Sunday, February 4, 2018

Exploring Food as Medicine Concepts

"Five flavors and five colors" was my challenge as I planned this meal according to the traditions of Chinese Medicine.  In the book, Nutritional Healing with Chinese Medicine,
Ellen Goldsmith details the principles of Chinese medicine and how these can be easily applied to our day-to-day lives.  In the second half of the book, Maya Klein's recipes (+175) brings the concepts into your kitchen.

The prescription is not complicated.  Whole foods, simply prepared, locally sourced and in season.  The recipes are ingredient focused and put the theories into practice. Foods are divided into 5 groups.  

Land and Sea Animals are part of the Animal Foods group, along with eggs and dairy. The above recipe, trout with peas and red rice was made with local sustainable sourced seafood. 

The seasonal recipes are made with many colorful foods from the Vegetables group, as in the fish with lemony greens, millet, corn and cauliflower. Millet is one of many whole grains featured in the recipes. While wheat and all whole grains are a part of Chinese dietary therapy, Maya's own restrictions from wheat led to extensive experimenting with other whole gains. 


This delicious apple honey cake is made with brown rice flour.  Maya explains the importance of accurately measuring the shredded apples in this very moist dessert.  The Fruits group is represented in recipes throughout to include many dried and seasonal fruits in season.  The Asian pears in rose hip sauce in the top photo was cooked in fruit juices.

Nuts and seeds are part of the Whole Grains, beans, pulses and other legumes group.  A different recipe for seed and nut porridge appears in each of the 4 seasons chapters.  The seed and nut mixture can be stored dry and sprinkled on yogurt or over salads.


The pumpkin custard was steamed with just a few ingredients and spices.  Spices and herbs play a major role in flavor and balance.  They are part of the fifth group called Condiments along with salt, sweeteners, tea, alcohol, vinegar and fragrant flowers.  There are medicinal herbs, including cinnamon, ginger and goji berries and culinary spices, like nutmeg and cloves.  Simple culinary spices and herbs are therapeutic agents that add flavor and enhance dishes and meals.  

While there are no recipe pictures in the book, the instructions are easy to follow and the ingredients easily obtained.  The author has simple tips, like "Make sure your kitchen is clean and ready to go" along with the best times to eat "Don't eat heavy meals late at night". Most whole foods are included and high sodium, sugar. deep fried and processed meats excluded.  

Thank you Robert Rose for the complimentary review copy.  The above post and pictures are my own.  I received no other compensation for this review, other than the pleasure of creating meals and eating!

  

Nutritional Healing with Chinese Medicine: + 200 Recipes for Optimal Health

East meets West in the kitchen with the nourishing treasures of Chinese Medicine.
Food can be the most powerful medicine. This outstanding book introduces and teaches how to apply the ancient wisdom and traditions of the healing that comes through food according to Chinese medicine. This is a new way of thinking about what foods are needed to achieve balance and ultimately improve health.
Goldsmith provides a keen and comprehensive understanding behind the basic principles of Chinese medicine so they can be easily applied to day-to-day lives. She takes these same concepts, expands on them for the food to eat in order to maximize the benefits of Chinese dietary therapy.
Eating well is essential to good health and Chinese medicine believes that food truly is medicine. In an easy-to-understand and straightforward manner, Ellen explains how and which combination of foods and flavors act upon the body to move qi (energy) and how they act on the body to warm or cool. Many of the modern day chronic health problems caused by lifestyle, genetics and stress can be helped by distinctive and long lasting changes in the way we eat.
200 enticing recipes organized by season put the theory of Chinese medicine into practice. There are meals that are appropriate for each season from breakfast to dinner, including beverages and desserts. All the recipes are super straightforward, easy to assemble and easily adapted to meet your needs, desires and tastes.

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