Root Vegetable Mash

Categories: Kidney Qi Vacuity, Spleen Damp, Spleen Qi Vacuity, Spleen Yang Vacuity

Root Vegetable Mash (Serves 4)

• 1 lb carrot, cut into 1 inch chunks
• 1 parsnip, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
• 1 Sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
• 2 teaspoons butter
• 1 large vidalia onion, coarsely chopped
• 1 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)
• 1/4 teaspoon thyme
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
• 1 pinch nutmeg
• 1 lb cooked chickpeas

1. Prepare the carrots, potatoes, and parsnips for cooking and add to a large saucepan. Add water to cover vegetables and bring the pot to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the carrots, potatoes and parsnips are tender.
2. While the carrots, potatoes, and parsnips are cooking, melt the butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often until the onions are cooked and a golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. If you are using the sugar, add now. Add the thyme. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking another 6 minutes. If the pan seems too dry (onions are sticking), add a teaspoon of the cooking broth from the carrots and parsnips. Onions should be nicely browned and barely holding their shape.
3. Add chickpeas, to the onions and cook until warmed through, about 3 minutes.
4. Drain the carrots and parsnips, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Keep warm. Using an immersion blender, counter blender or food processor puree the carrots & parsnips with the salt, pepper and nutmeg and 1/3 cup of cooking liquid. If they are too thick for your tastes, add additional cooking liquid.
5. To assemble the dish, serve a portion of the carrots, potatoes, and parsnips mounding down a center. Place a portion of the onions and chickpeas in the center well. Alternately, you can serve family-style with a mound of the mash in the center with a ring of the onions and chickpeas around the outside.

Nutritional Breakdown:
Carrots: Sweet, Neutral. Strengthens Spleen and Heart, Nourishes and Soothes Liver, Benefits the Lungs, Drains Damp, Anti-Inflammatory.
Parsnips: Warm, Pungent. Promotes sweating, dispels wind and dampness, relieves pain.
Sweet Potatoes: Neutral, Sweet. Strengthens Spleen and Stomach function, tonifies Qi, clears heat, detoxifies.
Chick Peas: Sweet, Slightly Warm. Strengthens Spleen, tonifies Qi, calms spirit, clears dampness, promotes bowel movements.
Onions: Warm, Pungent. Promotes sweating, resolves phlegm, diuretic.
Salt: Cold, Salty, Slightly Sweet. Harmonizes and promotes digestion, strengthens Kidney (in small amounts) fortifies bones, tendons and teeth, brightens eyes, detoxifies.
Black Pepper: Hot and Pungent. Warms digestion, dispels internal cold, antidote to food poisoning.
Nutmeg: Spicy, Warm. Binds Intestines, stops diarrhea, warms the middle jiao.

Overall Action: Warms and strengthens Spleen, Strengthens Kidneys, drains dampness.