To nourish your mind as well as your body

Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.

-Mahatma Gandhi

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Very Meatless Month

October is Vegetarian Awareness Month and October 24-31 is World Go Vegan Week. In honor of these, I am only going to be posting vegetarian and vegan recipes for the month. No meats - sorry, carnivores. Whether you're looking to make the switch or not, it's never a bad thing to switch up your diet and go veggie every once in a while. For some, once in a while might equal once a week or once a month. For some, the retreat from meat is more frequent.

So here's the deal. I will go totally vegetarian for the month of October and totally animal-free for the last week of the month. If you want to come along for the ride, do. And if you don't? Don't worry; I won't tell. :)

This month, Harmonious Grub will be featuring interviews with vegetarians and vegans about their experiences being veggie, information about where to go for good veggie meals on the go, etc. If you or someone you know would like to answer a short questionnaire about your experiences being vegan or vegetarian, send an email to me:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pumpkin Mookies

I love autumn. The moment that first swell of cold hits me in the street in September, I get a thrill of anticipation that sends me to the store in search of pumpkins and squash. I lived in New York for a while and I remember how excited I got as I drove to school and saw the first leaves turning from green to red. Now, in California, I don't get to watch the leaves turn, but I can still get my pumpkin fix!

Here's a tasty little treat I came up with today which is simply and awesomely autumn-y. :) They were supposed to be cookies, but they came out with more of a muffin consistency than I had anticipated. So, for your munching pleasure: mookies!

Pumpkin Mookies
(makes 18-24)

2/3 cup IC's EZ Homemade Pumpkin Butter (recipe at the bottom)
2 tbsp almond milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup Grade B maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 tbsp flax seed meal
~1 cup all purpose flour
~1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Set oven to 325 F. Prepare two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together your liquid ingredients until they are smoothly combined. Sift in the powder ingredients, then stir until the batter is consistent and lumpless. 

Spoon out 1-2 spoonfuls batter onto the cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 15 minutes. 


IreniCineri's EZ Homemade Pumpkin Butter
(makes 2 claussen pickle jars full)

1 can canned pumpkin
3/4 cup apple cider
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1.5 cups brown sugar
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium low heat. Simmer there for 30 minutes, stirring regularly. 

Let stand on the stovetop for about 15 minutes, then scoop into your prepared jars.

This pumpkin butter makes an excellent autumnal addition to baked goods and pastries, but can also be enjoyed simply spread on a piece of toast or (if you're feeling decadent) sucked off a spoon. 

Note: You can buy mason jars at Costco or Michaels. Personally, I just save all my jars from everything, clean them, and store them until I find a use for them. (You will see one of the many uses I have found for them when I get around to talking about my fun halloween decor...)

Go on! Have a peace!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Project Food Blog Challenge #1: What Harmonious Grub Is All About

The way we cook (and for whom we do so) often reflects who we are and what’s going on in our daily lives. On Harmonious Grub, I share new recipes for snacks and savories that will keep you and your loved ones feeling happy and healthy and revise old favorites with a healthful twist, while providing valuable information about current health and wellness topics and interesting anecdotes about the origin of recipes and food-related customs.

I have an unpredictable schedule that usually consists of last minute appointments and spending most of my day in a car breathing exhaust fumes (ah, LA). But I realized that when I get home and wander into my kitchen, all of the stress of the day melts away. The time that I spend in my kitchen, bringing together solitary ingredients in order to create something whole and filling, is one of the best parts of my day. It's magical. And it's even more magical when the result is something delectable I can share with the people I care about. 

Sadly, many people miss out on this special experience because they worry about the time it will take to prepare a fresh meal and claim that cleaning up afterwards just takes too long. Some folks dine out - paying 2-5 times as much for something they could have made at home without the hassle of traffic, the cost of gas, and the lack of personal time for themselves. Others stay in and put a hot pocket in their microwave.

To me, throwing a microwaveable, packaged, and processed meal together denotes lack of care - both for yourself and for the people you cook for. Unfortunately many people feel that this is necessary because cooking "just takes so much work." Because life can get hectic at the most inconvenient times; I try to make it easier for the busy folks who can't spend all day in the kitchen to make delicious meals that satisfy. 

I promise: home cooking can be just as quick and easy as a nuked plate - and a heck of a lot tastier! Not to mention you get a little time to explore your creative side and you get to know exactly what you’re eating. 

I've always been fascinated by what we can accomplish with herbal medicine, but holistic care doesn't stop in a tea pot. "Holistic," by definition, means: characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole. In other words, health is not something you can buy in a bottle; it's a result of a total life approach. Here, I let you - the reader - know the health benefits of the ingredients I use, sometimes even going to the molecular level to explain exactly how certain foods affect the human body. I believe that setting healthy diet objectives and having a scientifically-based perspective on current food trends, are key to enabling you to make informed decisions about your life - on and off the plate. Information about where certain recipes originated and emerged from makes it all the more interesting. And who knows? Maybe you'll even learn to share my love of research and learning, too!

One of the greatest things I've discovered poking around my kitchen - besides the awesome eats and the warm feeling of sharing something good with the people you love - is the way that cooking has changed the way I see the world. Patience, understanding, problem-solving, open-mindedness, compromise: all these lessons can be learned and relearned in your kitchen. Preparing a meal for yourself and your loved ones doesn't need to be a cooking show or a performance; nor does it have to be a dreaded, daily grind. Instead, it can be as restorative as meditation or as entertaining as a party. Heck, it can be an actual party if you get enough like-minded folks together. The choice is up to you. Is your kitchen a place of harmony or innovation? Self-reflection or triumph?

Take some time. Experiment. Be courageous. Learn. 

Oh, and about those recipes of mine? Go on! Have a peace. :)


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies for the Fall

I was in the mood for some guilt-free treats with a twinge of fall, so I put together a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe with some tasty alterations for your fall snacking pleasure.

Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies for the Fall
(makes ~2 dozen cookies)

1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup plain, unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tbsp tapioca flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or 1 cup carob chips if you prefer - I like both)
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds, ground

Preheat oven to 350 F. 

Grind pumpkin seeds in a food processor. If you don't have a food processor, you can grind them in a coffee grinder. Shake out the ground seeds into a wide shallow bowl or a rimmed plate.

Prepare a pair of cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, mix together the sugar and applesauce until well combined. Next, add the almond milk and tapioca flour and beat until the batter is smooth and clump-less. Mix in the vanilla last.

Add half the wheat flour, all of the baking soda and salt, and combine well. Then add in the remaining flour and carefully fold in the chocolate chips and dried cherries. 

Scoop small spoonfuls of the dough and roll into a ball between your palms. Dab the outside of each dough ball with the ground pumpkin seeds and place on the cookie sheets about three fingers width apart, flattening slightly either with your fingers or a fork.

Bake for about 15 minutes. Then let cool on the cookie sheets for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack. 

Go on! Have a peace. :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tasty in my Tummy OSM Crumble Cookies

Tasty in my Tummy OSM Crumble Cookies
(About 50 cookies)

1/2 tbsp agave nectar
3/4 cup organic brown sugar
1 tbsp flaxseed meal
4/3 cup chopped prunes
1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 1/3 cup sorghum flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 cups OSM hot cereal mix (you could also use plain rolled oats)
water for shaping (I used about 2/4 cups, but you'll want to add it bit by bit)
Preheat 350 F. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
Combine all the ingredients. Wet first. Dry second. Mix until well-combined and "doughy". 
Add water a little bit at a time if the dough is too dry. 
Roll the dough into golf-ball sized drops between your palms and place them on the tray. 
These will not expand as they cook. They'll be the same size when they come out as when they went in.
Bake for 12 minutes, then move to cool on a drying rack. 
These are tasty, crumbly, and awesome. They have a consistency sort of like soft shortbread. Go on. Have a peace. :)
Note: OSM Hot Cereal is a warm tasty treat made of oats, cracked-wheat, oat bran, millet, and sunflower seeds. That's it. It makes for a great oatmeal substitute in the mornings and it also makes these cookies very, very tasty. OSM products are available from The Bunnery in Jackson Hole. They are also soon becoming available in certain independent grocery stores in Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, and Nevada. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September Haiku

稲光り わたしは透きとほらねばならぬ   富澤赤黄男
inabikari watashi wa sukitôraneba naranu
I have to be
Kakio Tomizawa
from “Gendai no Haiku” (Modern Haiku), edited by Shobin Hirai, Kodansha, Tokyo, 1996; Fay’s Note:  Kakio Tomizawa  (1903-1962)