We sat down with Jill Hicks, Licensed Acupuncturist and founder of Scarlet Oak Acupuncture in Washington, DC, to learn about Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupressure and food therapy. Traditional Chinese Medicine (or TCM) focuses on creating a balance of yin and yang in the body through practices such as acupuncture, cupping, tai chi, qigong, herbal medicine and food therapy. Jill shared two of her favorite recipes from Ancient Wisdom, Modern Kitchen by Yuan Wang, Warren Sheir and Mika Ono. These recipes support lung, liver and spleen health according to TCM, and are delicious!

Gingery Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients:

  • 10 to 12 oz pumpkin or winter squash
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 to 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2.5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • ½ cup unflavored soy, almond or coconut milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish

Directions:

  • Seed, peel and chop the pumpkin into 1 inch cubes (microwave briefly to soften before peeling).
  • Combine pumpkin, cloves and stock in a pot, bring to boil then lower to simmer for 20 min.
  • Add onion, garlic and ginger. Cook until onions are translucent and soft (5 min).
  • When pumpkin is cooked, remove the whole cloves (they will float to the top).
  • Combine pumpkin mixture with onion mixture and milk, use a hand blender to puree.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Sprinkle cilantro on top to garnish, and enjoy! 

Ginger-Honey Pears

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium size pears (any pears will work, but Asian pears are recommended)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 3 tbsp water

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Cut off top third of each pear and set aside. Core the remaining part of the pear, making a hole but leaving the bottom and sides intact.
  • Set them upright in a glass or ceramic dish.
  • Combine the honey, ginger and water in a bowl, heat as necessary to dissolve the honey.
  • Place about 3/4 of the honey ginger mixture inside the pears.
  • Replace the top on each pear, restoring its original shape and brush a bit of sauce around the outside of the pear as well.
  • Bake the pears for 10-12 minutes until they soften.
  • Remove and drizzle with remaining sauce.
  • Return to oven and broil on high for 3 to 5 minutes until the glaze has caramelized.
  • Serve warm.

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