Ying Yang Xue

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

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Tempeh: Liver Blood Booster (and its sidekick, Cookies!)

Rounding out our week of the “Wrath of the Food Gods,” MI made a delicious meal for us–twice.  (The first go-round was sacrificed to the Pavement deities after it decided it wanted to ride on the hood of her car).  Luckily for us, second time was a charm and MI brought it a well-rounded assortment of Liver Blood boosting treats, including dessert!   We also got to try good old fashioned molasses (“on a spoon” style) which seemed to divide our class quite equally (I myself am in the “Yay, Molasses!” camp).  Her array of condiments proved deliciously well-suited and it was the first exposure to tempeh for many in the class.

TCM DOS: Liver Blood Deficiency

with Blood Stasis from Cold

Western Correlation:  Dysmenorrhea and/or Irregular periods with Pain

Tongue: thin body, pale to purple, dry

Pulse: thin, weak; could be wiry or thready


Scanty and Irregular menstrual periods (LV Blood Deficiency) with large dark clots and severe pain (Blood Stasis from Cold)

Floaters, blurred vision, dry eyes, dizziness (LV Blood Deficiency)

Pale, Sallow Complexion, lips, and nails; also dry and brittle hair, skin, and nails (LV Blood Deficiency)

Cold Lower Abdomen with or without palpable cysts, fibroids, or lumps (Blood Stasis from Cold)


1) Liver Blood Deficiency: Chloryphyll-rich foods, microalgae, spirulina, wheat grass, leafy greens and sprouts (the darker and more freshly picked the better–kale, swiss chard, spinach), foods rich in iron and B12 , and cooked  whole  grains:  rice,  oats,  roasted  barley, sweet  rice,  spelt,  millet, pumpkin,  sweet  potatoes,  squash,  carrots,  corn,  parsnips,  yams,  peas,  stewed fruit,  onions,  leeks,  garlic,  turnip,  mushrooms  including  oyster  &  shitake, spinach,  chard,  kale,  chinese  greens,  beets,  parsley, celery, lychee  fruit,  coconut, grapes (esp. raisins),  cherries, blackberries, huckleberries, mulberries, black legumes  in  general,  chick  peas,  black  beans,  kidney  beans,  fava  beans,  tempeh, chicken,  beef,  pork,  Chinese  black  boned  chicken,  quail,  goose,  rabbit,  frog, organic  liver,  pigeon,  eggs,  organic  bone  marrow, mackerel,  tuna,  anchovy,  perch,  eel,  catfish,  oysters,  mussels,  shark,  shrimp, prawns,  clams,  seaweeds, fresh  ginger, black  sesame  seeds, peanut,  molasses,  rice  syrup,  barley  malt,  dates,  figs, sugar  cane, wheat  grass,  miso,  vegemite,  marmite

Foods to Avoid for Liver Blood Deficiency: salads,  raw  fruits,  sprouts,  raw  vegetables, excess  amounts  of  tofu,  dairy  or  nut  butters  and  other  high  oil  foods, overly  sweet  foods,  refined  sugars,  high  doses  of  vitamin  C, stimulants like coffee, tobacco, and chocolate; cold foods  like  ice  cream  or  smoothies, iced  drinks  including  ice  water

2) Blood Stasis from Cold: turmeric,  basil,  nutmeg,  oregano,  rosemary,  white  pepper,  hawthorn  berries, shallots,  leeks,  chives,  garlic,  ginger,  taro  root,  eggplant,  mushrooms  especially wood  ear  mushrooms, aduki  beans,  chestnuts,  kidney  beans, crab,  jellyfish,  mussels,  clams,  sea  cucumber,  abalone, red  wine  (small  amounts),  kelp  and  other  seaweeds,  sugar  cane,  vinegar,  rose water

Foods to Avoid for Blood Stasis from Cold: same as for Liver Blood Deficiency


Helpful Cooking Methods: Avoid Frying and Roasting, Light Steaming is best, Boiling is okay, but provides less nutrition

1) For Liver Blood Deficiency: In  general  it  is  best to  eat  foods that  are  lightly  cooked to  ensure that  nutrients are  preserved  and  are  more  readily  digested  and  absorbed.  General  dietary recommendations  to  prevent  deficiency  include  eating  high  quality  proteins, lightly  cooked  vegetables  and  chewing  meals  thoroughly. Meals  should  emphasize  leafy  green  vegetables,  roughly  30%  to  40  %  of  your  diet and  high  quality  protein  sources,  roughly  20% –  30%  of  you  diet.  The  balance  of the  diet  should  center  around  complex  carbohydrates,  like  whole  grains  and lightly  cooked  vegetables.

2) For Blood Stasis: meals  should  consist  largely  of  lightly  cooked  vegetables,  roughly  40%  to  60%  of your  diet. About  30%  of the  diet  should  be  comprised  of  complex  carbohydrates. Proteins  should  comprise  only  about  10%  of  the  diet,  with  a  focus  on  high  quality sources.  The  diet  should  also  include  plenty  of  fragrant  and  lightly  spiced dishes.  Highly  processed  foods  and  well  as  oily  and  fatty  foods  should  be  avoided.


Tempeh to Keep the Tempo


2  eight ounce packages of Organic Tempeh cut into 16 pieces each or more

1 T. Braggs Liquid Aminos

3-4 T. Red Wine Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar

2-3 T. Olive Oil

1 cubic cm Ginger Root grated

1/2 cup Organic Shitake Mushrooms cut long-ways into thin strips, no stem

1-2 cup Hot Water

1/2 of a Large White Onion chopped

3/4 cup frozen Organic Kale (massage first and chop up if using fresh)

1/2 cup fresh Organic Baby Spinach

1/4 of a head of Organic Red Cabbage chopped (loosely)

1/4 tsp. Garlic powder or 1 clove minced garlic

1/4 cup Toasted Black Sesame Seeds


1) Marinate Tempeh in Olive Oil, Braggs, Vinegar, Ginger and 1/4 c. Shitake Mushrooms Steeped in Hot Water for ~ 5 min. first and added (with the water) for 2 hours or more (overnight would be best)

2)  Pour Tempeh and Marinade in pan, add the Onion, and Sautee over medium heat for 5 minutes or so until the Onion is soft, then add the Kale and Spinach.  Sautee for 5 more minutes until the Spinach and Kale are soft, but still vibrant.  Add the Cabbage, remaining mushrooms (not steeped) and garlic to taste, stir, and cover for 15-20 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring 3 or 4 times.  Mix in Toasted Sesame Seeds, leaving some to garnish.

3) Serve immediately or store and let the flavors develop further.  Serve alone or with Sauer Kraut and Mustard of your choice, appropriate spices and seasonings.

This sauerkraut packed a delightful punch!

Spirulina, blackstrap molasses, and Bragg's sea kelp delight--the cornerstone accoutrement of anyone deficient in Liver Blood.


Thrice the Benefit Vegan Oatmeal Cookies


3/4 cup Vegan Butter

1/3 cup Organic Raw Sugar (can be replaced by honey or Stevia or try applesauce or bananas, etc.)

3/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar (contains molasses)

1 tsp Organic Vanilla

1/2 cup Almond Milk

1 cup Organic Oat Flour

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/4 tsp Ginger Powder

1/4 tsp Cloves

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/4 tsp Nutmeg

3 cups Quick Cooking or Rolled Oatmeal

1/2 c. Organic Raisins

1/4 c. Organic Goji Berries

4-5 Large Organic Medjool Dates pitted and chopped


1) Cream together the Vegan Butter and Sugars until smooth. Add Organic Vanilla and Almond Milk and mix well.

2) Add Organic Oat Flour, Baking Soda and Spices until well mixed, then stir in Oats, Raisins, Goji Berries, and Dates.

3) Spoon 1 1/2 inch balls onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees, or until done– careful not to let them burn.


Hackett, Jolinda.  “Spiced Vegan Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies.” http://vegetarian.about.com/od/desertrecipes/r/oatcrancookies.htm

Liu, Jilin.  Chinese Dietary Therapy. 1995.

Ni, Maoshing.  Tao of Nutrition.  1993.

Pitchford, Paul.  Healing with Whole Foods.  2003.

Saper, James. Traditional Chinese Dietary Therapy Factsheets. http://www.eastmountain.ca

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!

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