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Tofu and Mushroom Casserole


Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves 4.

Ingredients:
1 Kilo (2 lb.) plain tofu, *lightly steamed
12 large Chinese mushrooms*, soaked until soft, thinly sliced
300g (2cups) pea pods
1 bunch scallions
30g (2 Tbsp) tamari or *soy sauce
45g (3Tbsp) arrowroot or corn starch (Organic)

Instructions:
Slice tofu into 2cm cubes and put in bottom of rectangular baking dish.
Lightly simmer mushrooms then add pea pods and scallions for last 5 minutes.
Put these vegetables on top of the tofu.
Use the vegetable cooking water plus enough water to make 700ml liquid. Add tamari.
Dissolve starch in a small amount of liquid; add to the rest of the liquid, simmer, stirring often, until the liquid thickens. Pour this gravy on top of the tofu and vegetable mixture.
Garnish with crushed, toasted almonds and finely chopped cilantro.

Health Benefits according to Chinese Nutritional Therapy

This dish strengthens Qi and Yin. It will Clear Heat and Eliminates Toxins. The combination of ingredients means that this sweet dish nourishes deficiency and helps to avoid and resolve mucus.


*Steam the Tofu
Place the tofu in a large plate and then cut into several 2 cm thick cubes. Silken tofu can be broken very easily, cutting in serving plate can avoid transferring and keep the original shape. You can also choose to steam tofu as a whole box shape. But cutting makes the dish more delicious.
Let the tofu stay in the plate for coupe of minutes, then carefully discard the water released. Set up your steamer and steam the tofu for 6-8 minutes. Transfer out and discard only water in the plate.

*Tamari and Soy Sauce
Tamari is a wider class of soy sauces and is made with no (or very little) wheat, while traditional soy sauce does contain wheat.
• Tamari: Little to no wheat (always double-check if avoiding gluten)
• Soy Sauce: Includes wheat (not gluten-free)

*Mushrooms:
You can use either dried shiitake mushroom, wood ear, chestnut mushroom, oyster mushroom, king oyster mushroom.



James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media. #jamushur


Disclaimer

This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.


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Golden Casserole


This dish strengthens weakness and improves energy and enthusiasm. The warming spices encourage movement of Yang energy, so for those of you who feel the cold this is especially warming and nourishing!

Ingredients: (serves 4-6)

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas (soaked overnight and cooked as per instructions)
  • OR 1 large tin pre-cooked chickpeas
  • 1/2 butternut squash, de-seeded, peeled, cut into chunks
  • 3 carrots peeled and sliced
  • 2 white onions diced
  • 1 large sweet potato peeled and cut into 1” chunks
  • half medium turnip peeled and cut into 1” chunks
  • 1 dessertspoon ground ginger
  • 1+1/2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 2” piece cinnamon stick
  • 2 bayleaf, good pinch of sea salt and black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or sesame oil
  • 2 organic vegetable bouillon stock cubes

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add diced onions and fry until they become translucent.
  2. Add the salt, pepper, ground ginger, ground coriander, cinnamon stick and mix thoroughly to release their fragrances.
  3. Add all the chopped vegetables and mix with spices and onion. Add a large mug of boiled water. Simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the pre-cooked chickpeas and mix thoroughly. Adding a further 2 cups of boiled water. Add the bayleaf.
  5. Crumble the stock cubes into the pot and mix thoroughly.
  6. Cook for a further 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Alternatively at this point the pot can be transferred to the oven and cooked on gas mark 3/160°C for a further 30 minutes.
  7. Serve with freshly chopped coriander, well cooked brown rice and lightly steamed kale or cabbage.

Chickpeas contain more iron than other beans & pulses so they’re great for nourishing the Blood.

Cooking this dish slowly in the oven creates a deeper warmth for the body which nourishes the Kidney/Spleen/Stomach energy.



James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media. #jamushur


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Wild Garlic Soup


Helps strengthen the Immune system
Helps remove toxins from the body
Helps lower blood pressure

Sweet potato, wheatgrass and wild garlic, all have anti-inflammatory and cleansing properties, so this is the perfect soup if you are feeling the cold or your immune system is sluggish after any winter bugs or illnesses.

Wild garlic is only available in the Spring, so if you want to make this soup at other times of the year, why not substitute it with a mixture of wild rockers and spinach.
You can also freeze this soup for later too!

Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 4 medium shallots (peeled and chopped finely)
  • 1 medium (about 400g/14oz) sweet potato (peeled and diced)
  • 700ml (1 ¼ pints) vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp Wheatgrass Juice or 1tsp wheatgrass power (optional)
  • 4 tbsp natural creme fraiche or natural yogurt to serve (optional)
  • 200g (7oz) young Wild Garlic leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat the sunflower oil in a medium saucepan over a low heat, add the shallots and a teaspoon of water and allow shallots to soften. Add the diced sweet potato and sauté for 5 minutes. Pour in the hot vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 15 minutes until the sweet potato softens.

Meanwhile mix the wheatgrass juice or powder and the creme fraiche or natural yogurt together in a small bowl.
Remove the pan from heat. Pour mixture into a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth. Add the wild garlic leaves and blitz again until smooth. Season to taste. Pour into bowls and swirl one tablespoon of the creme fraiche or yogurt into each portion and serve.

Enjoy!

According to Chinese Nutritional Therapy, Garlic is hot, sweet, salty, pungent, and it strengthens Yang. It also resolves Dampness and Phlegm, Eliminates Toxins, Disperses Wind.

Sweet Potato – Neutral, sweet. Cultivates Qi, Blood, Yin, Eliminates Toxins

Wheatgrass – Neutral, taste: sweet, salty, Cultivates Qi and Blood

This is an excellent soup to benefit the Chinese Liver (Gan)



James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media. #jamushur


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Nourish the Brain Soup


This hearty nourishing soup has been eaten for centuries as a health food to nourish the brain and especially memory. It nourishes Qi Deficiency and Essence (Jing) Deficiency. It is packed with nutrients from a Western viewpoint, however we don’t need to know all the long worded names in order to enjoy and gain maximum benefits from this easy to make soup.


Ingredients: 1 big fish head (Salmon, Carp, etc) transparent noodles (100g), golden mushrooms (200g), scallions and garlic.
Seasoning: 2 star anis seeds (aniseeds), 2 Tablespoons white wine or dry sherry, 2 Tablespoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon dried chili, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 pinch salt, 4 teaspoon starch.

Preparation:
1. Wash ingredients, dip fish head in starch.
2. Lightly fry the head. Fry aniseeds, chili, scallions and garlic.
3. Make soup with all ingredients, add soy sauce, white wine, sugar and salt.
4. When soup is almost done, add mushrooms and noodles. Cook at gentle heat for 20 minutes.

Eat occasionally.

Function: Reinforces the brain, strengthens memory, fortifies constitution



James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media. #jamushur


Disclaimer

This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.


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Qi Deficiency



Qi – The Vitality of Life

Chinese philosophers and thinkers of all times, have engaged with the concept of Qi, right from the beginning of Chinese civilisation up to our modern times. It is the vital energy that circulates throughout the universe. It fills the air we breathe, it’s the constituent parts and nutrients contained in the food we eat. It is the life that starts the heart beating and our first breath after leaving our mother’s womb.

It is excellently described in the Chinese symbol for Qi (vapour, steam, & rice), illustrating that Qi can be as rarefied and immaterial as vapour, and as dense and material as rice. It also signifies that Qi is a subtle substance (vapour, steam) deriving from a coarse material (rice) just as steam is produced by cooking rice.

The translation into any other language from Chinese proves a difficult task and many different translations have been proposed, none of which gives even an approximation of the essence of Qi exactly.  It has been translated as “energy”, “vitality”, “ether”, “matter-energy”, “vital force”, “life force”, “vital power” among more.  The reason it is so difficult to translate the word “Qi” correctly, lies  in the particular fluid nature whereby Qi can manifest differently and be different things in different situations.

Disharmony

In traditional Chinese medicine when Qi is out of balance, the clinical manifestations of its four basic disharmonies are many. It is important to note that the clinical manifestations mentioned here are a complete picture of most of the manifestations recorded and that in real life someone may experience only some or more of these manifestation. This short article could never convey a complete description of Qi in medical terms.

The clinical manifestations of a Qi Deficiency may include all or some of the following:

Fatigue, Tiredness, exhaustion, muscle weakness, general weakness, lack of energy, apathy, poor concentration, lack of appetite, profuse perspiration, spontaneous sweating or sweating on light exercise like just walking a short distance, loose stools, lethargy, disillusionment, dislike to speak, and all these manifestations may be made worse on exertion or with exercise. It is not necessary for someone to experience all these manifestations. When diagnosing according to Traditional Chinese Medical theory, it cannot be over emphasised the importance of a holistic clinical picture, which includes all symptoms and signs of disharmony.

Causes of Qi deficiency

This syndrome often results from excess mental work, often in highly organised people.

overwork, excessive exercise, lack of good nutrition usually due to lack of optimum nutritional knowledge. A sedentary lifestyle can also contribute to a Qi deficiency.

Treatment of Qi Disharmony

Treating any Qi disharmony requires a complete history taking with analysis to diagnose which disharmony the person is suffering from. If you experience any of the above symptoms over a long period of time, I would recommend seeking out a competent practitioner or you may consult myself online by completing my extensive 350 question consultation form. When a diagnosis is achieved, the next step is to formulate a treatment protocol which usually involves some acupuncture points that can be stimulated by acupressure with herbal and dietary advice.

Foods to Nourish Qi

Where possible, try to eat lightly cooked, fresh, local, seasonal produce. The emphasis is on complex carbohydrates in vegetables and unrefined grains and eating small frequent meals.

The following foods are considered excellent foods to strengthen Qi.

Beans/grains/pulses Chickpeas, lentils, wheat bran, millet, quinoa, rice,
Vegetables Asparagus, Carrot, button mushroom, cabbage, eggplant, peas, potato, pumpkin, shiitake mushroom, squash, sweet potato, tomato, yam, garlic,
Fruit Apple, Coconut, Cherry, Dates, Figs, Grape,
Bean Products Tofu
Nuts and seeds Almond, black sesame seeds, coconut (meat)
Fish Eel, herring, mackerel, mussel, octopus, oyster, sturgeon, tuna, trout
Meat Beef, chicken, chicken liver, duck, goose, ham, lamb, pheasant, quail, venison
Dairy Chicken egg, milk,
Herbs and spices Bay leaves, liquorices
Condiments Barley malt, honey, molasses, rice syrup
Supplements Algae, ginseng (American, Chinese, and Korean), pollen, royal jelly

Recipes:

What to Avoid

  • Avoid or at least moderate use of the microwave and processed foods.
  • Avoid all cold or raw foods (particularly citrus and sprouts)
  • Avoid fried greasy foods
  • Avoid processed sugars, large meals and rich foods.
  • Moderate your dairy intake

Other ways to Nourish Qi

  • Relaxation.
  • Mindfulness Meditation.
  • Moderate exercise.
  • Breathing (deep) fresh clean air.
  • Life-affirming activities.
  • Maintaining a positive attitude.
  • Spending time in nature or natural environment.
  • Tai chi / Qi gong.


James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media. #jamushur


Disclaimer

This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.


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