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MENU FOR "WATER".

 

Aduki Bean Soup w/ Dried Shiitake Mushrooms, Kombu and Barley Miso.

Organic Short Grain Brown Rice.

Onions, Burdock and Buttercup Squash.

Watercress.

 

Recipes(for four servings):

Soup:

1 cup Aduki Beans.

8 Dried Shiitake Mushrooms.

4 x 3 inch strips of dried kombu.

1 teaspoon Barley Miso(aged at least 2 years) per cup of water.

Soak beans overnight in tap water to cover. Soak shiitake mushrooms for 30 minutes or more in 1 cup of filtered tap or spring water. Take the soaking beans and pour out the soaking water, place in a pressure cooker. Take the shiitake mushrooms out of their soaking water (do not throw away soaking water, add it to the pressure cooker as part of the soup stock) and cut them into thin slices about 1/4 inch wide. Place in pressure cooker with beans. Take the dried kombu(no need to wash it unless you want to) and cut it into 1/2 inch lengths (do not be concerned about the width of the kombu). Add another 5-7 cups of spring or filtered tap water(this will be added to the shiitake soaking water plus the burdock water- see below)how much you add will depend on whether you want the soup to be thicker or thinner - generally speaking, the colder the weather, the thicker you want your soup to be). Bring to a boil and as this happens some scum will be created- skim this off and throw it into the sink. Place the lid of the pressure cooker on and tighten it. Bring to pressure and pressure cook for one hour. Bring the pressure down by running the pressure cooker under cold tap water. Remove the lid. Place back on stove and add 1/8 teaspoonful seasalt. Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes. Meanwhile take 1 cup of the soup stock and add all the barley miso and dissolve the miso in the soup stock. After the soup has simmered for 10 minutes, switch the heat off and wait(this is important) until the soup has stopped simmering and then add the dissolved miso to the soup. Mix well. The soup is ready. Pour into serving bowls and garnish with finely chopped scallions. I feel it is best to eat the miso soup for dinner.

Incidentally, if you are not going to consume the whole pot of soup, do not add the miso to the pot. Instead, pour the soup into the serving bowl(s) and add 1 teaspoonful Barley Miso per bowl and dissolve it in the bowl, then garnish with the scallions. This way you can place the pot of soup after it has cooled in the refrigerator and reheat it and do the same thing each day following until it is finished. This way you can make enough soup for three or four days. Also, although you generally purchase the miso (unpasteurized, which is the kind you want) in the refrigerated section of the natural food store, when you get it home do NOT refrigerate it- it is a 'live' food and needs to keep fermenting and it will keep for months out of the refrigerator (I have myself had three year old miso for eight years without it spoiling and I know of a case where some acquaintances bought some in 1968 and found it again in 1992 and it was perfect, never refrigerated in that time! Actually, the older the miso is, the better quality it is).

Grain:

2 cups organic short grain brown rice.

Wash and place in pressure cooker, add filtered or spring water. To measure the amount of water needed, place your index finger on top of the rice and add the water so its level comes to the first crease in your index finger. This will give you the ballpark amount of water you want. This method works for any amount of rice over 2 cups. Add 1/8 teaspoonful of seasalt(and measure this precisely, do not guesstimate) and place and tighten on lid and bring to pressure over medium heat. When up to pressure, place a heat deflector under the pressure cooker and turn the heat down to low. Pressure cook for 45 minutes. The idea is to have the hissing sound emitted by the escaping steam to be a faint hiss in the background- if it is too loud the pressure is too high because the flame is too high; if there is no sound, the pressure is too low because the flame is too low. Once the 45 minutes is up, remove from stove and let the pressure come down by itself. Then remove the lid and mix the rice well.

If the rice is too dry, then the cause is either too much heat, not enough water or the pressure was brought up too fast. If the rice is wet or soggy, then not enough heat was used, too much water or the pressure was not brought up fast enough. These are adjustments you are going to make as you get more experience at pressure cooking the rice (or any grain you decide to pressure cook) and be advised that in the beginning you are going to find yourself burning or making the rice too soggy!

After the rice is mixed it is best stored in a wooden bowl with a bamboo mat placed over the top. This way it will keep for three of four days in the late fall and winter months. If you live some where it is hot or warm all the time, then place the bowl of rice in the refrigerator. When you want to eat some the next day, either place the amount you want in a saucepan and add a little bit of water and heat it that way, or fry some with a little amount of sesame or olive oil.

Vegetable:

Two yellow onions.

4 robust one foot long burdock roots.

1 medium size buttercup squash(you can substitute hokkaido pumpkin, butternut squash or acorn squash).

Peel and cut the onions in large sized dices. Wash the burdock and cut into half inch lengths. Wash the squash, cut off ends, scoop out the seeds and cut the into bite size chunks. (Do not peel either the burdock or squash).

Place the burdock in a pressure cooker and cover with water. Place lid and tighten and pressure cook for ten minutes. Meanwhile, to a cast iron pot or large saucepan add 1 teaspoonful olive or sesame oil, bring to heat and saute onions, then add squash and saute also. When the burdock is pressure cooked ten minutes, lower pressure by running under cold water, remove lid and place burdock in with onions and squash along with some of its cooking water so the water is at a level about a third of the depth of the pot or saucepan. Use the remainder of the burdock water as soup stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the squash is soft, add a 1/4 teaspoonful of tamari and mix. Serve.

Greens:

2 bunches watercress.

Wash and cut watercress in 1/4- 1/2 inch length, place in a saucepan with about 1 inch depth of water, bring to a boil and simmer 5-8 minutes. Drain and serve.

The grain should be eaten along with 2-3 thin slices of pickled daikon and 1-2 teaspoonsful of gomasio(sesame salt) may be sprinkled on the grains and vegetables.

Of the foods in this menu, the aduki beans, dried shiitake mushrooms, and watercress are all Water foods, meaning they strengthen, harmonize and vitalize the Water organs, senses and tissues of the body. Burdock is food which is a manifestation of both Water and Metal(lungs and large intestine and skin and nose/sense of smell). Brown rice is a Metal food, onions are both a Soil and Metal food and the squashes mentioned are all manifestations of Soil(spleen- pancreas and stomach, flesh, mouth and sense of taste).

Thus this meal will predominantly help to strengthen, harmonize and vitalize the kidneys/bladder and related tissues, senses etc., and also the lungs/large intestines and the spleen-pancreas/stomach. I do have several videos of cooking classes available which are geared toward cooking for healing with the seasons so if you are interested in obtaining one or two, let me know.

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MENU FOR "WOOD"

Beet Soup w/Wakame and Barley Miso.

Organic Short Grain Brown Rice w/ Unhulled Barley.

Cauliflower, Carrots and Leeks.

Collard Greens w/Curly dock.

Recipes(for 4 servings):

Soup.

4 Beet Roots.

12 Inches of Wakame.

4 Teaspoonfuls Barley Miso.

Wash and cut the beet roots in medium size pieces. To a saucepan or pot add 1 teaspoon of olive or sesame oil and place over medium heat to heat up oil. Add the beets and stir so each piece of beet is covered with a thin layer of oil; add 1/8th teaspoon of sea salt. Turn the heat low and cover, stirring occasionally, for five minutes. Add the wakame which is cut up in 1/4 inch lengths. Add water and/or stock. (A word about soup stock - I always make a soup stock by taking all the bits of the vegetables I do not cook, like onion peels, and the ends of vegetables etc., and cook them in a pot of spring water without sea salt, simmering for twenty minutes. Then strain out the vegetables and you have a nourishing, delicious stock which you add to the soup pot). Add enough stock and, if necessary, water for for 4 servings. Bring to a boil and simmer for twenty minutes. Turn off heat. Take 1 cup of the stock and add 4 teaspoons of Barley Miso and mix it in the stock and pour into the soup. Serve with garnish of chopped scallions.

Grain.

2 Cups Organic Brown Rice w/ 1 Cup Unhulled Barley.

The barley needs to be soaked overnight in 2 cups of water. Then strain out the soaking water, add the rice and wash them together. After washing add the necessary amount of spring water or purified tap water. Follow the instructions given in the menu for "water" above.

Vegetable.

One medium cauliflower.

Two leeks.

Two medium carrots.

A word about organically grown versus commercially grown. I do not have to tell readers the obvious choice is to purchase or grow organic or bio-dynamic vegetables. However, depending on where you live it may not be possible to get organically grown food but, if you cannot, do not worry. My first seven years of macrobiotic practice there were no organic vegetables available and we did fine.

Wash all the vegetables. Cut the cauliflower into flowerettes and the stem into bite size pieces; if there are leaves on them you can either put them in with the dish or use them for the soup stock. Cut the leaks on the diagonal into 1/4 inch pieces; do the same with the carrots.

In a cast iron pot or saucepan add 1 teaspoon of olive or sesame oil. Heat it up and add the vegetables. Stir occasionally for five minutes with the heat turned low. Add 1/8 teaspoonful sea salt. Stir a couple of times. Add enough water t to 1/2 - 1 inch depth, bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

Greens.

One bunch of collard greens.

6- 7 curly dock leaves (if you can find them)

Wash and cut the greens (1/4 - 1/2 inch length) and place in a saucepan along with 1-2 inch depth of spring or purified tap water. Bring to a boil and turn heat down to simmer and cook 5- 10 minutes, depending on how soft you want the greens to be.

Curly dock is probably unfamiliar to most people. It is a wild green which grows pretty much everywhere in the Northern Temperate Climate zone. It is the quintessential liver strengthener and cleanser. If you do not know how to identify it then go to your library and research it!

Sesame Salt(Gomasio).

This you need to make yourself. It can be purchased but I do not recommend you buy the commercially made kind. It is too salty and one of the major principles of my cooking philosophy is informed by a remark Rudolf Steiner made. He was asked what makes a food have strengthening or healing properties and his reply is "we have to humanize it". He did not elaborate on what he meant by this remark and I take it to mean we need to engage ourselves in personal contact with the food we are eating or preparing for others - we need to wash it, cut it and handle it. It is a fundamental tenet of my approach to macrobiotic practice that no real healing can take place if we do not take the time and effort to learn and do our own cooking.

The major ramification of this remark of Rudolf Steiner is that any food which is processed mechanically or in an industrial process is harmful to the human organism. Of course, this means that all the packaged so-called "health foods" in the so-called "natural food" stores are anything but healthy, including all the vitamin, trace element and herbal pills and potions available there. In the case of commercially made sesame salt, one of the consequences is by the time you use it, it has become stale and its medicinal properties have dissipated.

Recipe for Sesame Salt.

The ratio of sea salt to brown ( or black) Unhulled sesame seeds will actually vary according to the condition of the individual. For general purposes I recommend a ratio of 1:24 /sea salt: sesame seeds. Thus you can use 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and 4 tablespoonfuls of sesame seeds.

Take a cast iron skillet (preferably) or frying pan and heat up over medium heat. Add the sea salt and stir constantly for two minutes. Remove from pan and place in a suribachi or mortar and pestle. Grind into a powder.

Add the sesame seeds (now, you may wash the sesame seeds first if you wish; I generally do not unless there is a lot of chaff etc., in the sesame seeds) to the pan and place on the heat source, stirring constantly. If the seeds start to pop and fly out of the pan, then the heat is too high. To determine when the seeds are ready, take some between the thumb and ring finger of your 'weak' hand (i.e., if you are right-handed use the fingers of your left hand, and vice-versa) and when they break readily on rubbing them gently between these two digits, they are ready. Place the roasted seeds on top of the ground-up roasted sea salt and grind the sesame seeds into the salt until approximately 80% of the sesame seeds are ground up. Your sesame salt is done. Let cool and store in a glass jar. Consume one to four teaspoonfuls a day sprinkled on your grains or vegetables.

The sesame salt is an important condiment in that it strengthens the digestive process, it helps to alkalize the blood and also aids the process of detoxification.

As far as the medicinal (what I mean by the term medicinal I will have to address another time) qualities of this meal is concerned the beet root strengthens the liver/gall bladder and the spleen-pancreas/stomach. Rice strengthens the lungs/large intestines, Barley the liver/gall bladder. Cauliflower and leeks strengthen the liver/gall bladder. Carrots strengthen the heart/small intestine and collard greens and curly dock strengthen the liver/gall bladder. Leafy greens generally also strengthen the heart/lung -circulation of the blood functions.

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MENU FOR "FIRE"

Dried Shiitake Mushroom Soup with Kombu and Barley Miso garnished w/Scallions.

Organic Medium Grain Brown Rice.

Cornmeal w/Onions, Brussel Sprouts and Carrots.

Collard Greens w/Dandelion Greens.

Recipes(for 4 servings):

Soup.

Take 8 dried shiitake mushrooms and soak them for twenty minutes in 6 cups of a combination of soup stock (see menu for "Wood" for comments about making soup stock) and purified or spring water. Remove the mushrooms and cut into strips. Place back in the water along with 12 inches of kombu cut into bite-size pieces. Let soak another ten minutes. Bring to a boil and simmer thirty minutes. Remove from heat and take a cup of the broth and add 1 teaspoonful miso per cup of liquid - 6 teaspoonfuls - and mix into the broth. When well mixed pour into the pot of soup.. Take one bunch of scallions, wash and chop into small pieces and serve as a garnish in the soup. Serve.

Grain.

Pressure cook the medium grain brown rice the same way as for short grain brown rice. The reason for choosing medium grain rice is it is more yin than short grain and therefore more suitable for use in the summer months. If you prefer to use short grain brown rice in the summer then pressure cook it for 40 minutes instead of 45. You can also use long grain brown rice especially if you live in a place with very hot summers and in this case it will be better to boil the rice rather than pressure cook it.

Vegetable.

2 cups of cornmeal.

1 medium yellow onion- medium diced

6 brussel sprouts - quartered vertically.

1 medium carrot - quartered vertically and diced in small pieces.

Heat a heavy pot over medium heat until it gets hand hot. Pour in the cornmeal and immediately stir constantly until the cornmeal emits a nutty aroma and is hot to the touch; gradually add 2 cups water per cup of cornmeal (4 cups) stirring all the time and making sure the cornmeal does not clump. Then add all the vegetables together and mix in gently. Add 1/4 tsp. seasalt per cup of cornmeal. Bring to a boil while stirring frequently and then simmer 25-30 minutes. Serve.

Greens.

1/2 bunch of collard greens and 1/2 bunch of dandelion greens.

If you cannot find dandelion greens in your local natural food store then learn how to identify it. It grows wild everywhere in northern temperate climates and if you find it, dig up the whole plant and cook the roots in with the cornmeal dish. Wash greens and cut into quarter inch slices on the diagonal. Steam 3-5 minutes together.

The shiitake mushroom will help to clean out the coronary and other arteries of calcified fat deposits as well as lower the cholesterol level in the blood and stimulate and strengthen kidney function; kombu strengthens the heart/small intestine as do scallions. The rice strengthens the lungs/large intestine and the cornmeal the heart/small intestines as do the brussel sprouts and the carrot. The onion strengthens the lungs and lareg intestine. The collard greens are beneficial for the liver/gall bladder and the circulation of the blood, enlivening the heart-lung functions, and the dandelion is the heart strengthener supreme.

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