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Chinese medicine concepts of diet is based on a good balance of different foods, but when ill health takes place the concept is about eating the right food for the individual to obtain health. Like the saying ' let your food be your medicine, and your medicine your food'.
Here are some recipies that are listed under specific chinese patterns of disharmony that takes food energetics into account to maintain health. Although these recipies can be eaten by all, to get your body into balance your consultant will provide you with a TCM diagnosis and inform you of foods that will bring your body into balance.
Nourishing food during the winter months.
Artichoke and Bacon Soup
- 4 Slices Bacon
- 2 Onions
- 6-8 jerusalem artichokes
- 2 large leeks
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Small knob of butter
- 2 pints of water
- 1 teaspoon of bouillon or stock cube ( or make up your own stock)
- 2 medium size potatoes
- Salt and Pepper
Method: Chop the inions, leeks , artichokes and bacon into small pieces. Gently fry the oinions in the olive oil and butter, adding the leeks bacon and the artichokes when the onions are softened and sweet. Stir for a while and allow then to sweat together. Add the water, bouillon and potatoes and cook gently for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. This can be eaten either at a chunky soup or liquidise but leave a few chuncky bits. Add seasoning to flavour.
Great food when the weather is cold and damp.
Pumpkin and Chesnut Soup
- 1 cup of fresh or dried chestnuts, soaked
- 2 onions
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- I medium pumkin
- 2 pints vegetable stock
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 bayleaf
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
- splash of cider vinegar
- Parsley to garnish
- Pinch paprika
Presoak the dried chestnuts overnight. Chop the onions roughly and fry in the olive oil until softened. Chop the pumkin, removing the skin and seeds and sweat with the onions stiring occasionally until softened. Add the vegetable stock, chestnuts, garlic, bayleaf and rosemary and simmer for 40 minutes.
Remove the bayleaf and rosemary sprig and liquidise adding a splash of cider vinegar and season well. Serve with the garnish and a spinkle of paprika.
Food when your feeling cold and tired.
Lemon Chicken Tagine
- 3 medium size onions
- 2 lemons
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- Pinch saffron
- Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
- Handful of fresh corriander, chopped
- 8 pieces of chicken ( or whole and cut into 6-8 peices )
- 2-3 cups of water
- Handful of raisins
- Handful of olives
- Salt and Pepper
Slice the onions and lemons. Lay half of them in a tagine or oven proof dish and sit 4 of the chicken pieces on top. Sprinkle with the herbs and spices and raisins. Repeat this process to make a two layered dish. Add the water and seasoning. Cover the dish and cook in the oven for 1 1/2 - 2 hours at 375/ Gas Mark 5. Five minutes to the end of the cooking scatter the olives on top. Serve with couscous and finsh off with a sprinkle of corriander.
Normandy Fish Stew or 'Marmite Dieppoise'
Great when your work long days and nights.
500g mussels, cleaned and debearded (discard any that don't close when tapped on the sink)
- 300ml cider or white wine
- large knob of butter
- 2 leeks, cleaned and sliced
- 100g baby button mushrooms halved
- 150ml crème fraîche
- 4 fillets skin-on sustainable white fish (plaice would be perfect)
- small bunch flat-leaf parsley , chopped
Place mussels and cider or wine in a wide, shallow pan. Cover and place on a high heat for 3-4 mins, shaking pan a few times until mussels have opened. Tip into a colander over a bowl to catch the juices. Discard any that have not opened.
Place the pan back on the heat with a large knob of butter. Sizzle the leeks for 8 mins until soft, then add the mushrooms. Add the mussel cooking liquid and crème fraîche and bubble down for 5 mins to reduce by half. Turn down the heat and add the fish. Cover and gently poach for 10 mins until cooked, then carefully lift out. Stir through the mussels and parsley and heat through.
If you want, place the fish back in the pan to serve from the table or place a piece of fish in each serving bowl and spoon everything else around it. Delicious served with boiled waxy potatoes, such as Pink Fir Apple.
Spanish Mackerel Warm Salad
When your feeling tired and limbs feel heavy, try this Mackeral dish to help eliminate that muzzy head feeling and general heaviness.
- Aubergine halved lengthways and cut into strips
- courgette, cut into strips lengthways
- 2 red peppers , cut into strips lengthways
- 2 large tomatoes , cut into quarters
- extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ lime, juiced
- 50g rocket
- 4 smoked mackerel fillets, broken into large pieces
Heat a griddle (chargrill). Brush the vegetables lightly with oil and grill for 2 minutes each side until tender (do the tomatoes last as they will stick a little).
Put the vegetables into a large bowl, season and toss with the lime juice, a little more olive oil and the rocket. Divide between four plates and serve with the smoked mackerel.
Lamb Shank Tagine
For those cold winter days to warm and keep the cold out.
Brown 4 lamb shanks all over in a little oil. Put in a large casserole with the onions, crushed cloves of garlic, saffron, ground ginger, cumin and cinnamon stick. Add the halved dates, tin cherry tomatoes and enough chicken stock to barely cover. Cover and simmer for 2-2 1/2 hours until meat is tender.
Serve with couscous mixed with toasted chopped almonds, pistachios and parsley.