The Brassicacasae, or cruciferous vegetable family as they were formerly known due to their crucifix-like appearance, include mostly pungent vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, turnip, broccoli, cauliflower and collard greens. Most of these we disliked as children. Perhaps it was due to the strong odour of sulphur when overcooked since children have such a keen, unadulterated sense of smell.
Commonly on April Fools Day at boarding school, sulphur hyroxide (rotten egg gas) would emanate from the Chemistry lab, permeating throughout every quadrangle and dining hall. This had to be part of my education as it enabled me to analyse why it was that I found the powdered scrambled eggs decidedly unattractive – given that I was able to relate what happened in the lab to what happened in the dining room – clearly I was being educated!!
Broccoli is a variety of cauliflower that has been grown in Europe for nearly 3000 years. It is also known as Italian asparagus and comes from the Italian word brocco meaning sprout or shoot. Stems should be peeled to make them more digestible. It is extremely rich in vitamin A, essential for bright eyes, as well as B group vitamins and contains more vitamin C than citrus fruits per 100mcg. It also contains Vitamin B9 (folic acid), potassium, sulphur, and iron.
Gomasio seaweed sprinkle
Gomasio, also called Gomashio, is a traditional Japanese dry condiment and is the principal table condiment in the macrobiotic natural foods diet. It typically consists of dry roasted, crushed sesame seeds, seaweed and salt.
You might like to use it in lieu of a pinch of salt to season your food, giving it a hearty, delicious taste. Gomasio has a powerful ant-acid, biochemical effect and it may help to strengthen the digestion and improve energy. This is a table condiment that you can use every day in lieu of plain salt. It is especially delicious on avocado and toast, roasted vegetables and steamed greens.
Most seaweeds are mucilaginous (slippery) in texture when soaked, and have a briny, salty, earthy flavour. They help to lubricate the intestines and moisten dry symptoms, especially for the skin and lungs. Seaweed is very useful for transforming and resolving phlegm in the lungs and therefore can be used to treat coughs with yellow or green mucus. Seaweeds are one of the most nutritious ingredients on the planet due to the mineral content and are very high in calcium. The texture can range from rubbery to crispy and crunchy. It’s naturally high in glutamic acid, which is a flavouring agent most notably found in monosodium glutamate (MSG) and responsible for its umami taste.
Broccoli, silverbeet and seaweed soup
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 1.5 litre 1x
- Diet: Vegan
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tsp cumin, ground
1/2 tsp coriander, ground
1 large head of broccoli, about 4 cups, including stalks, roughly chopped
1 tsp Dijon or seeded mustard
1 litre vegetable stock
1/2 bunch silverbeet, about 4 large leaves, trimmed
1x 4cm x 2cm piece dried kombu or wakame seaweed
Salt, to taste
Black or white pepper, to taste
1/2 lemon juice, to taste
1/2 tsp Gomasio seaweed sprinkle – see recipe below
1/2 tsp parsley, finely chopped
- In a large saucepan, heat oil over a moderate heat, add onion, garlic and ginger and sauté onion, until translucent, about 12 minutes. Add cumin and coriander.
- Add broccoli stems and sauté a further 5 minutes to soften a little, then add remaining broccoli, mustard and vegetable stock.
- Bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add silverbeet, leaves and dried kombu or wakame seaweed.
- Turn off heat and cover with a lid to allow the silverbeet, to wilt and the dried seaweed to reconstitute.
- Allow to cool, then transfer to a high-speed blender in small portions and puree in batches to a super fine consistency, about 5-7 minutes on high.
- Return to the clean saucepan to reheat. Serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of Gomasio seaweed sprinkle.
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 10
- Cuisine: Plant Based
Gomasio seaweed sprinkle
- Yield: About 1/3 cup 1x
- Diet: Vegan
Dulse is a reddish-purple sea lettuce available from Asian grocers and Japanese specialty stores.
1/4 cup black or white sesame seeds
1/4 dulse or nori flakes
1 tsp salt
- Place seeds in a clean, dry, frying pan and toast on low heat, stirring often until they start to pop.
- Allow to cool, then transfer to a mortar and pestle or clean coffee grinder.
- Add the salt and dulse or nori and pulse until crumble, not too fine, just enough so you can sprinkle.
Store Airtight container in a cool place or or an empty salt grinder for everyday use. Use within 1 month for optimal flavour and benefit.
- Category: Macrobiotic
- Cuisine: Japanese