If you’re looking for a great tasting meatless meal, you can’t afford to miss this…
While this isn’t a complete recipe, it is meant to provide inspiration for you to make your next veggie-only dish. Not only will the completed dish taste great, it is packed full of healthy anti-oxidants to help you enjoy a healthy lifestyle. It’s simple to throw together. All you will need are some onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, garlic, dried cherries and mushrooms to get started. However, feel free to toss in plenty of other veggies, too.
So let’s take a closer look at the health benefits of each of the main veggies used in this simple and delicious dish.
Health Benefits of Onions:
Onions are a natural source of B6, biotin, calcium and vitamin C. Did you know onions are one of the richest sources of quercitin? This is a powerful flavonoid that research has shown may help to lower cholesterol, raise HDL cholesterol and detox the body.
In addition, this round vegetable contains a number of different sulfur compounds that help to detoxify your body. The specific amino acids found in the onion are cysteine and methionine and they work to detox your body from heavy metals.
Health Benefits of Tomatoes:
Tomatoes are a natural source of potassium, vitamin C and fiber. In addition, they are an excellent source of lycopene. Lycopene consumption has been linked to assisting in lowering the incidence of prostate cancer in men. While the presence of vitamin C, potassium and fiber assists with a healthy heart.
Health Benefits of Bell Peppers:
Bell peppers make any recipe more eye-appealing. The combination of red, orange and yellow colors naturally draws the eye. In addition to appealing to the eye, bell peppers contain vitamin C to help keep your skin youthful and support your immune system. They also are an excellent source of beta carotenes that offer natural anti-inflammatory benefits. In addition, the presence of capsaicin helps to control diabetes and lower “bad” cholesterol.
Health Benefits of Dried Cherries:
Dried cherries add a unique tartness, yet sweet profile to the dish. In addition, they also offer a number of natural health benefits including their ability to fight joint pain. The anti-inflammatory properties of tart cherries are due to the presence of the anthocyanins. These powerful anti-oxidants are 10 times stronger than aspirin when fighting joint pain.
Health Benefits of Garlic:
Garlic is a great way to keep your heart healthy. The sulphur compounds of garlic helps the body to naturally helps to the keep the blood vessels open by fighting the buildup of plaque and slow atherosclerosis, which is also referred to as hardening of the arteries.
Garlic helps to destroy bacteria. As you crush garlic an antibiotic compound in formed called allicin. However, if garlic is cooked over 140F, the heat will destroy powerful compound. So the best way to enjoy the allicin benefits is to add garlic to the end of the cooking process after you have removed the dish from the heating source. The best way to tell if the garlic has lost its allicin compound is when the aroma is gone. However, even if the aroma is gone, it still offers a number of other benefits.
Health Benefits of Mushrooms:
Mushrooms offer a number of benefits including weight management, increasing vitamin D levels and boosting your immune system.
They help you management your weight since they are a dense-food. Meaning they keep you fuller longer so you won’t feel the need to snack on less healthy foods. In addition, mushrooms are one of the leading sources of the antioxidant selenium. This powerful antioxidant helps to strengthen the body’s immune system and help protect the body’s cell. Finally, they are good source of vitamin D. In fact, if you allow fresh mushrooms to sit in the sunlight, their vitamin D content will actually increase a little.
Now that you know some of the health benefits, let’s turn our attention to making the dish. It’s simple. All you need to do is preheat your oven at 350F. Chop the vegetables, toss in the dried cherries, add some herbs (basil, oregano and parsley) and mix all the ingredients together, less the garlic, in a mixing bowl. Once you mix together place bake at 350F for 30 minutes. Remove and mix in the garlic and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle with balsamic reduction. Serve over quinoa or by itself.