Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tasty living

You may have noticed a major trend in food-related posts throughout the course of this blog. The reason for this, other than my personal obsession with the delicious, is that the community's diet and worldview are heavily influenced by the discipline of macrobiotics, a seriously food-centric orientation. So the mindful growing, preparing and enjoying of food is a huge part of life, here.

Macrobiotics is based in large part on striving for balance between the opposing energetic principles of yin and yang, which are supposed to be in evidence everywhere, including in food, which is its main concern. One of macrobiotics' foundational concepts is that food has a profound influence on various aspects of person's condition, and the community brings special attention to the link between food, thought, and behavior. So an important part of the practice is to develop an awareness of how different foods affect you, how you feel, what you think, say and do.

A fascinating local cucumber

A main goal of eating macrobiotically, to use a popular metaphor, is to "come down the pendulum" from the extremes of highly concentrated foods like white sugar, other processed foods, and animal foods, to a simpler, lower-on-the-food chain, lower-frequency diet composed of mainly whole plant foods, at the heart of which are well chewed grains, chiefly brown rice. This kind of diet is meant to promote a sound, healthy condition.

So the diet here revolves around whole grains, fresh garden vegetables, various kinds of seaweed, fermented foods like miso, tempeh, umeboshi plums, and pickled vegetables, seeds and nuts, and other plant proteins like tofu and seitan. There is some fruit but it is not prominently featured, and they try to go light on the night shades and tropical fruits. The communal meals are all strictly vegan.

Garden daikon

As I mentioned in my last post, the rice fast gave me a renewed gratitude for the pleasure of eating, which got me thinking (and drooling) about the many tasty delights I've enjoyed while here that I haven't yet had the occasion to share with you. So, here is a bit of a sampling, may it provide inspiration...

Noodles (or noo-noos [nOO-nOOz]) and broth with home made tofu, veggies and hot sesame oil

Chimichanga, also known as a deep fried burrito. Amazing.

My friend and partner in crime, the illustrious kickball Joe, enjoying a snack of fruit turnover

Mochi, a fried pancake of mashed sweet rice. A centerpiece of a sumo wrestler's diet, I am told.

Sandwich (or sankwich, if you please) of homemade tempeh, sprouts, lettuce, mustard, vegenaise, and tomato (a bit of a nightshade treat). So good the camera could not focus.

Millet, lima beans seasoned with mustard (tasty as I've had that particular bean), beet salad

Pekoras, or, as the chef prefers to call them, coogly wooglies

This was called a "tofu quiche," it was a macaroni casserole type thing that came out like the delicious vegan cousin of mac 'n' cheese.

Pan toasted sesame seeds snap crackle and pop as they cool

Pea soup, cabbage, quinoa, and getting a little mediterranean with some falafel on the side

Some kind of crazy delicious mustardy seitan concoction.
I know what you're thinking, it doesn't look very nice. But it is. Very very nice.

The conch that calls us to dinner

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