I've run into a handful of totally macrobiotic folks in my day, and I always ask, "How can you live without tomatoes or potatoes?" I'm sure its the macrobiotic equivalent to the annoying, age-old vegan question, "Where do you get your protein?" But I can't help but ask. I'm down with brown rice and mochi and all that, but I need nightshades in my life.
Thankfully for not-so-diehard macrobiotic food fans like me, there's Christine Waltermyer's new book, The Natural Vegan Kitchen. Much like Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Diet, Christine's book combines the foods of a macrobiotic diet (whole grains, sea veggies, miso, etc.) with some regular vegan recipes made with whole foods. For example, Christine has recipes for the very macrobiotic-sounding Magical Miso Soup (think wakame, daikon, and shitake mushrooms) and the not-so-macro Mom's Potato Salad (taters, vegan mayo, the works).
As the founder of the Natural Foods Cooking School, Christine know a thing or two about delicious, healthy eatin'. She managed to cure her own health problems (recurring fibroids in her breasts) by switching to a vegan diet in 1992. I've tried a few recipes from The Natural Vegan Kitchen so far, and I'm really loving it!
Last week, I made her Tempeh Mock Tuna Salad and served it on pita bread with green leaf lettuce:
I've made tempeh tuna salad before, but Christine's recipe was very different from any other I've tried. It called for cooking the steamed tempeh with mustard and miso to season, and then mixing it with vegan mayo, pickle relish, and the other stuff typically found in tuna salad. So creamy and delicious.
Normally, I'd eat chips with a mock tuna sandwich. But after flipping through this book, I was in the mood for a healthier side. So I went with the very macrobiotic Stewed Nishime Vegetables:
This may not look all that appetizing, but OMG! So delicious! "Nishime" is a Japanese term for waterless cooking, and these veggies — cabbage, onions, daikon, carrots — are essentially steamed in a teensy amount of water with a strip of kombu. Then they're seasoned with miso paste. The result is a soft, sweet 'n' salty side that tastes like something someone's Japanese grandma made. I loved daikon before trying this dish, but now I'm gonna have to marry it.
I'll be featuring another Natural Vegan Kitchen recipe in tomorrow's post. But if you'd like a copy of the book for yourself, click here to enter the Book Publishing Company's cookbook giveaway. They're giving away quite a few vegan titles this month: Speed Vegan, The Natural Vegan Kitchen, Vegan In 30 Days, The 4-Ingredient Vegan, Becoming Vegan, and Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness.