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MacroTreat Friday: Spring Lemon & Berry Kanten

I love lemons. And I love berries. And the weather has been beautiful these days. So naturally I wanted to create something that involved all of these happy things.

This dessert is super simple, delicious, & mega refreshing. It's a great way to celebrate the changing seasons and warmer weather. Plus, it's kind of like jello...and while I never really had the stuff growing up, I do like this. Also, there's seaweed in it, so you can feel extra good about yourself <3

You should probably try it.

MTF: Spring Lemon & Berry Kanten

Kantens are a classic Macrobiotic treat, and are a delicious way to enjoy whatever fruit your heart desires. For this version, I wanted to use up some frozen berries I had, and just so happened to have some delightful pear juice on hand. Feel free to be creative with your juice & fruit choices.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups juice of choice - I used really natural pear juice
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 pack of kanten powder (4g) or appropriate amount of agar-agar flakes / bar ***see below
  • a touch of lemon zest
  • optional: a few spoons of rice syrup or maple syrup, if you want something a bit sweeter.
  • 2 cups frozen berries of choice. (I used a blackberry, blueberry and black currant mix). Fresh berries work great too!
  • *** For the agar agar: I still had a bit of powder from Japan, and it came in 4 gram packs, meant to gel up 2 cups of liquid. If you don't have these convenient packages, and are using agar flakes, 2 tbsp should do the trick, and if you are using agar powder use 2 tsp. For more info on what kanten/agar is, please check out my previous Macro Monday post on it here!

Directions

  1. Put frozen berries into a bowl, or pyrex dish - just something that will hold about 4 cups ( I used a big round glass tupperware, it all fit perfectly, and I could easily pop a lid on to put it in the fridge).
  2. Add juice, a pinch of sea salt, lemon zest, & sweetener (if using) to a saucepan. Whisk in the kanten powder, and bring mixture to a boil over low heat. Stir until dissolved (should only take a few minutes with powder).
  3. Pour mixture over frozen berries.
  4. Let cool completely. Mixture will set as it cools. You can put it in the fridge and enjoy it within a few hours, or wait and eat it the next day. Serve it up how you like - in slices, or by the spoonful!

If you like lemons a lot, feel free to serve with some lemon slices as I did, and it will get all juicy and wonderful and the sourness is just perfect with all the berries.

Nature is the best medicine, and sunshine on your face, with a touch of something simple & refreshing afterwards is probably one of the best things ever, in my opinion.

Have a FRESH, FUN, and DELIGHFTUL weekend outdoors, friends.
xo Jess

Β 


Macro Monday: Easiest Pumpkin Cookies Ever <3

That's a bold title...but it's true.  All you need is one pot, and one bowl, and the desire to make friends with anybody you give these to...because that will definitely happen.

I made cookies these last Fall, quite often. They were actually the result of a combination between a failed pumpkin custard recipe attempt, and a whole bunch of recipes combined. I just kinda free-styled it, and I cannot remember or find which recipes were my inspiration (oops). Regardless, I'm so glad that custard never turned out, because these are YUM :)

It's time to make them again. Here we go!

MM: Spicy Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Macrobiotic Inspired, Vegan, no oil, sugar, flour, or gluten <3

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 4-6 Tbsp pure maple syrup (more or less, depending on how sweet you want it) 
  • 1 cup milk of your choice (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)  
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 2 cups regular rolled oats (gluten free rolled oats if you need to)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1.5 cups mix-ins of your choice: chocolate chips, nuts/seeds like sunflower seeds, chia, pecans or walnuts, dried fruit or simply use more rolled oats, or even some steel cut oats for texture (my favourite versions are down below!).
  • pinch of sea salt. 
  • Optional: candied ginger chunks, or some chunks of dark chocolate, for pressing into the tops. 

Directions

  1. Set the oven to 350F. Lightly oil a cookie sheet, or place parchment paper on top of one.
  2. Mix the next 4 ingredients together in a smallish saucepan. I whisked everything together with a fork. 
  3. Bring to boil over low heat, stirring constantly. 
  4. Mix the remaining 4 ingredients together in a bowl. 
  5. Once everything is boiling in the saucepan, remove from heat. 
  6. Wait a few minutes, then lightly stir in the dry ingredients. If you're concerned about the chocolate chips melting, then add them in last, after you've stirred in all the oats. If you let it sit for a few minutes, you'll be amazed at how much of the liquid the oats soak up.
  7. Scoop out cookie dough with a table or soup spoon, forming mounds on the cookie sheet. Then lightly press down with a fork, or back of the spoon.
  8. If desired, and highly recommended, press a small chunk of cut up candied ginger in the center of each one. (if you are not using chocolate chips in the actual dough, then press a chunk of dark chocolate into the center).
  9. Bake for ~13-15 minutes, until firm around the edges.  
  10. These cookies are very moist & chewy. They will continue to set/firm up overnight. If you'd like them to be crispier, then bake them longer, to your liking :) 

Let's be real: these are just pumpkin oatmeal in a cookie shape...so enjoy freely!!  They're GREAT for breakfast :)

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My favourite versions are:

  • 2.5 cups oat flakes, 1/2 cup steel cut oats, and 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, with dark chocolate pressed into the top
  • 3 cups oat flakes (or 2.5 cups oat flakes & 1/2 cup steel cut oats) with 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, a tablespoon of chia seeds thrown in, and then some candied ginger pressed into the top. 
  • 3.5 cups oats/steel cut oats, and then simply decorate some with chocolate chunks pressed in, and some with ginger chunks. 

Notes & Mix-ins Ideas:

  • This recipe is VERY forgiving...if you find yourself with slightly more or less of any of the ingredients, it usually always works out
  • Feel free to go nuts with the pumpkin pie spices: cloves & nutmeg would be great in here too, I'd mix them in with the dry stuff. You can also add in vanilla to the liquid ingredients. :) 
  • I keep thinking that some almond butter or other nut/seed butter mixed in would make these even more delicious. 
  • I usually make a double or triple batch or however many I can to use up a whole can of pumpkin. They freeze pretty well...and make great treats to give to friends who enjoy pumpkin treats in cold weather. <3

I've been wanting to post this for awhile now, but had been unsuccessfully searching for this recipe (I realized that it is at the bottom of a moving box). This post is up because of my dear sister, who had a copy of this recipe (THANKS!). We made these last year together, multiple times. She's the best, and deserves a gold star...and a batch of these cookies.

They also taste amazing with an almond milk latte the size of your head...just sayin' !

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Macrobiotic Pumpkin Pudding / Custard

On Monday, I talked about KUZU - Macrobiotics' secret thickening ingredient that is also very useful when prepared medicinally for healing and helping many conditions. I promised you a recipe using this ingredient.

Seeing as how it's Autumn, almost Canadian Thanksgiving, and there are as many beautiful colours of leaves as there are beautiful pumpkins, I thought I'd stick with the theme. I've had pumpkin pudding on the brain since my Pumpkin Pie Showdown last Thanksgiving. I've made quite a few different variations and random throw-together quick puddings in the kitchen, but this time I sat down and wrote it all out, so I'd remember it for next time. The extra filling from one of my pumpkin pies last year, that I ate the next day pudding style, was my inspiration behind this recipe.

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Macrobiotic Pumpkin Pudding / Custard

Dainty Pig Style

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of pumpkin (398ml or 14 fl oz.) 
  • 1 cup of almond milk (or your choice of milk - coconut or soy would make it a bit creamier) 
  • 4 TBSP maple syrup or brown rice syrup
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon (this amount is for cinnamon lovers, so reduce to 1 or 2 tsp. if you'd like it a bit more subtle)
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/3 cup (6 TBSP) Kuzu diluted in 1/3 cup water.  *** Edited to add: I tried this again, and you can totally get away with 4 TBSP Kuzu diluted in 1/4c water
  • Maple flakes, cookie, cinnamon, pecans! as an optional garnish
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Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan combine the pumpkin and almond milk (I used a fork, but you could also whisk it together). 
  2. Add in your sweetener - I used maple syrup - and mix it in. 
  3. Heat it up, stirring often, over medium-low heat.  Mixture will begin to bubble a bit, so be careful of splatters.
  4. Stir in the vanilla and spices. 
  5. Prepare the kuzu: in a small bowl or mug: add 1/3 cup water to 6 TBSP kuzu, and stir until liquidy and combined. 
  6. Add kuzu mixture to the pumpkin mixture on the stove, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. 
  7. Continue stirring until mixture thickens - maybe 3 minutes or so, and then simmer for 1-2 more minutes (it may get a bit translucent, depending on the kind of milk you used).
  8. Pour into 4 separate bowls or ramekins. 
  9. Enjoy warm, or leave (covered) overnight in the fridge to thicken and for the flavour to develop.  {I had a bit warm & it was delicious, but then I left the rest in the fridge overnight to see what it was like the next day}

Enjoy! 

If you eat it right away it has more of a pudding texture (my favourite). If you wait until the next day it is thicker, like a custard. I topped mine with a store-bought macro friendly ginger cookie, and a few sprinkles of maple flakes and cinnamon. I recommend serving it with a nice cup of chai tea. Divine!

***This makes a lightly sweetened pudding, so if you're planning on serving this to regular eaters, you might want to consider adding in a bit more maple syrup :) 

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I'd love to know what your favourite pumpkin recipe is! 

Macro Mondays: The Macro Plate.

After a few days of enjoying some not very Dainty Pig like treats while on holiday, you wouldn't believe just how excited I was to get some very Dainty Pig like takeout.  

I went ahead & put together a Macro Plate for myself. It sure was a glorious one. 

And that got me thinking that I wanted to chat about just what exactly makes up a Macro Plate!

MM: Macro Plate How-to

A Macro plate is basically like a full-on Macrobiotic meal served at once, all together on one plate. Less dishes --> always a good choice when you don't have a dishwasher.

A Macro Plate usually includes a bit of everything that's recommended on the daily eating food chart, creating a nourishing & satisfying colourful meal.

Include the following if possible: 

  • Each kind of vegetable: root, ground, and leafy vegetables {for vitamins, nutrients & fibre}.
  • A Sea Vegetable {provides minerals!}
  • A protein source like tofu or beans {builds muscles!}
  • A whole grain {long lasting energy---brain power!}
  • Some natural pickle {probiotics for happy digestion}
  • Macrobiotic condiments such as gomashio - sesame salt.  {healthy fat & high quality sea salt}
  • A sauce, like a gravy or a tahini dressing, for flavour & fun, optional but highly recommended {adds in some more healthy fat, and balances flavours if it includes something sour like lemon or vinegar}

Also, the foods are prepared with different cooking styles to give your whole meal a balanced energy. A small percentage of raw veggies are included, along with a bulk of baked, steamed or boiled veggies. The raw veggies and pickles help to balance the longer cooked foods like baked or pressure cooked items. Yin & Yang, baby.

If you follow me on Facebook @ The Dainty Pig, you've probably already seen the photo below from a few days ago!

So, let's see how my plate stacked up:

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From the top left going around clockwise we have: grated carrots (root vegetable, raw), baked kabocha squash (ground vegetable), broccoli (ground vegetable, steamed), beet sauerkraut (root veggie pickle), chickpeas (protein, boiled), kale (leafy green, steamed), tofu in miso gravy (protein & sauce, sauteed), ginger cabbage omega 3 coleslaw (healthy fat, ground vegetable). The black mess in the middle is arame (seaweed).

And don't forget: 

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Soup! Barley vegetable soup (whole grains & root vegetable, ground, and leafy green vegetables) , and brown rice with white gomashio (whole grain & condiment).

Well, looks like I checked everything off, and it sure was delicious.

At home, my macro plates are usually a little less involved, often simply including a whole grain & 1 or 2 veggies dishes, and often one of those veggie dishes includes a protein in it (i.e., tofu stirfry, or adzuki squash stew).

I love Macro plates, and I know Maggie does too! They are usually colourful and simply brimming with nutrition. Yuuuuum yum.

Try making your own by mixing and matching some or all of the categories of foods listed above. :)

Macrobiotic Black Rice Recipe

Often people associate Macrobiotics with brown rice. While the Macrobiotic diet is incredibly varied, brown rice does play a strong role, as it is a very balanced food that is easy to digest and full of nutrients. This week, we're taking brown rice out for a joy ride, and cooking it with something new: black rice!

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Macro Mondays: Black Rice

Black rice is very very healthy! Like other whole grain rice, it is rich in fibre & vitamin Bs. But black rice kicks it up a notch, because it has tons of anthocyanin antioxidants because of it's dark colour, just like blackberries & blueberries. These dark plant antioxidants are potentially cancer-fighting. Black rice is also known as purple rice or forbidden rice, and has been revered in China for centuries

A big THANK YOU to my lovely friends Kenji & Harumi for sending it to me all the way from Japan :)

Me, super happy because I found a Japanese parcel in the mailbox!

Me, super happy because I found a Japanese parcel in the mailbox!

It might have taken a few months, Kenji, but I finally made it, and we loved it!

This was my first time cooking it myself, and I can't wait to make it again. We made it in the pressure cooker with short grain rice (2 parts short grain 1 part black rice). We both thought that it added a really nice rich & sweet flavour. In fact, our leftovers disappeared really quickly!

Macrobiotic Black & Brown Rice [3 cooking methods]

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Please Gather:

  • 2 cups short grain brown rice, rinsed
  • 1 cup black rice, rinsed
  • 3.5 cups spring water

Soak the above for about 6 hours or overnight (you can soak it right in the Ohsawa pot, if you're using it, or in the pressure cooker, or in the saucepan if you're boiling).

Once it's done soaking, you're ready to cook!

*Please always follow your own pressure cooker's directions!

Version #1 - Ohsawa Pot

  1. There needs to be 3.25 cups of water in with the rice, including the soaking water. I usually have to add in about 1 cup more fresh spring water after it's done soaking.
  2. Add a pinch of salt, put the lid on the Ohsawa pot, and lower it into the pressure cooker. I usually add about 3-4 cups water to the pressure cooker, and rest the closed Ohsawa pot on the trivet that came with my pressure cooker.
  3. Put the lid on the pressure cooker, and bring to full pressure. Turn heat down to the lowest setting to maintain full pressure, and cook for 30 mins. Take off the heat, and let the pressure come down naturally (10-20 mins).
  4. Fluff up & serve.

Version #2 - Pressure Cooker with no Ohsawa Pot

  1. You need there to be 5.5 cups of water in with the rice, including the soaking water. Add whatever you need to make up the difference.
  2. Bring the rice to boil in the pressure cooker with the lid off.
  3. Add in a good pinch or two of sea salt.
  4. Fasten the lid, and bring it up to full pressure (2 bars in my kuhn rikon).
  5. Keep on the lowest heat to maintain full pressure, and cook for 30 minutes.
  6. Take off the heat, and let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.
  7. Release any remaining pressure, and then fluff up & serve.

Version #3 - Stove Top (boiling)

  1. There should be between 5-6 cups of water in the pot, including the soaking water. You will most likely need to add 2 cups of fresh spring water.
  2. Bring to boil, and add a pinch of salt.
  3. Lower temperature until it's only simmering, and put the lid on.
  4. Cook for 25-30 minutes, watching to make sure it doesn't bubble over.
  5. If you need to add a bit more water, you can!
  6. Take off the heat, and let the rice rest for 5 minutes in the pan, then fluff up and serve.
  7. This is pretty much my basic brown rice, dainty pig style!

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It's purple. It's pretty. And I bet it would taste dang good with some adzuki beans in there too & topped with black sesame. And since my idea wheel is turning, I'm thinking that it's sweet flavour would make it amazing in rice pudding.

Have you ever tried / made black rice?

Macro Mondays: Chewing your way to Gratitude

Hi there friends!

I can't believe it's April already...maybe I just can't believe it because of all the white stuff on the ground, but regardless, Spring has to be coming soon!

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MM: Bringing Gratitude into your Life.

I am just bubbling over with happiness from this weekend. There are so many wonderful things I'm grateful for. I'll get to them in a minute, don't you worry. This week I'm going to move away from my previous Macrobiotic Mondays posts on food, ingredients, and recipes, and instead emphasize attitude and the energetic connection between food, mentality (especially gratitude) and health.

Chewing = calm brain = gratitude & a happy belly

A big big big big BIG part of Macrobiotics is the simple act of chewing your food. Really chewing it. Basically, you should be able to drink your food, and you should practice chewing your drinks!

One of the great benefits of chewing lots --- besides the obvious ease & comfort it gives your digestive system --- is the meditative quality of slowing down. When you chew lots it's calming. It's a quiet repetitive action that allows your mind to soften. And when you become relaxed, the food you eat actually takes on that quality. (On the other hand, eating in a hurried frenzy creates a hurried frenzy in your belly, trust me).

And for me, chewing slowly really does create an attitude of gratitude. You really get to explore your food when you eat slowly. And inevitably, that exploration paves the way to feeling SO SO SO happy to have such healthy food on your plate, because chewing high quality food actually makes it taste better (and the reverse with poor quality food). With all the crazy situations going on the world, being able to sit down in peace & quiet, and chew brown rice well, feels like a luxury. It's an honor. And I'm so grateful for this.

I am continually amazed and surprised at what the simple act of preparing good, clean food can do for the body, mind, and soul. Slow, wholesome eating creates a grounded mind, and a grounded mind allows the body to better receive nutrients from the food you are eating.

I think it's even possible that slowly eating well-chewed poor quality food while in a calm/happy mental state could be overall better for you than eating amazing food while distressed or angry. What do you think?

Creating gratitude and enjoying the things you do have makes you feel better. And when you feel better you digest better, and all the research these days says that health begins in the gut. So think about all the good things in the life, and pave the way to better digestion & health.

Some super happy things I'm grateful for:

Other than my awesome guy, T, & my wonderful family, of course.

I finally got to attend a Macrobiotic class!!

Thank you so much to Mandy & Cory (hey guys!) for hosting the lovely Shauna from She Cooks Macro. And let me tell you, Shauna is just as pretty & professional as her blog is! Wowza! Such a wonderful lady, and I feel so lucky to have crossed paths with her. It was beyond wonderful to be able to ask questions and learn in person. And  M & C were so so so kind and welcoming, and beyond generous ---> I walked outta there with Jessica Porter's new book: The MILF Diet. I feel just overwhelmed and spoiled. And I'm so happy to meet other macro friends in Edmonton. Thanks so much, & I can't wait to hang out again.

And an Ayurveda Class

I got to further indulge my food/nutrition gluttony for learning by attending an Ayurveda class at my Yoga studio. I always find it intriguing to learn about Ayurveda. The teacher was extremely knowledgeable, and it was very interesting to notice how similar it is to Macrobiotics. Very similar messages, in slightly different packaging. They are both wonderful, ancient, all-encompassing healing systems focused on whole foods. Plus hanging out with yoga peeps talking food can never be bad!

Wonderful Friends

I feel so happy to have had my friend Sarah (hey lady!) along with me for both these classes. Love this girl! I'm also beyond happy & excited about meeting new Macrobiotic friends...YES! And of course, spending time with my yoga pals.

Another Trip to the Ocean

I'm leaving today to the West Coast again for a few weeks. I feel beyond lucky to smell the wonderful ocean air, and go for walks outside in the grass and flowers. And this time my camera is coming along, so I can provide some foodie pics of all the lovely vegan / vegetarian / hippie eats along the way.

What are you grateful for RIGHT NOW!?

Macro Mondays: Top 3 Macrobiotic Ingredients.

Hey guys.

I am so very thankful that the lovely Maggie over at Say Yes to Salad decided to start a Month of Macrobiotics this March. 

I'm thankful, because I have been in need of a little inspiration lately. Six months of snow on the ground, and what's now turned into slushy grey melty madness has felt a little overbearing this year. 

But there's no better way to say goodbye to the dreary winter blues and fire up the old inspiration station than by spending some quality time focusing on Macrobiotics. A Month of Macrobiotics sounds just GREAT!!! Yipee!

This was just the kick in the pants I needed to institute something I've been planning for awhile for the Dainty Pig:

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A guaranteed good start to your week.

Today is the first of many Macro Mondays! I will use Macro Mondays as a way to focus in on Macrobiotic tips, tricks, or information about specific ingredients & cooking styles. 

To collect all these posts & ideas in one place, I have made a new page on my site for this. Click here to check it out!

Each week as I do a Macro Mondays post, I'll put the link on the special Macro Mondays page, along with any other tips or tidbits, so it's all easy to find.

If you're interested in contributing/guest posting for a Macro Monday post, please send me an email. And I'm taking suggestions for any topics you'd like me to focus on here with our Macro Monday posts.

This very first MACRO MONDAY is devoted to...

The TOP 3 Macrobiotic Ingredients to ADD to your diet...or just try ;)

Macrobiotics can get a little overwhelming sometimes. So instead of worrying about what not to eat, perhaps try adding in a few Macrobiotic foods and see how you like them and how they make you feel.

Here are the ingredients that I am most happy to have discovered / embraced through Macrobiotics. 

  1. Seaweed 
  2. Umeboshi
  3. Miso
  • Seaweed:   Truthfully, I haven't met a seaweed that I didn't like. My top 2 favourites are wakame, and dulse. I sprinkle dulse flakes on whole grains or popcorn all the time. I use whole dulse pieces in wraps or sandwiches. They add a nice salty flavour. I'd say that Dulse is probably the gateway drug/seaweed to more hardcore things like arame & hijiki.  My second most favourite is Wakame. I use wakame when cooking brown rice, and in miso soup. If you've ever eaten miso soup at sushi, the seaweed floating in it is usually wakame. It is great for balancing lady hormones and tastes fairly mild on the sea-vegetable spectrum.

  • Umeboshi: Chances are you haven't heard of these Japanese Pickled Plums unless you've lived in Japan, or have looked into Macrobiotics. These little suckers pack a punch! They are tangy and salty, and aid in digestion (as do all naturally pickled things). Not only can you simply place a pickled plum on top of brown rice for a decorative & tasty treat, but you can also find/use umeboshi in many different forms, such as in Umeboshi Paste: a tiny bit goes a long way on sushi rolls! Umeboshi vinegar is a delicious and sour addition to steamed vegetables and tastes oddly AWE-mazing on lentil stews ---> this one in particular. Umeboshi extract looks like black tar in a teeny tiny bottle. But it is used like a medicine in Japan. It is insanely alkalizing, and great for stomach/digestion problems. When I say a little goes a long way, I mean little as in the end of a toothpick little. I love sour things---lemon is my lover---and umeboshi put lemons to shame. Pucker up, you won't regret it!

  • Miso: I know, I know, you've had miso at Sushi places and it was so-so. Probably super salty, and had lots of seaweed floating around in it. It probably wasn't the same stuff i'm going to tell you about. Proper miso (aged naturally, made with a combination of grains & soybeans) is a treat. It has tons of minerals and probiotics ---> a nutritional powerhouse. It adds a delicious salty rich taste, which can turn a pot of boiling vegetables into a delicious soup. Bonus: It comes in a tub and lasts a long time! Also, play around as there are many different types of miso: white miso made with white rice (great in desserts and for a lighter sweeter taste), barley miso---which is a great day to day miso, brown rice miso for a stronger flavour, and then pure soybean miso for the strongest flavour. You can use miso to make dressings and dips (tip: tahini + miso + lemon = all good things). And rumor has it that miso + cashews blended up tastes cheesy! One of my all time favourite desserts ever was a baked tofu cheesecake I had in Japan, and the chef leaned over and whispered to me: "shiro miso" (white miso). Ah ha! You can put it into cakes! Sold.

I'll expand further about each one of these lovely ingredients in the near future.

But for now, I highly encourage you to try at least one of these ingredients. A simple dash of ume vinegar to some steamed veggies might just taste good enough to spark your Macrobiotic interest. And if that doesn't suit you, then try mixing some miso paste with tahini and lemon and drizzling that onto some quinoa or brown rice. Top with a sprinkle of dulse flakes and BAM: a macrobiotic success story right there.

HAPPY HAPPY MACRO MONDAY to you all!

Happy Thanksgiving --- Pumpkin Pie showdown.

Hi friends,

It's Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend. I'm only so-so excited. And mostly because of the extra day off. Truthfully, growing up I never really was a fan of the whole "turkey dinner thing." I didn't really enjoy meat so much, and turkey was no exception. From a young age creamy things like whipping cream made me feel queasy. And cranberry sauce on top of turkey? YUCK! A true nightmare. Cranberry sauce as jam on bread---ok. As an overly sweet thing on top of meat--- no thanks. And I've never even really even tried stuffing. Mashed potatoes were just ok, and as for gravy, I could take it or leave it.  

Transient

The one thing I always did enjoy though, was my mom's roasted veggies. She bathed oven roasted carrots, turnips, & sweet potatoes in fresh herbs and lemon. Hmmmm... and people wonder why I enjoy macrobiotic cooking so much? I think I was just designed from the start to enjoy this way of eating.

I have another confession to make as well: I never really liked pie much. Especially pumpkin pie. But I think this was because I got sick one time after eating it, and I can only guess now that it was because of the giant pile of whipping cream on top. But alas, times have changed.

Pumpkin Pie Showdown 2012

Pumpkin pie sans whipping cream? Yeah, ok. Let's do it up. I do love a good pumpkin. 

I spent 6 hours in the kitchen yesterday. I made four different whole-grain gluten free & vegan pie crusts, and three different pumpkin pie fillings. I even roasted 2 sugar pie pumpkins to use instead of canned pumpkin puree in one of the pies.  

Transient

Two different thanksgiving dinners means everyone gets to sample two different pies each day. I want to get a feel for which recipe is the tastiest, so next year when I want to indulge in my pumpkin love, I know which one to make. The only downside to my method, other than the time and sweat,  is that I only had one pie plate, so I had to buy a few cheap aluminum ones. But, c'est la vie.

Sneak peak of yesterday's champion:

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Please share with me: What's your favourite pumpkin pie recipe --- macrobiotic, vegan, or otherwise?

Nishime.

I have been just LOVING nishime-style veggies lately.

If you haven't ever tried making veggies like this, then please do.

You won't regret it!

It's quite simple to do: it's just cooking layered veggies, with a tiny bit of water, for a long time. They're very lightly seasoned with sea salt or shoyu.  But, the veggies become soft and buttery like no other technique i've ever tried. Parsnips and Carrots become extra sweet and yummy. In fact, T & I often have to rock paper scissors for the last piece of parsnip.

The one below was made with leeks, daikon, carrots & parsnip. It cooked have cooked down a little more so there was less liquid left, but I was in a bit of a rush.

Nishime.
Nishime.

Served with a really lazy "brown rice ball" and steamed greens.

Nishime.

Served with steamed greens, and millet soup with pinto beans and corn.

Here's a link to the recipe I usually use.

It's from The Hip Chick's Guide to Macrobioticsby Jessica Porter.

I don't often cook with onions, so I subbed some leeks in, instead.

Coming this week: a recap of my lifestyle & diet SPRING CLEANING experience.

What's your favourite nishime combination?