Autumn is the season of nature returning to itself. It is the time of the Metal element which is associated with the organs Lung and Large Intestine. The Lung is associated with the emotion of grief/sadness, the Large Intestine facilitates the process of "letting go".
During this season Yang decreases and moves inward and we see the qualities of Yin begin to grow. In most climates we see a cooling of temperature, plants shed their foliage, and the energies of the body gather on the inside. Foods with a downbearing movement and sour flavor help to consolidate the body’s energy to promote good storage for the Winter.
The Lung is most susceptible to invading pathogens throughout this time of year - the beginning of cold & flu season. Foods that are warm and mildly acrid help to disperse the Lung to protect against cold and dampness. If your climate tends to be more dry during Autumn then moistening foods that nourish the Lungs are recommended.
This recipe was created to be a balance of warm, acrid ingredients and nourishing, moistening foods. Therefore it is appropriate for most climates during the Autumn season.
Millet and apples provide the down-bearing direction. Peanuts and pine nuts moisten the Lungs. Ginger and garlic are both warm/acrid foods to disperse cold and dampness. Corn helps to balance and regulate fluids of the body. Fennel and carrots are warming. Cauliflower cools pathogenic heat in the Lungs. Lemon provides a sour flavor.
Autumn Grain Bowl
2 fennel bulbs
1-2 lbs carrots
2 bulbs of garlic
3-6 TBSP olive oil
1/2 cup millet (soak millet in several inches of water for at least 4 hours before preparing. Can be soaked over night.)
2 cobs fresh corn
1/4 cup dry-roasted (unsalted) Peanuts
1/4 cup pine nuts (pignolias)
1 granny smith apple
1/2 TBSP chopped ginger
1 cup water
Begin by pre-heating the oven to 350 degrees. Cut cauliflower into florets and similar sizes. Remove any tough root material from fennel and cut the bulbs into quarters lengthwise keeping the base intact. Peel and cut carrots in half length-wise into roastable pieces. Cut 1 lemon into eighths. Remove all garlic peels leaving the cloves mostly intact. Place the above listed ingredients into a large bowl. Drizzle 3 TBSP olive oil over vegetables, add a couple generous pinches of salt. Toss vegetables until evenly coated with oil. You can add more oil and salt if desired. Pour tossed vegetables onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil making sure they are evenly distributed. Roast in oven for 45min. Remove from oven, toss with spatula, add more salt if desired, then roast for an additional 15min. When vegetables are easily pierced with a fork they are done!
While vegetables are roasting in the oven prepare the grain base. Begin by draining off the soaking water from the millet. In a large saucepan add millet, fresh corn removed from the cob, along with the peanuts and pine nuts. Cut apple into bite-size pieces and add to saucepan. Add ginger, water and 1/2 tsp salt then stir to combine ingredients. Place on stovetop over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook at a simmer for 15min. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
In a dinner bowl first layer the millet/corn mixture then dish up some roasted veggies on top. Cut up the extra lemon and squeeze fresh juice over the dish. Add salt as desired. Enjoy!
**you can easily add your favorite protein (pork, chicken, tofu, egg, etc.) to this dish**