wilt. Plate and serve.

#4: Tri-color citrus salad
Recipe by Florian Wehrli, chef, Restaurant Triomphe

Ingredients:
2 oranges
1 grapefruit
1 green tea bag
2 tbsp. honey
Spring of mint
Sliced almonds

Use a knife to cut the peels of the oranges and grapefruit and remove the segments carefully by cutting between the membranes. Make the syrup by steeping the green tea in hot water; sweeten with honey. Chop the mint. Combine all the ingredients and let sit for about 10 minutes. Serve the fruit salad in a martini glass garnished with the sliced almonds.

#5: Superfoods chocolate clusters
Recipe by Brian Wieler, executive chef, The Westin New York Grand Central

Ingredients:
4 cups dark Valrhona chocolate
8 oz. dried cherries
8 oz. dried blueberries
8 oz. toasted walnuts, crushed slightly
8 oz. pomegranate seeds

In a double boiler, slowly melt the chocolate to a liquid. Stir in the dried fruit and nuts. As the mixture begins to cool, spoon the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Allow to cool in the refrigerator until hard.

Tags: health , food , cooking , recipes , lambeth hochwald , flu , flu season

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