Sweet Corn Millet Croquettes

 3 ¼ cups boiling water

1 cup millet, washed and soaked overnight

2 cups sweet corn

1 small onion diced small

1 grated carrot

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp umeboshi vinegar, or to taste

½ tsp shoyu or tamari sauce

½ cup scallions or parsley

Olive oil

1)      Heat small amount of oil in a heavy skillet medium high heat

2)      Add the millet and sauté 2 minutes stirring constantly

3)      Add onions and sauté another 2-3 minutes stirring constantly

4)      Add garlic, carrots and continue sauté 2-3 minutes adding corn to combine all ingredients

5)      Add boiling water to millet mixture and turn down to low, cook for about 30 minutes checking often to see millet is not sticking to bottom of skillet. Add more water if needed

6)      Once cooked add parsley or scallions and mix thoroughly. Allow to cool so you can handle millet mixture.

7)      Place half the mixture in a food processor and blend until paste then add back into remaining millet.

8)      Form the mixture into 6 equal sized croquettes

9)      Heat oil in skillet and add croquettes, cook 5 minutes on each side.

10)  Remove from pan and set in warm oven

Chive Mayonnaise

 1 cup veganaise

1 small bunch chives snipped small

1 tsp lemon juice or ½ tsp umeboshi vinegar

1 Tblsp olive oil

Pinch sea salt

Mix together ingredients and use to top millet croquettes.

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.

I’m Back

Well it has been a long winter! I am delighted to be back with the freshness of spring and many cooking classes under my belt. My focus has shifted back to children and how to engage them in cooking with us. Here is just a quick snapshot of why we would want to cook with the children in our lives:

Do you struggle to find quick, nutritious snacks and meals to offer your children? With our very busy lives it is often challenging to find the time to prepare healthy meals. There is a healthy solution!

Children are naturally curious and adventurous so why not introduce them to food by making it fun.

They are so pleased when they make something for others and receive praise for a job well done!

Children will jump for joy when they learn to cook!

Benefits of Cooking with your Children

             Cooking with the children in our lives is a wonderful way to spend quality time together. They feel good about themselves when they contribute to the daily chores at home and cooking can be so much fun. Children love to have the opportunity to show us what they know and can do. They are proud of themselves when make something the whole family enjoys together.

Cooking with children does take time and patience. It can also get pretty messy and the food may not be just the way we grown ups like it, but believe me it is worth the effort. Preparing food to eat and share with others teaches children so many life-long skills while engaging them in a fun and healthy activity. And the fact is that children who help with the planning and preparation of meals also are more likely to eat what has been made. Younger children need tasks that they can accomplish safely and sometimes older children can help them when they get stuck.

Older children are able to read and interpret recipes. They can help younger children measure and and mix. Show older children how to properly clean cutting boards and counters and what good personal hygiene is when preparing food. Work with older children to set up the work area with all utensils that will be needed, and gather all ingredients before starting to cook. Teach them to develop the ability to plan for their menu by preparing all ingredients that must be chopped, peeled, etc. so that the actual cooking process goes smoothly and quickly. This organization and planning helps the cooking process go smoothly adding to their sense of accomplishment.

Shopping Adventures

Think about involving children in the entire food preparation process starting with making the grocery list, shopping, putting food away, setting the table, cooking and sitting together to enjoy the fruits of your labors.

In the grocery store teach your children how to read nutrition labels. Help them understand the difference between fresh and processed foods. Teach them about healthy fats, whole grains and beans, alternatives to meat and the importance of a balanced diet for overall good health. Introduce children to vitamins and minerals and how to shop for the highest quality foods at the best prices. Show children the content of sugar or salt that is in their favorite processed foods and offer them healthier alternatives they can make. In doing so we are teaching them about important nutrients and healthy food choices which they can carry all their lives.

The benefits of shopping and cooking with children are many.

They learn what healthy foods look and smell like

They learn about important nutritional information

They are more likely to eat the healthy food that is presented to them

They get to spend quality time with you

They may focus their time and energy in more healthy endeavors rather than being connected via phone, computer, TV etc

So what are you waiting for get into the kitchen with your children and have a blast! Try this recipe from Shari-Lynn Demaris’ cookbook it has become a favorite of some of the children in my life!

Tofu Nut Balls

 

½ cup uncooked short grain brown rice

1 cup water

2 Tblsp shoyu

½ lb firm tofu

½ cup ground almond

½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs

Sea salt to taste

1-2 Tblsp sesame oil

1 cup safflower oil (it is less likely to burn)

1)    Wash, rinse and soak the rice.

2)   Place prepared rice and water in small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and lower heat cooking for 35-45 minutes until rice is very soft.

3)   Place shoyu and ½ the tofu in a blender and then add about ¾ of the cooked rice. Blend into a thick paste.

4)   Place remaining tofu in a large bowl. Add the blended mixture to the bowl along with the bread crumbs and almond meal. Mix well, then add the remaining rice and sea salt to taste.

5)   Make small balls with your hands or flatter batter and use cookie cutters for special shapes.

6)   Pan fry balls in the sesame oil for 15 minutes or pan bake them at 350 for 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

 

Boo-Ya… Black Bean Burgers and Thanks-Giving

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Well it’s that time of the year again when we are thinking about feasting with family and friends. I just love this time of Thanksgiving. We have a wonderful opportunity to take a moment with those we love dearly to reflect on what we are thankful for in our lives. For some of us it is a large task as we may have faced life challenges that were not only beyond our control but beyond our capacity to endure. The Art of Thanksgiving is for us to dig deep into our hearts and find something that brought us joy…inspired us in some way and will remain tucked neatly in our soul for eternity. I am thankful for the family and friends I have been blessed with!

So this week has just flown by and today my darling Hannah arrives from California. Furniture has been rearranged and the menu for our family Thanksgiving is in the works. This year will bring some changes at our Thanksgiving table but many of the favorites from years past. After all Thanksgiving has a tradition attached to it so we come together with the expectation of seeing and experiencing those dishes. We are very blessed to be able to come together to share our meal. I am ever aware of my blessings and grateful always! Along with food changes there will be some family members absent at the table and they will be sorely missed. To mom and brother, John feast on up there in heaven and be with us as you are able.

One of the dishes I plan to add to our feast is my new favorite Boo-Ya Black Bean Burgers! They are simply delightful with a bit of secret sauce (recipe will appear in the secret sauces post at a later date) on top oh my.

So simple to make here is my recipe but you can make adjustments to taste.

1 ½ cup organic black turtle beans – washed and soaked overnight

1 cup cooked organic millet and corn – see millet post for directions

¼ cup organic whole wheat pastry flour

1 organic sweet onion finely chopped

2 large organic carrots finely chopped

2 stalks organic celery finely chopped

½ cup finely chopped fresh organic parsley

Organic Olive oil

  • Cook beans with 2inch piece of soaked kombu in just enough water to cover for approximately 45 minutes or until soft. Check the beans as they cook and add water if needed to prevent sticking on bottom of pot.
  • Cook millet and corn as directed (see previous post)
  • Chop carrots, celery and onions and sauté in 1 tblsp. olive oil until soft.
  • Mash cooked beans with potato masher until about half the beans are mashed. I like to leave some beans for texture and appearance.
  • Add the millet, vegetables and mix well.
  • Sprinkle the pastry flour over mixture and blend in thoroughly.
  • Form bean paste into patties and cook on medium heat in enough olive oil to prevent sticking.
  • Turn burgers after approximately 5 minutes (or when brown but not burned).

I use my spatula to continuously shape the bean paste into patties. The millet and flour are nice binding agents and add flavor. Keep patties warm in oven until all are cooked. Top with pumpkin seed sauce or tofu cream…yummy!

Kira and I hope you all have a most joyous Thanksgiving. Be well!

Homemade Amasake

I could start this post with so many topics. The Presidential election this week could be one or the fact that some folks in New York and New Jersey are still without power after epic storm Sandy. I could share the progress I’m making in redesigning my kitchen…well not that one since each time I go back to the online design center I’m using the first floor of my house has been redone and I can no longer get to the upstairs. Clearly I need to get help on this remodel! You have likely heard enough about the other two topics so how about we change things up a bit.

I think the one topic I’m feeling pretty happy about is FOOD…good organic whole food in particular. Some of you might think that’s no fun. You may want sweet or comfort foods and don’t really care about healthy. Well what if you could have both? Seriously, I think I can share a dish that is really sweet and also healthy. It is made with just 3 ingredients and everyone can make it…it’s that easy. What… you ask is this dish? Amasake… I just love the name of this delightful dessert “Amasake” it has a musical ring to it. Try singing it to the tune of Fara Shaka and you’ll see what I mean. Amasake requires several hours to ferment so plan an afternoon or evening when you can be available to check on your process.

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!

Amasake Plum Pudding

Welcome Fellow Foodies

How wonderful our modern world is to allow me to create this simple blog and share it with you fellow foodies from around the world!

I’m excited to create this blog to share ideas and recipes with you that will not only be tasty but full of amazing nutrients, immune boosting and life force energies.

I recently completed the level 1 Macrobiotic Leadership Program at The Kushi Institute in Becket Massachusetts.The program was a 4 week intensive that covered macrobiotic foods and their healthful properties. It offered cooking classes (my favorite as you might guess from my blog title) healing, diagnosis and shiatsu classes.

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Maine sunrise photo by Marty! Thanks Marty

Our day began at 7 am with various energy exercises to greet the new day. We participated in both hands on classes in shiatsu massage and cooking as well as lectures focused on healing with foods, diagnosis and the history of macrobiotics. Many days did not end until 8:30 at night but my energy just kept increasing as did my attention to the topics. It was the FOOD!!!!!

We were blessed to have all our delightful macro meals prepared by a wonderful kitchen staff and chefs who themselves are macrobiotic. We ate together family style allowing us to learn about one another. The kitchen staff/chefs openly shared recipes and tips for improving the taste, texture and quality of the dishes they served. Such a gift to live and learn in a setting so welcoming and nourishing.

When I started the level program I was overwhelmed by the loss of my mother and brother-in-law within 3 months of one another. I didn’t at the time realize that my life was about to change for the better…it was difficult to think in terms of happy, peaceful and yes even joyful times ahead. But here I am starting this new adventure and asking you to join me as we explore the wonderful word of eating for life.

The recipe I share today is a staple of good eating at breakfast. So here we go

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. Those recipes will follow in the next blog.

Happy cooking and living

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