recipe: brown rice - kinpira - seitan

I made a big purchase from the Kushi store last week and when the box arrived I just couldn't wait to start eating good food! So I wanted to share tonight's dinner with you and I hope it will inspire you to eat well!

brown rice

BROWN RICE - I bought 'freshly hulled' brown rice from the kushi store and it's delicious! I cooked it with one umeboshi plum (so no salt) and a piece of kombu (when it's finished cooking you can take out the kombu and chop it up and put it back in.. nobody will notice! and it's super good for you! lot's of minerals!) AND I like to add a bit of the shiso leaves from the umeboshi (that purple stuff at the top of the jar or package). I like leftover rice so for our family of four I cook 1 1/2 cups of rice (wash three times) in three cups of water, one umeboshi plum, a 1"x 1" piece of kombu and some shiso leaves, cover and cook for about 40-45 minutes on very low flame. When it looks like the water is almost gone take off flame and let sit for a few minutes --perfect every time!

KINPIRA (traditional Japanese side dish) - sauteed burdock root and carrot - I used dried burdock root (burdock root is very good for cleaning your blood) that I bought from the Kushi store as a shortcut (I used half the bag), otherwise you have to clean and peel fresh burdock root and cut into matchsticks. Cut carrot into matchsticks.

1 cup dried burdock root - pour boiling water over and let sit for a few minutes
2 cups carrots cut into matchsticks
1 tablespoon sesame oil (or toasted sesame oil adds more flavor)
2 tablespoons Mirin
1/2 tablespoon (or so..) Tamari

saute burdock root in sesame oil for 10 - 15 minutes covered (medium low flame) if pan gets dry use some water after it's sauteed a bit add 1 tablespoon of Mirin and cover again. Add carrots and a tablespoon of Mirin and Tamari to taste and saute again covered for a few minutes.

SEITAN - I really like Bridge Seitan, it really has the best flavor and it is perfectly marinated in really clean ingredients (kombu/tamari/fresh ginger) so that you can use it for your cooking. You can buy Bridge Seitan at most Whole Foods (or ask your local co-op to stock it), although it's a product of Connecticut so I don't know if you can get it on the West Coast. Honestly, if I was not using Bridge Seitan I wouldn't like to eat Seitan this way... it must be fresh and high quality. I just saute it with onions (about 1/2 an onion) and the juice from the Bridge Seitan, you could use garlic but not necessary and then at the end I use a bit of tamari but not much...

Don't forget to garnish your meal in a lovely way - for this meal I used lots of chopped fresh parsley and some gomasio (click here for my blog on gomasio - sesame seeds+salt)

A bit of information on Seitan:
Nutritionally, seitan is a powerhouse. In both quantity and quality, the protein in seitan is similar to that in beef. Sirloin steak and seitan both supply approximately 16 grams of protein per 100-gram (3.5 once) serving, or about 25 percent of the U.S. Reference Daily Intake. This is twice as much as an equal amount of tofu and 40% more than is supplied by two medium eggs. Although unseasoned seitan, raw wheat gluten, is low in one essential amino acid, lysine, this is easily offset by cooking it in soy sauce-seasoned broth, or by combining or serving it with lysine-rich foods such as beans. And while the 3.5-ounce sirloin comes with 11.5 grams of saturated fat, 58 milligrams of cholesterol, and nearly 300 calories, seitan contains no saturated fat or cholesterol, and only 120 calories per 3.5-ounce serving. (this information is from the Mitoku website click here for more information)

I forgot to take a photograph of our finished meal... but I did find the beautiful photo at the top from a lovely blog called m+d - click here to visit and enjoy!

click here to visit the Kushi store and shop for yourself!

my suggestions:
kukicha twig tea
umeboshi plums
dried burdock root
freshly hulled brown rice
... and anything else that sounds good to you!!!