Ying Yang Xue

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

Archive for the tag “cumin”

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.

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


Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: