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Macro Mondays: The Macro Plate.

After a few days of enjoying some not very Dainty Pig like treats while on holiday, you wouldn't believe just how excited I was to get some very Dainty Pig like takeout.  

I went ahead & put together a Macro Plate for myself. It sure was a glorious one. 

And that got me thinking that I wanted to chat about just what exactly makes up a Macro Plate!

MM: Macro Plate How-to

A Macro plate is basically like a full-on Macrobiotic meal served at once, all together on one plate. Less dishes --> always a good choice when you don't have a dishwasher.

A Macro Plate usually includes a bit of everything that's recommended on the daily eating food chart, creating a nourishing & satisfying colourful meal.

Include the following if possible: 

  • Each kind of vegetable: root, ground, and leafy vegetables {for vitamins, nutrients & fibre}.
  • A Sea Vegetable {provides minerals!}
  • A protein source like tofu or beans {builds muscles!}
  • A whole grain {long lasting energy---brain power!}
  • Some natural pickle {probiotics for happy digestion}
  • Macrobiotic condiments such as gomashio - sesame salt.  {healthy fat & high quality sea salt}
  • A sauce, like a gravy or a tahini dressing, for flavour & fun, optional but highly recommended {adds in some more healthy fat, and balances flavours if it includes something sour like lemon or vinegar}

Also, the foods are prepared with different cooking styles to give your whole meal a balanced energy. A small percentage of raw veggies are included, along with a bulk of baked, steamed or boiled veggies. The raw veggies and pickles help to balance the longer cooked foods like baked or pressure cooked items. Yin & Yang, baby.

If you follow me on Facebook @ The Dainty Pig, you've probably already seen the photo below from a few days ago!

So, let's see how my plate stacked up:

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From the top left going around clockwise we have: grated carrots (root vegetable, raw), baked kabocha squash (ground vegetable), broccoli (ground vegetable, steamed), beet sauerkraut (root veggie pickle), chickpeas (protein, boiled), kale (leafy green, steamed), tofu in miso gravy (protein & sauce, sauteed), ginger cabbage omega 3 coleslaw (healthy fat, ground vegetable). The black mess in the middle is arame (seaweed).

And don't forget: 

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Soup! Barley vegetable soup (whole grains & root vegetable, ground, and leafy green vegetables) , and brown rice with white gomashio (whole grain & condiment).

Well, looks like I checked everything off, and it sure was delicious.

At home, my macro plates are usually a little less involved, often simply including a whole grain & 1 or 2 veggies dishes, and often one of those veggie dishes includes a protein in it (i.e., tofu stirfry, or adzuki squash stew).

I love Macro plates, and I know Maggie does too! They are usually colourful and simply brimming with nutrition. Yuuuuum yum.

Try making your own by mixing and matching some or all of the categories of foods listed above. :)

Macro Mondays: Tempeh

Most people who get their protein from plant sources look to beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and tofu. These are great choices, don't get me wrong, but you are surely missing out if you haven't tried tempeh. 

MM: Tasty Tempeh

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What is it? 

Tempeh originates from Indonesia and is a traditional fermented soy product. While tofu is also a soy product, due to the fermenting process, tempeh has a completely different taste and nutritional profile.  It is much denser and firmer than tofu, which I like, as it is easier to slice and cook with. I also find it easier to digest (probably because of the fermentation). It comes in a cake or block, usually in the same section as you would find tofu.

According to whfoods.com, tempeh is extremely high in manganese, as well as copper, phosophorus, B2 & magnesium. These trace minerals are often hard to find in forms that we can metabolize well, so being able to eat it in a plant based fermented form is truly amazing.

Some Ideas for How to Eat & Cook it: 

1. Tempeh Stir Fry

One of the quickest ways to add some protein to your stir fry is to toss in some tempeh. I would recommend cutting it into cubes or slices, and frying it in a bit of sesame or toasted sesame oil.I made this for lunch the other day and we served it with some leftover brown rice, and everyone was very pleased.

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**Please see this recipe at the end of the post.

2. Sandwiches

One of my absolute favourite sandiwiches is a Tempeh Reuben. Simply slice and lightly fry the tempeh. Spread some mustard on some high quality bread. Add the tempeh, and top it off with all natural sauerkraut. Prepare to die of happiness.  For more details check out my previous Macro Monday post where we looked at the Art of Macro Sandwiches.

3. Use it in place of meat such as bacon or sausages. 

One of the popular uses of tempeh is to create "tempeh bacon." Truthfully, I was never much of a bacon eater, so I don't personally have an overwhelmingly large need to recreate it, but I bet tempeh bacon would be delicious. Here's one of many recipes you could try. You can slice and marinate the tempeh in a wide variety of sauces, then either bake or fry it to make a very appealing meat replacement. You could serve it alongside some roasted sweet potato fries or hashbrowns for a delicious meat-free brunch. Perhaps serve it with some mushroom leek gravy and millet mashed potatoes for a celebratory dinner.

Kale, Leek & Tempeh Stir Fry

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Ingredients:
  • 1 TSBP sesame oil or toasted sesame oil.
  • 1 package of tempeh
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 cups baby kale
  • 1-3 tsp shoyu (soy sauce). 

Directions:
  1. Saute the leeks first in a bit of toasted sesame oil with a pinch of sea salt until slightly caramelized.
  2. Add the tempeh, and stir for a few moments, then place a lid on. Let the tempeh heat all the way through. If it's sticking, add a tiny bit of water.
  3. Add in the baby kale along with shoyu to taste, and put the lid on.
  4. Stir a few times, waiting until kale has softened. 
  5. Serve with some form of grain for a complete meal! 

 

What's your favourite way to eat Tempeh? 

Macrobiotic Black Rice Recipe

Often people associate Macrobiotics with brown rice. While the Macrobiotic diet is incredibly varied, brown rice does play a strong role, as it is a very balanced food that is easy to digest and full of nutrients. This week, we're taking brown rice out for a joy ride, and cooking it with something new: black rice!

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Macro Mondays: Black Rice

Black rice is very very healthy! Like other whole grain rice, it is rich in fibre & vitamin Bs. But black rice kicks it up a notch, because it has tons of anthocyanin antioxidants because of it's dark colour, just like blackberries & blueberries. These dark plant antioxidants are potentially cancer-fighting. Black rice is also known as purple rice or forbidden rice, and has been revered in China for centuries

A big THANK YOU to my lovely friends Kenji & Harumi for sending it to me all the way from Japan :)

Me, super happy because I found a Japanese parcel in the mailbox!

Me, super happy because I found a Japanese parcel in the mailbox!

It might have taken a few months, Kenji, but I finally made it, and we loved it!

This was my first time cooking it myself, and I can't wait to make it again. We made it in the pressure cooker with short grain rice (2 parts short grain 1 part black rice). We both thought that it added a really nice rich & sweet flavour. In fact, our leftovers disappeared really quickly!

Macrobiotic Black & Brown Rice [3 cooking methods]

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Please Gather:

  • 2 cups short grain brown rice, rinsed
  • 1 cup black rice, rinsed
  • 3.5 cups spring water

Soak the above for about 6 hours or overnight (you can soak it right in the Ohsawa pot, if you're using it, or in the pressure cooker, or in the saucepan if you're boiling).

Once it's done soaking, you're ready to cook!

*Please always follow your own pressure cooker's directions!

Version #1 - Ohsawa Pot

  1. There needs to be 3.25 cups of water in with the rice, including the soaking water. I usually have to add in about 1 cup more fresh spring water after it's done soaking.
  2. Add a pinch of salt, put the lid on the Ohsawa pot, and lower it into the pressure cooker. I usually add about 3-4 cups water to the pressure cooker, and rest the closed Ohsawa pot on the trivet that came with my pressure cooker.
  3. Put the lid on the pressure cooker, and bring to full pressure. Turn heat down to the lowest setting to maintain full pressure, and cook for 30 mins. Take off the heat, and let the pressure come down naturally (10-20 mins).
  4. Fluff up & serve.

Version #2 - Pressure Cooker with no Ohsawa Pot

  1. You need there to be 5.5 cups of water in with the rice, including the soaking water. Add whatever you need to make up the difference.
  2. Bring the rice to boil in the pressure cooker with the lid off.
  3. Add in a good pinch or two of sea salt.
  4. Fasten the lid, and bring it up to full pressure (2 bars in my kuhn rikon).
  5. Keep on the lowest heat to maintain full pressure, and cook for 30 minutes.
  6. Take off the heat, and let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.
  7. Release any remaining pressure, and then fluff up & serve.

Version #3 - Stove Top (boiling)

  1. There should be between 5-6 cups of water in the pot, including the soaking water. You will most likely need to add 2 cups of fresh spring water.
  2. Bring to boil, and add a pinch of salt.
  3. Lower temperature until it's only simmering, and put the lid on.
  4. Cook for 25-30 minutes, watching to make sure it doesn't bubble over.
  5. If you need to add a bit more water, you can!
  6. Take off the heat, and let the rice rest for 5 minutes in the pan, then fluff up and serve.
  7. This is pretty much my basic brown rice, dainty pig style!

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It's purple. It's pretty. And I bet it would taste dang good with some adzuki beans in there too & topped with black sesame. And since my idea wheel is turning, I'm thinking that it's sweet flavour would make it amazing in rice pudding.

Have you ever tried / made black rice?

The Journey of 1 pot of Quinoa into 3 Summer Macrobiotic Meals.

One Pot of Quinoa --> 3 Summer Meals

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Summer is wonderful. Sunshine, hot weather, flowers; you just can't beat it. Part of enjoying the summer is enjoying patio meals, quick picnics, barbeques, and dining outside. Usually, I find myself spending less & less time in the kitchen as the weather improves. And while blue corn chips, salsa, and guacamole make a lovely quick summer treat, and coconut milk icecream at a BBQ are delicious...it's nice to have a quick meal that is full of whole grains and veggies that is sitting in your fridge ready and waiting for you to gobble up. And bonus, these less than 10 minute meals taste awesome with a side of blue corn chips, guacamole & sunshine.

So, I dare you to cook up one batch of quinoa, and mix it, mash it, flavour it, salad-ify it, wrap it, re-use it, so that you can prepare a meal in less than 10 mins., feel nourished, and enjoy the sunshine.

Step #1: Make Quinoa the Dainty Pig Way

The Dainty Pig way to prepare quinoa is to TOAST it. It makes it a million times better.

  1. Take 3 cups of quinoa and rinse if it's not pre-rinsed.
  2. Heat a saucepan or fry pan over med-high heat.
  3. Add the quinoa in, and stir constantly as it browns & toasts.
  4. It will smell delicious when you know it's done, usually about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Carefully (*watch for splattering), add in 6 cups of filtered water, stir around, and bring to boil.
  6. Add in a good pinch or two or sea salt, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Store in the fridge to make these 3 delicious meals over the next few days!

*For the following two meals, I have found that prepping a few hours or even the night before is great. You can prep and store the whole thing in a glass container with a lid in the fridge. Then, when you want to serve, give it a few shakes and it's good to go.

*I don't use much garlic in my cooking, but feel free to if you want!

Meal 1: Asparagus, Black Eyed Peas, & Pesto Quinoa Salad.

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Ingredients

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2-4TBSP pesto of your choice
  • 1/4 tsp kelp powder
  • 1 bunch asparagus, lightly steamed or blanched, then cut into small pieces
  • 1 can black eyed peas, rinsed & drained
  • pea shoots or other leafy green (optional)
  • 1/2-1 cup cooked quinoa per person

Directions

  1. Mix lemon juice, kelp powder and Pesto in the bottom of your container or serving bowl.
  2. Add in the asparagus & beans.
  3. Add in the quinoa & toss well.
  4. Add in the optional greens (*here I used pea shoots), and toss once more.
  5. Devour.

*If you're a cheese eater, this will taste amazing with some goat cheese feta & fennel in there. My sister & I had something similar last summer out, and it was phenomenal.

*Here I used a vegan pesto, made from sunflower seeds, basil, lemon & spices. It was amazing!

Meal 2: Quinoa Tabbouleh with Snap Peas

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Ingredients

  • Juice of 1 lemon (or more if you love lemon as much as I do)
  • 1-2Tbsp high quality olive oil
  • 2-4 Tbsp water (if desired).
  • Sea salt to taste and/or vegetable seasoning salt.
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp kelp powder
  • 1/2 - 1 bunch curly parsley minced (or just ripped up a bit) depending on how green you like your tabbouleh
  • 1 cup of sugar snap peas, rinsed and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 - 1 cup cooked quinoa per person

Directions

  1. Add lemon juice, olive oil, kelp powder and salt/seasoning salt to bottom of bowl, and mix.
  2. Add in the water if you'd like a higher volume of dressing.
  3. Add in the snap peas and the parsley, stirring.
  4. Add in the quinoa last, and mix well.

I recommend serving this one with some good pita bread, and hummus. You can wrap it all up together, and thank me later!

Meal 3: Broccolini & Kale Quinoa Casserole.

This takes less than 10 minutes to prep, then you can pop this bad boy into the oven and relax while wait by sipping some refreshing iced herbal tea on the front steps.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch kale, destemmed if you prefer, and diced.
  • 1 bunch broccolini, chopped up
  • 1 leek, sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp sesame oil, for sauteing
  • Couple tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1-3 tsp shoyu
  • 2-4 cups cooked quinoa, whatever amount you have left!
  • 1/4 cup Tahini
  • 1.5 cups non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened soy, and have also made it with almond milk)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1-3 tsp dried thyme

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Heat sesame oil in pan over med-high heat.
  3. Saute leeks with a pinch of sea salt, until translucent.
  4. Add in kale, stirring, until softened.
  5. Add in lemon juice and shoyu, then the broccolini, stirring for a few minutes.
  6. Take veggies off the heat, & let them rest in the pan until you're ready for 'em.
  7. Pour the quinoa into an ovenproof dish (I didn't oil mine, but you can if you prefer).
  8. Make up your casserole sauce:Whisk together the tahini, milk, salt & thyme.
  9. Spread veggies out on top of the quinoa.
  10. Pour the sauce evenly over the veggies. It will seep into the quinoa while it cooks.
  11. Cover casserole dish with lid or tinfoil.
  12. Bake for around 30 minutes, until everything is nice and hot.
  13. Leftovers are easy...just throw 'em back in the oven!

So that's it! Three summertime meals, ready to go and waiting for you. You can take any of these meals and throw them inside a wrap or pita, or serve alongside or on top of a green salad.

*Some Other Ways to Use Up Extra Quinoa:

  • Make a Macrobiotic Mexican Feast!
  • Heat some up with nondairy milk as a porridge in the morning.
  • Simply use it cold in the morning, and top with nondairy milk & berries!
  • You can even blend up quinoa into your smoothie!
  • And of course, throw some into your favourite cookies and muffins.

MM: Top 3 Core Ingredients & A Mexican recipe.

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned my top 3 Macro ingredients to try.

I chose these three because they are fun to add in, and don't take much effort. You can simply plunk an umeboshi down on top of any grain. You can throw seaweed into most things, and miso can be added to dressings and dips without much work.

These 3 ingredients have tons of nutritional benefits, but they are obviously not the backbones of a real meal. Uh, duh. I mean, sure, you could dip a seaweed wrapped umeboshi in miso...but you'd be left feeling way too salty and not very satisfied. So while they don't form a meal in and of themselves, seaweed, umeboshi, and miso are quick & easy ingredients to add some Macrobiotic flavour into any cooking.

So then, what are the real backbones of a Macrobiotic Meal?

Macro Mondays (MM):

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Top 3 Core Macrobiotic Meal Ingredients.

1. Wholegrains

I love grains. Any and all, prepared in every way imaginable. Brown rice, quinoa, millet, whole oats, rolled oats, whole-grain sourdough bread, noodles, rice cakes, porridge, popcorn, mochi etc. All delicious. I want to eat them all. Perhaps it's my digestive system, or blood type, or ancestral heritage...or whatever term it is that's currently buzzing around the health food industry...but my body absolutely needs grains. Give me a hunk of meat, and I don't feel so good. Give me a bowl full of soba noodles, a giant hunk of bread, or a plate of quinoa salad, and my stomach feels happy. Give me a grain based dessert, and my body & soul feels happy. Each person needs/requires different things...I feel lucky that my body likes grains because they sure are tasty!

2. Vegetables

Again, I like pretty much all of them. Except eggplant. Ick. It tastes gross to me. Other than that, I like everything. And so far I have never heard of a vegetable that is bad for you. So, try them all, and try preparing them in different ways. Winter squashes (kabocha & butternut in particular) are probably my favourite kind vegetable, and they can be so sweet it's like you're eating a mega-treat. But I thoroughly enjoy all sorts of greens, mushrooms, and many of the root vegetables including plain old carrots as well. Blended veggie soups are really yummy. Try the root veggies (like carrots and daikon), ground veggies (squash/broccoli/onions etc.), and leafy greens (kale, lettuce, etc). You can also make veggie sauces and gravy. Roasting vegetables makes them all taste insanely good, and roasted cauliflower is surprisingly delicious. Try it.

3. Beans & Legumes

Yum! I really enjoy them, and again, they are insanely good for you. You just need to cook them properly (i.e., often they require soaking and cooking for a longish time), and chew them well to derive all the positive things they offer while minimizing the digestive party they sometimes create. My favourites are: black beans, pinto beans, adzuki beans, and red and french lentils. I love cooking them into stews, because they get creamy. Nothing beats a hot lentil stew on a cold dreary day. But if you have no time for cooking your own, try high-quality canned beans or refried beans on a rice cake. Preeeeeeeeetty tasty. Eden Foods brand carries BPA-free canned beans, and they often cook their beans with kombu to make them easier to digest.

Nothing revolutionary here; open up any macrobiotic cookbook, and these are the major categories of recipes. When I try to decide what to eat, I usually start by thinking about what grain I want, then look at what veggies I have, and if I need some more sustenance, I add in a bean or legume. They can be cooked individually, or all three combined together, rounding out your macrobiotic plate.

Quick & Tasty Mexican Macro Meal

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Using all 3 Core ingredients in one dish, you can whip up a delicious meal, such as this Mexican-inspired one, in no time (especially if you have some leftover grains in the fridge).

Ingredients

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*1-1.5 cups cooked brown rice (quinoa is great as well in this recipe). You can cook brown rice on the stovetop or in a pressure cooker.
* 1 can of black or pinto beans, drained and rinsed really well.
* 1 TBSP unrefined sesame oil or extra virgin olive oil (just be careful it doesn't smoke)
* 1 green onion, or part of a regular onion, diced
* 1/2 - 1 cup fresh salsa or a chopped tomato (optional,not strictly Macrobiotic, but fun!)
* fresh parsley or cilantro (as much as you prefer! I use about 1.5 cups)
*optional spices: cumin & coriander, 1 tsp. each
* 1/2-1 whole lime
* splash of water (add if stuff is sticking to the pot, or you can use more oil)

Directions

1. Put oil in a skillet or frying pan and warm over medium-high heat.
2. Toss in the onions or green onions, add a pinch of salt, and let them cook for a few minutes until clear, or sweating. You can put a lid on if you like.
3. Stir in the beans.
4. Spices away! I usually add about 1 tsp. of cumin and 1-2 tsp. of coriander to begin with. Add more to taste. Stir well into the beans and onions, letting it all simmer away for a few minutes. You can add a splash of water or some more oil if things seem to be sticking to the pan.
5. Add the rice in, breaking it apart and stirring. Let cook a few more minutes.
6. If using the salsa or chopped fresh tomato, add in now, stirring.
7. Stir in the lime juice.
8. Stir in the parsley/cilantro. Turn heat off and let sit a few mins.
9. Serve while warm. Delicious in a tortilla...or scooped up with some blue corn chips.

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*If you're lazy, tired, or like to keeps things simple...once the onions are sauteed add everything in at once. Stir around, & when thoroughly warm, eat up. Even straight out of the pan with a fork. No one's judging.

¡Ay, caramba!

Keep it simple.

I've been all about the throw-it-together with whatever lurks in my fridge kind of meals these days.

I enjoyed this one for dinner, a few weeks back when the weather was a tad warmer: 

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Brown Rice, sauteed carrots, celery & radish, steamed kale and corn, and baked squash and leeks.

This meal took surprisingly little work, despite the fact that it included multiple dishes. A perhaps obvious tip, when making multiple dishes, is to start the longest cooking one first. Timing is everything, after all.

1.  I baked a butternut squash in the oven for ~50 mins @400F.

My method for baking squashes is: Cut the squash in half, take out all the seeds & gunk, rub a bit of salt on the flesh, and place cut side down in a baking dish filled with about 1/2-1" of water. Bake at 400F for 30-40 mins. Then take out, dump out the remaining water, flip the squash over, and put it back in the oven for another 15 mins or so. So yummy!

2. Once the squash was in the oven, I rinsed the brown rice & got the pressure cooker going. Once up to full pressure (2 bars in my lovely dear kuhn rikon) I cooked it for 35 mins, then let it naturally release for 15 minutes. If you're new to cooking brown rice check out: brown rice dainty pig style version 1 (boiling) & version 2 (pressure cooking).

3. While the squash & rice were cooking, I washed some kale, and some corn on the cob. I cut up a carrot, celery stalk, and a few radishes.

4. After 20 minutes or so, I put a cut up leek (with a bit of sea salt and olive oil) in the oven for about 25-30 mins in a separate little dish.

5. When the squash was done, I turned the oven off, and kept it inside the oven until everything else was ready. I prepared 2 pots for the corn and kale.

6. When the pressure was down on the rice, I took the lid off and let it sit in the cooker for ~5 mins (this helps it from sticking!).  While the rice was cooling, I put the corn into a few inches of boiling water (that i started while the rice pressure was coming down). Once the corn was done, about 4 minutes later, to save dishes I put the celery, carrots, and radish into the same water. I added a tiny bit of shoyu and let cook about 4-5 minutes, stirring. Meanwhile, I steamed the kale in a few cm of water.

6. Serve everything up & feast! Bonus: most of the veggies in my fridge got used!

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Celeriac & Carrot Soup - with kombu dashi

I've been debating what recipe to post first on the dainty pig's new blog home. You see, I've done a lot of baking recently. But this soup was just SO good. I mean the kind of good where you plan for leftovers but end up eating the whole pot of soup in one go. Wait..that's happened to you before, right?  

Transient
Transient

This creamy, slightly sweet, completely comforting soup is surprisingly simple, quick and easy, but tastes beyond delicious.

I'm also rather embarrassed to say that it's my first time trying celeriac. This lovely & fragrant root vegetable made it's way into my kitchen because it happened to be included in the organic vegetable box we get delivered every couple of weeks. I took it out of the box, and it looked pretty yucky...gritty, dirty, and shaped rather weirdly. But I had faith that it would turn out to be an ugly duckling kind of situation. Looks like I was right.

Carrot & Celeriac Soup

*largely inspired by this recipe @ the nourishing gourmet

Ingredients

  • 1-2 TBSP vegetable oil -- I used olive oil
  • 2 green onions, finely sliced, most the white part
  • 4 small-medium celery roots, peeled & diced
  • 4 giant carrots (~6 medium carrots), cut into chunks
  • 8 cups of veggie broth (I used kombu-dashi, kelp broth, see directions at bottom of post)
  • few pinches of sea salt
  • parsley & pumpkin seeds for garnish, if desired

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan, over medium heat (making sure oil doesn't smoke)
  2. Sauté green onions for a few minutes
  3. Add carrots & sauté for another couple of minutes.
  4. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on top, and put lid on. Let the veggies "sweat" for a few minutes (adding a tiny bit of water if necessary, to prevent burning)
  5. Gently pour in the broth, give a quick stir.
  6. Add in celery root, and let soup come to a boil.
  7. Simmer with the lid on for 20-25 minutes, until veggies are tender (mine took only 20 mins.).
  8. Very carefully puree or blend soup, to create a creamy & thick consistency. If you are in no rush, then I recommend letting the soup cool for a bit, before spooning it into a blender. I personally used an immersion blender in the big pot I cooked it in.
  9. Pour back into saucepan and reheat. Taste and add a bit more sea salt if necessary.
  10. Serve immediately, garnishing with some parsley and pumpkin seeds, if desired.
Transient

Kombu Dashi

  • Take a few 2" squares of dried kelp (kombu). Wipe off excess salt if desired, and then place in the bottom of a large bowl.
  • Pour 8 cups of boiling water over top.
  • Put a lid or plate on top of the bowl, and let sit at least 30 minutes. The longer the better.
  • Remove kelp and use liquid as a very quick stock for any soups / sauces.

* My favourite restaurant in Japan used kombu dashi in lots of their cooking.  Another version is to simply let the kombu soak in room-temperature water (or in the fridge) overnight. The longer soaking time with cooler water does the trick.

We ate this soup with a side of steamed greens, and some leftover brown rice. It was so good I would have eaten it for breakfast, had we managed to keep leftovers.

Have you ever eaten celeriac? How do you enjoy it?

A quickie.

T & I had a flashback to our Japan days while eating dinner the other night.

A quickie.

Lovely

Japanese Mushrooms

from the

Asian Supermarket

are the star of this simple stir fry.

Very loose directions:

Sauté some minced ginger and a sliced green onion in a teeny bit of toasted sesame oil.

Add in 2 packages of 

Bunashimeji

mushrooms.

Let them cook for a few minutes with the lid on. 

The mushrooms let go of a lot of liquid and create a bit of a sauce. 

Add in some cut up carrots and daikon, and a tiny splash of tamari.

Put the lid back on and sauté / steam for a few minutes.

Add in broccoli stems for a few minutes, along with a tiny bit of water.

Add in the broccoli crowns.

Last but not least, add in some kind of green---I'm going to say collards, but any will do!

Simple, fast, and delicious.

We ate it with brown rice (duh).

A quickie.

We ate this almost every week night while we were living in Japan.

We tried many different vegetable combos, and different kinds of mushrooms.

We never got sick of it, because the different kinds of mushrooms give SO much flavour.

What's do you like to put in your stir fry?

What's your favourite kind of mushroom?