Chinese Food Reactivity #4: Chicken and Cauliflower

Welcome to the fourth article based on the Xiangsheng Xiangke food chart that I posted in the “Foods that React to Each other“. Today we continue to cover combinations of food that are naturally healthy on their own, but Chinese traditions (and TCM) suggest they react to each other in various ways. Let’s start with a meat and vegetable combination.

chicken-calli+ “Cauliflower has vitamins and minerals, and when eaten with chicken it can make stronger bones.  Combined they also improve the detoxing power of your liver and give your immune system a boost. With that you will fight colds much more easily.” Perhaps a little cauliflower in the traditional Chicken Noodle soup recipe would help.

Continue reading Chinese Food Reactivity #4: Chicken and Cauliflower

Chinese Food Reactivity #3: Mushrooms and Toufu

Welcome to the third article based on the Xiangsheng Xiangke food chart that I posted in the “Foods that React to Each other“. Today we continue to cover combinations of food that are naturally healthy on their own, but Chinese traditions (and TCM) suggest they react to each other in various ways. Let’s start with a positive combination.

lettuce-shrimp

+ When you eat both mushrooms and toufu together, they help “reduce excess eat and clear toxins”, along with assisting in the “increasing air intake and excreting saliva”. From a Chinese prospective, these reactions are beneficial to your body. A mushroom/toufu dish is also a good combination because they “reduce phlegm/mucus, are anti-cancerous, reduce blood fat and blood pressure.”

Continue reading Chinese Food Reactivity #3: Mushrooms and Toufu

Food Reactivity through a Chinese Lens #2

Welcome to the second article based on the Xiangsheng Xiangke food chart that I posted in the “Foods that React to Each other“. Today we continue to cover combinations of food that are naturally healthy on their own, but Chinese traditions (and TCM) suggest they react to each other in various ways. Let’s start with a positive combination.

lettuce-shrimp

+ Shrimp contains “high levels of protein and calcium”, while Chinese cabbage is “somewhat high in nutritional value”. If you eat both of them together you’ll “prevent constipation, gum bleeding, and scurvy”. The best way to cook them is to “lightly fry them in a pan.”

Continue reading Food Reactivity through a Chinese Lens #2

Food Reactivity through a Chinese Lens #1

I’m finally getting around to a dissection of the Xiangsheng Xiangke food chart that I posted in the “Foods that React to Each other“. Thank you to family and friends who have asked about them and are looking for more information. Let’s start with this first set of food combinations.

Peppers and greens react positively to eachother

+ Here, green and red peppers and water spinach are “both composed of vitamins and minerals.” By consuming both of these together “blood pressure declines while headaches and toxicity are reduced.” This combination also helps “prevent diabetes.” Continue reading Food Reactivity through a Chinese Lens #1

Asian Secret #25 Making Vegetables Taste Good

Cauli-sausage! Yum!

Boiled peas and carrot cubes might be easy to make, but they taste like wet socks to kids and not much better to adults. If you have children there’s a way to get them addicted to vegetables and I believe Koreans, Japanese, and Chinese have the solution.

The #1 best way to get kids to eat vegetables is to connect them to their favorite meats. Try cooking sliced pork, sausage, steak, or chicken with almost any vegetable you plan to serve. Blurring the flavors of these two foods will get any meat-eater to eat all their veggies.

If you’d like help with the first dish, try my great Cauli-sausage recipe. Continue reading Asian Secret #25 Making Vegetables Taste Good

Asian Secret #24 Visit Farmer’s Markets

Meet your Farmer

Last week I visited Hengshan and found a big open-air market that had everything from bai cai, to toufu, to peppers and countless spices, to slaughtered animals, and many other natural products you could expect in a Chinese farmer’s market. What’s so enjoyable about these places is that they not only allow you to get close to the food you eat, but also let you shake the hand that harvested it.

Back state-side, farmer’s markets have gotten quite popular in recent years and shopping at them has become a weekly ritual for city and country folk alike.

Putting a refrigerator truck and 200 miles between you and your farmer has somewhat of a desensitizing effect, so it’s a good idea to try to get around the convenience of supermarkets and learn more about what’s up for grabs at farmer’s markets. You might be surprised by what you find! Continue reading Asian Secret #24 Visit Farmer’s Markets

Asian Secret #23 Embrace the Unusual

Although cartoons seem childish, they are very popular across Asia. Not only are superheros enjoyed by all, but also kids cartoons.  Avatars (virtual images of ourselves) and funny cartoons are not just for children and can also be part of every adults personality online and off-line.

Here’s a funny drawing a university student made for me a couple years ago. She was kind enough to give me more hair than I have in real life… hehehe.

Embrace the unusual and have a great day! Continue reading Asian Secret #23 Embrace the Unusual

Asian Secret #22 A Date a Day…

Plump Jujubes

Also called Jujubes or Chinese Dates, the health benefits of eating dates regularly are common knowledge across greater Asia. Making conributions to heart health by increasing red cell counts and improving blood circulation, its not hard to understand why dates have been eaten for centuries across much of the world.

Women benefit a lot from consuming dates, except during menstruation, which is when boosting your blood circulation isn’t ideal. My girlfriend loves snacking on sweet dates during tv time and always reminds me to eat some. Often you’ll find red dates cooked in soups in China, but also in tea ceremonies in Japan. They are also candied and sold as a street snack in many East Asian countries.

Asian Secret #21 Tea Leaves on the Eyes

Loose-leaf Green Tea

Drinking quality loose-leaf green tea can do wonders for your health, but the used up leaves don’t have to go to waste. Before they get tossed into the compost with the coffee grinds, take a moment for yourself and lay the damp leaves over your eye lids.

Middle-aged Chinese women often use this kind of remedy for a healthier, more youthful look around their eyes and hands. It’s not uncommon to see women aged 50+ to pour their Morning Tea (served at traditional brunch restaurants in Southern China) over their hands too!

Asian Secret #20 Call your Mother, Grandmother, or Auntie

You'll be surprised what she knows

When was the last time you called home? Perhaps it wasn’t long ago. Even so, call a loved one from a previous generation and ask her a few questions about her childhood. Ask her what constituted a “snack” in those days. Ask her what she normally ate for dinner with her parents back then.

If your parent or grandparent is a direct descendant of immigrants or is an immigrant herself, there is a treasuretrove of great food and health secrets that is tucked away in their memories. So, take this week to learn about your family’s food and health traditions, and we’ll continue with more Asian secrets next week.