Ying Yang Xue

"If something is cold, heat it. If something is hot, cool it." –Huangdi Neijing

Archive for the month “October, 2011”

Foods to Tonify Kidney Yin

S.T. tackled KD yin xu this week, and her dishes scored a homerun (so good that it deserves mixed sports metaphors!)   Simple, elegant, comforting, and secretly therapeutic–exactly what a good meal should be.    We started with a beautiful refreshing salad, continued to a warm and fortifying soup, and for dessert we had some wonderful goji berries covered in–wait for it–chocolate! (because we would expect nothing less from S.T.).   Nettle tea proved to be a rich & tasty beverage, and let’s not forget what might have been the biggest hit, the roasted pumpkin seeds.  These little guys packed a BIG flavor punch and had all of us singing their praises the entirety of the afternoon!   So, without further ado, S.T.’s Kidney boosting recipes!

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 TCM Pattern:  Kidney Yin Deficiency

 
Western equivalent:    Aging –> Failing eyesight, hearing, tooth-loss, head hair loss; Weakness, frailness, aches & pains in bones & joints; Absent-mindedness, poor memory, dementia; Menopause/andropause; Apathy, exhaustion, fatigue; Chronic stress, anxiety; Congenital problems – poor growth & development; Excessive fear & insecurity; lack of will; Osteoporosis; Reproductive dysfunction
Signs & symptoms: dizziness, poor memory, dry mouth at night, sore (low) back & knees, dark, scanty urine, vertigo, deafness, 5-palm heat, ache in bones, constipation, tinnitus, night sweating, thirst, nocturnal emissions: Tongue: red, no coating/peeled, cracks; Pulse: empty, rapid
 
For Chinese Dietary Therapy, choose foods that are cooling, moistening, nourishing and enriching, and easy to digest. Eat smaller quantities frequently and regularly rather than large quantities irregularly. Get plenty of fluids, especially water. Avoid foods that are stimulating and overly hot and spicy, alcohol, recreational drugs.
 
Today’s menu:
Barley, Lentil & Vegetable Soup
Spinach-Pear Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt
Nettle Tea
Dark Chocolate coated Goji Berries

 
Recipes
 
Barley, Lentil & Vegetable Soup

 
5 cups water
1/2 cup organic pearl barley, washed and drained
1/4 cup dry, green lentils
1/2 cup diced onions
1/4 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced carrots
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup leeks, green and white part, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh parsley, minced, for garnish
 
Preparation: Place first three ingredients in a medium soup pot, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the flame to medium-low and simmer 30 to 35 minutes. Add onion, celery and carrot. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Add sea salt, cover and simmer another 10 minutes. Add the leeks, cover and simmer another 3 to 4 minutes. Serve garnished with parsley.
 
Spinach-Pear Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

2 pears, cored and thinly sliced
6 ounces spinach
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar
5 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ tsp stone-ground mustard
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
¼ cup shaved Parmigiano cheese

Preparation: Combine pear slices and spinach in a large bowl. Whisk together water and next 6 ingredients. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad, and toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with cheese.                       
 
Skillet-Toasted Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt


 
½ cup freshly shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt
 
Preparation: Lightly coat shelled pumpkin seeds with olive oil. Place in warmed iron skillet, cover. Allow to warm and sprinkle with sea salt to taste. Shake and stir seeds in skillet constantly as they are toasting to avoid burning. Brown to desired color. When they start popping, they are done.

 

And last but not least… goji berries for dessert! (original AND chocolate-covered ; )

Foods to Soothe Liver Qi Stagnation

S.D. took on the task of preparing a dish that would combat Liver Qi Stagnation (click the link to learn more about the signs and symptoms of this particular imbalance).    Quite the cornbread culinary master, S.D. wanted to make something in a similar style, so he chose an orange buckwheat bread.  True to his brave nature, he tackled this despite buckwheat’s reputation as being a fickle ingredient.  Some of us took his creaetion and experimented even further, popping it in the oven and adding honey, which gave it a whole ‘nother healing dimension!
 
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Orange Buckwheat bread
 

looks like a brownie, but it courses liver qi!

 
 
 
Buckwheat– Sweet flavor, cool nature.  Enters spleen, stomach, and large intestine channel.  Action is to send down counterflow qi, reinforce spleen, remove damp. 
 
Orange– Sweet and sour in flavor, cool in nature.  Action is to relieve stagnation, send down counterflow qi, harmonize stomach.
 
Sesame– Sweet in flavor, neutral in nature. Enters liver, kidney, large intestine channels.  Action is to reinforce liver and kidney, replenish essence. 
 
Other ingredients-  Olive oil, filtered water, yeast.
 
Preparation–  In a large bowl, combine 3 cups of buckwheat flour with adequate water to mix into dough.  Add two tablespoons of olive oil. Mix well.   Add one packet of yeast to dough. mix well.
 
Peel two oranges, cut out cores.  Dice flesh and pulp of oranges, and put these pieces with the juice into bowl with dough.  Mix well. 
 
Pour ingredients into an oiled pan, bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes.
 
Baking increases the yang nature of foods, and may decrease the cooling quality of foods. 

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