I'm a sad little woman. I've been without my home computer since Sunday and I feel lost. I really really miss blogging. (I'm sneaking in a post from my work computer on my down time.) I live in a veg-friendly city. My family is very accepting of my way of eating. But honestly, most people don't understand being vegan. Most people think I'm depriving myself, that deep down I really want a big hunk of red meat and I'm starving myself with salad and broccoli. I miss blogging because I truly enjoy sharing recipes and ideas and pictures with compassionate, like-minded others. Oh, well. I'll survive.
My Monday night class was so fun! What I learned: Macrobiotics is the practice of spiritual, physical, and nutritional wellness. Macrobiotic cooking is seasonal, local, and organic. (I have emailed the chef to ask why fish is included, but have not yet received a reply.) Our chef instructor for the class is from a local "campus" where there is not only a communal style dining room which serves only macrobiotic, vegan, wheat-free meals, but also includes a natural cooking school, a Montessori school (don't those kids get a great school lunch!), a yoga studio, meditation centers, and a small food store and bookstore. Lunches ($10) and dinners ($12) are all you can eat and always include a soup, green salad and dressing, grains, beans (including soy), veggies, and pickle. Desserts are extra, but so worth it. I truly feel nourished inside and out after having a meal there.
Other stuff from my notes: Always leave skins on organic produce as they contain the most nutrition, even carrots and sweet potatoes. Scrub like a maniac or remove skins from conventional produce. Bitter taste is beneficial to the liver. Coconut oil is best for baking. Steam tofu for 10 minutes before using in dishes to make it more digestible. Popcorn flavored with Bragg's and nutritional yeast is properly titled "Hippie Popcorn."
Most importantly, I learned that (1) Siamese twin plantains taste as good as normal plantains (that was some freaky 'nanner!) and (2) umeboshi is actually green apricots, not plums, and using the paste will add a cheesy flavor to whatever you're cooking.
The chef prepared this menu:
Mixed green salad with strawberry dressing Sweet potato and plantain fries with Tamarind Ketchup Polenta Napoleans Espresso Mousse with Mocha Drizzle
Everything tasted incredible. I have been searching for a ketchup recipe and this one is soooo good. I'll share it with you.
1 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 sweet onion, large dice pinch of salt 1/3 cup palm sugar 1/4 cup tamarind paste 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice 1 clove garlic 1/2 tablespoon umeboshi paste 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 tablespoon juice from freshly grated beet (for color) (Chef squeezed out juice into a tablespoon and then added.)
Put olive oil in skillet and sweat onion on low heat with salt, partially covered, until translucent. Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in food processor. When translucent, add onion and blend until smooth.
Ketchup will last 5 to 7 days.
I think I'm preparing a birthday dinner Sunday and I want to make the Napoleans to serve then. They were awesome - layered with two kinds of pesto and topped with mushrooms.