As we are now entering into autumn; my favorite season. It is the time where we have shorter days, weather changes (yes even here in sunny San Diego), where the leaves change colors and fall off the trees; it is the time of gathering and storing in anticipation of winter. In agrarian societies, it is the time of the harvest of grains, roots, and tubers (potatoes, beets, carrots), dry fruits in preparation for the upcoming winter. It is time to slow down and reflect.
According to the five element theory, the autumn falls under the earth element, who’s organs are the spleen and stomach; their function is to digest and process the foods we eat and the drinks that we imbibe. When they are strong, they transform and transport the pure substances from our food and water to where they can be adsorbed by the cells and thereby create qi and blood.
The spleen was also associated with learning and thought process; its time is 9:00 – 11:00 am. In Eastern Nutrition’s adherence to the five elements and thereby the seasons, it is recommended to incorporate foods and drink that are of the earth element and therefore spleen friendly and easy to digest.
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Here is a (fall) recipe for Beef and Mushroom Adobo which is perfect for this beautiful season.
- Beef and Mushroom Adobo- Stew for Fall Season Qi Nodes
- Beef stew meat about 2 pounds
- Variety of mushrooms : 3 to 8 kinds
- Onion (2 or 3 large white or yellow onions)
- Ginger about the size of two thumbs cut into thick slices
- White & Black Pepper 1-2 teaspoons of each
- Black Vinegar can be found in Asian Markets or Balsamic: Vinegar to taste.
- Porter Beer or any dark stout about six 12oz bottles
- Maple sugar or real maple syrup to taste
- Soy Sauce to taste
This is a classic four or five taste peasant dish. It is hearty and very simple to make.
Any one of the flavors can be “brought forward” to adjust the action of the dish.
Place all ingredients in a heavy metal pot and bring to a boil uncovered for 30-40 minutes,
Then cover and reduce heat. Let simmer 2-8 hours. Great heated up the next day and served over
Rice or noodles with green onion slices on top. Adjust the taste before serving!
This stew nourishes blood/qi and fluids while enhancing circulation. The ginger and pepper warm the inner and move blood and fluids. The beer and vinegar regulate the Liver/Spleen Qi. Soy Sauce tonifies Kidneys and moves fluids. The sugar enhances blood and Spleen. Beef has a neutral nature, and tonifies blood/Heart and the mushrooms are a panacea.