Doing Battle: Antiviral Veggies Come to Your Defense!

(c) 2011, written by Will Blesch

There are actually a lot of yummy, lovely vegetables out there that also have amazing, antiviral properties. Many times, eating these veggies raw is a much better option than cooking them because the heat of cooking can, at times, destroy the compounds within the vegetables that help your immune system do battle.

Viruses are genetic parasites.

They don’t reproduce on their own. Instead, they hijack your cells to do their reproducing for them. Evil and insidious, some of these viruses can mask their presence so that your immune system doesn’t recognize them (like Herpes) or the virus can actually take on your immune system and attack it directly which is what HIV does.

Thankfully, a majority of viruses are defeated by your white blood cells, and the foods you eat can be directly responsible for giving your immune system the reinforcements in the viral battles it undertakes.

Some of the vegetables that have antiviral properties (among many other great health benefits) come from plants like broccoli, garlic (this one has tons and tons of health advantages), mushrooms such as the Japanese Shiitake, spinach, dandelion greens, and mangos.

A really excellent recipe that contains the top three antiviral veggies comes from Michael Chiarello, who happens to be a successful entrepreneur and restauranteur, as well as an Emmy-winning Food Network personality and cookbook author.

Total Time: 53 min

Prep:                   20 min

Inactive:           15 min

Cook:                 18 min

Yield:              5 servings

       Level:              Intermediate



For the marinade:

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets, blanched
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 20 garlic cloves
  • 10 rosemary sprigs
  • 20 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
  • 1 pound Cambozola cheese, to serve

For the skewers:


Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Blanch the broccoli in boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Drain and cool.

In a small skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and cook the garlic cloves until they are golden and soft. Set aside until cool enough to handle.

To make the skewers: Remove the leaves from the bottom 2/3 of the rosemary sprigs and reserve them for future use. Skewer a mushroom, broccoli floret and a roasted garlic clove onto each rosemary sprig. Put the completed skewers on a baking sheet, brush them with the marinade, and season with salt and pepper.

Grill the rosemary skewers over medium-high heat for about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Serve with a small wedge of Cambozola cheese

That’s it, ya’ll! Now go enjoy and feel free to come back and comment to let me know how you liked it!



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