LF got the summer semester kicked off with a brilliant rice dish to get our spleens (and subsequently, our brains!) rockin’ & rollin’. A variation on one of her old stand-bys, this rice had a little bit of something to satisfy everyone. Every bite seemed to hold another surprise–a walnut! a date! is that…could it be… fennel?! Indeed it was. Given the rich blend of spices, the word “Thanksgiving” came up more than once; while this dish certainly comforted and nourished like a Thanksgiving side dish, it wasn’t too heavy or cloying like some sweet rice dishes tend to be. Satisfying your spleen and your tastebuds–it’s a win-win.
TCM DOS: Spleen Qi Deficiency
TCM SS: Poor Appetite, Abdominal distention (especially after meals), loose stools, fatigue and lassitude, sallow complexion, heaviness in the body, and mental fatigue. This condition is worse with raw cold foods and better with cooked warm foods.
Tongue: Pale with thick white coat, slightly swollen and scalloped
Pulse: Weak, Slippery (with dampness accumulation)
Western Correlations: Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Mal-absorption, Chronis Gastritis, Chronic Enteritis, Chronic Diarrhea, Ulcers.
Foods that Help: Oats, Rice, Congee’s, Mochi, Black Beans, Squash, Parsnip, Yams and Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin, Carrots (cooked), Beets, Fennel, Dates, Figs, Molasses, Brown Sugar (in moderation), Cinnamon, Ginger, Cardamom,Chicken, Turkey, Halibut, Tuna.
Foods to Avoid: Raw salads, Raw vegetables, Citrus fruits, ice cream, seaweeds, bananas, tofu, dairy.
Lifestyle: It is best to eat smaller portions, while eating slowly, and chewing food very well. Avoid big meals, rushing while eating, or eating while emotionally upset.
Helpful Cooking Methods:Boiling, Baking, Roasting, and frying will increase the yang energy of the food making it easier to digest.
Sweet and Savory Spleen Qi Rice
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 1 hour
~2 Cups of Brown rice
~1 – 2 tsp of Himalayan salt (add to taste)
~1tbsp of Brown Sugar
~1tbs of Blackstrap Molasses
~1tsp of Cinnamon
~1/2 tsp of Cardamom
~1 inch piece of ginger minced
~1 Fennel bulb chopped
~1/2 cup of dates chopped
~1 cup of carrots chopped
~1/2 cup of walnuts chopped
~2 tbs of Coconut oil or olive oil
~Turn oven on to 375
~In a large pot add 4 cups of water to 2 cups of Rice and bring to a boil.
~Add 1 tsp of Himalayan salt and minced Ginger to rice
~Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 50min covered
~While rice is cooking place chopped Carrots and chopped Fennel on 2 separate baking sheets
~Add 1 tbs of Coconut oil to Carrots and 1 tbs to Fennel, coat evenly.
~Roast Carrots for 30 min or until tender
~Roast Fennel for 20 min or until tender
~When rice is cooked add Molasses, Brown sugar, Cinnamon, Cardamom, and mix well
~Add cooked Carrots, Fennel, Dates, and Walnuts to rice and mix well.
Note: This dish contains a variety of Spleen Qi nourishing foods such as rice, molasses, brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, carrots, fennel, and dates. The added walnuts will help to support the Yang energy of this food and reinforce Qi.