Click on the links below to view the files. You may not need or want to print every file. Check your personal recommendations notes.
Below are a variety of “getting started” recipes. You will eventually need to compliment them with additional recipes from macrobiotic cookbooks and by receiving intruction in basic macrobiotic cooking from an experienced teacher.
Soft Whole Grain & Whole Grain-Vegetables (good for breakfast)
Genuine Rice Cream (for use when digestion is very weak and appetite is low)
CONDIMENTS FOR SPRINKLING ON TOP OF WHOLE GRAINS
BEANS, TOFU, TEMPEH
(There are additional bean recipes in the “Miscellaneous Recipes” below.)
WHAT’S FOR BREAKFAST?
HOME REMEDIES (Use only those recommended to you by David Briscoe as indicated in his consultation notes.)
EXERCISE, BREATHING, QIGONG and SELF-MASSAGE
For additional recipes, readings and other useful information visit the How To Get Startedsection of this web site.
1735 Robinson St. #1874
Oroville, CA 95965-9998
Who doesn’t love corn on the cob? Raise your hand. What! No hands? Corn on the cob has to be one of the glories of summer fare. Picture picnics and watermelon, Fourth of July, baked beans and children gnawing their way across ears of corn like teeth on a typewriter carriage. The very first cooking class I ever had with the late, great macrobiotic teacher, Cornellia Aihara was a delicious summer meal that began with her fresh corn soup. It was followed with brown rice, fresh gomashio, pan fried eggplant with lemon miso, pressed salad and an apple juice kanten floating with succulent bing cherry orbs pitted by chopstick. I still remember the simplicity and celebration of summer produce, attentively prepared, and so delicious!Two words often heard coming from Cornellia’s lips were “NO WASTING!” Her instruction concerning no wasting contained implied lessons grounded in the practical, and expanding outwardly to embrace the more subtle realms of macrobiotic principles. She never overtly spoke of such things, they were merely implied and woven within the layers of food preparation and the rhythmic chop-chop-chop sound of her knife. In practical terms, when it came to ears of corn, that meant making use of many of the parts of the ear that many people discard without thought. By utilizing as much of the ear as possible, we not only save money but also extract as much goodness as possible from the graceful union of heaven and earth forces that miraculously and uniquely express themselves in an ear of corn. We also honor the efforts of all those who planted the seeds, those who grew, harvested and transported the corn from field to table. We value the life of the corn that in turn gives us life and energy to pursue our dreams. Following is the method Cornellia taught for cutting corn with “no wasting”. Not only does it show appreciation for the ear of corn, but you will appreciate new depths of deliciousness! Place the ear of corn in a bowl to catch the kernels as you slice them from the cob in downward strokes. (for a short demo of this cutting and scraping technique see “No Wasting” Corn Cutting Demo by Cynthia Briscoe) Using the backside of the knife, (the dull side) scrape the cob to remove the remaining pulp from the cob. Notice the tiny dark yellow pyramid shaped bits on your knife blade. Those are the corn germ, the vital storehouse of regeneration Break the cob in half and add to soup stock or place in the pot when cooking millet or rice for a delicious sweet corn flavor. Cornellia’s Fresh Corn Soup 3 ears fresh corn 2 medium-sized yellow onions minced 6 cups spring water or filtered water 1 tablespoon kuzu 1 teaspoon sea salt 1 stem of parsley, finely minced for garnish Trim corn from cob. Scrape cob with the dull back side of the knife to remove remaining pulp. Set corn aside. Place onion, corncobs and sea salt in a soup pot. Add enough of the water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered until onions are completely soft. Add corn and remaining water. Return to a boil and cook an additional 10 minutes. Dilute kuzu in a little water and add to soup pot. Cook until kuzu turns...read more
“Peach-boshi” (Part 2) by Cynthia Briscoe In a previous post, we discussed the idea of substituting green peaches to replace the ume fruit traditionally used to make umeboshi. Not too many folks have an ume tree growing in their yard, but they might have access to an apricot tree or a peach tree. A few Japanese-specific grocers may sell fresh ume fruit in June, but again, this proves to be an exceptional find and is most likely not organic. When David and I lived in Kansas City, I ordered three ume trees from a nursery in Washington. The Midwest is actually not conducive to growing ume, but in my youthful enthusiasm, I planted them regardless. The trees will live, but very rarely do they bear fruit. Late frosts, common to the region, freeze the blossoms and consequently, no fruit will be produced that year. I found a good rule of thumb before planting an ume tree is to find out whether apricots grow locally, since apricots are the closest relative to ume. Also check with your Agricultural Extension Service concerning the growing success for apricots. Much to my chagrin, I discovered that in Kansas City, apricot trees bear fruit once every 7 to 11 years! So much for growing and making my own umeboshi in Kansas! Perhaps though, if I had been more creative, I could have made “peach-boshi”. Here in California, our ume tree blooms in January. Our peach tree blooms later in the spring. It has never failed to produce fruit, but even here, the ume blossoms sometimes receive frost. Often the ume blossom time here corresponds with many solid days of rain, making it impossible for the bees to get out and pollinate. Due to my love of summer peaches, it seems a little sacrilegious to pick all the peaches green. So I plan to pick some of the peaches while they are still green to make “peach-boshi”, and leave the rest to mature and ripen. Then I can enjoy “peach-boshi” and fresh sweet peaches, too! Another necessary component in making umeboshi or “peach-boshi” is an herb called shiso. Shiso is also known as perilla or beefsteak. The purple shiso is the variety used to impart the red color to umeboshi. Shiso is very rich in iron and calcium. It also boasts anti-bacterial properties. Traditionally, fresh shiso leaves are served as a garnish with sushi containing raw fish, as it protects against fish poisoning, just in case the fish is tainted. Shiso is easy to grow your own shiso in any climate. Seeds can be ordered online. Once you establish a patch of shiso, it reseeds itself and will return year after year. Plant in the spring and it will be ready to harvest in...read more
“Peach-boshi” – Making Umeboshi with Peaches? (Part 1) by Cynthia Briscoe The peach is my all-time favorite fruit. I’m sure this is the result of childhood memories of climbing the peach tree with my Missouri farm cousin and picking only the ripest, juiciest, red-cheekiest, sun-warm peaches right off the tree. We delighted in the heavenly stickiness dripping from our mouths and down our elbows as it stuck a day’s worth of summer play dirt to our shirts. To even think of picking peaches while still hard and green would never have entered my mind back then. But recently I spied small green peaches lacing the boughs of an abandoned peach tree. Valiantly, the tree had survived neglect and drought and yet still generously offered the kindness of fruit. Undersized from lack of water, at first I thought the small green fruits might be unripe apricots. But no, the apricots had already come and gone. I remembered Mr. Muramoto, author of ‘Healing Ourselves’ had creatively substituted apricots, for lack of ume, and created what he called “apri-boshi”. “Hmm…why not try green peaches?” I thought. And so this experiment has begun....read more
There’s been a long-standing prejudice toward buckwheat in the macrobiotic teachings. This is unfortunate as buckwheat can be a very nice addition to one’s whole grain repertoire. The macrobiotic view of many over the last 15 years has maintained a stubborn stance that buckwheat will make a person “too yang.” And since so many have developed a fear of being too yang, buckwheat is avoided. There is also the view that buckwheat is an exclusively cold weather grain since it is a favorite in Russia. “Buckwheat makes you yang and hot!” the macrobiotic counselor admonishes. As a result, it seems to me that the macrobiotic view has been unnecessarily one-dimensional when it comes to buckwheat. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, on the other hand, buckwheat is used to remove excess heat from the body. In Japan cool buckwheat (soba) noodles are used during the hottest and most humid days of the year to reduce heat and excess dampness in the body. If you’ve ever cooked whole buckwheat, you saw how much faster it absorbs water compared to all other whole grains. It has a water-absorbing nature. This can be useful for anyone who tends to pool excess dampness internally. This excess dampness can make one feel quite miserable on hot and humid days, because the moisture in the body that normally evaporates through the skin can’t, due to the excess moisture in the humid air. Eating some buckwheat or soba noodles can help. I don’t suggest that buckwheat is to be eaten three times daily for weeks on end. Just try it once. If it makes you feel hot, OK, then you won’t want to use it in hot weather. On the other hand, it might help you feel better in hot weather. You have to find out for yourself. Usually buckwheat dishes served in hot weather are served at room temperature, not hot. A favorite recipe of mine for a hot weather buckwheat dish is Buckwheat Salad. It is served at room temperature or, if you prefer, slightly chilled. Buckwheat Salad Yield: 5 to 5½ cups 3 cups cooked buckwheat groats (pre-cook in water and sauerkraut juice) pinch of sea salt 2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley 1 cup steamed, chopped kale or leftover leafy greens 1 cup chopped, drained sauerkraut ½ cup red cabbage, thinly sliced, blanched and sprinkled with ¼ tsp brown rice vinegar to brighten and preserve the color ¼ to ½ cup soy sauce 1 tsp ginger juice Sauté finely chopped parsley in a very small amount of water. Mix the parsley with the buckwheat. Mix in the steamed, chopped kale and chopped sauerkraut. Mix the soy sauce and ginger juice, pour over the buckwheat salad, and mix...read more
http://www.macroamerica.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Balance-Summer-Heat-with-Qi-Gong-for-the-Heart.mp4 This simple qigong exercise can be done at home. It’s can cool down an over-heated heart on a hot...read more
Dandelion Oily Miso Dandelion Oily Miso beneficial to the liver and gall bladder, builds red blood cells 4 cups dandelion greens chopped into 1/4 inch piece 1 Tablespoon sesame oil 1 Tablespoon barley miso 1. Wash dandelion, drain and cut into small pieces. Separate roots and greens if using the whole plant. 2. Warm oil in a heavy skillet. 3. Add dandelion roots first, then greens. Sauté the roots first until golden, then add the chopped greens, cooking until the color turns bright green. 4. Add miso on top of dandelion green. Stir with a spoon or chopstick, breaking up miso into smaller sections until it melts into the dandelion. 5. Shut off flame and place in a small serving bowl. 6. Serve a rounded teaspoon on top of rice cream porridge or other...read more
Planting Our First Tea Bush For Making “Twig Tea” by David Briscoe Sunday, May 18, 2014 , we planted our first tea bush in hopes that some day we can make our own kukicha “twig tea,” as well as green leaf tea. Our goal is to little by little attempt to make as many of the foods as we can that are usually imported for use in a traditional macrobiotic diet. Of course, it’s possible to have a macrobiotic diet without using twig tea, but we thought it would be fun and interesting, and more economical, to grow the tea that we personally like to use often. The tea bush pictured is one of five we will be planting to make a hedge that we hope will produce enough tea for us and our family. The variety we chose is the kind that is commonly cultivated in Japan. It produces smaller leaves and more stems. One of the benefits of twig tea that we appreciate the most is its alkaline support in the body. When properly prepared, the twigs release their minerals into the water, creating a mineral-rich alkaline brew. We make twig tea from the loose twigs, not from kukicha tea bags. The tea bags don’t release the same amount of minerals into the water, since simply steeping the tea bag in a cup of hot water doesn’t allow much of the twigs mineral content to be released. We prefer cooking the loose twigs for 15-20 minutes. Loose kukicha tea twigs can be purchased at many natural foods stores, or bought online. If the resulting tea seems too dark or too concentrated for you, simply add more water until it’s the color and dilution that you prefer. We hope you’ll come and visit us at the Macrobiotics America “Whole Way House” in Oroville, CA, to share a cup of tea with us! Visit us at...read more
Are you confused about all the contradictory information surrounding “carbs,” “gluten” and “grains”? This excellent article by Alex Jack, from the Spring 2014 Amberwaves & Macrobiotic Path newsletter, answers many of the questions stirred up by all the media attention. Alex Jack is president of Amberwaves and general manager of the Kushi Institute, where she teaches planetary medicine and health. [gview file=”http://www.macroamerica.com/wholegrainsunderseige.pdf” save=”1″] ...read more
I was so very fortunate to have worked closely with Cornellia Aihara for eight years, managing the Vega Study Center kitchen, training staff, resident students and teaching cooking classes. Cornellia was a firm believer in making her own macrobiotic staples. We made Vega’s own miso, shoyu (natural soysauce), umeboshi, umeboshi vinegar, mochi, rice bran pickles, takuan, seitan and many other items. Sometimes students would question her, “Cornellia, why don’t you just buy these foods?” In her unique Japanese/American manner of speaking, she would say, “What if boat doesn’t come?” I reflected on those simple words when the tsunami disaster hit Japan. Only Cornellia and Mr. Muramoto taught students in America how to make their own shoyu. Especially, when students stayed for a while at Vega and ate these products, then they understood the value in terms of health and flavor. Cornellia was always very proud of her accomplished shoyu, miso and pickles – wanting to share them with everyone. I savoured the flavors, but more importantly, the unique opportunity of learning the art of making these traditional foods. I knew of no American macrobiotic teachers who taught making these foods, so I happily engaged myself as a link between Cornellia, a first generation macrobiotic teacher, and future generations of students. Now, I’d like to share this knowlege with you. For myself, I enjoy making these products. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment and even security. I know exactly the quality of the ingredients and how it is made. I can save money and still enjoy these wonderful and delicious products without breaking the bank. Some of these items, like miso, or mochi can be made in larger amounts with friends, extended family, groups or neighbors and shared. Producing our own food, as a community, for well-being and sustainability is a special human experience most of us no longer know within today’s social structure. The modern hurry-up lifestyle removes us from a deep connection to our food, leaving it to the chain of manufacturers-shippers-middlemen-marketers. In my upcoming June 6-10 “Make Your Own Home Crafted Foods”course in Oroville, CA, you can learn to make many of your own special home-crafted foods, and then return home to establish a deeper sense of community with family, friends, and local support groups. You simply can’t compare the quality and flavor of these homemade foods to anything that can be store-bought. They’re sustainable, economical, ecological, practical, fun and incomparably delicious! Please come join me for this 5-day, hands-on cooking intensive and let me share with you what I learned from Cornellia. REGISTRATION & MORE INFORMATION...read more
Welcome Weeds Clear the Way for Spring By Cynthia Briscoe As we begin to loosen from our cocoons of warm blankets and wool sweaters to venture out and enjoy the first stirrings of spring, it’s a good time to do the same internally with our blood quality. As you clear last year’s debris from the garden, or perhaps take a spring walk through areas less traveled, pay attention to the vegetation that rears up from the cool moist soil. Many of the so-called “weeds” are perfect foodstuff for aligning ourselves with nature’s tick tock. Generally during the colder seasons we eat foods cooked in ways that make us feel warmer and hold more energy within our bodies. Who doesn’t enjoy a thick bean soup, hearty stew or baked casserole during the winter? We tend to cook our food longer and use more oil, both of which help us stay warm. Then there is the holiday fare of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s when we often celebrate with special foods and tantalizing desserts. All this is well and good, and very enjoyable. However, about the time we box up the decorations, have you ever noticed that there is the inevitable mysterious flu virus that descends upon much of the population? There is always the speculation of which foreign country originated the hated virus. Perhaps we had best look in our own back yards for the source and well as the cure. Actually, those who contract viruses at this time of year, might show a tiny bit of gratitude, because those pesky ‘bugs’ roll up their sleeves and get to work spring cleaning the excesses we have shoved into the ‘liver closet’, stored in the ‘intestinal garage’ or accumulated in the ‘lung attic’ over the past few months. With the ”joy” of tissues in hand, or experiencing diarrhea, headaches or fever, our bodies’ response to those little buggers helps clear the pathway to springtime from sluggish blood quality, congested lungs and livers, and other ‘junk drawers’ within our bodies. Some of the best things in life are free, and many common “weeds” fall into this category. They are just there for the picking. So before you yank, compost or mow take a closer look and see if you can identify some of these beneficial common weeds. All of them are rich in chlorophyll, which is very nourishing for the liver. They tenaciously draw up bio-available trace minerals from the subsoil, which strengthen our immune systems and alkalize our body fluids. Because they are nutritionally rich and strong energetically, use common sense and don’t over-do it. Forage wild greens from areas that have not been sprayed or the ground subjected to chemical pollutants. Also choose areas that are not high automobile traffic areas or subjected to feedlot run-off. Here are three of my favorite common and wayside “weeds”. Dandelion – serrated leaves with the crown close and flat to the ground. Flowers are golden yellow and produce a round ball of fluffy parachute type seeds. Beneficial for the liver, building red blood cells and a general tonic. Bitter flavor. Wild fennel – Early in the spring, feathery shoots grow up from the base of last year’s plant. Pick the tender shoots and add a...read more