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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Marriage of Earth and Sea

In between bursts of chilly spring rain and hints of summer heat there have been moments of sublime warmth where I am moved to marry two of my favorite foods together. Sweet, tart apples and salty sea rich dulse. You may not think this is a marriage made in heaven, but we are not in heaven, but here with our feet planted, for some, firmly on the ground awaiting the next apple to fall from the trees.

Apples are a food gifted to us by the gods. They help to protect brain cells from free radical damage, while working to lower your bad cholesterol to tolerable levels. They are sited to help prevent a whole slew of cancers, plus they are sweet and delicious. Eat them fresh or cooked in dessert recipes the simple apple will serve you well.

On the other end of the spectrum you find the sea vegetable known as Dulse. High in potassium, iron, B6 and B12, dulse can be used in soups, fried to make chips or sprinkled on grains and salads in the form of dulse flakes. It is mild in taste and low in sodium. I love the Maine Coast Sea Vegetable Dulse that comes right out of the waters off the coast of Maine. This salad is a great way to introduce yourself to this nutritious vegetable. I hope you enjoy.

Waldorf Salad w/Dulse
Serves 6

1 head red leaf lettuce, chopped or broken into pieces
1/3 cup Dulse flakes
2 apples, cored and cut into chunks
3 grated carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup red grapes, halved
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1/3 cup raisins or dried cranberries (optional)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey or agave syrup
½ teaspoon Ume Plum vinegar or sea salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon garlic powder

1. In a large salad bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients.
2. Add the salad ingredients and toss with the dressing.
3. Arrange on individual plates and serve.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Cous Cous Salad

Here is another delicious recipe from the last Macrobiotic cooking class and one of my favorite warm weather salads. It takes so little time to make that you will have no choice but to include this as a staple in your weekly menu planning. I love the complexity of sweet and sour flavors with the pungent bite of scallion and the cool crisp crunch of fresh cucumber.

Feel free to use your favorite vegetables in this salad, but replacing the tiny currents with raisins may be to much. On the other hand, dried cranberries would make a tart replacement and may as well throw in a few toasted pine nuts while you're at it.

Cous Cous Salad                                                                              
Serves 6

2 cups organic couscous
2 cups water
1/3 cup currents
1 cup carrot, grated
1/2 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
3 green onions, diced

Lemon Dressing
Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
Juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Ume Plum vinegar or 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon sweetener of choice (I use a pinch of stevia powder)
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar

1. Bring 2 cups water to a boil, add the couscous and stir. Cover and turn the flame off.
2. Allow the couscous to steam for 5 minutes. Remove and fluff with a fork to cool.
3. Add the currents while still warm and the other vegetables once cous cous has cooled.                         
4. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and toss with the cous cous. Let sit for 10 minutes to better absorb the flavors.