Quick and Natural Macrobiotic Cookbook – review

ISBN 0-8092-4436-5

Quiting all meat and processed foods overnight as it were, had me feeling overwhelmed about my food choice options. Mind you, I thrive on feeling challenged, so I’m not complaining at all.  But when this book found its way to me I felt fresh relief. Gone, were my worries over what constitutes a healthy Vegetarian dinner or lunch.

This book took the mystery out of it. Instead of listing recipes by type ie: fruits, pastas, soups, etc.. THIS cookbook listed Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc. Then it offers a complete days food itinerary from breakfast in the AM to dessert in the PM.

I eagerly shut my brain off and planned my shopping list for the entire week based off this books recommendations. This proved both educational AND a disaster. But before  I get into that, lets discuss why this book Rocks!

This book is 2/3 rds teaching and 1/3 recipe. If you know me, you know I like that! It has re-sparked my new interest in food lore. And though I know next to nothing about Macrobiotics, stay tuned. I plan to remedy that as the months pass.

This book provides a perfect introduction to the concepts of Macrobiotic cooking. Written by two well qualified, dedicated individuals with a long history of experience, both as teachers, cooks and the natural foods movement itself.

The Quick and Natural Macrobiotic cookbook is presented in such a way as to truly cover every angle or question a reader may have. It even explains utensils, time management, yin and yang, and cites the many examples how Macrobiotic cooking has been beneficial to those suffering under conditions of problematic health or disease.

This book will stay with me as a respected item in the kitchen bookcase.

Now you want to hear about the disasters don’t you? ok then,

Bad News: Though I only purchased what was listed in the book as a 7 day plan, I ended up with SO much food I could barely fit it all in my fridge. But I was willing to work with this. I bought things I had never touched in my life! Such as Kale and Turnips.

Then begins cooking day one:  Well let me just say that right off the bat I barely had enough stove burners to keep up with the instructions. Im not kidding. After 1 meal, EVERY pan in my house was dirty and so was EVERY prep bowl and then some!

Though I brought patience to this adventure, still it was a lot like playing a game of Twister. You know… put your left leg on the green circle then put your right leg up past your ear and place it on the blue circle. But, you know what they say, you get what you put into it. This meal had better taste fantastic AND cure every disease I and everyone within 3 miles of me might ever have, such was the effort I had to make.

Good News: Once the meal was set out in its various dozen of bowls, I sat down to table. Taking a deep breath I brought my mind to a focused zen-like place prepared to experience the ‘spirit’ of this food as well as eat it. Here I was not disappointed at all! It sounds weird to say this but there DID seem to be something undefinable about the experience. The food, rather than being plain and tasteless was, hmmm, how can I say it? Refreshing, in a wholesome, clean, earthy kind of way. It felt good to be eating it, at both the soul level, and at the belly level. Perhaps I am simply being subjective but that’s my experience, and a pleasant one it was. Now…. back to disasters… 🙂

Bad news: A family of 5 could have one meal and still have leftovers. It seems this book had me cook all 7 days worth base up front. Now that cooking pans were involved, I really COULDN’T put it all in my fridge. The book says, “don’t worry, you can leave this stuff out on your counter for several days.” really? I had my doubts but then it occurred to me. Yes, it is likely true.

Macrobiotics has been around for a long, long time. Historically, Asia did not have things like refrigerators and ovens. They lived in villages in climates of extreme heat and moisture and never used such things as butter and milk. So yes, it seems possible.

SO next time you make a big batch of rice? Just leave it on the counter. Well, yes, erm, I hear the concept, but it still gives me the willies. Goes against my American conditioning.  Lets just say that I am withholding judgement until later.

More bad news: Not knowing what a Turnip even looked like, I decided to go for the gold. I bought two groups of super fancy super expensive organic types. Only to find out that they were meant to become pickles. I don’t even have a Pickle Press! Hmmmm.

By day 3, I took one dreaded look inside the overstuffed fridge, and thought of the toil to come, then abandoned the whole shoot-she-bang faster than a kid escaping a boring chore. The turnips and a lot of the other really weird uncooked food, eventually went bad and I had to throw it all out.

I do believe Macrobiotic cooking is very simple and easy, once a person becomes familiar with it. Is this cookbook quick and easy?  Not on your life!

I will be featuring some recipes from this book in the blog as its offerings are both healthy and yummy and also exploring more of this Macrobiotic food concept.

and p.s. I’m open to you more experienced readers willing to leave a helpful comment or two. Anytime.

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2 thoughts on “Quick and Natural Macrobiotic Cookbook – review

  1. I definitely do not qualify as a more experienced reader, so I can’t leave any helpful comments. But I can say that I’m very impressed with your tenacity and it sounds like the dish was worthy enough to continue on this path. Congratulations!

    • There certainly was a lot of laughter and jokes flying around the kitchen during the making of these huge, ‘simple’ meals.
      Thank you much! It will be an adventure to be sure.

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