The Way


Cool Your Qi with a Chinese Medicine Inspired Salad

By Travis Metzger /

Cool Your Qi with a Chinese Medicine Inspired Salad
The recipes on The Way are intended as an East meets West look at food and its relationship to health and nutrition. Food is powerful, and every bite can either greatly benefit your system or effectively work against it. In Chinese Medicine, each grain, vegetable, meat, fruit, and spice has unique properties that can be harnessed to help us achieve and maintain balance in our bodies. Our recipes seek to incorporate some of the age-old principles of Chinese medicine into the culinary practices more familiar to the West.

Watermelons and tomatoes are two wonderful treats of summer that go nicely together. Watermelon, in particular the inner green rind, also has a long history of being used medicinally in China. According to Chinese medicine, watermelon is “sweet” and “cold.” It is used to clear heat and relieve the agitation and thirst that is caused by the heat of summer. The tomato has similar properties. In addition to being “sweet” and “cold,” it is also “sour.” It reduces thirst and can aid digestion. This interesting salad pairing can alleviate the physically draining effects of summer heat or other types of heat, particularly if it manifests as thirst.

In seasoning this salad, we have sought to preserve the best attributes of watermelon and tomato, while checking any unwanted tendencies. “Cold” foods can be tough on the stomach, particularly for those who already struggle with indigestion. “Sweet” and “sour” foods have a tendency to further burden the digestive system with “dampness.” To address these concerns, we have incorporated some spice profiles that make this salad a totally unique eating experience. Chile powder and cayenne are both “pungent” and “warming.” These properties balance the cold and potentially damp, stagnating quality of the watermelon and tomato together. Lime zest, like other citrus peels, can “move qi.” It not only makes the flavors sparkle, but it helps with digestion too. We hope this blend of ingredients make a wonderful and healthy addition to your summer culinary repertoire.


Tomatoes for Qi

Watermelon and Tomato Salad with Celery Leaves and Flavors of Chile, Honey and Lime

Serving size

About 2-3

Prep Time / Cook Time

10 minutes / 0 minutes



About 8-10 Ounces Watermelon
About 8-10 Ounces Tomato
About 10 Celery Leaves
2 Teaspoons Chile Powder
1 Teaspoon Cayenne
2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
½ Teaspoon Lime Zest
2 Tablespoons Honey
Pinch Sea Salt


Cut watermelon and tomato into various shapes that will be fun to plate. Pick celery leaves. Arrange the watermelon and tomato in a fun and interesting way on the plate and dress with the simple dressing made of the remaining ingredients. Sprinkle celery leaves as desired.

Dining with Culinary Artist Travis Metzger is an unforgettable experience. You can taste the passion, creativity and culinary expertise in each of Travis’s one-of-kind recipes. Most would agree that Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs in their original form taste less than delectable, but Travis has proven that TCM for today can taste great with DAO Labs. Travis develops unique flavors for each DAO formula to complement the proprietary blend of herbs and their health benefits. After extensive training at the New England Culinary Institute, Travis ran some of the finest restaurants across the country before starting his own in Minneapolis. To survive the stresses and physical challenges of the kitchen heat, Travis focused on combining natural ingredients for healthy AND delicious eating and juicing.

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