By Joanne Faulkner
The Art of Conscious Cooking
What I love about this time of year is the joy in the air. The tingle and crackle as the sun hits your skin, the colour and light that hits your retina and makes your heart sing. So, on that energetic note, the first recipe is a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach.
Edible Flower Salad with an Orange Vinaigrette
Purple Chive heads
Bowl of mixed salad leaves of choice
120 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
60 ml cider vinegar
90 ml virgin olive oil
2 tsp of maple syrup
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp of fresh tarragon (or whatever fresh herbs you have handy)
1/2 tsp miso paste (optional)
Tips for eating flowers
Only eat flowers you are positive are edible. Always wash your flowers thoroughly, ensuring no pesticides have been used in the growing. Remove stamens from flowers, as on the whole it is best to only eat the flower petals.
Toss the prepared flowers with your leaves, adding the vinaigrette just before serving. To prepare the vinaigrette, put all the other ingredients in (I use an old jar or bottle) and shake very vigorously for quite a few minutes so the flavour of the herbs is bruised and infused into the liquid. This may seem like a lot of dressing but it is great poured over vegetables too, especially broccoli.
In Chinese Medicine, there are two seasons for Summer. The first we are in already, where everything is still expanding and growing into its full potential. The second approaches in late Summer where we harvest all the abundance that came from the energy of creation. So, I thought I would share a favourite recipe to fit each season, both of which are adaptations from Davrick Leggett’s inspirational book, “Recipes for Self Healing.”
The bursting sunshine and energy of early Summer finds its place within us in the Heart/Small Intestine meridian. It is the joy of flinging your arms open wide, and this relish is full of that lively, wake-up energy. Make it as an alternative coleslaw and watch people’s eyebrows raise and a broad smile appear. Both the beetroot and parsley are a great tonic for the blood which then has a nourishing effect on the heart.
4-5 cooked beetroots
1 red onion
120 g fresh flat leaf parsley
If possible, use 4 tbsp of freshly grated horseradish and 1 tbsp of cider vinegar. However, if not available, 2 tbsp of horseradish used from a jar is perfectly acceptable.
1 tsp runny honey
Salt to taste
Grate the beetroot, finely chop the red onion and flat leaf parsley, then put all ingredients in a bowl, mix and allow to stand for hopefully an hour before anyone eats it.
The stomach/spleen relates to this harvest time of year. Its sweet softness is akin to the mother energy that supports and comforts you. Often people will crave this comfort through chocolate, but that can produce an addictive cycle. It’s much better to go for the sweet taste through appropriate grains and root vegetables. After making this, you will wonder why you haven’t cooked with millet more often. I do every time. It is so comforting and grounding; mouthful by mouthful you can feel your stomach relaxing.
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
250 g millet
1 pint miso or vegetable stock
Big handful of fresh flat leaf parsley
Very big handful of fresh sage
Few sprigs of thyme
Flakes of seaweed (optional but always good to use whenever possible)
Pinch of Salt
Firstly, chop and gently fry the onion, adding the chopped garlic, parsley and millet after 5 minutes. Stir on the heat, making sure all ingredients are coated with oil and beginning to cook, then add the stock, chopped sage, thyme, seaweed and salt. Cover the pot, bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes, adding more stock or seasoning if needed.
My love of the energy of food comes from my mother and my shiatsu practice. Not so recently, a client came suffering severe acid indigestion. Shiatsu enabled her to understand and communicate with her own body. Together, we found the triggers and the supportive foods that helped her transform her condition. The millet recipe really strengthened her system and helped reduce the acid, as it is one of the few alkalising grains easily digested by the stomach and spleen… Note to myself: eat more millet. I forget how good this recipe is.
Joanne is a fully qualified Shiatsu Practitioner who specializes in food and the energetic impact it has on our bodies. To book a treatment, please contact her on 0866070432. For information on catering or to book a place on a course that delves further into balancing energy through food, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Art of Conscious Cooking for the Heart/Small Intestine 25th June 2011
The Beehive: Mindfulness, Meditation and Contemplation Retreat 27th-31st July 2011
The Art of Conscious Cooking for the Stomach/Spleen 13th August 2011