The macrobiotic movement is about not so much about adhering to one specific and unchanging diet, and more about learning how different foods affect you and consciously choosing, preparing, and eating meals that fit your needs as they shift over time – similar to the philosophy of the 21-Day Clean Program.
It’s important to explore the many styles of eating, as we all know, 1) there isn’t one diet that works for everyone and 2) that your dietary needs can change over time. Functional medicine is about blending the principles that have proven true in cultures all over the world into something that works for your very specific needs.
Macrobiotics and you
At the heart of macrobiotics is the principle that everything, including food, has either yin or yang energy. Yin and yang foods have opposite effects on the body, so eating too many of one or the other can create an imbalance.
Some foods are considered balancing – neither yin nor yang – and these make up the bulk of a macrobiotic diet. Balanced foods include whole grains, cooked vegetables, dark leafy greens, beans and legumes, fermented foods, and sea vegetables. It is believed that eating these foods balances the two opposing yin and yang energies to promote a healthy life that is in harmony with nature.
Bowl full of goodness
We included all of the essential components of macrobiotic eating in this colorful macrobiotic bowl for a grounding and nourishing meal. In macrobiotics, food preparation methods that use water, like steaming and sautéing, are recommended over baking and roasting. It’s also ideal to cook over a flame, rather than use a microwave or electric burner. Use cookware made of natural materials, like cast iron and clay, when possible.
Contrary to what you were told as a kid, you don’t have to finish everything on your plate. One of the fundamental beliefs of macrobiotics is listening to your body, which means only eating when you’re hungry and stopping before you get full.
¼ cup dry quinoa
1 purple sweet potato, peeled
1 cup broccoli
1 medium carrot, peeled
2 Tbsp. wakame seaweed
1 tsp. sesame oil
½ tsp. coconut aminos
1½ tsp. sesame seeds
1 cup kale, torn
¼ cup chickpeas, cooked
3 to 4 snow peas, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. kimchi
Ginger Turmeric Tahini Dressing:
1 Tbsp. tahini
½ tsp. fresh ginger, grated
¼ tsp. turmeric
Pinch of sea salt
Combine the quinoa with a half-cup of water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until the water has fully absorbed about 10 minutes. Transfer quinoa to a bowl and fluff with a fork.
Meanwhile, slice the purple sweet potato into quarter-inch thick rounds. Chop the broccoli into small florets. Use a vegetable peeler to create thin ribbons with the carrot.
Put the sweet potatoes in a small skillet and add 2 tablespoons of water. Cover and turn to medium-low heat. Steam until fork tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer the sweet potatoes to a plate and add the carrot and broccoli to the saucepan. Cover and cook until the carrots have softened slightly and the broccoli is bright green.
Pour the wakame seaweed into a small bowl. Cover with water and let it rehydrated for 5 minutes. Drain, rinse and squeeze out excess moisture. Then dress the seaweed with the sesame oil, coconut aminos, and sesame seeds.
Add the kale to a small skillet and pour in a tablespoon of water. Cover and cook over low heat for a minute, until wilted and bright green.
To make the dressing, whisk the tahini, ginger, and turmeric together in a small bowl. Add a tablespoon of water, plus more to thin. Season the dressing with a pinch of natural sea salt.
To assemble, put all of the prepared ingredients in a large salad bowl. Add the snow peas, chickpeas, and kimchi. Drizzle with dressing and serve.
Recipe and photography by Kate Kasbee
If you like this recipe, you might also like Try This Clean Buddha Bowl for a Satisfying Lunch