Summer Time is Salad Time in Eastern Dietary Therapy. Although some practitioners will argue that you should never eat cold raw foods, we think this is the time of year that you can get away with it.
Sunday was a beach day, there was no question about that. And when you’re starving you pick your beach based on the food choices nearby. Willard beach was this week’s winner because of Scratch Bakery. It was slightly disappointing realizing that the sandwich station isn’t open on Sundays but have no fear, Scratch was prepared! In their cooler of prepared foods, the Curried Quinoa Salad (seen above) stood out. Although this salad is served cold, it contains lots of warming ingredients that are great at supplementing the spleen. This balance makes it a perfect dish for a hot beach day. When we say hot beach day, keep in mind that we are in Maine, so the warming aspects of this salad are needed when the water temperature is only 60 degrees!
Red quinoa, the base of this salad, is warm, sweet and sour. It’s used to boost the spleen, kidneys and the yang of the body. This is a food that is perfect for the person who is always fatigued, cold, and has poor digestion. It pairs well with the red peppers that are slightly warm and sweet. They are supplementing to the spleen and stomach and remove stagnate food making them great for and appetite boost!
Also on the nourishing side of this dish are golden raisins. They are slightly warm, sweet and sour, and are very nourishing to the liver, kidneys, qi, and blood. They can be used in the treatment of low back pain, dizziness, palpitations, and even a chronic cough.
The next two ingredients both strengthen as well as clear heat which is needed after spending a couple hours in the sun. Roasted broccoli is cool, slightly bitter, and sweet. The main organs that broccoli enters are the Spleen, Stomach, and Urinary Bladder. Broccoli brightens the eyes and clears heat which makes it beneficial for nearsightedness and even red eyes. It also drains dampness which is beneficial for edema. Roasting the broccoli not only makes it delicious, but it also warms its temperature some and makes it easier for the body to digest.
Carrots are neutral in temperature and sweet. They enter and strengthen the spleen and the lungs this food beneficial for cough and indigestion. It also clears heat toxins and is useful for treating acne.
The onions, scallions, curry, cilantro, and ginger are the acrid and warming aspects of this dish. They support the spleen and stomach in digestion and balance out the fact that this salad (like most salads) is served cold.
Onions and scallions are warming, acrid and bitter. They are often used to treat the common cold and diarrhea. Curry is considered hot and acrid/spicy. It’s used not only for treating the common cold, but also for warming the middle making it great for promoting digestion. Ginger is warming and supplementing to the middle. It is great to help promote digestion and treat nausea and vomiting. Cilantro is slightly cooling but also acrid. It’s great for treating indigestion and poor appetite.
The last few ingredients were used more for flavor, but like every other food, have medicinal properties. Orange juice is cooling and has both sour and sweet flavors. It nourishes body fluids and helps when you have a dry cough or thirst. It also clears heat from the body to treat high fever and restlessness.
Lemon juice enters the Liver, Stomach and Lung channels and is cool and very sour. It’s good for treating Yin deficiency especially of the Lung and Stomach. Some common symptoms that you may experience with this are sore throat, dry mouth, stomach distention, indigestion, and cough (especially with lots of phlegm).
Olive oil is a very moistening food making it great for the skin. They say that anything you put on your skin should be edible because of how much the skin absorbs, but it’s also important to eat for your skin. We DO NOT however recommend putting olive oil on your skin prior to going to the beach. Can you say sunburn and blisters? Yes, even in Maine.
The salt in this salad harmonizes and promotes digestion. The pepper is hot and pungent which warms digestion which makes it very beneficial in a cold salad.
This salad was enjoyed with a Blueberry Kombucha from Urban Farm Fermentory (UFF). If you want to know what this delicious drink does for your health, you’re going to have to check back! We will have a whole blog post on Kombucha and UFF in early August.