You think burdock is unusual, you say?
You think the slender pungent root of the wild and prickly and dangerous burdock plant is food fit for farm animals and wild rodents?
(If you taste it raw–like I did last week in an effort to ascertain if it was really burdock or its look-alike cousin horseradish root–you will skyrocket to the ceiling of your house, grabbing on to a ceiling fan or cobweb, and squirm in agony, wondering why you attempted such a foolhardy feat. You may even spit the raw root in the nearest sink in pungent distaste. Never fear! If you sliver it–sliver it, do you hear me?–and add it cooked to dishes, you and your liver might like it.)
If you haven’t already excitedly clicked on the above Wikipedia links, I shall reveal.
They are seaweed, folks. You add them to your soups and stews, too. You include them with your boiling beans. You may even soak and add them to sautes. They are filled with vitamins and trace minerals. Your deepest organs appreciate them.
Do you eat grains like quinoa and millet and kasha and bulgur and amaranth as hot cereal in your bleary-eyed mornings? Smothered with saucy beans at supper? You don’t? My dears! You aren’t still eating the Standard American Diet, are you?
2012 shall be your culinary year in which to experiment with new foods!
(Yes! I have offered another resolution for you. However, this one is easy. Every week–if you’re adventuresome–try a new food. If you’re not wild & crazy, try a new healthy taste every month. If you don’t have an open mind, all you have to do is sample something new once in 2012. If your mind refuses to like it, you must continue sampling until it discovers something it likes. Then you may quit, satisfied that you’ve discovered a new healthy option.)
How many of you eat tempeh? Tofu? Seitan? These are regulars in our household. They are brim-filled with delightful protein, and steal the place in your heart which formerly adored solely meat products. (OK, you gluten-free folks, disregard the Seitan suggestion. I understand how we’ve been wheat-blasted for too long and some of our bodies can not stomach these particular waving fields of grain.)
Do you add miso to your soups? Ancient Japanese ladies living past the 100-year mark attribute their long-long-long life to the sizzling biotic power of this aged culinary creature. If the barley miso (wa la la!) is too much for you, turn toward the mild white miso and sup.
What else is in our refrigerator on this January morning never before experienced by innocent taste buds? How about tahini? Yes sir, that peanut-butter like paste made of sesame seeds that you mix with garbanzo beans and lather on crackers for a late-afternoon snack. To die for, yes, to die for on certain lazy late afternoons.
(Pardon me, I’ve already forgotten what else is in our refrigerator. Grabbed a handful of lime-salt almonds gifted by our son and his wife at Christmastime on the last run to the kitchen. Must not grab any more food this time. Excuse me. Back immediately.)
So much for self-control! I grabbed another handful of the almonds and this time added some dried cherries, a gift from the mother-in-law. Mmmm!
Discovered kale lounging in the refrigerator, daring me to boil or simmer or bake it for lunch. You have also enjoyed mustard greens and collards, haven’t you? I am sure you haven’t reached your current age without blessing your innards with dark leafy greens such as these.
You have? To the store, readers, to the store!
(Third helping of almonds. They are SO delicious! Enough, enough, enough!)
If anyone has eaten umeboshi plums, I offer a special reward. You are an adventuresome eater (or healthy aficionado) beyond all imagination! Congratulations! If you eat it regularly, I should look around for a prize to send.
How about amasake (a creamy sweet, fermented rice beverage) or mochi ( a rice snack, yum, yum) or Ezekiel bread? Never mind about Ezekiel bread. I am sure every one of you readers has bought a $5 loaf and munched it with delight. It is made of sprouted grains and brims–I say brims–with so much health that your intestines will quiver!
Enough food talk. It’s time for food action! (For me, this means ceasing snacking on almonds and taking some photos of these foods, for your viewing pleasure. It means seeking links to explain all the food oddities for you, like a good journalist. For you it means taking the 2012 Healthy Foods Challenge if you dare. You may report back here any and all new foods you eat in 2012. Don’t worry about commenting too many times.)
As Dr. Seuss, I’m sure would have said–Oh the foods that you’ll eat!