Spring Cooking

Spring is all about rebirth, lightness and growth, but we need to make a sensible transition by incorporating a balance between winter and spring. These two recipes blend the energy of the seasons and allow us to remain centered even as we move with grace toward the warmer months ahead.

The beauty of sharing recipes is their flexibility. You can substitute different grains, beans or seaweeds and it will still taste great. Use the recipes as guidelines and trust your senses to adjust the seasoning so you make something enjoyable to eat. Greens can be added during the time to increase freshness.

— Surya

Sea Veggie Strudel

Sea Veggie Strudel

Sea Veggie Strudel
Ingredients
2 tsp sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tsp fresh ginger minced
2C onions, sliced into half moons
2C carrots, cut into this matchsticks
1C uncooked arame, rinsed and soaked for 5 minutes
1C apple juice
2 Tbsp shoyu or tamari
4-6 collared leaves, blanched

In a frying pan, heat sesame oil over medium heat. Add onions, ginger, garlic and a pinch of salt. Sauté until the onions are caramelized. Add the arame and then carrots on top. Cover the bottom of the pan with apple juice and a pinch of salt. Cover and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the shoyu and cook uncovered for about 10 minutes, until the liquid evaporates.

Transfer the cooked arame to a bowl to cool. Spread the sea veggie filling on the collared greens leaves, leaving about 2″ at the top and roll up tightly, tucking the sides in as you roll it up.

– – –

Seaweed Carrot Kitcharee

Ingredients
1 C brown rice (short or medium grain, soaked overnight)
1/2 C mixed seaweed (arame, hijiki, dulse, kelp (kombu), wakame, broken into small pieces)
1 C dried mung beans, soaked (adzuki beans and black-eyed peas area also great)
1-2 inches ginger, minced finely
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
3 medium carrots, washed and scrubbed, cut into thin half moons
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
1/4 C black sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1 tsp. umeboshi vinegar
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. tamari
sliced scallions as a garnish
cayenne pepper (optional)
dulse flakes, nori or kelp powder or nettle powder
lettuce for serving

To cook the rice, bring 2 cups of water to boil. When boiling, add salt and the seaweed. Turn the heat to medium high and let simmer for 10 minutes with the cover off. After 10 minutes, tun the heat to the lowest setting, cover and cook for another 20-30 minutes, until the majority of the liquid is absorbed. Turn the heat off and keep uncovered for another 10 minutes.

Drain the pre-soaked beans and cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil and add a piece of kombu (seaweed to reduce gas). Skim off any foam that rises to the top. The foam is made from bean proteins that are released in the cooking process and is good to remove. Cook until beans are soft, drain and cool.

In a large frying pan, toast sesame seeds and remove. Add sesame oil to frying pan and let heat up. Then add ginger, and garlic and cook on medium heat for a minute, stirring continuously. Add carrots to garlic and ginger, stir and cover until soft enough to bite.

Add rice and beans, tamari and vinegar and stir to combine.
Adjust flavor to taste. Top with toasted sesame seeds.
The dish can be complimented by a bed of mixed greens.
To serve, cut in half and place on plate with remaining greens and a slice of lemon.

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