Gong hei fat choy! Happy Chinese New Year, because the main highlight is food. Each item has special symbolism—for example, mandarins symbolize abundant happiness, deep-fried sesame balls mean good luck for the whole family, and dumplings are number one, because they symbolize wealth. Why? Because they look like ancient Chinese money.
We wish you a very happy and wealthy 2020, Year of the Rat!
1. Mix all of the ingredients (except the dumpling wrappers) into a paste.
2. Moisten the sides of a wonton wrapper with water and put a teaspoon of filling in the centre.
3. Wrap by bringing the corners together in the centre—like a little parcel.
4. Steam the dumplings in a bamboo steamer lined with a lettuce leaves (to avoid sticking), for about 12 minutes.
(Makes 40 dumplings)
Serve with sesame soy sauce.
In Ayurveda, which is India's traditional medicine, they say that to feel completely satisfied with a meal, you need to experiment the full spectrum of flavours—sweet, salty, sour, pungent (spicy), bitter, and astringent.
Everyone knows very well what sweet, sour, and salty taste like, but what about these other flavours that you can add to make each meal a fulfilling one?
Pungent taste includes ginger, peppers, onions, mint, peppermint, cinnamon, and all spicy food.
Astringent taste is found in beans, peas, lentils, berries, figs and green tea. Also in coffee.
Bitter includes all green and yellow vegetables.
Complete your meals with a salad, including bitter leaves, such as watercress, escarole, radicchio, and endives. Add some chicory to stimulate digestion and a few leaves of dandelion (liver’s best friend).
Also, remember that dairy products, grains, and bread are sweet; citrus fruits, some berries, and tomatoes are sour; and there is salt in almost everything, so if you have to add it, choose a good salt—unrefined with mineral traces—such as Maldon salt, sea salt, or even Fleur de Sel.
I know this sounds a bit strange, but try it!
I tried to consciously build my meals around these six tastes, and it did work! And really, it is not complicated at all.
Step 1: Drink a lot of water to eliminate toxins.
Step 2: Activate your metabolism and get back into your exercise routine.
Step 3: Favor healthy and alive products, avoid food that metabolizes acidity in your body such as refined sugar, dairy products, red meat, any type of junk food, too much caffeine and alcohol. And if it's the case, DO quit smoking!!!
The first important thing to do before starting a detox is to make sure your intestines are clear. I suggest the herbal tea Deep Cleanse, from Bija— which is a blend of many great allies of the digestive system and the liver such as dandelion root, cinnamon, ginger, burdock, licorice, fennel and stinging nettle, which is also a great source of iron. You can add honey, lemon, thyme and a some fresh ginger to taste.
Notice: if you are taking medication, please make sure there are no contraindications.
Artichokes are one of my favorite vegetables. On top of activating the gall bladder, it helps to lower cholesterol. Buy them fresh and boil them in a big pot of hot water with ¼ cup of lemon juice or wine vinegar for about 20 to 45 minutes, depending on the size and freshness. They are ready when you can remove the leaves easily. I like to serve them with a sauce made with olive oil, lemon juice and Dijon mustard.
When you feel like a drink: try sparkling water with fresh ginger and lemon juice or my healthy version of the Bloody Mary. Tomato juice (liver cleanser) with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of the following: curcuma (prevents cancer), ginger (anti-oxydant and ease digestion), cayenne (helps to remove toxins from blood), and apple cider vinegar, which rebalances blood PH and contributes to lower cholesterol.
One a day keeps the doctor away…