Ying Yang Xue

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

Archive for the tag “soup”

PEACH CONGEE FOR LIVER QI STAGNATION!!!

What do you get when you have student who works in the prepared foods section at Whole Foods… an awesome yummy snack! Well, that’s exactly what EH brought to us last Wednesday for our Nutrition and Diet Therapy class at the East West College of Natural Medicine. EH’s congee was an absolute treat after VS’s hearty and tasty main course of Saffron Lentil rice with Chicken (see next post). We ate like royalty today thanks to VS and EH!!!

Peach Congee for Liver Qi Stagnation

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Ingredients: 1 cup white rice (any variety will do)

1-2 peaches (or half bag of frozen chopped peaches)

1 Tablespoon honey (or as much as desired)

Directions: Put one cup of rice in crock pot. Cover with 5 cups of water. Cook on low setting overnight (6-12 hours). If using fresh peaches, boil a small pot of water, and once water is boiling, place peach into water for 30 seconds with a pair of tongs. Remove peach and peel off skin. Chop peaches into bite sized pieces, and keep in refrigerator overnight. In the morning, when ready to eat, put chopped peaches into the congee, and add honey. Add small amount of butter if desired.

This dish is ideal as a daily breakfast, dessert, or snack. The recipe can be doubled or tripled to make a large pot that can last for 3-4 days. I chose this simple and inexpensive recipe because it consists of ingredients that we are all familiar with, and it is as easy to prepare as pouring a bowl of cereal (but much more nourishing!). Those with liver qi stagnation are often already overworked and will not be compliant with following complicated dietary guidelines.

Rice is sweet in nature, and is very nourishing, especially when cooked into a congee. Peaches are sweet and sour, and are a gentle mover of qi. While the more pungent foods may move qi more forcefully, they run the risk of damaging yin when overused. Liver qi stagnation is often accompanied by heat signs, so peaches are a safer route when looking for a dish that can be eaten daily. (Also, most people don’t want pungent foods at breakfast!) Honey is neutral to slightly warming, and also moistens the intestines, which can be beneficial if constipation is manifesting as a side effect of qi stagnation. All of these ingredients also strengthen the spleen and are very easy to digest, which is important in cases of liver qi stagnation because digestion is usually impaired due to this condition.

Note: Blackstrap molasses can be used in place of honey in cases of accompanying blood deficiency, or if your tatsebuds prefer it!

TCM DOS:  Liver Qi Stagnation

Western Correlations:  Stress, emotional disorders, depression, PMS

TCM S/S:  hypochondriac pain, distention in chest and hypochondria, sighing, hiccups, belching, depression, irritability, easy to anger, nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain, abdominal distention, diarrhea, poor appetite, sour regurgitation, plum pit sensation in throat, painful periods, irregular periods

Tongue:   normal to slightly red on sides

Pulse:  wiry

Foods that Help:  beets, carrots, celery, potato, tomato, onion, lemon/lime, spinach, cherry, pineapple, mulberry, plum, raspberry, wheat, rye, spelt, pine nut, lima bean, pea, black sesame seed, pork, saltwater fish, crab, cow milk cheese, yogurt, goat and sheep milk cheese, anise seed, brown sugar, rice vinegar, wine, grape, lychee fruit

Foods to Avoid:  avoid excess alcohol, hot/spicy foods, raw foods, greasy foods, and cold/frozen foods

Helpful Cooking Methods:  steaming, boiling for shorter period, blanching, and cooking with alcohol


Smooooooooth Your Liver Qi!!!!!

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Welcome to Ri-Frin’s LR Qi Sir-Fry Bar!! Here you in charge. No angry, irritable, or frustration over long wait, small portions, or just not what you want.

LR Qi stagnation was chosen for me, and like everyone else’s DOS “choice”, mine was a perfect fit. (Thank you, Dr. Wald) Sources say that it is best to eat foods that are lightly cooked to ensure that nutrients are preserved and are more readily digested and absorbed. Meals should consist of lightly cooked vegetables (roughly 40-60% of your diet) About 30% of the diet should be comprised of complex carbohydrates. Proteins should comprise only about 10% of the diet and red meat should be avoided.

I have designed a meal where every single ingredient is a benefit to anyone who is challenged by LR Qi stagnation. Take as much or as little you like and I will personally prepare your dish before your very eyes! This is not a selfless act, however. Taking the time to prepare the ingredients before the meal and then later stirring the contents around in the wok (or electric skillet) so as to not let them burn and insure an even cooking temperature is a great way to get out of one ’s self for a spell and just concentrate on the task at hand…  A sort of meditation if you will.

Ingredients:

 

extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) garlic paste

boneless-skinless chicken cutlets ginger paste

center-cut pork tenderloins green onions

asparagus baby bok choy

carrots cabbage

leeks horseradish

noodles shitake mushrooms

snow peas soy sauce

water chestnuts white rice

 


TCM DOS:  Liver Qi Stagnation

Western Correlations:  Stress, emotional disorders, depression, PMS

TCM S/S:  hypochondriac pain, distention in chest and hypochondria, sighing, hiccups, belching, depression, irritability, easy to anger, nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain, abdominal distention, diarrhea, poor appetite, sour regurgitation, plum pit sensation in throat, painful periods, irregular periods

Tongue:   normal to slightly red on sides

Pulse:  wiry

Foods that Help:  beets, carrots, celery, potato, tomato, onion, lemon/lime, spinach, cherry, pineapple, mulberry, plum, raspberry, wheat, rye, spelt, pine nut, lima bean, pea, black sesame seed, pork, saltwater fish, crab, cow milk cheese, yogurt, goat and sheep milk cheese, anise seed, brown sugar, rice vinegar, wine, grape, lychee fruit

Foods to Avoid:  avoid excess alcohol, hot/spicy foods, raw foods, greasy foods, and cold/frozen foods

Helpful Cooking Methods:  steaming, boiling for shorter period, blanching, and cooking with alcohol


 

Delicious Liver “Soup”port

MD is going through a soup phase right now (hey, who hasn’t been there,  am I right?  Hello?) and we are ALL the beneficiaries of that!   I would like to think that the mere act of preparing (slicing and dicing) the vegetables for these delicious soups would be therapeutic in its own right, alleviating some on the irritability and stress that is Liver Qi Stagnation’s hallmark.  Alas, even better is having this soup made for you.  Better still is having two soups made for you–thanks, MD!   (I got word later in the week that other students were already making the Szechuan carrot soup to rave reviews!)

Liver Qi Stagnation

Western correlations for liver qi stagnation include but are not limited to depression, anxiety, high blood pressure (in the case of liver yang rising), liver disorders (hepatitis), PMS, and headaches.

TCM clinical manifestations for liver qi stagnation –   irritability, anger, depression, rib side pain and/or discomfort, headaches (vertex), PMS and other gynecological disorders, frequent sighing, gastritis, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic cholecystitis, chest pain, and inability to handle stress.

Tongue – normal (pink)

Pulse – Wiry

Foods that help liver qi stagnation – Onions, Garlic, Celery, Mustard Greens, Turmeric, Basil, Bay Leaf, Cardamom, Cumin, Fennel Marjoram, Dill, Black Pepper, Horse Radish, Cherry, Rosemary, Pickled Vegetables, Cabbage, Beets, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Carrots, Plums, potato, tomato, lemon, lime, spinach, kale, raspberry, wheat, rye, spelt, pine cut, lima bean, pea, black sesame seed, pork, saltwater fish, crab, cow milk cheese, yogurt, goat and sheep milk cheese, anise seed, brown sugar, rice vinegar, wine, grape, lychee fruit

Foods to avoid – Alcohol, Caffeinated Coffee, Fatty or Fried Foods, Highly Processed or Refined Foods, Very Spicy or Hot Foods, Heavy Red Meats, Sweet and Sugary Foods, raw foods, frozen foods, greasy foods

Helpful cooking methods – steaming, boiling for shorter period, blanching, and cooking with alcohol,  stews, soup, baking

 

“Beet” the Stagnation Soup

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

6 medium beets, peeled and chopped

2 cups beef stock

salt and freshly ground pepper

heavy cream (we used Silk soy creamer)

Warm olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onions and garlic; cook until soft but not browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in beets, and cook for 1 minute.

Stir in stock, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; cover, and simmer until the beets are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and allow to cool slightly.

In batches, add soup to a food processor, and pulse until liquefied. Return soup to saucepan, and gently heat through. Ladle into bowls, and garnish with a swirl of cream.

 

Szechuan Carrot Soup

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped,

1 stalk celery, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp grated ginger

2 cups veggie stock

1 cup water

1/3 cup Szechuan peanut sauce

1 cup plain soy milk

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion, celery, and garlic and sauté for 4 minutes.  Stir in ginger and cook for 2 minutes longer.  Add carrots, stock, and water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.  Puree soup in the saucepan using an immersion blender, or transfer in batches to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, then return soup to the saucepan.  Add peanut sauce and milk and simmer until heated.  Do not boil.

JK got clever and mixed the soups together! Tie dye that’s good for what ails ya.

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

Ingredients:

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

• 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

Directions:

• 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
http://www.readperiodicals.com/201002/1984286621.html#b

Soup Pho the Kidneys

As you grooooan at my joke, keep in mind ‘groaning’ is the sound of the water element in Five Element Chinese Medicine–the same element that governs the kidneys!

“WOW.”   That’s a good place to start describing this epic voyage into nourishing KD yin with the most delightful, thoughtful, so-healing-you-can-feel-it-vibrating phở  (a Vietnamese noodle soup).   SB blew our minds (but then quickly healed them via this soup) with his tongue-in-cheek ‘Temple Brand’ Phở.   Now, I’m not usually a big pho eater because it is difficult for me to find a vegetarian version; not only was SB’s broth vegetarian, it was steeped in all sorts of wonderful herbs, including shu di huang and he shou wu.  I am embarrassed to admit that I had never really partaken in a meal made with proper Chinese herbs and I was very grateful for this opportunity.  SB gave us tons of options for our soup–rice noodles, thai basil, cilantro, bean sprouts, fresh limes, sriracha, hoisin sauce, jalapenos… everyone’s dish was a little different. Oh, and I almost forgot my favorite part (if I had to pick a favorite from all the deliciousness)–the faux meat floating in the soup.  SO. GOOD!

Most astounding?  This wasn’t a regular go-to dish for SB–this project was his first time making it.

TCM DOS- Kidney Yin Deficiency

TCM S/S- Dizziness, tinnitus, vertigo, sore back, constipation, may also have empty heat signs, mallor flush, night sweats, heat in the 5 palms, insomnia, dry throat

Tongue- Red with little to no coat, may have horizontal cracks, red tip with empty fire

Pulse- Floating, empty, rapid, thin

Foods that help- Water, salty flavored food (miso, sea salt, tamari, sauerkraut), kidney shaped foods (black bean, kidney bean, most beans), blue and black foods (blueberries, mulberries, blackberries), seafood (fish, shrimp, seaweed), seeds (flax, pumpkins, sunflower, black sesame), and nuts (cashews, walnuts, chestnuts), bone marrow broth, grains (barley, millet), vegetables (asparagus, deep green leafy vegetables), fruits and melons

Foods to avoid- chilies, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, onions, shallots, leeks, basil, cloves, wasabi coffee, vinegar, pickles, tea lamb, shrimp, prawns, veal, game birds citrus fruits, cigarettes, alcohol and recreational stimulants

Other tips- Meditation, qi gong, tai qi, yoga

 ‘Temple Brand Phở’

Broth-
2″ nub of ginger, cut into 8 or 9 pieces
4 quarts of water
1 package of Pho Spices [3 cinnamon stick, 1 tablespoon of coriander seeds, 1 tablespoon of fennel seeds, 5 whole star anise, 1 cardamom pod, 6 whole cloves – in mesh bag]

Herbs- 1 piece of Korean ginseng, 1 piece of shu di huang, 15 grams of he shou wu, 15 grams of goji, 1 cup of longan (in mesh bag)

2 medium size carrots rough cut

1 medium size parsnips

2 cups of rough cut daikon radish

1 cup of blueberries

2 red pears cut into 8 pieces

1 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper

2 tablespoons of vegetarian fish sauce

1 tablespoon of soy sauce (3 if no fish sauce)

2 tablespoons of cane sugar (to taste)

Sea salt (to taste)

Noodles-

1/2 pound dried flat rice noodles (known as bánh phở; use 1/16″, 1/8″, or 1/4″ width depending on availability and preference)

Toppings (optional)-
Protein such as fried or baked tofu, bean curd skin, soy, or seitan
Mushrooms
Vegetables such as bok choy, napa cabbage, carrots, parsnips, daikon radish or broccoli

Garnishes-
1 chile pepper (Thai bird, serrano, or jalapeño), sliced
1 lime, cut into wedges
1/2 cup bean sprouts
Large handful of herbs: cilantro, Thai basil, cilantro/saw-leaf herb
Hoisin sauce, sriracha (optional)

For the broth
Char pears and ginger over an open flame (holding with tongs) or directly under a broiler until slightly blackened, about 5 minutes on each side. Rinse with water.

In a crock pot (ginseng and he shou wu can not be cooked in a metal pot), add all broth stock except for the 1 package of pho spices and herbs. Set crock pot for 4 hours. At 2 hours add pho spices package and herb bag. Season to taste strain and keep hot until ready to serve.

For the noodles
While broth is simmering, place noodles in a large bowl and cover with hot water. Let stand for 20-30 minutes or until tender but still chewy. Drain. (If soaking does not soften the noodles enough, blanch them in a pot of boiling water for a few seconds.)

For the toppings (optional)

For more heat signs use plenty of bean sprouts and add sliced lotus root (steamed or blanched)
While broth is simmering, prepare toppings as desired – slice and cook tofu, lightly steam or blanch vegetables, etc. Toppings should be unseasoned or only lightly seasoned so as not to interfere with the flavor of the broth.

To serve
Divide noodles between two bowls. Arrange toppings over noodles. Ladle about 2 cups of broth into each bowl. Serve with garnishes on the side, which diners should add to taste.

Comfort food to calm the Liver

This week was all about soothing the liver to overcome liver qi stagnation–timely, since we had our midterm exam during the first half of this class!  TB went the “comfort food” route for her dish; after all, when you’re stressed and at your wit’s end, what else do you want to reach for but comfort food?  She expertly created a stick-to-your-ribs hearty soup that still had the properties of calming the liver and moving qi.   This tomato soup went over resoundingly well.  I honestly expected a riot over who got seconds; had our livers not been so soothed by the soup, it may have actually come to pass!

TCM DOS:  Liver Qi Stagnation

Western Correlations:  Stress, emotional disorders, depression, PMS

TCM S/S:  hypochondriac pain, distention in chest and hypochondria, sighing, hiccups, belching, depression, irritability, easy to anger, nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain, abdominal distention, diarrhea, poor appetite, sour regurgitation, plum pit sensation in throat, painful periods, irregular periods

Tongue:   normal to slightly red on sides

Pulse:  wiry

Foods that Help:  beets, carrots, celery, potato, tomato, onion, lemon/lime, spinach, cherry, pineapple, mulberry, plum, raspberry, wheat, rye, spelt, pine nut, lima bean, pea, black sesame seed, pork, saltwater fish, crab, cow milk cheese, yogurt, goat and sheep milk cheese, anise seed, brown sugar, rice vinegar, wine, grape, lychee fruit

Foods to Avoid:  avoid excess alcohol, hot/spicy foods, raw foods, greasy foods, and cold/frozen foods

Helpful Cooking Methods:  steaming, boiling for shorter period, blanching, and cooking with alcohol


Tomato Parmesan Soup

3 cups diced tomatoes with juice (you can use canned)

1 bunch kale

1 cup finely diced carrots

1 Tbsp fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried

4 cups chicken broth

1 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated

1/4 tsp black pepper

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 cup finely diced onions

4 Tbsp fresh basil or 1 Tbsp dried

1/2 bay leaf

2 cups half and half, warmed (if you want you can use whole milk, evaporated milk instead…or even skim if you want to skinny it up; I ended using 1/2 cup of half and half in this recipe)

1 tsp salt

*1/2 cup butter

*1/2 cup flour

1.  Heat oil in 4 quart soup pot.  Add onions and carrots.  Saute 5 minutes.  Add basil, oregano, bay leaf, tomatoes, and chicken broth.  Bring it to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender (25 minutes).

2.  Place soup in blender or use hand-held to liquefy and thicken soup.  *(Or you can prepare a roux to thicken it.  While soup simmers, prepare a roux.  Melt butter over low heat, add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 5-7 minutes.  Slowly stir in 1 cup hot soup.  Add another 3 cups and stir until smooth.  Add back into soup pot.)

3.  Simmer, stirring constantly..  Add Parmesan cheese and whisk to blend.  Stir warmed half and half, salt and pepper.  Simmer over low heat 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

For Liver Qi Stagnation:

-tomatoes:  clears heat in liver and purifies blood

-onion:  soothes liver Qi stagnation

-carrot:  improves liver function

-kale:  superfood

-parmesan:  supplements and moves Qi

Black bean soup for the kidney soul

 This week, IO prepared one of my personal favorites, black bean soup.  Who knew I was doing my kidneys such a favor when I seek out my obsession!  This recipe is simple, delectable, and can be made with just a few ingredients that most of us usually have in our pantries and refrigerators.  IO paired it with a yellow rice which made for a nice in-bowl combination!

 TCM DOS: Kidney yin deficiency

Western Dx: Low back pain

Tongue: Red, no coating, cracks

Pulse: Empty and rapid

Signs and Symptoms:

Dizziness, Poor memory, Dry mouth at night, Sore back, Dark-scanty urine, Vertigo,  Deafness, 5-palm heat, Ache in bones, Constipation, Tinnitus, Night sweating, Thirst, Nocturnal emissions

Foods that help this condition: wheat, oats, rice, millet, barley, eggs, dairy in moderate amounts, yogurt, tofu, tempeh, nuts & seeds, aduki beans, black beans, mung beans, black soy beans, kidney beans, black sesame seeds, pork, chicken, black boned chicken, duck, pigeon, eggs, organic bone marrow spanish mackerel, sardines, oysters, mussels, clams, cuttlefish, squid, perch, seaweeds, eel, bird’s nest soup, zucchini, squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, melons, string beans, beets, button mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms, apples, banana, blueberries, black berries, peaches, mulberries, mango, coconut olive oil, flaxseed oil, almond oil, kelp, spirulina

Foods to avoid in this condition: chilies, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, onions, shallots, leeks, basil, cloves, wasabi coffee, vinegar, pickles, tea, lamb, shrimp, prawns, veal, game birds, citrus fruits, cigarettes, alcohol, recreational stimulants

Meals should consist largely of easily digested complex carbohydrates like grains and starchy root vegetables, roughly 40% of your diet. About 40% of the diet should be comprised of cooked vegetables. Proteins should comprise only 10 – 20% of the diet. The diet should also include plenty of fluids, especially in the form of soups, and avoid overly hot, spicy meals.

Black Bean Soup

kd yin xu black beans

Just glowing with yin boosting properties!

Ingredients

1 Pound Black beans

1 Large white onion

1 Large green pepper (remove seeds)

1 Teaspoon ground cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Soak black beans overnight, then boil with the whole onion and green pepper until tender ( about one hour). Remove onion and green pepper. Add cumin, salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with white or yellow rice.

Beautiful black for the Water element, yummy yellow for the Earth!

Soup to Soothe the Liver

This week we focused on Liver Qi Stagnation, which proved to be very apt since it’s midterm week!  K. made us a special soup that’s not all that it appears: a creamy asparagus soup that’s not overwhelmingly “asparagus-y,” nor did it contain cream!  This vegan delight relies on its spices to pack a yummy punch, not to mention its sunny hue!

TCM DOS: Liver Qi Stagnation 

 

DOS: Feeling of distension of hypochondrium and chest, hypochondriac pain, sighing, hiccups, melancholy, depression, moodiness, fluctuation of mental state, alternating chills and fever, nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain, poor appetite, sour regurgitation, belching, feeling of pulsation in epigastrium, churning feeling in the stomach, abdominal distension, borborygmus, diarrhea, unhappiness, lump in throat, feeling of difficulty with swallowing, irregular periods, painful periods, distension of breasts before periods, pre-menstrual tension and irritability. Tongue: body color may be normal or slightly red on the sides, thin white coating Pulse: string taut, wiry (especially on the left side)

Western Correlations: Stress, anxiety, depression, acid reflux, IBS, PMS

Foods you should eat: watercress mustard greens tumeric onion basil bay leaf cardamon marjoram cumin fennel dill ginger black pepper horseradish rosemary any mints lemon balm angelica root prickly ashbark taro root sweet rice beets amasake strawberry cabbage peach turnip root kohlrabi cherry cauliflower broccoli chestnut brussel sprouts pine nuts sprouted grains beans fresh veggies fruits

Most powerful to break up Qi stagnation: lemon lime grapefruit rye romaine lettuce asparagus amaranth quinoa alfalfa radish leaves citrus peel dandelion root bupleurum chaparral milk thistle seeds chamomile licorice root oregon grape root vinegar

Foods to eat less or eliminate/cooking methods: high saturated fats, hydrogenated and poor quality foods, nuts and seeds (exceptions are above, or if they are made easily digestible), chemicals in food and water, prescription drugs, highly processed or refined foods, alcohol, coffee, excessively sour foods or drinks, greasy fatty oily foods, foods that are hard to digest, spicy pungent “hot” foods, over eating in general, heavy red meats

Cream of Asparagus Soup

 

1 tablespoon of olive oil

leeks

1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms (baby bella substituted)

1 bunch of asparagus

4 cups low sodium vegetable broth

2 tablespoons of fresh tarragon

1 teaspoon cumin

turmeric

salt and pepper

1 cup unsalted cashews

2/3 cup of water

½ lemon juiced

In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add 2 sliced leeks, 1 cup of sliced cremini mushrooms, and 1 bunch of chopped asparagus; cook 4 minutes. Add 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth, 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, 1 teaspoon cumin, salt and pepper to taste; simmer 20 minutes and puree. In a food processor, mix together 1 cup of unsalted cashews and 2/3 cup of water until smooth. Stir mixture and juice of 1/2 lemon into soup; heat 2 minutes.

Such a vivid color (thanks, turmeric!)

great partner for N's kumquat cake!

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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