Shrimp and Spinach Pumpkin Pot

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What does a balanced meal look like? In Eastern, especially Chinese cooking, the concept of a balanced, healthy recipe is based on Yin-Yang energy. According to The Taste of Asia.com, in the transitional fall season, Yin energy (cool) increases as the outside temperature falls, and Yang energy (heat) decreases. But how can this effect your health?

"Fall winds blow away humidity, and as a result, the body’s fluid balance is depleted, which is believed to lead to dry coughing and sore throats. As the weather changes, the body’s immune system is weakened and struggles to come into balance, which could make it easier to catch a cold."

Today’s shrimp and spinach pumpkin pot recipe replenishes the body’s warming Yang (a vital inner force also known as Qi) and are balanced with water chestnuts and spinach whose cooling properties, or Yin, are thought to help with dry coughs. So, make the most of your pumpkins and enjoy healthy eating. This well-balanced dish is sure to make you feel as good as it tastes!

(Makes 6 servings)

  2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  3/4 pound raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  3 cups water
  2 cups rice milk
  1 packet (1.97 oz.) (MAGGI TASTE OF ASIA or other) Hot & Sour Soup Mix
  1 cup pumpkin flesh, cut into 1-inch chunks
  1 cup sweet corn, fresh or frozen
  1 lb. baby spinach
  1 can (8 oz.) sliced water chestnuts
  1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
  2 green onions (white parts only), finely chopped
  2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper
  1 (about 8 lb.) medium baking pumpkin (optional)

HEAT olive oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds or until garlic turns golden and fragrant. ADD shrimp; cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes or until shrimp turn opaque. Pour in water and rice milk; bring to a boil. STIR in soup mix, pumpkin and corn. Cook for 4 minutes or until pumpkin softens. ADD spinach and water chestnuts; bring to a boil. Stir in sesame oil. Garnish with green onions and red bell pepper. Serve hot.

NOTE: To use pumpkin as a serving vessel:
SELECT an attractive, unblemished pumpkin. Rinse and dry outside with a kitchen towel. Cut an approximate 4- to 5-inch diameter hole in top of pumpkin. Scoop out seeds and membranes. Carve decorative motif on the skin around sides of pumpkin, and use a sharp knife to make zigzag cuts around rim.

PLACE vegetable steamer rack in large pot and fill 1/3 of pot with water. Place pumpkin shell upright on rack in pot. Cover and steam over briskly boiling water until pumpkin meat softens, about 25 minutes. (Check the water level often. Replenish the water as necessary.) Be sure pumpkin shell remains above the water level and is not submerged. While steaming, cook pumpkin soup on stove top. Pour mixture into pumpkin. Serve hot.

P.S.  Yesterday’s post "Mindfulness in Meditation" touched upon a key Green Mountain at Fox principle: mindful eating – an essential part of achieving a balanced healthy lifestyle.  For more healthy recipes check out the other delicious recipes listed on this blog or visit Green Mountain Healthy Living Recipe Favorites.


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