Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My New Meal Plans

Wow, has it really been since February?! Had I abandoned this food blog for that long?!

Even now that I write in three different "blog"-type forums (mostly in Japanese), I still consider this my A-side blog - my home, my roots - which is why I haven't been able to delete it even as it has become grossly outdated.

I have been doing very well lately, and I have been getting back into writing in the evening again. Yes, yes, I know spending time before going to bed in front of the computer is supposed to disrupt my sleep cycle, etc. Unfortunately, it is the only time I have to read and write outside of the occasional 10 min reading I do in between working in the lab or while some mega-process is eating up my CPU cycles. Ha, don't I sound so computer-savvy these days?!

The big news that I wanted to share today is that I recently went semi-vegetarian. This was not necessarily by choice - I became allergic to something in most animal-based meats, including all land/farm animals, fish, and even jelly fish. Eggs and broth still seem to be OK, but I am affected by some types of cheese. It may sound bad, but besides not being able to partake in Korean BBQ, it's really not too bad. I never was a fan of super meaty dishes anyway, and I was a pseudo-vegetarian before in NC, where I decided I'd rather eat vegetarian than eat hormone- and antibiotic-pumped meats after reading My Year of Meats. I dropped this pledge upon coming to CA, since the Korean BBQ was just too good here to forgo. I guess my body decided to act on its behalf since my desires were overpowering my will.

As a result of my dietary requirements, I am now a big fan of the Macrobiotic cuisine. I mean, really, these recipes I see in the JP Macrobiotic cookbooks are exactly what I like to eat, even if I weren't restricted! I am learning to incorporate into my daily meals different ingredients that I went out to eat because I wasn't exactly sure how to cook them at home. I rest assured knowing that my meals are balanced with all the nutrients required and that someone has taken the time to make sure there are no missing components, as long as I work off of the ingredient list in these books.

Last night, I had my first Macrobiotic Dinner Party, and I have to say, it was a big success! Not one of the four non-vegetarians at the table missed the meat! Here's what I made:

Cabbage-egg-crustless quiche (egg is OK in the looser Macrobiotic rules in some JP books).
Hijiki-tofu scramble with crunchy mountain "jelly fish" plant pickles
Mabo eggplant-eringi-shiitake-enoki with nappa

Two-layered mekabu-yamaimo-natto salad with crunchy mountain "jelly fish" plant pickles
Sweet potato kinpira sticks

Brown rice (the heart and soul of Macrobiotic meals!)

Warabi mochi with green- and gold- kinako
Orange-apple agar cake

I really enjoyed the cooking process, since everything was so easy to prepare. Each dish didn't take very long to cook at all, and without meat in the kitchen, I didn't have to think about the meat juices, etc. I'll try to post recipes and pictures as I go along in my Macrobiotic adventure, but I just don't have the time to deal with photos these days. And besides, these aren't the most pretty looking without some plating effort, which is not one of my fortes...

I have also been exploring the local restaurants as a vegetarian, and I have new things to say, even about the old haunts. Gochi has been surprisingly easy to eat vegetarian, as well as Hoshi. Actually, I don't think I ever did a Hoshi post. I'll have to do both a omnivorious and vegetarian version for that!

One last thing is also that I am fasting for Ramadan this month. It is a social and spiritual experiment of some sort. I am enjoying the process very much, and I am planning on doing a summary post soon here. Fasting, being the antonym of eating, has a place in this blog, I say!


Anonymous said...

The food was superb! The only thing that is missing is perhaps the pictures; the food looked gorgeous!

mollyfn said...

You're always doing something Alice! Keep us updated please!