When I was in acupuncture school we had a class on Chinese Medicine dietetics. I called it ‘Chinese Home Cooking.’ My herb professor hosted this class at his home, and his wife would cook samples of all of the meals we discussed. Each meal would be made with a specific intention for addressing imbalances. Many of them contained super-foods such as goji berries that are a standard part of Chinese cooking. These foods are just becoming popular in the states over the last few years. You can hardly open a magazine without reading about them!
I’ve sadly lost the recipe packet from the class (hmmm, maybe I’ll email some of my classmates, hadn’t thought of that until now) but have recreated a few of my favorites in my very own kitchen.
This dish is easy to make, and filling. It fits squarely into both a vegan, and a paleo diet. It contains goji berries, one of my favorite super-foods, and walnuts, which have been shown to be good for your brain.
From a Chinese medicine perspective this dish is warming and tonifying but balanced enough that it’s really good for just about anyone, especially in cooler weather.
- 2 cups walnuts
- 2-3 leeks (depending on size)- sliced thinly. Halve the leek lengthwise, wash it well as leeks are notorious for holding onto dirt in the middle, then chop into thin half rounds.
- 1/2 cup goji berries
- 1-2 TBSP olive or sesame oil
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- Toast walnuts. There are two ways to do this:
- The first is in the oven. You can broil ( I cannot tell you how many times I’ve caught a tray of nuts on fire doing this so I don’t actually recommend it) or put in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10-15 min. Watch them closely. Set aside when done.
- Or what I do: Warm up a large dry pan, lay nuts in a single layer and stir until they are a golden brown and you can begin to smell the aroma of the toasted nuts. Should be faster than the oven, and less of a fire hazard! Set aside when done.
- In a large frying pan (you can use your nut pan if you went that route) add 1-2 TBSP of olive or sesame oil over medium heat. Warm oil and add leeks. Cook down until they’re soft and starting to turn a light golden brown then add 2 tsp of toasted sesame oil and cook until the leeks are just starting to brown.
- Add goji berries to cooked leeks, cook until soft.
- Stir in walnuts.
That’s it! This dish is meant to be served warm, but I like it cold as well. It’s a great side dish with a beef or chicken stir fry, or on its own for meatless monday.
Yours in Health,