Beet Greens Goma-ae {Recipe}

Here’s another recipe I made a little while ago.

You don’t have to toss your beet greens in the trash – they can be cooked just like any other green. Dark leafy greens are yummy and of course good for you.

Goma-ae is a Japanese dish. Goma = sesame seed. Traditionally this is served with spinach, but I thought that beet greens would be a good seasonal variation on the standard recipe.

Beet Greens Goma-ae

Ingredients

  • 3-4 cups of beet greens (including stems)
  • 2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons ground toasted black sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Steam the beet greens for 3 minutes.
  2. Mix the soy sauce and sugar at the bottom of a large serving bowl.
  3. Dry the greens and chop them into small pieces. Add them to the soy sauce mix.
  4. Mix in the ground sesame seeds.
  5. Eat!

Inspiration from {HERE}.

Have you had goma-ae?

What’s your favorite dark leafy green?

{Macrobiotic March Recipe} Sauteed Sesame Fern Bracken / Fiddlehead Ferns

A few weeks ago when my in-laws were visiting we ended up out in Flushing. Flushing (a town in the eastern part of Queens) has a huge Korean and Chinese population. We stopped into H-Mart (a Korean grocery store) just before heading back to the city and I ended up with quite a large haul. Queens prices < Manhattan prices.

One thing I picked up (it was on sale and I was curious) was ‘fern bracken’.

bracken-fiddlehead-fern-bag

When I got home I discovered that ‘fern bracken’ is actually just another term for fiddlehead ferns. Fiddleheads always pop up at the farmers’ market around April. It’s good to know I can get them year round at H-Mart if I need to. If you’re familiar with Korean food, these bracken ferns / fiddleheads show up in Bi Bim Bap as well – they are the brown pieces of veggie.

Fiddleheads are high in antioxidants, and are a source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. As most vegetables, they are high in fiber. They also happen to have vitamin A, niacin, vitamin C, riboflavin, phosphorus, and even iron.

Sauteed Sesame Fiddlehead Ferns (Bracken Ferns) – Macrobiotic Recipe*

Method (keep reading for recipe ingredients and instructions…)

washed-fiddlehead-bracken-fern

bracken-fiddlehead-fern-marinating

sauteed-bracken-fern-wok

grinding-black-sesame-seeds

fiddlehead-ferns-bracken-ground-black-sesame-final-recipe

We had our ferns with breakfast. I opted for eggs, ferns, takuan (Japanese pickle), and avocado. I believe Bobby had the same but with white rice, too.

     fiddlehead-fern-macrobiotic-breakfast-egg-takuan-avocado

(Eggs technically not macrobiotic; don’t think the avocado is either – but it sure was tasty!)

*Inspired by {this recipe}.

Sauteed Sesame Fern Bracken / Fiddlehead Ferns

IMG 0013 150x150 {Macrobiotic March Recipe} Sauteed Sesame Fern Bracken / Fiddlehead Ferns

  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:
  • Total time:
  • Yield: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Recipe type: appetizer, side

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of boiled bracken fern (750 grams or 1.65 pounds). I know they sell bracken fern in a dried form, but I have not tried this recipe with the dried fiddleheads.
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or more, to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon of ground black sesame (toasted pre-grinding). Feel free to substitute regular sesame seeds, and the grinding is optional.

Directions:

  1. Drain the bracken ferns and thoroughly wash them.
  2. Chop the fern pieces into 1-2 inch pieces. Add the garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and make sure all the pieces are coated in the sauce.
  3. Heat a wok on high heat. You do not need to add any oil, since there is oil in the ferns already. Saute on high heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently (I like to use chopsticks for stirring).
  4. Add about 3-4 tablespoons of water to the cooking ferns, turn the heat down to medium, mix again, and cover the wok. Let the ferns cook for 10 more minutes to get nice and tender.
  5. At the end, there may be a little bit of water left – you can either continue cooking to let it boil off (uncovered again, and high heat), you can leave it in, or you can dump it out. It’s ok for this dish to have a little bit of water.
  6. Turn off the heat under the ferns. Grind your black sesame.
  7. Serve the fiddlehead / bracken ferns topped with sesame; mix before serving.

Have you had fiddlehead ferns? What’s your favorite way to prepare them?

{Macrobiotic March} Are Nut Butters Macrobiotic?

Happy March! Here in NYC we are starting to warm up… a little!

To jumpstart the month of macrobiotic posts, I have 2 things for you.

1) I made a Macrobiotics page for the blog. I went through ALL my posts and recipes and put links to the relevant ones there. Please check it out if you have time.

2) I wanted to answer a common question:

Is nut butter macrobiotic?

peanut-butter

This is a toughie – the basic answer is YES, nut butters can be macrobiotic.

But the caveat is that nuts (and nut butters) should be eaten in moderation: maybe 2-3 times a week. The most specific measurement I found was no more than 1.5 cups of nuts in a week. I am not sure how much nut butter 1.5 cups of nuts would amount to. Probably 3/4 of a cup of nut butter? That is a little less than 2 tablespoons of nut butter a day.

Any nut butter with added sugar is not macrobiotic, so macrobiotic nut butters are the natural kind – nuts should be the only ingredient. No added sugars, no added oils.

Get freshly ground nut butter, if possible.

Some nuts are not macrobiotic: peanuts are not (much as I love them), pistachios, Brazil nuts, cashews (another love!), filberts (aka hazlenuts) and macadamia nuts – these are all not allowed.

Why are some nuts avoided on a macrobiotic diet?

The simple reason is that macrobiotics encourages eating in harmony with your climate. The disallowed nuts are likely not native and could not grow in the temperate climate where most of us live (I am in the northeast US). I think these nuts listed above are only found in tropical climates.

The other reason for avoiding certain foods, like these nuts, is that (according to macrobiotics) foods can have either yin (expansive, cooling, moist) or yang (contractive, warming, drying) energies. Likely these nuts to avoid are very yin or very yang (probably too yin). Macrobiotics tries to help you strike a balance, and it’s easiest to get this balance if you are not eating either of the extremes (far on the yin or yang side of the spectrum). But more on this later.

Note that peanuts are a different story – most peanuts and peanut butters have fungus on them/in them (yep, I know – sounds gross – they still taste great). The amount of fungus allowed in peanuts/peanut butter is small (15 or 25 parts per billion I believe) but that is too much for macrobiotics to be okay with.

However – don’t lose hope! There are lots of macrobiotic nuts and seeds: walnuts, sesame seeds (to make tahini or sesame butter), pumpkin and squash seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, coconuts, and chestnuts (are these really a nut?).

walnut

chestnuts

I like fresh almond butter, coconut butter, and I adore tahini and sesame seeds in general.

Another note – if you’re following a strict healing macrobiotic diet for a specific ailment, you’ll probably be avoiding all nuts + nut butters, at least until you are healed from whatever your illness is. Then you would slowly add nuts and nut butters back in, as your body allows.

I hope this answered any questions you might have about macrobiotics and nuts / nut butters.

What is your favorite nut? What’s your favorite nut butter? How much do you eat in a week?

  • My favorite nut is the cashew (not macrobiotic)
  • My favorite nut butter is tahini (macrobiotic) or peanut butter (not)
  • It depends on the week – some weeks I probably eat 2-3 cups of nuts; other weeks I don’t have any at all.

My Big Fat Cobb-y Dinner! and Avocado Dessert Guac

My latest food obsession is the Cobb Salad. In my mind, a typical Cobb Salad includes most of these guys:

  • Bacon
  • Egg
  • Avocado
  • Blue cheese
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Ranch dressing
  • Chicken breast
  • Tomatoes
  • Other veggies (?)

Here’s mine:

Here’s one I had last year:

Cobb Salad
I love bacon <3

Here’s another (while moving cross country).

The most recent restaurant Cobb I had was at Yo In Yo Out. It’s a cute little French place on the upper upper east side (100th Street) that boasts an awesome menu and some truly delicious cappuccinos to boot. Their salad is Cobb Salad “A Ma Lacon” – it has a marinated chicken salad, bacon, eggs, blue cheese, tomatoes, and cucumber over organic mesclun with a balsamic vinaigrette drizzle. I had them hold the balsamic (I’m not a fan; shocker I know!) and sub out the blue cheese and add avocado instead. The dressing is their house dressing and it’s made with olive oil, red wine, raspberries, and some other stuff. It was light and fresh but still a little creamy.

UPDATE: Yo In Yo Out has since closed.

I also recently had a vegetarian Cobb salad at Curly’s Vegetarian Lunch. You know – I keep trying to enjoy this restaurant, but it’s just not that great. The salad tried but just didn’t cut it. The vegan ranch dressing was a small tragedy.

Here is how I make my own Cobb variation at home: cook up several slices of bacon, then fry some mushrooms and onions in the bacon fat with some garlic powder. To the salad (romaine lettuce base), add the bacon, sauteed veggies, half of an avocado, tomatoes, and top with some sesame seeds. For dressing I used Bolthouse Farms Classic Ranch (sent free for me to review).

For dessert I took the rest of the avocado and mashed it with peanut butter, NuNaturals Erythritol Crystals*, and topped it with some more sesame seeds. I call this “dessert guacamole”.

Hi, my name is Maggie, and I have a pudding addiction.

***

Do you like Cobb salad? Do you like bacon? Do you like pudding?

J’adore them all!

*Don’t forget, you can get a discount and free shipping on NuNaturals until May 31st!

HEAB’s Butterfied Oaties

I have been meaning to make these for a while now, so when Heather linked to them the other day I knew I couldn’t put it off any longer. All I have to say is – I will never procrastinate with making butterfied oaties (or butterfied anything) again. When they first came out of the oven I was a little bit worried that I had messed them up – they were very crumbly and didn’t stay together – but it didn’t affect the taste at all, and I just put everything (whole oaties + the crumbled ones) in the fridge and they firmed right up.

I made a few changes based on what ingredients I had on hand, so here is my modified version.

Asian-ish Butterfied Oaties

Based on HEAB’s Butterfied Oaties.

Ingredients

  • 1 + 1/3 cups toasted oats (I toasted them in a pan on the stove – just heat the pan and stir them around for 5 minutes)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 stick of softened butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup hydrated raisins (soak raisins in hot water for 5 minutes, then drain)
  • 1/4 of a chocolate bar, chopped up (check out the chocolate I used below – raspberry rooibos tea flavored dark!)
  • 1.5 teaspoons NuNaturals cocoa bean extract (sub out for vanilla if you don’t have it)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons sesame seeds (secret special ingredient!)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Mix ingredients together to combine, then put in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Make balls (I used a coffee scoop, about 2 tablespoons, to measure – then I mooshed them into a ball with my hands) out of the dough and put them on a baking tray.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool. Put in tupperware and put in the fridge so they solidify more.

Just a few notes:

  • I added a little bit more oats than the original recipe called for because my dough was really liquidy.
  • When they came out of the oven they were very crumbly, almost like granola. I just let them sit awhile, and then after I refrigerated them they were pretty solid. Still granola-y in shape (some had broken) but much firmer.
  • You could definitely cut down on the honey – they were pretty sweet.
  • Raisins optional – I added them because Bobby’s favorite cookies are oatmeal raisin.
  • Sesame seeds not optional! These were the best part.

We finished them all in one day (!). They are scrumptious. They are now a new favorite of Bobby’s 🙂 (and mine).

***

Have you made these oaties yet??