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Grilled Shrimp with a Chile Dressing

Categories: Kidney Yang Vacuity, Stomach Cold

Grilled Shrimp with a Chile Dressing
Six Servings

-2 lbs large shrimp (16-20 per lb), shelled and deveined (or tempeh if vegetarian)
-6 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
-3 small, fresh red Thai chiles, ends trimmed, seeds removed, and cut into thin slices
-1/4 cup rice wine or sake
-1 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
-6 skewers for grilling

Chile Dressing:
*3-4 small, fresh red Thai chiles or cherry peppers
*1/2 cup clear rice vinegar
*1/4 cup virgin olive oil
*1 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
*1/2 tsp salt

1. Using a sharp knife, cut along the back of the shrimp to butterfly them. Place them in a bowl.

2. Add the garlic, chiles, rice wine or sake, and sesame oil to the shrimp. Toss lightly, cover with a plastic wrap and let the shrimp marinate for at least 3 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator. Before grilling, thread the shrimp loosely through the skewers so that they lie flat.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the Chile Dressing. Trim the ends and stems from the chiles, remove the seeds and coarsely chop by hand or in a food processor, pulsing the machine by turning it on and off. Place the chopped chiles in a clean jar and add the vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil and salt. Seal tightly and shake the dressing. Store at room temperature for several hours or overnight before using it.

4. Prepare a medium-hot fire for grilling and place the grill 3 inches above the coals. Arrange the shrimp on the grill and cook for about 5-7 minutes on each side or until cooked through, basting with the marinade.

5. Remove the cooked shrimp from the skewers, put them in a serving bowl and toss with the chile dressing or serve the dressing on the side for dipping.

TCM Theory:
Shrimp: warm, sweet, KD, LV
Garlic: warm (when cooked), acrid, sweet (when cooked), LU, ST, SP
Thai Chiles: hot, acrid, ST, SP, HT
Rice Wine: warm, acrid, sweet, bitter, HT, LV, LU, ST
Toasted Sesame Oil: cool, sweet, LI, LV, KD
Rice Vinegar: warm, sour, bitter, ST, LV
Salt: cold, salty, ST, KD, SI, LI

Overall Effect of Ingredients:
Warms the KD and the middle burner, tonifies KD yang

Chinese Cinnamon Barley Soup

Categories: Kidney Yang Vacuity, Spleen Damp, Spleen Damp Cold, Spleen Yang Vacuity, Stomach Cold

Chinese Cinnamon Barley Soup
six servings

*8 whole scallions, ends trimmed, cut into 1.5 inch sections and smashed lightly with the flat side of a knife
*8 cloves garlic, smashed lightly
*8 slices of ginger, about the size of a quarter, smashed lightly
*2 sticks of cinnamon
*1 tsp anise seeds
*1/2 cup soy sauce (or tamari sauce if wheat sensitive)
*1/2 cup rice wine or sake
*7 cups water
-2 lbs chuck or beef stew meat, cut into 1.5 inch cubes (or adzuki beans with tempeh if vegetarian)
-1 cup barley
-1 1/2 lbs spinach, trimmed, rinsed and drained
-3 TBS minced scallions, white part only

1. Place the starred ingredients in a large pot or casserole dish. Bring to a boil.

2. Add the beef and barley, and boil again. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer, skimming the surface to remove impurities and fat. Cook for 1 1/2 hours, until the beef is very tender. Scoop out the ginger slices, cinnamon sticks, and anise seeds, and discard.

3. Add the spinach to the beef, cover, and heat till boiling. Ladle the meat with broth and spinach into serving bowls, sprinkling the top with scallions. Serve immediately.

TCM Theory:
Scallions: warm, acrid, LU, ST
Garlic: warm (when cooked), acrid, sweet (when cooked), LU, ST, SP
Ginger: warm, acrid, LU, ST, SP
Cinnamon: warm to hot, acrid, ST, SP, LV, KD
Soy Sauce: cold, salty & sweet, SP, ST, KD
Rice Wine: warm, acrid, sweet, bitter, HT, LV, LU, ST
Beef: warm, neutral, sweet, SP, ST, KD
Barley: cool, salty, sweet, SP, ST
Spinach: cool, sweet, ST, LV, LI, SI

Overall Effect of Ingredients:
Warms the KD and the middle burner, tonifies KD yang

Beet, Broccoli, and Blue Cheese Salad

Categories: Liver Blood Vacuity

Beet, broccoli, and blue cheese salad

  • 4 beets, trimmed, leaving 1 inch of stems attached
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped, divided
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cups of broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese

Serves 3-4

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Place the beets, 1/4 of the chopped garlic, and the olive oil on a piece of heavy aluminum foil; fold the foil around the beets into a sealed packet.
2. Roast beets in the preheated oven until easily pierced with a fork, 40 minutes to 1 hour. Let beets cool just until they can be handled, then rub with a paper towel to remove skins. Chop into 1/2-inch cubes; set aside.
3. Heat the peanut oil and in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir broccoli and the remaining garlic together until broccoli is slightly softened but still crunchy, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in the beets and the blue cheese. Serve warm.

TCM Breakdown:
Beets: Nourish LV blood
Broccoli: Nourish LV blood, brightens eyes
Garlic: Releases exterior
Peanut Oil: Regulates blood, nourishes yin
Olive Oil: moistens dryness
Blue Cheese: supplements qi, nourishes blood, moistens dryness

CI: Beets contain oxalic acid

Green Bean and Walnut Salad

Categories: Blood Stasis, Kidney Jing Vacuity

Green Bean and Walnut salad
Serves 3-4

Ingredients:
1 lb of fresh chopped green beans
2 cups of chopped walnuts
1 clove of chopped garlic
4 tablespoons of olive oil
4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to frying pan.  Heat up oil and add the chopped garlic and sautee it.  Then, add fresh green beans and stir fry for 3 minutes.  Add the walnuts and stir fry for 5 minutes.  Mix 2 tablespoons olive oil with 4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and pour over green beans and walnuts. Mix everything together and enjoy.

TCM Breakdown:
Green Bean: tonifies KD
Walnut: Tonifies KD and nourishes jing and marrow
Garlic: releases exterior, regulates qi
Olive oil: moistens dryness
Vinegar: invigorates blood, clears toxin, astringent

CI for garlic: don’t use for hot/dry disorders

Green Bean/Walnut salad

Categories: Kidney Jing Vacuity, Kidney Qi Vacuity, Liver Qi Stagnation

Green Bean/Walnut salad
Serves 3-4

Ingredients:
1 lb of fresh chopped green beans
2 cups of chopped walnuts
1 clove of chopped garlic
4 tablespoons of olive oil
4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to frying pan, heat up oil and add the chopped garlic and sautee garlic, then add fresh green beans and stir fry for 3 minutes, then add walnuts and stir fry for 5 minutes. Mix 2 tablespoons with 4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and pour over green beans and walnuts. Mix everything together and enjoy.

TCM Breakdown:
Green Bean: tonifies KD
Walnut: Tonifies KD and nourishes jing and marrow
Garlic: warm and acrid, releases exterior, regulates qi,
Olive oil: moistens dryness
Vinegar: sour, invigorates blood, clears toxin, astringent

CI for garlic: don’t use for hot/dry disorders

Salmon Steamed in Napa Cabbage

Categories: Kidney Jing Vacuity, Kidney Yin Vacuity, Large Intestine Damp Heat, Large Intestine Qi Stagnation

Salmon Steamed in Napa Cabbage

Ingredients

  • 12 leaves Napa cabbage
  • 2 lbs salmon fillets, skinned
  • 2 tb olive Oil
  • 1 tb lemon juice
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 c minced shallots or scallions
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme (1/4 tsp dried thyme)
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh basil (1/4 tsp dried basil)

FOR THE SAUCE

  • 1/2 c Seafood stock
  • 2 Red bell peppers roasted puree
  • 1 1/2 tsp Lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Anchovy paste or salt
  • 1 pinch white pepper

Instructions

  1. Bring water to a boil, and blanch the cabbage leaves until pliable, about 2 minutes.  Drain and set aside.
  2. Cut the salmon and sole into 1/2-inch cubes, and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add the shallots and garlic, and saute, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.  Add to the fish, along with the lemon juice, pepper, salt, thyme and basil.  Mix gently.
  4. Place 2 cabbage leaves overlapping slightly.  Divide mixture in the center of the six sets of leaves. Roll cabbage, tucking in the sides to enclose the filling, and secure the rolls with toothpicks.  Place in a bamboo steamer, and steam over boiling water for 7 to 10 minutes.
  5. While the rolls are steaming, puree the stock, peppers, lemon juice, anchovy paste and pepper in a blender or food processor with a steel blade.
  6. Pour into a small saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce by half, stirring frequently.
  7. To serve, place a pool of sauce on the plate, and top with a cabbage roll.

Cabbage and Salmon in particular are great foods to use to tonify KD Jing.  Cabbage is sweet and neutral, goes to KD/ST and harmonizes the ST and nourishes KD Jing.  Salmon is also sweet and neutral, goes to the SP/KD and nourishes yin, blood and KD Jing.  This would be a well balanced dish making it a fairly neutral temperature meal.  The garlic and shallots would be warming and help with digestion.  (Tao of Nutrition states that Napa cabbage is actually sweet and cold.  It’s actions are clearing heat and lubricating intestines.)

Honeyed Spinach

Categories: Large Intestine Fluid Vacuity, Lung Yin Vacuity

Honeyed Spinach
4 servings
(From The Chinese Herbal Cookbook)

12 oz fresh baby spinach
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 t soy sauce
4 t honey
2 oz pine nuts
1 T black sesame seeds
2 T sesame oil
4 oz raisins
Salt/pepper to taste

1. Wash the spinach well. Cut into shreds. Set aside.
2. Mix the garlic, soy cause, and honey in a small bowl. Set aside.
3. Heat a wok or frying pan and dry-fry the pine nuts and sesame seeds for 2 minutes being careful not to burn them. Remove to a plate and set aside.
4. Heat the sesame oil in the wok or frying pan and stir-fry the spinach for 1-2 minutes until softened.
5. Add the sauce and raisins to the spinach. Mix well.
6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
7. Serve sprinkled with the pine nuts and sesame seeds.

TCM Analysis:
Spinach: sweet, cold; ST, LI. Clear heat, stop bleeding, nourish blood, moisten dryness.
Garlic: hot, acrid; Relieve food stagnation, move blood, dispel cold.
Soy sauce: salty, cold; SP, ST, KD. Harmonize MJ, clear heat.
Honey: sweet, neutral; SP, LU, LI. Harmonize MJ, moisten dryness, nourish yin.
Pine nuts: sweet, slightly warm; LU, LI. Moisten/tonify LU/LI.
Black sesame seeds: sweet, neutral. LV, KD, LU, LI. Nourish LV/KD, moisten.
Raisins: sweet. Nourish and moisten.

Overall, this recipe focuses on nourishing yin, clearing heat, and moistening dryness especially in cases of LU yin deficiency or autumn dryness. The garlic is kept in to lightly disperse and prevent over-nourishing.

Lamb with Sweet Potatoes

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

Lamb with Sweet Potatoes
6 servings
(Modified from A Spoonful of Ginger)

1 t oil
8 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
8 scallions, trimmed in 1 inch sections
8 slices fresh ginger
1 t hot chili paste
2 sticks cinnamon
1 t anise seed
5 c water
½ c low-sodium soy sauce
3 T rice wine
1 T sugar
3 lbs lamb stew meat, cut in 1½ inch cubes
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
½ lb fresh spinach, washed and drained

1. Heat a Dutch oven, add the oil, heat until hot.
2. Add seasonings. Stir-fry until fragrant, about 15 seconds.
3. Add broth, bring to a boil.
4. Add lamb and bring to a boil again.
5. Reduce heat to low, partially cover, simmer for 1 hour, until lamb is tender.
6. Skim the surface to remove any fat or gristle.
7. Add the sweet potatoes. Simmer, partially covered for 20 minutes or until tender.
8. Remove the ginger slices and cinnamon sticks. Discard.
9. Add the spinach. Cook until wilted, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
10. Remove from heat and serve.

TCM Analysis:
Garlic: hot, acrid; Relieve food stagnation, move blood, dispel cold.
Scallions: sweet, pungent, warm; ST, LV, KD. Warm MJ, warm KD yang, invigorate blood.
Ginger: pungent, warm; LU, SP, ST. Disperse cold, stop nausea/vomiting, detoxify, reduce inflammation.
Hot chili paste: (pepper) hot, pungent. Warm digestion, dispel cold.
Cinnamon: Hot, acrid, sweet; ST, KD. Strengthen ST, warm channels, stop pain, warm KD.
Anise seed: pungent, sweet, warm; ST, LV. Strengthen St, regulate qi, harmonize, warm MJ.
Soy sauce: salty, cold; SP, ST, KD. Harmonize MJ, clear heat.
Rice wine: warm, pungent, sweet. Promote circulation.
Sugar: sweet, neutral; LU, SP. Tonify qi, moisten dryness, harmonize MJ.
Lamb: sweet, warm; ST, SP, KD. Tonify KD yang, warm MJ, nourish blood.
Sweet potatoes: neutral, sweet; SP, ST, LV. Strengthen SP/ST, tonify qi/blood, clear heat, increase milk production, benefit eyes.
Spinach: sweet, cold; ST, LI. Clear heat, stop bleeding, nourish blood, moisten dryness.

Overall, this is a very warming recipe. The sweet potatoes, spinach, and soy sauce bring some cooling nature to balance it. The primary focus is on the KD for tonifying KD yang.

Mustard Greens

Categories: Liver Blood Vacuity, Liver Qi Stagnation

Mustard Greens

Ingredients:

  • ½ C thinly sliced onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb. mustard greens, washed and torn into large pieces
  • 2-3 Tbsp chicken broth
  • ¼ tsp dark sesame oil

Instructions:

  1. In a large saute pan, saute onions in olive oil over medium heat until the onions begin to brown and caramelize, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more, until fragrant.
  2. Add the mustard greens and broth and cook until the mustard greens are just barely wilted. Toss with sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Makes 4 servings.

TCM breakdown:

onion: acrid, warm; LU, ST, LI; promotes sweating; resolves phlegm, regulates qi
garlic: acrid, hot; detoxifies meat & seafood; removes stagnant food or blood; warms yang
olive oil: sweet, sour, astringent, neutral; clears heat, detoxifies, promotes body fluids
mustard greens: acrid, warm; LU, LI; strengthens & lubricates intestines, increases appetite
chicken broth: sweet, warm; SP, ST, KD; supplements qi, nourishes xue, boosts wei qi
sesame oil: sweet, neutral; LV, KD, LU, LI; nourishes LV/KD, moistens LI, nourishes jing

This recipe is primarily acrid, sweet, and warm.  According to the Clinical Handbook of Internal Medicine, mildly acrid flavor promotes the movement of qi to regulate the LV.  The sweet ingredients in the recipe (primarily the oils) moisten the LI and promote body fluids.  The main ingredient, mustard greens, also strengthens and lubricates intestines.  For these reasons, I would recommend this recipe to patients with IBS due to LV qi stagnation leading to constipation, especially if their bowel movements are dry.

Sweet Potato Soup

Categories: Large Intestine Fluid Vacuity, Spleen Qi Vacuity, Spleen Yang Vacuity, Stomach Cold, Stomach Food Retention

Sweet Potato Soup
(8 servings)

1 ½ pounds sweet potatoes
3 cups chicken stock
1 head garlic, peeled
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 ½ tbsp curry powder
2 tsp minced ginger
1 cup cream (or nonfat evaporated milk)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Rinse the potatoes and roast them in the oven for 40 minutes or until tender.
2. Bring the stock to a boil and blanch the garlic for 5 minutes; remove garlic from the stock with a slotted spoon.
3. Scoop the potato pulp out of the skins. Puree the potato and garlic cloves. Combine with stock.
4. Heat oil in a saucepan and sauté the curry powder until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add the curry and ginger to the soup and simmer for 15 minutes (the soup may be held at this point, and refrigerated or frozen until ready to serve).
5. Add the cream or evaporated milk and simmer a few minutes until hot. Serve.

Analysis:
The sweet potatoes are neutral and sweet, strengthen SP and ST, tonify qi and blood, clear heat, and detoxify. Chicken stock is warm and sweet, supplements qi of SP and ST, nourishes blood, boosts wei qi and consolidates the KD. Garlic is hot and acrid, it detoxifies, removes stagnant food and blood, aids vomiting and diarrhea. Vegetable oil seems neutral and lubricating. Curry ???? Ginger is pungent and warm, disperses exterior cold, stops nausea and vomiting, detoxifies other substances, and reduces inflammation. Cream/milk is sweet and neutral, supplements qi, nourishes blood, and moistens dryness.
Overall, the recipe is warm and sweet, nourishing to the ST and SP, yet moving and detoxifying. The soup tastes rich, but is soothing to the ST and can be especially good if the patient has overeaten the night before. It aids retention of food in the ST and symptoms of indigestion.