Here goes another “complete macro plate”! A very warming filling meal great for any cold day…
I first sauteed some sliced onion on oil with a pinch of salt and then added roughly chopped veggies – carrot, burdock root and green savoy cabbage, and sauteed them all for a while together, in a heavy cast iron pot. Then I added cubes of smoked tofu and a substantial amount of sauerkraut. I filled the pot with enough water to almost cover the vegetables, sprinkled some dried thyme and tamari soy sauce on top, put the heavy lid on and let the stew gently simmer for perhaps half an hour. Towards the end I heated oil in a pan and after it warmed up I stirred in a couple tablespoons of corn flour to create a base for a simple thickener for the stew. Once the flour starts turning golden and emitting a roasted smell, you can carefully pour in some water until you get a thick creamy sauce. Stir well to prevent lumps from forming while cooking the sauce for a couple minutes. When the stew is ready, mix the sauce into the veggies and tofu and cook all together for another five minutes or so. Done!
I also had some steamed chinese cabbage to balance the heavy grounding energy of the stew, served with a sauce of white (shiro) miso, tahini and lemon (you could eat the sauce raw, or let it come to boil in a little pan, that way the miso will be easier on your digestion). There was also pressure cooked brown rice with roasted sesame seeds.
No, this is not really a pie, because there is no real dough made out of flour. Nevertheless, the dish is baked in a casserole and can be cut up into squares, so why not imagine you´re making a fancy “savoury pie”? 😉 Sometimes it´s important how we present our food and also how we think of it ourselves.
This recipe is again from my favourite cookbook by Czech macro author, Dagmar Lužná.
All you need to do to make this lightning-fast “pie” is to bring two parts of water to boil, adding a pinch of salt, and then to add one part of cracked buckwheat. I make my own by grinding buckwheat groats very coarsely on my hand mill, but at least here the cracked buckwheat (“lámanka”) is sold in health food shops. Once the buckwheat is mixed with water, turn the flame off and let it soak up all the liquid, which should take five to ten minutes. Meanwhile sautee one large coarsely chopped onion in a pan with about 5 tablespoons of sesame oil, until the onion turns golden. Add 150 g of sauerkraut, cover with a lid and let simmer for 15 minutes, you might need to add some water as well. Stir the cooked sauerkraut into the buckwheat, season with salt and caraway seeds, and transfer to a greased casserole dish. Smooth out the surface with your hand and bake for about 10 minutes in a pre-heated oven, until golden. When done, cut up into squares and serve for example with fresh parsley leaves and small cubes of smoked tofu roasted on a dry pan.
Svíčková is the queen of Czech cuisine, at least in my heart and mind. It´s one of the trademarks of our culture, so to say. You can find it on the menu of almost any restaurant that serves typical Czech food. Do I need to say that I have many happy memories connected to it? Although normally it is heavy with milk cream, this version tastes almost exactly as the one of my childhood – that´s pure magic!
Credits for the recipe go to Dagmar Lužná – you can find it in her cookbook.
You will need 2 large carrots, 2 large parsley roots, 2 large onions and a smaller piece of celery root, all vegetables should be cut into larger chunks. Spread 3 tbsp of sesame oil on the bottom of a pot, place the veggies inside and cover with water so that they are submerged. Sprinkle with salt, add 2 bay leaves, 3 pieces of allspice, 3 cloves, 3 pieces of juniper and 3 tbsp of ume plum vinegar. Simmer on a low flame until the vegetables are soft. Transfer to a blender and blend everything until smooth. Return to the pot, simmer for a bit longer, add more vinegar if needed, and at the end add some non-dairy cream as desired(I used rice cream).
I served this lovely sauce on top of millet dumplings filled with smoked tofu: First I cooked millet in a 1:2,5 ratio of grain to water, for about half an hour. When the millet cooled down, I added corn flour until I got a stiff dough that didn´t stick to my hands (it´s tricky to get this right!). Meanwhile I sauteed finely chopped onion on oil and then added smoked tofu cut into tiny cubes, which I sauteed for another few minutes, After cooling down I used this tofu mixture to fill the millet dumplings – just chip off a piece of dough, flatten it with your hand into a “cookie shape”, sprinkle a small amount of the mixture on top and wrap, creating a round tightly sealed ball. Cook the dumplings in salted water until they float from the bottom of the pot up to the surface, the exact time depends mostly on how large the dumplings are.
This meal is sure not something you will whip out in 10 minutes, but don ´t let that discourage you, it´s worth it! 😀
what a nice color and creaminess!
with the millet dumplings and some extra dumpling filling
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 😀
I think it´s always fun to create a makeover of a popular dish from a certain ethnical cuisine – translated into macrobiotics! If you manage to make something look and maybe even taste like fast food, you win a lot of praise usually! 😀 I definitely did at home with these pretty looking kebabs…
And the only thing that makes them special are the thin bamboo sticks you use for holding your kebab ingredients together!
You can use pretty much any veggies but I recommend tougher ones as they will not get so limp but will stay a bit firm after being grilled. I made rounds of carrot, zucchini and parsley root, onion wedges, thin slices of celery root and chunks of smoked tofu. I lined up the sticks on a baking tray covered with a silicone baking mat and poured a marinade over them. The marinade consisted of 4 tablespoons of water mixed with 1 tablespoon of tamari, 1 tablespoon mirin, a splash of apple cider vinegar, half a teaspoon of dried garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a big pinch of psyllium husk to create a more gel-like substance, so that the marinade doesn´t all slide down… I imagine it would be best to use a brush for spreading the marinade :-p
Then just shove the kebabs into a preheated oven, bake for some 15 minutes on 200°C, then flip them (if possible) and bake another 15 minutes on a lower temperature (around 170 °C).
I served them with rice and amaranth.
ready to be baked
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!
It cannot get more Czech than dumplings, really. When I look into Czech macro cookbooks, whether printed or online, there are always several dumpling recipes. And dumplings go in most cases together with sauce, usually a thick creamy one. And sometimes even with some “meat-like” protein 😀 And/or sauerkraut 😀 Well, I had a bit of all of these in this kinda festive meal…
The dumplings were my very first ones so there is room for improvement, most definitely. I struggled a bit… :-p But next time all will be easier and there will probably follow an improved version! But I think they were quite good… I had a cup of leftover rice with sweet rice, which I pureed in a blender with water (just enough to make blending possible) until I got a creamy porridge-like consistency. Then I added a big pinch of salt followed by a couple of spoons of brown rice flour and spelt flour and some fine oat flakes…and kept adding…and adding…until I got a rather tough firm dough which would not anymore stick like crazy to my hands 😀 It took more flour than I thought…I can´t give any exact measurement, sorry, you have to see for yourselves. I formed two big “sausages” of dough and placed them into a pot with boiling water with a pinch of salt. It is important to keep the water at a rolling boil. It takes about 20 minutes for the dumplings to get cooked, depending on size and consistency. Watch that they don´t get stuck to the bottom (I had to lift mine carefully from the bottom with a spoon). They are cooked through once they float on the surface of the water. But check by cutting one of the rolls, the inside should not be too mushy or raw, but should have a spongey texture with some air holes, more like a bread roll. Cut the dumplings into 1 cm thick rounds with a sharp knife (you will need to hold them in place on the cutting board with a fork) or with a thread (traditional Czech method…) or (if you are a better equipped Czech person) with a dumpling cutter 😀
I think that next time I will: not use sweet rice (it gets too sticky in the dough), not blend the grains in the blender (the grains get too liquid and then you need a lot of flour to make a firm dough)… But you learn by experiment.
For the sauce I sauteed small chunks of onion, carrot, parsley root and celery root, on a small amount of water with a pinch of salt, covered by a lid. I blended the veggies into a puree in a blender and returned to the pot. I thickened the sauce with 1 tsp of arrowroot starch dissolved in a tiny amount of cold water (use a whisk to stir it in) and for flavour added 1 tsp of dark miso, 1/2 tsp natural mustard, a pinch of dried thyme and a dash of lemon juice.
As a “meat” I served cubes of smoked tofu “fried” on 1 tbsp of mirin (I don´t use oil at the moment, so mirin does the job quite well :-D). I also made quick sauerkraut by sauteeing shredded white cabbage with a bit of water, 1/2 tbsp of mirin and 1 tbsp of ume plum vinegar, under a lid, for about half an hour.