Ying Yang Xue

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

Archive for the tag “beans”

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!

Super soup to boost the Spleen

We’re back for another exciting semester of Chinese Nutrition and Dietary Therapy!  I’m looking forward to what class 35 brings to the table–literally and figuratively!–in regards to interpreting and arranging foods geared towards helping a variety of imbalances.

We kicked off the semester with L. cooking for SP qi xu.  She brought some specificity to the assignment, creating this dish for her Spleen qi deficient son (whose signs and symptoms are listed as a case study below).   We should all be so lucky to have mothers that are doctors and chefs!  The tasty soup was a success, with most of us diving in for seconds (and thirds).  What surprised us the most as a class was how the look of the soup (a red, borscht-y vibe) differed wildly from its warm, spicy, almost chili-esque appeal.   This is sure to get your spleen AND your taste buds revved up!

TCM pattern: Spleen Qi Deficiency 

DOS: Damp-Phlegm obstructing the lung d/t underlying Spleen deficiency

Western Dx: Chronic Rhinitis

S/S: Profuse clear, white and slippery nasal discharge worse in am or post greasy meals, occasional sneezing upon awakening in am, frequent/loose BM, poor appetite, dizziness esp. in am, and hard time getting up in am.

T: Pink, moist, swollen with teethmarks

P: Rolling

Foods to add: Adzuki beans, cooked veggies especially beets, leafy greens, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, stews; apples (sweet and organic), apricots, dates, figs, grapes, raspberries. Drink warm drink like hot tea or room temperature water post meals.

Foods to avoid: Candy, celery, dairy, raw salads and vegetables, frozen foods, fruit juices, cold drinks, melon, pork, radishes, sugar, tofu or any fried, greasy, oily foods.

Helpful cooking methods: Steam instead of Fry. Cook with spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, fennel, garlic powder, nutmeg, ginger powder, pepper, sweet basil, and orange peel. Eat easy to digest food like soups, stews and cooked veggies.

Sp Xu Bean Soup


2 teaspoons whole cumin seed – promote bean digestion

7 cloves of garlic (smashed) – pungent, sweet, warm; Sp, St, Lu; warm MJ, reinforce St, aiding digestion, promote energy circulation

1 large red onion – pungent and bitter, warm; Lu, St, Li; activate yang and sending Qi downward

½ cup black beans – sweet, neutral; Sp, Kid; tonify Sp

¼ cup small red/adzuki beans – sweet, neutral; Sp, Li, Si; reinforce Sp and remove damp

1/8 cup garbanzo beans – Sweet flavor; benefit the St; contain more iron than other legumes and a good source of unsaturated fats.

¼ cup lentils beans –  neutral, mild flavor; stimulate the adrenal system

1 dried red chili pepper – pungent, hot; Sp, St, Li; warm MJ, reinforce St, restore appetite.

1 teaspoon turmeric powder – warm, bitter; promote protein digestion; healing properties/anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities

2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger – pungent, sl warm; Lu, Sp, St, warm MJ & Lu to transform phlegm/dampness

2 tomatoes (cubed) (wash seeds out) – sweet, sour, cool; St, Liv; promotes digestion, poor appetite

2 carrots (cubed)  – Sweet and neutral/ propensity for Sp, Lu, Liv. Reinforce Sp and aid digestion and send counterflow of qi downward.

1 beet root (cubed) – sweet, neutral; congested chest, poor energy circulation

1 Chicken breast cut up in small pieces – sweet, warm; Sp, St; warm MJ, nourish Sp, enriching & nourishing Q & blood.

Salt and peppers to taste

Bouillon to taste (optional)


Soak red/adzuki, black, and garbanzo beans for 5 hours, then boil until tender

Add lentil beans, chili peppers, ginger, turmeric, and cumin

Brown chicken with garlic and onions and pour into original mixture.

Add tomatoes, beets and carrots and cook until tender.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Additional ingredients if you like roots

Yucca root

Taro root – pungent, sweet, neutral with a light toxicity; reinforce Sp and St


Foods to help boost Spleen Qi

D.R. created our inaugural spread, and what a spread it was!  She outdid herself, creating a calming, therapeutic environment in which to eat this healing food.  She even used yellow utensils and plates (yellow being the color of the Spleen in Five Element Chinese Medicine) and used LED tealights and sounds of nature MP3 for ambiance!  She requested that we do a 2 minute meditation before eating, and then we all ate in silence for 12 minutes (chewing our food very carefully).  What an experience!   Here are the details of D.R.’s project below, in her own words::
~  ~  ~  ~

TCM Pattern: Spleen Qi Xu (Spleen Qi Deficiency)

  • Western Diagnosis/ Correlation:: Diarrhea, gastroenteritis, anemia, gastric/duodenal ulcer
  • Signs & Symptoms:: poor appetite, fatigue, sallow complexion, abdominal distention, loose stools
  • Pulse:: weak
  • Tongue:: pale, thin white coat, possibly swollen, teeth marks as condition worsens
  • For Dietary Therapy Choose:  Foods that are warm, neutral and sweet, chewed well in small to moderate amounts, or congees or soups.
  • Avoid: Raw foods, salads, salsa, milk, cheese, and excesses of fruit, juices, and sugar.
Today’s Menu:
  • Sweet potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Brown Sugar (small amount)
  •  Black beans with Leeks and Black Pepper
  •  White Beans with Carrots
  •  Yellow squash with Black Pepper
  •  Brown rice
Cooking Methods chosen:
  • Baking  supplies yang energy
  • Boiling/Simmering Prolonged boiling at several hours at medium/high temperature adds yang energy to yin foods although vegetarian stews can decrease the energetic process over time so warming spices can be adds to increase yang energy.
  • Frying with little oil high heat/short time (similar to woking)- supplies food with yang energy.


Sweet potatoes: clean poke holes in to vent,
                          Bake at 325 degrees x 1 hour,
                          Peel put in mixing bowl
                          Add dash of nutmeg, cinnamon, and brown sugar to taste
                          Mash to soft consistency adding water as needed until desired consistency
Black beans:  canned or dry-cook beans in their own juice add water as needed
                      2 medium leeks cleaned and cut to desired size
                      Black pepper to taste
                      Boil over med heat until soft, decrease heat to low and simmer 3-6 + hours
White beans:  canned or dry beans
                       Cook beans per instructions in their own juices
                       Carrots cut into ¼ inch pieces
                       Black pepper to taste
                       Boil over med/ high heat until soft, decrease heat to low and simmer 3-6 + hours; add vegetable broth if desired
Yellow squash:  clean cut into ¼ inch pieces,
                            Heat pan to high with small amount oil and spices red/black pepper, dash sea salt, fry quickly until slightly browned and soft turning frequently.

In Chinese Medicine it is recommended to eat foods in a relaxed atmosphere, chewing each bite at least 10- 15 times before swallowing.  Positive emotions generally promote good qi flow and during meals allow free flow of spleen qi to support smooth transportation for transformation to begin.  Negative emotions may block smooth digestive qi flow for spleen and stomach.

Of note in dietary therapy for spleen, any strengthening of blood also will supplement the spleen.

The classic texts recommend:

“When angry, it is easy to swallow food, but hard to digest it.  When sad, it is hard to swallow and digest food.  When experiencing strong emotions, it is advisable to delay eating until they have disappeared.  Foods should always be ingested at the proper time, this makes it easier to digest them.  Delaying eating and being able to digest food is better  than eating too soon and not being able to digest.  Digestive problems are accompanied by trouble, while good digestion frees a person from worry.  It is not advisable to eat when strong emotions are brewing.”

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