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Romancing Your Food

If a man be sensible and one fine morning, while he is lying in bed, count at the tips of his fingers how many things in this life truly will give him enjoyment, invariably he will find food is the first one.
~Lin Yutang

Eat with the fingers, drink with the nose.
~Joseph Delteil,
‘La Cuisine paleolithique’ (1964)

In some countries, like India, the art of eating with your hands is viewed as a sensual experience. By involving as many of the senses as possible–sight, touch, smell, and taste–you not only deepen your relationship with food, you can also reconnect with your partner on a sensual level.

Next time you sit down to a meal with your partner make it “fingers only.” Reconnect with each other on a more intimate level by feeding each other healthy finger food. Here are three finger foods to romance your lover:

1. Sexy “finger food” includes desserts and elaborate fruits

  • Vegan chocolate covered strawberries
  • Peeled grapes
  • Vegan coconut macaroons
  • Chopped dates rolled into balls and covered in coconut

2. Healthy bite sized “finger food” includes appetizers and snacks

  • Mushrooms stuffed with grain and nut pilaf
  • Pita pizza baked with squash sauce and veggies
  • Whole wheat crackers spread with walnut and roasted mushroom pate
  • Greens rolls or sushi filled with grains and veggies
  • Spring rolls and dumplings
  • Bite sized tempeh sandwiches

3. Foods that are dipped into a savory sauce or dressing

  • Veggies dipped in pumpkin seed sauce
  • Spring salad greens dipped in vinaigrette
  • Green or black olives dipped in hummus

This Valentine’s Day, design a romantic “lovers only” meal using finger foods. You will not only enrich your connection with your food, you will also nurture a more intimate relationship with your partner.

The Aphrodisiac Twig

While sensuous aphrodisiacs like rose or chocolate take center stage on date night, twig-like burdock root has largely been ignored. Growing deep in the earth, burdock’s downward gathering energy nourishes the lower half of the body, including the reproductive organs. But unlike stimulants that activate the adrenals temporarily, burdock provides healing benefits that are long lasting. When your reproductive organs are healthy, so is your sex life.

Adding meat-like flavor to this beautiful kinpira dish, burdock root is cut into brown matchsticks.

Deeply strengthening to the intestines, kidneys, and reproductive organs, burdock root is also used in the macrobiotic diet to purify the blood and cleanse the liver. Its meaty flavor enhances sautes, stews, soups, and gravies. A traditional Japanese healing dish called kimpira uses braised burdock and carrot. Because it contains volatile oils, saute burdock a few minutes to allow oils to evaporate before adding burdock to a dish.

Burdock, Carrot, and Caramelized Red Onion Kimpira
Serves 6

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup burdock root, matchsticks
3/4 cup carrot, matchsticks
1 pinch sea salt

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add red onion and saute until caramelized. Remove onion from pan and set aside.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and burdock and saute over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add carrots on top of burdock. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Bring to boil, lower heat, and simmer 20 minutes, covered, or until vegetables are tender. Add water if necessary to prevent pan from drying out. Season with salt. Continue cooking, covered, 2 minutes. Remove cover and cook until water is evaporated. Top carrots and burdock with caramelized red onion.

Whether you are feeling lethargic or just want to improve your sex life, burdock is a natural way to increase youthful vitality in all the right places–without pills or surgery!

Essence of Spring

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.
~John Muir

Imagine seeds sprouting in the earth, buds opening on branches, and bright yellow daffodils smiling in the sun. The air is light and refreshing, as life stirs and awakens to the dawn of spring. You can harmonize with this essence of spring by including foods with upward rising energy in your macrobiotic diet: wild plants, sprouts, fresh baby greens, lightly fermented foods, lentils, fresh peas, and grains like barley, wheat, oats, and rye. Cooking styles for spring also include light cooking such as blanching, quick saute, and light pickling.

Because the liver is the organ for spring, this time of year is ideal for cleansing the liver. Along with upward growing plants, sour flavor supports liver function in digesting fats that have accumulated during winter. You can nourish your liver by including sour condiments, such as sauerkraut and umeboshi plum. Or enhance your dishes with a splash of lemon juice or grated lemon peel (zest).

A colorful and delicious recipe that supports liver energy is Essence of Spring Salad. This refreshing salad highlights spring plants like sprouts, herbs, and edible flowers. Edible flowers were used for centuries by Roman, Chinese, Indian, and Middle Eastern cultures in cooking. Bring your garden indoors by adding edible flowers for color, flavor, and texture to your dishes. (Consult a reliable source to make sure they are edible before consuming.) Use fresh herbs to alleviate symptoms and improve physical and emotional well-being.

Essence of Spring Salad

You can include freshly-picked, delicate herbs like basil and tarragon. However, harder herbs such as rosemary, lavender, and savory have stronger flavor and are tougher to chew. Grated orange, lemon, or lime peel (zest) also adds color and flavor to your salad.

Serves 6

1/2 bunch organic flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 cup organic sprouts (kohlrabi, red cabbage, tatsoi, mizuna, & arugula)
1/2 cup sprouted beans (garbanzo, pea, aduki, & lentil)
2 medium scallions, sliced thin or 1/2 bunch chives, sliced thin
1/2 cup organic edible flowers (nasturtium, pansy, borage, or lavender)

Dressing:

1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
sea salt, to taste

In a bowl, add herbs, sprouts, and flowers. Whisk together dressing ingredients. Drizzle dressing over salad and serve.

Enjoy this salad at the end of a hearty meal to balance heavy energy, cleanse your palate, and aid digestion.

Divine Pumpkin Custard Pie

Does your mouth water when you think of biting into a luscious pumpkin custard pie? Every Thanksgiving, I make this delectable dessert that entices guests back for more. Because I am so grateful for my friends, the secret ingredient in this divine pie is my loving intention to send them abundant blessings from the universe.

Divine Pumpkin Custard Pie

This recipe makes two delicious pies: one for your guests and one for yourself. Because it requires one day to set, make this recipe the day before serving. This is a creamy spicy filling.

Wet Ingredients:

2 cans pumpkin or 3 cups fresh cooked thick pumpkin puree (drain fresh cooked pumpkin several hours in cheesecloth until thick like canned pumpkin)
2 1/2 cups Eden Blend rice/soy milk
2 tablespoons molasses or barley malt syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla

Dry Ingredients:

1 cup maple sugar
8 tablespoons tapioca starch
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt

2 pie crusts

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk wet ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Mix dry ingredients together in another large bowl. Pour wet ingredients into dry and blend.
  3. Pour mixture into two pie crusts. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. Refrigerate overnight until set.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Autumn is in the Air

Food provides more than necessary nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals) for healthy organ and immune functions. In macrobiotics, food is also important in maintaining overall energetic balance of the body, mind, emotions, and spirit.

Macrobiotics basically is about living in harmony with the natural order. For example, as each season unfolds, plants adjust to the energy of their environment. I also harmonize with each season by adjusting cooking styles and eating seasonal, locally grown, energetically balanced foods.

Autumn is in the Air

Hope, Alaska

Autumn is a time of gathering the harvest and preparing for winter. Downward gathering, condensing energy of autumn manifests as rain, falling leaves, and cool crisp weather. Warming root stews, pressure cooked brown rice, and long cooked sautes are cooking styles I like to include in autumn.

One of my favorite autumn recipes is Curry Pumpkin Seed Sauce:

Curry Pumpkin Seed Sauce

1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons chickpea miso or sweet white miso
2 teaspoons mild curry powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup spring water

  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Adjust thickness by adding more water.
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