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  • Writer's picturedaniel smith

Shiatsu Bus Food Energetics: Asparagus cannelloni,Roasted Squash/Cauliflower Salad & Tahini Dressing

Another Spring treat this week bought to you by The Shiatsu Bus....

The British asparagus in this dish, whilst quite delicious at this time of year, also addresses kidney Yin Deficiency which can manifest symptoms such as dizziness, low-frequency ringing in the ears, memory loss, heat in one of 5 places; (soles of the feet, palms of the hand, upper chest, or face), night sweats, aching lower back and a deep ache felt in the bones.

Roasting the cauliflower is a very warming method of cooking which benefits the Yang, the chickpeas act to strengthen Deficiency in general and whilst being very nutritious, are also helpful in draining Dampness from the system.

The pomegranate nourishes the Heart Ki and calms the spirit and addresses any Deficiency in this Meridian. Classic signs of Heart Ki Deficiency include tiredness and shortness of breath as well as the possibility of heart palpitations and lethargy. Heart Ki Deficiency usually accompanies emotional difficulty, especially long-term sadness. Although primarily helped by calming the mind and dealing with the emotional issues, this condition can be helped by the foods we choose to eat.

The pungency of the mint and coriander moves the Ki and the combination of olive oil and lemon stimulates the Liver. The dampening nature of the tahini is also balanced by the lemon and garlic.

Asparagus cannelloni with pesto and yoghurt bechamel (pictured above):

I’ve given this retro dish a bit of a makeover, using the tanginess of yoghurt and the freshness of pesto and lemon to make it light and bright.

Prep 35 min Cook 1 hr 10 min Serves 4

4 sheets of fresh lasagne 500g asparagus trimmed


For the yoghurt bechamel:

300g Greek-style yoghurt 200ml whole milk 2 egg yolks 1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed 1 tbsp cornflour 80g pecorino or parmesan, finely grated 70g firm (low-moisture) mozzarella, roughly grated or cut into tiny cubes

Put all the bechamel ingredients in a large bowl with a half-teaspoon of salt and a generous grind of pepper, whisk until smooth, then pour half of it into a roughly 34cm x 24cm baking dish.

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan), and set aside a third of the pesto. Lay a sheet of lasagne on a clean work surface with the shorter side facing you. Spread a spoonful of the remaining pesto over the sheet of pasta, then lay a bunch of asparagus spears horizontally on top and all facing the same direction. Roll up the pasta into a cannelloni shape, with the asparagus sticking out slightly at each end.

Carefully lift up the cannelloni and lay it seam-side down in the baking dish on top of the bechamel. Repeat with the remaining pasta, pesto, and asparagus, laying each rolled cannelloni in the baking dish so they’re all facing the same direction.

Pour the remaining bechamel over the top of the pasta, taking care not to cover any exposed green asparagus, then bake for 35 minutes, until golden and bubbling.

Just before serving spoon a generous amount of pesto over the cannelloni and serve warm with any remaining pesto in a bowl alongside.

Roasted Squash & Cauliflower Salad with a Tahini Dressing

This salad combines roasted vegetables with lots of fresh herbs and pomegranate seeds for crunch. The tahini dressing (I made it with Hellmann's Organic Mayonnaise) provides a zingy contrast to the roasted vegetables and fresh herbs.

  • 1/2 medium butternut squash, cut into 1/2" dice (about 6 cups)

  • 1 small cauliflower, cut into small florets (about 6 cups)

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon each cumin, coriander

  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 1/2 cup each fresh mint & cilantro, lightly packed

  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds

  • Tahini Dressing

  • 5 large tablespoons tahini

  • 5 tablespoons Hellmann's Organic Mayonnaise

  • 4-5 tbsp water

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.

  2. Divide squash and cauliflower pieces between two baking trays. Drizzle with olive oil and toss with spices and seasoning. Place in the oven until golden brown and tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

  3. While vegetables are roasting, make the dressing. Blend together tahini, mayonnaise, 1/4 cup water, lemon juice, garlic, and salt until smooth. If the dressing seems a bit thick, add a bit more water.

  4. Put roasted vegetables on a large serving platter. Toss with chickpeas, mint, corriander, and pomegranate seeds. Drizzle with dressing and toss to combine.

For more articles on Shiatsu, Oriental Medicine and Food Energetics follow this link:

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