With community supported agriculture (CSA) groups and farmers' markets popping up throughout our islands, obtaining local produce has become as easy and affordable as our busy lifestyles and tight budgets demand. Although the benefits make perfect sense and the products are at our fingertips, many of us may get hung up with how to incorporate the variety of fresh produce into our diets.
Not to fear, thanks to farm-to-table advocates like Macrobiotic Chef Leslie Ashburn, where there is a will, there is a way, without sacrificing flavor. Macrobiotic recipes are a great way to introduce scrumptious meals into your diet using what is available from our local farmers. The macrobiotic way is a school of thought and action, based upon the use of natural (non-synthetic) materials in our fabrics, our homes and our food. The word "macrobiotic" comes from the Greek, literally meaning "long life," so essentially eating a macrobiotic diet is aimed at making balanced choices that lead to living a healthy and prosperous life.
Regardless of your level of interest in leading a macrobiotic lifestyle, macrobiotic cooking is a road map for preparing Hawai'i's most common locally farmed produce. A full-fledged macrobiotic lifestyle may not be for everyone, but there is no denying that we could all benefit, in some way, from improving our dietary and lifestyle habits and by trying to live more harmoniously with our environment. To celebrate Earth Day and all things green, Chef Leslie Ashburn shares her tasty recipe for Green Rolls.
Local ingredients: collards, kale, carrots and Chinese cabbage (Wonbok)
1 bunch Chinese cabbage (Wonbok)
1 bunch collard greens
½ cup sauerkraut (such as Eden brand or Cosmic Cuc)
½ bunch curly kale
1 to 2 carrots
8 sheets nori
2 tablespoons almonds, roasted and diced (or sesame or pumpkin seeds)
Cut the carrot into matchsticks. Bring about an inch of water in a pan to a boil. Add a pinch of salt. Boil the carrots until they are soft (for a few minutes, or until crisp tender). Remove the carrots and drain them. Add the Chinese cabbage and boil quickly. Drain and cool. Repeat with the collard greens. Place the cabbage and collard leaves on a sushi mat. Put the nori on top. About one third of the way up from the end closest to you, add the sauerkraut, carrots, greens and almonds. Lift the sushi mat (closest to you) and gently but firmly fold it away from you. Keep rolling it up until you reach the end. Squeeze it tight (gently) and cut in sixths.
For more information on macrobiotic cooking, to contact Chef Leslie Ashburn or to sign-up for a macrobiotic cooking class visit: macrobiotichawaii.com