You are browsing the archive for Sasha Hanning, Author at Food from East.

Seasonal Food Charts

Categories: Articles

Seasonal Food Charts:

Lists per season:

and a fruit and veggie storage guide

To find out how long food lasts- shelf life: (can be downloaded to iPhone)

To find what is in season, locally for the Illinois area: (or anywhere in US)

which then gives you: guide for harvesting your own garden

Also has some great charts for your practice, or even pocket sized charts for clients!

Secret Ingredient to Cooking Beans- Kombu!

Categories: Articles, Cooking tips

Kombu cooked with beans renders them more digestible, and reduces the “fragrant side effects” from eating beans.

Kombu- Sea vegetables have a “soften hardness” quality and they make the beans much more digestible for folks with sensitive digestive systems. It also adds minerals and nutrients into the

food. Best beans to digest are adzuki, mung and lentil.

Kombu can also be cooked into brown rice for similar reasons.

Three Secrets to Cooking Beans:

1. Soak – Nature programs all seeds to lie dormant and hard until warm spring rains soak and soften them. A good soak hydrates and “awakens” the beans and they start to sprout. This sprouting process consumes the phytates (anti-nutrients) and makes the beans easier for us to digest. Additionally, the beans hard to digest sugars (oligosaccharides) leach out into the soaking water and are discarded.

2. Simmer – Don’t Boil, Simmer! Boiling toughens (coagulates) the bean’s protein whereas cooking at a slow simmer softens it. Simmering is when there are a few, small bubbles on the cooking surface. Boiling means lots of big bubbles as the hot fluid vaporizes.

3. Kombu – Lastly, cook beans with a strip of kombu sea weed. Mineral-rich kombu imparts a delicious meaty flavor to the beans plus it’s enzymes are a natural and healthful tenderizer. Before serving the beans you may stir kombu into the beans or remove it as you would a bay leaf. With long cooking, however, the kombu dissolves into the beans and helps thicken the broth. Kombu is available at quality food stores, natural food stores and on the Internet.

A slow cooker is ideal for bean cooking as it simmers them to melting perfection. Add soaked beans to the cooker before work turn on and be welcomed home to great pot of beans. Pressure cooking saves energy and reduces cooking time by 2/3, however the high temperature destroys the beans heat sensitive B vitamins.

Yield: 1 cup of dry beans makes 2 to 3 cups cooked beans.


Categories: Bi Syndrome Cold, Cold in the Lower Jiao, Cold in the Middle Jiao, Large Intestine Qi Stagnation, Qi Stagnation, Side Dishes, Skin Problems, Spleen Damp Cold, Spleen Yang Vacuity, Stomach Cold, Vegetarian, Wei Qi Vacuity

Preparation time: 20 mins

Serves: 4


1 pound Brussels sprouts

1 carrot

1 leek

2 TBS butter

3 TBS creamed horseradish

1 TBS cider vinegar

1 tsp dill weed



Handful chopped walnuts


Roughly chop and steam the vegetables until tender.  The Brussels sprouts are best cooked whole with a cross-nicked into the base to help them cook all the way through.  While the vegetables are steaming, melt the butter in a pan and add all the other ingredients, cooking gently for a minute or two.  Serve the sauce poured over the vegetables and top with lightly toasted walnuts.


Brussels sprouts  warming, anti cancer, improve immune function, benefit skin, improve digestion and bowel movements

Carrot- clear heat, detoxifies, strengthens all organs, benefits eyes

Leek  promotes sweating, resolves phlegm, diuretic

Butter – warm, sweet

Horseradish  pungent, heating, moving

Cider vinegar  heating, moving

Dill weed  offsets the harsh warming aspect

Salt – cold, salty, slightly sweet, harmonize and promotes digestion, strengthens kidney, fortifies bones, tendons, and teeth, brightens eyes, detoxifies, used as a natural preservative

Pepper hot, pungent, pushes downward, warms the internal regions, affects the stomach and large intestines

Walnuts  slightly warm, Tonifies kidney, strengthens back, astringes lung, relieves asthma, lubricates intestines, aids with erratic or rebellious qi; reduces cholesterol


This is a good dish for yang deficiency and for stagnation.  Brussels sprouts and leeks are warming vegetables. The pungent horseradish and cider vinegar increases the dish’s heating and moving nature.  The dill offsets the warming.In serious conditions of dampness, olive oil can be substituted for the butter.