The recipe for this pesto comes from my favourite cookbook by Susan Marque, focused on clearing candida from the body.
The good thing about pesto is that you can make it in just a few minutes – if you have a blender. And since I am a lucky owner….
I just blended 1 cup of pumpkin seeds (first dry roasted on a pan until they pop), blended them on pulse mode with about 1/4 cup olive oil, a big clove of garlic, 1 tsp ume vinegar, 2 tsp shiro (white) miso and a cup (or more) of fresh basil leaves, adding water as needed. The blender requires quite some water to function…If you like smoother pesto (like the one I made), you can also blend on higher speed towards the end of blending.
just blended pesto
I used the pesto in two meals – over corn pasta with blanched carrot, green beans and broccoli (no picture, sorry!) and as a topping of baked fish which I baked in a heat-resistant glass baking pan covered with tin foil, for about half an hour. The fish was served with a rice/sweet rice mixture and a layered stew: onion rings on the bottom, then curly cabbage, white cabbage, dill and lettuce, flavoured with ume plum vinegar and cooked for some 20 minutes on a low flame under a lid, with just about 2 cm of water in the pot.
pesto covered baked fish
There´s nothing like a good bowl of pasta with a delicious pesto sauce…it´s not a very typical macro dish, but it´s something I appreciate immensely. This pesto is dairy-free and uses almonds instead of the more usual pine nuts or cashews. Almonds are the most alkalizing of nuts, so why not 🙂
I made corn pasta (my favourite glutenfree type of pasta) with some blanched carrots and green beans and a sprinkling of organic corn kernels from a jar.
For the sauce you will need 1 or 2 cloves of garlic (I used 2 for my candida clearing plan :-D), a generous bunch of fresh basil leaves, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 2 tbsp of oil (I used the incredibly fragrant cold-pressed pumpkinseed oil purchased in Slovenia), a dash of black pepper, 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1/4 cup of almonds which I soaked overnight and peeled their skins off the next day. Soaking almonds makes them more digestible and removes the enzyme inhibitors found in all nuts, seeds, grains and legumes.
First place the nuts with oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and garlic into your blender on “pulse” setting and shortly process into a chunky mixture (depending on your preference, of course). When that is done, add basil and pulse again for a more chunky pesto or blend on higher speed for a smooth cream. Serve on top of pasta with veggies.
Another supersimple sauce for your pasta is here, this time starring tofu and carrot!
It has exactly FOUR ingredients: tofu, carrot, ume plum vinegar and barley miso. First steam a chunk of tofu (about 50 g per person should suffice) and a small handful of carrot chunks in a steaming basket, about 20 minutes, or until the carrot gets soft enough to be easily prickled by a fork. Then transfer to blender, adding 1/2 tsp barley miso, about 2 tsp ume plum vinegar and warm water from the steaming (amount depends on desired consistency). Serve over noodles (mine were buckwheat noodles – soba) and garnish with cut up nori strips.
Pasta ovendishes were always a favourite of mine before becoming macro…now I hardly have them because…well, because I don´t eat any more cream and cheese, quite essential ingredients for creamy pasta dishes! 😀 But there is a way…yup, tofu to the call…
First cook your noodles (any kind will do, I made udon, which are thick flat wheat noodles). Mix them with sauteed veggies of choice (I used onion, carrot, broccoli, parsley root and leek), sauteed on water with a teaspoon of tamari. For the sauce just blend a cube of smoked tofu with enough water and lemon juice to taste – smoked tofu has a distinct flavour of its own so I didn´t want to overpower it. It will come out a bit chunky, but it´s ok 😀 Mix through the noodles with veggies and bake in the oven on 200°C for 30 – 45 minutes until the top gets a nice crust. Serve with fresh salad – I had lettuce, rucola and red radishes with some salt and lemon juice. Good for balancing the baked yang food!
I am lately experimenting a bit with sauces, which are somehow not so commonly used in standard macrobiotic cooking, but I do miss them at times…whether it´s Italian-style pasta sauces or more hearty and thick “dumpling” sauces of the Czech type. This time I decided to make a creamy, but not too heavy vegetable sauce on top of our pasta.
As a protein I marinated and then baked some thinly sliced tempeh, placed in one layer in a baking dish. For the marinade I used (for a chunk of about 100 g tempeh) 1 tsp tamari, 2 tsp water, 1/2 tsp organic mustard and 1/2 tsp of fresh ginger juice which I mixed in a bowl and then poured on top of the slices in the baking dish. I baked the tempeh on about 180°C, for 15 minutes, then flipped over and baked another 10 minutes (but it really depends on how thick you slice your tempeh, mine was very thin, so it came out a bit too dry for my taste, but at least it was very crunchy).
For the sauce I water-sauteed a larger onion with some salt and chopped wild garlic, then added broccoli small florets/stems and water to cover. I simmered the veggies until tender and then mixed in 1 tablespoon of white rice flour diluted in a bit of cold water, watching out for lumps and stirring well. I let the sauce come to boil, added half a tablespoon of shiro miso and half a tablespoon of tamari, and let simmer for a few more minutes. Then I transferred the content into a blender (I split the sauce into two batches – otherwise your sauce will fly out of the blender, so be careful about the amount!) and blended until smooth. I returned the sauce into the pot and brought back to boil, simmering an additional one minute or so.
In the pictures you can see the sauce with tempeh on top of (my boyfriend´s) whole-wheat pasta and also on top of my buckwheat/whole-wheat soba noodles.
I already posted a recipe for glazed yuba on this blog, you can find it here. This time I made this one just for my boyfriend (except that I used half white flour and half whole-wheat flour for tempura batter, as he is not sensitive to gluten). For myself I made an oil-free and less-yin version 😀 I just soaked the yuba strips overnight, making sure they are fully covered by water, cut them up into bite-size pieces and then I cooked them in 1 tbsp of shoyu, 1 tbsp of mirin, 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice, 1/2 tbsp of rice malt (instead of maple syrup) and a bit of water, so the yuba was almost submerged. I first cooked the yuba for a while with a lid on and then let the liquid slowly evaporate with a lid off. It was almost as tasty as my boyfriend´s deep-fried version!
I served the yuba on soba noodles, with water-sauteed veggies (onion, leek, broccoli, carrot and cabbage).
I had some leftover cooked soba noodles, so the next day I tossed them into a lovely simple shoyu bouillon…
Just cook water with a couple of inches of kombu seaweed, for about 10 minutes, after which you take the kombu out, cut it into small pieces and return back (or save for another project…). The same thing you do with dried shiitake mushrooms (cook, take out, chop up, return). From the beginning I also added a small amount of dried daikon (it expands a lot in the liquid). Season with 2 tablespoons, or to your liking, of shoyu, and before serving, allow the soba to warm up in the liquid. Slurp up!
I served the bouillon with cooked rice/hato mugi mix, water-sauteed and lightly salted leek and swiss chard, and lentils with cooked hokkaido pumpkin cubes and shoyu.