The main meal is not actually something that I would necessarily need to share with you in this blog (though it was really tasty): I made a rice/amaranth mixture sprinkled with dulse seaweed flakes and an ovendish of long baked red onions, cauliflower and seaweed-flavoured tofu (conveniently premade by our local macro company). All marinated for a couple of hours in olive oil with salt, minced garlic and dried thyme.
But the extraordinary thing was the carrot leaf tempura! Carrot leaves can have quite a strong flavour and tough texture so sometimes I´m not sure how to use them properly, but this definitely is a winner 😀 I used a tempura batter of white rice flour, a pinch of aluminum-free baking powder, pinch of salt and enough water to make a runny but still sticky batter (mine was too thin :-p), and then I deep-fried the little “branches” of carrot greens until crispy. Another nice idea is deep-fried daikon greens, I just made a few (without the batter) as a decoration 🙂 I definitely recommend eating your greens quickly blanched, steamed or sauteed 90% of the time, but this is sure a nice treat!
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.
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.
Stamppot is THE most traditional Dutch meal of all time and so you can imagine my mostly-macro Dutch boyfriend misses it at times 😀 I promised him that I will try to make a macro stamppot one day – without the potatoes and fatty bacon bits! Finally I got to this experiment a few days ago and we were both pleasantly surprised, my boyfriend even admitted that it does resemble real stamppot (I suppose with a bit of imagination, like always! :-D). Well, try out for yourself…
Start with a classical macro “mashed potato” recipe, that is by cooking millet and cauliflower in a pot with a 1 to 3 grain to water ratio and a pinch of salt, until soft, then mash until smooth with a potato masher or surikogi (wooden pestle) or anything that will do…
Then…add more salt and spices of your preference (I added black pepper powder and ground nutmeg) and mix in a LOT (trust me…it has to be quite green in the end) of leafy greens, I had some beautiful swiss chard from the farmer´s market. You might need to blanche or steam your greens very lightly before mixing them in, but the chard was fine when mixed through the very hot grain. Stir very long until all the greens get soft and well incorporated in the
Top with long cooked caramelized onions (I even added a bit of brown rice flour to mine to create a more gravy-like effect).
Roasted cauliflower is something very simple which you absolutely don´t expect to come out so divine! It sounds really…boring. But trust me and give it a try, it´s not as plain as it sounds. Especially if you do what I did and toss the cauliflower florets with some olive oil to coat, salt, 1 or 2 finely minced garlic cloves and a generous sprinkle of dried thyme, oregano and basil, and let it sit in a bowl in the fridge overnight (or 24 hours, like in my case… :-D). The smell is quite overpowering, but worth the final effect. Roast the cauliflower on a baking tray lined with baking paper (or a silicone mat), for about half an hour on 180°C, turning the florets mid-way.
Served with quinoa mixed with chopped fresh parsley leaves and gomasio, and a salad of shredded leaf lettuce, iceberg lettuce and diced carrot, with a simple dressing of olive oil and ume plum vinegar.
Lately I´m quite in love with bulghur – it´s very quick cooking, has a very pleasant texture and it seems easy on digestion, even though it´s gluten, probably because it´s sprouted before it´s dried.
I just cook it for 15-20 minutes in a double amount of water, with a pinch of salt.
In a separate pot I heated 2 tsp of olive oil and sauteed minced garlic ( 1 or 2 cloves – I´m doing more garlic right now) for maybe 2 minutes, then added fresh cracked pepper and a blend of Italian herbs (oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme… any will do) and then a bunch of florets of cauliflower and broccoli. I added some water (maybe 2 cm), covered the pot with a lid and let simmer for some 15 minutes or so. When the veggies got soft, I mixed them into the cooked bulghur.
Served with a lettuce and rucola salad with a dressing of 2 tsp flaxseed oil, 2 tsp apple cider vinegar, a small pinch of salt and finely chopped fresh dill. And for the man I made a little side of seitan cooked under a lid with some maple syrup, shoyu, mirin and lemon juice 🙂
Here in Slovenia it´s most definitely asparagus season – on the farmer´s market almost every stand has these beautiful bundles of tall green asparagus stalks, they are apparently very popular. Now I had asparagus only a few times in my life, as in the Czech Republic it´s not a vegetable people would normally use. You can sometimes find it hidden in a soup, and it´s easier to find in a posh restaurant. But here it´s a food of “normal people” 😀 I found out asparagus is not your typical “macrobiotic vegetable” (it seems that it´s a tad too yin), but I wanted to give it a try anyway, so I purchased a small bundle and tried steaming it, baking it under a tin foil with some water, roasting it dry in the oven and woking it with other veggies 🙂 Here are two of these creations.
The first one is asparagus simply steamed with a sprinkle of salt. Served with millet-cauliflower mash (see my recipes for this one – basically it´s just millet and cauliflower cooked together and then well mashed), into which I added a teaspoon of shiro miso for more flavour. I also made a “roots and tops” vegetable dish – one big spring carrot sliced into thin diagonals, simmered one minute with water to cover, then I added its fiber-rich cut up tops and simmered under a lid for a couple minutes more, towards the end adding just half a teaspoon of shoyu.
The other meal is asparagus baked in the oven on 200°C for about 15 minutes, with a sprinkle of salt. For my boyfriend I added also a coating of oil and some extra cracked black pepper. Served with rice/amaranth mixture and the Purple passion stew from Jessica Porter´s book. It´s basically a nishime – a piece of kombu on the bottom of a heavy pot, then rounds of daikon, half of a small red cabbage cut into small chunks, and just about an inch of water. I simmered the veggies for half an hour, covered with a lid. It turns the daikon deep purple, how cool!!