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Simple Winter Melon Soup

Categories: Damp Heat in the Lower Jiao, Diabetes, Spleen Damp Heat, Urinary Bladder Damp Heat

Simple Winter Melon Soup 2 to 3 servings

6 (5 ounces fresh, 1 ounce dried) fresh or dried shiitake mushrooms
1 (1-pound) wedge winter melon
3 cups chicken, bone, or vegetable stock
1 (1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, slivered into 1/16-inch slices
1/4 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
Salt, soy sauce, or sodium-reduced soy sauce (optional)
1-2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
1 medium-sized green onion, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces, roots and tough end discarded

If you are using dried mushrooms, soak them in 1/2 cup of warm water for 20 minutes or until soft. If you are using fresh mushrooms, simply rinse. Cut off and discard the stem if desired, then slice the mushrooms into 1/4-inch pieces.

Peel the melon wedge (this will be easier if you peel the skin thickly, as the melon closer to skin is tougher). Scrape off and discard the stringy inner fibers and seeds. Cut the melon into 1/2-inch slices, then cut the slices widthwise into 1-inch pieces.

Place the stock, melon, ginger and mushrooms into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered with lid slightly ajar for about 15 minutes or until the melon becomes slightly transparent and soft.

Add the shrimp and cook for about 5 more minutes.

Add salt or soy sauce to the soup to taste, if desired (if you have edema or high blood pressure, you’ll want to go easy on the salt or use a low-sodium variety soy sauce; also note the broth’s saltiness before salting as it can vary according the stock used).

Remove the ginger pieces, if desired (or just eat around them).

Sprinkle sesame oil and green onions on top and serve.

Vegetarians can omit the shrimp or substitute sliced tofu. For those who prefer the more traditional ham instead of shrimp, use about 1 ounce, sliced and add it to the bowls just prior to serving.

Shiitake Mushrooms-sweet, neutral; SP/LU; supplement qi, boost wei qi, lower cholesterol, prevent cancer
Winter Melon-bland, slightly cold; LU/ST/UB; clear heat, drain damp, resolve phlegm
Chicken Stock-chicken is sweet, warm; SP/ST/KD; supplement qi, nourish blood, consolidate KD, boost wei qi
Ginger-pungent, warm; LU/SP/ST; disperse exterior cold, stop nausea and vomiting, detoxify other herbs, reduce inflammation
Shrimp-sweet, warm; LV/KD/SP; boost KD Yang, promote lactation, discharge pus and mucus
Salt-salty, cold; KD; clear heat, cool blood, ease bowel movements, nourish KD
Soy Sauce-salty, cold; SP/ST/KD; harmonizes MJ, clear heat, antidote to drug and food poisoning
Sesame Oil-cool, sweet; LI/LV/KD; down bearing, moisten intestines, laxative, detoxifies, raise unsaturated fatty acids, lecithin and vitamin E, treats dryness in intestines, constipation, digestive obstructions, blood and qi vacuity of LV and KD, weakness in muscles, skins and bones; CONTRAINDICATED in excess conditions, weakens SP pancreas network, can cause diarrhea
Green Onion-pungent, warm; LU/LI; release exterior wind cold, invigorate blood, drain damp

Clears heat, expels dampness and promotes urination.

Especially good for anyone who wants to reduce swelling and puffiness, for example, from PMS or menopause; who wants to lose weight; who is experiencing prostate problems; or who has high blood pressure. To enhance therapeutic effects of winter melon, leave the peel on and place the seeds in a bag made of cheesecloth or other porous material, simmer with the soup, and remove before serving.

Prickly Pear Cactus, Radish, Carrot, and Chayote Squash Salad

Categories: Cleanse, Cold Phlegm Accumulating in Lung, Spleen Damp, Spleen Damp Heat, Spleen Damp Heat

Ensalada de Nopales, Rabano, Zanahoria, y Chayote
Prickly Pear Cactus, Radish, Carrot, and Chayote Squash Salad

1 30 ounce jar of prepared nopales (Prickly Pear Cactus)
1 bunch of radishes
2 large carrots
2 chayote squashes
3 limes
salt

 Drain and rinse the nopales in cold water.
 Slice the radishes into thin half moons.
 Peel the carrots, then slice into ribbons using a peeler.
 Cut the chayote into quarters, as you would with a pear, then cut out the center seed and tough white layer. Then cut into small cubes.
 Blanch the chayote in boiling water, then set aside in the fridge to chill.
 Juice the limes.
 When the chayote is fully chilled, toss together with the nopales, radish, and carrot.
 Drizzle with lime juice and season with salt.

Tx: This salad is also very cleansing and cooling. The combination of nopales and radish makes it a great recipe for damp-heat or phlegm-heat conditions. It is also very regulating to fluid metabolism.

Nopales: Sweet and slightly bitter. Nopales have a very characteristic slippery texture, like spinach, which hints that this food probably can regulate urination and bowels. As it is often used for diabetes in Mexico, I think nopales can regulate fluids, and has a use in wasting and thirsting.
Radish: Cooling, pungent and sweet. Moistens the Lung, breaks up phlegm, removes food stagnation and toxicity, and cools the blood. Often used in cases of phlegm and heat.
Chayote: This Mexican squash is similar in flavor to summer squashes. I believe that it is cool, sweet, and slightly bitter. Regulates fluids and can promote diuresis, relieves heat.
Carrot: Neutral to cool and sweet. Benefits the Lung, Spleen, Liver and Heart. Eliminates wastes and treats indigestion due to excess. Drains dampness.
Lime: Cool and sour. Regulates and harmonizes the Stomach and Liver.

Bindaeddeok (Mung bean pancake)

Categories: Cleanse, Damp Heat in the Lower Jiao, Spleen Damp, Spleen Damp Heat, Spleen Damp Heat

Bindaeddeok (Mung bean pancake) recipe
Serves 4

Ingredients: 14 oz nok doo (mung beans)

1 medium onion, thin sliced
1/2 carrot, thin julienne
3 green onions, cut in a bias
1/8 lb beef, thin julienne
1/2 cup kimchi, cut into strips*
1/4 cup bean sprout, blanched, roughly chopped
2 tbsp salt
(*You can substitute to blanched napa cabbage)

Wash mung beans and soak in cold water for 3 hours.
Get rid of outer shell by rubbing them with hands.
Wash again.
Put them in a food processor with a little water and grind to fairly fine paste.

In a bowl, mix onion, carrot, green onions, beef, bean sprouts and kimchi.
Add mung bean paste and salt.

In a non-stick pan, add vegetable oil.
Pour a ladle of paste to make 3-4 inches in diameter and cook until brown, turn only once.

Serve with soy sauce (with some chopped green onion).

This recipe contain foods good for relieving toxicity, particularly mung beans and onions. Carrots are diuretics that drain damp and have anti-inflammatory properties and nourish blood. Green onions invigorate the blood and treat viral and bacterial infections and are helpful with heart disease.

Barley and Mushroom Pilaf

Categories: Damp Heat in the Lower Jiao, Liver & Gall Bladder Damp Heat, Rice and Grains, Spleen Damp Heat

Barley-Mushroom-pilaf

Barley and Mushroom Pilaf

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients
2 ounces fresh shitake mushrooms
½ pound field mushrooms
1 onion
2 carrots
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil

1-cup pot barley
3 cups chicken stock
Handful of fresh parsley
½ cup walnuts
Soy sauce
Salt & Pepper

Method
Chop the mushrooms, onions and carrots into strips. Saute the mushrooms in a little of the olive oil and butter and set aside when browned.  Saute the onion and carrots in the rest of the oil and butter for a few minutes, stir in barley then add the stock. Cook for about 45 minutes or until the barley is tender, assign more stock if needed. Turn in the mushrooms and their juice and cook for a few more minutes. Toast the walnuts lightly, sprinkle with Soya sauce and fold in. Chop the parsley and fold that in too. Season with Soya sauce or salt and pepper and serve with some steamed greens.

The overall effect of this dish is to reduce heat, drain water and nourish the blood and yin.

Barley is beneficial for the stomach and intestines and is very easily digested. It strengthens the blood and the yin while at the same time leaching surplus water from the system.
Mushrooms, like the barley, are slightly cooling and they help remove toxins and surplus heat from the body. They also strengthen the stomach and promote healing
Field Mushrooms also improve appetite, stops diarrhea, resolves phlegm as well as the things stated above.
Onions are warming and pungent, and help to resolve phlegm and are a diuretic
Carrots are beneficial to all internal organs, lubricate the intestines and promote digestion. Also helpful in clearing heat and detoxifying
Parsley has a warm and pungent nature that promotes digestion reduces abdominal and stomach fullness regulating the flow of qi
Walnuts are beneficial to constipation by lubricating the intestines. They also aid in erratic and rebellious qi
Soy Sauce aids lots of flavor while harmonizing the middle jiao and clears heat