Tag Archives: fennel

Mmmmmm, oven baked veggies!

Look at these beautiful oven baked vegetables! It´s sooooo easy to make these, literally no work except for cutting them into big chunks, placing them in an a ovenproof dish with about an inch of water in it (I use a silicone ovendish) and then waiting and waiting for them to roast 😀

I used hokkaido pumpkin, yellow kohlrabi, red onion (becomes caramel!), carrots, parsnips, parsley root, celery root, fennel and sweet potato. I cooked them covered with a tin foil for about half an hour and then another half an hour uncovered to get a brown crust, on 200°C.

Served with a mixture of rice and oats (and some leftover millet) with gomasio.

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Rice-barley-vegetable stew in one pot


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).



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Thyme flavoured mussels with greens

After a long time I pulled out another seafood dish, since I had cooked mussels stored in our freezer… Seafood is very yang and contracting on the macrobiotic scale (though not as yang as other meat, not even as salmon or tuna), so I made sure to have plenty of vegetables to go with them!

1 cup of cooked mussels

a few cm piece of leek, finely sliced

a piece of fennel, sliced

a couple of chopped up green beans

a handful of chopped kale

dried or fresh thyme to your liking

1 tsp lemon juice

oil, a few drops


On a tiny amount of oil sautee the sliced leek and add a bit of water (or juice from the cooked mussels, which I used) and thyme. When the leek is softened, add mussels, green beans, fennel and towards the end kale, which should cook only shortly. Keep adding water as neeeded. Season with lemon juice. The dish doesn´t need salt because the mussels release quite a lot of saltiness on their own. I served the dish with leftover cooked rice and millet (1:1 ratio) oven baked until crispy, and a little bowl of grated raw daikon and a few fresh fava beans (blanched for a minute or two and then peeled). The raw daikon helps lightening the dish as well.





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10.1. Blanched greens salad

For today´s lunch I cooked millet with hokkaido pumpkin chunks (this time normal millet, though I prefer sweet millet for this dish) and stir-fried some veggies on a bit of rice bran oil  fennel, leek, carrot, daikon, parsnip and green beans), which I seasoned with tamari, mirin and lemon juice (ratios 2:2:1). You can never go wrong with this combination of seasonings, I use it very often 😀

But the reason I am actually posting this post is the “blanched salad” – a typically macrobiotic salad which is not raw, but you combine greens that you previously separately blanched in a pot with rapidly boiling water for a short time. Sliced chinese cabbage needs just about half a minute, chopped kale maybe 3 minutes (whole kale leaves would need 4-5 minutes though) and sliced white winter cabbage about 5 minutes. The only raw addition was rucola (arugula) leaves, which seriously are too fragile to be blanched and at least give a slight pungent taste. The greatest part was the dressing: I mixed 1 tbsp white (shiro) miso, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 1/2 tbsp ume plum vinegar, 1/2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp mustard and water to thin. I now vow to make blanched salads more often!


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6.1. Lunch, dinner and dessert :)

For lunch I could re-cycle the black bean dish from yesterday (see previous post), it was very nice mixed into water-sauteed vegetables (paksoi, leek, pointed cabbage and two types of green beans – flat and pointed ones), seasoned with a tablespoon of tamari. As a side I had sweet millet cooked together with chunks of hokkaido pumpkin (my favourite sidedish just after brown rice!) and fresh rucola (arugula) and olives to compliment the meal.

For dinner I decided to bake a fish in tin foil (since we have a wonderful big oven now :-D). I seasoned the slices of codfish (I buy only MSC certified fish) with a bit of salt and an organic herb mix which is sold specifically for seasoning fish. On top I sprinkled a generous amount of thin sliced onion and fennel, wrapped all inside the foil and baked for 30 minutes covered and then 15 more minutes uncovered so the fish and veggies could get a bit of a “tan”.  I served the fish with blanched greens (paksoi, pointed cabbage and mixed in raw rucola) and quinoa mixed with fresh parsley leaves (they add a nice colour contrast). It was really yummy!

I even made a decadent dessert…very quick and easy rice crispie dessert! In a saucepan over a low flame I liquified 2 parts of tahini with 1 part of maple syrup and 1 part of rice malt, stirred in a handful of cashew nuts and a cup of brown rice crispies (puffed rice). I spooned the sticky creation onto a wooden cutting board covered with baking paper and evened it out a bit, something like this…

It´s best to let this dessert cool in a fridge before attempting to cut neat squares with a sharp knife. But to be honest the dessert didn´t become as solid as I would have wished, making it hard to cut slices which don´t fall apart. There is lots of room for improvement but the taste was great! 😀

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In the last two days I ate a lot of oats and I think I hopelessly fell in love with their creamy goodness. I cooked them for 90 minutes in a pressure cooker (after soaking them overnight), which is a long process, but worth it.

I had some fresh sage, so I made a soup full of herbs – first I sauteed diced onion and garlic on some olive oil, then added chopped sage and dried rosemary and let it release the flavours. Afterwards I added chunks of carrot and daikon, and when they cooked soft I mixed in diluted shiro miso (young rice miso). Not bad, but I went way overboard with the herbs – so take it easy with them, especially the fresh sage is very potent…

I made two vegetable dishes. One of them was matchsticks of fresh lotus root sauteed on sliced onion and then simmered for about 15 minutes with water and tamari (lotus root can take quite a bit of tamari, because it has very little flavour on its own). Lotus is really great for the lungs and discharging mucus from them.

The second veggie dish was finely sliced fennel sauteed on water with equally finely sliced red cabbage, seasoned with chopped fresh dill and a splash of mirin (rice wine). Mmmmm, dill and fennel go together so well! The red cabbage turns the fennel completely purple, so if you want to get a nice colour effect, mix them together at the very end 😀

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3.11. Experimenting with hiziki and yuba

On November 3rd I went really wild with my lunch, just listen!

I pressure cooked short grain brown rice with amaranth. Ok, not special. And lesson learnt – amaranth needs really a lot of water, even in the pressure cooker! It was a bit too dry and undercooked thanks to that…

I sauteed (without oil) chopped fennel, leek, green beans and pointed cabbage, and seasoned with dried coriander. Ok, also, not so special, I should have added more water while sautĂŠing, since I didn´t use any oil…

But then it starts getting interesting – it was the first time I used yuba, which is dried soya bean curd (the top layer of soymilk when you make tofu, something like a thick tofu cream layer…dried into yellow sticks, or sheets). First you have to reconstitute it for about half an hour, by soaking in water. Then you can do lots of things with it, similar as with tofu or tempeh…I just fried it on some oil and seasoned with tamari. But boy, does that yuba need a lot of soaking time! Next time more time needed…

The best part of the lunch (the only TRULY successful part) was the seaweed. I soaked hiziki (again, needs soaking to reconstitute, but perhaps 10-15 minutes are enough), then cooked it with a part of its soaking water, together with diced onion and diced butternut squash, for about half an hour or even a bit longer. At the end I sprinkled in some toasted pumpkin seeds and mixed in a sauce of diluted shiro miso (young miso) and rice malt, mmmmm!! Sounds pretty freaky I know, but actually this combination was really good, slightly sweet but complimenting the hiziki more than I would expect…

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On 29th October my boyfriend arrived from his vacation, so I wanted to surprise him with a bit of a more fancy meal. He loves miso soup, so I had to make that one – this time with fresh daikon, plenty of onion slices and with mugwort mochi (I think I mentioned already that mochi is a Japanese product made by pounding sweet brown rice into a firm sticky block, this one was flavoured with a herb called mugwort, it´s a dark green mochi!!).

The main course was pressure cooked brown rice with buckwheat (about 3:1 ratio), tempura of sweet potato and carrot slices (see previous post for the simplified recipe), sauteed cabbage, leek and fennel (without oil, just using a splash of mirin towards the end), a pressed salad from pointed cabbage

-thinly slice cabbage and place in a deep bowl, sprinkle about half a teaspoon of salt for two big handfuls of cabbage (it´s a bit hard to tell the exact amount of salt you need, but don´t use too little, you need the salt to start the fermentation), massage in for a minute or two using your hands, put a small plate on your salad in a way that it sits directly on the salad and put something heavy on the plate (you can of course use a salad press if you have one…I don´t). Let sit for at least half an hour, but preferrably for a couple of hours. The salad will release some water and it will be slightly fermented, just to break down the tough and hard to digest cellular structure, plus it gives the salad a pleasant fresh taste. You can rinse the cabbage in case you find it too salty.

and a kinpira…

-cut an equal amount of carrot and burdock root (can be found in some health shops, but it´s quite rare, you can also find them in nature) into quite thin matchsticks, quickly sautĂŠe on a high flame using a tiny bit of water, add sesame seeds if you like, put a lid on, change to very low flame, and slowly cook for 20-25 minutes. Be sure your kinpira doesn´t burn, but don´t lift the lid too often…at the end season with tamari.

For dessert I made a white rice pudding – I cooked a cup of white organic dessert rice (a sticky short-grained rice) with 4 cups of fruit juice (I used water mixed with fruit concentrate, in Holland called “diksap”), add chopped up dried fruit (I used a handful of organic dried apricots) and perhaps a squeeze of lemon (if you want to, you can also add lemon or orange peel, and vanilla essence or powder…). Bring to boil and cook under a lid for half an hour. Turn off heat and let sit for a few more minutes and better even longer so that the water soaks in a bit more. You can mix in a spoon or two of almond butter – I didn´t have any so I just sprinkled some roasted almond flour on top of my servings. If needed, add a natural sweetener, like maple syrup, or rice malt. Next time I have to be more careful with the liquid (I used too much) and maybe I will try and make this dessert in a pressure cooker for a more dense texture.



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Yesterday I finally cooked up the Spanish calasparra rice I purchased in our macrobiotic shop – truly delicious!! Doesn´t even need any gomasio…

Together with it I fried a few slices of tempeh – using only a bit of mirin instead of oil (as I am now supposed to go oil-free to cure my longstanding food allergies). The sweet mirin (which is a sort of Japanese rice wine) gives the tempeh a very sweet flavour, a bit odd, but not unpleasant 😀

As for vegetables, I sautĂŠed (on water) sliced fennel(yum!!), leek, finely sliced fresh ginger and paksoi, with a sprinkle of tamari.

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