So tonight I finally start my macrobiotic studies, woohoo!! I start with a weekend workshop called The Way to Health, Vitality and Strength, which is held, of course, at the Kushi Institute here in Amsterdam. Very curious! I wonder about my teachers and “classmates”. About the food (we start with dinner tonight). The lectures, workshops, and the morning do-in exercises. There will be both a lot of theory and a lot of practical cooking to get all under our skin. Tomorrow and Sunday I have to be at the institute in the morning already at 7:30 to start my hour-long exercise! Next week on Thursday I have a 4-day cooking class. And then the following week Saturday I start my two-week intense study programme, followed after a couple of days by another two-week intense study programme 😀 Ok, ok, I´ll stop here, it´s getting complicated. Anyway, I will have a looot of school (no free weekends, and often studying from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.). So not much time to blog – I will have to catch up later! Wish me good luck, and hopefully after I´m fully back there will be a lot of recipes, and a lot more theory!
Monthly Archives: September 2011
A couple of days ago I attempted to make my very first homemade gomasio, I was preparing myself for that for a long time!! I already purchased my Japan-made suribashi (ceramic mortar with fine thin lines/ridges in the bottom and sides) and surikogi (wooden pestle), both in the toko in Chinatown 😀 It seemed easy, all the recipes for gomasio are pretty much the same, differing mostly in used seeds (you can use basically any seed, but sesame is most popular).
So first you prepare a pan (stainless steel or cast iron; teflon coatings are not used in macrobiotics…unless you want some carcinogens in your food…) and dry-roast one teaspoon of high-quality sea salt for a few minutes, until it gets less bright white and starts smelling like ammoniac. You then grind the roasted salt in your suribashi with your surikogi (really, you need these tools for making gomasio, at least I think so). The salt grains should be crushed into very fine powder. So far so good. Then comes the next step – roasting sesame. You dry-roast 16-18 (differs per recipe) teasoons of sesame on your pan, that takes again few minutes. BUT be very careful to stir your sesame non-stop AND roast on a very low flame. Otherwise you will end up like me with dark brown, burnt smelling and tasting sesame (and gomasio…) 😦 Once your sesame seeds start to pop up, emit a strong sesame oil odor and change their color into a darker hue, they are ready to be transferred to the suribashi, where your salt is waiting. Crush together with the salt for a couple of minutes until 75% of the sesame seeds (god knows how you can tell – just estimate) are cracked open. It should smell reeeally nice – unless your sesame is burnt…The sesame seeds have to get thoroughly mixed with the crushed salt. And that´s it, voila. Your gomasio is ready to be stored in an air-proof container (preferrably glass jar) and used within two weeks (always make a fresh batch after about two weeks, otherwise it goes rancid). Next time I will watch my sesame with a hawk´s eye!!
So I needed to prepare my tempeh in a quick, tasty way…here goes: fry a few slices of fresh tempeh in oil, adding a bit of tamari towards the end (tempeh in itself has a too mild and not that great flavour). Meanwhile cook corn on the cob in water, so that it is submerged. Ten to fifteen minutes will do. When your tempeh is crispy, place the pieces on one nori sheet (nori is the seaweed used as a sushi wrapper). Use the rest of the oil/tamari from the pan to lightly fry a few slices of daikon and leek. The tempeh looks nice on the dark green nori background 😀 And you can even wrap the tempeh (alone or with the veggies) in the nori and eat it rolled up. Whatever you like 😀
I looooove hokkaido pumpkin – mostly cooked in a main dish, using salt and spices. But this time I made it into a dessert, which is not hard, because the pumpkin is very starchy and sweet in itself. To make it just a little bit sweeter, I added a handful of raisins while cooking the pumpkin in a few cm of water. Be smarter than me and add a few grains of sea salt too, it will bring out the sweetness 😀 When the pumpkin is soft enough that it´s easily mashed by a fork, it´s ready! Serve with a teaspoon of almond butter.
Here is another Very Easy Recipe for a quick macrobiotic plate – cooked amaranth (this time I cooked 1 part of amaranth to 3 parts of water and it ended up much better than just 2 parts of water!), steamed carrots and onions (steamed onions become really really sweet, my favourite veggie to steam!), a spoonful of sauerkraut (I got one with juniper in it, be sure to get organic sauerkraut which has nothing but cabbage and salt in it, or some herbs, but no sweetener or vinegar!) and green fava beans from the can.
I love the “macrobiotic plate” with islands of different types of food. It is a bit like creating a symphony 😀 Some time ago I finally got my order of 5 kg (!!) of teff in the mail, so I cooked it for dinner. Teff is a super-nutritious grain from Ethiopia, actually the smallest grain in the world. It reminds polenta a bit when cooked. It has a very fine delicate texture and I really like the taste and aroma…and it´s done in 15-20 minutes! Together with the teff I steamed broccoli and daikon (steaming is a hit in our household lately) and served them with a quick sauce made by diluting rice brown miso with some warm water. I also did a stir-fry in a wok – leek, green beans, carrot, chinese cabbage and celery stalk, with added sesame seeds and a dash of tamari and water. Simple yet satisfying dinner 🙂
I like soups that are creamy thanks to blending them in a blender 🙂 well, this is one of them. I cooked
2 small onions
1 medium cauliflower
1 medium parsnip
in a pot with water just to cover them, cook until soft and transfer to blender. Blend until it becomes a smooth milk coloured puree. You might need to add some water later to thin the soup. Return to the pot. Add a few teaspoons of white miso (“shiro miso”) to taste and let simmer in the pot a bit. Garnish with sprinkles of dulse seaweed or anything else you like!