Sunday, January 17, 2016

Macro-Bliss Bowl

I work near a macrobiotic restaurant where a quiet Japanese chef prepares a lovely array of balanced food. Typically, I go there with my 70 year old nurse friend. She introduced me to this way of cooking and eating. She looks like she's in her forties. She learned about macrobiotics while living in Vermont. When we have too many difficult shifts at the psychiatric hospital and burnout is creeping into our bodies, we have a soothing ladies lunch at the little macro-eatery. We leave feeling satisfied, stress-free and energetic.

I return to macrobiotics when I feel unbalanced. It nourishes and calms me. After a long night in the hospital's crisis center, I wake up the next morning and forgo my usual black tea for Japanese green tea. For breakfast, I have a dark barley miso soup, deepened with toasted sesame oil, and a side of whole grain toast with sliced avocado. I prepare a macro-lunch and eat it in my PJ's. I get dressed in comfy clothes and take a long walk on the beach with my husband and dog.

We pray, giving thanks to God for good food and simple pleasures. Winter is the off season here. It's wonderful. We walk in silence, listening to the sounds of the ocean. Our hearts are directed far from the hubbub of humans and the frenzied activity of the world. Our frivolous worries get carried out to sea. God's quiet presence is felt. God never competes with the noise of the world. He speaks in whispers. You find Him in solitude. When our minds are frazzled and our cells are buzzing with stress, this peaceful path refreshes and restores our souls.

I happen to love brussel sprouts, especially when they're cooked until bright green and tender. In this recipe, strengthening brussel sprouts and earthy mushrooms are paired with tangles of chewy soba noodles. A drizzle of creamy tahini sauce finishes things off with punchy flavor. You don't have to be a Japanese chef to prepare delicious, healthy, macrobiotic meals. The only thing you need is some time in the kitchen and a willingness to give it a go.


Macro-Bliss Bowl Recipe

Serves 2-3

Some Notes:

Real soba noodles are gluten free. Always read labels. Some soba noodles are a combination of wheat and buckwheat. I use both kinds since gluten is not a problem for me. 

Click HERE to read about the difference between tamari and regular soy sauce.

Click HERE to see the difference between brown and white rice vinegars. Strict macrobiotic cooking calls for brown because it has more nutrients. But white rice vinegar will also work here.   


  • 8-ounces of soba noodles. I use Eden Organic Soba
  • 25-30 brussel sprouts, halved or quartered
  • 10-ounces of mushrooms, halved or quartered
  • 2-3 scallions, diced
  • 1/3 cup of tahini paste
  • 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tablespoon of brown rice vinegar or regular rice vinegar  
  • A few splashes of tamari, shoyu or Bragg's Liquid Aminos 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil 
  • olive oil for cooking

To Serve: Sprinkling of sesame seeds


Cook the soba noodles according to the package directions.

Make the tahini drizzle sauce by combining the tahini paste with the maple syrup, tamari and rice vinegar. Stir in 3-4 tablespoons of water until it has thinned out or until you reach your desired consistency.

In a large skillet, wok or fry pan saute the brussels sprouts with a pinch of salt and some olive oil, on high to medium high heat, until bright green and tender. I like to steam saute  them. Set the brussel sprouts aside. Saute the mushrooms in the same pan on high heat with some olive oil and a pinch of salt until they're golden brown and tender. Return the brussel sprouts to the pan with the mushrooms and stir in the sesame oil. Warm though.

Serve the mushrooms and brussel sprouts over the cooked soba noodles and drizzle on the tahini sauce. Sprinkle some diced scallions and sesame seeds on top.  

Bon Appetit And Blessings!
xx ~ Jilly 

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