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Chickpea Soup

Categories: Spleen Qi Vacuity

Main Action: Strengthens the Spleen
2-hour preparation time Serves 4
1.5 cups chickpeas (garbanzo beans) – neutral, sweet; HT, ST
1 medium carrot diced- neutral, sweet; LV, LU, SP & Improves Qi Circulation
1 onion diced — warm, pungent, LU, ST & promotes sweating
1 stalk of celery sliced-Bitter, sweet, cool, LV, ST — reduces damp & clears heat
5 cloves sliced garlic-acrid, warm/hot, sweet, salty, HT, LV, LU, SP — strengthens Yang, drains damp and phlegm
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 twigs rosemary- warm, sweet, pungent, HT, KD, LU, SP — strengthens yang, reduces phlegm and warms the cold
2 twigs thyme-warm, bitter, pungent, LU, SP —resolves phlegm
black pepper-hot, sweet, pungent, KD, HT, LI, ST- warms, reduces damp and phlegm, reduces toxins
salt-salty, cold, KD, LI, ST,SP- clears heat and reduces phlegm and toxin
olive oil-neutral, sweet, SP, LV
Preparation and cooking:
Soak the chickpeas overnight in water. Drain chickpeas and cover again with water to 2 inches above the lever of the chickpeas. Add sliced garlic, rosemary, and thyme. Simmer partially covered for one hour. Remove thyme and rosemary twigs. Add carrot, onion, celery, salt and pepper. Cook for another 30 minutes or so. Add some more water. Beat the soup with and egg beater until partially pureed. Add minced garlic and cook a few more minutes. Add olive oil and serve.


Categories: Large Intestine Qi Stagnation, Spleen Qi Vacuity, Spleen Yang Vacuity


¾ – 1 cup chickpeas, soaked overnight
juice of 2 – 3 lemons, or to taste
2-3 cloves of garlic
salt (to taste)
½ cup tahini (sesame paste)

1 tbsp olive oil
1tsp paprika
1tbsp finely chopped parsley

Boil soaked chickpeas in fresh water for about 1 hour, or until they are soft. The cooking time will depend on their age and quality. Drain the chickpeas (RETAIN THE COOKING WATER) and put aside a few whole ones to garnish the dish. Use a food processor or blender to reduce chickpeas to a puree. You will have to pour the lemon juice and a little of the cooking water into the food processor first to provide enough liquid for the blending to be successful. Add the remaining ingredients and blend to a creamy paste, adding more water if necessary.

This is one of the dishes which, for centuries, have been traditionally decorated in the same manner. Pour the Hummus into a serving dish and dribble a little red paprika mixed with olive oil over the surface. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and arrange a decorative pattern of whole chickpeas on top.,

Serve with warm pita bread.

Chickpeas – sweet and moderate in nature; regulate and tonify the function of spleen and stomach, stimulate diuresis and promote detoxification; treat diarrhea.

Garlic – hot, acrid; anti-bacterial, anti-viral, antifungal, detoxifies meat and seafood, kills worms, removes stagnant food or blood, reduces abscesses, warms yang, dispels cold; combats cancer, high blood cholesterol, infections, diarrhea, dysentery, vomiting and coughing of xue.

Tahini (Sesame Paste) — sweet, nutral; lubricating and tonifying.

Lemon juice — cool, sour; regenerates body fluids, harmonizes ST, regulates qi, quenches thirst; treats sore throat, dry mouth, ST distention, cough.


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.

Honey-Balsamic Bean Salad

Categories: Blood Vacuity, Legumes, Qi Vacuity, Salad, Vegetarian


As I mention in the main post, the original recipe called for green beans, which are out of season here in San Francisco as I type this. I chopped up a head of structured, romaine lettuce instead. I also added and tweaked a few things, as I’m prone to do. If you’re trying to come up with a substitute for the green beans, imagine ingredients that might go nicely with the honey-balsamic vinegar. And I suspect it goes without saying, but you can certainly play around with the type of beans you use here. I would have used borlotti beans in place of the black beans, but I went with the beans I had on hand, rather than make a trip to the store.

8 oz / 225 g (about 1 1/2 cups) EACH cooked chickpeas, pinto beans, black beans

1 small head of romaine lettuce, washed, dried, shredded

1/3 cup / 1 oz / 30g sliced almonds, toasted

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons runny honey
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4+ teaspoon fine grain sea salt

10 sprigs fresh thyme

Combine the beans, lettuce, and most of the almonds in a large salad bowl. Set aside. Make the dressing by whisking the olive oil, honey, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and sea salt in a small container. Taste, and adjust to your tastes.

Run your fingers up each thyme sprig, removing the leaves. Add to the salad bowl along with a good amount of the dressing. Toss well, and add more dressing if you like. Finish by sprinkling with the remaining almonds.

Serves 4- 6


Analysis – This recipe nourishes Liver Blood and Yin and astringing the LV.

How do canned and dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans) compare in terms of nutritional value?

Categories: Articles, Food Education, Legumes, Nutritional Information