Monday, May 24, 2010

Burdock for Breakfast?

My latest addition to the healthy books nook at my nest is devoted to macrobiotic living. I first learned about macrobiotics while watching Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Cancer documentary, which aired on TLC in March 2007. Macrobiotics was one of several different healing diets that Kris explored during her journey through cancer and it's the diet that saved my boss' life.

The word macrobiotics means "large life" and is a diet consisting mostly of grains, vegetables (including sea vegetables), and beans. Dairy, meat, caffeine and refined or processed foods are out due to their stimulating (and thus exhausting) effect on the body. Seeing that I had cut most of these foods out already I wanted to add some variety to my food plan with more healing foods and recipes.

Modern-Day Macrobiotics by Simon Brown provides a great introduction to the principles and benefits of a macrobiotic diet as well as a variety of recipes and menus. And when I decided to be adventurous and buy some burdock root without knowing what the heck I'd do with it, I knew Simon's book would come in handy.

A popular use for Burdock includes a macro recipe and style of cooking called Kinpira.

Simply cut one burdock root and 1-2 carrots in matchstick pieces. Saute the burdock for a few minutes with some olive or grapeseed oil. Add the carrots to cook for an additional minute. Glaze the pan with some mirin rice wine and stir for an additional 5 minutes or until tender.

Why eat burdock?
It is said to be a blood purifier and can help with skin issues including those of the scalp (like dandruff) and acne (among other things).

It's healing, but does it taste good?
Carrots and burdock root were not foods I had expected to eat for breakfast but I felt the meal grounded and balanced me; it was a perfect feeling with which to start the day. I've made it several more times for it's healing effects, particularly the effect on my skin. And burdock tastes earthy like potatoes. It kinda reminded me of breakfast potatoes I had in college. Totally do-able for breakfast. Just took a little getting used to.

I make Kinpira a few times a month. I'm not totally committed to macrobiotics but am finding that the recipes I make definitely make me feel more energetic and centered.

What's next?
I'll be posting a new macrobiotic adventure every Monday as I continue to explore this way of eating. My fingers are crossed that the sea vegetables are palatable. Oy.

If you're in the Philadelphia area and looking to check out macro cuisine, visit Essene's Natural Foods Market for their buffet of prepared foods. Yum!

1 comment:

Olivia said...

I've only cooked with burdock once, and did something similar. I used my mandolin slicer to create matchsticks of burdock and carrot and sauteed them, but then I added those along with mushrooms and sprouts to Vietnamese rice papers to make little spring rolls. It's a bit labor intensive, but delicious and relatively easy.