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Macro Monday: Macrobiotic Eating for Autumn

Eating seasonally and locally are major parts of the big picture view that Macrobiotics takes. If you do this, you'll feel great during all the different seasons, but also during the often uncomfortable transition times between.

Google Image Search Result:  http://tinyurl.com/m892tjv

Google Image Search Result: http://tinyurl.com/m892tjv

People seem to intuitively move towards lighter eating in warmer weather, and heavier eating during the cold of winter. This is simply our bodies tapping into the universe & mother nature, and sending us signals about what would serve & nourish us best during each season. 

Nourishing Meals for Autumn

When the weather cools off (becomes more yin), it feels best to begin eating slightly heavier & warmer foods with more concentrated energy (more yang) to feel balanced.  Some great recommendations for Autumn are root vegetables including pumpkins & squash, more grains including denser ones such as millet & sweet rice. Stewed fruit and desserts like apple crisp replace the crisp fresh raw fruit enjoyed in summer. And also, in your cooking, you could use a bit more salt and condiments.

Just like I posted a recipe for lighter summer eating, on this lovely Macro Monday, I have a delicious Autumn dish for you, to match the changing colours of foliage, and keep you warm during scarves & boots weather. 

Gingery Adzuki & Kabocha Stew

This is a classic Macrobiotic dish--and is one of my absolute favourites. T loves it too. I would guess that every Macrobiotic cookbook has a variation, and here's mine: 

I promise this stew is much better than the old photo I dug up ;)

I promise this stew is much better than the old photo I dug up ;)

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup dried adzuki beans {rinse & soak overnight, then rinse before using}
  • 1 medium kabocha (~600g), seeded & cut into about 1" chunks (peeling optional) 
  • 1/2" chunk of ginger, finely diced
  • 3 cups filtered water

Directions: 

  1. Layer into the pressure cooker, in order: the adzuki beans, the chunks of kabocha squash, and then sprinkle the diced ginger on top. 
  2. Pour the water in, gently, down the side of the pressure cooker, so you don't disturb the layers. 
  3. Bring the pressure cooker up to full pressure, and then lower heat to the lowest setting to maintain high pressure. Cook for 30 minutes. Then let pressure release naturally.
  4. Lift the lid, and if you like, add in a tiny bit of sea salt or tamari to taste, and let it simmer for a few minutes on low heat. The kabocha will be soft and break apart. 
  5. Serve with a sprig of parsley on top (I forgot for the photo, my bad).

This stew is great on its own, or with some good hearty bread, or on top of brown rice. For variation, you could make this with butternut squash instead - but I bet that once you go kabocha, you'll never go back :)

Stove-top Variation: 

You could make this without the pressure cooker, no problem: Follow the same layering technique, and bring the mixture up to boil, then reduce heat to low and let it simmer away with  lid on. Just make sure to check the water every so often, and add more as necessary. I pretty much always make this in the pressure cooker, but my guess is that it would take about 45 minutes to 1 hour or so doing the regular stove-top variation.  It will be done when the aduzki beans are nice and soft.

***And, there will be an Ohsawa pot variation coming soon --- I have written down my recipe for making this in the ohsawa pot, but will need a few days of searching to find it in my moving boxes.

Happy Autumn everyone! Enjoy your roasted veggies, apple crisps, pretty scarves & pumpkin pie.  Make sure to take some time for reflecting on the year, while sipping some warm tea and watching red, yellow & orange leaves swirl & dance to the ground.

What are your favourite Autumn foods, and clothes? 

Mine are definitely pumpkin anything, especially pie, and scarves <3

Big hugs,
Jess

 

Sometimes you need to go to Kyoto to find the right pie.

So since my last post my guy and I have had 2 sets of parents visit.

So nice to see all of them, but for the last month our days have been a little too jam-packed.

But, it was so nice to get away and do a bit more traveling around here.

I have a great vegan guidebook to Japan, and I found this little gem of a restaurant in Kyoto:

Cute Sign out front.

Love the decor.

Those jars, my loves, are all filled with vegan and macrobiotic oriented cookies.  Pure heaven.

We had hoped to get the macrobiotic lunch set, but unfortunately it was a busy day and was all sold out.

I still left happy though.

I started with a salad:

And then had the curry with brown rice & fresh vegan bread:

They were all sold out of brown rice too---but hey, when the only choice left is fresh vegan bread, I know i'm not doing too bad at all ;)

Loved these chopstick rests. So pretty!!

The presentation of food in Japan is just ridiculous.

It is really so well done. In fact, it's one of the things i'll miss the most when I return home.

And you know a trip to macro restaurant wouldn't be complete without dessert. This dessert made me think of all you lovely readers and bloggers.

For the record, this may have been my FAVOURITE dessert ever ordered. 

First, some kukicha tea in an adorable cup with a cookie happy spoon.

Absolutely gorgeous pottery.

Oh, what's this?

I'll give you a hint: inside there are two of my favourite things...

Kabocha + Adzuki Pie.

I ordered this thinking that there was no way I could go wrong. Those two flavours go great together.

I was happily surprised when I took the first bite:

It wasn't pureed or blended together at all!

Literally just a hunk of kabocha topped with adzuki beans. 

The whole wheat crust was barely sweetened at all. In fact, "normal" people wouldn't consider this a dessert at all.

But, it was perfect, because it didn't leave you feeling all yucky, like too much sugar does.

It was great. I need to recreate it as soon as I am back home in Canada with an oven.

They served it alongside homemade vegan caramel soy icecream.

And you know I couldn't leave with a little something either:

Especially when they wrap it in the cutest bag ever!

I'll show you what was inside next time.

Any nice eating out experiences lately?

Adzuki

Have you ever tried adzuki beans?
I just love them! They are used in pretty much everything imaginable here: 
icecream, bread, muffins, fillings for mochi and cake, and in savory dishes. 
They are often referred to as red beans.
But, I think my favourite way to enjoy this is simply cooked in with brown rice. 
They add a slightly sweet flavour, and are very very earthy, in a good way.

According to this site, adzuki beans are high in:
- magnesium
- B vitamins
- Zinc
- Copper
-potassium
-  beneficial to your kidneys and bladder.

I layered brown rice, then 10% (of the volume of rice) adzuki beans, 
then the rest of the brown rice in the rice cooker.
Carefully pour in water to not disturb the layering.
Add some high quality salt.
Cook and enjoy.
I served mine up with some mixed veggie and edamame stir fry.
Yum!
Love love love daikon!

Have you ever eaten adzuki beans?
I had only ever tried them out of can in Canada, before coming to Japan.
What's your favourite way to eat them: savory or sweet?
I really do like them both ways. Inside mochi is amazing!