Fast fish with salad

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The fish has two main characteristics: tones up the QI and nourishes Blood, while enhancing diuresis. Thus, it is in general indicated in case of water retention. Cod fish, in particular, acts on Liver calming Inner Wind (i.e. dizziness) and with its neutral energy and sweet flavour matches well with the sour taste of lemon.

As a side dish potatoes here work great, having the same direction of cod fish, primarily on Spleen and Stomach and tonifying QI. Plus the combination with celery and carrots, apart from giving some nice colour, reinforces once more the Liver and the digestion. Easy, complete and tasty dish!

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MungArise

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Ok, we admit this dish doesn’t look so appealing but trust us- it works perfectly if you want to detox a bit. Why? Because the Fire that easily arises from food (or drink) intoxication can be well purified by the cooling action of mung beans (especially on Heart, Stomach and Liver). Plus their strong diuretic function helps to drain Dampness often created by messy diets, excess of alcohol/ fatty or sweet food. The combination with whole grain rice makes this dish complete under the aminoacidic profile and also assures a good tonification of the digestive system and the QI. Don’t forget to add soy sauce, essential to give a pinch of salty flavour and strengthen the detoxing effect. Have it with raw or steamed vegetables and enjoy! 😉

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Beat the roots

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Weather is still variable, some days are colder and rainy but spring has definitely arrived. Still as a side dish we prefer something cooked, such as the lively beetroots! Their red colour already give us hints of the main function they have for Traditional Chinese Medicine: nourishing Blood. They are sweet in flavour and neutral in energy. Capers, warm in energy and a little bit spicy and bitter, tonify Yang and move the Blood, therefore providing some more vitality (and taste!) to this dish.

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Spring time

Spring is finally coming with all its powerful and regenerating energy. Little by little we start to shake off the winter laziness, stretch ourselves and get ready to jump into the season of new beginnings, as the word itself suggests (spring= leap/jump). While nature rises again and the colours get brighter, we also feel we’d better make a move and we most probably champ at the bit to make some changes.

According to the theory of the 5 Movements, this is the Wood season (i.e. the Yang in the Yin), associated with the zang-fu Liver and Gall Bladder and the emotion of Anger. Liver is the organ that makes the Qi (energy) flowing gently through our body and it is also in charge of storing up Blood and nourishing muscles and tendons. Its ideogram is a shield well-planted in the ground that defends us. Therefore it can be also imagined as the General officer that provides us the capability to take decisions and look further, most probably making us dreaming more vividly at night. A healthy Liver helps to plan our future and to adopt good strategies in order to get what we aim at and to go where we want to.

That is the reason why detox cures are recommended and work better in spring-time.  So let’s go ahead with green leafy vegetables (e.g. spinach, artichokes, chards, rucola,…), celery, asparagus and algae! Sprouts are very helpful too and don’t forget cereals like buckwheat and rice, better together with green pulses (mung beans, peas and fava beans). In general all food with a neutral-fresh energy and bitter flavor work well. Watch out with heavy and greasy products such as cheese and red meat that enhance Dampness and Heat. Use some soy sauce, yogurt or fresh lemon juice as dressing and say goodbye to old grey days and welcome to green spring!

Royal Croutons

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In this easy recipe the pear, queen of Yin, meets the walnut, king of Yang. The first is the best fruit to fight the dryness of Lungs and therefore is indicated in case of cough and sore-throat; while walnuts sustain Kidney and give instant vitality when we feel tired and exhausted. Cabbage is a discreet companion and drives energy to the Center (digestive system). What about cheese? Cheese just makes it even better. Enjoy!

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Blushing Brussels sprouts

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The Brussels sprouts,  due to  their sweet taste and their neutral thermal nature, go straight to the center (spleen-stomach). In this recipe, the dynamism of red wine help to tone your IQ and at the same time balance its own tendency to create heat.

Serves 4 –Easy -Prep time: 20 minutes

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 You will need:  

  •  500 g Brussels sprouts;
  • 1 leek;
  • 1 glass of red wine;
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil;
  • a pinch of salt.

How to:

  1. Cut the Brussels sprouts and the leek into thin slices;
  2. fry-pan the leek slightly till brownish;
  3. add the Brussels sprouts and let them cook for 5 minutes covered up;
  4. pour the wine;
  5. add a pinch of salt. 6. Cook till it evaporates, without the cap, for about 10 minutes;
  6. serve warm or cold

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What the gyoza

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Winter-oriented stuffing. Why you say? Shrimps strengthen the Kidney (extremely sensitive to cold) and tone up the Yang (easily suffering in this season); Brussel sprouts are always present in our ecologic-bio basket, they re-connect to the center, activating Spleen-Stomach; ginger warms up and protects us from cold, helping digestion. Finally, the quick cooking gives extra vitality to this dish and it gives it an extra-YANG crunchiness.

Stuffing for about 30 dumplings -Medium– Prep time: 30 minutes

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You will need:

  • 30 dumpling disks (here you find our recipe);
  • 6 Brussels sprouts;
  • a piece of ginger root about 3 cm long;
  • 8 big shrimps (pre-boiled);
  • juice of half a lemon (untreated-BIO);
  • finely chopped lemon zest;
  • 2 tbsp of soy sauce;
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil;
  • 2 tbsp of sunflower oil;
  • a pinch of salt;
  • sunflower oil and some hot water to cook;
  • hibiscus or sesame seeds to garnish;
  • soy sauce to dip.

How to:

  1. Clean the shrimps (leave only the edible flesh) and cut them into 4 pieces each;
  2. peel a piece of ginger root of about 3-4 cm long and chop it very finely;
  3. let the shrimps marinate in lemon juice, soy sauce, olive oil. Add tiny pieces of lemon peels and ginger;
  4. wash and chop the brussels sprouts into thin slices;
  5. pan-fry the sprouts in  a wok with sunflower oil and a pinch of salt for about 1-2 minutes. Then add half a glass of warm water and let them cook for about ten minutes (until all the water has gone);
  6. add a teaspoon of the cooked brussel sprouts to the dumpling dough disks, add a piece of shrimp on the top and close the dumplings as explained by this video;
  7. put some sunflower oil on a big pan. When it is hot place the dumplings with the wrapped side up;
  8. cook them till the bottom is brownish (3-4 minutes), then add a glass of hot water and immediately put a lid (watch out because it could be that some water drops out due to the high temperature);
  9. let the dumplings cook covered for 10-15 minutes;
  10. serve them hot garnished with some hibiscus seeds (if you don’t have them, sesame seeds will do) and soy sauce to dip.

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Dumplings

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This is the basic recipe to prepare the dumplings dough. Is it really easy, and you can see also the video that quickly guides you through the main steps of the procedure. You can prepare the dough in advance, and then freeze it after it’s cut(remember to place a small piece of baking paper in between them otherwise they’ll stick together!). There are different ways you can then cook them. In this and this posts you will find our recipe for a delicious stuffing and the guidelines to easily cook them in a pan.

Makes about 40 dumplings -Medium– Prep time: 30 minutes

You will need:

  • 200 g plain white flour;
  • warm water qs (about half of the flour);
  • 2 tbsp of sunflower oil;
  • a pinch of salt.
  • a pasta machine or a rolling pin: if you have it, a gyoza maker will make things easier.

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How to:

  1. Put the flour on the table, making a hole in the middle and add a pinch of salt;
  2. pour the warm water while you knead, until you get a smooth, non sticky dough
  3. once the dough is well compact, add the oil and knead until it gets all absorbed;
  4. let the dough sit in a bowl and in the meanwhile prepare the stuffing you prefer (here you’ll find one of our favourites);
  5. when the stuffing is ready, take a piece of dough and roll it out with the pasta machine (first size 6 and then 3) or by using a rolling pin till you obtain a thin layer (3 mm thick). Use some flour to avoid sticking;
  6. cut into circles (6-7 cm wide) by using a glass;
  7. cut the stuffing in the center and pass some water on the borders to help sealing;
  8. fold it in half and make small waves on the border-or, if you have it, use the gyoza makerdampling dough 3 copy

Soup ups

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Cumin gives to this basic dish an exotic touch that you will notice straight away. As most of the spices, it is warm in energy and helps to move the QI, thus helping the digestion and opening the Stomach. Lentils are the best pulses to nourish Blood and together with cooked cabbage and carrot tone up the center (Spleen and Stomach). Don’t forget about chili pepper for instant warming and immediate relief from cold weather. In case you have some soup left, have it for lunch with crunchy bread or rice.  By adding the cereals you will have a complete and balanced meal.

Serves 4 -Easy– Prep time: 35 minutes

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You will need:

  • 300 g red lentils;
  • half cabbage;
  • 1 leek or onion;
  • 1 big carrot;
  • 4 tbsp of tomato sauce;
  • 1 tsp of cumin;
  • 3 small chili peppers;
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil;
  • a pinch of salt;
  • 0,7-1 l of hot water.

How to:

  1. Cut the leek/onion and the carrot in thin slices;
  2. pan-fry the leek (or onion) and the carrots with some olive oil, cumin and chili pepper;
  3. add the cabbage previously chopped, the tomato sauce and the lentils, and stir in the pan for couple of minutes;
  4. pour the hot water and let it cook covered for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

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Bitter Sweet punK-cakes

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Banana pancakes, sweet and soft, perfectly accompany the bitterish, crunchy oranges. This combination produces a balanced taste, making us get off the bed a little less unwillingly carving for this delicious breakfast treat.

A final dust of cinnamon is a must: the queen of winter spices warms up until the very deep, moves the QI and calms pain. For a soft awakening and a good day.

Serves 2 -Easy- Prep time: 20 minutes

You will need: 

  • 2 oranges, untreated;
  • brown sugar;
  • 2 tsp of butter;
  • 1 cup of plain flour;
  • 1 cup of milk;
  • 1 egg;
  • 1 tsp of baking powder;
  • 1 medium size banana.

How to:

  1. Put a pan to warm up on medium heat, spread a tablespoon of brown sugar and let melt;
  2. cut an orange in slices of about ½ cm, place them on the pan, and let them cook on the first side, covered;
  3. sprinkle them with some more sugar, then turn them so they cook on the other side;
  4. finish off with a small knob of butter on each slice, and one more minute of cooking;
  5. prepare the pancakes’ batter. Our favorite recipe is from Jamie Oliver, and it is as simple as it goes: combine together one egg, one cup of milk, one cup of flour, a pinch of salt and the baking powder; whisk until smooth;
  6. you can now add some extra flavors to your recipe. This time we went for banana slices (which also add extra softness to our pancakes). So cut your banana in slices, and add them to the batter;
  7. melt a knob of butter in a pan, wait for it to be melt and hot then add a scoop of your batter. When it has become brownish (and it starts forming bubbles), turn it with decision and let it cook on the other side. Go on until you are done with all the mix;
  8. serve those fluffy pancakes with some slices of oranges on top, sprinkle with some cinnamon powder.
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