According to Thai philosophy, staying in sync with Mother Nature through the changing seasons is the key to healthful living. This involves cooking with seasonal ingredients, of course, but also eating to balance the four basic elements of life: earth, water, wind, and fire.
Winter is dominated by the earth element, so foods that heal right now include "earth" items: buttery root vegetables and warming root seasonings, such as onion, ginger, and garlic. Citrus and greens enhance benefits by helping prevent respiratory illnesses. For a taste of how the Thai approach to food and cooking can keep you feeling balanced and well throughout the cold months, try these recipes; all are mainstays in Thai healing practices.
Gaeng Khae (Spicy Thai Vegetable Soup) (pictured)