Fun fact: there are days when the idea of eating eggs and kale for breakfast make me want to cry. But hey, that’s why there’s hash (breakfast hash here people – the kind with potatoes – I’m talking to you Coloradans…) I love me some hash because A) you can make a huge batch of it, solving your breakfast blues for days on end, B) it’s one complete happy package of protein and veggies in one bowl. C) Once you’ve made it, all you have to do is reheat, and Bam: breakfast, or lunch, or dinner. D) It’s forgiving and ambiguous – you can follow any breakfast, taste-profile whim of your fancy, and chances are it will turn out just fine - maybe even spectacular. Dream big.
So what’s the deal with turmeric: The more I get to know this spice, the more I love it! Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is part of the ginger family, is also known as Indian Saffron, and is most commonly found as a key ingredient in curry. Its flavor is a little peppery and bitter, while also imparting a bit of sweetness and warmth. You can either buy turmeric in ground, powder form, or in fresh, root form (it usually lives right near the ginger root in the produce sections.) I for one am way more partial to the fresh variety.
Why it’s the bomb: Turmeric is widely used in Chinese and Indian medicine as a potent anti-inflammatory and a variety of other uses. Lately, it has been gaining more tract through its impressive showing in a variety of cancer and autoimmune studies. Curcumin, turmeric’s yellow pigment has been shown to:
- Be an antioxidant –it protects healthy cells from destructive free radicals in our blood
- Help destroy damaged, potentially cancerous cells.
- Support the body’s production of cancer fighting compounds, such as glutathione.
- Fight tumors.
- Helps to lower and prevent the oxidation of cholesterol.
- Have potential as a brain-protective agent in regards to Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases.
- Reduce pain and swelling regarding rheumatoid arthritis.
- Reduce muscle soreness after strenuous activity.
Besides this butt-kicking hash, I like to grate turmeric on my eggs, over roasted cauliflower, and a recent favorite a-la Mark Sisson, blend it in my coffee along with cinnamon, some grass butter or pastured egg yolks, and a touch of honey. Delish. It’s uses are endless. Bonus: every time I use it, I feel like I’m super-charging my food making me an anti-inflammatory machine! Check it out and tell me what you think and your favorite uses!
Ingredients: (yields 4-5 servings)
- 1.5 lbs bulk breakfast sausage
- 2 leeks
- ½ sweet potato
- 1 apple (gala)
- 1 bunch dino kale (the long, thin kind – although any hearty green will do)
- 1 tsp fresh turmeric
- ¼ t nutmeg
- ¼ t cinnamon
- ¼ t chipotle powder
- ¼ onion powder
- salt and pepper to taste
How it’s Done:
Warm up a large skillet or soup pot (I personally love me the soup pot method b/c I can be an aggressive stirrer with zero consequences…) and throw in a nice dollop of high heat fat (ghee, butter, coconut oil, bacon or other animal fat.) Break up breakfast sausage into small pieces with your hands and drop it into the pan. Cook on medium until it is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle. Transfer the cooked sausage into a bowl.
In your now empty pot, add another Tbs or 2 and turn down to medium/medium-low. Chop your leeks into 1/8 inch cylinders (from the end of of the bulb until it starts to be more lead than onion in appearance) and drop them into the pot (breaking up the cylinders as you drop them into the oil. Keep stirring to make sure those little guys don’t get burned.
Chop up your kale into ½ inch pieces and add to your leeks, stirring the mixture.
With a hand shredder or in the food processor, grate your ½ sweet potato and add it to your leeks. Do the same with your apple and add it to the pot.
Add all of your spices to your mixture and continue to stir until everything starts to soften.
Add back in your sausage and continue to stir and let all those delicious flavors meld for about 5 more minutes.
Doll out into happy, breakfast bowls and garnish with more fresh turmeric.
Sources: Murray, M. (2005). The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York: Atria Books.Sisson, M. Smart Spice: Tumeric. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/health-benefits-turmeric/#axzz2iTH8fqIV.