Ying Yang Xue

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

Archive for the tag “garbanzo”

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 Nourish Blood

When we speak about a “blood deficiency” (or “xue xu“) in Chinese Medicine , it oftentimes correlates with a clinical anemia.  In these cases, many practitioners guide their patients towards incorporating more meat in their diets.  Anemia is typically related to either a vitamin B12 or an iron deficiency, with animal flesh being a good source of both these micronutrients.  However, addressing a blood deficiency with the diet goes beyond supplementing with those two nutrients; it addresses the multiple organ systems in charge of creating, storing, and circulating the blood.

This week, S.V. has made a blood nourishing meal that is devoid of all meat.  The class chose to address blood deficiency in this meatless manner because it is very often our vegetarian or vegan patients who are also blood deficient.  It would be beneficial for every practitioner to have a way to address this imbalance that fits in with a vegetarian diet.   So, without further ado–building blood without meat!


TCM pattern: Xue xu (blood deficiency)

Xue Xu is d/t:

1. an inadequate intake of nutrients

2. an inability of the body to absorb nutrients

3. blood loss through GI bleeding or excessive menstrual flow

4. chronic disease process

5. blood stasis preventing the production of new blood


Dizziness, palpitations, nervousness, pale or sallow complexion, pale conjunctiva, lips & nails, insomnia, somnolence, lassitude, forgetfulness, tinnitus, SOB on exertion, thinness, spots in the vision field, unusual hair loss &/or premature graying & thinning of hair, dry skin & hair, fingernails that are flat or fragile, numbness in hands & feet, light menstrual flow, puffiness of the face, and edema of the lower limbs.

Tongue & Pulse vary according to TCM dx:

1. Qi & Blood Xu:  pale & swollen Tongue w/ thin coat; weak & thready Pulse

2. LV Yin & KD Yin Xu:  red Tongue w/ thin coat; thready, rapid, & forceless Pulse

3. SP Yang & KD Yang Xu:  pale Tongue; deep & thready Pulse

Chinese dietary therapy:

Foods to include would be tonics for the Blood & Qi since they usually occur simultaneously.  “Qi is the leader of Blood and Blood produces Qi.”

Not only is it important to include foods rich in iron, but also foods that contain adequate amounts of high quality protein, copper, vitamin C & B vitamins as these are needed for iron absorption.

Therapeutic foods include whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, sprouts, green foods and vegetables.

Some examples are blackstrap molasses, kale, avocado, black sesame seed, seaweed, cereal grasses, nettles, spirulina, spinach, lychee, apricot, blackberry, longan, cherries and raisins

To purify blood:  beets, celery, cucumber, grapes (dark colored), lemon/lime, raspberry, salt, tomato, vinegar, watercress

To tonify & build:  blackberry, chlorophyll, dang gui, grapes (dark colored), mulberry, raspberry, spirulina, turnip, watercress

For your xue building pleasure today, we will be enjoying:

~Freshly Juiced Beets, Carrots, Apple, Celery & Lemon

~Roasted Beets and Ginger Root Dice Topped w/ Toasted Honey-Glazed Walnuts & Black Sesame Seeds

~Gently Browned Garbanzo’s with Cumin Spice Blend

~Japonica, Spinach, Raisins and Carrot Dressed Lightly with Bragg’s Amino Acids

Juice recipe

carrot, beet, apple, celery, lemon juice

in that order of ingredients to preference

Roasted beets & ginger root dice topped w/ honey-glazed walnuts & black sesame seeds

roasted beets:

preheat oven to 350

scrub beets to remove dirt; cut to desired size whether sticks, chunks or rounds

lightly coat w/ toasted walnut oil & put into baking dish

add fresh dice of ginger root (peeled)

baking time will depend on the size of the cut; but check after 20 mins and adjust as needed

when done, top w/ toasted honey-glazed walnuts & black sesame seeds

Honey-glazed walnuts & black sesame seeds

place saute pan on burner and turn stove on to med heat

add small amt of toasted walnut oil (or oil of choice) and spread on bottom of pan

add walnuts; stir to coat w/ oil

lightly brown walnuts (keep them moving)

add black sesame seeds

add slow drizzle of small amt of honey & keep stirring

add small amt of brown sugar; keep stirring

add small amount of warm water to dissolve sugar & to coat walnuts

add small drizzle unsulfured blackstrap molasses

as all of these ingredients are being added, keep the walnuts moving in the pan to keep from burning

sprinkle w/ cinnamon, racked sea salt & crushed red pepper

Gently browned garbanzo’s w/ cumin spice blend

1 bag frozen organic garbanzo’s thawed

place saute pan on stove over med heat

add oil of choice to pan & spread on bottom of pan

add garbanzo’s & brown to desired color

sprinkle w/ cumin & touch of india spice blend

drizzle small amt of honey

finish w/ glaze of bragg’s amino acids

Japonica, spinach, raisins & carrots

cook japonica according to directions and set aside to cool

once cool add:

baby spinach leaves sliced into fine ribbons

carrot shreds


gently mix & add braggs amino acids and a drizzle of toasted hazelnut oil


This meal was prepared mindfully using organic vegetables and spices (beets & parsley are local!)

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