Recipe of The Month - August 2011

Qi building challenge!

Rather than the usual recipe of the month we are going to do something a bit different this time: a spleen and stomach qi building challenge!

I encourage you to to try it with me for one week. The following week’s worth of meal ideas are quick and easy to make, and spectacular for your digestive energy. It only takes two days of prep during the week and about 15 minutes to prepare the meals. Your spleen and stomach qi will be rocking after this week of food!

Sunday

Prepare one cup of steel cut oats per person. I suggest Bob’s Red Mill steel cut oats because they are fantastic! Eat every morning and top with different nuts or seeds, dried fruit, milk or yogurt, brown sugar, mix in a nut butter, fresh fruit.

Oats are one of the best grains to eat in the morning as they are sweet, neutral in temperature and directly boost the spleen qi. And, when the qi of the entire body is focused on the spleen for two solid hours after rising in the morning, it’s the optimal time to do some boosting. Make a cup of brown rice per person that will be eaten in the house that week. This can be used for two meals per person this week.

Pick at least two vegetables (I encourage more variety, but you have to start somewhere) you like when they are slightly cooked. Wash, chop and lightly blanch (drop in boiling water for 2 minutes tops followed by dipping in cold water) about 2 cups per person of them. Put them in the freezer for quick use.

Cook up 2 cups of meat/vegetable protein per person.. Lamb, chicken, beef, pork, tofu. These meats (and tofu) are all very nourishing for the spleen.

Wednesday

Now that you got the swing of it, Repeat with different ingredients! Pick new grains, meat and vegetables.

  • Grain – Quinoa, barley, wild rice, amaranth, millet. Make a cup per person.
  • Pick two different vegetables and cut and wash two cups per person, blanch, put in freezer for quick use.
  • Meat – Same idea, just cook and store for quick use.

Here are some ideas:

These use the same ingredients but in different combinations and you can make up yummy sauces (next newsletter) to top them, or just use whatever condiment in the fridge sounds good (maybe not the sugary ketchup types though).

Breakfast (in case you didn’t make oats)

Brown rice and eggs – Saute rice in a pan with olive oil and salt and pepper and any fresh herbs you have, then squish the rice to one side of the pan, Add eggs mixed for scrambling and just before they are done, mix it together and top with avocado, sour cream, salsa. Try it in a tortilla, or add some veggies if you like.

Warm brown rice cereal – Add milk (animal milk in this case makes it creamier, but any nut milk will do just fine) to brown rice on the stove with your choice of the following: bananas or frozen berries, ground almonds, flax or any nut or seed, dried fruit, stevia or brown sugar if you like it sweeter than the fruit can offer, and enjoy.

Lunch or Dinner

Beans & brown rice – heat them, then add veggies, meat of your choice – on abed of greens, in a corn or flour tortilla, in a bowl with light cheese.

Nutty rice – My personal favorite! Lightly toast any nuts you have in your house (I suggest sesame, sunflower, ground almonds or cashews) in olive oil/sesame oil (for more flavor) on low heat till they smell delicious and then add rice to the pan with a little more olive oil and salt and pepper and you have extremely yummy rice! Add meat and or veggies.

Soup – Saute up some onions and garlic, add brown rice or grain and veggies to some chicken stock with salt and pepper.

Warm Salads – Make a nice bed of lettuce (and whatever else you may have around the house; sunflower seeds, shredded carrots, celery, radish), add saute a combination of veggies/meat/grains with some onions, add dressing to salad then top with warm ingredients. *This is a great way to eat a salad without burning out the spleen energy with too many raw veggies.

Grill! It’s summer time, get some veggies sliced thinly (I suggest summer squash, and zucchini) and lightly coat with olive oil and fresh herbs then grill for about 5 min. Add this to a bed of lettuce, with chopped meat and add nuts.

Hopefully these ideas help you get started on your challenge! You will notice that there aren’t any concentrated sugars, breads, or processed foods (except tortillas, and try the natural kind with the fewest ingredients). This is because they can be detrimental to the digestive qi of the body and eventually lead to dampness (weight gain). You will find mostly grains, meat and vegetables. This is what we were meant to live on- REAL, WHOLE FOODS!

I am very excited to hear if you decide to do this, so check out our facebook page next week and comment with any feedback on how you are feeling and any fun recipes that you came up with!

Lara