Posted by: coachingparents | November 24, 2007

Balanced Meals for Busy Families and Children

Five Element nutrition originated centuries ago in ancient China. Through careful experimentation and observation, the effects of herbs and foods on humans were categorized and carefully recorded. Each of the Five Elements was associated with a direction, season, organs within the body, color, taste, cooking method as well as with specific foods and food herbs. Wood, fire, metal, earth and water comprise the Five Elements. Five Element philosophy is based on the theory of regeneration. When the body is properly nourished, balanced, and cleansed through the right combination of foods, it can regenerate itself. As we gratefully greet the Spring season, represented by the wood element, we create meals of new beginnings. As always, these recipes are designed for the busy family. The menu tonight features sautéed chicken breasts with mushrooms, sliced steamed yams, steamed asparagus, and a mixed green salad – a beautifully balanced Five Element meal.

Sautéed Chicken Breasts with Mushrooms
(Serves 4)
4 chicken breasts
6 oz. of cleaned mushrooms -sliced thinly
3 tbsp. olive oil (butter or ghee may be substituted)
5 garlic cloves – peeled and minced
1-1/2 inches of fresh ginger – grated
1/3 cup of soy sauce
1/2 cup of orange juice – 100%

To complete the meal!
3 yams or sweet potatoes
1 lb. fresh asparagus
Mixed greens for salad – washed

Mix the soy sauce, orange juice, ginger and garlic in a shallow bowl. Add the chicken breasts and marinate for 15 minutes (up to 2 hours). While the chicken is marinating, fill the bottom of the steamer with water and place on a high heat. Peel and slice yams into 1/2 inch thick slices. Place these in the steamer basket and cover. Add the asparagus after 15 minutes and steam both the yams and asparagus for an additional 5 minutes. Pour the marinade into a small pan over medium heat and reduce volume to half. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Place the chicken in the hot skillet and arrange the mushrooms around the periphery of the pan. Cook the chicken for 4 minutes then turn the breasts over to cook for another 3-4 minutes. Cut the center of one piece to test for color; no pink should be visible. Remove chicken to cutting board and slice each breast on the diagonal. Place a chicken breast with a tbsp of reduced sauce on top, several slices of yam, several asparagus spears, and mixed greens on a plate. Sit down together as a family to enjoy your beautiful meal.

Copyright © Marlene F. Long. All rights reserved worldwide.


About The Author …
Marlene F Long, MD, currently works as a Health and Educational Consultant in the Wellness field. From 1982 through 1998, Marlene, a Board Certified Obstetrician Gynecologist, had a very successful medical practice. When she retired from medicine, she entered the field of Wellness, after expanding her education in the areas of wellness, nutrition, and parenting and now offers seminars. Marcia Wollerman is a nutritionist practicing in Colorado.


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