ROSANNA'S NEWS AND VIEWS.©
SEA VEGETABLES (SEAWEED)
You mean you eat that stuff? Why is it good for you and why do you eat it? Where do you get it and how do you fix it?
These are all fair questions and we hear them all the time. Many who are beginning on the Macrobiotic path find sea vegetables unappetizing and don’t see why they are considered necessary in the regimen. Rosanna answers:
Yes, it is very difficult to accept this taste for many people, especially those who have a heavy dairy component in their diet. For some reason, the two are simply not compatible and it doesn’t pay to try and force it in the beginning. For beginners there are ways to get the nourishment from these key ingredients, without alarming sensitive taste buds. Examples of this are cooking beans with Kombu, Wakame in the Miso soup and cooking grain with Kombu. In this issue’s balanced meal we will show how to do all the above and also tell a little about the some of the many sea vegetables and how they are prepared, beginning with:
Harvested in Japan or along the Maine coast of the U.S., this vegetable is thick, wide and deep green in color. Rosanna uses it with almost all beans that she cooks. Her study reveals that the minerals in the seaweed balance the fat and protein in the beans and these minerals are important in the digestion process, making the beans more easily absorbed. The fact is that beans also improve in taste with this balance and one can get the minerals that are so important to health in this manner, without encountering the rather fishy taste of some sea vegetables. It is tough as rawhide and can be used more than once to flavor soups and stocks and Rosanna never throws it away, but gradually dilutes and uses it in various dishes.
Wakame is a vegetable leaf, long and thin. It has a hard stem along the center of the leaf which must be removed after soaking, so it can be cooked longer to make it tender (or cut it into very small pieces). Like other sea vegetables, Wakame is loaded with vitamins and trace minerals that are important in good nutrition. With the right combinations of ingredients, no vitamin supplements are required on the macrobiotic path. Rosanna often puts it in the Miso Soup, not every day, but quite often. It also finds its way into salads, for example Cucumber and Wakame salad.
Everybody likes Nori. This is best known as the wrapper for Japanese Sushi. It is also called Laver. It is a rectangular sheet, usually just smaller than an office sheet of paper. Of course it is rich in minerals too, especially phosphorous. Rosanna uses it to wrap Rice Balls, make Sushi of course, but our favorite way is to eat it is with our soup for breakfast. Just take a sheet and tear it into pieces and chew it up. It goes great with the soup.
- 10 cups broth from boiled salad (below)
- 1 small diced Onion
- 1 head Broccoli with stems, chopped in small pieces so the florets look like little trees.
- 3 inch piece of Wakame Seaweed
- ½ cup thinly cut Cabbage
- ½ cup Squash, cubed small (Kabocha, Butternut or Buttercup)
- 2 or 3 Tbsp. Barley Miso
Put Onions and broccoli stems and Cabbage in broth from the boiled salad and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat, simmer 3 or 4 minutes, add Broccoli florets, Wakame and Squash. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, add Miso (first diluted with a little of the hot broth), simmer 2 more minutes and serve.
BLACK SOY BEANS WITH KOMBU
- 1 ½ Cups Black Soy Beans, soaked overnight in spring water
- 2 inch piece of Kombu
- 1 Tbsp. Barley Malt
- Spring water as needed
- Soy Sauce
Place Kombu in pressure cooker, add drained beans and add enough Spring Water to cover the beans. Bring to pressure, lower flame and cook for one hour. Release pressure, drain and reserve water (for soups and stews) return to heat and add Barley Malt and a little Soy Sauce, simmer (with cover off) for a few minutes and serve.
MILLET AND CAULIFLOWER WITH KOMBU
- 1 cup Millet, washed1 Medium Onion, diced
- ½ head of good size Cauliflower broken into big pieces
- 1 inch of Kombu, soaked 10 minutes
- 2 Tsp. Umeboshi paste
- 1 Tbsp. Tahini (Sesame Seed Butter)
- Spring Water as required
Place Kombu in a pan that has a heavy bottom (millet tends to burn so a heavy pan is advisable). Place Onions on Kombu and pour enough water to cover the Onions. Bring to a boil and simmer for five minutes. Place Cauliflower on Onions in such fashion as to make a bed to receive the Millet. The idea is to keep the Millet off the bottom of the pan and out of contact with the direct heat. Add the Millet and 2 cups Spring Water, gently around the rim of the pot, so as not to disturb the Millet. Return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for thirty minutes or more, until the Cauliflower is cooked and is soft.To one side, mix the Tahini and Umeboshi Paste with a ½ cup warm Spring Water. Pour into the mixture, remove from heat and mix very well. This dish tends to get hard as it cools, so try to time it so it is eaten as soon as it is ready.
Ingredients and Preparation
1 bunch of Collard greens, washed and prepared as follows: Remove the center stems by cutting along either side. Stack the leaves so the veins run in the same direction and cut into ¼ inch strips, sliced diagonally along the veins. Chop the stems diagonally, very thin so they cook well and evenly. In a frying pan, heat 1 Tbsp. Toasted Sesame Oil, add stems and sauté for a few minutes before adding the leaves. Continue to sauté for a few more minutes until the color is very bright, add a few drops of Soy Sauce, mix well and serve.
- 1 Head Broccoli with tops broken into big chunks and stems chopped into 1 inch pieces.
- 2 Carrots, roll cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 cups Snow Peas
- 3 to 4 cups Mung Bean Sprouts
- Umeboshi Vinegar for condiment (optional)
Bring water to boil in a large pot. As you add each vegetable, wait for the pot to return to a boil, then remove that vegetable and add the next until all have been boiled and removed. Add a few drops of the Vinegar. Serve cool. Reserve the broth for the Miso Soup above.
Ingredients for 2 pie crusts (this recipe is wheat free!)
- 1 cup Barley Flour
- 1 cup Chestnut Flour
- 1 cup Rolled Oats
- 1 cup Sesame Seeds
- 1 Tsp. Vanilla
- 2 Tsp. ground Cinnamon
- ¾ cup Maple Syrup
- ½ Cup Corn Oil
Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Mix all the ingredients, divide dough in two and work with your fingers into two 10 inch pie pans. Bake the shells for 10 minutes before adding the filling.
Ingredients for fillings for 2 pies
- 3 cups boiled, drained and mashed Pumpkin (or other sweet squash)
- 2 cups Soy Milk
- 1 pound silken firm Tofu
- ¾ cup Barley Malt
- 2 Tsp. ground Cinnamon
- 1 Tsp. ground Nutmeg
- ½ Tsp. ground Ginger
- ¼ Tsp. ground Cloves
- 1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
Preparation of filling
Preheat oven to 450 Fahrenheit. Blend all ingredients together in food processor or blender (if done by hand they must be thoroughly mixed to a smooth consistency). Turn half into each pie crust, being careful not to get anything on the edges of the crust. Now, cut aluminum foil and cover the fluted ring around the pie crust, because it has a tendency to burn and this will protect it. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 40 minutes more. (editors note: This is worth all the effort!)
Rosanna and James wish you Buon appetito!
THE SUFI WISDOM OF INAYAT KHAN
The Purity of the Body
The purity of the body is more desirable than bodily strength. Purity of body consists of three things: Pure blood, sound muscles, and skin in proper condition. One might ask, how can one be strong without a pure body? But I should say, one can be. There are many strong and vigorous-looking people with something wrong in their flesh, blood or skin. Health, from a spiritual point of view, does not mean a strong muscular body, health means a body sound in all its aspects. The standard of normal health is different for a mystic from what a scientist today thinks.
To the scientist the emotional side of man is not of interest; if the body is perfect according to his idea, he thinks the man is healthy. But from a mystical point of view if, bodily, man is strong, but his emotional nature is buried beneath, he is not healthy, there is something wrong with him. Therefore a physician will find many not in proper health, but still more a mystic will find not in proper health. The person who is healthy to a physician is not necessarily healthy to a mystic, but good health from the point of view of a mystic is also good health from the point of view of a physician.
The illness that humanity has today is lack of that emotional nature which is productive of sentiment. In the East, though times are changed, still there is a recognition of that healthiness which is recognized by a mystic as good health. They name these qualities by beautiful names, as considerate, thoughtful, mild, gentle, sympathetic, harmonious, selfless. When these things are lacking in a person, the mystic considers it lack of health. Even an animal can be materially strong. If man were strong he would be no better than an animal. It is purity which is necessary, in the body first, in the mind afterward; which produces in a person a state of health which alone can be truly called good health.
The nature of the memory is to hold an impression, agreeable or disagreeable, and therefore a person holds a thought in mind, whether it is beneficial to him or not, without knowing the result which will come from it. It is like a child who holds a rattle in his hand and hits his head with the rattle and cries with the pain, and yet does not throw the rattle away. There are many who keep in their mind a thought of illness or a thought of unkindness done to them by someone and suffer from it, yet now knowing what it is that makes them suffer so, nor understanding the reason of their suffering.
They go on suffering and yet hold on in memory the very source of suffering. Memory must be one’s obedient servant; when it is a master then life becomes difficult. A person who cannot throw away from his memory what he does not desire to keep in mind is like a person who has a safe, but the key of that safe he has lost. He can put in money, but he cannot take it out. All faculties in man become invaluable when a person is able to use them at will, but when the faculties use the person, then he is no longer master of himself.
Concentration is taught by the mystics in order to exercise the will, making it capable of making use of all faculties. A person with will-power can remember what he wishes to remember and can forget what he wishes to forget. All things that deprive one of one’s freedom in life are undesirable. The mind must be free from all bad impressions of life, which take away the rest and peace of life. By concentration one is able to hold a certain thought one desires and to keep away all other thoughts, and when one is able to keep away all the thoughts one does not wish to think about, it becomes easy to throw away the impressions of years, if one wishes to forget them. Bad impressions, however old and intimate, are like rubbish accumulated, which should be removed in order to make the house clean. The human heart is the home of the soul, and upon this home the comfort and peace of the soul depends.