Slim pickings in the farmers' market today. Granted, I arrived near dusk but it feels unlikely that the tables ever held much in the way of sweet, juicy fruits and vegetables. Still, there is always something to procure even if it is just a few sausages and a somewhat pale head of cabbage. I was attracted to both items for their simple perseverance. In TCM, this quality relates to the kidneys, oftentimes called the seat of power, courage, and will. The kidneys fuel our actions and allow us to fulfill our dreams. And so in a funny synchronicity sort of way it makes perfect sense to me that pork (which nourishes kidney yin) and cabbage (which has an affinity to the spleen and thus boosts the chi of the whole body) would sit side by side on a dreary February day--daring the dredges of winter to put us asunder.
The dish is simple but works like magic.
Steam cabbage until tender. Brown sausages in a skillet and cook until juices are clear. Toss cabbage into the skillet just before serving. A spoonful of mustard on the side makes for perfection.
Frances Boswell is a licensed acupuncturist at her practice, Qi Sera Sera Acupuncture, in New York City. She focuses on a lesser-known branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which identifies poor diet as a common cause of disease. Traditional Chinese Medicine understands that the importance of food goes beyond ingredients' vitamins, mineral, nutrient and caloric content—food has its own energetic and spiritual role in our health. Frances' aim is to teach this ancient wisdom, apply it to everyday cooking, and work with patients to modify their diets, in addition to acupuncture, to help them live, eat, and be well. Contact Frances here.