"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

Tag: bacon

“macro” bowl for dinner. . .

macro bowl of brown rice, avocado, yellow squash and salmon poke

macro bowl of brown rice, avocado, yellow squash and salmon poke

Now that the holidays are over with all that rich food (I’m guilty!) I’m feeling like simplifying our food intake and making them appetizing at the same time. I studied macrobiotic cooking a long time ago when I had a viral condition for which Western medicine wasn’t helpful (they said you can’t treat viruses.) However, in Chinese traditional medicine, there’s a concept that parasites (viruses and bacteria) grow and thrive in “damp” conditions in the body. And so, if your diet is prepared to “dry out” the damp, then, there’s no place for them to hide. At least, that’s what I like about Eastern approaches to health and the body. That’s not to say that when I fractured my ankle a few years ago, that the orthopedic care I received in the Emergency Room was of the highest degree possible – the two orthopedic residents were so professional!)

Anyhow, I digress. The real reason for this post is that I’ve come across a way to prepare meals that might simplify the preparation time, but also offer us a nice way to eat healthy prepared meals without feeling deprived in any way. In fact, I think the presentation of macrobiotic foods (grains, vegetables and a little fish) in one-bowl will be fun. It also serves to customize the amount of food prepared so that there’s less chance for leftovers left in the fridge.

So tonight’s menu includes making salmon poke (pronounced “po-keh”) a Hawaiian version of sliced raw fish with soy sauce, a little wasabi and sesame seeds. The one-bowl presentation will include warm brown rice, cooked yellow squash with onions, sliced avocado and the salmon poke. The fish needs to be “sashimi-grade” for which I rely on my fishmonger’s advice. She cut a center piece and skinned it for me.

One unexpected benefit of the freshly cooked warm brown rice is that it gently heats the raw salmon without cooking it, making it even more tender and tasty.


staff of life . . .

Sometimes I can get roiling around in my head about deep life issues. That’s a sure sign to do something else, like cooking. The other day, I bought an oatmeal scone with maple glaze at a local bakery. It was one of the best things I ever ate. I looked it up online and sure enough there was a 1999 recipe for maple oatmeal scones by Ina Garten. As per usual with some of her recipes, the ingredients were so rich I couldn’t believe it: white flour, wheat flour, instant oats, a POUND of unsalted butter cut up into little bits, buttermilk, FOUR eggs, maple syrup.

Since C. was coming out for dinner and staying overnight, I thought it might be a nice treat to make the scones so we could have them with afternoon tea when she arrived. The recipe was a little tricky because, as with pie crusts, it’s important to incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients so that the result is little bits of butter still showing. I did this by carefully pulsing the flours with the cut up butter in my Cuisinart and it was perfect. What was harder to do was to mix the dry and the wet ingredients together because the bowl I was using wasn’t big enough to stir everything together. So, I ended up piling the dough onto a board with pastry paper on it and gently mixing it by hand. As you know, handling dough just toughens it (as in making cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning) so I was careful just to turn it over, pressing it together gently to incorporate the dry with the sticky dough. I rolled the dough out and cut it with my old fluted round cutter and baked them in the oven. I made a maple syrup glaze, using less confectioners sugar and more syrup with a tiny bit of vanilla. Sprinkled the tops with oats as Ina’s recipe suggested.

When they were all done, I wasn’t sure it had been worth all that effort, but C. said later she thought they were one of the best things I’ve ever made (which is saying something since I cook a lot.) G. also gave them out to his family and a friend in need down the street. SHE called afterwards to thank him for the scones because they were “so delicious.” So okay, maybe I’ll make them again. The next time, I’ll use a larger SQUARE fluted cutter that I ordered on Amazon. We’ll have them when we get together over the holidays with fresh fruit salad, bacon, sausages, scrambled eggs with spinach and cheese, greek yogurt pancakes with maple syrup. M. (C.’s sister) had sent us the recipe for the pancakes–and C. and I had them for breakfast on Sunday. They’re slightly tangy, super tender and out of this world!

Last week, I had also seen a recipe in a British magazine at Barnes and Noble for homemade ginger ale. It reminded me of the concept of making tisanes in England with scented geranium, lemon verbena and so on. The recipe required cooking equal proportions of honey, chopped up fresh ginger root and water, a half cup of each into a saucepan. I used more ginger root and sliced it up in very fine slivers. Boil for 15 minutes and then let cool. When ready to serve, use a pretty glass (these sweet hobnail tumblers are from Anthropologie,) fill with ice, spoon 3 tablespoons of the strained ginger syrup and stir together with very fizzy club soda. Top with fresh mint.

Although we were planning to have hot Lapsang Souchang tea with the scones, the afternoon was still pretty balmy so we opted for drinking the iced ginger ale with the scones. A nice combination as it turned out. So I thought I’d share these recipes with you today. Enjoy!