Posts Tagged ‘miso’

Getting My Immune System into Battle Mode

I’m a peaceful person. But when germs are starting to attack – it’s on.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been routinely surrounded by people who are sick with one bug or another. Today is the first day that I have started to feel a little something…

It started in the late morning. It was an on-and-off twinge of pain in the throat. By the time I was waiting in the car dealership after work today, flipping through magazines and munching on complimentary cheese crackers, the pain was more present. I had some time until my car inspection was done, so I decided to take a bold step. I walked over to the nearby natural foods store and scanned the aisles for something that would help. That’s when I found some Elderberry Juice.

I had remembered having some elderberry cough drops years ago and feeling that it may have helped me heal quicker… The juice was quite pricey, but I felt like staying well was well worth the $5. (People can spend $5 quite easily on a drink at a bar 🙂 ) The bottle had been sitting on a shelf and the juice was not cold enough. I had a little trouble drinking it at first. It tasted kind of intense. But then, I mixed it in a cup with some chilled water from the waiting room water cooler, and it went down just fine.

Note re: elderberry – I just found this article. As I’m not feeling any of those described effects, I’m assuming I’m okay. This juice, unlike the juice in the link, was crafted in a professional facility and I’m sure no leaves were involved in the making of it.

So, back to the germ war. When I came home, I drank a cup of Emergen-C. By this time, my throat was hurting every time I swallowed. But I mobilized the forces anyway, and made a full dinner.

I started off with some miso soup, made with cabbage, turnips, whole garlic cloves, and mello white miso. Miso is known for its probiotics, and I don’t think I had been having enough of it this week.

In the oven, I baked some beer bread. Now I’m not sure if beer bread has any healing properties, but it’s a nice cozy thing to have fresh-from-the-oven bread, and I’ve been thinking about making it ever since Madeline mentioned it in a post.

So super easy to make. I used all whole wheat flour, and Sucanat instead of regularly-processed brown sugar. My beer of choice was a Corona which had been in the back of the fridge since I had bought a six-pack for a small gathering mid-April. I guess you could tell how much I drink.

I needed something with super amounts of garlic for this germ war. So I minced the cloves from 2 and a half small heads of garlic for a EVOO/lemon juice/salt/pepper dressing for quick boiled beet greens. (Cooked similarly to this swiss chard.)

I also pan fried salmon-feta-dill burgers I got from a farmer’s market, from a business called Wild For Salmon. The company is run by a couple who travels to Alaska each June and makes a big catch of salmon, and then in turn brings them back to PA. The burgers were tasty. We enjoyed them on an open-faced sandwich on the beer bread, with some dijon mustard and tender mixed greens.

I followed dinner with a 50mg zinc tablet. Another part of the battle strategy. Next up – going to bed early.

My new resolution is to have something containing probiotics every day, such as miso or kefir. I want to keep my immune system strong.

How do you get your immune system into battle mode?

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Mellow Yellow… Miso Soup

Mellow Yellow: that’s just one of those songs that sends you straight to a groovy headspace, isn’t it…

Well check this out: it’s ‘Bananas in Pajamas’ doing their thang to this tune of yore. Click here to experience dancing bananas on YouTube. If this doesn’t make you feel a little relaxed and silly – well, then – check out LOLcats, or make a sculpture out of play dough, okay?

This evening I made some soup with mello white miso. This flavor is much milder than the barley variety (it also happens to be less expensive – I think the barley version might be more healthy, though.) I like them both – they’re just for different moods. You might like them both, as well.

I dissolved the mello white miso in the warm soup that I had made, using:
Onions
Carrots
Cabbage
Tofu
and a Few Dashes of Olive Oil

I set the vegetables (sans tofu) in the water until it came to a rolling boil, and then simmered it with the lid on for about 25 mins on low. I added the tofu cubes right before I took it off the heat. At the point when it was off the heat and stopped boiling, I added the miso (to save the probiotics.)

I actually didn’t really need much soup, after polishing off the rest of the spinach pie, which I had been pecking away at since Sunday.

What’s your favorite mellow food? (You can take that to mean food which is mellow itself, or food that makes you feel mellow…)

Miso Medley Soup (aka Minestrone Revisited)

Need a quick way to use vegetables before they are past their prime?

Make a soup!

This evening, I fashioned a miso medley soup, using the following ingredients:
Carrots
Onion
Pasta
Tofu
Tender Collard Greens
Barley Miso

*Note: Never boil your miso if you want it to retain those probiotics! Only put it into water after it has stopped boiling.

Somehow, magically and unexpectedly, this soup tasted very similar to minestrone! (No tomatoes included in this redux, however.)

It made a filling meal! And, for any vegans reading, it was 100% vegan. (Until we put grated cheese on top. But you don’t have to do that.)

What do you like to put on top of your soup?

Miso: A Wise Food

Miso is food with a story. Miso has a rich past. Families continue to make their own miso to this day. Aged and fermented, it is potent; you wouldn’t want to eat straight-up miso as a snack – but as an accompaniment to a dish, it can sometimes be just what you need.

There’s lots of types of miso, from the milder, light-colored varieties to the richer, deeper-colored sorts. I’ve heard that barley miso is higher on the healthful spectrum than the other types. What makes miso healthful? The unpasteurized kind you buy in the refrigerator section of the market is said to have probiotics. Because it has probiotics, though, you have to be careful with miso – if you boil it, you can destroy these beneficial bacteria.

For lunch today, I made one of my favorite quick-miso dishes: buckwheat soba noodles with almond-butter miso sauce. It’s so easy to make. The buckwheat noodles take about 3-4 minutes to cook. While you’re cooking the noodles, you can quickly throw together the sauce: in a small saucepan, combine equal parts (about 1.5 tsp each for 2 servings) of nut butter and miso. Add in a few big splashes of water and cream the ingredients together with a fork. Put on the stovetop on high, stirring with your fork, and the mixture will soon become creamy. Pour over your buckwheat noodles and you have a healthy, sweet-and-salty meal or snack.

I served mine with broccoli, which I had drizzled with olive oil and breadcrumbs.

Have you ever made a miso sauce?

On a side note – Evan of Food Makes Fun Fuel is doing a giveaway you might like to enter, for a $55 gift certificate to CSN stores. Good luck!