Roasted chicken drumsticks with pomegranate spice glaze

Roasted chicken drumsticks with pomegranate spice glaze

Pomegranate molasses is a thick, tangy syrup that's made by boiling pomegranate juice down until it reduces. It's a common ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisines, and it can be made on the stovetop at home, or bought in specialty ethnic markets.

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Spaghetti Squash al Ragu'

Spaghetti Squash al Ragu'

Leave it to an Americana to insert turkey and squash into an otherwise classic Italian recipe! In the Old World this dish uses pasta and beef, but even Italians are choosing to avoid one or both of them these days, for a number of health reasons. I tend to view recipes as flexible templates, and health is an excellent excuse to vary from tradition.

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Black Bean Brownies

Black Bean Brownies

 In the health foodie community, black bean brownies are nothing new. But the majority of folks will still raise an eyebrow when you tell them the secret ingredient in this dessert. In the West, we think of beans as being a strictly savory ingredient, but it's actually really common to find them in Asian desserts.  Adzuki beans in particular (which I have also used in this recipe to great success) are naturally sweet and have a smooth, soft texture that lends well to ice cream, mochi, and cakes. 

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Pattern Diagnosis: Qi Deficiency

Qi is the vital force that provides movement and function throughout the body. The Lung extracts it from the air, while the Spleen extracts it from the foods we eat.

Therefore the Spleen, in Chinese medicine, is a primary organ of digestion, and is responsible for turning food into usable fuel. By strengthening digestion, one also strengthens the body's ability to fight off pathogens and may reduce the frequency of illness.

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What is a Pattern Diagnosis?

From the perspective of Chinese medicine, illness is caused by imbalances between various forces and substances within the body (mind and spirit included). An individual's tendency toward a particular imbalance fits within a category called a pattern.

Pattern diagnosis is the name that practitioners give to identify the patient's state of health. For example, some common diagnoses are "liver blood deficiency", "spleen qi deficiency", and "kidney yang deficiency" to name a few. 

Chinese dietary therapy seeks to correct the patient's imbalances with proper food choices. Read more on Chinese food therapy and the basic philosophy of Chinese medicine.