If you think about it, food and Feng Shui go hand in hand. You can achieve improved energy by optimizing the Feng Shui of your food and by using food-related items to your advantage. Elemental balance, Yin/Yang balance, aromatherapy, and opportunities to increase prosperity and abundance are all important parts of Feng Shui and food.
Elemental balance in food can be achieved through the use of colors. A plate full of monochromatic food can look pretty bland and probably wouldn't get a seal of approval from a dietitian either (they usually advise a plate full of many different colors.) So a stir-fry made with yellow bell peppers, green bell peppers, orange bell peppers, red tomatoes, Chinese purple eggplant, and some pink shrimp would be a much better Feng Shui choice. Fruits and vegetables come in an array of colors; use them to your Feng Shui advantage. You don't have to eat every color in the rainbow at every meal, but more colors in your diet will go a long way towards optimizing your Feng Shui.
How Feng Shui Applies to Your Food
The concept of Yin and Yang can also apply to your food. With food, Yin would be the milder flavors while Yang would be the bolder flavors. Chinese recipes already take advantage of this type of Feng Shui balance. Sweet and sour, hot and sour, and strong-flavored dishes paired with plain rice are all examples of Yin/Yang balanced foods. When preparing these dishes the cook is always careful to balance the opposing flavors. Sweet and Sour Shrimp that is all sweet or overly sour wouldn’t be very pleasing to the palate and wouldn’t be good Feng Shui. And pairing a spicy dish with other spicy dishes would overtax the taste buds. Yin and Yang can also be used to explain the appeal of dishes featuring a mixture of soft or delicate foods with crunchy or crisp foods. Tofu dishes with chopped nuts or diced water chestnuts always balance these textural differences. A plate full of crunchy food could tire the mouth, while a plate full of soft food might not seem very fulfilling. Balance is very important in food and Feng Shui.
Aromatherapy is very important in Feng Shui because all senses need to be accommodated. Nothing is more pleasing to the nose than delicious smelling foods. Think about the scents when cooking Chinese food. Everyone in the house knows you’re cooking when the house is filled with the scent of toasting Szechuan peppercorns. And what a joy it is to smell a grinder filled with ground Szechuan peppercorns (toasted or untoasted.) Aromatic seasonings like garlic, scallions, chilies, and ginger often go into the wok near the beginning of the cooking process so they can lend their scents and lightly stir-fried flavors to the main ingredients. Plus, they are a treat for the cook to smell and they fill the home with a wonderful aroma. These wonderful scents rid the home of negative energy and fill them, and you, with positive energy.
In Feng Shui, practice prosperity and abundance are extremely common Feng Shui goals. There are many ways to increase your prosperity and abundance through food and food-related items.
One common Feng Shui recommendation is to use your stove (this is not about your oven or microwave, just your stove or cooktop) often. This is because your stove and its burners represent wealth. More burners would be better than less (so having a stove with five burners would represent extra wealth luck while one with only two burners would symbolize diminished wealth luck.) You need to have any broken burners repaired as soon as possible because they would represent economic troubles. Using all of your burners evenly is much better than using one or two ‘favorite’ burners every day while ignoring the rest. Stimulating your wealth energy by using your stove often (hopefully by cooking meals using most or all of your burners throughout the day) can even be done by just turning on your burners every day for a few minutes. Gas stoves are better Feng Shui than electric stoves, though it is not recommended to change stoves or cooktops for that reason alone. Wasting money is never good Feng Shui!
The dishes you serve your food in can also increase your prosperity and abundance. Ornate or expensive looking dishes carry wealth luck. Chinese or Asian dishes with fish designs or other wealth-related designs also improve your wealth energy. Crystal glasses also improve the energy of your dining room table. The best way to serve up a meal that symbolizes prosperity and abundance is to set up your dining room table with your favorite fancy setting and crystal or crystal-like glassware, fill your table with an abundance of wonderful food (more food, more money), and double the food (thereby doubling your wealth) by hanging a mirror that reflects your dining table.
Cook a Feng Shui-Friendly Meal Tonight
So now you’re ready to use all of your burners every day, cook elementally and Yin/Yang balanced Chinese meals, fill your home with amazing aromas, and sit down to a glorious meal at your prosperous dining table. Here's a tasty Feng Shui Chinese recipe for Sweet and Sour Shrimp to get you started.
Leslie's Feng Shui Sweet and Sour Shrimp (Makes 3 servings)
- 2/3 pound medium shrimp (peeled and deveined)
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 4 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 20 ounce can pineapple chunks (in juice)
- 1 celery stalk (diagonally cut very thin)
- 1 carrot (diagonally cut very thin)
- 1 medium onion, (julienne cut- thin strips from halved onion sliced from root to top)
- 1 red bell pepper (cut into thin strips)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- Marinate shrimp in 1 teaspoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon cornstarch for about 20 minutes (in the refrigerator.)
- In a bowl or large measuring cup mix sauce ingredients: 2 ½ tablespoons cornstarch, 1/3 cup soy sauce (add soy sauce slowly and stir to avoid lumps), rice wine vinegar, dark brown sugar, ground ginger, garlic powder, and the juice from the pineapple chunks (reserve the pineapple chunks for later in the recipe.) Set sauce aside.
- Heat wok or stir-fry pan over medium-high heat and add oil. When the oil is hot, add shrimp (with marinade) to the pan and stir-fry until just cooked (shrimp will start to curl and turn pink.) Remove shrimp to bowl or plate.
- Add more oil to wok or pan if needed and stir-fry celery and carrot to soften and remove the vegetables to a bowl (not the one with the shrimp.)
- Add more oil if needed and add onion and stir-fry briefly to soften. Add back carrots and celery along with bell pepper and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Add pineapple chunks to wok or pan and add back the shrimp. Stir-fry for a few seconds. Mix sauce and pour into wok or pan. Stir everything in the wok or pan and bring to a boil so the mixture can thicken.
- Immediately remove from heat and serve with Chinese white rice or over crispy noodles. Enjoy your Feng Shui masterpiece!
Notes: Sweet and sour is a wonderfully delicious way to experience the Yin and Yang of Chinese cooking. In this recipe, a variety of vegetables in different colors are used to increase the elemental balance. Additionally, in Chinese cooking, it is common for most of the ingredients to be the same shape. This is done so the ingredients cook evenly together, so the ingredients balance each other, and because it looks pretty. If you decide not to use the celery and carrot you can cut all the vegetables into chunks to match the pineapple and the shrimp shapes. Chunks of celery and carrot would overpower the dish and take too long to cook.