The end of one little experimental blog

This is not an easy post to write as I feel that there are a lot of people following this blog, enjoying the recipes posted here and perhaps even impatiently awaiting new ones to appear in the future. And it´s not just my feeling – this blog actually has many followers and from time to time I bump into somebody that I don´t even know telling me that he or she likes my blog, which is really amazing and always hard to believe for me! That´s because this blog started as a very modest personal project, more of an online diary, which I founded mostly for the purpose of keeping track of my own “progress” in macrobiotic cooking and to store recipes that I come up with myself or that I read in a cookbook, on another blog etc. I was quite overwhelmed when I found out how many views it gets and how many people click on the like button, leave a comment or subscribe to the blog. It necessarily produces a sense of responsibility for the content and a wish to leave behind posts and recipes of good quality that people will enjoy reading and trying out on their own. I am very happy and grateful for all the positive feedback I have received in the two years of this blog´s existence.

However, everything that has a beginning, has an end – and that is very macrobiotic! Why? Because that´s the whole idea of yin and yang…everything changes, passes, turns into its opposite. Yes, I COULD have continued writing this blog for many many years I suppose, but inevitably one day I would have to “retire” ;-) That would just be a matter of time. I decided to quit after about two years for a good reason, though. That reason being – I am not currently following a diet that would fit into the macrobiotic model. I still had a lot of recipes from the previous months when I was still cooking in a macrobiotic style and I didn´t want to toss those recipes without publishing them, because I was quite sure that they could still benefit many readers, and me, too. And this IS, after all, my personal online cookbook as well! :-D

But when it comes to my own health and well-being, I was lately forced to make some significant tweaks, which means that my diet became very different than what it used to be. I don´t want to elaborate on the topic of my ongoing health issues, because that was never the purpose of this blog and I don´t wish to share them in public. But the truth is that my view of what kind of food pattern can be macrobiotic (in the widest sense of the word) changed so much, that I feel I don´t want to label myself this way anymore. The term “macrobiotics” is usually used in a much less wide manner, mostly describing a diet derived from the teachings of George Ohsawa, Michio Kushi and some other teachers. Very often the “standard macrobiotic diet” is used as a template, perhaps with many personal adjustments, but still within some given frame. If one gets very far from this frame, then why the need to still call yourself macrobiotic? As much as I LOVE the taste of  many “macrobiotic foods” and I love many aspects of the whole philosophy and lifestyle, the dietary template no longer served my health needs and I ventured into other realms of nutrition,  looking into ALL traditional diets and also some more modern interpretations of these diets. Yet, still firmly remaining in the world of NATURAL, chemical-free, (mostly) organic foods, of course! I think I will always stay convinced that anything that was produced in an industrial environment using several manmade ingredients, is detrimental to anybody´s health.

Maybe one day I will feel a need to set up a new blog again, but for now I am happy enough just experimenting with my cooking on my own, without the need to be sharing these experiments online :) Once again, thanks for being with me… Much love, health and peace to all.

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Rebecca Wood´s Fig Compote

This time I am again going to share a recipe which is not my own but is way too awesome not to mention  in this blog! It´s taken from the website of Rebecca Wood, a wonderful holistic nutritionist and author of the phenomenal “The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia”. It´s the best reference book if you want to know as much as possible about one single ingredient coming from the natural world (whether it´s a banana, quinoa or fava beans) – how to pick the best item, how to use it in cooking, how to store it, what are the medicinal properties, possible contraindications for certain illnesses etc etc etc.

But onto the recipe! You can read it here. I made the version using red wine (no need to buy a fancy one, any will do!) which reduced into a lovely thick sweet-and-sour syrup. For spices I used all – a cinnamon stick, star anise and whole cloves. It´s nice especially warm, but even cold is not bad at all. Great also with dried prunes!

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Wild salmon and vegetable salad

I´keep it short and just tell you what I mixed all together:

-canned wild salmon (please please do avoid farmed salmon contaminated with antibiotics, colouring agents and pesticides)

-rucola leaves

-blanched kohlrabi slices

-blanched chinese cabbage slices

-blanched diagonals of parsley root

-raw baby carrot slices

-chopped chives

-whole black olives

-fresh green peas

-raw fennel bulb, leaves and stems both, finely chopped

And a dressing of olive oil, salt and balsamico vinegar

Served with boiled sweet potatoes

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Apricot ice cream!

I´ve already posted a recipe for avocado chocolate mousse on this blog. In a very similar way you can create sugarfree vegan ice cream with all natural ingredients, which not only tastes delicious, is very easy and quick to make (no ice cream maker needed!), but also mimics the traditional dairy ice cream texture in a way that I found hard to believe.

All you need is a large ripe avocado (the flesh should be yellow, not too brown), a pinch of salt, a liquid sweetener of choice (lately I use honey, but I also had success with rice malt and you could definitely use also agave syrup, maple syrup etc.), an optional pinch of vanilla powder and a flavouring according to what strikes your fancy. Adding cocoa or carob powder is classical and divine… Cinnamon is totally amazing too. This time I used a couple of very ripe sweet apricots. Just throw all in the blender and blend until soft and creamy, using water to thin if needed (but only very little, try to avoid making the cream too watery!). Then transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for a couple hours. Now the important step is: stir well with a spoon roughly every half an hour to break up any created ice crystals. Only this way will the ice cream become smooth and creamy and not full of harsh ice pieces. Don´t freeze too long or it will get too hard, just wait until you achieve the consistency you desire. You can of course just freeze the ice cream for a couple days or weeks even for later use, but then you will have to let it sit outside to melt a bit and probably give it a good stir again once that´s possible. For best results I recommend eating it after only a few hours, I think it shouldn´t be a problem ;)

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Mercedes´ Dancing Soba

Mercedes is one of my favourite food bloggers – she also studied (and taught) macrobiotics at the Kushi Institute in Amsterdam, now she´s running her own cooking school in Almere in the Netherlands. I yet have to taste her fabulous dishes, but my mouth waters each time I read her inventive recipes which are usually influenced by her Caribbean roots :-D

Check out her dancing soba recipe!

I modified it slightly: Instead of soba noodles I used black rice noodles (made by the Terrasana company), for vegetables I used leek, garlic, carrot, green peas and young savoy cabbage, and I tweaked the ratios of the seasonings a bit (2 tbsp rice vinegar, 3 tbsp mirin and 2 1/2 tbsp tamari).

As a topping I made pan-fried cubes of dried tofu, which you first have to soak, then strain the liquid out (most of it, but not every drop, otherwise it soaks up a bit too much of the oil) and then fry it in a shallow layer of sesame oil until browned and slightly crispy.

Gorgeous looking and tasting soup….

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Guacamole rice with sauteed vegetables

Ever thought of mixing guacamole through rice? Maybe it´s a bit odd, but it sure is tasty and goes well together! Or at least I think so :-D

I made the guacamole by mashing together one avocado, a dash of cumin, salt and black pepper, tiny cubes of a small red onion and finely minced garlic (which I let infuse in a splash of ume plum vinegar for a while to make them more digestible), lemon juice and chopped cilantro leaves. You can either mash it all with a fork or using a blender to get a more smooth texture.

I stirred it into cooked leftover brown rice and made a side of water-sauteed veggies (as you can see, I used sliced leek and fresh green peas). I also served it with some lovely sundried black olives!

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Summer rice salad

This rice salad can be served warm or cool to your liking. Feel free to play with the seasonings, vegetables…salad is playful by nature! :-D

I mixed together: cooked brown rice, little squares of nori sheets (you can cut stripes with scissors and then make small squares), shortly blanched vegetables (young summer cabbage, celery root, parsley root, red radish and kohlrabi), black pepper freshly crushed, mustard, hemp seeds, wild garlic, lemon and pumpkin seed oil.

 

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