3 Earthy Recipes

burdock on grass.jpg

Ever in the mood for flavours that are strong, pungent or salty, that pull you right down into your body?

Today I was driving home from a corporate gig thinking about what would satisfy my hungry lunch belly. My ‘go-to’ salad with protein wasn’t going to do it. It’s raining outside and I needed something that would make up for the lack of sun. Fresh pasta immediately came to mind. Since I am not doing wheat these days, that one was out. So I scanned my mind, imagining different foods that would nourish both body and mind.

I have noticed that when I am craving pasta, what often satisfies that yearning are substantial foods that remind me of the earth.

Think mushrooms, wild rice, root vegetables, nut butters, truffle, butternut or delicata squash. I settled on wild rice, steamed kale and carrots topped with a tahini-miso dressing. It took me 15 minutes to prepare and it met all of my requirements for nourishment.

Here are 3 quick ‘earthy’ recipes that you might consider next time you want something satisfying and grounding.

Spiced Burdock

If ever there was a food that I would describe as ‘earthy’, burdock is it. Rightly so. Burdock is the root of that plant with the burrs that stick to your clothes and to your dog’s hair. The best roots for eating are dug up from deep in the soil (from 2 year old plants). They are easily found in season (spring and fall) in Chinatown or at Asian grocers. Or if you’re into foraging, you can dig them up yourself. I have also seen them at my local health food store for 7X the price that they are in Chinatown. Look for thin dense roots – they should not be woody in the center. They are, in our house, considered a delicacy. (And just what the Chinese medicine doctor ordered when you are looking for a great blood cleanser.)

Here’s a simple and quick recipe to prepare them.

Serves 2 – 4 (depending on whether you want to share)

3 burdock roots (each approx. 12″)
1 tb. tamari
4 – 5 slices fresh ginger
1 tb coconut oil
Celtic or Himalayan sea salt

Clean (with a vegetable brush) or peel the roots, cutting off the exposed ends.
Slice them thinly, on the diagonal.
Cover the burdock and ginger slices with water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Turn down the heat to keep them simmering. Add 1 tsp of tamari to the water plus a large pinch of salt.

Simmer for 10 minutes or until they are easy to pierce with a fork. Drain the water. Discard the ginger. Add the rest of the tamari, stirring the burdock to ensure they are all coated. Melt the coconut oil in a pan and add the burdock to it. Saute for a few minutes to brown the sides. Sprinkle cayenne and more salt to taste. The roots are ready to eat!

P.S. If you are in a hurry or want to eliminate the oil, you can eat them right after they have boiled and you have seasoned them. They are yummy both ways.

Scrambled Eggs with Truffle Paste

Our trip to Italy a couple of years ago made me into a converted truffle lover.
We buy one of a couple of truffle ‘sauces’ (they are more like a paste) that are a combo of mushrooms, black olive, olive oil and truffle. The one we have now is from Selezione Tartufi.

Serves 2

4 eggs
2 tb milk
2 tsp chives, chopped
2 tsp avocado oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Truffle sauce or paste to taste (approximately 1 tsp per person)

I don’t need to tell you how to make scrambled eggs, although I would encourage you to not overcook them. Keep them loose, light and fluffy. Add milk to them and beat them vigourously. Add chopped chives or saute scallions in the pan before adding the eggs. After you have scrambled the eggs and plated them, add truffle sauce on top.

Tahini Miso Sauce

This sauce is a great way to make steamed vegetables and whole grains more interesting.
You can make a batch in minutes.

1 heaping tablespoon miso (I like the Genmai variety but you can probably use any miso)
1/4 c water
2 heaping tablespoon tahini (sesame seed butter)
1/4 water

In a small bowl or measuring cup, add 1/4 c of the water to the miso. Stir and mash until the miso is uniformly dissolved in the water. Add the tahini. Stir it into a uniform paste. Add the other 1/4 c water and stir to make it into a sauce. Add on top of veggies and grains after they are plated. Stores well in the fridge for a week.

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