Dementia/Alzheimer’s Recipes

Carrot, turmeric, and ginger soup with cumin roasted chickpeas

Ingredients

For the soup:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 small yellow or white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons turmeric root, grated (or 1½ teaspoons, ground turmeric)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated (or 1 teaspoon, ground)
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • ½ teaspoon salt (and more to taste)
  • Dash red pepper flakes
  • 1¾ pounds peeled and roughly chopped carrots (about 6 cups)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup coconut milk, canned and full fat

For the cumin toasted chickpeas:

  • 1½-2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Roast the chickpeas. Preheat your oven to 400 F. Toss the chickpeas in the oil, cumin, chili, and paprika. Spread them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast the chickpeas for 35 minutes, or until they’re quite golden brown and a little crispy. Give them a stir a few times during roasting to prevent sticking. Chickpeas can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week.
  2. To make the soup, heat the coconut oil a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add the onions. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5-7 minutes, or until the onions are clear and soft. Add a few tablespoons of water as you go along to prevent the onions from sticking. Add the garlic, turmeric , and ginger, and cook for another two minutes, or until everything is very fragrant.
  3. Add the cinnamon, salt, pepper flakes, carrots, and vegetable broth. Bring the broth to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover the pot.
  4. Simmer the soup for 30 minutes, or until the carrots are totally tender. When the soup is ready, transfer it to a blender (in batches, if necessary), and blend carefully until it’s totally smooth (stand back from the blender, as hot soups tend to spatter). Alternately, you can use an immersion blender to blend the soup till smooth. If the soup is too thick for your liking, add another ½-3/4 cup broth.

PROCEDURE

MAKE THE SAUCE

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a wide, heavy bottomed saucepan. Add onion and cook without browning until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste, cinnamon and saffron, and stir well to incorporate. Season generously with salt and pepper, and allow to sizzle for 1 minute more. Add broth and simmer gently for 5 minutes. May be made several hours in advance, up to a day.

FOR THE SAFFRON TOMATO SAUCE

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 and 1/2 cups finely diced onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 inch piece cinnamon stick
  • Large pinch saffron, crumbled
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth or water

    FOR THE MEATBALLS

    • 1 and 1/2 cups cubed day-old firm white bread
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1 pound ground beef or lamb
    • 1 large egg, beaten
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    •  teaspoon grated nutmeg
    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric
    • 2 teaspoons paprika
    • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
    • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
    • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
    • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
    • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
    • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
    • 3 tablespoons finely chopped scallion
    • All-purpose flour, for dusting
    • Coconut oil or olive oilMAKE THE MEATBALLS
      1. Put bread cubes and milk in a small bowl. Leave bread to soak until softened, about 5 minutes, then squeeze dry.
      2. In a mixing bowl, put squeezed-out bread, ground meat and egg. Add salt, pepper, garlic, nutmeg, ginger, turmeric, paprika, cayenne, cloves, coriander and cumin. Mix well with hands to distribute seasoning. Add 2 tablespoons each of parsley, cilantro and scallion, and knead for a minute. May be prepared several hours in advance, up to a day.
      3. With hands, roll mixture into small round balls about the size of a quarter. Dust balls lightly with flour. Heat a few tablespoons of oil, or a quarter-inch depth, over medium-high heat and fry meatballs until barely browned, about 2 minutes per side. Drain and blot on paper towel. Simmer meatballs in saffron-tomato sauce, covered, over medium heat for about 20 minutes, until tender.
      4. Garnish meatballs with remaining parsley, cilantro and scallion.

      Serving suggestions:

      • Couscous
      • Brown rice
      • Roasted tomatoes
      • Pilaf

        Guidelines for creating recipes for Alzheimer’s – Use organic and fresh ingredients whenever possible. If nothing else, organic food is less likely to contain the chemical pesticides and preservatives that are common on “traditionally grown” foods. Stay away from prepared foods that contain artificial sweeteners (aspartame in particular), artificial colors, MSG (and hydrolyzed vegetable protein), and any other artificial ingredient. Many, if not all of the substances named in this paragraph are suspected of causing damage to brain cells and contributing to dementia.

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