MACROFASHION

Principle #7

Posted in dessert, life, quotations by jill on September 30, 2010

“What has a beginning has an end.”
– Ohsawa, The Seven Principles of the Infinite Universe

It makes me sad to write this post, as I’m now back in New York and no longer surrounded by the lush and scenic Berkshire Mountains. I left with the sky a sapphire blue, fall leaves with glints of gold and amber, a half-melted vanilla Rice Dream ice cream in hand and with a lot of memories, inspiration, and new friendships. The reality today is a sky of tepid gray, a smokier air and a crazy energy that keeps this city alive. But it’s good to be home.

Going back and forth between country and city is like abandoning a certain flavor for a month and then indulging in a tiny spoonful and letting it melt in your mouth slowly. You can taste every detail; a detail perhaps before you once rushed over. And though it doesn’t have the nectary beauty of a fall’s peak, the city’s spicy edge is endearing in its own way. I’m sure it will be the same when I return to Becket in the future.

Dessert goddess and chef extraordinaire Zara June left me with a goodbye present of macro oatmeal cookies, nestled in a little brown paper box. How sweet is she? Zara also has a wonderful blog I recommend checking out called The Macro Muse and posts her personal recipes.

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With that said, I hope all of you try something new today, let it melt slowly, and enjoy.

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interview with berkshire vegan + a simple cashew cheese sauce

Posted in dessert, interview, macrobiotics, vegan by jill on September 22, 2010

Image courtesy of the Berkshire Vegan

I was introduced to Yukiko Sato, better know as the Berkshire Vegan, the minute I bit into her cashew cream vanilla cake. Turns out this talented vegan/macro lass has her own catering business and offers classes around the general vicinity. I’ve personally been inspired by vegan desserts and dairy alternatives in cooking and baking, Yukiko clearly has it down. You go girl!

First off, where did you get that recipe for that cake? Was it a recipe you improvised from the book you were mentioning or did you alter it? Everyone at Kushi Institute was raving about how delicious it was!

Thank you! Sweet and Natural by Meredith McCarty is the book. The book gives some leeway as to what sweetener or milk substitute you use but it’s pretty much based on the recipe. I like to use half maple syrup and half brown rice syrup for sweetener. If you use only rice syrup, the cake tends to get dense and heavy and if you use only maple syrup, the taste is a bit overpowering.

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Yukiko’s scrumptious vanilla cakes

So, what got you in the kitchen in the first place? And what inspired you to become vegan/macrobiotic?

I always loved cooking when I was a little kid. My mom’s a good cook and used to bake a lot. Soon I kind of took over when I was young. I’ve been health conscious and became interested in making healthy desserts. In the beginning, I would make really dense and heavy tasteless desserts and made my mom say, “I like it better with butter and sugar and heavy cream.” Taking some macrobiotic dessert classes in Tokyo inspired me and that made me want to learn about macrobiotics.

What’s inspiring you these days?

Cookbooks and recipes online (vegweb.com, fatfreevegan.com, theppk.com). Also when I see fresh local ingredients that are in season, I ponder what I can do with them.

What’s your motto when you start making delicious creations like the vanilla cakes we consumed that evening?

To have a clear vision of what I want to make, taste wise and presentation wise. I like to be organized so I can proceed in a calm manner.

What’s the most essential ingredient you use in macro/vegan cooking and why?

Love! I really believe energy you put in food makes a lot of difference.

What knife brand do you use?

NHS, the one that the Kushi Store carries.

Actually, what are other must-have kitchen weapons that any macrobiotic ninjas must own? Any recommended brands?

Good blender (I love Vita-Mix). I know too much creaminess is not so good but it’s important to be able to make something that has a creamy/comforting mouth-feel especially if you are cooking for someone that’s just transitioning to macrobiotics. Stainless steel cookware, wooden spoons and a rubber spatula (my favorite kitchen tool!) are important, I think.

What music do you rock out to while cooking?

Depends on my mood that day. Sometimes jazz, sometimes rock. Recently I’ve been listening to a lot of Hawaiian music.

Anything on your bookshelf that you love?

I have too many books that I love. Christina Pirello, Jessica Porter, Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. A lot of times I don’t strictly follow recipes but like to flip through cookbooks to get ideas. The Voluptuous Vegan by Myra Kornfeld is a good one if you want to make something nice and fancy. Simple Treats by Ellen Abraham has a lot of nice cookie recipes.

You have the whole day off. Where do you go to chill out?

I like hanging out at health food stores or kitchen specialty stores to check out new products and gadgets. Or bookstores to flip through cookbooks.

What’s your 9 Star Ki?

I’m a 3 tree. Yep, creative and organized but wishy washy!

Image Courtesy of the Berkshire Vegan

Image courtesy of the Berkshire Vegan

For any cheese fanatics, Yukiko left me with a quick and simple recipe of hers. She recommends to eyeball the proportions if the measurements are off.

BERKSHIRE VEGAN’S PASTA WITH CASHEW CHEESY SAUCE

1/2 cup cashews
1 cup water
1 tbs sweet miso
2 tsp ume paste
2 tbs nutritional yeast
Little bit of onion powder and garlic powder

Blend everything until smooth in a blender and heat up in a saucepan. Throw in some cooked pasta and veggies you like (peas, cooked broccoli, onions, etc.), add salt if necessary, crack some black pepper and serve.

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fish fridays

Posted in dessert, macrobiotics by jill on September 18, 2010

Today’s dinner was scrumptious.

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Entree: Brown rice, fish, kale with sunflower seed sauce, tofu, squash/onion/broccoli stirfry, pickles
Soup: Mushroom
Dessert: Cashew cream vanilla cake (divine!)

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midnight snack

Posted in dessert, macrobiotics by jill on September 18, 2010

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Blame it on genetics, or something like that. I have a sweet tooth at night, especially when there are leftover desserts in the fridge.

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