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Smiling Body with Tofu

Tofu is a delicious healthy food made from soybean curds. It’s naturally low in calories and it’s gluten-free. It’s a superb source of protein, manganese, calcium, copper, selenium iron, and contains NO cholesterol. Soy is the primary constituent of tofu and is a complete source of dietary protein, providing all of the essential amino acids needed in the diet. For optimum health, consume tofu occasionally with a variety of other foods.

Western Benefits:

  • Cardiovascular disorders
  • Cancer prevention
  • Obesity prevention and treatment
  • Diabetes (Type 2) – treatment
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Periodontal disease
  • Neurodegenerative disease

Oriental benefits

  • Strengthen body energy by balancing the digestive system
  • Clears heat and toxins from the body:
  • Helping to promote breast milk
  • Soothes the body joints
  • Moisturizes the skin
  • Relieves bowel blockages
  • Moistens cough

According to the theory of Chinese Nutritional Therapy, tofu benefits the (TCM) Spleen / Stomach, which are related to blood, metabolism and digestion. When the Spleen/Stomach are in harmony there is health and energy. It is sweet in taste meaning it helps digestion of food, including difficult to digest foods. It is neutral / cooling and this helps to cool stomach fire and it moistens the skin. Tofu would be beneficial for constipation.

Tofu Today

Tofu is available in most supermarkets today, and is offered either refrigerated in individual packages or non-refrigerated in aseptically sealed containers. All tofu packets should have an expiry date printed on packaging. Once the package is opened, all types of tofu should be rinsed well, kept in a container covered with water, and placed in the refrigerator. Changing the water daily will help keep the tofu fresh for up to one week.

Types of Tofu

There are many nutritious healthy Chinese food recipes that call for the use of tofu and there are a number of different types of tofu out there and it’s important to know which kind of tofu is best to use for your different recipes.

Tofu differs in texture from soft to firm to extra-firm. Soft or Silken tofu has a smoother texture and is particularly suitable for salad dressings, sauces, and desserts. Firm and extra-firm tofu are best for baking, stir-frying, and grilling. This firm tofu will keep its shape as it cooks and will not fall apart in your wok or pan during the cooking process.

Expelling Water

I recommend that you drain your tofu before you use it. This will help the tofu to absorb all of the flavours of your dish and make it much tastier. You can easily drain your tofu on a wire tray over a plate. Be careful with silken tofu, use a muslin cloth to hold it together. Place a weight on top to assist the squeeze, for example another plate on top of the tofu to help expel the water. You can also place your tofu cake between two plates and squeeze the plates with rubber bands and hold vertically to drain water.

How to make Tofu

I do not advise making tofu at home as like other fermented foods, one of the process ingredients (magnesium chloride) can be damaging to your health, if not used in the correct way.

Soybean is the main ingredient of Tofu. Soybean milk is to be heated until it boils, then a tiny amount of magnesium chloride is added to solidify the soybean milk. We wait until the mixture cools down and you then have Tofu that is ready to be cooked.


Xiao Cong Ban Tofu

This is a typical Beijing dish and can be seen most frequently in North China. Green onion and Tofu are the only ingredients of this dish. With a small amount of sesame oil and salt, this dish is known for retaining the flavours of both of the ingredients.


  • 1 block (325 grams / 12 ounces) silken tofu
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion, green part
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese sesame oil


  • Carefully transfer the tofu from the package to a medium-size plate.
  • Sprinkle sea salt over tofu and top with green onion and a drizzle of sesame oil. Use a knife to slice tofu into strips, then gently mix it with a pair of chopsticks.
  • Serve immediately.

Serves: 2-4

This is a lovely simple recipe that makes a great appetizer. Enjoy!

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Horseradish and Lemon Sauce

This powerful natural medicinal remedy has been used for Asthma, Bronchitis, Colds, Coughs, Influenza, Pneumonia or for any respiratory issue. It is also used for urinary tract infections, kidney stones, fluid retention, cough, achy joints (rheumatism), gallbladder disorders, sciatic nerve pain, gout, colic, and intestinal worms in children.

It can also be applied directly to the skin for painful and swollen joints or tissues and for minor muscle aches.

The potent components in fresh grated horseradish will resolve and dissolve the mucus in the sinuses and bronchial tubes effectively and quickly.

Mixing the grated horseradish with fresh lemon juice doubles its efficacy.


  • Grate fresh horseradish into a bowl, add enough lemon juice to make into paste.
  • Take 1/2 teaspoon 2-3 times a day or as needed.

Food is Medicine too!


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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Headache and Migraine due to HBP, Stress and PMS

Try these for headaches due to high blood pressure, menstrual cycles, emotional stress or tension, or migraines.

  • Take lemon juice and 4g baking soda mixed in a glass of water and drink.
  • Make tea of Chinese prunes, mint, and green tea.
  • Make tea of oyster shells and chrysanthemum flowers, slowly boiling the shells for 90 minutes, then adding the flowers for the last 30 minutes.
  • Mash peach kernels and walnuts. Mix with rice wine and lightly roast; take 2 teaspoons three times daily.
  • Rinse head with warm water, gradually increasing the temperature to hot.
  • Make carrot juice. If headache is on the left side, squirt carrot juice into left nostril; if on the right side, squirt into right nostril; if both sides are painful, squirt into both nostrils.

Food is Medicine Too!


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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Jobs Tears Whitefish Stew

Job’s tears (also called coix seed) is a popular allergy remedy in Asia that tastes like barley but does not contain gluten (a protein that may cause inflammation). Job’s tears have also been shown to suppress allergic reactions and balance the immune system. Adlay or Job’s tears -It’s sweet and cold, rich in protein, vitamins B2. It can make the skin smooth, reduce wrinkles.

Spinach and mushrooms are amazing sources of folate (vitamin B9). A folate deficiency can contribute to atherosclerosis and dementia. Medications used for rheumatoid arthritis can deplete vitamin B9 in the body, so stock up on folate-rich veggies to replenish this vital nutrient!

Garlic and onions contain powerful antioxidants that reduce free-radical damage and scar tissue on the arteries. It has also been shown to reduce homocysteine levels in the blood, a marker that indicates inflammation.

  • 2 cups (500 mL) chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 8 cups (2 L) vegetable stock
  • 1 cup (250 mL) Job’s tears (yi yi ren), soaked in water overnight and drained
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped fresh ginger root
  • 14 oz (400 g) white fish (halibut, black cod, pollock)
  • 1 cup (250 mL) fresh sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 6 cups (1.5 L) baby spinach or bok choy
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) lime juice
  • 1 cup (250 mL) chopped basil or cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) grey or pink sea salt (or to taste)
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped

Place onion, garlic, stock, Job’s tears, and ginger in stockpot and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.

Place fish and shiitake mushrooms on top of ingredients and simmer for an additional 15 minutes.

Add all remaining ingredients. Simmer for 5 minutes and then remove from heat.

Ladle into individual serving bowls and garnish with spring onion. Serve hot.

Serves 12.

Each serving contains: 151 calories; 13 g protein; 3 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 19 g total carbohydrates (4 g sugars, 2 g fibre); 359 mg sodium


Add a dash of fish oil to each bowl before serving. Make sure the soup has cooled enough to prevent damaging the omega-3 fatty acids in the fish oil.

Note: Job’s tears are found in many health food stores and Asian supermarkets.

Job’s tears are often mistakenly labelled as Chinese pearled barley in Asian markets. If you are a celiac, it is important to avoid buying in bulk due to potential contamination with gluten. Slow cooker convenience

This recipe can also be made in a slow cooker. Throw all the ingredients—except the green vegetables, herbs, and lime juice—into the slow cooker and cook for a minimum of two hours on high. Add the greens and lime juice at the end and enjoy!

My thanks to Julie Daniluk, RHN for this excellent recipe.


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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Chen Pi Chicken

Chen Pi Ji (Chicken)

This popular dish can be found all over China. Ji translates to Chicken while Chen Pi translates to strips of dried orange or tangerine peel. Chen Pi is classified a herb in the same way as garlic is a herb. It has wonderful benefits for health. You can find more about Chen Pi here. Orange peel or sauce is used to flavour chicken. This recipe can be grilled, roasted or barbeque.

A lazy way of kinda enjoying Chen Pi Ji, is to order it from your local Chinese restaurant. The ‘orange chicken’ dish is commonly offered in many Chinese restaurants in the West, which is cooked in orange sauce. The sauce is often made from orange peel too. Its not as healthy as this home cooked recipe.


  • 4 chicken pieces (thighs, drumsticks or breasts)
  • 1 tablespoon shaoxing rice wine (or dry sherry)
  • 2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon soya sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chen pi, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • clump of root ginger, very finely grated


  • Mix everything together n a large dish. Make sure that the chicken pieces are covered evenly. Leave this to marinate overnight, no hurry.
  • When you are ready to eat or cook for later. Grill, roast or barbecue, until the chicken is cooked with the juices running clear.
  • Eat with some rice another great energy booster.
  • You can also eat this delicious dish cold.

Chinese Medical Benefits:

Chicken is considered a great Qi tonic and nourishing food. The chen pi, ginger and garlic are warming and promote smooth flow inside to help to clear Phlegm. This dish is a great general tonic dish with warming and strengthening nature. It is recommended for conditions like Qi stagnation and Phlegm.

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.


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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