Shit! What’s For Dinner?

Immune-Boosting Meals to Keep You Strong

We’re saturated with news of a post-Thanksgiving Covid spike: Let’s take care of ourselves and each other

Oysters contain more zinc than any other food. Photo: Yuliya Koshchiy/500px/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx have warned of an impending Covid-19 spike beyond what we’re already seeing — as a result of Americans’ insistence on traveling to see their families over the holiday.

While our suggestions for the week aren’t as festive as we’d like as we approach the December holiday month, we’d rather you take care of yourselves, stay healthy, and stay home.

Our first selection, below, is a collection of immune-boosting meals that includes greens with fruit, cheese, and nuts; 10 ways to cook beans and greens; and variations on minestrone soup.

Next up, we’re pointing out the positive effects whole wheat has on our health. And if you read our pieces below, you’ll recall that you should probably get your whole wheat from a local outfit or stick with Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur brands.

Whole Wheat No-Knead Bread

Makes: 1 loaf
Time: About 45 minutes, plus 5 hours for rising

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup whole rye flour
  • ½ cup coarse cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • Oil as needed

Instructions

  1. Combine flours, cornmeal, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Add 1½ cups water and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest for about 4 hours at warm room temperature, about 70°F.
  2. Oil a standard loaf pan (8 or 9 inches by 4 inches; nonstick works well). Lightly oil your hands and shape dough into a rough rectangle. Put it in pan, pressing it out to the edges. Brush top with a little more oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 1 hour more.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake bread for about 45 minutes, or until loaf reaches an internal temperature of 210°F.
  4. Remove bread from pan and cool on a rack.

Recipe published in The New York Times

Last, the National Institutes of Health reminds us that oysters contain more zinc than any other food. But if you’re not a raw oyster fan, a pan roast can be nice, served with hot sauces, crackers, and lemon wedges: Keep it simple. If you’re new to oysters at home, this recipe ensures you don’t have to worry about shucking. And if you don’t like oysters, consider this: “red meat and poultry provide the majority of zinc in the American diet, “ says the NIH. “Other good food sources include beans, nuts, certain types of seafood (such as crab and lobster), whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals, and dairy products.”

Oyster Pan Roast

Makes: 4 servings
Time: 30 to 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds oysters of your choice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup wine (or another ½ cup water)

Instructions

  1. In a large roasting pan, spread oysters across the bottom, sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle with oil, and pour water and wine over it.
  2. Roast at 450°F, shaking the pan once or twice until the shells start to open, 10 to 30 minutes depending on the size of the oysters.
  3. When they’re ready, transfer them to warmed serving bowls and return the pan to the oven, adding with a splash more liquid if the pan becomes dry. When all the oysters have opened, pour the pan juices over them.

From How To Cook Everything, Completely Revised Twentieth Anniversary Edition

Has published 30 books, including How to Cook Everything and VB6: The Case for Part-Time Veganism. Newsletter at markbittman.com.

Sign up for Heated with Mark Bittman

By Heated

Food from every angle. Take a look.

By signing up, you will create a Medium account if you don’t already have one. Review our Privacy Policy for more information about our privacy practices.

Check your inbox
Medium sent you an email at to complete your subscription.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store