Tag Archives: spleen foods

Green Lentil Curry

This is another great recipe with a foundation of spleen foods with a balance of winter and spring goodies to keep your body nourished, full and healthy. The inspiration comes from the shrinking kitchen, here is what I came up with.

what you need:

3 small yellow potatoes, cubed

1/2 cup green lentils, rinsed well

4 cups water

2 cups of cauliflower

1 yellow squash

1 small eggplant, cubed

1 medium carrot, slices

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon tumeric (eyeballed)

4 large cloves of garlic

1 teaspoon dried chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 c chopped cilantro

One small piece of ginger root

What you do:

Rinse lentils and then put into large stockpot with water and bring to boil over medium high heat.

Add potatoes and carrot to lentils, simmer uncovered for 5 minutes

Add cauliflower, squash, eggplant, salt and tumeric.

Return to a boil, cover and then turn to low to simmer for 10 minutes or until veggies are tender. Stir a few times.

Meanwhile add chopped garlic, ginger, cumin and chili paste to coconut oil until carmelized.


Add cornstarch into veggie lentil mix to thicken juices and turn eat up high for 1-2 minutes.

Add in carmelized garlic ginger paste and cilantro and stir to combine.


Hardy enough to eat alone or add to quinoa, rice or cauliflower “rice”.

Sneaky Cheesy Taco Macaroni

I recently came across The Shrinking Kitchen. If you are sick of cooking the same old things every week this site has some great meal plans and a printable grocery list. This was the first recipe I tried from the site and I already have plans to alter it a little more but I think this would be an awesome introduction meal for a child who is a picky eater or who won’t eat veggies. I thought it would be a perfect meal for my niece who says we only have “garbage” to eat at our house πŸ™‚

The black beans are nourishing to the kidneys and the butternut squash and spices aid the spleen making it a good meal for these cold days as well as a meal to transition from winter to spring.

Here it the original recipe. Below are my adaptations and I share a few hints at the end too.

What you need:

1 pound of organic ground beef

1 can of black beans, drained (I would have added 2 if I had an extra)

1 can of diced tomatoes with chiles with juice (same as beans)

4 cups of water

4 cups brown rice penne pasta

DIY taco seasoning, thanks Mavis this is basically me throwing sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, oregano, cumin, and Chile coban and paprika onto everything πŸ™‚

1.5 tablespoon butter

3 tablespoon flour

2 cups cubed butternut squash

1 1/2 cup whole milk

1 1/2 cup shredded mexican blend cheese

seasoning salt, pepper to taste

What you do:

In a stock pot brown meat over medium high heat. Add beans, tomatoes, spices, and water and bring to a boil. Add pasta, cover, and reduce heat to low. Let cook until most of juices are cooked down. In the mean time melt butter in a space sauce pan. Whisk in flour until lumps are gone. Add milk and bring to rolling boil stirring constantly. Add squash and cook until tender. Add cheese and stir until well blended and melted. Transfer to a blender to smooth. When pasta is cooked stir cheese sauce into pasta and serve. We topped with some avocado.

* As I was cooking I thought ditching the milk and adding a mix of cauliflower puree and chicken stock instead would be nice as we don’t normally have milk in the house. I also think you could ditch pasta altogether and use spaghetti squash instead and it would be just as lovely and even better for the spleen. If you get to it before me let me know how it turns out!

New Years Resolutions: Acupuncture for Weight Loss part 1

The function of the spleen and stomach system in Chinese Medical theory is to transform and transport the food that we eat. The spleen specifically can become imbalanced from dampness either from the environment (rain, snow) or the foods that we eat (processed food, excess sugar, dairy products, greasy foods etc). Dampness is a pathogen that weighs the body down literally through extra weight and energetically through fatigue. Chinese Medicine sees excess weight as an imbalance in the body.


Think about it, if your body is overweight you have a higher chance of developing high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and so on. From this point of view the goal of acupuncture is not necessarily weight loss, it is harmony. When the body is in balance it knows how to process the foods that are consumed properly so that instead of storing food that is not needed it is eliminated. According to research from the Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine acupuncture is particularly useful for weight loss especially when the weight is carried around the abdomen and organs in middle aged people. Commonly people who are overweight have other imbalances such as hypertension, fatty liver, high cholesterol, menstrual or menopausal problems, stomach inflammation, constipation, or depression. Often times these other issues that may or may not seem related are actually the root cause of the weight gain. As we look at the body as a complete system the goal is to harmonize all organ systems so that the body can function most optimally. In this way the body naturally lets go of the excess weight it does not need and the effects of treatment positively impact the entire body. It is important to remember that balance is a process and being committed and consistent are key to lasting success. Weight gain does not happen over night and it is not reasonable to expect it to be lost over night either.

What you can do:
Eat breakfast and make it your largest meal of the day. The energy of the large intestine, spleen and stomach are most active in the morning. When you eat breakfast you stoke the fire of your metabolism so that your body has energy to get through the day.

Limit your intake of dairy and sweets. Dairy and empty sweet foods contribute to dampness and phlegm in the body. When the spleen is out of balance it will crave empty sweets like candy and ice cream (sweet and damp and just about the worst thing for your spleen). Yellow foods like squash as well as full sweet foods such as sweet potatoes nourish the spleen.

Don’t eat after 8:00pm. Your stomach should be finished with digestion when you go to sleep at night. In this way your body can use this time of rest to repair and rejuvenate instead of multitasking. Also, your stomach will be empty in the morning and ready for breakfast, making it easier to wake up.

Move your body everyday. For many people exercise is a dirty word, so change your language! Move your body a little bit every day in whatever way gives you joy. Talk a walk or a yoga class, dance while you’re cooking dinner, skip from your parking spot to the entrance of the grocery store, hula hoop. The more you move your body the more your body will want to move. Find a partner to keep it fun and accountable. I am doing the plank challenge right now with my sister. We have to text by 8pm everyday to say we’ve finished. We also added as many squats as seconds we are holding plank each day. Every time I get her text if I haven’t planked yet, I drop what I’m doing and get it done. If I would have done this by myself I would have already stopped by now.


“Just to let you know, I had acupuncture for six weeks for knee pain and low thyroid and noticed when I stepped on the scale I had lost 5 pounds without even trying or realizing it! That was an awesome benefit especially since I watch what I eat and workout 3 times a week and go to yoga 2 times a week and can never seem to tip the scale in my favor. I see acupuncture helping so many people. Thank you for the work you are doing to help people live a healthier life.” Joyce H

Coconut Lime Butternut Squash Soup

If you haven’t noticed already I really enjoy soups. I used to be a terrible soup maker and then one day they started to all taste really good. Putting together a nice hardy soup is the perfect meal to have on hand for days you don’t feel like cooking or get home late or don’t feel like cooking. πŸ™‚ This is another week of transitions with the time change, it won’t make you sleepy but it will fill your belly. This batch made several tasty meals.

I started with this recipe here. Below are my adaptations.

  • 1 medium butternut squash (spleen/stomach)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (lung/large intestine)
  • 1 onion (lung/large intestine)
  • 1 large sweet potato, cut into cubes (spleen/stomach)
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chile pepper, or 1 tablespoons fresh minced chile pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 cups chicken stock (lung/large intestine)
  • 15 oz coconut milk (lung/large intestine)
  • Juice of 1 lime (liver/large intestine)
  • 2 cups spinach leaves (liver/large intestine)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • rice (spleen/stomach)

1. Cut squash length wise and deseed. Cook at 375 until tender about 45 minutes.

2. In coconut oil cook onion until fragrant and translucent. Add sweet potatoes and cook until tender 5-10 minutes or so. Sprinkle 1/2 of cumin and cinnamon and cook. When squash is cooked, scoop out in chunks and add to sweet potatoes. Add the rest of the spices and chicken stock, bring to boil and then lower to simmer. Mix in coconut milk and let simmer for 15 minutes.

3. 5 minutes before serving add spinach and cooked rice.


p.s. You can turn this into a creamy soup if you put in the blender but I recently broke my blender and we really enjoyed it this way. It felt more filling. If you are feeling adventurous add some raisins! πŸ™‚