The Art of Conscious Cooking
By Joanne Faulkner
Hooray for Spring with all its new shoots and vibrant green growth twisting and turning, flexible around obstacles, unstoppable in its expansion and release. Winter is over, its time to wake up and move! Feel this irrepressible Spring energy that brings desire into life with flexibility and movement.
Traditionally in the west, Spring is a time for cleaning up and clearing out. In Chinese medicine, it is the time of Wood energy and the Liver/Gall Bladder meridians within the body. These fit together perfectly as the Liver/Gall Bladder is essential for detoxing. To help it, steer clear of too many saturated fats. The sour flavoured foods in these recipes will help clear out those fats and stimulate the Liver and Gall Bladder into action.
1 red pepper
2 stalks of celery
1 bulb of fennel
2 handfuls of green beans
½ lb of mushrooms
2 tins of tomatoes
6 garlic cloves
150ml olive oil
150ml balsamic vinegar
1 small jar of rinsed and pitted black olives
2 tbsp capers
120g fresh basil or flat leaf parsley
Salt and pepper
This may read like a very odd recipe, but cook it and see. It keeps for days in the fridge and just gets better with age. The tangy relish flavour makes it a perfect accompaniment to fish (the oilier fish the better) to soothe the often overworked Liver.
Fry the onions in half the olive oil on a medium heat until soft and golden, then add all the vegetables (which have been chopped quite small) together with the balsamic vinegar. Cook uncovered on a very low heat for about an hour until all the liquid has been absorbed or evaporated. Then add the chopped olives, capers, herbs and seasoning to taste and cook for another 5 minutes.
Spring Green Soup
1 garlic clove
knob of butter
3/4 medium potatoes
1 head of Kale or 6oz spring greens/nettles
2 pints veg stock
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
It was very difficult to choose which soup recipe to share as there is so much wonderful food out there for clearing stagnation and supporting the liver. In the end, I picked this soup for its colour – incredible vibrant green of the Shrek variety. Green is the colour of Spring and of the Liver/Gall Bladder, and all dark green foods help the gall bladder excrete bile which breaks down fat.
Cook the onions in the butter on a medium heat until golden and soft. Add the garlic and sliced potato’s (I like to cut mine into rounds). Stir softly for 5 minutes, ensuring all ingredients are coated. Add the kale and a couple of tablespoons of stock and let all ingredients sweat for 5 minutes. Then add the rest of the stock and cook for about 10 minutes until the potatoes are soft. Remove the potatoes and liquidize the remaining stock and kale, adding the nutmeg, lemon and seasoning. Return the potatoes to the pot and it’s done.
* Even though the sour flavour is part of the purpose of this liver nourishing soup, be careful that it does not overpower the earthy warmth of the soup.
1 lb plums
1 tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp dried ginger
4 tbsp Apple Juice
Stone and halve the plums. Put the apple juice in a heavy based pan followed by the spices and the plums. Bring almost to the boil and allow to gently simmer for 10-15 minutes, depending on how mushy you like your plums. This is great eaten warm with a dollop of vanilla yogurt.
This delicious dessert is fresh and tangy, perfectly mirroring the irrepressible spring energy that brings desire into life with flexibility and movement. …
If you’d like to read the other recipes, ask for the Spring 2011 issue of Positive Life magazine in your local Health Store or Holistic Centre. Alternatively, subscribe online to have it delivered directly to your doorstep 4 times a year.