Jul 062016

Here’s a ‘Simple Marinade’ recipe I use often in the summer to grill vegetables. This recipe includes rosemary, oregano, basil and garlic – culinary spices that are amongst the top 10 antioxidant-containing spices (or herbs!) to use while grilling meat (or vegetables) to protect against creating carcinogenic compounds.1
Simple Marinade

For more information on safe grilling, see this Safe Grilling Guide from the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

1Prevent Grilled Food from Charring Your Health. Includes another yummy sounding marinade – using cherries!

Sep 262013

This was my paternal grandmother’s recipe (I am unsure of the original source). I still love it to this day. It is very simple to make (no-bake), and the pie is very light – perfect for after the heavy meals of the holidays. The trick is to whip egg whites to be very stiff, making sure to use room-temperature egg whites. (I now substitute a gluten-free crust I make, which is similar to a graham cracker crust.)

3/4 cup brown sugar
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup milk
1-1/4 cup canned or cooked pumpkin
3 egg whites
1/3 cup sugar

Combine first 8 ingredients and bring to boil. Then stir in pumpkin and chill slightly. Beat egg whites and sugar. Fold into above mixture. Put into crumb crust.

Sep 172013

This is a great combination of root vegetables for Autumn. Autumn corresponds to the Lung energy in Chinese Medicine, and the flavor associated with Autumn is pungent or spicy. Hence, this is an Autumn Lung Tonic.

Kale, one bunch – line bottom of stove-top pan
2 parsnips
1 daikon radish
1 carrot
1 turnip, preferably green
1 taro root (difficult to obtain fresh everywhere, dried root soaked overnight could work)
1 rutabaga
1/2 cup bamboo shoots (usually canned)
tofu, marinated or baked (5-spice ideal, or teriyaki (gluten-free preferred))
1-1/2 cup broth, preferably shiitake mushroom, but veggie or chicken broth can be substituted
sesame oil (pref roasted)
vegetarian oyster sauce
2 TBS rice wine

Mix together last 3 ingredients. Cut or slice veggies so they are the same size. Add liquid to veggies. Med-high heat to boil 30 min. Then lower heat to medium-low flame for another 30″ to an hour until veggies are fork-tender. If thickening desired, add cornstarch, water, more stock/sauce combo. Add sesame oil when done cooking for added flavor.

Medicinal qualities of ingredients:
Kale – warm, slightly bitter; strengthens Stomach, good for ulcers
Parsnips – warm, pungent; good for common cold
Daikon – cooling, pungent, sweet; affects Lung and Stomach
Carrot – neutral to cool, sweet, pungent; lubricates colon (enters LI), benefits vision, clears heat, strengthens all internal organs, promotes digestion, reduces cholesterol per research
Turnip – cold, sweet, bitter, pungent; clears heat, cough, removes dampness, detoxifies
Taro – neutral, sweet, pungent; benefits, regulates digestion, clears heat, good externally for bug bites and a drawing salve (raw)
Rutabaga – sweet, similar to turnips
Bamboo shoots – cooling, affects Lung and Large Intestine; clears Lung heat, fiber helps lower cholesterol per research
Shiitake – neutral, sweet; anti-tumor, promotes healing, strengthens Stomach; lowers cholesterol
Ginger – warm, pungent; affects Lung and Stomach; good for common cold, cough, anti-toxin, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, expels pathogens

From: Nam Singh‘s Chinese Medicinal Cooking Class, circa 1996, San Francisco. (Blessings to Nam Singh for his great knowledge in Chinese Medicinal Cooking and sharing some of that knowledge with me!)

References used:
Chinese Medicine Dietitics, by Jeffrey Pan and Adam White
The Tao of Nutrition, by Maoshing Ni and Cathy McNease

Sep 162013

Olive oil, as needed
Onion, white or yellow preferred (but use what you like)
Swiss chard, kale, bok choy, spinach, mustard greens, or any combo of greens you like (basically we all need to eat more dark, green leafy veggies)
Mushrooms, shiitake or maitake, or any type preferred can be used such as portobellos, buttons, chanterelle, enoki, or combos of above (shiitakes/maitake are recommended here since they are more medicinal)
Tamari or Bragg’s Amino Acids (gluten-free soy sauce)
Rice wine

Cut up all the veggies first (into bite-size pieces). Stir-fry the garlic and onions initially in a little bit of olive oil. Add those veggies that need to cook longer first. Add tamari, condiments and culinary spices to taste throughout cooking time. Typically the green, leafy veggies are best to add at the end since they require little cooking time to wilt. Top with options listed below (sesame seeds, sesame oil, peppers, etc.)

Possible additions for exciting flavor options:


    Garlic powder (I tend to use both fresh and powdered since we are garlic lovers)
    Sliced, or pressed ginger
    Vegetarian oyster sauce (or regular one)
    Sesame seeds (black are considered more medicinal)
    Five-spice powder
    Rice wine, fermented
    Rice vinegar
    Roasted sesame oil (add for flavoring at end, do not cook)
    Seaweed (Nori, Dulse, Hijiki, etc.)
    Cayenne pepper (whole or flakes)
    Jalapenos or other peppers
    Vegetable broth (could use instead of olive oil, or use for flavoring)
    Miso (instead of tamari)


    Snow peas (I love these!)
    Bell peppers (all colors)
    Zucchini, any summer squash
    Green beans
    Green onions/scallions, leeks
    Edaname or soybeans
    Tofu or tempeh, marinated or not
    Whatever veggies you like!

Spices such as oregano, rosemary, thyme, basil, sage can be added for an ‘American’ or Italian flavoring vs. Asian spices.

Recommend using organic veggies and spices as much as possible too.

Jun 192013

Natural Electrolyte Drink recipe

Additionally, I always carry the product ElectroMix in my office, an instant electrolyte drink mix by Alacer Corporation (the makers of Emergen-C).

A more comprehensive product can also be obtained at my office, Endura. This is a high-quality, ‘high performance’ electrolyte and mineral drink mix from the nutraceutical company Metagenics, with a really nice taste. For details and list of ingredients, see: Metagenics Endura. I usually don’t keep this in stock year-round, so it will normally need to be special ordered – however, this only takes a few days. For those online viewers, this product can be ordered directly through my Metagenics online store:

Heavenly Herbs and Acupuncture Online Store

Aug 062012

This is a Traditional Chinese Medicine recipe for cough, with or without phlegm: Pear and Rock Sugar Elixir recipe. It tastes great, is very easy to make and you will even think you just had a dessert that is good for you!! It is basically poaching a pear and making yourself a nice, little cough syrup.

It is traditionally made with Apricot Kernels, or Xing Ren, but almonds can make this recipe easily accessible to anyone. And if you want the Chinese medicinal for more effect, Xing Ren is always available in my office at a very reasonable cost.

More ideas for variations to this recipe:
– Apple juice (organic, unfiltered) could be used instead of the sugar and water.
– Cinnamon and/or cloves and/or ginger could be added if one has a ‘cold’ cough (clear, watery, or white phlegm, or other symptoms of cold, such as chills, no sore throat).

Oct 052011

Great article that includes herbs and foods used in Traditional Chinese Medicine food therapy with easy recipe for flu and cold prevention! This is exactly in alignment with my typical advice to patients (uses herbs/medicinal foods mentioned in my Flu article: Treating Influenza and Viral Infections using Natural Medicine.)

How to Boost your Immune System with Herbs

Astragalus Tonic Soup recipe

Here’s another link for the soup recipe on this blog (in case the above link disappears sometime in the future):

Astragalus Tonic Soup recipe

Of course, Astragalus can be purchased at my office (it has a mild, sweet taste)!