Yes yes, I know, Christmas is already far behind us and we´re all looking forward to spring coming. But sadly it takes me usually a long time to catch up on all the posts I want to write, so usually I´m writing about foods that I cooked about a month ago or even a bit longer ago… :-p My bad, but anyway, you can already make plans for the next Christmas holiday, it will be here sooner than you think!
Traditional Czech “kuba”, eaten for Christmas day lunch, is made with wild mushrooms (I didn´t have those on hand) and with plenty of butter and/or lard, so this is a more macro-friendly version…
I cooked pearley barley (polished barley) for half an hour. It was already presoaked, so maybe it would take a bit longer to cook without soaking. Nevertheless, the barley should still have a bite and not be too mushy or creamy! Meanwhile I sauteed a good amount of minced onion on oil with a pinch of salt and then sauteed it together with sliced soaked shiitake mushrooms, until the mushrooms got soft and well…nicely fried 😀 I seasoned them with some dried marjoram, caraway seeds, minced garlic (an essential kuba ingredient so don´t e shy!), black pepper and an extra sprinkle of sea salt. The flavour should not be too mild as you are making a casserole dish, not a separate vegetable dish with grain.
When the mushrooms and onions are done, mix them through the cooked barley, transfer mixture to a greased casserole dish, smoothe the surface out, drizzle with some extra oil and bake until the top is browned and a bit crispy. The dish is nice served with sauerkraut or other pickles.
I just love how the colours combine in this dish, so elegant! And the seitan tempura is rich enough to satisfy even those who think macrobiotics is a very bland tasteless diet.
For the tempura I covered the seitan chunks in a batter made of wholewheat flour mixed 50:50 with organic white flour, water, a pinch of salt, a pinch of aluminum-free baking powder (adds extra crunch) and the secret ingredient – cumin powder. Add as much as you think is suitable for your condition and tastebuds 😀 The more you add, the more tasty the seitan will be, of course, but don´t go overboard. The batter should not be runny so that it doesn´t slide off. Deep-fry each piece in hot oil and place on napkinks to soak excess oil.
For the glazed beets cook sliced beet (or bite-sized chunks) slowly in a small pot on a low flame with water to barely cover and a good pinch of salt. Towards the end season with mirin (rice cooking wine), ume plum vinegar and rice vinegar, the beets should be a bit more tart than sweet. Mix a spoon of kuzu starch in a bit of cold water and add at the very end, while stirring to prevent lumps, be sure to let the kuzu boil for a while and thicken.
I served the meal with a pressure cooked rice/barley mixture with gomasio and quickly water-sauteed greens (curly cabbage and white cabbage with some salt and dried oregano to lightly flavour).
This is a very filling soup which we had as main course for dinner. It´s more kind of a stew 😀 The recipe actually comes from Jessica Porter´s Hip Chick´s Guide to Macrobiotics, but I made some adjustments…
Bring 2 bowls of wate to boil, together with 1/3 cup of barley, a 5-cm piece of kombu, 4 dried shiitake mushrooms, a small bunch of dried burdock pieces (optional, but adds great depth) and 2 larger but thin slices of ginger root. Lower the flame, cover and simmer for about 40 or 45 minutes, until the barley is soft. Take out the kombu, slice into thin strips and return to pot (or discard or save for another dish). Take out the shiitakes as well, chop up into small pieces (or slices) and return to pot. Discard the ginger slices. Meanwhile sautee one sliced medium onion on a bit of water with a pinch of salt, until soft. Add 2 tablespoons of oat flour (I crushed oatflakes in a suribashi to get a coarse powder) and a few spoons of hot water from the soup to thin the onion-flake mixture into a creamy consistency, watch out for lumps. Add this mixture to the soup and boil for a bit longer. At the end add a splash of lemon juice and 1 1/2 tbsp of dark barley miso. Garnish with chopped scallions. Yum!!
Don´t you love comforting meals which are at the same time quick and easy to prepare, very filling, you only need one pot to cook them and they enable you to use up your leftovers? I do! 😀 This one is great if you have leftover grain, and it doesn´t matter at all which sort of grain (or combination of grains) you have on hand. I had a rice and barley mix.
To make this stew extra thick and creamy I cooked up hokkaido pumpkin cut into chunks, with just enough water to cover. When it softened up I blended it with an immersion blender until smooth, adding some tougher parsley stems (I hate to throw them away, but they´re not nice to chew). Then I threw in the cooked grain (how much depends fully on how thick and filling you want this soup-stew to be…),smaller cubes of carrot, parsnip and fennel (yep, all of these are in the category of sweet vegetables). I seasoned the soup with more fresh parsley, half a teaspoon of ginger powder, a dash of lemon juice and two teaspoons of brown rice miso (for two persons).
Served with very briefly blanched radicchio leaves and a small serving of cooked peas with ume plum vinegar (not in the picture).
This recipe comes from Wieke Nelissen of the Amsterdam Kushi Institute, where I studied in 2011-12. It´s perfect for the weather here which is getting pretty warm! You´ll need
2 medium zucchinis, chopped up
3 cups of water
1/3 cup barley
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tablespoon oil (I used mirin instead, to stay oil-free, and kept the amount)
garnish (I used spring onion and a few matchsticks of young carrot)
a sprinkle of dashi (my addition, optional)
1 tablespoon kuzu diluted in cold water (optional)
First pressure cook the barley with one cup of water and a pinch of salt for 40 minutes. Meanwhile sautee the zucchini shortly (on oil or mirin), adding half a teaspoon of salt and then covering the zucchini with two cups of water. Let simmer until zucchini softens and then blend with a mixer. Add cooked barley. I also thickened the soup with about a tablespoon of kuzu starch diluted in a little cold water, and I sprinkled in maybe 1/4 of a little packet of dashi powder.