Friday, December 30, 2011
When I lived in Japan, one of the tastiest menus that I learned was how to prepare the traditional New Year's food. First introduced during the Heinan Period, osechi-ryori is basically a bento (boxed lunch) prepared in advance, stored in a cool place, and reheated when it is to be eaten during the first three days of the new year. Each dish and ingredient in osechi has meaning, such as good health, fertility, good harvest, happiness, and long life.
Cleaning up everything from the previous year and starting the new year with a clean slate complete with nourishing healthy food is very culturally important!
Here are some of the ingredients and their significance.
The only description I could find about mochi was along the lines of "wishes for many healthy family generations". This chewy, puffy form of pounded rice is so delicious and nourishing wrapped with nori and drizzled with shoyu. Mochi is also an ingredient in ozouni soup and is placed at the front door with special New Year's decorations.
Black Soybeans (Kuromame)
These sweet and hearty beans signify good health, vitality, wealth, abundance, and prosperity. These are typically made these days with sugar and shoyu, though the macrobiotic way is to replace these with natural handmade mirin, brown rice syrup, and unpasteurized, fermented shoyu.
Usually made into kombu maki (as seen on the left), this represents joy.
A slow simmered vegetable dish signifying "harmonious family relationships".
This is an auspicious food, because you can see through the holes of the root "into the future."
Sweet rolled omelette mixed with fish paste which symbolizes wishes for many auspicious days filled with gold, wealth, fertility, and children. I learned how to make it with tofu and millet (also, minus the fish paste).
Usually made into a dish called "kinpira gobo". This symbolizes "wishing for luck to split and multiply."
There are other foods that I haven't mentioned here.
Have a safe, happy, healthy, and abundant new year everyone!
Saturday, December 03, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Whole foods such as grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and land and sea vegetables contain:
The vast range of benefits include:
Healthy nervous system and metabolism function, lactation, fertility, red blood cell formation, health of organs, aid in fat synthesis, prevents birth defects, lowers cholesterol, inhibits tumor formation, aids digestion.....
- assists in formation of connective tissue (keeps skin firm)
- helps heal wounds and broken bones
- aids in red blood cell formation
- protects against capillary wall ruptures, bruising, and scurvy
cauliflower, broccoli, mustard greens, kale, parsley, and other leafy green vegetables, strawberries, oranges, cantaloupe, and other fresh, seasonal, fruits
- promotes the health of eyes and skin.
- increases immunity to infections and reduces free radicals.
- protects against tumors, especially lung.
- improves skin texture and reduces age spots.
carrots, winter squash (kabocha, butternut, etc), rutabaga, other yellow-orange vegetables, broccoli, kale, and other dark green leafy vegetables, and nori.
Saturday, July 02, 2011
I always make a point to purchase Kula strawberries when I'm in the grocery store to support the production of local produce. Here's a great way to prepare them for dessert:
Balsamic Macerated Strawberries
2 pounds strawberries, sliced thin
1 T brown rice syrup, optional
2 tsp organic balsamic vinegar (best quality you can afford)
8 to 10 basil leaves, chopped
In a large bowl, place sliced strawberries, brown rice syrup, and balsamic vinegar. Let the strawberries marinate for about 30 minutes in their own juices until they begin to wilt but not get too mushy. Place in bowls and serve. Just before serving, chop the basil and scatter over the top of the strawberries.
- Enjoy with Soya Whip (see previous post) by spooning on top or tossing the berries through.
- Serve over your favorite all natural vanilla cake, or even over soy ice cream.
- Substitute mint for basil.
1. Homemade granola with organic oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, coconut, and maple syrup.
2. Raw kale salad with dino kale, carrots, cucumbers, red pepper, lemon juice, olive oil, organic tamari, and local tomatoes.
3. Alter Eco Dark Chocolate with Quinoa
4. Red wine
5. Summer fruits like blueberries, strawberries, and canteloupe.
6. Long walks and running in nature.
7. Going to the beach.
8. Family time.
9. Pot boiled brown rice instead of pressure cooked, for a change.
10. Connecting with macrobiotic enthusiasts on Kauai.
11. Surinam Cherry and Clove flavored Ono Pops popcicles.
12. Someone recently gifted me two containers of soy whipped cream (see photo above) which is so NOT MACRO yet so delicious all the same. This was so that I could make the most amazing vanilla custard. How do we get this on Oahu?
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Concerned About Nuclear Radiation Fallout?
Kushi Institute senior teacher and macrobiotic counselor John Kozinski shares timely information on this important issue.
Potassium iodide pills have been sold out at many of the American distributors. Potassium iodide helps protect a person from the harmful effects of radioactive iodine by blocking it's uptake into the thyroid. One possible serious effect of exposure to large doses of radioactive iodine is thyroid cancer.
There are some natural foods that will help if you have radiation exposure. Here is a list with some explanations.
- Leafy greens: stimulate the colon and help the liver discharge radiation from the body.
- Fermented foods: have the same effect as leafy greens. These include miso, natural cucumber pickles, and fermented sauerkraut. The best quality pickles are homemade or found in the refrigerated section of the store. They do not have vinegar as an ingredient.
- Avoid or limit sugars. These will ferment in the gut and interfere with elimination
- Avoid excessive amounts of whole wheat flour products. The excess fiber will interfere with gut bacteria, hampering elimination.
- Avoid hard and dry grains such as granola, and dried cereal. This kind of fiber creates bad bacteria hampering the gut.
- Eat moderate amounts of grains and cooked vegetables, small amounts of beans regularly and fish along with some cooked fruit, healthy fats and natural seasonings. If you eat other forms of animal foods, be moderate. Excessive amounts will interfere with digestion
- Limit raw foods. Raw fiber is harder to digest and will hamper elimination.
- Good quality saturated fats block the toxicity of radioactive ions such as avocado and coconut oil. Increase these in times of a nuclear disaster.
- Fatty fish: fat soluble vitamins in fatty fish like wild salmon or sardines aid elimination. Eat more often in a disaster.
- Kelp tablets from clean waters or kombu powder made from kombu from clean waters. The natural iodine can replace the potassium iodine pills. Take a pill every 1-2 hours if exposed to radiation. North American Herb and Spice Company has good quality kelp under the name, PureKelp. If using kombu powder take a half teaspoon 3 times a day.
- Miso has a substance that will remove radiation from the body. Prepare soups and season with a strong taste of miso if there is nuclear disaster. Drink 3 cups per day.
- Umeboshi Plums: Take 1-2 daily. This will stimulate the liver and colon to eliminate radiation.
- Supplements for Radiation disasters: organic selenium, 200 micrograms every hour for one week then 600 micrograms daily. Vitamin E: 400 IU every hour for 1-2 days, then 2400 IU daily. Buy Vitamin E as mixed tocopherols and/or tocotrienols.
- North American Herb and Spice Company has a product that combines herbs, supplements and potassium iodine. It is called NukeProtect.
- Chlorella: 2 - 500 mg. capsules 3 times per day or follow directions on the bottle
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Monday, January 17, 2011
Fast forward to November 2010, where I had the wonderful honor to sit between Alan and Roy Yamaguchi to judge the Iron Chef competition through my participation in Grow Hawaii. While judging, I spoke with both of them and Alan and I decided to get in the kitchen and share inspirations with each other.
January 2011 represented the fruition of our agreement, and I spent several hours in his kitchen with him and his staff sharing some of my favorite vegan and macrobiotic recipes. With Alan directing, they expertly showed me how they plate and present the food in Alan's style. I learned so much and was so incredibly inspired by the brilliance I was surrounded by! Here are some of the photos, and sorry the quality isn't the best.
decorating the plate with sauces
spanikopita garnished with stuffed grape leaves and micro greens
quinoa pilaf with other treats
the 'everything dish' with everything we made during the day
a close up of the previous photo
another 'everything dish'
I'm so excited for the direction that really fine vegan and macrobiotic cuisine is taking here in Honolulu! This trend encourages me that more people will start enjoying healthier dishes more frequently! Hopefully more collaborations will ensue.