The weather was so warm and sunny that J and I decided to take alittle trip up to Lincoln Park on Sunday. We walked around the neighborhood a bit and then headed over to ClybournAve. in order to check out a natural foods store we’re always receiving flyers for: Sunflower Market.
The end of civilization? No, just the Clybourn Corridor...
It seems like a nice enough shop with an okay selection, but as much as I hate to admit it, Whole Foods has more items that I would be likely to buy. We did procure one standout product, though – a loaf of 16 sprouted grain and seed bread that was completely delicious and true to its name, containing only sprouted grains and seeds. You have to understand thatsince giving up cane sugar, we haven’t eaten sandwich bread…at all. We don’t really care for the Ezekiel or Manna bread (especially Manna bread), and without cane sugar, your other choices are basically nonexistent. Thus, our excitement over a loaf of bread (healthy bread) that actually tastes good and makes a reasonable sandwich.
While Kati's away, dinner's up to J...
I attended a Macrobiotics class/store tour at Whole Foods last night, leaving J to fend for himself for dinner. He put our new bread to good use with two PBJ’s (half of one was left for me to nibble on when I returned home =) while I feasted on a plate of macro food. I didn’t take my camera to the event, so you will just have to imagine what I ate: corn chowder, polenta made from cracked corn, boiled tofu with kuzu ginger parsley sauce, carrot tops with sesame seeds, and apple raisin kanten for dessert. I was particularly amazed with the kanten (think firm Jello), something I’ve never tried before – it was cool and refreshing and not weird in the least, even though you might imagine it could be weird since it was made out of seaweed (some people were not as enthusiastic as I was – I saw lots of perplexed/gaggy faces as people tasted the food). We were given the recipes for all the dishes and some basic info on the macrobiotic lifestyle.
The teacher, Gabriella, was very knowledgeable and passionate about macrobiotics, but I’m afraid her presentation may have been hard to follow for people who didn’t have a basic knowledge of that way of eating (I noticed the whole yin and yang thing was confusing for most people). I think after you’ve been living a particular type of lifestyle for many years, it often becomes hard to go back to the mindset you had when you were first learning to better understand the types of questions people had – and offer more specific answers. Gabriella did have some excellent and accessible points, though, such going back to the kitchen and cooking for yourself, eating seasonally and organically, and striking balance in whatever way you choose to eat. Despite any minor flaws, I enjoyed the class andfelt inspired to include more macrobiotic meals in my repetoire.Apparently, they are planning to have a class with Gabriella each month (for free!), so I will be excited to go back in April to learn about foods appropriate for spring (almost here!).
To continue with the nut and jelly theme, I made Almond-Jam cookies from The Natural Foods Cookbook. I used wild blackberry fruit spread (also featured in the PBJ’s) instead of the suggested raspberry. They were simple to make, and I think they turned out rather pretty, not to mention tasty (despite any large blackberry seeds contained therein).
It’s funny, but I detested the peanut butter and jelly combination until about last year. I was one of those weird kids who didn’t eat it. Boy how times change (it doesn’t hurt to put the combo in cookies, either).