Kate Heyhoe

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Global Gourmet Today Index


Yin-Yang Foods

from The Nutrition Bible

Yin Yang

The Chinese believe that to achieve bodily harmony, you must balance your intake of yin (cool, bland) foods with yang (the rich and hot). They further believe that winter is yang season (the time for spicy, heavy food) and summer yin; that new mothers should eat yang foods, as should the chronically fatigued. Yin foods, on the other hand, are recommended for the irritable. The Chinese classify ailments as yin (cold) or yang (hot) and believe that as the body ages, it becomes increasingly yin. Such yin diseases as anemia are treated with yang foods, and assorted yang infections (sore throats, measles, etc.) with yin foods.

Not all Chinese agree on which foods are yin or yang, but as a general rule, they break down as follows:

Yin Foods: Bean curd and sprouts, all bland or boiled foods, the cabbage family, carrots and celery, cucumber, duck, some fish and fruits, American ginseng, most greens, honey, melons, milk, pears, pork, potatoes, seaweed and soybean products, white turnips, water and watercress, winter squash, most white foods.

Yang Foods: Bamboo, beef, broiled meats, catfish, chicken and chicken soup, eggs and eggplant, fatty meats and fried foods, garlic and ginger, Korean ginseng, glutinous rice, green peppers, hot and spicy foods, leeks and onions, liquor, mushrooms, peanuts, persimmons, pig's knuckles and pork liver, red foods (beans, peppers, tomatoes, etc.) sesame oil, shellfish, sour foods, tangerines, vinegar and wine.



Bowl of Jade Watercress Soup

The texture shouts "cream," yet this nutritious soup contains very little fat or calories.

1 quart reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large Idaho potato (about 8 ounces), peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
1/3 cup water
1 large egg yolk
1 cup evaporated skim milk
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper teaspoon
1/8 white pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 bunches (6 ounces each) watercress, trimmed of tough stems,
     washed, and patted dry on paper toweling (6 cups)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup light sour cream

Simmer the broth, uncovered, in a large heavy nonreactive pan for 30 minutes or until reduced to 3 cups. Meanwhile, in. a very large heavy nonstick skillet over moderate heat, stir-fry the onion in the butter until limp, about 5 minutes. Add the potato and water, stir to combine, turn heat to low, cover, and cook until the onion and potato are soft, about 10 minutes. Whisk egg yolk and evaporated milk together. Blend in a little hot broth, stir back into pan, and season with cayenne, white pepper, and salt. Heat and stir over low heat for about 5 minutes or until slightly thickened and smooth (do not boil). Remove from heat. Pile the watercress into the skillet, cover, and wilt 2 minutes; stir well, cover again, and wilt about 1 minute longer or until limp. Place the watercress mixture in a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade and churn 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl and churn 60 seconds longer, until smooth. Stir into soup along with lemon juice and bring just to serving temperature, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream. Serve hot or chill well and serve cold.

Approximate Nutrient Counts Per Serving:

147 calories
9 g protein
6 g fat, 3 saturated
47 mg cholesterol
16 g carbohydrate
1 g dietary fiber
196 mg calcium
201 mg phosphorus
0.8 mg iron
213 mg sodium
577 mg potassium
260 RE vitamin A
0.10 mg thiamin
0.27 mg riboflavin
2.8 mg niacin
24 mg vitamin C

The Nutrition Bible
by Jean Anderson and Barbara Deskins
William Morrow & Co.; $22.50
Paperback, 1997
Reprinted by permission.




Carrots may be one of the earliest foods eaten by man. Native to Asia, they were being cultivated throughout the Mediterranean long before Christ was born. Greeks wrote of them, though not with particular fondness (the Romans preferred turnips). Carrots were one of the vegetables Charlemagne ordered to be planted throughout his dominions and one of the Old World vegetables the English introduced to the New. Today, of course, they're as common as peas or beans. Carrots owe their brilliant color to beta-carotene, a vitamin A precursor that's known to be anticarcinogenic, and are second only to beets in natural sugars.

Season: Year-round.

Nutrient Content of 1 Cup Bottled Carrot Juice
(8 fluid ounces; 246 grams)

98 calories
2 g protein
0 g fat, 0 saturated
0 mg cholesterol
23 g carbohydrate
59 mg calcium
103 mg phosphorus
1.1 mg iron
71 mg sodium
718 mg potassium
3 g dietary fiber
6,332 RE vitamin A
0.23 mg thiamin
0.14 mg riboflavin
1.0 mg niacin
21 mg vitamin C

Nutrient Content of 1 Medium-size Raw Carrot
(about 2-1/2 ounces; 72 grams)

31 calories
1 g protein
0 g fat, 0 saturated
0 mg cholesterol
7 g carbohydrate
19 mg calcium
32 mg phosphorus
0.4 mg iron
25 mg sodium
233 mg potassium
2 g dietary fiber
2,025 RE vitamin A
0.07 mg thiamin
0.04 mg riboflavin
0.7 mg niacin
7 mg vitamin C
Shredded Carrots Scrambled with
Red Onion, Lemon, and Lime

Makes 6 Servings

A beta-carotene-rich stir-fry from the South of France.

2 tablespoons fruity olive oil
1-1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and coarsely shredded
1 large red onion, coarsely chopped
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh time juice
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/6 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

Coat a large heavy skillet with nonstick cooking spray, add the oil, and heat 1 minute over moderately high heat. Add the carrots and onion, and stir-fry 3 minutes. Add the garlic, marjoram, and thyme and stir-fry 3 to 5 minutes, until vegetables are crisp-tender. Sprinkle with the lemon and lime juices, salt, and pepper, and serve hot or cold.

Approximate Nutrient Counts Per Serving:

98 calories
1 g protein
5 g fat, 1 saturated
0 mg cholesterol
14 g carbohydrate
3 g dietary fiber
40 mg calcium
39 mg phosphorus
0.8 mg iron
159 mg sodium
281 mg potassium
2,561 RE vitamin A
0.05 mg thiamin
0.07 mg riboflavin
0.6 mg niacin
8 mg vitamin C

The Nutrition Bible
by Jean Anderson and Barbara Deskins
William Morrow & Co.; $22.50
Paperback, 1997
Reprinted by permission.

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This page originally published as a Global Gourmet Today column in 1998.

Copyright © 2007, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.

This page modified January 2007

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