Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Soul Food for Wind-Cold Invading Lungs: Grits and Greens

Here's a recipe I came up with for my Eastern Nutrition class. it's designed to treat a clear wet cough associated with the common cold. it's easy, cheap, and vegan.

Ingredients:
GREENS:
3 inch piece fresh ginger
2 bunches fresh mustard greens
1 large purple onion
5 Chinese dates (complicated version) or 1 T raw brown sugar (easy version)
either 1 cup water plus 3 dried shiitakes (complicated version) or 2 T extra virgin olive oil plus 1 cup water
tamari or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
GRITS:
1 c stone-ground yellow grits (polenta)
3 c water
1 tsp salt

PREPARATION: easy level
In a 2-4 quart saucepan with a lid, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Slowly pour in one cup of grits, stirring constantly to prevent clumps or a volcanic-type explosion. Lower heat to medium and stir for a few minutes, then turn off the flame and cover to finish cooking.
Rinse the greens thoroughly by completely submerging in a full sink of water and swishing to remove any grit. Remove from water and set in drainer.
First cut the root end off the onion, then cut in half lengthwise. Remove the skin. Trim off the top of the onion. Cut into pinky-finger thick slices.
Slice the ginger very thinly.
In a large pot that has a lid, heat the olive oil over a medium-high flame. Add the onions and stir occasionally until they begin to soften and brown slightly. Add the water and ginger and let boil for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, tear the greens into pieces, discarding the ends of the stems.
Add the greens to the onion mixture, stir a few times, and cover. Let the greens steam for about 3 minutes, then turn off the heat and remove the lid. Season with a small amount of brown sugar and tamari. Serve over grits.
COMPLICATED PREPARATION
Prepare grits as above. Wash greens and tear into pieces, discarding stems.
In a large pan, boil the thinly sliced ginger, the dates, and the shiitakes in a quart of water until it is reduced to approximately one cup. Strain and return to the pot.
Slice the onions and add to the ginger broth. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until most of the liquid is evaporated. Add the greens to the pot , stir, and cover to steam for 3-4 minutes. Turn off the heat and season to taste with tamari. Serve over grits.

ANALYSIS (this is the breakdown according to Chinese medicine terms. ignore it, if you want.)

ginger: acrid, warm. enters LU/SP/ST. releases exterior; warms lungs and stops cough
mustard greens: acrid, warm. enters LU/LI. expels wind/cold/damp; warms lung, opens chest, stops cough.
onion: acrid, neutral. enters LU/ST. Transforms phlegm and damp.
Chinese dates: sweet, warm. enter SP/ST. tonify Spleen qi; protect middle burner from acrid ingredients; with fresh ginger, harmonize nutritive and protective qi.
shiitakes: sweet, neutral. enter SP/LU. Boost protective qi.
tamari: salty, cold. Enters SP/ST/KD. Protects middle burner. tastes good.
corn: sweet, bland, neutral. enters SP/ST. Drains damp through diuresis. Supports spleen to support the lungs.

2 comments:

Robin said...

I like this a lot! I like that there are easy and difficult versions. I'll be trying some of each. You should definitely keep doing posts like this- it's so informative and interesting.

pillar of salt said...

thanks! I love that my nutrition class involves cooking!