Joyful Life

We came to the Earth as absolutely loving beings.

That is our basic nature. And all we want is to have a joyful life together…..

A peaceful, harmonious, laughter filled, song-filled kind of life together.

Brooke Medicine Eagle

IMG_0035

This photo was taken at South River Miso in Conway, MA

I awoke this morning feeling grateful for the sunshine and for my lovely life. It made me smile to think about what this life has given me and to reflect on what I hope I have given back. Of late, the opportunity I am enjoying of teaching others how to cook and eat in a more healthful way.

Yesterday I got to cook with a group of young girls who were curious and willing to try new foods. They reminded me to have fun and explore, and how much I enjoy doing that with my own children even now that they are adults. I was also reminded how much fun it is to come together with new people and see what we can learn.

We prepared several dishes and then shared a meal together with their adults. One commented on how cool it was to have a class where you get to eat together afterward. I smiled. And so I will share one of the recipes we made with you in the hope it brings a smile to your face as well.

Green Rolls

 4 cups water

Collard greens large leaves or other green of choice

Cucumber cut into match sticks

Carrot, parsnip or other root vegetable, blanched and cut into matchsticks

Sauerkraut

Sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds

Mustard or hummus

Brown rice (optional)

Preparation:

 Heat water in large open skillet to boil.

Lightly blanch collard or chosen greens, remove and place on cookie sheet to cool.

Lay our blanched greens onto sushi mat making sure to cover mat completely.

Layer the cucumber or root vegetable, sauerkraut and pumpkin seeds on the greens. Spread some mustard on the filling.

Carefully roll up the green in the sushi mats squeezing out extra water. Remove from mat and cut into 5-6 sushi style rolls.

IMG_0591

These are actually wrapped in nori which is another great way to introduce healthy greens and vegetables into a non vegetable lovers life…and we all need some vegetable to stay healthy 🙂

Next week I will be teaching a Cooking for Women’s Health class at Wild Oats Cooperative Market in Williamstown, MA as well as a Healthy Holiday Cooking class at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pittsfield. Consider coming to join our fun!

Be well

Miso Happy

Some of you more seasoned bloggers may see that I am a novice in the blogosphere. An example of just how much a novice follows: I just spent the last 2 hours trying to post a picture and video about my trip to South River Miso in Conway Massachusetts. The photo I took was upside down the video had a 2 minute advertisement for a new improved diet pill…I hope these things didn’t actually make it onto my blog but if I inadvertently posted them please pass them by…ignore them as I found something better to share! I found this delightful video link that stars Christian Elwel the owner operator of South River Miso.

http://www.southrivermiso.com/store/pg/102-About-Miso-Videos.html

I was among a handful of students from The Kushi Institute who had the good fortune of spending a Saturday with Christian and his wife. He has a wealth of miso making knowledge and is very happy to share his wisdom. He and his wife invited us into their miso haven providing a tour, sampling of many varieties of miso and wonderful stories of how they came to be the fine miso crafters they are.

Their property is in a beautiful country setting and one has a sense that they created every single garden, building, stone walkway, pond and sculpture with great thought and care. Everything seems to flow into the next with ease and I found myself so relaxed sitting near the frog pond watching the abundance of aquatic life. The tour was equally enjoyable giving me a sense of stepping back in time to the early craft of miso making. As a California girl I was struck by the similarities to fine wine winemaking that takes place in many regions of my home state. I found the day to be inspiring in that it helped me think about all the healthful qualities in miso while observing and learning about the process. I was also delighted to hear about the love and care that goes into its creation!

With all this said, I promised that I would share the recipe for miso soup in my next post…being a woman of my word I shall do so. Miso is a staple of Japanese diet and is also enjoyed by folks who are macrobiotic or simply enjoy healthy eating. As Christian said it has many active microorganisms and vital enzymes that aid digestion. Miso also helps to discharge toxins from the body. It is high in protein, calcium, iron and vitamin B. I will offer 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.

Until next time