Monday, December 19, 2011

Connecting the Dots, and a recipe for Roots and Greens

Life is filled with choices and each day we will make choices that directly effect our lives.

If we take this a step further and think about how our choices also effect our family and loved ones, what about our community, what about society and what about the world?

There are so many things to think about it can be a bit overwhelming. The state of the world is in crisis- I don’t even need to go into all the problems. I would rather spend my time talking about the simple things we do have control of and begin to teach people how to implement some of these ideas. Start by making small changes on a personal level, and really, what is more personal than the food we eat? Making subtle changes to your diet and lifestyle creates positive momentum in both your own life as well as in the lives of others. This is like connecting dots on a sheet of paper. At first, only one or two dots might be connected, but after a while you start to see that all of the dots become connected as part of a whole.

When we choose to adopt a plant-based diet we are making an impact on the health of the planet and reaping the benefits of obtaining personal health. I am in support of a plant-based diet centered around grains and vegetables. Eat plant foods that are grown in a sustainable, organic way, free from GMOs, and do your part to help preserve the Earth.

Roots and Greens 
Baby turnips with Greens

This is a unique vegetable dish which involves cooking the roots of a vegetable together with the leafy greens. When you eat a dish like this you get the health benefit of uplifting energetic quality of the greens in addition to the gathering and centering quality of the roots. It may have the ability to help us see a more complete or bigger picture, and after all, isn’t that really what macrobiotics is about? Maybe if we eat more roots cooked with their tops we will complete more projects! Give it a try- at the minimum, they taste delicious!

Choose from the following vegetables:                                                
Carrots and carrot tops
Daikon and Daikon greens
Turnip and Turnip greens
Radish and Radish greens

Roots may be cut into matchsticks, diced, or a half-moon wedge shapes (keep in a bowl)
Stems may be cut more finely and separated from the roots and leaves (in the case of carrots the stems need to be cut super fine).
Leaves may be cut thin or left whole, as in the case with baby turnips and red radishes.
Sea salt (a tiny pinch, about 1/16 of a teaspoon)
Shoyu (Just a few drops will do it)

Roots and greens may be prepared in by using a steam method or a sauté and simmer technique. They are also delicious cooked together in savory soups.
Sauté and simmer method:
Gently heat a cast iron pot. Add the roots with a small amount of water and begin sautéing.
Add a tiny pinch of salt and continue to sauté.
Add a small amount of water, cover and simmer a few minutes to reach the desired texture.
Create a space in your pot by gently pushing the roots to one side. Add the stems, then gently fold the roots on top of the stems. Cover and continue to simmer a few more minutes.
Add the leafy greens. Lightly season the dish with a couple drops of shoyu, then fold the bottom into the top to thoroughly blend the seasoning.
Cover and steam for another 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Place in a serving dish and cover with a bamboo mat.

Steam Method:
Place roots in a pot with a small amount of water.
Place the greens on top of the roots.
Cover and cook with high steam for 5 minutes or longer.
Season with a little shoyu toward the end of cooking and continue to simmer for 1 minute.

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