alfreda89: (Winter_Mette's Glogg)
There's not a lot I can eat off the shelf anymore. I won't bore you with details--just trust me that I would not go to all this trouble every single time I needed food unless there was no other way. I do love to cook, but sometimes I don't have the strength for it.

So when I do cook? I just keep going. There was scratch fried rice this week, with finely diced carrots and zucchini, made with a mixture of forbidden rice and white Basmati rice, giving me lavender tints to the meal. I just added four scrambled farmhouse eggs to a portion of rice whenever I needed extra carbs. This was a week of extra carbs. I don't have to make pasta from scratch, but I do prefer GF Jovial when I can get it. Lately it's just been wrapped with some lovely Spanish EVOO and fresh basil, sometimes with my butter coffee, sometimes later in the day. When I feel off, my body demands carbs. I've wanted mashed avocado and rice chips, my kale dip, or a bison or grass-fed beef hamburger. There was also a lovely moment with some sliced fresh Fredericksburg peaches and balsamic vinegar. Oh, that was heaven!

I bought some lovely Copper RIver salmon--my favorite--but my body doesn't want it now. It waits in the freezer. Keeps very well, I am pleased to say.

I made kale dip earlier today, ate half of it, and now will use the rest as seasoning in the stew I'm making. No recipe--I buy what is freshest and looks good at the Natural Grocer, when I miss market, and then when I'm ready I start chopping. All organic. It makes a difference. Maybe stew, maybe soup.

This time, I dumped in another jar of the bone broth I made in January and froze, and added six inches of diced leek, four or five carrots, mixed varieties, and 4 oz. of grass fed beef fat I collect whenever I make hamburgers, etc. (water method--I skim the fat off the water later and put it in a closed container in the fridge.) After a bit, I added a pound of grass fed & finished bison stew meat, in cubes, and 500 2+ cups of spring water. When the pot was boiling, I added about a cup of uncooked wild rice. Reduce to a simmer. In thirty minutes or so I will dice up a zucchini, a yellow summer squash, and throw the rest of the green kale/minced garlic/EVOO & sea salt paste into the pot. Another 20-30 minutes, and dinner is served.

I expect it to be smashing.

Time to start dicing again.


Jun. 16th, 2012 12:47 pm
alfreda89: (Winter_Mette's Glogg)
Not as in astrological sign.

Just put some beans on for a five minute boil and forgot them. They are meant for a soup, so their little skins being so wrinkled is not a huge deal. But I'll let them soak for an hour or so before combining.

They're canary beans, and smelled nice and meaty. They are going to go into a veggie soup. I need a home for a couple of giant zucchini and squash.

I have the homestead to myself this weekend. Lots of cooking will happen, and I hope writing. I just found the name of my short story character. The first scene evolves in my head. I see moving fingers in the next hour!
alfreda89: (Winter_Mette's Glogg)
By popular demand, here's what I was up to the other day. This recipe is not from a macrobiotic cookbook, it's from Food Cures: Breakthrough Nutritional Prescriptions for Everything from Colds to Cancer by Readers Digest. But the principals of macrobiotic cooking hold for this soup -- use the freshest ingredients you can get, organic if you can, in season if possible, and chow down on a magnificent nutrient-fest! This soup contains ginger and turmeric, both known for having inflammation-fighting properties.
Goodness Awaits you! )
I have frozen one ball jar of this, but don't know how well that will work. We'll see. Eat it within three days or so for optimal taste and nutrients. So far this book has been quite interesting. This is my first soup from it, but I will be trying some of the others, too.
alfreda89: (Winter_Mette's Glogg)
Ginger Butternut Squash Soup is evolving in my kitchen.

UUUuummmm. Starting to smell good in here.
alfreda89: (Winter_Mette's Glogg)
It occurs to me that I've tried a bunch of these products, although not as many as a lot of you, because these products all contain potato starch.

And I really try to lean macrobiotic in all my purchases. Plus, the Lyme arthritis thing. Nightshades and arthritis are NOT friends.

[So -- I've had a white potato once in the past six years. Mashed, at a classy restaurant, with cheese, and it was awesome -- perfectly cooked, a master's hand had touched it. It was at the Blu Moon in Ludington, Michigan. The chef there in late July-early August had a lovely touch with veggies. I was able to eat safely and with some flair, and for gluten-free that's always a struggle in a touristy area. They had not one but two awesome GF desserts, a pot au chocolate and a slightly warm creme brulee that sang. Overpriced, but my experiences were good, properly cooked food. The non-GF offerings included some nicely priced dishes like meatloaf, BBQ ribs with their own sauce, etc. My companion tried the BBQ ribs (they were already out of the meatloaf -- on a weeknight!) and said they were excellent.

But their web site is a terrible FAIL, with moving parts. Considering that the restaurant decor is modified loft with black and white photos, interesting and even attractive, the website is frightening. But then I'm a Jakob Nielsen acolyte; I hate cutesy web sites So that link is to Urban Spoon. You can find the restaurant from there.

But the food? I loved the food. I'll go back next year, if they survive the winter.]
On to the Mix Review )
And now, some fiction before I start chopping up veggies and making soup. I am trusting that winter is coming, and a creamy butternut soup and a miso, carrot and daikon soup for the freezer are just the ticket! I'm going to try Pacific's vegetable broth if I need stock (it has tomatoes, but an occasional tomato or pepper doesn't cause the reaction of a potato or cigarette smoke.) I'd still like a flavorful, GF nightshade-free stock, though. Anybody know of one?
alfreda89: (Winter_Mette's Glogg)
Well, word's back on my father's health, and it's not good. It's bad enough that I finally have him willing to try eating food prepared in a macrobiotic style. So I'm looking for someone who would be willing to take a diet plan created by a macrobiotic nutritionist and prepare some basics for him, like soups and grains. He would need these delivered to him at an assisted living center in northwest Tucson.

I'm hoping that if he likes the food, he will want more things from the chef. If this makes a significant improvement in his health, the chef might see more business from the doctor. I will make sure the doctor knows about the improvement.

I am pretty frustrated. I made extra of things summer before last, and he "did not want to take any of my special food I'd hauled up there" so would not try it. Even the squash soup, which he watched me pluck from a farm stand and saute. AND tasted and said was SO good, but would not steal any!

If I can't find a macro chef, I will look for a chef who would prepare macro to spec from the nutritionist's recipes. (I'm assuming this could be accomplished, often a dangerous thing.)

Last ditch, moving to Tucson to cook for him. Not what I want (or my parents -- they like having us a little bit farther away), but it has to be on the table.

So please -- forward to anyone who might know about the Tucson area!
alfreda89: (Blankenship Reeds)
Save money and improve your health. Beans are one of the best ways to go!
Tips on cooking beans. )
Have fun with beans! From hummus appetizers to red beans & rice, beans are tasty, colorful, nutritious and inexpensive! They are the cheapest protein you’ll probably find. These tips may not work every time for every cook, but they’ve worked for me, and I hope they work for you.
alfreda89: (Blankenship Reeds)
These are not Alfreda’s suggestions – these suggestions came to me from Leslie, the macrobiotic chef who first taught me how to cook whole grains, nourishing teas, and beans that did not argue with me. She wrote up a list of “rules” to help us benefit from the freshest, healthiest food possible.

You don’t have to go whole hog on macrobiotics, as I did. I’m trying to heal myself. You can sidle in through a side door and scope things out first. I think that everyone can benefit from these hints. I’ll probably add a word or two in italics, because there are reasons for every one of these rules – and the reasons aren’t always self-evident.

Info like this can be found all over the Internet. I’ll share both sites and books in a future post.
Simple tips for making the most of every meal )
I wish for you healing. Let food be a part of building your healthy future.
alfreda89: (Blankenship Reeds)
Let’s talk about one of my cornerstones of healing – Vega Morning Tea. The basics of this come from a medicinal tea created by Herman and Cornelia Aihara, the great teachers and cheerleaders of the American Macrobiotic movement. They designed it for cancer patients, but I think that anyone suffering from a chronic illness, or anyone who feels drained, exhausted, stressed and unable to comfortably digest food, can benefit from this drink.
Getting down to details )
Take control of your health – try Vega Morning Tea. You can find kudzu starch, umeboshi paste, shoyu/tamari sauce, and kukicha tea all on-line at Eden Foods and/or Gold Mine Natural Foods.

I wish for you healing.
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (MY BVC mug)
Access to nutrients. That is a big part of eating in a macrobiotic manner. Roasting, toasting, soaking, and in some cases boiling all allow the food to be digested swiftly, gently, in its best form. If your gut hurts right now, raw food is probably the opposite of what you should give it. I may say “Macrobiotic Diet” but what you should hear is, changing your eating habits so you are nourishing body and soul in celebrating what you eat.

Kukicha tea and roasted barley tea are constants in the day of someone living a macrobiotic life.

Real tea with almost no caffeine. )
The links provided go to the exact brand I use, although I have not tried to order directly from Gold Mine. You can use tea bags, a “coffee pot” brewer, etc. with these teas – whatever works. But kukicha is as rare as fine coffee, and costs accordingly. The method I use gets me 16 cups tea to a 4 ball jar amount, 7 times. And that is just a ½ cup of twigs plus 12 Tbsp. of twigs.

Here’s the Gold Mine Natural Foods web site, and they do have other products I’ll talk about in coming posts. You may be able to buy the teas locally. I buy mine at the macrobiotic center in Austin, TX, Casa de Luz.

As I’ve said previously, Macrobiotics is not automatically gluten-free – you need to take steps in your meal preparation if you are striving for a gluten-free diet. I turned to macrobiotics when nothing, including cutting back on wheat, seemed to help my GI tract. Macrobiotic dining did help. I still use the boiled tea, and a three-year miso made by a domestic small company. (If my lab tests still show high gluten involvement, I will stop both of them. But for now, they don’t seem to have any negative affect. I suspect the gluten protein is long gone from both forms of barley, but this may just be in my case. Everyone responds differently to different amounts of gluten. Plan accordingly.)

Both these teas can be purchased as a box or packet of tea bags, if you don’t want to go all-out on this experiment. Gold Mine and Eden Foods both sell this tea in bags. Either way, I recommend you give them a try. Enjoy!
alfreda89: (Blankenship Reeds)
Hey, there's a Casa de Luz video at YouTube! See the serenity for yourself --
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Irish oatmeal)
Many of you know that I went macrobiotic in an attempt to heal my battered body. (I didn't do the battering, by the way -- which is probably why I'm doing as well as I am.) Since I make most of my food from scratch, I don't see trans fats or high fructose corn syrup very much. Mostly I use maple syrup and agave nectar, the first having lots of wonderful trace vitamins, minerals, and flavors, the second a good sweetener that can be cooked with and does not spike blood sugar. I use real (fair trade organic) sugar and brown sugar, when I need a heavy gun. I have slowly added corn back into my diet -- but it arrives as fresh corn, or corn tortillas.

Here's an article referring to the first real study on high fructose corn syrup vs. sugar/glucose. All sugars are not the same, it appears:

Do I think that this is THE cause of the rapid increase in human obesity in so-called first world countries? No. Do I think that it contributes greatly to this phenomenon? Mais, oui.

And as an aside -- why do Chilean blueberries this year have no flavor? I'm ready to toss the rest of this box....


Apr. 7th, 2009 10:10 pm
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Default)
I meant to go to meet with Peter Beagle after his appearance at the Arboretum B&N. Went completely out of my head. I did, however, get enough paperwork picked up that I can dig out the final papers for taxes. I hate waiting this long, but it was wait or wipe myself out again.

I sure hope the entire FACT group did not also space that it's Tuesday, and it's Peter Beagle Day....

Did make it to dinner with [ profile] marthawells, [ profile] morfin, [ profile] atcampbell and their friends R&PB last Saturday night. It was great to see everyone, and meet R&P properly. Poor AT had the "allergies are going to kill me, give me more drugs" look, and we broke up early so they could get him some place he could lie down.

Other than that, I am trying to space out the special cooking to one or two things a day. It doesn't tire me as much. Today I can report that a fruit mix of gala apples and plums with a touch of maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and tapioca root starch as a thickener makes a great fruit mix for a crisp or on cereal. (I'm supposed to eat things cooked, not raw, right now. TLC for the body.) Also -- the beef, sweet potato, carrot, onion and rutabaga stew was so good, made with Imagine organic beef-flavored broth (actually containing beef broth!) that I didn't even season it. It needed nothing.

CORRECTION: I used a turnip, not a rutabaga. It was white with a lavender belt. Shades of Jillian Footseer....

Leftover cubes of sweet potato were cooked with a couple of fat shallots and a drizzle of maple sugar, and sprinkled with sea salt at the past. Awecome. It made two servings, and I also used it tonight with brown short and basmati rice, black-eyed peas and hummus on an Ezekiel burrito tortilla.

I should not even have to tell you how wonderful THAT was....
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Chai anime)

Sweet veggie tea (Carrots, onions, butternut squash and green cabbage, diced fine and cooked down.) Toss the veggie matter, use the "tea" room temp or hot as something to help sweet cravings, or heat to use with miso or in a soup.

Toasted groats and sweet brown rice as a breakfast grain.

Lundberg's Wild and mixed brown rice for other meals.

Azuki beans with onion and butternut squash cubes.

Still to be made:

Chopped fresh kale.
An almond, basil and tangerine sauce for the kale.
Arame seaweed, carrots and onion sauteed in sesame oil as a condiment.
Baked sweet potato fries.
Temph sauteed in sesame oil (with a drop or two of toasted sesame oil) with pea pods and yellow squash.
Kukicha tea.

I'll pick up a rutabaga and/or turnip this week, to use with carrot and sweet potato to make a beef stew. And some berries or a plum to make a sweet bread or crisp (no, it would not be sweet for most of you) to keep me from the brownie box at the bottom of the stairs!

Oh -- [ profile] cabin77 is correct, sniffing chocolate extract reduces that craving, at least for us.

And now...I think I will mix some of those grains in pancake batter, and make whole grain gingerbread cakes. After I rest a bit.

The place smells like heaven.

PS -- anyone remember packing the electric kettle? Theories on which box to look for?

UPDATE: Pancakes were thick, chewy and wonderful. I am now tired, so will bottle tea and sautee seaweed tomorrow.
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Chai anime)
Well, I finally found the spice boxes (YES!) in a box in the bottom of the office papers box stack. The only missing major cooking piece I could use is my electric kettle. Still no sign. I refuse to spend $80 for another one. It's just not that far anymore from the kitchen to the office.

Now dumping empty boxes on the balcony, and seeing more light between box piles.

Good news -- have major spices out now in pull-down rack a friend installed for me.

Bad news -- with jars in the top shelf, it won't fold back into the cabinet.

Good news -- these shelves can be adjusted!

Bad news -- my hands just can't mess with things like that anymore.

Good news -- he's coming back to install a wineglass rack, so we can probably drop it down a notch.

Decadence awaits. I have decided -- it's a night for a macro pancake. I have fresh Ezekiel tortillas, and I'm not afraid to slice and dice them!

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