Morroccan Chickpea Soup is a tasty and delicious vegetarian and vegan soup with basic ingredients that are gluten free. This soup is hearty and healthy, full of flavour and plant protein, and only takes 20 minutes to make. It will leave you feeling full and satisfied.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) knows which herbs and foods can bring back life to a weakened organ or meridian. Balance is the key to health. Chickpeas can benefit the pancreas, stomach and heart.
Chickpeas may be helpful for symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath and a pale face which indicate a Qi Energy deficiency (depleted energy and vitality) and an imbalance of the spleen. The spleen is important for digestion and therefore plays a vital role in the production of Qi energy. Chickpeas are a useful food choice.
Chickpeas or garbanzo beans are easy to digest, build up digestive strength, are warming and nourishing. They are packed with vitamins and nutrients, are a good source of zinc and folate, low in fat, and full of fibre which is ideal for gut health. Chickpeas are a neutral food which are suitable for any TCM body type.
The tomato based broth is good for the spleen and stomach, and aids digestion. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which is an antioxidant.
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
With this Stir fry Onion Shrimp for Kidney Yang recipe, the combination of prawns and onions is very beneficial for boosting yang deficiencies that result in low energy. This boosts kidney yang and digestive function as well.
The mildly sweet and salty taste of prawns is very pleasant and their nourishing properties ignite and energise the body. Onions also have strong energy enhancing effects.
According to Chinese Medicine winter means it is time to nourish and warm your body, to help get you through these cold rainy days. It is also the time to build up your internal stores, and replenish your Kidney energy.
A healthy, nourishing diet involves eating what is seasonal, and in winter that includes root vegetables, cabbage and brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and winter greens. At this time of year food should be cooked slowly, and some of the best meals are hearty soups and stews.
For something a bit different though, try this warming vegetarian winter stir-fry. Chinese five-spice powder is perfect for gently warming the body and supporting the kidneys, and the black sesame seeds are used to nourish the blood. They are readily available at Asian groceries, along with fried tofu.
The exact combination of vegetables doesn’t matter, so substitute in any of your seasonal favourites.
Keep the chili mild, and enjoy the gentle warmth of the spices.