I had a great time with my lecture and book signing Wednesday evening at Whole Foods (in Portland, Maine). My sister Ruth accompanied me as usual (which I love) and took some great photos, which are now up in an album. People asked a lot of good questions.
I was asked a few afterwards that we didn't have time to answer, so I thought I'd address some here. One was, “What is your beverage of choice?” and I actually did a post on this very question a couple of weeks back. Here it is.
Another thing that I think you'll find helpful is a glossary of some of the more unusual foods I recommend. It's at my Web site here, and I'll add it to the end of this post. (An expanded version is included in the reprint of my Becoming Whole book that's almost done.) You might print the list out for when you go shopping. Most everything can be found at Whole Foods.
There's a LOT going on in the Portland area as far as macrobiotic cooking classes, potlucks, Warren Kramer (macrobiotic counselor from Boston) visits, etc. I'll soon include more of that information at the left sidebar of my blog, listed as LOCAL MACRO EVENTS.
Thank you to all who came to the Whole Foods event. I enjoyed our time together! If you have any other questions , please feel free to comment directly at this blog … it’s fun and easy! And, remember ... don't get overwhelmed ... even small changes can be a step in the right direction. Focus on what you CAN do!
As Nancy Libbey mentioned when she was leaving (and I wholeheartedly agree), "Progress, not perfection." I love that. Have a great weekend!
Agar-agar A white gelatin derived from a sea vegetable, used in making aspics
Amazake A sweetener or refreshing drink made from
sweet rice, millet or oats and koji starter that is allowed to ferment into a
thick liquid. Hot amazake is a delicious sweet beverage. It may be referred to
as amazake or amasake.
Arrowroot A starch flour processed from
the root of an American native plant. It is used as a thickening agent, similar
to cornstarch or kuzu, for making sauces, stews gravies, and desserts.
Azuki bean A small, dark red bean imported from Japan, but also grown
in the United States. Good when cooked with kombu (sea-vegetable).
tea Correctly named kukicha, bancha tea is made by steeping the stems
and leaves from mature Japanese tea bushes. This tea aids in digestion and contains
no chemical dyes. Bancha makes a great breakfast or after-dinner tea.
sesame seeds Small black seeds, occasionally used as a garnish or in
black gomashio, a condiment. A different variety of seed from the common tan sesame
Brown rice Whole, unpolished rice. It is available in
three varieties: short, medium and long-grain, and contains an ideal balance of
minerals, protein and carbohydrates.
Burdock A hardy plant
that grows wild in the UK. The long, dark burdock root is delicious in soups,
stews and sea vegetable dishes or sautéed with carrots. Its is highly valued in
macrobiotic cooking for its strengthening qualities.
Daikon A long, white radish. Besides making a delicious side dish, daikon is a specific
aid in dissolving fat and mucus deposits that have accumulated as a result of
past animal food in take. Grated daikon aids in the digestion of oily foods.
Gomashio A condiment made from roasted, ground sesame seeds and sea salt. Gomashio
is a rich source of minerals and whole oil and can be sprinkled lightly on rice
and other grains.
Hijiki A dark brown sea-vegetable that turns
black when dried. It has a wiry consistency, may be strong-tasting and is high
in calcium and protein.
Hokkaido pumpkin There are two varieties
of Hokkaido pumpkin. One has a deep orange colour and the other has a light green
skin. Hokkaido pumpkins have a tough outer skin and are very sweet inside.
Kombu A wide, thick, dark green sea-vegetable that grows in deep ocean water. Often
cooked with vegetables and beans; and used in making condiments and soup stocks.
Kombu is rich in essential minerals.
Kuzu A white starch made
from the root of the wild kuzu plants. Used in making soups, sauces, gravies,
desserts and for medicinal purposes.
Lotus root The root and
seeds of a water lily which is brown-skinned with a hollow, chambered with white
inside. Very good for the respiratory organs.
Mirin A wine
made from whole grain sweet rice. Used occasionally as a seasoning in vegetable
or sea-vegetable dishes.
Miso A fermented grain or bean paste
made from ingredients such as soybeans, barley and rice. There are many varieties
of miso now available. Barley (mugi) or soybean (hatcho) miso is usually recommended
for daily use. Miso is especially for the circulatory and digestive organs. It
is high in protein and Vitamin B12.
Mochi A rice cake or dumpling
made from cooked , pounded sweet rice.
Nori Thin sheets, of
dried sea-vegetable that are black or dark purple when dried. Nori is often roasted
over a flame until green. It is used as a garnish, wrapped around rice balls in
making sushi or cooked with tamari as a condiment. Rich in Vitamin A and protein,
nori also contains calcium, iron, Vitamins B1, B2, C, and D.
Rice balls Rice shaped into balls or triangles , usually with a piece of umeboshi in
the centre, and wrapped in toasted nori shiso leaves to completely cover. Pickles,
seeds, vegetables, fried tofu, and other ingredients can be placed in the centre
to create a variety of tastes. Rice balls can also be coated with whole or ground
Seitan Wheat gluten cooked in tamari, kombu,
and water. Seitan can be made at home or purchased ready-made at many natural
food stores. Many people use it as a meat substitute.
Shiitake mushrooms Fresh shiitake can be used in soup stocks or vegetable dishes, and dried
shiitake are used in medicinal preparations. These mushrooms are effective in
helping the body to discharge excess salt and animal fats.
Takka A condiment made from hatcho miso, sesame oil, burdock, lotus root, carrot
and ginger root, sautéed on a low flame for several hours.
Tempeh A dish made from split soybeans, water, and a special bacteria, that
is allowed to ferment for several hours. Tempeh is eaten in Indonesia and Sir
Lanka as a staple food. It is available pre-packed, ready to prepare, in some
natural food stores.
Umeboshi Salty, pickled plums. Umeboshi
plums stimulate the appetite and aid in maintaining an alkaline blood quality.
Shiso leaves are usually added to the plums during pickling to impart a reddish
colour and natural flavouring.
Wakame A long thin green
sea-vegetable used in making soups, salads and vegetable dishes. High in protein,
iron and magnesium, wakame has a sweet taste and delicate texture and is especially
good in miso soup.