With the current COVID 19 crises and lockdowns, you’re probably spending a bit of your new-found “downtime” in the kitchen trying out new recipes. You’re also probably, wondering how to stay as healthy as possible during this critical time. So, we have delved into the menus created by wellness experts at Anantara Hotels, Resorts and Spas to provide some immunity and health boosting recipes.
Anantara’s chefs combine ancient medicinal herbs, spices and the freshest organic produce with modern taste profiles. These drinks and dishes all feature ingredients that provide unique health benefits. These dishes will support you on your wellness journey to shore up your physical defenses, assuage stress, and be ready for whatever comes our way next.
Executive Chef Geert Jan Vaartjes at Anantara’s Hoi An, Vietnam property, says: “The easiest and healthiest way to boost your immune system is simply to eat freshly-cooked and prepared food. When you make dishes from scratch, you control the ingredients and, by using fresh produce, you are eating more nutrients than you would get from packaged food.”
Immunity Booster Turmeric Tea – Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara, Oman
We’re starting with a simple sipper: a soothing hot tea. The key ingredient of this herbal drink is fresh turmeric, a root closely related to ginger and commonly used in Asian food. Turmeric contains bioactive compounds including curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory properties that increases the antioxidant capacity of the body and improves brain function, fights depression, contains anti-aging properties, and boosts your immune system.
- ½ cup of fresh raw turmeric
- ¼ cup of fresh raw ginger
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3 Tbsp of honey
- 4 tsp of distilled water (boiled water that has cooled)
Blend all ingredients until they become a well-emulsified paste.
After you’ve created the base, use 2 tablespoons to 1 cup of hot water; let sit for 2 minutes and add a few mint leaves for serving.
Kombucha – Anantara Hoi An Resort, Vietnam
Every morning in Hoi An, Vietnam, breakfast starts with Kombucha, the traditional fermented drink made from local green tea and sugar. The fermented beverage is purported to improve digestion and diabetes, strengthen the immune system, reduce blood pressure, and detoxify the body. The fermentation process takes 7 to 13 days, and you need to have a live SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) – if you want to try making some while you’re at home, try this kit).
If you are unable to obtain a Kombucha-making kit, you can get many of the same beneficial results from drinking fermented apple cider vinegar. In Hoi An, drinking vinegar is created by adding 2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar to a glass of distilled water (that’s water that has been boiled and cooled – or, in Ayurvedic terms, “cooked”). Drink every morning.
Cinnamon-Lemon-Honey Immunity Shot – Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort, UAE
Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort’s cinnamon-lemon-honey immunity shot is freshly prepared in-house every day and is served to guests as a welcome drink. Lemons are loaded with vitamin C, honey has antibacterial properties and its high viscosity helps form a protective barrier in the body to help fight infection, while cinnamon is high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to being a great immunity booster, this shot also helps boost collagen to help skin stay younger looking and the combination of lemon and honey helps combat water retention.
- Cinnamon bark (about 3-4 sticks per 2 cups of water)
- 1-2 lemons (to taste)
- Honey (to taste)
Boil cinnamon bark for 45 minutes and strain. Allow to cool for a few minutes. Add fresh lemon and honey according to taste. You can store the drink in the refrigerator before serving.
Poh Tok (Spicy Mixed Seafood Soup) – Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort, Thailand
Hot soup is a salve for the emotional soul, and this soup is curative for the body, too. In addition to turmeric (discussed above), it contains lemongrass, which issaid to have antioxidant properties, prevent the growth of some bacteria and yeast, relieve pain and swelling, reduce fever, and improve levels of sugar and cholesterol. The soup is also flavored with Kaffir lime, another traditional herbal medicine, due to its high content of beneficial organic compounds that can positively affect the body’s systems.
- 1 cup of seafood: Can include peeled shrimp; seabass or other white fish filet cut into pieces; mussels or clams; squid; crab or lobster
- 1 straw Sliced lemongrass
- 1/8 cup Sliced galangal
- 2 pcs Kaffir lime leave
- 1½ Tbsp Fish sauce
- 1 tsp Sweet chili paste or roasted chili paste
- 3-5 pcs Crushed bird’s eye chili
- 1/2 cup Straw mushrooms or other mushrooms
- 2 cups Chicken or fish stock
- 1/8 cup Coriander leaves or Thai long saw parsley cut
- 1/8 cup Thai hot Basil
- 1 tsp Fried dried chilis
Heat stock, then add lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves and bring to a boil for about 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and seafood. Boil until all seafood is completely cooked. Season with fish sauce, lime and tamarind juice, roasted chili paste, and bird’s eye chili. Sprinkle with coriander leave, fresh hot basil leaves, and dried chili on top of the soup before serving.
Seared Tuna Loin with Papaya Salad – Anantara Bophut Koh Samui Resort , Thailand
In this fresh, tangy salad, chilies are replaced with basil, lemongrass (see above), cilantro and mint, all great immune system boosters. It’s then topped with roasted peanuts, which are high in potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, and B vitamins.
We suggest serving it alongside seared or grilled tuna, a fish rich in manganese, zinc, vitamin C, and selenium, all antioxidants that boost the immune system.
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- ¼ cup of a green papaya, shredded
- ¼ cup fresh lemongrass
- 1/4 cup fresh mint, lightly packed
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, lightly packed
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, lightly packed
- 3 x 200g lean tuna loin steaks cooked to your liking
- Toppings: 1/4 cup fried onions and 1/4 cup roasted peanuts
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 2 Tbsp palm sugar
- 2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1/8 tsp Vietnamese chili paste (or fresh chopped Thai chilis)
Add all salad ingredients (except toppings) to a large mixing bowl and toss.
Prepare the dressing: whisk lime juice, fish sauce, garlic, chili paste, and palm sugar together in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and stir to coat. Top with fried onions and roasted peanuts.
Serve with seared tuna.
Classic Gazpacho – Anantara Villa Padierna Palace Resort, Spain
Tomatoes are a great source of vitamins. A single tomato can provide about 40% of the daily recommended minimum of vitamin C. Tomatoes also contain vitamin A, which supports immunity, vision, and skin health; and potassium, a key nutrient for heart function, muscle contractions, and maintaining a healthy blood pressure and fluid balance. This healthy soup, served cold, is a Spanish favorite that takes advantage of the bounty of the region, from fresh tomatoes to locally-produced olive oil.
- 1 cucumber, peeled and diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 tomatoes, diced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 6 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- ½ cup slightly stale crusty white bread soaked in cold water for 20 minutes.
Mix the diced tomatoes, peppers and cucumber with the crushed garlic and olive oil in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Squeeze out the bread, tear it roughly into chunks, and add to the mixture. Blend until smooth and add the salt and vinegar to taste and stir well. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve, then cover and refrigerate until well chilled. Serve with small pieces of cucumber and pepper.