Try This Immune-Boosting Kale Rice Dish

No matter what time of year it seems we can’t escape the onslaught of the common cold. Even when the sun is out and the temperature reaches 27°C, many of us are still plagued by stuffy noses and sore throats. And when that happens, the first thing you want to check is that your gut health and immune system are being properly supported. First stop? Stock up on plant vitamins.

This Vietnamese rice dish is the ultimate summer lunch – fresh and crispy, and filled with leafy green cabbage. One of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, kale has four times the vitamin C and double the selenium content of spinach, along with nutrients like vitamin E and beta-carotene.

All of these are important for supporting a healthy immune system and a happy gut. In reality, studies show that vitamin C promotes the production of white blood cells – help protect the body against infections. It is also an essential element of the skin’s defense system, strengthen skin barriers and even shortening healing time.

This orzo rice meal from Vietnamese chef Uyen Luu also features another immune-supporting, tripe-loving favorite: kimchi. The pickled vegetable is loaded with probiotic bacteria that keep your microbiome happy. So this lunch is a win in every way.

Ingredients

(For 4 people)

  • 50g orzo
  • ½ tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 round shallots, sliced
  • 30 g finely chopped ginger root
  • 10g of butter
  • 250 g summer kale varieties, cut into 2 cm thick slices
  • 1 heaped tbsp kimchi, cut into 5mm thick slices
  • Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Starts with cook the orzo according to the package instructions in water seasoned with a little sea salt.

Once cooked, reserve 75 ml of cooking water before draining.

Over medium heat in a large skillet, add the oil, then the shallots and ginger and sauté until golden brown then add the butter. Once melted, add the kale, sauté until wilted, then pour in a ladleful of hot water for the pasta.

Watch it sizzle for 30 seconds then combine with kimchi and cooked orzo. Season with salt and pepper.

Once the water has evaporated, it is ready to serve.