Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cool Off With Delicious Summer Meals

There are not a lot of potato salads and barbecue in a traditional Chinese diet. That does not mean, however, that you cannot eat tasty, healthy foods during the summer and maintain a proper nutritional balance. Enjoy these recipes while you are relaxing in the sun.
Summer Herbal Cereal
Serves 6
In the summer we tend to drink a lot of cold liquids, which can cause dampness. If the body cannot get rid of the dampness, a person may arthritis or skin trouble or a lack of energy.
This cereal is good for preventing dampness. It also helps to lower blood pressure in hot weather. The lotus seeds can give you some extra energy.
  • ½ cup lotus seeds (Semen Nelumbinis)
  • ½ cup Job’s tears seeds (Semen Coicis)
  • ½ cup mung beans
  • 1 small yam, skinned and cut into cubes
    • These ingredients can be found in a Chinese grocery store or Chinese pharmacy.
Bring 7 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan, add lotus seeds and Job’s tears seeds, cover and remove from heat. Set aside for 30 minutes.
Bring the seeds and water to a boil again, turn the heat to low, cover and simmer for one hour. Add mung means, cover and cook for another 30 minutes, then add yam and cook until tender (about 20-20 minutes).
This cereal is not good for someone with diarrhea.
Snow Bowl
Serves 4
Broccoli is a cooling vegetable that is excellent for removing heat from the body.
  • 1 small stalk broccoli
  • ½ small cauliflower
  • 8 small mushrooms
  • ½ lb. Tofu cut into bite-size cubes
  • 1 cup coconut milk or soybean milk *
  • 1 medium red pepper cut into bite-sized squares
  • ½ cup pineapple juice (or use 1 ½ cup pineapple-coconut juice)
    • You need a total of 1 ½ cups of liquid. If pineapple-coconut juice is used, use 1 ½ cups all together. Or use 1 cup coconut milk and ½ cup pineapple juice. Or use 1 cup soybean milk and ½ cup pineapple-coconut juice. Any combination will work fine.
Cut broccoli and cauliflower into bite-sized flowers, discarding the broccoli stems (These can be saved and used for soup stock.). Steam cauliflower for three minutes and remove when tender. Steam broccoli, tofu and mushrooms together for three minutes.
Place red pepper squares on the bottom of a 10-inch Pyrex dish and pour steamed vegetables over them, removing the excess water from steaming.
In a saucepan, mix coconut milk with the arrowroot and cook over a low flame, stirring constantly, until it thickens into gravy. Remove from heat and add the pineapple juice. Pour over the vegetables and serve.
These recipes and much more can be found in Chinese Vegetarian Delights, by Lily Chuang.
An extraordinary collection of delectable vegetarian recipes based upon principals of traditional Chinese nutrition. Rejoice in the absence of meat, sugar and dairy products. Enjoy fresh, mild foods to cleanse the blood and aid in healthy digestion.

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