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Food for the Yang Man with Mung Bean Soup

Friday, December 28th, 2007

Food for the Yang Man, Mung Bean Soup

One of the things many people overlook on their quest for self-improvement is their nutrition.  Most guys consider a hearty slab of meat and some mashed potatoes to be "manly." 

"More Protein" is the mantra you hear from everyone inside any American Gym.  Though they don't say what protein is the best and how to create a balanced meal that will benefit your entire system. 

Often times when I eat "manly" meals or even regular meals at most restaurants, I feel sluggish and tired for a couple hours afterwards.  It's such a common occurrence that we now have a term for it, "Food Coma." 

I would always tell myself, "There is something not right here, food should give me energy not take it away.  There must be a better way."  There is a better way and it involves using pure ingredients and creating balance in your body.

Just as masculine is considered Yang and Feminine is consider Yin, this classification system can be extended to food as well. 

Yin foods are high in water content, cold, and sour or bitter.  They include things like lettuce, cucumbers, fruits, fish, beer, refined sugars and require less cooking (steaming) or no cooking (fresh and raw). 

Yang foods are low in water content, hot, and pugnant or bland.  They include things like potatoes, pumpkin, red meat, onion, garlic, ginger, seeds and nuts, and require more cooking (stewing, baking, deep frying).

The summer is a yang season due to the heat so to balance it out, we eat yin food which will cool us down.  The winter is a yin season due to the cold so to balance it out we eat yang food to heat us up.

Recently I found an extremely healthy and tasty recipe called Mung Bean Soup that is very high in yang energy.  I received the recipe from a Yogi in my area and have been eating it a lot during the past few weeks with much satisfaction (and zero food comas).

In his words:

"This is one of the most nutritious, healing, and tasty meals that I have ever eaten.  It is a pre-digested food.  Its protein is balanced because of the beans and rice, which makes it easy to digest.  It’s full of vitamins and minerals, from all the vegetables. 

It has the trinity roots; garlic for the immune system, ginger for energy and the spine, and onions for the blood and semen.  Cardamom and pepper are good for digestion and turmeric is good for absorption and flexibility. 

I cannot tell you all the remarkable things that this dish can do, you are just going to have to eat it and find out for yourself."

The recipe is as follows:

Mung Beans and Rice (or Bhajan’s banquet)
Recipe by Yogi Bhajan.  Comments by Ram Dass Bir Singh Khalsa

  • 2/3 Cup Mung Beans (wash beans).  Most Indian and health food stores carry mung beans.
  • 2/3 Cup Rice (wash rice).  Basmati is best.
  • 7-8 Cups Water (start with 7 cups of water and you can always add more if mixture gets too thick.
  • 1 Teaspoon Turmeric.  A yellow powder that is a healing medicine by itself.
  • 1 Teaspoon Gram Masala (a mixture of healing spices found at any Indian food store.
  • 1 Tablespoon Sweet Basil.
  • ½ Teaspoon Black Pepper Powder.
  • 2 Bay Leaves Whole (remove spent bay leaves after mixture is almost done).
  • ½ Teaspoon Red Pepper (powder or crushed, this is very hot stuff so add more of less to taste).
  • 5 Large Cardamom pods (just add the seeds from the cardamom pods).

Add all of the above ingredients to a large pot and start boiling.  While it heats up, chop and add vegetables:

  • 4-5 Cups Assorted Chopped Vegetables (carrots, celery, zucchini, broccoli, potato, sweet potatoes, squash etc.).

As you boil the above ingredients, you can cook the below in a frying pan until lightly browned.

  • 1-2 Onions, chopped. 
  • 1/3 Cup Ginger Root, minced.
  • 10 Cloves Garlic, minced.
  • ¼ Cup Oil (almond or olive is best, but any good oil is fine).

"When the onion ginger and garlic mixture is lightly browned it’s done.  Add it to the large boiling pot full of the vegetables and spices, set fire to low.  You will now need to stir often to prevent scorching.  Continue to cook until all the vegetables can be barely discernible.  Add more water if necessary.  It will have a ruch thick soup like consistency.  When it’s done you may now add:"

  • Sea Salt or Tamari – To you your taste.  Tamari is found at any good health food store.
  • Cheese & Yogurt – To taste (make sure to use good quality and don't overdo the cheese).

"It’s best to be served this dish with yogurt and yogi tea.  The dish should be spicy hot.  The more red pepper you add the hotter it will be.  You may even add jalapeños, especially in the winter, when it’s cold.  The yogurt will help to balance out the hot yang fire in the dish with cooling yin energy. 

You can make this in a crock-pot in two ways.  First, just add all the water, vegetables, and spices to the pot in the morning and set to auto.  When you come home from work, all you do is cook up the trinity roots in a frying pan and add them to the crock-pot.  Stir and add more water if needed and cook longer if necessary.

The second way- while you are heating up the crock-pot, is to boil the vegetables and spices in a large metal pot, while you cook the trinity roots in a frying pan.  When done, add all the ingredients to a crock-pot. Leave crock-pot on high, stir every half hour or so, until it’s all done.  You start with a metal pot on the stove, then transfer all ingredients to a cock-pot, as this will help to prevent scorching on the bottom of the metal pot.  For each serving, you can add tamari or melted cheese for individual taste.

May God & Guru always gives us the food that we need – to be healthy, happy and holy, Sat Nam – Wahe Guru!" 

I am amazed at how my body responds to this food.  My energy is increasing, my digestion is improving, and I no longer have to rest after eating.  I highly recommend it to anyone looking to improve their health, especially during the winter.

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Enjoy!