A great way to use the season’s beautiful spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash is also a great alternative if you can’t eat or need to avoid flour based pastas.
Congee, Shi-Fan (literally, rice water) or Jook. Whatever name you give it, rice porridge has been the foundation of nutritional healing since…well, we started playing with fire and cooking. It is my first recommendation for anyone who is weak or ill, whether young or old.
Congee is a eaten by millions as a breakfast food. The simple gruel is served with a variety of side dishes, shredded vegetables and fish, shredded meats and pickles.
Besides being a great morning start, congee is a fantastic healing food.
It’s just rice and water or broth. Perhaps another ingredient is added to added to create a specific result. Sounds boring right? However, sometimes simplicity is the best approach to healing. I always consider the client’s digestive vitality first in any treatment. If they have problems absorbing nutrients for whatever reason, be it illness, chemo or radiation treatment or constitutional weakness, they will not transform the food they eat into healing nutrient qi. In these cases, simple foods cooked for a long period place less of a burden on the digestive system.
Who can benefit from congee?
Anyone. I’ve seen it work wonders with toddlers on acid reflux medicines to seniors battling dementia, those going through chemo and radiation to those just fighting the common cold. There is no magic, it is just simplicity.
Healing benefits of congee
Rice is neutral to warming, there are over 8 thousand varieties of rice and very few people are allergic to rice. If you are someone avoiding gluten…use a gluten free rice. Rice tonifies the Qi and Blood and harmonizes the Middle Burner (your digestive system), the Stomach and the Spleen. Water balances our PH, detoxes and nourishes Yin. The rest of the recipe is up to […]
Cucumbers are perfect for handling summer’s heat. Sunomono is a classic Japanese summer salad of cucumbers in vinegar with numerous variation.
AprilSunomono (Cucumber Salad With Seaweed And Sesame) – – cucumber (cut in to 1/2 inch quarters), rice wine vinegar, nori or light seaweed (crumbled), sesame seed (black or brown), water, sugar (if needed), Slice and quarter the cucumber to desired bit sizes.
In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, water, seaweed, seeds and sugar. Pour over cucumbers until thoroughly coated. Serve chilled.; –
Summer cooking at its best is easy, colorful and uncomplicated. Ratatouille makes the most of the season’s vegetables like tomatoes, eggplants and peppers. This grilled version can be prepared in two ways. The vegetables are first grilled and you then dress them right at the table and serve them immediately or you finish marrying their flavors over the stove top. Both are delish–it’s just a matter of choice. I tend to prefer the first method, as it’s simpler and doesn’t heat up the kitchen.
Double this recipes or toss leftovers with cooked quinoa and a little extra dressing (if necessary) for a light, high protein dish. […]
Roasted roots are a staple for my family in the fall and winter. You can easily vary this recipe to use other roots like turnips or rutabaga, winter squash or different herbs. I often double the batch, eating the leftovers as is for the next meal or as the base for a luscious winter root stew.
Contributed by April Crowell
Roasted Roots With Balsamic, Rosemary And Sage – – carrots, potato, yam or sweet potato or butternut squash, onions, beets, parsnips, garlic (optional), rosemary, sage, olive oil (start on the low side and add more just to coat–you don’t want oily vegetables), balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, Prep your veg!: Preheat oven to 425˚.
Peel all vegetables and dice into 1 1/2 inch pieces.
Place vegetables on a baking sheet large enough so they can all lay flat.
Stem and chop herbs and spread over vegetables.
Drizzle vegetables with olive oil and balsamic. Spread oil and vinegar evenly so that vegetables are well coated. Even vegetables back out on sheet.
; Roast vegetables: Roast vegetables in oven turning vegetables every 15-20 minutes. Add more oil or if they are too dry. Roast for about 45-60minutes or until vegetables are tender and slightly crisp on the edges. ; – Energetics: Roots are grounding, warming and nourish the earth element. They drain dampness and strengthen the Stomach and Spleen and build blood. The vinegar lightly astringes. Rosemary and sage drain dampness and stimulate digestion.
Primary season: Fall/Winter
for more recipes from April check out her personal website at <a href="http://aprilcrowell.com">aprilcrowell.com</a>
Pea soup? Oh, yes! Peas are high in minerals, vitamin C, D, protein and folic acid. And they are simply delicious in bright and lively soup. This soup is beautiful for spring as it contains several foods that specifically prevent or treat spring maladies. Peas, cool and enter the Liver, Stomach, Spleen and Heart, relieving congestion and aiding Qi flow. The warm pungents (onion family) drain phlegm and clear the sinuses and aid digestion. Mint, a cool pungent, also treats sinuses and Lung and Liver patterns. For additional color garnish with fresh chive blossoms.
Minted Pea Soup – – onion (diced), leek (cleaned and diced), scallions (diced), olive oil, garlic (crushed), peas (fresh is ideal!), vegetable or chicken stock, chives, fresh mint (crushed), salt and pepper (to taste), fresh cream, In large sauce pan sauté onions, leek and scallions in olive oil until onions are translucent. Add garlic and peas and sauté for 2 more minutes. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add chives and mint and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to blender (or use an immersion blender) puree until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste and garnish with a dollop of cream and fresh chives.
; – Health benefits: <a href="http://www.pulseholistichealth.com/living-with-the-seasons/merry-mints-healing-energetics-mint/">Mint</a> is abundant in the Spring and with good reason, their medicinal properties are numerous and particularly beneficial to many Spring maladies from <a href="http://aprilcrowell.com/blogs/its-all-in-your-head-treating-headaches-with-chinese-medicine/">headaches </a>to <a href="http://aprilcrowell.com/blogs/the-liver-in-chinese-medicine-controller-of-planning-and-vision/">Liver </a>patterns.. Use them in teas to help lift the spirit, counter allergies and sinus congestion, aid digestion and help calm aggression and tempers that often arise with the season.
Primary season: Spring and Autumn
<a href="http://www.pulseholistichealth.com/nutrition-articles/peas-please-a-…at-an-old-food/">Learn more about Peas!</a> – main course – […]
This delightful herbed rice dish, robust with cilantro, parsley, mint and coriander, makes its appearance at Nowruz (the Persian New Year) and is most often accompanied by fried, light fleshed fish.Sabzi Polo Ba Mahi – – Basamati or other long grain rice (rinsed), chives (rinsed and chopped), dill (rinsed and chopped), parsley (rinsed and chopped), corriander (rinsed and chopped), butter, ground saffron (dissolved in 2 T. of water), leeks (cleaned, but left whole), cloves of garlic (unpeeled), water, Prep the rice: Thoroughly wash and drain rice–classic recipes say upto 5 times. In a large pot bring 8 cups of water and 2 T. butter to boil. Add in rice, fluff once to loosen grains and boil for 6 minutes. Pour rice into a colander and rinse once more with warm water. ; Layer rice and herbs: Return the pot to the stove heat 1/2 of remaining butter and 1/2 the dissolved saffron. Build a pyramid of rice, herbs, leeks and garlic. Add one spatula full of rice, followed by a scoop of herbs, followed by a leek and head of garlic. Repeat process until all rice and herbs are utilized. Pour the remaining butter and dissolved saffron over the pyramid. Cover with tight fitting lid, so that no steam escapes.
Cook 10 minutes over medium heat then reduce heat to low and cook 45-50 minutes more or until rice is al dente.
Remove from heat and allow to cool with lid on for 5 minutes.
Each Asian culture has its own New Year’s tradition. In Japan, the Nabe pot often makes an appearance. The process takes a little time, but that is a part of the celebration–taking time with family and friends. The nabe stock is made from mushrooms soaked overnight and the soup is then heated and served at the dinner table with fresh vegetables. Feel free to vary the vegetables to your tastes. Just lovely.Nabe Pot (Japanese New Year’s Soup) – Nabe pots soups that are heated and served at the dinner table as part of Japanese New Year traditions. – shiitake mushrooms, chicken thighs with bones ( remove the bones and reserve for the stock), salmon filet (optional), tiger prawns (peeled with tails left on (optional)), bak choi (cleaned), carrot (peeled and sliced), daikon radish (peeled and sliced), spring onions or scallions (thinly sliced), bean sprouts (rinsed and drained), cabbage (thinly slice), tamari, firm tofu (pressed to drain water and thinly sliced), lime (thinly sliced), sake, Make the stock: For the stock. Soak shiitakes overnight in 4 cups of water.
Strain water in a pan, bring to boil and add in chicken bones, reduce heat to medium.
Skim stock as scum rises up to the surface. Simmer stock until it reduces one third.
Cut chicken and salmon into bite sized chunks. Boil these in 2 cups of water with 1 T. sake for 1 minute. Drain immediately under cold water.
Clean and remove shiitake stems. ; Make the nabe: Pour stock into a clay (donabe) pot or sukiyaki pot and place over table top burner.
Add remaining sake to stock and bring to boil.
Add the daikon and carrots and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.
Add in […]
Simple and nourishing, this recipe doesn’t have to be limited to sweet potatoes. You can substitute other roots such as yams, peeled pumpkin or squash, potatoes, parsnips or carrots–or a mix of several.Tamari Roasted Sweet Potatoes – – sweet potatoes (peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks), tamari (gluten free soy sauce), sake or mirin, olive oil, sesame seeds (optional), Preheat oven to 400˚ F.
Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 2-inch chunks.
In a small bowl, combine tamari, oil, sake and sesame seeds.
Pour over sweet potatoes and mix to coat well.
Place potatoes on a baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes or until their flesh is soft and lightly browned on the edges.; – Healing Energetics: Root vegetables strengthen the Stomach and Spleen (the Middle burner). Roasting is a method of cooking that is deeply warming.
Season: Late Summer/Transition, Autumn & Winter