Tag Archives: macrobiotic

Quick fish and tofu croquettes

A quick and healthy recipe for the week-end? This is for when you are not feeling up to much and looking at the left-overs in the fridge without much inspiration… Been there? Me too… But a nice easy little dish would cheer you up, and this is it.

This will make a dozen croquettes.

Ingredients list:

  • Firm tofu, 200g
  • Flaked cooked fish (salmon, cod, trout…), 200g
  • Basil leaves, 5
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Worcester sauce, 1 dash

This is a nice dish to use up left overs of any fish you have been enjoying that week. I make it with trout when it is in season and my other half has stuffed the freezer full of his catch! I might bake a trout with almonds and then use the flesh to make this the next day.

Blend the trout fillets with the tofu and seasoning in a food processor.

Add the eggs and mix. You will have a mix like a dough or a bit firmer.

Then shape some egg-sized balls in oiled hands and roll them in rice flour before frying them in a bit of sunflower oil. Turn them around to have it nicely brown all around.

Enjoy with a side salad.

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James Ramsden’s quick spinach curry

My two British food “heroes” are currently and unashamedly, Jamie Oliver and James Ramsden. The first needs no introduction but the second is a very talented blogger and this dish is loosely based on two recipes from his book  “Small adventures in Cooking”.

Ingredients list:

  • Olive oil, 20ml
  • Onion, 1
  • Chickpeas, 1/2 tin
  • Red kidney beans, 1/2 tin
  • Pinto beans, 1/2 tin
  • Tomato puree, 1 Tbsp
  • Spinach, 1/2 tin
  • Coconut milk, 150ml
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Garlic clove 1
  • Curry powder, 1 Tbsp
  • Chilli, 1 pinch
  • salt and pepper

The beans add a nice texture and plenty of protein to this version, but if you have trouble digesting them, just skip!

Melt the chopped onion in a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Add the spices and the beans, then the drained spinach, the crushed garlic, the tomato paste and lemon juice.

Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Pour in the coconut milk towards the end so it does not ever boil.

Serve hot with some naan bread or chapattis.

This curry is delicious re-heated and will keep for a few days in the fridge.

The greatness of this dish is that every ingredient is coming out of a tin and can be stored in your cupboard. Perfect when the fridge has been empty for days because of exam stress! Or just when work is getting out of hand…

I am leaving the country at dawn and throwing this recipe as a life-line to the three men of my life who are going to have to cook for themselves from tomorrow evening!…

Salmon and Sauerkraut in crunchy papillotes

This is hardly a recipe because it is so quickly put together and because you can accommodate it in so many idiosyncratic ways! But it is very healthy and delicious and I have produced it so many times over the past months that I feel I have to include it… This is a family food diary first and foremost, after all.

Sauerkraut is a pickled cabbage that is used a lot in Macrobiotic cooking because it is very digestible : it promotes good bacteria in the digestive system. It is also a great combination with oily fish for it helps the digestion of fat. I find that its sour taste compliments salmon particularly well. This recipe is inspired by one found on the associative French site Marmiton.org.

Ingredients list:

  • Sheets of filo or strudel pastry
  • Onions, 2
  • Fillets of fresh or smoked salmon
  • Soya cream or crème fraîche
  • Rapeseed oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Fresh or dried dill
  • Tin of Sauerkraut (cabbage in brine): Check for a Sauerkraut that does not contain added sugar – sadly, some pickles do…
  • Small glass of white wine – I’d happily drink the rest over the meal.
Peal and chop the onions and cook them in a little oil until soft.
Mix in the drained sauerkraut. Add a small glass of white wine and let it steam off. Reserve.
Chop the salmon in large chunks. Add the cream, seasoning and the onions. Toss it so the sauce coats each morsels.
Spreand your strudel pastry or lay the filo sheets. One sheet is enough to wrap around.
Put a big scoop of drained Sauerkraut filling in the top corner of each sheets, top with some salmon chunks and start rolling down diagonally, tucking the sides in as you roll.
Put the parcels in an oven tray, sprinkle a little oil and bake at 180º for 20 to 30 minutes. Enjoy with the rest of your wine.

Mung beans miso soup

I never think of soup as a purely winter staple and in fact, I find there is a soup (or two) for every season. Try this one for Springtime!

Ingredients list :

  • Large shallot, 1
  • Water, 1 L
  • Pre-soaked Mung beans, 250g
  • Knorr vegetable cube, 1
  • Golden miso paste (Shiro Miso), 1 Tsp
  • Umeboshi paste (pickled plums), 1 tsp
  • Dash of almond or soya cream to serve
  • Olive oil

I soak the Mung for 24h to 36h  prior to using them in soups, stews or salad. Just rinse them and cover and put in a dark cool corner of the kitchen. If they sprout too quickly, you can reserve in the fridge under a cloth. Use them when the white tips are just appearing.

Chop the shallots finely and fry on medium heat in one Tbsp of olive oil. When they turn brown, add the soaked beans and the hot water – with the vegetable stock cube dissolved in it.

Boil for 15 minutes until the grain is soft.

Add the Shiro miso and Umeboshi paste and let those melt on low heat for a few minutes.

Note: Never let the miso or Umeboshi boil up for fear of loosing their health properties. They both promote an alkaline digestive environment and are therefore invaluable in any effort to acquiring better health. I find these ingredients at the Japanese centre in Lower Regents street W1 : Always buy from a reputable brand and check for added sugar.

Added and hidden sugar…This is my new bug-bear! Hear more on the Sugar as Toxin by a scientist called Robert Lustig, here.

This soup is a great springtime pick-me-up. The energy from the sprouting seeds is just what you need when Spring is a bit late to come and you want to feel attuned to the renewal of life all around… Or so it should be … Mung beans are also good at this time of year because they are meant to be very cooling and soothing for the internal organs.

Serve hot with wholemeal bread and a dash of almond cream. Add a little salt and pepper to taste but only if you need to. I don’t liquidize it but you could.

A crunchy stir-fry in springtime colours

Healthy bites for lunch box – raw and vegan!

  1. WE ARE WHAT WE EAT and that is why it is so important to only put the very best fuel into our bodies.
  2. Over two thirds of our plate (or our daily intake) should come exclusively from plant based food. Namely fruit, veg, carbohydrates and staple food like rice, grains, flours.
  3. We only need sugar in very small quantities and we should avoid added sugar in food such as sauces, bread, bought biscuits.

This is in three points the essence of the message I try to pass onto my children and family. They mostly take it in,  sometimes ignore it and rarely but otherwise expectedly rebel against it! So it was with glee on my part and relief on theirs that I recently was able to drill a slightly larger audience of fresh, open and eager minds!

Last wednesday, for the last session of the Healthy Cooking Club, I had a lot of fun designing a menu along those lines and as I was looking at including a sweet/pudding, I came across these fruit and nut balls. They are not only deliciously healthy but also very easy to make and gratifying for the children to roll . They can easily fit into a lunch box or can be used as snack on the go. They can be customised with an endless variety of dry fruit, nuts and even fresh fruits or seeds but here is the mix that I used for the photo:

Raw fruit balls

Ingredient list:

  • raisin, 1 cup
  • rolled oats, 1 cup
  • pecan nuts, 1/2 cup
  • ground almond, 1/2 cup
  • handful of pine nuts
  • dates, 1 cup
  • grated zest of one lime
  • Prune juice, 50 ml to bind
Process to a pulp, adding the juice along so that it helps binding the mix but do keep it touch dry. It must not get too sticky in your hands or rolling will not be such fun…
Now prepare three bowls : Fill one with raw unsweetened cacao, one with cinnamon and Allspice mixed with a little rice flour or cornflour and lastly one more with grated coconut.
Give latex gloves to the kids or oil your hands and take a marble size chunck of the mixture. Roll it lightly then dip into the covering you choose and roll into a ball. Remember your playdoh days! Modelling is so therapeutic it should be compulsory until A level… Dress on a pretty plate and enjoy – or reserve in clingfilm in the fridge.

For a real teatime treat, you could make yourself this amazing drink I discovered at TOMBO, japanese bistrot in South kensington: A frothy Macha latte with soya.
Recipe to come next!