A Spoonful of Ginger : Irresistible Health-Giving Recipes from Asian Kitchens

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9780375400360: A Spoonful of Ginger : Irresistible Health-Giving Recipes from Asian Kitchens

From Nina Simonds, the best-selling authority on Chinese cooking, here is a groundbreaking cookbook based on the Asian philosophy of food as health-giving. The 200 delectable recipes she offers not only taste superb but also have specific healing properties according to the accumulated wisdom of traditional Chinese medicine.

The emphasis is on what's good for you, not bad for you. It's primarily a question of balance: eating in harmony with the seasons; countering yin, or cooling, foods (spinach, tomatoes, asparagus, lettuce, seafood) with yang, or hot, foods (ginger, garlic, hot peppers, beef) and neutralizers like rice and noodles.

Feeling tired? Ms. Simonds offers a spoonful of ginger in her hearty chicken soup. A cold coming on? Try Cantonese-Style Tofu (to sweat out the cold) in Black Bean Sauce (healing to the lungs and digestion). Your immune system needs building up? Wild mushrooms (a cancer deterrent) are tossed with soba noodles (a stress reliever). Concerned about cholesterol and clogged arteries? Instead of giving up all the foods you love, indulge in Yin-Yang Shrimp with Hawthorn Dipping Sauce.

Whatever your health concerns may be, you will find the right restorative and satisfying recipes. Babies and toddlers have special needs, as do adolescents, pregnant and menopausal women, the aging--and all of these are addressed with specific recommendations. The wealth of information Nina Simonds offers here derives from her extensive research into the evidence amassed over three thousand years by practitioners of Chinese medicine, and from her interviews with leading experts today in food as medicine, who offer their firsthand testimony.

It is all here in this remarkable book. But, above all, it is the range of dishes, from the exotic to the earthy, that will convince you that you can enjoy marvelous food every day--relishing its good taste and knowing it is good for you.

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Review:

Part cookbook, part primer of Chinese medicine, Nina Simonds's A Spoonful of Ginger offers dietary advice, herbal home remedies, and lively, unintimidating Asian recipes for the American home cook. Try Braised Duck with Tangerine Peel and Sweet Potato as a cure for high blood pressure. Baked Black Bean Shrimp might be just the dish to get you over that bout of depression. Simonds presents the ailing reader with concoctions to relieve everything from hangovers to frostbite.

And lovers of fine food need not despair--medical advice is kept brief, presumably to make room for more delicious recipes. For example, Steamed Fish with Black Mushrooms and Prosciutto makes no claims to cure anything but hunger. And any volume on health food that features a substantial section on pork (check out Spicy Pork Tenderloin with Leeks and Fennel) can hardly be called austere or old-fashioned. With tastes from all over Asia represented, from Indian curries to Japanese miso, these 200 dishes are tasty riffs on Chinese themes that should cure even the most jaded of palates. --David Kalil

From the Back Cover:

"At last, a book that has been on my wish list forever! Recipes that not only are full of flavor and taste delicious but most of all are good for us--balanced, energizing, and nurturing. Nina Simonds teaches us about the importance of yin and yang in our diets and shows us that food is fundamental to our lives and our health. Food is our daily medicine, and Nina's book helps us make this connection again."
--Nora Pouillon (of Nora and Asia Nora restaurants)

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