In Chinese medicine, Spring is related to the element Wood, and the gallbladder and liver, which filter the blood, are the organs related to that element.

Beneficial Spring foods include:

FRUITS: kiwi, Valencia oranges, limes, grapefruit, lemons
VEGETABLES: asparagus, beets, sprouts, dandelion, chickweed, chicory, miner’s lettuce, spring greens, parsely, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, daikon, wakame, sea palm, umeboshi, and sauerkraut
GRAINS: barley, quinoa, wheat, millet and rye (only quinoa and millet are gluten-free)
(Source: The Ancient Cookfire by Carrie L’Esperance ISBN 1-879181-51-7 The Ancient Cookfire: How to Rejuventate Body and Spirit Through Seasonal Foods and Fasting)

Natural Spring detox in the herbal pharmacy, according to Medicine Hunter:

Dandelion root tea
Milk thistle
Greens, greens, greens
Bitters
Water
Green tea

I’ll leave you with a few recipes starring some of these ingredients.

Stir Fry Chicken with Asparagus

1/2 lb fresh asparagus
1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 scallion, sliced
2 tbsp mirin or dry sherry
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp sesame oil

Trim tough ends of asparagus. Cut spears at an angle into 1 1/2″ pieces. Cut chicken breast crosswise on an angle into 1/4″ slices.
In a small bowl, toss chicken with cornstarch, soy, and lemon zest.
In a wok, heat oil 10 seconds over medium high heat. Add asparagus and stir fry to coat with oil. Add 2 Tbsp. water, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until asparagus is just tender, about 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove asparagus to a plate.
Return wok to high heat. Add ginger and scallion and stir fry until aromatic, about 10 seconds. Add chicken and stir fry until white and opaque throughout, about 5 minutes.
Add sherry, pepper, sugar, and asparagus. Stir fry about 30 seconds to heat through. Remove from heat, drizzle with sesame oil, and serve.

Quinoa Risotto with Arugula and Parmesan

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup quinoa, well rinsed
2 1/4 cups vegetable stock or 2 1/4 cups broth
2 cups arugula, chopped, stemmed (rocket)
1 small carrot, peeled and finely shredded
1/2 cup fresh shiitake mushroom, thinly sliced
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

In a large saucepan over a medium flame, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and saute until it is soft and translucent, approximately 4 minutes. Add garlic and the quinoa and cook for approximately 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Do not let the garlic brown.
Add stock to vegetables and quinoa, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer approximately 12 minutes or until quinoa is almost tender to the bite and slightly hard in the center.
To the brothy mixture stir in the arugula, carrot and mushrooms. Simmer this until quinoa grains have turned from white to translucent, approximately 2 minutes longer.
Stir in cheese, season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

Golden Crusted Chicken Asparagus Lasagna

9 uncooked lasagna noodles (I use GF quinoa noodles)
2 lb asparagus, cut in 2 inch pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp lemon-pepper seasoning
3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour (I use brown rice flour)
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp fresh or 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1/2 cup roasted red pepper, from 7 oz jar, drained and chopped
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup whipping cream (heavy)

Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease rectangular baking dish, 13x9x2 inches. Cook and drain noodles as directed on package.
Heat 5 cups water to boiling in 3-quart saucepan.
Add asparagus; heat to boiling. Boil 3 to 4 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Place asparagus in bowl. Toss with oil and lemon pepper seasoning salt.
Melt butter in 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Stir in broth, milk and marjoram. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.
Stir in chicken, 1/4 cup of the bell peppers and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Cook about 2 minutes or until hot.
Spread about 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture in baking dish. Top with 3 noodles, 1 1/2 cups chicken mixture, half of the asparagus and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers, starting with noodles. Top with remaining 3 noodles.
Beat whipping cream in chilled small bowl with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Spread over top of lasagna.
Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup bell peppers and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
Bake uncovered 40 to 45 minutes or until hot in center and top is golden brown.
Let rest 10 minutes before cutting.

Image credit: Delia asparagus by Miia Ranta from Finland CC-BY-SA-2.0

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