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Winter Veggie Pouch: Nature’s present of goodness

Midwinter inspires coziness, fireplace, a cup of warm tea and warming food! But also brings the Christmas holidays, lights, presents, big family gatherings, some headache about what to cook for the festive meals (especially if you are veggie lover) or stomachache from too much eating.
There is usually a connection between celebratory meals and unhealthy food, loads of sweets and over-consumption in general. However there is one thing that can take us through these days with a happy stomach and a happy body: Trust in Nature!!

Following the Chinese Medicine principle of eating according to the season, we can find so many ingredients in Winter that can help us stay warm, stimulate the related organs and be happy and healthy! Choose your favorites and be creative! Being vegetarian, it doesn’t mean being boring.

Here we will wrap for you some of Nature’s winter presents!

Nutritious information:

One of the ingredients we will use is chestnut. Starchy, sweet, rich in flavor, chestnuts are rich sources of minerals, vitamins, and phytonutrients that immensely benefit health. They boost the Immune system, prevent diabetes, relieve digestive issues, improve brain function and control blood pressure. They also nourish the stomach, strengthen the spleen, tonify the kidney and strengthen the tendons, activate blood and resolve swelling.

Another ingredient is quince, a winter fruit full of Vitamins A, B and C, fiber, as well as minerals like potassium, copper, selenium, zinc, phosphorus, calcium, iron, and magnesium. It is low in fat, prevents cancer, treats ulcers and allergic reactions, helps gastrointestinal issues and has anti-inflammatory properties.

We will also use pumpkin, mushrooms (as an alternative for meat) and many other health boosters!

Preparation time: depends on how fast you chop
Cooking time: 1 hour

Ingredients:
1 big onion cut in 6 pieces
1 big or 2 medium leeks chopped in rings
3 different kinds of Mushrooms in pieces cut by hand (portobello, plevrotus, champignon)
1 small pumpkin in small pieces
2 sweet potatos in small pieces
2 carrots in sticks
200 grams of precooked or boiled and peeled chestnuts
1 cup of quince sticks
a handful of finely chopped parsley
fresh ginger grated
some sticks of fresh thyme
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp turmeric salt and pepper to taste
juice of 2 oranges
juice of ½ lemon
olive oil

* The quantity that you will use from each ingredient is up to your taste as well as the way you want them chopped.

Method:

We put all ingredients in a large bowl and mix very well. We let them marinate for an hour and then we put them in pouches that we make with cooking paper and tie them closed with baking string. Then we place in preheated oven at 200 C for an hour and voila, the present is ready!!!
Make sure that your oven is not in air mode, otherwise the baking paper pouch will burn.

Serving suggestion:

You can make small personal pouches to serve each person, or a big pouch for the middle. We served it with wild mixed rice, but you can use any grain you like. For a crunchy flavor and a sense of celebration, you can add roasted pine nuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds to the grain. Open and apply the juicy content of the pouch on top of the rice, or on the side.

Chinese Medicine Energetics:

It is a warming food that nourishes the qi of the gastrointestinal system, spleen, and kidneys. Enjoy this meal with your heart family and pray that the goodness of nature will enter our hearts and souls for the healing of the Earth and all living beings upon her!