Ying Yang Xue

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

Archive for the month “March, 2012”

Lamb Stew to boost Liver Blood

We all knew that Mercury was in retrograde; the planet of culinary delights must also be in retrograde this week!  Despite some challenges (technical difficulties in the way of an overzealous crockpot and very absorbent beans), LA delivered a tasty, blood-building meal for us today. This meal was carefully thought out and the ingredients hand selected from natural and organic purveyors.  The lamb was incredibly tender and just fell apart in your mouth–I know it set me on a full fledged lamb kick!

TCM DOS: Liver Blood Deficiency 

Western Correlation: Anemia, alopecia, glaucoma, gout, leukemia, scleroderma

TCM S/S: dizziness, pale lips, dull complexion, numbness or tingling of limbs, insomnia, blurred vision, dry eyes, vertigo, night blindness, eye floaters, dry hair and skin, scanty menstruation or amenorrhea, muscle weakness, and/or spasms, cramps, withered and brittle nails, depression feeling of aimlessness

Tongue: Pale, especially on the sides (orange in extreme cases), thin, slightly dry

Pulse: Choppy or fine

Recommended Foods: beets, celery, cucumber, grapes (dark colored), lemon/lime, raspberry, salt, tomato, vinegar, blackberry, chlorophyll, dang gui, mulberry, spirulina, turnip, watercress, corn, spinach, cherries, dates, lychee, avocado, millet, buckwheat, cornmeal, eats, rice, chestnuts, black beans, black sesame seeds, beef, chicken, pork, egg yolk, fish, honey, olives.

Lamb with Spinach and Artichokes

2-2 ½ pounds boneless lamb shoulder roast

19 ounce can cannellini beans (white kidney beans), rinsed and drained

19 ounce can diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon minced garlic (6 cloves)

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon dried oregano, crushed

14 ounce can of artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

3 cups fresh baby spinach

3 cups hot cooked orzo (6 oz. uncooked) (whole wheat- 100% organic)

Cooking Methods:

1. In a slow cooker stir together meat, beans, tomatoes, garlic, salt, and oregano.

2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours. 3. Stir in drained artichoke hearts and spinach.

4. Serve lamb mixture over hot cooked orzo.

whole wheat orzo as a beautiful base!

Black bean soup for the kidney soul

 This week, IO prepared one of my personal favorites, black bean soup.  Who knew I was doing my kidneys such a favor when I seek out my obsession!  This recipe is simple, delectable, and can be made with just a few ingredients that most of us usually have in our pantries and refrigerators.  IO paired it with a yellow rice which made for a nice in-bowl combination!

 TCM DOS: Kidney yin deficiency

Western Dx: Low back pain

Tongue: Red, no coating, cracks

Pulse: Empty and rapid

Signs and Symptoms:

Dizziness, Poor memory, Dry mouth at night, Sore back, Dark-scanty urine, Vertigo,  Deafness, 5-palm heat, Ache in bones, Constipation, Tinnitus, Night sweating, Thirst, Nocturnal emissions

Foods that help this condition: wheat, oats, rice, millet, barley, eggs, dairy in moderate amounts, yogurt, tofu, tempeh, nuts & seeds, aduki beans, black beans, mung beans, black soy beans, kidney beans, black sesame seeds, pork, chicken, black boned chicken, duck, pigeon, eggs, organic bone marrow spanish mackerel, sardines, oysters, mussels, clams, cuttlefish, squid, perch, seaweeds, eel, bird’s nest soup, zucchini, squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, melons, string beans, beets, button mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms, apples, banana, blueberries, black berries, peaches, mulberries, mango, coconut olive oil, flaxseed oil, almond oil, kelp, spirulina

Foods to avoid in this condition: chilies, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, onions, shallots, leeks, basil, cloves, wasabi coffee, vinegar, pickles, tea, lamb, shrimp, prawns, veal, game birds, citrus fruits, cigarettes, alcohol, recreational stimulants

Meals should consist largely of easily digested complex carbohydrates like grains and starchy root vegetables, roughly 40% of your diet. About 40% of the diet should be comprised of cooked vegetables. Proteins should comprise only 10 – 20% of the diet. The diet should also include plenty of fluids, especially in the form of soups, and avoid overly hot, spicy meals.

Black Bean Soup

kd yin xu black beans

Just glowing with yin boosting properties!


1 Pound Black beans

1 Large white onion

1 Large green pepper (remove seeds)

1 Teaspoon ground cumin

Salt and pepper to taste


Soak black beans overnight, then boil with the whole onion and green pepper until tender ( about one hour). Remove onion and green pepper. Add cumin, salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with white or yellow rice.

Beautiful black for the Water element, yummy yellow for the Earth!

Kidney boosting Barley!

M’s dish was a resounding success for several reasons–it was delicious (which is always first and foremost, let’s be real here!).  it was quite therapeutic for kidney yin xu, and most impressively, it entailed a host of ingredients that M had never worked with before.  You’d never guess it from the look and taste, though–this meal was a class act.  This straightforward dish epitomized the type of meal we strive to encourage our patients to prepare for themselves–organic, elegantly simple, and nourishing.  I would be lying if I said I didn’t indulge in a second helping (and maybe a third–I’m not telling!)

TCM DOS : Kidney Yin Deficiency

Western Correlation:  menopause, general aging

TCM s/s:  dizziness, tinnitus, dry mouth/throat, low back pain, knee pain, night sweats, 5 palm heat, tidal fever

Tongue = red w/ peeled or geographic coat; no coat

Pulse = thin, rapid

Recommended Foods:  millets, barley, tofu, string (green) bean, black bean, black soybean, mung bean & it’s sprouts, kidney beans and most other beans, kuzu root, watermelon and other melons, blackberry, mulberry, blueberry, huckleberry, carrots, water chestnuts, wheat germ, potato, seaweeds, spirulina, chlorella, black sesame seed, sardine, crab, clam, eggs, pork, and cheese

Foods to be avoided:  too much warming food such as coffee, alcohol, tobacco, lamb, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, & other hot spices.  It is best to avoid overeating.

Cooking Methods:  the cooling or Yin properties want to be preserved when preparing foods to benefit or supplement the Yin.  Steaming, water saute’, blanching and salting are recommended methods to promote the Yin qualities of food.  Be sure to use excess water with the cooking technique you choose.

Barley Stirfry

barley kidney yin xu

kidney yin xu barley

Forget poetry in motion--it's barley in motion!



–       2 cups (hulled) barley

–       1 bag (16 oz.) organic green beans

–       1 bag (12 oz.) organic carrots

–       1/2 head of Chinese (Nappa) cabbage

–       1 can (8 oz.) sliced water chestnuts

–       Naturally brewed organic soy sauce (add as necessary)

–       Toasted sesame oil (add as necessary)

kidney yin xu barley

Add your own soy sauce, tamari, sesame oil, or Himalayan sea salt as needed--although it was divine as served!

Cooking methods:

–     All of the ingredients were steamed in a rice cooker last night.  They all had different steaming times ranging from 10 minutes for the water chestnuts and Chinese (Nappa) cabbage to 30-45 minutes for the barley, green beans and carrots.  I then mixed the ingredients together and refrigerated them.  I warmed them up on the hot plate in a wok using the soy sauce & sesame oil to add flavor and act as a warming medium.

Look at the picture....feel your kidneys growing in strength (and your mouth watering).

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