What happens when the bounty of local foods meets the Eastern medicinal and culinary philosophy of food?
Delicious and nourishing food!
We, Katherine Deumling of Cook with What You Have and I, just completed the first of our seasonal dinner and cooking classes, Taste of Autumn: East Meets West at the Dinner Table. We had a marvelous time, and shared some delicious foods together with a wonderful group of people. i wanted to share some recipes and the wisdom of eating with the season from a Chinese medicine point of view.
Autumn follows the abundant harvest with the drying of leaves and the withering of plants. The air begins to cool, the days are shorter, we go indoors. The energy of the earth begins to contract, the sugar in the trees begins its descent into its root. Much as nature contracts, so does our energy. The trees and plants let their leaves go, and we also can use this more inward time to let go, reorganize and restructure. In eating, we turn our tastes towards beginning to build, nourishment, and protection for the upcoming winter months. We cook more, longer, sweeter and nourishing foods. We turn away from the lightness of summer. As the air dries and the plants wither, we can counterbalance this effect upon our bodies by introducing foods which support our internal hydration, thus protecting the fragile membranes of our lungs and large intestine, the organs ruled by the fall season.
The sweetness of the carrots is complimented by the saltiness of the dulse, the sour lemon and the aromatic parsley. Dulse, is a sea vegetable very high in minerals such as calcium, iron and magnesium. Sea vegetables are a traditional food utilized in coastal cultures throughout the world. They are detoxifying, important to the endocrine system and are a delightful addition to the diet, in small and regular amounts. Carrots are sweet, benefit the digestive process, including the stomach and intestines. Lemons are of course sour and cooling. They support the production of saliva and body fluids which aid in the lubrication of internal organs. It is also supportive to digestion. Parsley is pungent, slightly bitter, and salty.It improves digestion and detoxifies meat and fish.
- 1 pound grated carrots
- ¼ cup of minced parsley
- handful of soaked dulse
- Juice of lemon to taste
- Pinch of salt
Grate the carrots. Mix well with a pinch or two of salt.
Soak the dulse for a few moments. Chop up.
Mix the dulse into the carrots.
Add lemon to taste.
Mix in the parsley. You may also add in toasted sunflower seeds for an additional texture.
In total this dish supports the digestive process, is detoxifying and because the carrots have been grated are easier for the stomach to digest. Be sure to chew well and enjoy the burst of flavor.
Quick Crispy Pickled Vegetables: From Angelica Home Kitchen by Leslie McEachern, with permission
For the brine:
- 1 quart water
- 1/3 cup brown rice vinegar (sour flavor)
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (pungent and warming)
- 1 sprig dill (warming and mildly aromatic)
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (pungent and warming)
2 quarts mixed vegetables such as cauliflower, carrots, celery, string beans, red onions, green cabbage, cut in bite size pieces
• Combine the ingredients for the brine in a non-reactive 3-quart stainless steel saucepan.
• Bring to a boil, lower the flame, and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
• Place the vegetables in a glass jar just large enough to hold the vegetables.
• Allow the brine to cool, then pour it into the jar with the vegetables, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
• Pickles are ready after 12 hours. Keep refrigerated.
Quick pickles made with root vegetables are a marvelous way to compliment your meal, and support the digestive process.
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