This is a delicious fall dish that attendees made during my Seasonal Cooking - Focus on Autumn Class through Farmington's Continuing Education Program
During the class, I spoke of the six tastes and incorporating them into your meals.
As I encourage all of my students to do - make this your own my following your intuition and substituting where you see fit.
As the weather continues to cool, I begin using more cooked dark leafy greens in place of the fresh baby spinach.
1 bag of baby spinach (or dark leafy green of choice,) washed and patted dry (Astringent, Bitter)
2 cups of whole grain of choice soaked 8 – 24 hours prior in warm water and apple cider vinegar (see handout) Brown rice, basmati rice, jasmine rice, black forbidden rice, barley, quinoa, wild rice or millet (Sweet)
2 large sweet potatoes, cubed (You may substitute any combination of hardy autumn vegetables, such as, beets, butternut or acorn squash, Brussel sprouts or cauliflower) (Sweet)
5 – 8 oz of fresh mushrooms of choice (today we’re using baby portabellas), cleaned and sliced into bite size pieces (Astringent)
1 large red or yellow onion, sliced (Pungent, Sweet)
4 – 6 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole (Pungent)
0.5 oz of dried sea vegetable of choice (We’re using arame prepared according to package directions) (Salty, Astringent)
½ of an orange, sliced (Sweet)
2 – 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary and/or fresh thyme (Pungent, Bitter)
1 teaspoons of paprika (Pungent, Astringent, Bitter)
Salt and black pepper to taste (Salty, Pungent)
Extra virgin olive oil for both roasting and sautéing (Sweet)
½ cup of dried cranberries (Astringent, Sour, Sweet)
1 cup of walnuts (soaked, drained and then lightly toasted in a dry skillet. You may substitute any nut or seed of choice) (Astringent)
¼ cup of white miso paste (Salty, Sweet, Astringent)
1/3 cup of orange juice (Sweet)
1 – 2 tablespoons of tamari soy sauce (Salty)
1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil (Sweet, Astringent)
2 teaspoons of rice wine, dry sherry or balsamic vinegar (Sour, Sweet)
Soak your grain of choice for at least 7 – 8 hours. Rinse and drain.
Prepare your sea vegetable according to package directions. For today’s Arame – I pre-soaked it for 30 minutes in cold water, drained and boiled in water for 10 minutes and drained again. Set aside.
Soak the walnuts in warm water for 4 – 8 hours, drain and set aside.
Cook your soaked and rinsed whole grain according to package directions (30 – 45 minutes) in a lidded sauce pan, drain and keep warm.
While the grain is cooking: Dry roast your soaked walnuts in a skillet for 2 – 5 minutes until golden brown. Set aside.
Wash the baby spinach and allow to drip-dry in a colander.
Presoak your cranberries in warm water, drain and setting aside.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare an oiled baking sheet or use parchment paper.
Wash, slice, dice and prepare your vegetables and herbs.
In a large bowl, toss the sliced and diced vegetables and herbs in olive oil and bake for 20 – 30 minutes on prepared baking sheet.
Keep a close eye on them and turn using a spatula mid-way through to prevent burning.
Prepare your dressing by whisking all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.
Adjust amounts and seasonings as desired.
Add your prepared arame sea vegetables and toss until coated.
Assemble your plate or serving platter by laying out your bed of baby spinach/leafy greens, scooping your grain on top, adding your roasted herbs and vegetables and topping with the arame and dressing.
Garnish with the toasted walnuts or toasted nut/seed of choice.
Serve and enjoy!
The Key to Balance LLC
Millet is a wonderful whole grain rich in nutrients, gluten-free and versatile. It is a complex carbohydrate and is both satisfying and stabilizing. Millet's health benefits are numerous. It is easy to digest, increases our energy and immunity and is believed to protect our heart, lower our risk of cancer, boost our respiratory health and help to detoxify our bodies. Combined with my medicinal mushroom gravy that's a double boost of detoxifying and immunity boosting!
As I teach in my classes, use your intuition in the kitchen, incorporate the six tastes in your meals, use the best ingredients you can and have fun!
JEANNE'S MILLET MASH RECIPE:
Pre-soak 2 cups of millet overnight in a large bowl with enough water to cover. Add 1 Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar or white distilled vinegar to the soaking water.
Drain and rinse in a colander.
Wash and cut up one cauliflower head and 1 - 2 carrots.
Peel and dice one medium onion.
In a large saucepan, place the soaked millet and vegetables together and cover with at least six cups of water. You may need eight cups of water to cover everything.
Cover the saucepan, bring to boil, then turn down and cook on a low heat for approximately 30 minutes.
Your cooking time will depend on the size of the vegetables and exact burner temperature.
Monitor to prevent burning.
The millet will soak up the water and plump up and the vegetables will be soft when done.
Using either a food processor or a hand-held immersion blender, blend the cooked millet and vegetables until smooth like mashed potatoes.
Add 1 Tablespoons of white miso paste, 1 teaspoon of balsamic or ume plum vinegar, 2 teaspoons of soy sauce and an optional 3 - 4 Tablespoons of grated brown rice mochi. (Mochi is pounded brown rice and can be found in health foods stores and at Edenfoods.com. When grated into a dish, such as this one, it acts similar to cheese providing a richness and strengthens the dish especially if it's too soft. You want to add the grated mochi while the dish is still hot so it melts.)
Blend all of your seasonings into the mash until thoroughly combined. This dish will still be hot and ready to serve if you completed all of the above quickly; however, it is easily reheated in a stove top pot or in the oven in a casserole dish.
This Millet Mash makes a great side dish instead of potatoes and is also a nourishing meal on it's own with or without the gravy.
JEANNE'S MEDICINAL MUSHROOM GRAVY
Delicious, fat-free, easy and healthy.
Again, this is my recipe, so use what you have available and make it your own.
Soak 4 oz each of dried shiitake and maitake mushrooms in water for at least 30 minutes
If your mushrooms are organic, you can use the soaking water in your gravy. Otherwise, drain the mushrooms and discard the soaking water.
In a medium sauce pan, water saute one medium to large onion, diced and 3 cloves of minced garlic.
Add any or all of the following to your saute: 2 - 3 teaspoons of fresh rosemary, thyme, tarragon and/or sage (or 1/2 - 1 teaspoon dried)
Once onion is translucent, add the pre-soaked mushrooms and 4 cups of water.
Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to a low simmer.
Simmer for 20 - 30 minutes.
During the last 10 minutes, add 1 Tablespoon of barley miso paste, 1- 2 Tablespoons of dry sherry or rice wine, 2 teaspoons of ume plum vinegar or balsamic vinegar and 2 teaspoons of soy sauce.
Using a hand immersion blender, blend until smooth (unless you like a chunky gravy.) If you don't have an immersion blender, this can be blended in a blender; however, take care not to burn yourself.
Once blended, thicken your gravy with 3 Tablespoons of kudzu root starch mixed with an equal amount of COLD water and then add it into your gravy stirring constantly to prevent lumping.
Taste and adjust any seasoning.
Serve over millet mash and garnish with fresh parsley.
This gravy can be served with polenta, seitan and tofu dishes, potatoes, noodles, biscuits, etc.
It will keep for 3 - 5 days in your refrigerator.
Reheat in a saucepan to use as needed.
This is a fabulous fall, winter and holiday gathering dish and very nourishing to anyone with a weakened constitution.
Each ingredient offers a host of benefits.
While some of the ingredients may be new to you, they are worth exploring.
Enjoy in good health!
This dish was a hit at my recent
World Vegan Day Event.
My vegan spin on the classic Sloppy Joe that so many of us grew up with here in the U.S.
Using lentils and mushrooms and optional walnuts instead of the typical ground beef, this dish offers a nutrient dense, tasty and compassionate/harm-none option as a hearty sandwich meal.
Lentils are rich in fiber, protein, iron, folate, copper, phosphorus, manganese & vitamin B1.
Lentils do not require presoaking, but I will still soak them in water in a bowl for approximately 20 minutes while I gather my supplies to make this dish.
In a large sauce pan, add 2 cups of lentils to 6 cups of water and bring to boil, turn down heat and simmer for 30 - 40 minutes.
(If you want a super chunky-style dish, then you do not need to do the following.)
In a food processor, combine the cooked lentils with one package of fresh mushrooms of choice (I usually use baby portabellas) and an optional 1 cup of walnuts. Pulse until a ground consistency is obtained.
In a large saucepan, saute one large diced onion, 3 minced cloves of garlic and one large chopped green pepper in either water or olive oil until the onion is translucent.
Add the lentil, mushroom and walnut mixture, 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar and two 32 oz cans of crushed tomatoes.
Simmer on low heat until thoroughly heated, approximately 30 minutes.
Add sea salt and pepper to taste.
Serve on a roll with pickles and a squirt of ketchup or on a bed of cooked rice and accompany with a green salad or cooked dark leafy greens.
This keeps well in a crockpot and makes a great "game day" dish or potluck dish.
Our favorite sandwich of all time.
Using store bought tempeh "bacon" strips, such as, Light Life Smoked Tempeh Strips, this is a quick and delicious work night dinner accompanied with a bowl of soup or a salad and it makes a great weekend lunch.
Adjust amounts according to the number of sandwiches you are making.
In a skillet coated with a small amount of oil, heat the tempeh strips.
"Butter" two slices of rye bread with a vegan spread, such as, Earth Balance.
On the inside of your rye bread spread horseradish and spiced mustard.
Place bread slices, buttered side down on a skillet or griddle and grill on low heat.
While the rye bread is grilling, add one slice of a vegan cheese. We like Chao slices.
Stacking on one slice of rye bread, add your heated tempeh strips, 2 tablespoons of sauerkraut, 1/4 of a sliced avocado and pea shoots or alfalfa sprouts.
Drizzle with optional vegan thousand island dressing and place the 2nd slice of grilled rye bread onto the sandwich and serve with double the napkins!
Due to the number of fixings in this sandwich, it is best to not attempt to flip it as you would a grilled cheese. That is why we grill both slices of bread, but stack the "goods" on only one slice.
This is such a hearty sandwich that usually one can be made and sliced in half to serve two people.
Perfect on it's own or served with a small bowl of soup or salad.
Adapt it and make it your own! Enjoy!
Sometimes you just need a simple soup.
Especially if you've just indulged in that Tempeh Reuben.
This is a simple and cleansing soup.
It makes a wonderful base if you care to add other vegetables, tofu, cooked beans and/or miso paste.
I like to include a bowl of this with rich meals or begin my day with it to gently break-the-fast.
Adjust the quantity based on your number of servings desired.
In a medium size sauce pan, add 1 - 2 Tablespoons of dried wakame sea vegetable to 1 1/2 cups of water.
As the wakame soaks and rehydrates, wash and slice 2 celery stalks, fresh parsley leaves and your dark leafy green of choice (kale, collards.)
Add the chopped vegetables to the wakame and water and simmer for 10 minutes on low flame.
Add pea shoots, sliced scallions or minced chives and serve.
Don't let the simplicity of this soup fool you!
Each ingredient is detoxifying and loaded with
essential minerals and vitamins.
Fiber-rich, it gently stimulates our intestinal tract while allowing for easy absorption of the nutrients.
The classic Waldorf Salad is made using apples, raisins and/or red grapes, celery, mayonnaise and sour cream, sugar and nuts.
I've removed the sugar and sour cream, substituted vegan mayonnaise and added a bit more flavor in order to round out the sweetness and incorporate some warming spices.
Note the measurements are not exact.
Use your intuition and start small with the spices and salt.
You really only need a pinch or sprinkle of each.
Wash and cut up your apples of choice into bite size pieces.
Wash and slice in half a handful of red grapes.
Wash and dice one or two celery stalk, optional.
Place all of the above in a bowl and add a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice and enough vegan mayonnaise to coat.
Sprinkle with ground cinnamon and add a pinch of ginger powder, cardamom and nutmeg.
Stir to coat and combine.
Toss in a handful of dried cranberries and raisins.
Add a pinch or two of sea salt.
Add nuts or seeds of choice.
Here I used pecans; however, I love this recipe with walnuts or toasted pumpkin seeds.
Vegan mayonnaise can be purchased in most grocery stores these days.
The internet is also full of homemade recipes for you to explore.
I prefer a homemade one prepared using tofu; however, we've also used store-bought vegan brands.
Homemade Vegan Mayonnaise
In a food processor or blender, add
1 package of silken tofu
2 - 3 teaspoons of spicy mustard
1 teaspoon of dried dill
1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
1 Tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar
A pinch of sea salt
IF you find it too thick, you can thin this out with a little soy milk or a tiny bit of olive oil.
Label, date and store your homemade vegan mayonnaise in a sealed container (preferably glass) in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Making this salad for holiday meals or weekend gatherings is a great way to involve kids of all ages. This salad can be made one-day in advance, but is really best enjoyed the same day it is prepared.
What is "Kanten?"
Kanten, or Agar Agar, is a sea vegetable, a dried red algae, that is harvested and freeze dried for use in culinary dishes.
When dried and packaged, Agar Agar, or kanten, appears off-white, translucent and flakey and is used to thicken dishes much like gelatin.
It is flavorless, odorless, contains zero calories or fat and is a wonderful "harm none" vegan alternative to gelatin.
It is believed to absorb bile causing the body to dissolve cholesterol. It also serves as a lovely palate cleanser.
Kanten is a wonderful summer treat that is high in fiber and rich in calcium and iron.
It can be added to your berry pies, puddings and custards to thicken these dishes.
Here in this recipe, I've used it to thicken organic fruit juice which results in a delicious, Jello-like effect.
It's simple, easy to make, delicious and can be "dressed up or down" a number of ways depending on how you serve it.
Concord Grape & Apple Juice Kanten
2 cups of organic Concord grape juice
2 cups of organic apple juice
4 Tablespoons of Agar Agar
Heat juice in a saucepan until just about boiling. Whisk in the agar and continue stirring until completely dissolved.
Pour into your favorite cups, parfait glass or bowl and allow to cool and set.
Garnished with fresh mint leaf and optional berries or a non-dairy whipped topping.
Basic Miso Soup
2 cups of fresh water
1 stamp-size piece of kombu sea vegetable
1 – 2 Tablespoons dried sea vegetable of choice - wakame/alaria, dulce or sea palm
½ - 1 cup land vegetable(s) of choice – use what’s in season and on hand, such as, carrots, radishes, kale, etc.
(Dried shiitake mushrooms, dried lotus root, etc. will require pre-soaking time)
Grated fresh ginger, optional
2 – 4 teaspoons of organic miso paste
Your garnish of choice – chopped scallions or chives, sprouts, roasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds or an edible flower
Place your water, kombu seaweed and dried mushrooms in a pot and bring to boil.
Cover and simmer for several minutes while you cut and slice your vegetables.
Cut, chop and slice your vegetables noting that larger sizes will take longer to cook then thin or small pieces.
Add your cut vegetables and optional grated ginger to your broth.
Cook for 3 – 8 minutes depending on the amount of vegetables and their size/cut.
Turn down the burner to a low heat and then add your miso paste by diluting it in broth or straining it right into the soup and stir well.
SIMMER for no more than 1-3 minutes more on the lowest setting.
NEVER BOIL YOUR MISO. Doing so will rob you of its fermented benefits.
Discard the Kombu, or take it out, dice it up and add it back into your soup or compost.
Transfer to bowls and garnish and serve hot.
1 package silken, organic tofu
1/3 cup unsweetened cacao powder
3 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger powder
A pinch of sea salt
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend at a high speed until smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides several times.
Using a spoon or piping bag, place a layer of the cacao pudding into your glasses/dishes using approximately 2/3 of the cacao pudding.
Reserve the remaining cacao pudding in a bowl to use as a top layer.
Place your parfaits and the bowl of reserved cacao pudding in the refrigerator to set while you make the strawberry tofu pudding.
Recipe for the strawberry tofu pudding:
1 package of silken, organic tofu
I package of fresh or frozen strawberries (or raspberries, dark cherries or blueberries)
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons of maple syrup
Blend at a high speed in a food processor until smooth and creamy.
Spoon or pipe this strawberry pudding onto your set cacao pudding layer in your parfait glasses.
Top with remaining cacao pudding using a spoon.
Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Garnish just before serving with fresh mint leaves, edible flowers, candied ginger or shaved chocolate.
Create your own recipe by using different fruit, blending both the cacao pudding and berry pudding together and/or substituting almond or peppermint extract in place of the vanilla extract.
Brown rice syrup, or no sweetener at all, is also an option.
This recipe can be easily doubled or tripled and can be made one or two days ahead of time.
Enjoy in good health!
One 16 oz package of organic, firm tofu
Dark, leafy greens to steam, such as, kale, collards or swiss chard
Homemade teriyake sauce, or a good quality store-bought brand
Rinse and slice tofu into triangles or rectangles and pan fry in a cast iron skillet with the teriyake sauce for 4 - 6 minutes, turning them once mid-way.
Serve on a bed of steamed leafy greens.
(Homemade Teriyake Sauce: 1/2 cup of tamari/soy sauce, 2 teaspoons of grated fresh ginger root, 2 garlic cloves, minced, 1/4 cup of organic, brown rice syrup, 2 teaspoons of brown rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon of miriin (rice wine,) kuzu to thicken if needed.
In a small saucepan, simmer all of the ingredients, except for the kuzu, for 5 - 7 minutes whisking occasionally. Strain if desired. (I like to leave the garlic and ginger in.) If you want it thicker - dissolve two tablespoons of kuzu (kudzu) in two tablespoons of cold water and whisk into the sauce, stirring constantly until dissolved.
"Thank you for the high vibrational foods you made for us. It gave us the energy and nutrients we needed to thrive after the sacred sound and cacao ceremony."
- Kelvin Young, Middletown, CT, Owner/Sound Healer at Sacred Sound Energy Healing and Waterview Wellness Center
"Very informative and fun! I liked that Jeanne provided specific suggestions and accommodated our specific needs. She was able to individualize within our diverse group."
- Annmarie Rad, Gloucester, MA, Herbal Tea Blending class attendee
"Your art through food is fabulous and any event or gathering would be lucky to have you."
- Teresa Mona (Mona Moon), Glastonbury, CT, Shamantic Practitioner, Yoga teacher
"Best food I have Ever eaten. Wow."
- Cindi Whittington Cafasso, Director Bridge Healing Arts Center, Farmington, CT
"Mom, are you sure this is vegan?
- Our oldest after eating my Christmas Day lasagna
"UCONN serves a tofu dish, but I like yours much better!"
- Our youngest, a UCONN Freshman, in a text message
"Wow! I have a new attitude! This is delicious!"
- Anti-Inflammatory Cooking Series Class Attendee after eating her first bite of our Tofu Breakfast Sandwich