Ying Yang Xue

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

Archive for the tag “salad”

Nourish Your Blood!!! Lentil Adzuki Soup

Class was a vegetarian gourmet affair with TR presenting a blood-nourishing Lentil Adzuki Bean Soup.  As we spooned downed the yummy goodness TR explained how legumes, kale, black wild rice, wheat berries and gou qi zi all assist the body in producing blood by nourishing the spleen, liver and kidney. The kale was prepared a special way by adding the ingredients and massaging the leaves and stalks.

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Blood Deficiency:

In a blood deficiency case the object is to build and nourish blood.  I used legumes such as adzuki beans and lentils which are not only high in protein but build blood.  Making a legume soup also is warm which the blood has a great affinity for.  I chose also to used such spices as ginger, turmeric, sugar and cinnamon for their warming and nourishing properties.  Warming properties are also very good for the spleen which is our main blood building organ.

I chose to use massaged kale and rice to top the dish in order to combine the sweet property of rice which the spleen also loves, and the rich chlorophyll packed kale for major blood building.  The ingredients such as legumes and kale are also very good for kidney energy which also plays a factor in generating bone marrow and contributing to blood.  So in some ways we tonify spleen and kidney with this dish to nourish blood.  Not to leave out our dear liver, these are also fabulous for it too!  One more thing, I chose to add some black wild rice, wheat berries and Gou Qi Zi, they all build blood are nourishing.

 

Lentil Adzuki Soup

 

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups leeks, thinly sliced

1 cup red onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

2 cups tomatoes, chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 cup green lentils, cleaned and rinsed

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or balsamic

5 cups vegetable stock

1 15 ounce can of adzuki beans, rinsed and drained

handful Gou Qi Zi

salt and freshly  ground pepper to taste

 

Garnish this dish with a scoop of cooked rice and massaged kale

1. Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or a stock pot with a heavy lid on a medium flame. Add the leeks and onion to the oil and cook for 5 minutes until they have softened.

2. Reduce the flame and add the turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger. Stir continuously for 1 minute.

3. Fold in the tomatoes, garlic, sugar, and lentils and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir this frequently to prevent the spices and garlic from burning.

4. Add the vinegar and stock to the pan, increase the flame and bring it to a boil. Once the contents of the pan begin to boil, reduce the flame, cover with the lid and allow the soup to simmer for 35-45 minutes until the lentils are completely cooked.

5. Stir in the aduki beans and season the soup with salt and pepper. Bring the soup again to a boil by increasing the heat and then reduce to a gentle simmer, cover with the lid and cook further for another 10 minutes. In last 10 minutes, toss in handful of Gou Qi Zi.

6. Garnish dish with cooked rice and massaged kale

 

Rice–cook white, black wild rice and wheat berries together for 25 min.

 

Massaged Kale!!!–2 Tbs olive oil, 1 Tbs Bragg’s amino acids, ½ lime (juice), pinch of salt. Combine dressing to your taste.  Toss chopped kale in dressing and massage for 3 minutes, leave overnight in refrigerator.  If you like you can massage it longer and use right away.

 

TCM Diagnosis:  Blood Deficiency

In the “Western world”, Blood Deficiency, aka “Xue Xu”, correlates with anemia, but you don’t have to have a low blood count to have symptoms of blood deficiency.  It’s usually caused by Spleen Qi deficiency (“Spleen is the mother of blood“) which reduces its ability to “T-n-T” (i.e. transform food into blood & energy, & transport it to the rest of the body). When blood becomes deficient, however, both the Heart & the Liver are affected as well (sing with me now: “Liver stores blood; Heart governs blood“). Various factors cause blood deficiency, including inappropriate diet/lifestyle, overwork (taxes the Spleen), holding in emotions, excess drinking/drug use (weakens Liver’s ability to store blood), menstrual disorders, post-partum blood loss, or genetic imbalances. There’s a wide range of symptoms since Xue Xu affects almost all systems in the body.  Symptoms may include:  palpitations, forgetfulness, poor memory, insomnia, shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue, excessive dreaming, constipation, pale complexion, pale and dry, cracked lips, dry mouth, headache with lightheadedness, floaters, anxiety, numbness or tingling in limbs, dry skin/hair/nails, irregular/light menses; Tongue: pale; Pulse: thin or choppy.  Chinese herbs used to treat symptoms of blood deficiency do so bynourishing and/or tonifying blood.  Some of these include:  Dang Gui: (Chinese Angelica root); Bai Shao (White Peony root); Long Yan Rou (Longan); Hong Zao/Da Zao (red/black dates); and Gou Qi Zi  (Chinese Wolfberry).

Foods Used For Blood Deficiency:
Most of the iron in our diet comes from meat sources such as beef, liver (yes, liver!), oysters, chicken, eggs, etc., but yes – you can also nourish blood with a non-meat diet that’s rich in iron. These are just some of the foods that are believed to help blood deficiency: asparagus, grapes, potatoes, royal jelly, yams, berries (raspberries, blackberries, etc), squash, carrots, kale, spinach, beets, even grains!  On the other hand, you need to avoid foods (in excess) that are cold, raw, damp or greasy (they damage the Spleen), as well as alcohol or drugs.    Foods that nourish & tonify blood (such as beef, lamb, carrots, etc.) are considered ‘warming’ so they go very well during the late autumn & winter seasons – hence why we gravitate so  much more towards stews and casseroles  around the winter holidays.  These warm, acrid & sweet flavors build up our Qi & Blood  – if you’re feeling chilled to the bone, how about a nice bowl of hot marrow broth?  Any of the warming methods (e.g. grilling, roasting, baking or simmering) work well as a way of preparing blood building dishes.  And, in between your acupuncture treatments, you can apply acupressure to the same points we would needle to stimulate “Blee & Chud” (aka Qi & Blood) boosting effects: UB 17, UB 20, LVR 8 & SP 6.

References:
Macciocia, Giovanni.  Foundations  of Chinese Medicine
Kaptchuk TJ. The Web That Has No Weaver: Understanding Chinese Medicine.
Paul Pitchford.  Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition
Jilin, Liu & Peck, Gordon. Chinese Dietary Therapy.
Ody, Penelope.   The Chinese Herbal Cookbook: Healing Foods from East and West.

 

 

Ducking Damp Heat

SC ended this semester with a bang–a damp heat clearing bang!  In fact, this final meal of the semester was parlayed into a baby shower for a classmate, so the festive air really did the meal justice. SC went all out, preparing duck (a dish she remembered fondly from her recent trip to China), a green salad, a fruit salad, and lima beans. I’m pretty sure I managed to eat about a pound of lima beans–I just couldn’t stop!  Everything was presented beautifully–our spleens assuredly gave this meal an A+ for Aesthetics (not to mention taste).

Pretty sure my body weight is now 13% lima beans.

Pretty sure my body weight is now 13% lima beans.

TCM DOS: Damp Heat

DAMP HEAT CONSTITUTIONS:

  • Persons with Damp Heat constitutions easily develop skin sores, and if they are young, acne.  Their face is often shiny and oily.  They have a dry mouth and there will be a slightly bitter taste in the mouth.  There is a tendency towards anger and irritability.  Often they feel fatigued and have a lack of energy.  They will be somewhat impatient and anxious.  They like eating oily, sweet and fried foods.  Their stools are usually dry.  There will be scanty urine that is more yellow in color.  If they get sick it is often associated with emotional upset or associated with the food that they have eaten.  Their pulse is slippery and fast and their tongue has a red body and a sticky yellow coat.

 USEFUL FOODS:

  • Majority of foods should be vegetables and foods that remove dampness and heat such as:  Adzuki beans, lima beans, mung beans, black beans, celery, carrots, winter squash, potatoes with skins, asparagus, mushrooms, corn, peas, amaranth, Chinese barley, day lily, bamboo shoots, wax gourd, white gourd, cucumber and duck
  • Lemon (diluted juice), cranberry juice, huckleberries, bananas, Chinese pears and watermelon.
  • Useful herbal teas:  Uvaursi, dandelion leaf, plantain leaf, flax seed, watermelon seed and pipsissewa (pipsissewa is good for chronic bladder infections).

FOODS TO AVOID:

  • Refined sugar and other concentrated sweeteners, meat, greasy, oily foods, too much starch, and overeating.

Damp Heat Draining Green Salad

green salad damp heat

Chopped Celery

5 Day Lily Bulbs chopped

Grated Carrots

Spinach (raw)

2 Radishes sliced

1 Cucumber

½ cup Mushrooms

Watercress

Handful of Grape Tomatoes

¼ cup Black Sesame Seeds

Toss all ingredients together. Use dressing of choice.

Damp Heat Draining Fruit Salad

Fact*: having fun drains damp faster.  (*this may or may not be true.)

Fact*: having fun drains damp faster. (*this may or may not be true.)

Fresh Pineapple    2 cups

Fresh Honeydew   2 cups

Fresh Cantaloupe   2 cups

Fresh Mandarin Oranges   2 cups

Fresh Pears   2 cups

Mix all fruit together after cubing. Refrigerate and serve chilled.

The teeny tiny forks served with the fruit salad MAY have changed my life.

The teeny tiny forks served with the fruit salad MAY have changed my life.

PEKING DUCK

damp heat peking duck

Beijing’s most famous dish, Peking Duck is traditionally served with Mandarin pancakes, and green onions for brushing on the hoisin sauce. Note: If you don’t live near a cool, windy place another option is to dry the duck in an unheated room with a fan blowing on it.

Prep Time: 10 hours, 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Total Time: 11 hours, 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • One 5 to 6 pound duck
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 slice ginger
  • 1 scallion, cut into halves
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sherry
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 3 tablespoons water
  • Scallions for garnish

Preparation:

Clean duck. Wipe dry and tie string around neck.
Hang duck in cool, windy place 4 hours.
Fill large wok with water. Bring to boil. Add ginger, scallion, honey, vinegar, and sherry. Bring to boil. Pour in dissolved cornstarch. Stir constantly.
Place duck in large strainer above larger bowl. Scoop boiling mixture all over duck for about 10 minutes.
Hang duck again in cool, windy place for 6 hours until thoroughly dry.
Place duck breast side up on a greased rack in oven preheated to 350 degrees. Set a pan filled with 2 inches of water in bottom of oven.
(This is for drippings). Roast 30 minutes.
Turn duck and roast 30 minutes more. Turn breast side up again. Roast 10 minutes more.
Use sharp knife to cut off crispy skin. Serve meat and skin immediately on a prewarmed dish.
The duck is eaten hot with hoisin sauce rolled in Mandarin Crepes. Garnish with scallion flowerets.

peking duck scallions damp heat

Cafe Bu Xue ~ Building blood, the gourmet way!

Today’s class was truly a holiday affair, with AS and AJ preparing a blood-nourishing Thanksgiving feast.  This post covers both AS and AJ’s projects, as together they transformed our eating area into “Cafe Bu Xue” (or “Build Blood”), complete with candles and flowers. AS outdid herself by preparing a date appetizer, salad, pot roast and a couscous dish, while AJ brought it home with a raspberry tiramisu for the record books. This was, by all accounts, a huge treat…it’s been a long time since the whole class was so silent, everyone contentedly munching on this blood-building buffet.

Little eggs, big taste.

I must say, this meal contained a first for me: quail eggs.  Everything is better miniature! Actually, two firsts: AS also brought in a jar of hibiscus blossoms in syrup designed for flavoring and garnishing cocktails.  The craziest we could get with our cocktails in an academic setting was ginger ale, but it was still a beautiful sight!  (I can vouch for their beauty in champagne, too, as I brought a jar of the blooms to our family Thanksgiving meal.  Be prepared for about 1,000 “What IS that?!”‘s tossed your way, though!)

Fancying up a glass of ginger ale with a hibiscus blossom!

Feast your eyes on the menu–then go make yourself some blood-boosting goodness.  As always, click on the pictures to see larger mouth-watering images!

 

Appetizer:

~ Festive Stuffed Medjool Dates – chockful of goodies

Medjool dates stuffed with sunshine.

~ Spinach, Chard, Kale & Roasted Beet Salad, topped off with Quirky Quail Eggs, Craisins, Walnuts and  a Balsamic Vinaigrette drizzle

Entrée:~ Hearty Crock-Pot Roast; slow-roasted with Carrots, Field Peas, Pearl Onions & Baby Red Potatoes

~ Couscous with Cranberries, Almonds & Pine-Nuts

Couscous a la Xue

Dessert:~ Rascally Royal Raspberry Tiramisu  &  Sparkling “Ale” with Hibiscus Flowers

 

TCM Diagnosis:  Blood Deficiency

In the “Western world”, Blood Deficiency, aka “Xue Xu”, correlates with anemia, but you don’t have to have a low blood count to have symptoms of blood deficiency.  It’s usually caused by Spleen Qi deficiency (“Spleen is the mother of blood“) which reduces its ability to “T-n-T” (i.e. transform food into blood & energy, & transport it to the rest of the body). When blood becomes deficient, however, both the Heart & the Liver are affected as well (sing with me now: “Liver stores blood; Heart governs blood“). Various factors cause blood deficiency, including inappropriate diet/lifestyle, overwork (taxes the Spleen), holding in emotions, excess drinking/drug use (weakens Liver’s ability to store blood), menstrual disorders, post-partum blood loss, or genetic imbalances. There’s a wide range of symptoms since Xue Xu affects almost all systems in the body.  Symptoms may include:  palpitations, forgetfulness, poor memory, insomnia, shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue, excessive dreaming, constipation, pale complexion, pale and dry, cracked lips, dry mouth, headache with lightheadedness, floaters, anxiety, numbness or tingling in limbs, dry skin/hair/nails, irregular/light menses; Tongue: pale; Pulse: thin or choppy.  Chinese herbs used to treat symptoms of blood deficiency do so bynourishing and/or tonifying blood.  Some of these include:  Dang Gui: (Chinese Angelica root); Bai Shao (White Peony root); Long Yan Rou (Longan); Hong Zao/Da Zao (red/black dates); and Gou Qi Zi  (Chinese Wolfberry).

Foods Used For Blood Deficiency:
Most of the iron in our diet comes from meat sources such as beef, liver (yes, liver!), oysters, chicken, eggs, etc., but yes – you can also nourish blood with a non-meat diet that’s rich in iron. These are just some of the foods that are believed to help blood deficiency: asparagus, grapes, potatoes, royal jelly, yams, berries (raspberries, blackberries, etc), squash, carrots, kale, spinach, beets, even grains!  On the other hand, you need to avoid foods (in excess) that are cold, raw, damp or greasy (they damage the Spleen), as well as alcohol or drugs.    Foods that nourish & tonify blood (such as beef, lamb, carrots, etc.) are considered ‘warming’ so they go very well during the late autumn & winter seasons – hence why we gravitate so  much more towards stews and casseroles  around the winter holidays.  These warm, acrid & sweet flavors build up our Qi & Blood  – if you’re feeling chilled to the bone, how about a nice bowl of hot marrow broth?  Any of the warming methods (e.g. grilling, roasting, baking or simmering) work well as a way of preparing blood building dishes.  And, in between your acupuncture treatments, you can apply acupressure to the same points we would needle to stimulate “Blee & Chud” (aka Qi & Blood) boosting effects: UB 17, UB 20, LVR 8 & SP 6.

References:
Macciocia, Giovanni.  Foundations  of Chinese Medicine
Kaptchuk TJ. The Web That Has No Weaver: Understanding Chinese Medicine.
Paul Pitchford.  Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition
Jilin, Liu & Peck, Gordon. Chinese Dietary Therapy.
Ody, Penelope.   The Chinese Herbal Cookbook: Healing Foods from East and West.

My Tried & True Easy Crock Pot Roast to Nourish Blood

Ingredients:
1 3-pound boneless chuck roast
2 tsps seasoning salt
2 tsps black pepper
3 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped celery
1 large carrot cut into ½” pieces
4 small baby red potatoes, washed & cubed
¼ cup frozen green peas
12 small pearl onions or shallots
3 or 4 beef bouillon cubes, crushed
½ cup water (or, better yet:  red wine, extra oomph to boost that blood!)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Directions:
Sprinkle roast on all sides with seasoning salt & black pepper.    Put roast in deep dish with next 4 ingredients; cover & marinate overnight in refrigerator.  Next day, allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, then heat vegetable oil in skillet.  Brown roast on all sides; drain oil but keep pan drippings (browning the meat makes the whole dish tastier and gives the pan juices an appetizing deep brown color). Sauté sliced onions & celery in pan drippings for 2 minutes.  Place roast in a crock pot, and top with all ingredients except bouillon cubes.  Dissolve bouillon cubes in ½ cup water (or red wine J ).  Pour over roast.  Cook on low setting for 8 hours.    Allow to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before slicing; better yet, shred roast & let it soak up all that loving juices of the gravy!

Spinach, Kale, Chard & Roasted Beets salad


Ingredients:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 bunch Lacinto kale, triple-washed; center ribs and stems removed, leaves cut into 1-inch squares
1 bunch Spinach (about 8 ozs), washed
1 bunch red chard, washed’ center ribs & stems removed; leaves cut into 1-inch squares
1/4 cup minced shallots/sliced red onions
3 medium beets (about 1 bunch), trimmed, washed & peeled; cut into small wedges
4 ounces feta/goat/bleu cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinaigrette
4 Quail eggs, hard boiled (just as you would make boiled eggs), coarsely chopped
¼ cup dried cranberries (Craisins) or Goji berries
¼  cup walnuts/pecans

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°. Grease shallow baking sheet with olive oil & arrange beets in 1 layer.  Roast for about 20 minutes or until fork tender then allow to cool.  Mix kale&  spinach together.  Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette & fold gently to combine. Top with roasted beet wedges.  Sprinkle with chopped shallots or red onions, cheese of choice, cranberries & nuts.  Cover and chill, at least 3 hours.

~~~~

Rascally Royal Raspberry Tiramisu

Tiramisu

1 (12 oz.) bag white chocolate pieces

3 pkg.  cream cheese, softened

2 pkg of Lady Fingers

2 pt. baskets fresh strawberries, stemmed, divided or other fresh berries

1 1/2 cups raspberries, rinsed and patted dry

2 Tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons Chambord or other raspberry-flavored liqueur or ruby port

1/2 cup Raspberry coulis

2 cups heavy cream

Raspberry Coulis

2 cups raspberries (about 12 ounces), rinsed

3/4 cup simple syrup

1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice (fresh)

1/2 Tablespoon cornstarch

Simple Syrup

2 cups sugar

2 cups water

Raspberry Coulis

Bring the raspberries, syrup and lemon juice to a simmer in a medium saucepan over low heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the berries are very soft, about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle the cornstarch over 2 teaspoons cold water and stir to dissolve. Pour into the simmering raspberry mixture. Cook, stirring, occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes.

Blend the mixture and then strain through a fine-mesh wire sieve into a medium bowl; discard the seeds. Cool completely, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use. (Freeze any leftover coulis in a plastic container for up to one month.)

Simple Syrup

Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a heavy medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool completely. Transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 4 hours.

 

1. To make filling, melt white chocolate chips in top of double boiler over hot, not boiling water. Stir until smooth.

2. In large mixer bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Stir in melted chips. Whip cream to form soft peaks. Gradually whisk into cream cheese mixture, set aside.

3. Line bottom of a 11 x 8 x 3 -inch pan with lady finger halves, cut sides in.. Drizzle the remaining 1/4 cup Chambord over the lady fingers and cover with half of the coulis. Cover the berries with half of cream filling, gently spreading it into a smooth layer of the remaining whipped cream. Now, spread the other half of the lady fingers on top of that layer, and repeat adding the coulis , adding the other 1/4 cup of Chambord, the other half of the berry mixture, and the other half of the cream filling. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 1 and 1/2 days.

RASPBERRIES

Neutral , sweet and sour         Organs: Liver and Kidney

Nourishes and cleans blood, regulate menstruation, treats anemia, treats excessive and frequent urination (esp at night) can be used to induce labor

**raspberry leaf**

Strengthen uterus, checks excessive menstrual flow, restrains bleeding generally, supports optimum hormonal patterns in pregnancy.

** *cream is made from cows’ milk

Neutral to cold, sweet, LU ST HT, earth

Support qi yin and blood, support LU,ST,HT and creates body fluids. Moistens intestines and skin detoxifies. Indication general qi and blood def, st yin def

***Cow milk cheese

Neutral to cool, sweet and sour.  ST, SP,LU, LV.  Wood and earth

Support and move qi, Nourish yin, laxative.  Indication yin xu, esp lung yin xu, dryness in LI

Cross-section of beauty.

Superfood Salad

I don’t get as excited as many people do about salads.   Sure, I enjoy them, but they’re usually nothing to write home about.  CB’s blood-boosting salad is definitely an exception.   Considering it’s a kale-based salad, that’s even more impressive! The kale and beets were expertly cut down to manageable sizes, the apples were crisp & sweet, and the toasted pumpkin seeds and salt brought it to a whole  ‘nother level.   I had more than my fair share of this salad, and I suggest you make this one ASAP!

 

TCM DOS:  Blood Deficiency

 

TCM SS- Numbness of limbs, pale complexion, anxiety, dry hair and skin, nervousness,  lassitude, tiredness, blurred or poor vision, spots in field of vision, thin hair, depression, poor sleep, amenorrhea or scanty menses, constipation, dizziness, headache, infertility, cold hands and feet, psoriasis, menstrual cramps.

Western Correlations- Anemia, amenorrhea, depression, low blood pressure, irregular menstruation, chronic fatigue syndrome, infertility, miscarriages.

Foods That Help- All meats especially pork, beets, cherries, eggplant, spinach, sweet potato, dates, grapes, lychee fruit, mulberry, raspberry, millet, wheat, corn, oats , rice, chestnut, black beans, cows milk, honey, molasses, green olives, mussels, oysters, spirulina.

Foods To Avoid- High fat animal diets, sweet foods, highly processed or refined foods, cold or frozen foods, alcohol, caffeine.

Helpful Cooking Methods- Grilling, frying, baking, searing, simmering in liquid and cooking with alcohol.

Other Tips- Due to the weak nature of Blood Deficient people one should focus on a balanced lifestyle. Regular eating and sleeping times, balancing activity with rest. Eat nourishing warm foods that support the Middle Jiao function. Strenuous exercise is not recommended due to the exhaustion of qi.

 

Northwest Salad

 

2 cups of packed Kale (or Chard), washed and de-stemmed

1/2 cup of grated carrot

1/2 cup of grated beet

1 apple grated with skin

2-3 tbs olive oil

1-2 tbs citrus juice (lemon)

2 tbs apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Use a food processor if available to chop kale into small pieces. You may hand chop kale into small pieces as well. Grate Carrot, Beet, Apple. Toast pumpkin seeds in a skillet over medium heat for 5-6 minutes until lightly brown and salt lightly.

Mix oil, citrus juice and apple cider vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste.

Toss all ingredients and cover lightly with dressing.

 

Ingredient Benefits-

Kale- A super food that supplies the body with chlorophyll, calcium, iron and vitamin A.

Carrot- Its sweet flavor that benefits the middle jiao and spleen. Their alkaline nature cleanses acidic blood.

Beet- Strengthens the heart and purifies the blood. Used with carrots for hormone regulation.

Pumpkin seeds- Benefit the stomach, good source of zinc and Omega-3 fatty acid.

Apple- Produces body fluids, benefits low blood sugar and alleviates depression.

Lemon- Improves the absorption of minerals and cleanses blood.

 

Foods to Tonify Kidney Yin

S.T. tackled KD yin xu this week, and her dishes scored a homerun (so good that it deserves mixed sports metaphors!)   Simple, elegant, comforting, and secretly therapeutic–exactly what a good meal should be.    We started with a beautiful refreshing salad, continued to a warm and fortifying soup, and for dessert we had some wonderful goji berries covered in–wait for it–chocolate! (because we would expect nothing less from S.T.).   Nettle tea proved to be a rich & tasty beverage, and let’s not forget what might have been the biggest hit, the roasted pumpkin seeds.  These little guys packed a BIG flavor punch and had all of us singing their praises the entirety of the afternoon!   So, without further ado, S.T.’s Kidney boosting recipes!

~~~~~~~~

 TCM Pattern:  Kidney Yin Deficiency

 
Western equivalent:    Aging –> Failing eyesight, hearing, tooth-loss, head hair loss; Weakness, frailness, aches & pains in bones & joints; Absent-mindedness, poor memory, dementia; Menopause/andropause; Apathy, exhaustion, fatigue; Chronic stress, anxiety; Congenital problems – poor growth & development; Excessive fear & insecurity; lack of will; Osteoporosis; Reproductive dysfunction
Signs & symptoms: dizziness, poor memory, dry mouth at night, sore (low) back & knees, dark, scanty urine, vertigo, deafness, 5-palm heat, ache in bones, constipation, tinnitus, night sweating, thirst, nocturnal emissions: Tongue: red, no coating/peeled, cracks; Pulse: empty, rapid
 
For Chinese Dietary Therapy, choose foods that are cooling, moistening, nourishing and enriching, and easy to digest. Eat smaller quantities frequently and regularly rather than large quantities irregularly. Get plenty of fluids, especially water. Avoid foods that are stimulating and overly hot and spicy, alcohol, recreational drugs.
 
Today’s menu:
Barley, Lentil & Vegetable Soup
Spinach-Pear Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt
Nettle Tea
Dark Chocolate coated Goji Berries

 
Recipes
 
Barley, Lentil & Vegetable Soup

 
5 cups water
1/2 cup organic pearl barley, washed and drained
1/4 cup dry, green lentils
1/2 cup diced onions
1/4 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced carrots
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup leeks, green and white part, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh parsley, minced, for garnish
 
Preparation: Place first three ingredients in a medium soup pot, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the flame to medium-low and simmer 30 to 35 minutes. Add onion, celery and carrot. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Add sea salt, cover and simmer another 10 minutes. Add the leeks, cover and simmer another 3 to 4 minutes. Serve garnished with parsley.
 
Spinach-Pear Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

2 pears, cored and thinly sliced
6 ounces spinach
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar
5 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ tsp stone-ground mustard
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
¼ cup shaved Parmigiano cheese

Preparation: Combine pear slices and spinach in a large bowl. Whisk together water and next 6 ingredients. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad, and toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with cheese.                       
 
Skillet-Toasted Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt


 
½ cup freshly shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt
 
Preparation: Lightly coat shelled pumpkin seeds with olive oil. Place in warmed iron skillet, cover. Allow to warm and sprinkle with sea salt to taste. Shake and stir seeds in skillet constantly as they are toasting to avoid burning. Brown to desired color. When they start popping, they are done.

 

And last but not least… goji berries for dessert! (original AND chocolate-covered ; )

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