Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Blueberry Kudzu Pie

The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook: Whole Foods Recipes for Personal and Planetary Health, Second Edition
This recipe is slightly adapted from the Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen cook book.




First of all, what is Kudzu. Well, according to Rebecca Wood, one of my favorite food authors, Kudzu is a vine plant that grows like crazy. It was officially classified as a noxious weed in 1970. The part that is used is the chalk like root of the vine. It's expensive per pound, but light weight and you generally don't need a lot of it.

Kudzu has been used in Chinese medicine for 2000 years. It is best known for helping with intestinal disorders and alcoholism. It's also great for colds and hangovers.

Kudzu is a superior thickener. Use it to thicken sauces, soups, and deserts.


But lets not forget about the pie!

crust:

1 cup almonds
1 cup pecans
1/2 t Cinnamon
1/4 cardamom
1/4 ginger powder
1 cup medjool dates, pitted

Place nuts and spices in food processor, then add dates. Press into the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan.

Blueberry filling:

6 TBS kudzu dissolved in 2 TBS water
1 1/2 cups berry juice (i used apple)
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
2 TBS real maple syrup

dissolve kudzu in small sauce pan and meanwhile place juice, berries, and syrup in a blender and blend until smooth. Add to kudzu in sauce pan and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes. It will be thicker, but will not set until cool. Poor into pie pan. Place into fridge to cool. It will take about two hours.

I used good quality whip cream for the topping as well as some blue berries and cherries. However, you can also make a cashew cream topping as the recipe suggests if you don't want to use dairy.

Cashew cream:

1 cup cashews
1/4 cup real maple syrup
2 to 3 TBS water
2 tea vanilla

Blend in blender until smooth and creamy!



Enjoy your awesome pie! This is a great way to eat your blueberries.

Note that here is a place to buy kudzu

Also note that I didn't have enough nuts when making this recipe so I replaced some of the nuts with oatmeal. I also used hazelnuts instead of walnuts/pecans. It worked well.

This post linked to two for tuesdays!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Cabbage and Hijiki in Mustard Sauce (Healing With Whole Foods)

Cabbage and Hijiki




Cabbage and Hijiki are both very medicinal foods. I use to not like both of these foods, but now I think they are great. Seaweed can be hard to get into a western diet. Hijiki is a mild tasting seaweed and worth trying if you don't normally like seaweed. When cooked, its taste becomes even more mellow. Some healing properties of Hijiki according to "Healing With Whole Foods" By Paul Pitchford (a great food resource.)

Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition (3rd Edition)

Hijiki:

detoxifies the body, cooling to the body, benefits the thyroid, and moistens dryness. Also has ample amounts of calcium, iron and iodine (the latter usually strongly lacking from the western diet) B2 and niacin. Good for bones and teeth, helps normalize blood sugar, helps with weight loss, and supports hormone functions. It also makes your hair shiny. I ate a lot of seaweed before I had Leo and I noticed a significant increase in the quality of my hair which is partly why I am trying to get it back into my regular meals.



Cabbage: great for the digestive system and intestines. Cabbage has an ample amount of sulfur which acts to destroy parasites and purify the blood. I just planted Cabbage in my garden to have later this fall. This is my first fall/winter garden so we shall see if it does well. Cabbage is a good fall/winter plant.




The following recipe is adapted from Healing with Whole Foods. I changed it, but not because it wouldn't be good the way it was, but that I have a hard time following recipes.



1/2 head of green cabbage, chopped.

2 small carrots, shredded

1/8 cup of hijiki rinsed then soaked for 15 minutes (make sure you discard the soaking water!)

1 cake of baked tofu (optional) (mine was sweet chili flavored)

sesame oil for cooking (olive oil will work as well)



SAUCE:

2 T soy sauce/tamari or braggs

1/2 t mustard power

1/2 t fenugreek

1/4 cup milk, optional (I used Eden blend rice/soy milk, but almond milk would be great too)



Mix ingredients for sauce together in small bowl.



Heat pan with oil



Fry Cabbage and carrots and tofu if using for one or two minutes. Add Hijiki and fry for two or three minutes. Add sauces and continue to cook until cabbage looks shiny and done. Careful not to overcook. My cabbage turned out well cooked but I think this would be a bit better if it was slightly crispy still. But it is up to you.



So how does this interesting meal taste? Surprisingly good. Slightly salty and mellow flavored. I didn't notice much of a seaweed taste and cabbage has a mellow taste when cooked as well. It would be a good meal served with jasmine rice. Enjoy!

Note: Here is some more interesting info on Hijiki from Eden foods

This post linked to Monday Mania blog carnival and
Two for Tuesdays