The title says it all:
I sliced up a medium-sized and peeled red beet, took apart some cauliflower florets and made big chunks of hokkaido pumpkin. I sprinkled the veggies with olive oil and tamari (the best is to use a spray to get an even light sprinkle, totally worth the money!) and with some dried rosemary. I placed them in a baking dish with a bit of water on the bottom, covered the dish with tin foil and baked for about 45 minutes until tender. The last 10-15 minutes you can bake them uncovered so they get less soggy. In the end it looked like this:
Meanwhile I soaked hiziki (half an hour should do the trick), discarded the water (the flavour can be a bit overpowering), added (overnight soaked and peeled) almonds and cooked the meal for 30-45 minutes on a low flame with some water and tamari. Don´t go too light on the tamari – seaweed needs strong flavouring, otherwise it tastes just like a…well, seaweed 😀 Normally I add some vegetables to the seaweed but this time I left it plain, just hiziki-almonds-seasoning.
I served the dinner with rice and amaranth with some shiso leaf powder.
Another one of those quick dishes when you come tired home from work and need something pronto!
I cooked buckwheat in 1:2 grain to water ratio, first bringing the water to boil with a pinch of salt, then tipping in the buckwheat. It cooks only about 15 minutes. Meanwhile I fried fine slices of onion together with tiny cubes of parsley root, celery root and smoked tofu on oil, untill all became crispy and golden. I topped the grain with the mixture and served the meal with blanched savoy cabbage. The fried root veggies and the smoky tofu particularly give a sensation of bacon 😀
Being macro I sometimes miss rich creamy white sauces…but there´s no reason to be sad, because you can quite easily make a sauce that comes pretty close, using almond flour and non-dairy milk 🙂
First shortly sautee minced garlic on a tiny bit of olive oil, then add finely diced onion, and when the onion softens, add finely cut leek. Each time accompany the vegetable with a few grains of sea salt to release more liquid and sweetness. Mix in approximately 6 heaping tbsp of almond flour and then gradually pour in one litre of non-dairy milk (I had rice milk). Stir well (preferably with a whisk) to avoid lumps. Mix in a teaspoon (or more) of diluted white miso and bring the liquid to a boil. Cook uncovered on a moderate flame, stirring every now and then, until a substantial part of the liquid evaporates and you get a preferred consistency of the sauce. Season with ume plum vinegar and/or salt as needed (the sauce can be on the sweet side because of the condensed milk, but I actually liked that), you can also add some cracked black pepper. Towards the end mix in chopped fresh dill – I used a lot to get an intense flavour reminding me of the traditional Czech creamy dill sauce 😀
I served the sauce over blanched cauliflower and with red rice and gomasio.
Deep-fried rice balls are one of the most fun meals to make when you have some leftover old rice. And you can mix pretty much anything into them!
Mine had some smoked paprika powder and tamari added in for move flavour, and also brown and black sesame seeds to enhance both nutrients and looks. Be sure to have wet hands when you form the balls, otherwise the rice is very sticky! When your balls are ready, deep-fry them in good quality oil in a deep pot and after fishing them out with a slotted spoon (or special tempura strainer), let the excess oil drip on a napkin or metal rack. They´re much nicer fresh, by the way.
I served them with a dip made of mirin, lemon juice, mustard and water, and a salad of blanched vegetables dressed with ume plum vinegar.
Today it is exactly one year since the first post appeared on this blog!!
I must say that both my cooking skills and my overall approach to food, cooking, nutrition, diets etc. changed a LOT during that year. My meals became (I dare say) more advanced and thought out, though I still really enjoy making also very simple quick dishes and I actually prefer presenting those here instead of complicated recipes with loads of ingredients and steps required to assemble a meal. My understanding of macrobiotics and healthy eating in general developed as well, thanks primarily to my intense studies in the Kushi Institute in Amsterdam and lots and lots of self-study, using resources in books, on internet and real life experience. I discuss these topics with many people in the offline and online world and most of all, I am a living experiment myself. I went through several adjustments of my diet, trying out various different dietary styles and additions to, as well as reductions of my diet, with interesting results, to say the least. But that´s already a bit beyond the scope of this blog.
I definitely don´t plan to end my blogging endeavour, not any time soon. My focus might be a bit less “macrobiotic only”, and more “healthy eating” in general (that is, macrobiotics in the real sense of the word, which means Big Life). Anyway, there sure will be stuff going on, as long as I´ll be cooking…And you bet that I will be (even though my new part-time job in a health foods shop is taking up a portion of my once free time), because cooking is not just a means of survival to me, it´s a passion, an outlet of creativity, an endless challenge and reward in itself… Thank you for being here with me this past year.
This risotto is my slightly adapted version of the Brown rice risotto in Christina Pirello´s cookbook Cooking the Whole Foods Way. It´s one of the best brown rice dishes I´ve EVER tasted and that´s quite something! So rich and creamy that nobody will miss the white rice usually associated with Italian risotto.
First soak one and a half cups of brown rice (the recipe calls for medium-grain but I used short-grain) for 6-8 hours. Drain and rinse well. In a stainless steel pot with a heavy bottom, heat one teaspoon of olive oil, add rice and stir to coat all the rice with oil. Add a pinch of salt, 1/4 cup of mirin and 3/4 cup of water. Cover pot with a lid and cook on a medium flame until liquid absorbs, stirring at times. As soon as the liquid disappears, stir in minced garlic (2 to 3 cloves) and one small minced onion.
Meanwhile prepare your vegetable stock (5 cups), in case you don´t already have some saved. You can either make a stock from sliced vegetables which you strain after some time of cooking or you can use a vegetable bouillon cube/powder. I used a powder made of various dried and crushed root vegetables. I also mixed in two teaspoons of diluted barley miso, for 5 cups of liquid, and let it simmer for about five minutes. Christina doesn´t use miso in her recipe but I found it being very flavourful.
Once the onion and garlic are mixed through your rice, add half a cup of stock, cover again and cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is absorbed. Continue cooking this way, adding always half a cup of stock at a time. And keep stirring…It will take 45 to 60 minutes depending on various factors, mostly probably on the type of rice you choose (short-grain cooks longest). The rice should get very creamy and tender.
Towards the end, sautee some sliced leek and carrot on a teaspoon of olive oil with a pinch of salt. When your rice is ready, stir them in. I topped the risotto with minced fresh basil leaves.
I don´t often make meals with red beet as beets contain some oxalic acid, nevertheless I do like a roasted beet from time to time. I find they take very long to become soft when just baked in the oven…so it´s best to first steam your beet chunks for some time until they´re semi-soft. Then toss the chunks with similar-size chunks of zucchini (I had yellow one) and tempeh (I used marinated, so better cook yours with some soy sauce first to give it flavour) in a bowl. Stir in olive oil to coat and then some salt, dried basil, oregano and thyme. Transfer into a baking dish and bake for about 45 minutes on 200°C, stirring at times and checking that the veggies don´t burn.
Meanwhile finely shred cabbage (I used both white and red cabbage) and cook in a pot with a lid and a small amount of water, on a low to medium flame. Don´t forget a pinch of salt. You might need to use a flame tamer and stir at times so the cabbage cooks evenly. Halfway add a splash of vinegar (I had apple cider vinegar) and caraway seeds if you like them – in the traditional Czech sauerkraut they are mandatory 😀 Cook long until almost completely soft, and near the end add a splash of mirin. After this step your “sauerkraut” will become done quickly.
I served these dishes with millet and gomasio.