The Taste of Technicolor – Parsley Pesto Sauce Plus

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Parsley Sauce is delicious. Raw. Bright. This Super Food is super good for you. 

When I was a kid, going to the Sizzler for dinner, I’d always eat the garnishes off the plate – kale & parsley. That was the only way it was served back then – as the throw away garnish. Dark leafy greens are like the tattered end table that has ended up as the million dollar discovery at the Antique Road Show. Jackpot!

(Do you know that the Kale Caesar salad from Market Hall in Rockridge is the most popular deli case item, selling for 12.99 per pound and it’s not even organic kale. Note: Please buy organic kale for you and your loved ones. Kale is one of the most highly toxic pesticide crops and is on the Dirty Dozen list to alert you to buy it organic.)

Back to our beloved parsley…

Sniffing around on the internet – there’s quite a lot of glamorous news about parsley – like it beats out kale in vitamin K (who knew?). And that it dates back to the Ancient Greeks, who used parsley to decorate  athletic victors as well as and to adorn the tombs of the deceased.
It’s a traditional element in the Jewish Passover Seder, signifying the bitterness that the Jews endured for so long as slaves in Egypt. Apart from haroset (made from apples, walnuts and honey), the parsley dipped in salt water is my favorite part of the meal.
 
Wait! Do you care about this prose – or do you just want your recipe?
 
I’d really like to know. 
Here’s the loot! Make good use of it. You deserve every drop. 

This parsley sauce is wonderful as a low fat dressing for grains or salsa on tacos.

As a quick, Indian Summer meal – I’ve poured it over black-eyed peas, with a side of sauerkraut. Since I also had a little jar of Stef’s Magic Carrot Sauce, I tossed in a splash of that too as an added flavor burst.
The below recipe is written by memory and approximations – until I make it again, this is the best I can offer as your starting point. Which in my opinion is the way you will be set free from recipes.
Try it – I bestow on you these Orgasmic Kitchen “5 Rules of the Road”:  
FEEL INTO THE SAUCE 
DISCOVER THE BALANCE POINT OF SALT:FAT:ACID
TASTE AS YOU GO ALONG
YOUR PALETTE IS A TUNING FORK
COOK (& PLATE) IN TECHNICOLOR
PARSLEY SAUCE
1 Bunch of Italian Parsley (you can use curley too but it can be more bitter), Rough chopped into thirds
Juice from one Lemon
Salt
1/3 cup Olive oil
1/4 C Water
Blend all ingredients on high for about 1-2 minutes, until if emulsifies.
It should look like a bright, light green creamy sauce.
If you want a more Parsley Pesto style sauce add to above and blend:
2 cloves of garlic
2 T white miso
1/4 cup raw or slightly roasted almonds
PRESTO PESTO TIME SAVER: Make a larger batch and freeze it. I like to freeze it in individual size portions 1. Pour the pesto sauce into an ice cube tray or muffin tin and place in freezer. 2. Once frozen, pop them out and store in a ziploc in the freezer until use.
In the photo you’ll see my homemade kraut of chioggia beet, cauliflower, napa cabbage, ginger and leek…fermented in my kitchen cupboard for 2 weeks.
There are tons of RAW sauerkrauts now available. Buy yourself a jar – the sour will satisfy beyond measure, while the probiotics heal your digestive track. Seriously. Go. Now. Get your kraut on.
Oh! and the black eyed peas – what I love about black eyed peas is that they don’t need pre-soaking, but still have the consistency of beans. So if you’re craving beans and in a time pinch, black eyed peas are your girl. Plus, I love that they are eaten traditionally on New Year’s Day – and in the spirit of renewal, I eat them any time of year with the intention of calling in the new.
NOTE: If you take nothing else from this prosaic parsley preso – ALWAYS cooks your beans & legumes with a 3″ strip of kombu seaweed. Promise me that. Will you?
BTW: The magic carrot sauce – well, sorry, can’t reveal the recipe – it’s seriously delicious & seriously top-secret. We will, however, consider creative offerings as barter for the recipe.

Gomasio – The Open Sesame Secret of Great Health

OPEN SESAME…I love this…and like magic doors open.

Keep licking this sesame salt wonder and you’ll be amazed at how wonderful you feel.

Here’s an article by Harold Kulungian that explains more in depth the value of this treasured japanese condiment. Included at the end will be a more indepth recipe that uses a higher salt to sesame ratio than I use. Experiment and find what you like.


GOMASIO

A Macrobiotic Secret of Natural Healing
by Harold Kulungian
Gomasio is the principal table condiment in the Macrobiotic way of natural foods diet. Use it in lieu of salt to season your food at table, giving hearty delicious taste.

Gomasio also functions as a medicine in itself, due to its powerful ant-acid biochemical effect–a thousand times more effective than AlkaSeltzer, which is Yin, fizzy. You can take 1/2 to l teaspoonful directly on the palm of your hand, and suck on it well, before swallowing: strengthens digestion and improves energy immediately. You can sober up a drunk person, and cause his sanpaku eyes, with the whites showing beneath the iris, to come back into focus quickly from 1 or 2 teaspoonsful.

Together with a simple bland diet of slow-cooked whole grains and legumes in iron pot, gomasio will accelerate the de-acidification of the digestive tract and improve the assimilation of the food, to heal anemia, hypoglycemia, multiple sclerosis, and especially all the inflammatory disorders and diseases that are ultimately due to an excessively acidic diet.

For example, the original designation, “multiple neuritus,” by which MS was formerly known, indicates acid-inflammation of the nerves from excessively acidic diet. Gomasio is also wonderfully healing for all other blood-related diseases–which means virtually all diseases, including diabetes and cancer.

So beginning with the daily use of gomasio in one’s diet, one obtains a key secret to rapid effortless natural healing of virtually any health problem, since gomasio changes the quality of the blood very quickly.

Just one example I’ve witnessed: A nursing mother eats or drinks something acidic and 5 minutes later the baby starts to cry because her milk has become acidic and is giving the baby painful belly-ache, known as colic. So the mother takes gomasio and de-acidifies her blood quickly, and her milk also. The baby suckles the gomasiod milk and immediately stops crying because the milk has been returned to an easily digestible alkaline quality.

Western Medicine knows nothing about de-acidification as the basis of natural healing. The doctors have never tasted and experienced the healing effects of gomasio. So it is a huge challenge to offer this gift in such a way that their pride won’t prevent them from tasting it, accepting it, and discovering the natural healing experiment in their own bodies.

Believe me, this is a real problem, as I can testify from sad experience. A few years ago, after reading Dr. Bernard Lown’s THE LOST ART OF HEALING (Houghton-Mifflin, Boston, 1996), I telephoned the renowned Harvard cardiologist, and invited him: “Dr. Lown, how would you like to discover the lost art of healing?” “Oh, I’d be very interested in that, indeed!” he assured me. So I sent him three Macrobiotic books, including a cookbook, some of my recent writings, a quantity of my fresh home-made gomasio, plus a 32 oz. bag of pure sun dried LIMA SEASALT.

For a month I wrote him each week a substantial letter, responding to the problems in the case histories he included in his book of patients who had died of heart disease despite the good doctor’s prescriptions. No response as promised, so I telephoned him again: “Dr. Lown, have you received the books and letters and gifts, the gomasio and sea salt I sent you, to relieve your lower back-pain from iodized salt?”

“Look, I receive things in the mail all the time! I can’t reply to all these things!” “But, Dr. Lown, you assured me you are interested in discovering the lost art of healing, didn’t you?” “Thank you very much, but at my age I’m too old to discover Macrobiotics.” Whereupon he hung up–another dramatic example of what Toynbee calls “The Great Refusal.”

From his STUDY OF HISTORY, volumes 5 and 6 on “The Disintegrations of Civilizations,” Arnold Toynbee concluded that the ruling class of a collapsing civilization will never be receptive to creative solutions coming from outside their ranks. Macrobiotic holistic medicine is from the Orient, from Japan.

The late Lima Ohsawa (1899-1999), First Lady of Macrobiotics, in her cookbook, THE ART OF JUST COOKING (Autumn Press, 1974, 1981), had this to say about the importance of home-made gomasio:

“It is in the preparation of simple foods like rice and gomasio that a cook’s real skill is tried. It is far easier to assemble a rich gourmet feast than to produce consistently delicious, well-balanced sesame-salt. Mastery of this simple condiment means mastery of the center of your life.”

A powerful statement, certainly, and one that can only be tested by experience, especially long experience, as I have tested it. I always come back to gomasio with new relish for life due to its tonifying effect, giving new strength and energy.

Lima’s recipe recommends a proportion of 15 parts sesame seeds to one part salt. I make it just a little stronger, about 12 to 1. But since a quantity of salt always remains imbedded in the grooves of the suribachi, for you to dig out with your fingers and lick it (very delicious!), after you have finished grinding it, it’s wise to use just a little extra salt.

Here are the directions for use with a 9 inch standard suribachi, a Japanese mortar, with grooves in it, that comes with a wooden pestle, and can be ordered through a natural foods store. Without a suribachi, you cannot make gomasio; so don’t think of making it via the shortcut of an electric blender. It won’t be gomasio, but something else?

  1. First roast 3 tablespoons of sea salt in an iron skillet until it turns grey, well cooked. The best salt for making gomasio is LIMA SUNDRIED SEASALT, because it is fairly fine to begin with, high in minerals, and much easier to grind into a fine powder than a courser salt.
  2. Let the salt cool before handling it, to avoid getting burnt. Then pour it into the suribachi and grind it briskly into a fine powder, the finer the better.
  3. Next roast 2 cups of un-hulled whole brown sesame seeds in the same large iron skillet, on low heat, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Be sure to turn the heat down to low after roasting the sea salt, or the sesame seeds will start popping right out of the skillet, and you’ll have to quickly clap a lid on them. The seeds must be roasted or toasted until they are crisp and will make a clicking sound when pressed between your thumbnail and forefinger.
  4. Now comes the lovely ritual of grinding the seeds on top of the roasted and ground salt. Use only enough pressure to crack the seeds, so that their oil will coat each grain of salt. You do not want to make a mush, a paste. By using just the right amount of pressure, the gomasio will come out light and sandy. Grind in a spiralic movement from the bottom and then up the sides of the suribachi, for left handers in a clockwise direction, for righthanders in a counter-clockwise direction. It is a beautiful exercise, so enjoy it, though it may take almost a half hour to grind the 2 cups of seeds until they are 95% crushed.
  5. Store the gomasio in a crockery bowl with lid, or wooden container, or a tightly closed glass jar, and keep in a cool, dry place. DO NOT REFRIGERATE, since a moist place would cause it to spoil quickly. I have many times kept gomasio for 6 months without it spoiling and still tasting fine. How long it keeps depends on how it was made and stored.

Passover the “Chicken” Matzoh Ball Soup

Passover starts tonight, April 14, at sundown and is the Jewish holiday that lasts 8 days and commemorates FREEDOM.

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At Passover, families, extended families, friends and friends of friends come together for a ceremonial dinner, called a seder, in which we eat symbolic foods and read from the Haggadah – which is a libretto that tells the story of the  the Jews flight from slavery in Egypt to freedom.
We eat a bread, that is not leavened and resembles a cracker, called Matzoh, to signify the bread that was eaten in the desert while the Jews were in flight and had no time for bread to rise.
You know it’s close to Passover, when stores have big displays of matzoh crackers and other related matzoh products.
I grew up on Chicken soup, referred to as “Jewish Penicillan”, and especially loved Chicken Matzoh Ball soup, which is a mainstay of most seder menus. Matzoh balls are delicious dumplings made from matzoh meal, vegetables and spices and elevate any bowl of chicken soup to treat status. Maztoh balls usually come in 2 forms – floaters (light and fluffy with just a bit of chewy at the center) and sinkers (dense and resembling cannon balls). You generally get ridiculed (just a bit and lovingly) and wear the passover seder badge of shame if you’ve made a pot of sinkers. SO…that’s why I recommend using a boxed mix and following the instructions. Mazel Tov! – that’s good luck in yiddish.
Regarding chicken soup and me, I have a sorted relationship. Since we ate waaaay too much chicken at my house growing up, and since the poultry industry has inhumane standards that make me really sad, I’ve come up with this great stand-in recipe made from red lentils sans chicken.  (Think chickens raised with hormone injections, living in cages with no room to move around freely, their nails growing around the wires, no access to the outdoors, the tips of their beaks being burned off…yep, that’s what really happens at Foster Farms and most chickens sold)
What I love about my Passover the “Chicken” Matzoh Ball Soup is that it does no harm to any animal and does benefit to ME and to YOU for all it’s healthful ingredients – top ones to mention – lentils, onion, burdock root and seaweed.
I confess that recently I had chicken soup which I made from a $25 raw whole chicken raised hormone-free in a pasture, eating organic feed. It is tasty, I confess but pricey. I’m still working out my ethics. I’ll let you work out yours.
The matzoh balls do use eggs, which I recommend buying organic pasture raised eggs – they are more expensive, about $1.25 per egg,  but you’ll notice the difference in taste and if you really pay attention, energetically. I no longer take eggs for granted – they are laid one at a time, often one egg per day. Remember – it only seems like eggs come ceaselessly out of a  lottery ball blower.
Now for the SOUP –
Passover the “Chicken” Matzoh Ball Soup
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Ingredients
 
1 cup RED lentils, (the red one’s dissolve to create a nice body)
1 medium onion
2 carrots
2 stalk celery
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 stalk fresh sage, or 1 T dried sage
1 3″ strip of kombu seaweed
2 T olive oil
fresh parsley
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Burdrock root is one of the more obscure ingredients that will give this recipe depth and power-charge your health – great for your kidneys, tonifies the blood, builds chi. It’s sold at local stored dried & diced or in it’s root form raw. Either is perfect to use and if you can’t find it, don’t sweat.
 
Instructions:
 
  1. Mince or pulse 1/2 the onion in a food processor
  2. Heat up light pour of olive oil in a 8 QT soup pot
  3. Saute the onion til it starts to clarify and brown slightly
  4. Meanwhile, rinse the lentils and add to the pot with 10-12 cups water
  5. Add bay leaf, sage and kombu
  6. Bring to a boil, allow to simmer and periodically skim off the foam that will spread over the top of the broth.
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  7. Chop the carrot, celery, garlic and remaining onion – a uniform medium-sized dice or a larger rough cut that are bite sized, your preference.
  8. Add veggies to the simmering lentils.
  9. Cook until veggies are tender, and lentils are well-broken down.
  10. To finish this off: ADD vegetarian “chicken” broth powder, to taste or red miso paste, add approximately 1 teaspoon per cup of soup, diluted first in a small amount of water and then added to each serving. (when you boil miso, it kills the live pro-biotics that make it such a soothing healer for you digestive track).
AND THE MATZOH BALLS PLEASE: 
Last year I experimented with making gluten-free, egg-free matzoh balls. They were more like sticky gnocchi than fluffy matzoh balls, so I’m sticking to my mom’s recipe – aka A BOXED MIX. This year I am using Manishewitz Low-Sodium Matzoh Ball Mix (Streitz is also a great brand) – follow the instructions on the box. Here’s where you’ll use 2 eggs and 2 T oil. 
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If you need a vegan matzoh ball – experiment with substituting flax meal and baking powder for the eggs.
 
Serve one or two matzoh balls into each bowl and enjoy with a garnish of chopped fresh parsley.
 
Here’s to your freedom, (and the chicken’s – “Buk buk buk buk bukkaaaaa”).