In an earlier post with a recipe for Red Cabbage Salad I referenced the macrobiotic chef I interned with who made delicious meals for the students at my acupuncture college, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. I was able to wrangle a few recipes from Nancy for some of my favorite dishes. This Chickpea Stew can also be made as a soup, omitting the squash and the seitan. Its a hearty, one-dish meal, for autumn and winter.
In Chinese dietary therapy, we recommend eating differently during each season. In the spring and summer one eats lighter foods and above ground crops. In the autumn the yin begins to rise. Yin energy represents darkness, cold, quiescence, feminine, earth, sweet, substance and blood. During the autumn season the cool yin begins to assert itself from the warm yang energy of summer. In the yin seasons of autumn and winter we want to nourish yin dietarily, by emphasizing root crops, growing in the earth.
Sweet squashes harvested in the autumn nourish yin. Warm, hearty stews, especially made with root vegetables are particularly beneficial to consume in the cool, yin seasons of autumn and winter.
This Savory Chickpea Stew nourishes the earth element, pertaining to the Spleen and Stomach due to its sweet flavor and golden color. You will relish the subtle blend of flavors. In Chinese medicine we talk about the five phases and organ systems. Each has a season, color, flavor, organ, emotion and sound associated with it. This stew will benefit those with digestive conditions due to weakness or deficiency. Speak to your acupuncturist to find out if you have an excess of deficient problem.
Deficiency is characterized by weakness and fatigue. Those with Spleen Qi Deficiency will commonly experience bloating, gas, belching, fatigue, especially after meals, over-thinking, worrying, racing thoughts, cloudy or foggy-headedness. Thinking is a function of the Spleen system in Chinese medicine. Those with weak Spleens tend to worry, and conversely excessive worrying weakens the Spleen.