Avdus L’Herus (Slavery to Freedom) Salad Revisited
Passover is a challenge even for vegetable salads – sometimes one cannot get a certain condiment with a Pesach hashgacha (approval) that adds flavor, so one gets creative. Last year I blogged about the Slavery to Freedom Salad. This year I became enamored of a macrobiotic dish of pickled radishes with umeboshi paste. Since I cannot get the umeboshi paste for Passover, I came up with this combination of the two salads:
3 fresh beets – boiled and beet juice preserved
1 bag of red radishes, sliced
1 bunch chopped mint (or substitute parsley or cilantro)
3 navel oranges, cut into pieces
1 half chopped red onion
Cut the radishes into circles and cook them until slightly soft in the beet juice. Mix with oranges, chopped parsley and red onion. Serve at room temperature.
• • •
Don’t know what to do with the cooked beets? Here is what I put together:
Peel the beets after boiling. Discard skins. Chop into circular pieces (and then cut in half again, if desired). Drizzle with olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Garnish with scallion and parsley. Sprinkle with fresh lemon juice.
I was in mood for a mushroom soup with no grains, and so I came up with this recipe. To photograph it for a post, I put in a red china bowl. This prompted my daughter to eat it; she insisted on eating it in the red china bowl. You see, presentation does count!
8 oz. shiitake mushrooms
8 oz. baby bell mushrooms
1 zucchini (or substitute other greens, such as bits of kale or collards)
Saute the chopped onion in a bit of olive oil. Slit the leek in half; wash out any particles inside the leek. Cut in half and put in with the onion. Chop the zucchini and put it in with the onion. Add chopped mushrooms. Cover with water and add at least 1 cup more water. Cook until all is tender. Add sea salt and wine. Add miso at the end. Sprinkle with scallions and serve.
Shiitake mushrooms: make the soup all the more healthful and flavorful by using shiitake mushrooms
Preparing the Soup
Saute the chopped onion in a bit of olive oil at the bottom of a large pot. When the onion turns translucent, add the barley. Add more than enough water to cover the barley – about one inch higher in the pot. Cook for about 1/2 hour until the barley is almost tender. Add pepper and salt to taste. Add optional ingredients of carrots, other root vegetables, garlic and celery; add the mushrooms. Pour in one cup more of water. Cook until the vegetables are tender. Add optional kale, dill, other herbs and/or other fast cooking greens. Add soy sauce or miso to give the soup taste. Serve warm.
Coming soon (next week?): a list of soup recipes from around the blogosphere. Also, some suggested soup ingredients. If you have a favorite soup recipe that is on a blog, feel free to leave the link in the comments (thanks to Mrs. S., who last week did just that).
Soak the nuts earlier in the day. Rinse the quinoa, cook it in water or broth, add a bit of salt. Shred the carrots and put them on top of the almost cooked quinoa. Ground up the nuts. Put shredded kale and all other ingredients on top and cook a bit more until the kale is soft.
May be served served warm or at room temperature. Enjoy your quinoa salad!
Why press a salad? According to macrobiotics, a pressed salad makes the vegetables easier to digest. It is a way of preparing the vegetables without any cooking.
At first I thought I would need to buy a salad presser to press a salad, but then after an email from Klara convincing me to try putting a heavy bowl on top of the salad I came up with this homemade version of pressing:
How to Press a Salad
Gather up some vegetables. Here are a few suggestions:
kale, chopped or torn into pieces
cucumber, sliced (my understanding is peel if it is not organic, you can leave peel on if organic)
radishes, sliced (they will be less sharp after pressing)
lettuce, torn in pieces
sweet onion, chopped
parsley, basil or another fresh herb
Put your vegetables on a plate. Sprinkle with sea salt (or whatever salt you have). You can put on some apple cider or rice vinegar, too, according to some recipes (I just use salt). Put whatever heavy objects you need on top of the vegetables for an hour or two or three. The vegetables should soften and release some water, too. You can rinse off the salt and drain any excess water.
Lemon juice might be tasty as an addition, too. Enjoy.
The definition of a pressed salad, from Changing Seasons Macrobiotic Cookbook, by Aveline Kushi and Wendy Esko:
“Very thinly sliced or shredded fresh vegetables, combined with a pickling agent such as sea salt, umeboshi, grain vinegar, or shoyu, and placed in a special pickle press. In the pickling process, many of the enzymes and vitamins are retained while the vegetables become easier to digest.”
Ever want an alternative to tomato sauce for your spaghetti? Here’s an easy recipe if like me you often have a leftover cooked beet and a leftover sweet potato or yam.
1 cooked beet
1/2 cooked sweet potato or yam
Put the sweet potato or yam in a bowl with the beet. Mash with a fork. If you don’t mind cleaning your food processor and prefer a creamier sauce, throw both in the food processor.
Mash until you get a lovely orange and pink sauce.
Meanwhile, cook your noodles. I used Eden mugwort soba noodles, which are a lovely shade of green, nutritious and delicious. When ready, mix immediately with your beet and yam sauce so the sauce warms up.
I topped mine with grated parmesan cheese and fresh chopped parsley. Get creative. Basil would be a great topper, too. You could also mix in a few drips of cold-pressed olive oil or some organic butter.
Inspiration: Klara has a beet – carrot – onion sauce that she used to make as a tomato sauce alternative. See her comment on this post for the recipe. Since I often have a leftover beet and some leftover sweet potato, this recipe was a natural for me.
This post is less of a recipe and more of a discussion on what to eat on Shabbat that is warm. Klara, who lives near Jerusalem, came to visit me a few weeks ago. I like to learn about macrobiotics from her, even if I only eat a few of the recipes (but I learn from the discussions). We were discussing warm food on Shabbat.
It is customary for observant Jews to eat something warm on Shabbat; this is because even though we have the prohibition not to cook or to light a fire, we should still show don’t need to eat cold food. Or sit in the dark. The traditional warm Shabbat food that Ashkenazi Jews eat is chulent (see Ilana-Davita‘s and Lion of Zion‘s posts); Sephardim (Jews that were originally in Spain) eat dafina or chamin.
I prefer not to eat chulent, as I find it too heavy a food. So I have a tendency to make lots of salads, and I greatly enjoy those. However, in the middle of this winter I noticed that the food that we had warm on Shabbat was mostly chulent and potato kugel, neither of which are my favorite food. I do sometimes eat a bit of chicken warm. So I started warming up beans cooked with turmeric and other curried flavors. But I really wasn’t in the mood for the beans.
Back to my discussion with Klara: Klara felt that in keeping with macrobiotic teaching, food on Shabbat should be warm. I think there is a conflict here, as macrobiotics seem to suggest food should be eaten warm AND right away (not left on a blech or warming tray for 4 hours). And I wonder how many nutrients a salad-like food such as kale has after 4 hours of re-warming.
My conversation with Klara did spur me on to find this one dish that I liked re-warmed on Shabbat. It is simply mushrooms, onions and something green sauteed in a bit of olive oil.
1 tsp. olive oil
2 boxes of mushrooms, preferably baby bella because they are “meaty”
a green: parsley, basil, kale, collards, thyme, sage – I used a bit of broccoli rabe
Warm a bit of olive oil. Chop the onion, mushrooms (into slices) and greens (into bits). Saute the onion until translucent. Add the mushrooms. When the mushrooms begin to soften, add your chopped greens. If you don’t add the chopped greens, the recipe will be fine without it. Put it in a small casserole dish (covered) so it can be reheated on Shabbat.
Alternative: use Ilana-Davita’s mushroom recipe. She suggests serving it cold, but if you are in the mood for a warm mushroom dish for your Shabbat meal, this one might work.
Klara gave me this simple recipe two months ago. Since then, I have made it at least 5 times. There are only two ingredients: red radishes and umeboshi paste. Since many of you are going to say, What’s umeboshi paste? Where can I get it? I did a little research. In Highland Park, Anna’s Health Food Store sells this delicious condiment. Others in the U.S. can buy it at your local health food store. Eden makes umeboshi paste with an O-K kosher supervision. Here are some store locations in France that may sell umeboshi paste. Klara tells me there is a health food store in Ma’aleh Adumim (Israel), and the owner delivers in Jerusalem once a week. Feel free to add other locations in the comments.
Why use umeboshi paste? Not only does it taste good, it is also healing. Here’s one site on umeboshi: “Modern day diets tend to create acid conditions within the blood which is more likely to cause illnesses. The strong alkalising effect of umeboshi can help to counteract modern day excesses, including alcohol. ” More here.
a bunch of radishes, nice red round ones
1-2 cups of water (depends on how many radishes)
3 Tbsp. umeboshi paste
Slice all the radishes. Bring water to boil with ume paste. Turn down flame, add radishes, simmer covered for 20 minutes or until radishes are tender.
Another version: After boiling the ume paste in water for ten minutes, pour over radishes and let sit for about an hour. (Note: this is the more “proper” version, which is the pickling method. My cooking version is OK, but not as healthful as leaving the radishes in the ume paste broth. I’ll try pickling method tomorrow).
All the radishes get nice and pink and have a lovely flavor, lose sharpness.
You may drain when pickles ready(optional). When they are room temperature, put them in the refrigerator.
Bake the squash in the oven for at least an hour or until tender. Cut it in half. Take out the seeds. Scoop pieces of the squash to mix with the stuffing (I didn’t do this, but I wish I did). Saute the onion until translucent. Add chopped mushroom and celery; continue cooking until soft. Mix in matza, thyme and bits of squash. Stuff it in the squash. At this point, you can bake it in the oven. However, what I did was put it on the warming tray for 3 hours. Serves two.
• • •
In other news, please enjoy this week’s edition of Haveil Havalim, brought to you by the Real Shaliach. Mother in Israel will be hosting the Kosher Cooking Carnival on her blog this coming Wednesday, April 22. That is why I am taking out the time late on Sunday night to type all this up instead of relaxing downstairs with my husband. When I hit Publish, that’s where I am headed. Have a good night!