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Morning Couscous With Oranges and Dates

Categories: Shen Calming, Spleen Qi Vacuity

Morning Couscous With Oranges and Dates
Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times
By MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN
Published: December 7, 2009

This is a delicious way to enjoy couscous. You can reconstitute the couscous the night before and keep it in the refrigerator overnight. All it will need in the morning is a steam in the microwave and the addition of the oranges.

1 1/2 cups water

2 to 3 tablespoons brown sugar or honey (to taste)

1 teaspoon orange flower water (optional; available at Middle Eastern markets)

3 tablespoons chopped dried apricots

2 tablespoons currants or raisins

1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)

1 cup couscous

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, to taste

1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)

2 navel oranges

6 dates, pitted and cut in quarters lengthwise

Pomegranate seeds for garnish

1. Combine the water and brown sugar or honey in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to medium, and boil gently until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the optional orange flower water, the chopped apricots and the raisins or currants, and set aside for five minutes.

2. Place the couscous in a 2-quart bowl, and add the cinnamon and salt. Stir together. Pour on the hot syrup. Mix together with a fork, spatula or wooden spoon, and set aside for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. At this point, if not eating right away, cover and refrigerate.

3. Shortly before serving, steam the couscous in one of two ways.

Line a strainer with a double layer of cheesecloth, and dump the couscous into the strainer. Then set above a pot with 1 inch of boiling water. Cover and steam for 15 minutes, making sure that the water is well below the couscous. Transfer to a bowl, add the butter, and toss together until the butter melts.

Alternatively, place the couscous in a microwave and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave for two minutes. Carefully uncover, stir in the butter and cover again. Microwave for another two minutes. Remove the plastic, being careful of the steam in the bowl.

4. With a paring knife, peel away the skin and pith from the orange, holding it over the couscous so that any juice drips onto the couscous. Still holding the orange over the couscous, cut out the sections from between the membranes.

5. Pile the couscous into a mound on a platter, or spoon into individual serving bowls. Decorate with orange sections, date slices and pomegranate seeds, and serve.

Yield: Serves four to six.

Advance preparation: You can make the dish through step 3, and keep the couscous in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Orange apricot crisp

Categories: Desserts, Liver Yin Vacuity, Vegan, Vegetarian, Yin Vacuity

Anna Strong

Cherry-Apricot-Crisp_3

ORANGE APRICOT CRISP

8 oranges
1 tbsp grated orange zest
2 cups dried apricots, thinly sliced
½ cup dried raisins
½ cup chopped candied ginger
1 cup brown rice flour
½ cup sugar
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp vegan margarine
½ tsp vanilla extract

Pre heat oven to 350. Coat 9 inch square baking pan with cooking spray.
Cut ends off oranges. Stand 1 orange on cutting board and slice away pitch and peel. Cut orange into quarters, cut quarters into ½ inch slices. Repeat with remaining oranges and transfer to bowl. Stir apricots, raisins, and candies ginger into oranges. Spread mixture into baking pan.
Stir together brown rice flour, sugar, orange zest, and salt in bowl. Rub margarine and vanilla into rice flour mixture until mixture forms large crumbs. Spread crumbs over orange mixture.
Bake 30-40 minutes until top is golden brown.

LV Yin Xu Recipe

Oranges: sweet, sour, cool. Clears heat, soothes liver, nourishes fluids.
Orange zest: moves liver qi
Apricots: sl. Cool, sweet, sour. Regenerates body fluids, clears heat, quenches thirst
Raisins: sweet, warm, sour. Nourishes blood, relieves irritability
Ginger, acrid, warms (+ sweet): LU/SP/ST. disperses cold, redirects counterflow qi.
Brown rice flour: sweet, sl. Warm. SP/ST. Supplements qi, drains damp.
Sugar: sweet, warm. Sp/ST. Supplements and harmonizes Middle jiao.
Salt: salty, cold Clears heat, cools the blood.
Vegan margarine: Tonifies yin