Ying Yang Xue

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

Archive for the tag “celery”

Delicious Damp Heat Congee

JG rounded out the semester with an absolutely divine damp heat-draining congee.  (A congee is a rice-based porridge, slow-cooked with a lot of water, that is particularly beneficial to the middle jiao–the spleen and stomach.)  When you hear the word congee, you usually think “bland bland bland.”  When you think of foods that typically drain damp, you think “bland bland bland.”   I cannot tell you how much further from “bland” this wonderful congee was!  Slow cooked for 7+ hours, JG added the perfect amount of seasonings without comprising this dish’s ability to clear heat.  I must admit I have several bowls of this…and I stopped only at “several” to uphold my dainty, lady-like reputation (*ahem*).

TCM DOS: Damp heat

Western Correlations: leukorrhea, jaundice, eczema, psoriasis, boils, hepatitis, tenesmus,
dysentery, UTI, conjunctivitis, ear infection with yellow/green discharge, bronchitis/pneumonia
with coughing up yellow phlegm,

TCM s/s: yellow discharge (c/b foul odor) of genitals, ears, eyes, nose; yellow phlegm when
coughing; skin rash that is red & oozy; loose stool with blood, mucus, and/or foul odor; ascites

Tongue: red, thick yellow & greasy coat

Pulse: rapid, slippery

Foods that help: aduki beans, alfalfa, amaranth, basmati rice, celery, Job’s tears, lettuce, mung

bean, pumpkin, turnip

Foods to avoid: alcohol, greasy, fatty, fried, foods; hot, spicy foods/spices (think ginger, onion, garlic, etc); nuts; oats; beef, chicken egg, lamb, pork; dairy; excess sweets; excess raw fruits/vegetables

Helpful cooking methods: If patient has weak digestion make sure to steam, boil, roast vegetables for easy digestion.

Damp Heat-Clearing Congee


• 2 cups rice; basmati not recommended because it doesn’t brake up ( I used Lundberg Wild

• 12 cups vegetable broth

• 6 cups water
~About 1 cup rice to 5-10 cups water/broth. Thicker congee: 1:5 rice:water/broth
Soupy congee: 1:10 rice:water/broth. It’s better to use too much water/broth, then too little.

• 4 bay leaves (for flavor only, not to be eaten)

• Salt to taste

• Cumin 1/4-1/2 tsp

• Garlic powder 1/8-1/4 tsp (caution: just to taste because to warming for damp heat)

4 tops of carrots only (used for medicinal purpose only, not to be eaten)

1 cup fresh diced pumpkin (7oz = 1/2 can canned pumpkin)

1 cup fresh diced sweet potato/yam

1 can (15oz) rinsed aduki beans

1 stalk celery, cut into smiley face


• Place rice, vegetable broth, water, bay leaf, salt, cumin, garlic powder, carrot tops in crock pot and cook on low heat for 7 hours (can cook on higher setting for approximately 5 hours, but “the longer congee cooks, the more powerful it becomes”~ Paul Pitchford)

• Add pumpkin, sweet potato/yam, aduki beans, & celery to congee and cook for an additional 1-2 hours when the congee is thick, rice is fully broken down, and vegetables are tender.

Damp Heat

• Congee itself is good for dampness, heat conditions, & tonifying the spleen

• Pumpkin is cooling and relieves damp conditions

• Sweet potato/yam is cooling and strengthens the spleen

• Aduki beans detoxify the body, remove heat conditions, & are used for damp & watery conditions

• Celery is cooling, dries damp, & used for excess heat conditions

• Carrot tops are good for damp conditions


*Amazing website for congee benefits, preparation, cooking methods, properties of grains, legumes, meats, herbs, vegetables, and fruits that could be used, and it list different recipes for different TCM diagnosis.

Check it out:

The Journal of Chinese Medicine Read Periodicals: Congee – Longevity Food for Life, 2/1/2010

Celery smiles & Snowballs in Florida

KH came at Liver Qi Stagnation from two angles: nourishing the liver and calming the shen, and using the sour taste to move liver qi.   He absolutely hit it out of the park on both counts!   KH attained the ever-elusive perfect amount of sweetness in the cherry date balls (I wasn’t sure with the first one, so I had to have 16 more).  His pickled carrots, however, were an unexpected hit.  They came with a warning that they would, in fact, move our qi in a big way; I think it’s fair to say that they lived up to that promise in the most delicious, healthy way.  They woke up our tastebuds and got that liver qi zingin’.

OH!  I almost forgot the best part! Be sure to pay attention to KH’s instruction for the pickled carrots–he instructs us to cut the celery into 1/2 “smiles.”  You know your dish is going to be good when “smile” is used as a unit of measurement.

TCM DOS:  Liver Qi Stagnation

TCM SS:  Chest Distention, Hypochondriac Pain and or Distention, Sighing, Nausea, Vomiting, Poor Appetite, Diarrhea, Depression, Irritability Moodiness, Plum Pit Qi, PMS, Breast Tenderness, Painful and or Irregular Menstruation.  Tongue:  Light Red with Thin White Coat.  Pulse:  Wiry

Western Correlations:  Amenorrhea, Chest Pain, Chronic Cholecystitis, Depression, Dysmenorrhea, Gastritis, Headache, Hypochondriac Pain, Indigestion, Irregular menstruation, Irritable Bowle Syndrome.

Foods that Help: Onions, Garlic, Celery, Mustard Greens, Turmeric, Basil, Bay Leaf, Cardamom, Cumin, Fennel Marjoram, Dill, Black Pepper, Horse Raddish, Cerry, Rosemary, Pickeled Vegetables, Cabbage, Beets, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Carrots, Plums,

Foods to Avoid: Alcohol, Caffinated Coffee, Fatty or Fried Foods, Highly Processed or Refined Foods, Very Spicy or Hot Foods, Heavy Red Meats, Sweet and Sugary Foods.

Lifestyle:  If you feel the symptoms of Liver Qi Stagnation: Disengage for a while from the internet, video games and email, including your phone.    Light exercise such as walking can help to move your qi and Tai Chi or Yoga can provide both exercise and relaxation.  Don’t forget to receive regular acupuncture treatments to be your best.

Helpful Cooking Methods: lightly cooked, steamed or boiled

Easy Peasy Cherry Date Balls

This recipe is a variation of “No Bake Cherry Date Balls” from www.dishbytrish.com

This recipe is dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan.  They will keep in the refrigator for 5-7 days or you can freeze them.  This recipe should make about 15 one inch balls.


1/3 cup each of Pine nuts, sunflower seeds and Pumpkin seeds

Pinch of fine sea salt

2/3 cup Medjool dates, pitted

1/3 cup dried cherries, unsweetened

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons water

¼ cup flaked coconut, unsweetened


Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place seeds and salt in a blender or food processor and blend until fine.  Add dates and cherries and pulse until incorporated.  Add vanilla and water and pulse for a few seconds or until the mixture is sticky.  Shape mixture into 1-inch smooth balls.  Mix seeds and coconut together.  Dip date balls into coconut flakes. Place on baking sheet and freeze for 1 hour.  Serve cool.

The dates calm the spirt and have a sedative effect.  The cherries nourish the liver.  Pine nuts are good for the Liver and treats vertigo and dizziness.

Sunflower seeds subdues the liver and pumkin seeds are green which is the 5E color of the liver.

Zanahorias en escabeche: Pickled Carrots, Mexican Style

From www.foodfromeast.com


1-2 quarts apple cider vinegar

8 large carrots, well scrubbed and sliced into ½ inch pieces

4 celery stalks cut into ½ inch smiles

6 large bay leaves

4 allspice berries

1 Tablespoon cumin seeds ( I had to substituted ¾ Tablespoon ground cumin)

2 tsp sea salt


Place carrots in large steel pot, add the seasonings and cover with vinegar, bring all ingredients to a boil, then turn off heat.  Pour into a large glass jar and let cool to room temperture.  Add celery smiles and refrigerate over night.  Other vegetables such as jicama or cucumbers may be added.

The Vinegar strongly moves liver qi as it is warm, pungent and slightly bitter.  The carrots are sweet, neutral and improve liver function. Celery calms the liver as well as reduces hypertension.  The bay leaves, allspice and cumin are acrid and move qi and promote digestion.

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