Immune Boosting Foods

No matter the season, keeping your immune system in check is important, and the foods you eat can influence how quickly you recover from that common cold, or actually increase your chances of staying healthy when your family or co-workers have come down with the flu. Vitamins and minerals play an important role in overall wellness, and certain foods help stimulate your immune system.

Here are some healthy dishes from Montage chefs that are sure to keep you energized and happy throughout the season.

Montage Palmetto Bluff: Asparagus and Eggs

Eggs are a great source of iron and protein and are rich in B-vitamins, which are responsible for converting food into energy. Nutrient dense asaparagus is full of mood enhancing tryptophan and folate and breaks down toxins.

MPB Asparagus & Eggs

Standard size asparagus (use 2 stalks per plate)
1 teaspoon salmon roe
1 breakfast radish, shaved thin
Zest of 1 lemon
Olive oil
Sauce gribiche

To clean the asparagus, trim off all of the leaves and trim the asparagus to even lengths roughly 1.5 inches from stem.

Gently tie the asparagus together with twine 1 inch down from the tips, and one inch up from the bottom.

In a large pot bring salted water to boil and blanch the asparagus until tender roughly 3-4 minutes, remove and shock the asparagus in ice water, when cool remove from the water and place on a towel to drip dry.

Sauce Gribiche

3 eggs
1 tablespoon chopped chervil
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Espellete pepper (season to taste)
1 tablespoon lemon vinegar (can use white wine vinegar as a replacement)
½ cup olive oil
1.5 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon chopped capers
1 tablespoon chopped cornichon
Salt and pepper

Boil the eggs for 8-9 minutes, this will result in a creamier yolk and lend to a better mouth feel for the sauce.

Remove the eggs from the water and run under cold water till eggs are cool.

Separate the yolks from the whites, and sieve the whites with a fine grater.

In a bowl fork mash yolks, working in the olive oil and mustard.

Next add ½ of the egg whites and vinegar, season with salt & pepper then add the herbs, capers, cornichons.

Re-season and thin with a little more olive oil adding the remaining egg whites if too rich.

Finishing the Plate:
Serve the Sauce Gribiche room temperature over the asparagus, artfully place the roe and the sliced radish around the asparagus, zest the lemon directly over the dish and drizzle with a touch more olive oil,  serve immediately.

Montage Deer Valley: Immune Boosting Utah Peach Smoothie

This one has four healthy ingredients—yogurt, peaches, raspberries and ginger. The peaches contain ascorbic acid, zinc and vitamin C—the last two have strong antioxidant properties and can help in fighting infections and reduce the possibility of catching a cold. The raspberries are also rich in antioxidants, vitamins and fiber.  Ginger has also been known to aid in digestion, nausea, pain reduction, and inflammation. Ginger does contain numerous other anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds beneficial to health such as beta-carotene, capsaicin, caffeic acid, curcumin and salicylate. Greek yogurt has live and active cultures that stimulate your immune system to help fight diseases and is a great source of vitamin D.

MDV peach smoothie

2 cups local Utah peaches, washed and dried
½ cup low fat Greek yogurt
½ cup fresh raspberries
¼ cup almond or soy milk
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
5-6 large ice cubes
2 tablespoons agave

Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

Montage Beverly Hills: Roasted Scottish Salmon

Fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help control inflammation in your body.

MBH In-Room Dining - Roasted Scottish Salmon

Salmon fillet
4 ounces ratatouille
1 ounce pomodoro
Chiffonade basil

Season and sear salmon.

In a pan, heat up the ratatouille and pomodoro.

Finish ratatouille with Chiffonade Basil.

Place ratatouille in the bowl and salmon on top.

Add arugula salad with olive oil and salt on top of the salmon

Montage Laguna Beach: Steamed New Zealand Green Mussels

You may not think shellfish contains immune boosting ingredients but crab, clams, lobster and mussels are packed with zinc, which our bodies need so our immune cells can function correctly.

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2 pounds New Zealand Mussels
8 ounces Spanish chorizo, diced
8 ounces butter
1 bunch cilantro
1 pound shishito peppers
1 head garlic
8 ounces white wine

Sautee chorizo with garlic shishito peppers and pearl onions

Add mussels and white wine.

Cover until mussels open.

Add butter and cilantro.

Stir until sauce thickens.

Serve with garlic bread.

Montage Kapalua Bay: Coconut Lobster Soup

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Aside from the benefits mentioned above of ginger and lobster, coconut milk is antioxidant-rich and full of vitamins C, E and many B vitamins which are responsible for providing energy to the cells. Coconut milk is also rich in magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, iron and lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that is abundant in mother’s milk and according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, has many germ-fighting, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties that are very effective at ridding the body of viruses, bacteria and countless illnesses. Garlic has the ability to boost your immune system by increasing the rate at which your natural killer cells are made.

2 teaspoons Ginger (Peeled & Sliced)
2 cups shallot (sliced)
4 garlic (chopped)
1 Lemongrass (chopped)
1 cup  cilantro (chopped stem and leaves)
1 teaspoon red Thai curry paste
3 quarts lobster stock
2 small cans coconut milk
2 teaspoons Shoyu
2 teaspoons fish sauce
Lime juice
1 teaspoons sugar
Salt/pepper and corn starch to taste

In a large soup pot on medium heat sweat ginger, garlic, shallot, lemongrass and cilantro until translucent.

Add curry paste and cook for a few minutes.

Add stock and bring to a boil.

Add coconut milk and bring back to a boil.

Reduce to a simmer for 30 min.

Blend soup in the vita prep blender, strain through a fine chinois.

Return soup to pot on medium heat.

Add shoyu, fish sauce, lime juice and sugar.

Thicken with corn starch slurry.

Season with kosher salt if needed.