Macrobiotics is an orderly approach to diet of lifestyle focused on the art of living a rich, full life. We create balance through structure in our daily lives, including sitting down for regular meals, eating local whole foods in season, sleeping according to natural cycles, and performing moderate exercise. Yoga and macrobiotics teach us to slow down, listen to our bodies, and live our lives in harmony with nature. We draw upon these values to create a healthy macrobiotic breakfast to support us throughout the day.
Foods favored in macrobiotics, in addition to being local and seasonal, are balanced energetically, support digestion, and include whole grains and vegetables including sea vegetables. Breakfast foods favor savory options that are grounding and support digestion, such as this homemade miso soup and nishime-style vegetables. This simple warming breakfast is delicious, energizing, and deeply nourishing. Often a dessert or snack, mochi is prepared here as a savory crouton that adds whole grains to your breakfast. Enjoy with the classic macrobiotic drink—a cup of alkalizing kukicha twig tea.
Vegetable Miso Soup with Mochi Croutons
Yields: 2-3 servings
4 cups spring or filtered water
generous pinch of wakame flakes
1 cup daikon radish, sliced in half moons
1 celery stalk, sliced on the diagonal
2 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked overnight and sliced (optional)
3-4 teaspoons organic 3-year barley miso*
2 green onions, sliced, for garnish
mochi croutons (see recipe)
In medium soup pot, bring water to a boil with wakame flakes. Add daikon, celery, shiitake mushrooms, and shiitake mushroom soaking water. Reduce flame and simmer for 3–5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Purée the miso in 1/4 cup of broth and then stir gently into soup until well mixed. Simmer on low for 2–3 minutes, serve in bowls with mochi croutons, and garnish with green onions.
* Good quality miso is unpasteurized, contains active live cultures, is made with sea salt, and should be stored in a glass container. Recommended brands include South River Miso (which has gluten-free varieties) and Mitoku.
½ package plain mocha (Grainaissance brand recommended)
expeller-pressed sesame oil
a few drops shoyu (optional)
Heat cast iron skillet on medium flame. Cut mochi into ½-inch squares. Coat bottom of skillet with sesame oil, then add mochi squares, leaving some space in between each square. Cover and turn heat to low. Turn mochi every 1-2 minutes to toast on all sides. Remove to a plate and season with shoyu, if desired, or place directly into miso soup.
Yields: 3-4 servings
1 cup organic winter squash, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup organic carrots, cut into chunks or jewel cut
1 cup organic green cabbage, cut into squares
1-inch square kombu
1/2 cup spring or filtered water
pinch unrefined sea salt
unpasteurized shoyu or tamari, to taste
In heavy-bottomed pot, layer vegetables in order given in pot over water and kombu. Sprinkle with pinch of sea salt.
Cover pot and bring up to a boil. Turn down to low and let vegetables cook slowly for about 20 minutes. Turn off heat and sprinkle vegetables with a little shoyu. Replace cover and give the pot a shake to coat vegetables with cooking liquid.
– Use other hardy vegetables such as rutabaga, parsnip, Brussels sprouts, daikon radish, turnips, lotus root, or burdock.
– Simplify by using one vegetable instead of three.
Kukicha Twig Tea
1 tablespoon kukicha twigs
2-3 cups spring or filtered water
Bring twigs and water to a boil in small saucepan. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Strain and reserve twigs. Used twigs can be reused with a pinch of new twigs in the next batch of tea.
Rachel discovered macrobiotics and yoga on the same day in September 2003 and she has been an avid student and practitioner of both since. Rachel is a macrobiotic chef specializing in healing whole foods and remedies and is a lead cooking instructor at The Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts in Austin, Texas. Naturalepicurean.com.