Thursday, July 22, 2010

Adzuki beans & pumpkins

Adzuki beans and pumpkins are a classic macrobiotic combination, and a wonderful winter comfort food. According to Chinese medicine, winter is the season to focus on our kidneys and bladder, and adzuki beans are known as a tonic for the kidneys. They have a very satisfying sweet flavour that blends very well with winter vegetables such as pumpkin, and reduces cravings for other less healthy sweet treats!
You can simply throw some chopped pumpkin into your beans about half an hour before the end of their cooking time, or make something more elaborate such as an adzuki and pumpkin pie.

I made this for the first time in ages over the weekend and was very pleased with the results, especially the pastry which I made from buckwheat flour, chickpea flour and wholemeal spelt flour.
I served it with a large leafy salad with tomato, avocado and sunflower seeds, topped with a creamy tahini dressing. But it would go well with steamed vegies too.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Brussels sprouts

I have been loving the nourishing green goodness of brussels sprouts lately.. they're definitely one of my favourite winter foods.
But just when I thought I had these little green bundles sussed, I was most surprised to see a branch of them at my favourite organic vegie supplier at Eveleigh markets, Kurrawong Organics (above).
I had no idea that they grew on branches.. I don't know how I thought they DID grow, but this alien looking structure was certainly nothing I could have imagined. It was yet another reminder of how far from nature the city way of life is.
I wanted to redraw them for my calendar, and here are some of the results.

One of my favourite ways to serve brussels sprouts is to parboil them briefly (halved if they are large), and then braise them in butter. Meanwhile, I toss some cauliflower florets in olive oil, cumin powder and fennel seeds and put them under the griller for about 15 minutes, or until they're turning brown and are mushy on the inside. Pop some walnuts under the griller towards the end.
When the brussels sprouts are cooked, I combine them with the cauliflower, walnuts, some fetta cheese and chickpeas. YUM-O!