Ying Yang Xue

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

Archive for the tag “barley”

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).

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!


 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

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 ; )

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