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Changing Seasons Macrobiotic Cookbook + Modern-Day Macrobiotics: Transform Your Diet and Feed Your Mind, Body and Spirit + Aveline Kushi's Complete Guide to Macrobiotic Cooking: For Health, Harmony, and Peace
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Avery Trade; Rev Upd edition (July 28, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583331646
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583331644
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.7 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Aveline Kushi was one of the world’s foremost experts on macrobiotic cooking. She began her study of macrobiotics in 1950, under the guidance of George Ohsawa, the founder of modern macrobiotics. She married Michio Kushi in 1952, and for the next ten years taught macrobiotic and natural cooking in New York.
 
Michio and Aveline moved to Boston in 1965, and jointly established a variety of successful macrobiotic enterprises and educational ventures. Aveline’s cooking classes in the Boston area attracted thousands of students, and she and Michio lectured extensively throughout the world.
 
Wendy Esko is this country’s leading author of macrobiotic cookbooks. She began practicing macrobiotics in 1971. Together with her husband Edward, and Michio and Aveline Kushi, she helped develop the East West Foundation, a non-profit educational organization. She began teaching macrobiotic cooking in 1976, and her studies of macrobiotics have taken her around the world.
Wendy teaches regularly at the Kushi Institute as well as throughout New England. She is the author of Introducing Macrobiotic Cooking, and Macrobiotic Cooking for Everyone.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

ONE

The Art of Cooking with the Seasons

THE STANDARD MACROBIOTIC DIET

The recipes in this cookbook are based on standard macrobiotic dietary recommendations that can be applied to your own kitchen. Certainly there is no one diet that is suited to every need. Modifications are always necessary, depending on where you are living, the type of climate there, the particular season, and your sex, age, job, personal condition, and level of activity. In the temperate, four-season climate that characterizes most of the United States, an optimum daily diet consists of the following general proportions of foods.

General Proportions, Optimum Daily Diet

The general proportions in the standard macrobiotic diet are based on the traditional dietary patterns that protected our ancestors from many of the degenerative disorders that we suffer from today. The diet also enables us to achieve harmony with changing environmental conditions. Until recent times, for example, cooked whole cereal grains were eaten as staple foods throughout the world: rice in the Orient; wheat, barley, rye, and oats in Europe and America; buckwheat or kasha in Russia and Central Europe; corn in the Americas; the millet, wheat, and other whole grains in Africa and the Middle East.

Plus Beverages, Occasional Supplementary Foods, Seasonings, and Condiments

In Western countries, bread was the traditional “staff of life,” eaten in its whole, natural form until this century. The central place accorded to whole cereal grains in Europe and America is recorded in the prayer with which generations of people have begun each day: “Give us this day our daily bread”—meaning food in general. In Japanese, the term used for a meal is gohan, which means rice, indicating the significance of whole cereal grains in the traditional Japanese diet.

Throughout the world, traditional diets have included fresh local vegetables and beans and their products along with whole grains. In many parts of the world, sea vegetables and other products from the oceans, together with a wide range of fermented foods such as naturally aged sauerkraut, pickled vegetables, miso, shoyu, and tempeh, were also traditional. In general, animal proteins, including meat, eggs, and dairy products, were used much less frequently than at present, while people in temperate climates rarely ate fruits and other products imported from the tropics.

Using whole grains, local vegetables, beans, and sea vegetables as our primary foods complements the structure and function of the human digestive system. Our thirty-two adult teeth are better suited for crushing and grinding plant fibers than they are for tearing animal flesh. We have twenty-eight incisors, premolars, and molars, which are best suited for grains, beans, and vegetables, but only four canine teeth, which can be used for tearing animal foods. According to the structure of our teeth, the ideal ratio between vegetable and animal foods is seven to one.

The length of the human digestive tract also favors the consumption of more plant than animal foods. Carnivores generally have relatively short intestines, to prevent the buildup of the harmful bacteria and toxins that accompany the decomposition of animal flesh. Because the human digestive tract is long and convoluted, it is not well suited to the consumption of a large volume of animal protein. The overintake of animal foods often leads to the buildup of harmful bacteria and toxins in the digestive tract and bloodstream, contributing to a variety of disorders.

MODIFYING THE DIET

In addition to eating according to our physical structure and traditional dietary practices, it is important for us to eat in a way that brings our condition into harmony with the environment around us. This can be done by relying primarily on foods that are grown in a climate similar to the one in which we live and by adjusting our selection of foods and cooking methods to accommodate the changing of the seasons.

In general, those who live in cold polar climates may consume a greater volume of animal food, while those in a hot, semitropical or tropical region can rely almost entirely on vegetable quality products. People living in an in-between, or four-season, climate may follow the traditional macrobiotic order in their diets, with cereal grains as the main foods; soup, vegetables, beans, and sea vegetables as secondary foods; fruits, nuts, and seeds as their third food group; and animal foods such as fish and seafood, which are biologically distant from the human species, as the fourth supplement.

If we move to another climatic region, we need to change the types of food that we select and our style of cooking to adapt to the new environment. Similarly, our diet can also be changed to suit fluctuations in temperature, humidity, and other conditions that come about as a result of the changing of the seasons. For example, we can harmonize our diet with the environment as follows:

MODIFICATIONS FOR CLIMATIC FACTORS   Lower Higher Temperature More thorough cooking;
stronger seasoning Shorter cooking times;
less seasoning Humidity More water in cooking Less water in cooking

Geographic Range

Sometimes it is best to select foods from the immediate locality, and sometimes you may choose foods brought in from greater distances. The table on the following page provides some guidelines you may use for determining the ideal geographic range for foods imported to your area.

It is better not to import foods across the equator because atmospheric, oceanic, and electromagnetic conditions in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres are opposite to one another. These differences also appear in the food products of each region and result in subtle, but opposite, effects on body and mind.

As mentioned previously, each person needs to eat according to his or her individual condition based on factors such as age, previous dietary history and tradition, activity, racial or cultural background, and physical constitution and condition. These modifications may appear in the types of grains, vegetables, and supplementary foods used, along with the way of cooking and combining food. Thousands of varieties of dishes are possible within the general principles presented above, and just a few of the many varieties of dishes used in macrobiotic cooking are included in this book.

Whole-Cereal Grains

Ideally, at least 50 percent of every macrobiotic meal will consist of cooked whole-cereal grain, prepared in a variety of ways. Whole organic cereal grains that are best for regular daily use include brown rice (short- and medium-grain brown rice), millet, barley (pearl and pearled) corn, whole oats, wheat berries, rye, and buckwheat. Other grains and grain products suitable for occasional use (once or twice a week) include sweet and long-grain brown rice, whole-wheat noodles (udon and somen), buckwheat noodles (soba), unleavened whole-wheat, whole-rye, or other whole-grain breads, rice cakes, cracked wheat, bulghur, steel-cut oats, rolled oats, cornmeal or grits, rye flakes, couscous, seitan, and fu. As you can see, whole grains are preferable to flour products. Flour products tend to be more difficult to digest.

Soups

You may consume approximately 5 percent (one or two cups) of your daily food in the form of miso or shoyu broth. The soup should not taste overly salty. Include a wide range of vegetables, especially wakame sea vegetable, every day. Grain and bean soups may also occasionally be eaten.

FOOD OR BEVERAGE IDEAL GEOGRAPHICAL RANGE Water Immediate environment; ideally from a well or spring near your home. Fruit Same climatic and geographical area; for example, the New England area for someone in Massachusetts. Vegetables More extended area, but similar to the place in which you live; for example, the Mid-Atlantic or Midwestern states for someone in New England. Whole Grains and Beans Further extended areas that share similar geographical and climatic conditions; for example, anywhere in North America for people living in the United States. Sea Vegetables Even further extended than the above; generally anywhere within the same climatic belt; for example, people living in North America or Europe may eat sea vegetables from either place or from the temperate zones of the Far East. Sea Salt The entire hemisphere, either Northern or Southern, depending upon where you live.  

Vegetables

About 25 to 30 percent of each macrobiotic meal may consist of vegetables. Two-thirds of these may be cooked in various styles (sautéed, steamed, boiled, or baked). The remaining third may be eaten uncooked—pressed in sea salt, umeboshi vinegar, or shoyu and water, pickled according to traditional methods, or prepared as raw salad. Enjoy the many kinds of vegetables that are available (green leafy, root, round, and ground vegetables) and learn to appreciate their different tastes, colors, and textures. Please note carefully the three lists below. Unless you live in a tropical climate, avoid the foods of tropical origin (listed in the last column) whenever possible, because they are difficult to balance in the body.

Vegetables REGULAR USE OCCASIONAL USE AVOID OR MODERATE USE       acorn squash alfalfa sprouts asparagus bok choy chives avocado broccoli cucumber bamboo shoots broccoli rabe endive beets Brussels sprouts escarole eggplant burdock green peas ginseng buttercup squash green snap (string) beans green and red peppers butternut squash kohlrabi and greens Jerusalem artichokes carrot tops lettuce okra carrots mung bean sprouts potatoes cauliflower mushrooms spinach celery patty pan squash sweet potatoes chicory red cabbage Swiss chard Chinese cabbage rutabaga taro (large ones) collard greens shiitake mushrooms tomatoes daikon, fresh or dried snowpeas yams dandelion greens soybean sprouts zucchini fresh corn summer squashes   garden or wintercress taro (small ones)   ginger yellow wax beans   green cabbage     Hokkaido pumpkin     Hubbard squash     kale     leeks     lotus root, fresh or dried     lotus seeds     mustard greens     onions     parsley     parsnips     pumpkin     red radishes and greens     scallions     turnip greens     turnips     watercress    


Beans and Sea Vegetables

About 5 to 10 percent of your daily diet may consist of cooked beans and sea vegetables. The most suitable beans for regular use are azuki beans, chick peas, and green lentils. Other beans that may be eaten on occasion include kidney beans, split peas, red lentils, navy beans, soybeans, turtle beans, Japanese black soybeans, pinto beans, and lima beans. Delicious bean products such as tempeh, natto, and fresh or dried tofu also may be enjoyed several times per week. Sea vegetables such as hiziki, arame, kombu, wakame, nori, green nori flakes, dulse, agar-agar, and kelp can be prepared in a variety of ways—cooked with beans or vegetables, added to soups, or eaten separately as side dishes—and flavored with a moderate amount of shoyu soy sauce, sea salt, or miso.

Supplementary Foods

This category may make up 5 to 10 percent of the overall food intake. The foods in this category include sweeteners, fruits, nuts, and beverages. They are optional in the sense that in some cases they may be included while in others they may need to be avoided. In general, those in good overall health may enjoy the supplementary items mentioned below. Persons with specific disorders are advised to seek the guidance of experienced macrobiotic friends or counselors regarding modifications of the standard diet.

Once or twice a week, a small amount of white-meat fish may be eaten if you desire and your present condition allows. Fruit desserts, as well as fresh and dried fruits (locally grown fruits only) may also be eaten on occasion. If you live in a temperate zone (most of the continental United States is temperate), avoid tropical and semitropical fruit. The use of fruit juice is not advisable. However, occasionally in warm weather it is all right, provided you are in good health.

Roasted seeds that have been lightly seasoned with tamari soy sauce may be enjoyed as a snack or supplement. These include squash, pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds.

Snacks such as rice cakes, puffed whole cereals, and popcorn may also be enjoyed from time to time, together with low-fat, northern varieties of nuts. Like seeds, nuts may be roasted in a skillet with a little tamari soy sauce.

Beverages. The beverages recommended for daily use include roasted bancha (kukicha) twig tea, roasted brown rice tea, toasted barley tea (mugicha), dandelion tea, and cereal grain coffee. Any traditional tea that does not have an aromatic fragrance or a stimulant effect may be used on the macrobiotic diet.

Sweeteners, Fruits, Seeds, and Nuts OCCASIONAL USE VERY OCCASIONAL USE AVOID OR MODERATE USE       amazake almonds bananas apple cider filberts Brazil nuts apple juice lemons cashews apples, fresh or dried peanuts coconuts apricots pecans dates barley malt tangerines figs blackberries walnuts grapefruits blueberries   kiwi cantaloupe   mangoes cherries   oranges chestnuts   papayas dried temperate-climate   pistachios fruits   tangelos grapes     honeydew melon     peaches     pears     plums     prunes     pumpkin seeds     raisins     raspberries     rice syrup     sesame seeds     squash seeds     strawberries     sunflower seeds     watermelon    

Condiments. It is beneficial to use condiments with your food, particularly with grains. The main condiments used in macrobiotic cooking are umeboshi plum, sea vegetable powders, roasted sesame seeds, sea salt (gomashio), and tekka.

SUGGESTIONS FOR DAILY LIFE

Together with eating well, there are a number of commonsense practices that we recommend for a healthier and more natural way of life. Practices such as keeping physically active and using natural cooking utensils, fabrics, and building materials in the home were once part of most people’s daily lives. With each generation, we have gone further and further from our roots in nature, and have experienced a corresponding decline in vitality and a rise in chronic illness. The daily-life suggestions presented below complement a balanced, natural diet and can help to guide you toward more satisfying and harmonious living.

  • Eat two to three times per day, making sure food proportions are correct and chewing is thorough. Avoid eating for approximately three hours before sleep. For thirst, in addition to the beverages listed above, an occasional sip of spring water, not iced, is okay.
  • Live each day happily, without being preoccupied with your health, and keep mentally and physically active.
  • Greet everyone and everything with gratitude, particularly offering thanks before and after each meal.
  • Chew your food very well, at least fifty times per mouthful.
  • Try to retire before midnight and get up early in the morning.
  • Avoid wearing synthetic clothing or woolen articles directly against your skin. Wear cotton garments instead. Avoid excessive metallic accessories on the fingers, wrists, and neck. Keep such ornaments simple and graceful.
  • If your strength permits, go outdoors in simple clothing and barefoot if possible. Walk on the grass, beach, or soil up to one-half hour each day.
  • Keep every corner of your home in good order—the kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, and living rooms.
  • Maintain an active correspondence, extending your best wishes to parents, children, brothers and sisters, relatives, teachers, and friends.
  • Avoid taking long, hot baths or showers unless you have been consuming too much salt or animal food.
  • Every morning or every night before retiring, scrub your entire body with a hot, damp towel until your circulation becomes active. If this is not convenient, at least scrub your hands, feet, fingers, and toes.
  • Avoid chemically perfumed cosmetics, soaps, and shampoos. Brush your teeth with natural preparations or sea salt.
  • Exercise regularly as part of daily life. Exercise includes scrubbing floors, cleaning windows, washing clothes, etc. You may also participate in systematic exercise programs such as yoga, martial arts, aerobics, and sports.
  • Avoid using electric cooking devices (ovens, ranges, blenders, food processors, toaster ovens) or microwave ovens. Try to convert to gas or wood-stove cooking at the earliest opportunity.
  • Avoid or minimize watching television, especially color TV, as it exposes the body to a great deal of unnatural electromagnetic radiation. Try not to watch TV during meals.
  • Include many large green plants in your living room and bedroom to freshen and enrich the oxygen content of your home.

PREPARATION FOR COOKING

Everyone knows that one of the most universal laws of nature is that everything changes. At all times the weather and seasons are changing. Day changes into night and night changes into day. Spring changes into summer, autumn changes into winter. As actors on the stage of life, our roles are also always changing. Our physical and mental conditions are changing constantly. We must at all times be very flexible or we cannot participate fully in the drama of life. The recipes in this book are based on this awareness. There is one full week of menus and recipes for each of the four seasons. These include full breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes. This will give you a general idea of how to plan your daily menus and adjust your cooking from one season to the next. As many of these recipes require soaking the ingredients and long, slow cooking, advance planning is essential.

If you observe nature, garden, or farm, you will learn what grows in your area and when various grains, beans, and vegetables are planted and harvested. This practical knowledge can then be applied naturally to your cooking, eating, and daily life. Each season has its peak, and during this period different foods, especially garden vegetables, are at their best, tasting most delicious and appearing most beautiful. As you use this book, remember that it is best to choose foods for your daily menus from seasonal foods growing in your local area.

Unlike fresh vegetables, grains, beans, and sea vegetables require no special measures to store or preserve them and can be enjoyed all year long.

Whether you live in a tropical, semitropical, or temperate area, changes in vegetation regularly occur. You can easily adjust your daily menus according to these changes. During each of the four seasons, there is a variety of foods that have a sweet taste. During the spring, for example, the sweet flavor can be provided by snowpeas, fresh local fruits, carrots, daikon, and other sweet vegetables. In the summer, a sweet taste can be brought out with dishes that include sweet corn or with desserts made with fresh local fruits. Autumn offers an abundance of naturally sweet products including squashes, onions, cabbages, carrots, turnips, and others. In winter, we often use chestnuts, azuki beans sweetened with chestnuts and raisins, mochi (pounded sweet rice), dried fruits, squashes, and various root vegetables for a naturally sweet taste. Cereal grains such as rice, millet, and sweet rice are naturally sweet (the more you chew them the sweeter they become), and these, of course, are used throughout the year. The natural sweet tastes can be accented or brought out in various ways by alternating many different cooking methods.

When planning your daily menus, keep the standard diet in mind, and try to include a whole grain, soup, vegetable main dish, bean or bean product, and sea vegetable in the course of each day. Breakfast and lunch are generally simple, while the evening meal is more elaborate and may include many or all of the above-mentioned foods. Also try to include a variety of other tastes within each meal or each day.

By following these basic principles, we can create simple but elegant menus which we can easily adjust with various condiments, pickles, etc.

INGREDIENTS AND BASIC COOKING METHODS

In macrobiotics, we always try to obtain the best-quality natural ingredients. Rather than highly processed, artificial foods, we prefer naturally grown and minimally (if at all) processed items. For example, mineral-rich sea salt and cold-pressed oils are better than refined table salt and chemically processed oils. The quality of the factors used in preparing food is also important. Clean, natural water for rinsing fruits and vegetables, and a natural wood or gas cooking flame are preferable to chemically treated water and electric or microwave stoves or ovens. As much as possible, strive for naturalness in your kitchen.

Whole Foods

It is ideal to purchase organic natural food to prepare your daily meals. If you cannot locate organic food items, try asking your local supermarket or natural-foods store to locate and stock them for you and for others who may be interested. They can locate these much more easily than you might be able to. Try to use whole, unpolished, uncracked, or unmilled grain. When shopping for root vegetables, purchase the entire plant—leaves and roots—whenever you can. Some root vegetables that generally should be used in their whole form are carrots and carrot tops, daikon and daikon greens, turnips and turnip greens, and scallions and scallion roots. The entire vegetable does not necessarily have to be used in the same dish but may be used in the same meal or within the same day.

Salt

Good-quality sea salt is recommended for daily use in cooking. Many people have recently become very concerned about the use of salt. Sea salt that has a high amount of balanced minerals and a lower concentration of sodium is best. A high concentration of minerals in salt does not present as much of a problem as a salt that is high in sodium. If the balance of trace minerals such as zinc, iron, selenium, and magnesium in sea salt is good, your cooking will be healthful and satisfying to those who eat it. You can judge the sea salt quality by tasting it. If the salt has a high concentration of minerals and lower concentration of sodium, it will have a slightly sweet, mildly salty taste. If the concentration of sodium is high and the mineral content is low, the salt will not taste sweet. The taste of food becomes sweeter and is enhanced with good-quality sea salt. Good-quality sea salt is one of the most important factors in influencing how your food tastes and how it affects your health.

Oil

The best-quality oil for sautéing is unrefined dark sesame oil. For deep-frying, light sesame oil is recommended. These oils are of the best quality if they are cold pressed. Occasionally unrefined mustard-seed oil, corn oil, or safflower oil may be used. If you are living in a warm tropical climate, good-quality traditionally made olive oil can be used. A nutritionally good source of whole oil is roasted sesame seeds. You may use these often as a garnish, condiment, or snack.



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Great recipes and menu-planning.
Lili J. Mcgovern
It outlines easy, quick basic recipes that anyone can make - most of which involve few basic ingredients.
brooklyngal
If you know anyone or if you yourself need to change your diet for the good, this is a great book.
Christine

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By brooklyngal on September 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
As a newcomer to macrobiotics, I absolutely loved this book and have used it every day since I bought it. It outlines easy, quick basic recipes that anyone can make - most of which involve few basic ingredients.

Everything down to how to make basic brown rice is in here. I am so blessed I happened to get this book in the beginning. After now having read some of the other macrobiotic books, I realize I might have been frustrated by the foreign ingredients and complicated recipes and been turned off from macrobiotics otherwise.

One thing I did when I bought this book (as I was just slowly learning macro foods and starting to introduce them to my cupboards) is sift through the book and start noting common themes of ingredients. After identifying and buying some of the "base" products identified, I was able to make several different recipes. These recipes make up my diet today and every day.

I would recommend this book to anyone, especially beginners like me.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 5, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
During the 1960's, Michio and Aveline Kushi popularized macrobiotics in the States, and this practical, well-written book is a good introduction. I chose this as a present, after browsing through Amazon.com for a book that combined recipes and macrobiotic concepts. As I discovered later, the balance of easily prepared recipe and basic macrobiotic concepts reflects the balance that "macro" devotees achieve through their diet. The gift recipient, Buree-Kan Kobayashi (name used with permission) confirmed that Aveline Kushi's book I chose wisely. Although Buree doesn't strictly adhere to a macrobiotic diet (he's more of a California vegan/macro/fish/almonds guy), my friend commands a basic understanding of macrobiotic concepts and principles.

One of the concepts most familiar to Westerners is the balance of yin (roughly: "hot") and yang ("cool") energies, and that's why Kushi organizes her recipes around the seasons. At the risk (read: probability) of oversimplifying, here's an example of this principle: One should eat yang foods (more raw foods, such as roots and fruit, de-emphasizing salt--a yin food) in the summer to balance the heat, and yin foods (cooked foods, often with more spice) in the winter. The book covers the transitional Autumn and Spring months as well.

Whether or not you accept these and other concepts, the book presents excellent, healthy dishes emphasizing fresh, nutritional, unprocessed foods. The recipes are generally easy to prepare, but not "dumbed down." Most ingredients can be bought at a local supermarket (especially one that emphasizes natural foods, like "Whole Foods"), but proximity to a health food or Asian store will be helpful.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 11, 2000
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This cookbook shows how to use macrobiotic foods in many appetizing meals. It is a wonderful way to envision a meal plan for a whole day, even a whole week for each season of the year. It offers many recipes that are different and shows how to incorporate items that one would not usually eat unless on a macrobiotic diet. The recipes are well explained and are easy to follow.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lili J. Mcgovern on December 7, 2006
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This is a wonderful resource for everyday, practical meals to feed family and friends as well as nourish your own soul. Great recipes and menu-planning. A great complement to Practically Macrobiotic.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Chickenaway on November 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
I really have used and enjoyed this cookbook thoroughly. This is my second macrobiotic cookbook. Though I'm not eating a 100% macrobiotic diet I still appreciate the principals and ideas associated with the concept. The philosophies are laid out in the beginning of the book.

The book is formatted by the seasons. It gives three menus for each meal of the day for seven days per season. Some of the recipes repeat itself; however, they are usually staples of a macrobiotic diet anyway.

The only thing that may frustrate someone new to macrobiotics or this book is that it requires some ingredients that will need be hunted for. Most health food stores and oriental grocers will have what is needed. One thing worth mentioning about macrobiotics and the recipe book is that the food is extremely affordable.
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53 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Indy on July 14, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This cookbook's well-organized menus and recipes specific to each of the 4 seasons in a temperate climate zone is very helpful, but the book's title is misleading. The word macrobiotic is used in the book title, however all of the book's recipes are vegan. A little history is recounted here: During the first decade of macrobiotics in the USA, all the macro cookbooks featured a moderate use of fish and fish products. Fish products played an especially important part of soup recipes, such as miso soup. The alteration of traditional macrobiotic recipes in this cookbook to excise fish means that the authentic macrobiotic diet is actually not being represented here, and the fact that this cookbook does not discuss that omission makes it even more out of balance with mainstream macrobiotic thinking.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dustin on May 4, 2010
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I own ~50 cookbooks, and this is my #1 favorite.

The book emphasizes cooking fresh, seasonal produce absolutely as simply as possible. It might just be the ultimate minimalist cookbook. Some recipes are as simple as: "Chop kale, boil for 3 minutes." But ALL of these simple recipes are placed in the context of a meal, and all meals are placed in the context of a day in the week of a season of macrobiotic cooking. So you are not just learning to boil kale for 3 minutes, you are learning where to place the kale-boiling in your daily routine.

Yes, I agree the book would benefit from a few more seafood recipes. But at least it has some, which is more than many other macrobiotic cookbooks (at least the ones in English.) And the recipes include seafood as an easy side product (eg "you could add shrimp to this soup alongside the cabbage"), which is an authentic place for seafood in traditional macrobiotic cuisine.

I would also agree that strict macrobiotics is probably not the ideal dietary regime according to modern dietary science (no olive oil? no avocados? no spinach? _a lot_ of brown rice?) However, a few small changes to the menus (not necessarily to any of the recipes) and i think the book fits in with modern dietary recommendations perfectly.

Finally, the book also has an interesting set of suggestions for daily living: "walk barefoot on grass, or sand", "maintain active correspondence", and "chew each bite 50 times." Take them as interesting suggestions or leave them as crank science, but i think they make some sense.

Overall, the best cookbook i've found, and probably the first i will actually cook from cover to cover.
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