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Vegan Bone Broth Alternative

Vegan Bone Broth Alternative

This vegan bone broth alternative includes an assortment of vegetables that are rich in vitamins A, B, C, and E as well as antioxidants and phytonutrients that protect the body from free radicals.

This broth is a tonic to help with general health and boost immunity. The ingredients such as sweet potato, carrot, cabbage and cashew help to strengthen the spleen/stomach dynamic, whilst ingredients such as lemon and avocado help with qi energy such as the liver qi. Tofu helps strengthen Kidney qi.

Many thanks to Peaceful Dumpling for the inspiration for this recipe.

Stir Fried Green Beans, Asparagus and Celery

Stir Fried Green Beans, Asparagus and Celery

Stir Fried Green Beans, Asparagus and CelerySpring is a time for growth, and lightness. In Chinese medicine, spring is a time for expanding energies (in contrast to the hibernating and storing of energy that occurs during winter). Stir Fried Green Beans, Asparagus and Celery involves lightly cooking foods at a higher temperature to preserve the freshness of the vegetables, and stir frying is ideal for this season.

Many of the spring vegetables are light, crisp and have a bitter flavour which is good for the liver in Chinese medicine. The Liver in Chinese medicine is responsible for ensuring smooth flow throughout the whole body; and is involved in motivation, which is why spring is a great time to start new habits.

The green beans, asparagus and celery in this recipe have their crisp freshness maintained with the quick stir frying method used. In Chinese medicine, foods have certain properties; asparagus is bitter, pungent and cool, which is helpful for the Liver. The pungent property has an aromatic action, which helps with the activating and expanding of energies. Celery is sweet, pungent and cool. The green beans are sweet and neutral, which is perfect for the Spleen which is the basis of digestion in Chinese medicine. The garlic and ginger are both pungent and warm, aiding in improving digestive function. (Maclean, Will and Lyttleton, Jane, 2003,Clinical handbook of internal medicine, Volume 2, pp 890-892)    


Spinach Toor Dhal – Autumn Recipe

Spinach Toor Dhal – Autumn Recipe

With coming of Autumn, people find themselves craving warm nurturing foods that are easy to prepare and boost their systems. This is one of my personal favourites, spinach toor dhal, or spinach lentil soup. It’s the perfect recipe for the season because it is delicious and contains many ingredients that support your system. It is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.

There are many available lentils on the market, and if you are not familiar with the world of lentils they all seem to be the same. That said, each variety of lentil has its own unique taste, texture and flavour. Toor dhal (or split pigeon peas) is my favourite variety of lentil (although you can use other types in most recipes).  It has a rich flavour, smooth texture and minimal after taste. Toor dhal is a rich source of protein and is considered both a lentil and a vegetable. It is low in fat and cholesterol, a good source of  folic acid, fibre, and carbohydrates.  

Spinach is also an absolutely essential food.  It is rich in antioxidants and It is also a good source of dietary fibre. If you want to be creative with this preparation you can also add other vegetables to this mix, like zucchini, but this is optional.  Zucchini in rich in vitamin C, and contributes to overall respiratory health. These vegetables can be cooked separately and added at the end.

The tadka for this dhal is what is added to the dhal once it has been cooked. Tadka can essentially be translated as the seasoning for the lentils. This is made with sautéed chopped onions, garlic, and spices. This recipe uses turmeric, asafoetida, cumin powder and chilli powder.  Within the realm of kitchen medicine, turmeric is king. It is said to be anti-inflammatory and can be used both internally and topically. Asafoetida makes lentils easier to digest, and reduces flatulence. Cumin aids in digestion.  Onion, ginger, and garlic also aid in digestion. This trio of vegetables also improve health.  Mustard seeds are an aromatic spice rich in calcium, magnesium and phosphorous and they also boost your  system, and contribute to overall health.

The dhal can be cooked with a pressure cooker or, if soaked for six to eight hours it can be cooked on the stove.  I prefer the later method as pressure cookers are sometimes cumbersome to use, but make the cooking time faster.

Enjoy this healthy and delicious Spinach Toor Dhal

Easy Pumpkin Soup

Easy Pumpkin Soup

This easy pumpkin soup is a very quick and nutritious one pot dish.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, Autumn is the season associated with harvesting what we have grown and storing produce for the upcoming winter. The days are still warm, windy and dry, but the evenings begin to cool more than in summer.

We want to take particular care of the Lung and Large Intestines during Autumn. Both these organs desire to be moistened so that the Qi energy can flow gently through them.

Root vegetables are usually abundant and my favourite pumpkin soup can help to warm and nourish the Stomach and Spleen, as well as moisten the Lung and Large Intestine.

It is a very quick, easy and nutritious one pot dish.

Mattar Paneer (peas and paneer with a tomato base)

Mattar Paneer (peas and paneer with a tomato base)

 

Growing up my mother used to make this a lot, so I feel very nostalgic about this Mattar Paneer recipe. My mother was into healthy cooking even before it was a trend and used to favour brown rice over white, whole grains over processed flour, and while our fridge was overflowing with fruits, bitter gourd and okra – chips, ice cream, cake and chocolate were never to be found.  So it doesn’t surprise me that she found a “healthy” substitute for paneer which is a very rich dense cheese made in India.  

So, for this Mattar Paneer recipe you can either use paneer, (found in any Indian store) or fresh low fat ricotta which you can find in any deli. While this dish is on the rich side, it is healthier than what you could expect to find at an Indian restaurant due to the lack of cream.  Since this version is fairly spicy, you may want to reduce the quantities of clove, cardamom, chilli powder, and garam masala for a milder flavour.  

Shabash!