Homemade Amasake

Homemade Amasake

4 cups organic sweet brown rice

6 cups spring water

½ cup Koji (we will talk a bit more about Koji promise)

1)      Wash the rice and soak it in the water overnight.

2)      Place rice and soaking water in a pressure cooker and bring the pot to pressure. You can do this in a regular pot as well just watch the rice closely to make sure it does not stick to the bottom of the pot. Once the pressure cooker has reached pressure reduce the heat and cook for 45 minutes.

3)      Remove from heat and allow pot to sit until the pressure is reduced naturally. Remove the lid and place the rice in a glass or stainless steel bowl.

4)      When the rice has cooled to a little warmer than body temperature mix the Koji into the rice.

5)      Put approximately 1 inch of water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer.

6)      Place the bowl of Sweet Rice and Koji into the larger simmering pot. Cover the bowl with a plate or lid. Allow the rice mixture to ferment in this warm environment for 4-6 hours. Check periodically and mix so the temperature is keep fairly even throughout the rice.

7)      Once the rice has become sufficiently fermented and has become very sweet, place the Amasake in a pot and bring it to a boil to prevent any further fermentation. If the Amasake continued to ferment it would turn sour.

8)      After the Amasake comes to a full rolling boil remove it from the heat to prevent burning. If you would like a smooth consistency place the Amasake in a blender and puree it.

9)      You and eat it plain or add fruit puree/juice to flavor it further. Amasake will keep for 6-10 days in the refrigerator. It also freezes well.

So there you have it…clean, simple and sweet!

Peace and Happy Cooking!

Here’s a photo of Amasake Plum Pudding with blanched almond and black sesame seed flower.  Photo taken by Marty…thank you Marty we love you!

Miso soup

Here is a basic miso soup recipe that can be eaten daily at breakfast to set your body in a proper state for the day.

Ingredients:

3 cups water

2” wakame-soaked and cut into small pieces

2 dried shiitake mushrooms-soaked and slice thinly

½ cup daikon-cut into thin half moons

1 ½ tsp – 1 Tblsp 2yr. barley miso

1 Tblsp minced fresh parsley or thinly sliced scallion for garnish

Add the wakame, shiitake and the soaking water to 3 cups water and slowly bring to a boil. Add the daikon, cover the pot, reduce flame to low and simmer for 3-5 minutes.

Dilute miso in a little broth before adding to soup stock. Add to pot and continue to simmer for 3-5 minutes on low flame. Once miso is added do not boil just let it simmer.

Serve in bowls with either parsley or scallion garnish.

Before indulging in your miso soup, take a moment to sit quietly and set your intention for the day. It does not need to be earth shattering. Merely offer gratitude and at be at peace.

Millet and sweet vegetables

1 cup organic millet, washed and soaked overnight

½ – 1 cup organic corn, finely chopped carrots and squash

3 ½ cup water (spring or well water is best).

Small pinch of sea salt per cup of grain

Place millet first in heavy pot, place vegetables on top. Add water and salt.

  • Cover and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce flame to medium low and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes.
  • When all water is cooked out the millet dish is ready. Place is bowls and add a garnish of parsley, thinly sliced scallions, roasted sunflower seeds.

This is a very warming breakfast to sustain you through the morning. Adding steamed kale and miso soup makes it even better.

The Beauty of Chocolate

Chocolate makes me smile! It’s just that simple. And when I am smiling the world is a better place. I am reminded of a quote from one of my favorite poets and Buddhist Monk, Thich Nhat Hanh:

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”

One reason to smile is this delightful Pistachio Chocolate Mousse. The recipe below comes from Eric Lechasseur and Sanae Suzuki’s vegan macrobiotic cookbook Love, Eric & Sanae. When I prepare this mousse people think I’ve spent hours fussing to create it and that also brings a smile to my face. Both because they enjoy it and because it is truly a simple dessert to make.

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Pistachio Chocolate Mousse

Love,Eric  Sanae

Here’s the recipe:

24 ounces of silken firm tofu, well drained.

½ cup maple sugar

1 pinch sea salt

½ cup soy milk (unsweetened)

9 ounces grain-sweetened chocolate chips – semi sweet also works

½ cup ground pistachios

Combine maple sugar, tofu and sea salt in a food processor and process for approximately 5 minutes until creamy.

Combine soy milk and chocolate chips in a saucepan, heat at medium. Stir constantly until the chocolate has melted than transfer to the food processor.

Add vanilla extract and continue to blend for a few minutes.

Add ½ cup pistachios and process until well combined.

Transfer mixture to glass or ceramic container and chill for a few hours.

Serve in individual serving bowls topped with crushed pistachios.

YUMMY!

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As you go along your path remember….

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” Thich Nhat Hanh

Health, Peace and Brightest Blessing

Everything I think I’m Missing

My dear friend shared the poem below with me today and I am so moved by it that I am now sharing it with you! I’m not sure who wrote it so if any of you know please do tell.

Tonight, I am grateful that in this life I am blessed with the love of family and friends, good health, the joyful laughter of children, the playfulness of my dogs, the beauty that is abundant all around me and the hope of more to come.

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Sunset’s Silver Sidewalk (it is more golden tonight) on Pontoosac lake a stone’s throw from my front door.

The Poem:

I am struggling. There’s who I believe I ought to be, and who I really am.

It’s humbling, isn’t it? This being, this mystery, this me sits here radiating energy, yet I’m gripped by a nameless fear that I’m missing exactly what I came here to experience.

I am suffering, telling myself stories of what life should look like. And then I get the message like a meteor, like the power coming back on after hours in a storm.

This life, this extraordinary imperfection, this moment just as it is, this is all I’m here to receive. This infuriating, limitless simplicity of day-to-day living holds everything I think I’m missing.

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BLESSED BE

Orange Pan Glazed Tempeh

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

Mahatma Gandhi

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This dish has become one of my favorite tempeh recipes and it can be made in only 30 minutes…how’s that for fitting into a busy life? I added roasted kabocha squash, steamed kale and good old short grain brown rice. The pickle is “Crimson Kraut” a mild Kimchi made by Hosta Hill.  Hosta Hill also made the tempeh I used for this recipe. Learn more about them at this link

http://hostahill.com/tempeh/

So here is the recipe for Orange Pan Glazed Tempeh:

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger

2 Teaspoons tamari (or shoyu)

1 ½ Tablespoon mirin

2 Teaspoons maple syrup

½ Teaspoon ground coriander

2 small cloves garlic, crushed

10 ounces tempeh (or extra firm tofu)

2 Tablespoons olive oil (use light as extra virgin will smoke)

½ lime

Optional – cilantro

1)      Squeeze juice and place it in a small bowl.

2)      Grate the ginger over the bowl making sure to add the juice.

3)      Mix together the tamari, mirin, maple syrup, ground coriander and garlic. Set aside this mixture.

4)      Cut the tempeh (or tofu) into bite size pieces (if working with tofu, pat dry and then cut up)

5)      Heat the olive oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking.

6)      Add the tempeh and sautee for about 5 minutes on each side until golden brown.

7)      Pout the orange juice over the tempeh and continue cooking for another 5-7 minutes until the sauce has reduced to a nice glaze.

8)      Make sure to turn the tempeh while the sauce reduces to prevent sticking.

9)      Serve the tempeh with grain side dish. Drizzle the remaining tamari sauce mixture over the top.

10)  Add lime juice and cilantro if desired.

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Kira and Poohger send sloppy kisses from Kira’sKitchen

Eat healthy and be well!