Acquired Taste

Blanched Kale Salad

Blanched Red Kale Salad with Seeds and Pecans

I grew up on a very different diet than I am eating now. From the childhood I loved bread, pastries, cheese, eggs, chicken, tomatoes and fruits. ( At that time I believed tomatoes are vegetables 🙂 ). Coffee was my main drink – I had a cup of strong coffee for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a late night out.

I enjoyed my food while struggling to normalize my digestive system and lose extra pounds. Though I was traumatized by being overweight, I had no idea it is possible for me to lose weight and maintain it without going on a strict hunger diet. I had gone a long way through trying all kinds of rather damaging diets until I learned about macrobiotic balanced approach to lifestyle.

I read about it and went to many classes. I met people who got cured from terminal cancer by following macrobiotic diet. I believed in the system but I was very skeptical that I would be able to adjust to eating porridge, beans and cooked vegetables. Even more, I could not imagine my life without cheese, pastries and coffee.

When I got the list of recommended food I was surprised by so many different names I have never heard before. I took the list and went to the Whole Foods store. I asked the store employee for assistance to locate these strange foods.

I was determined to try this system and see what effect it will make on my health.

I lost 10 pounds in 2 weeks by eating lots of porridge!!! I could not expect that! It was an additional benefit I was not even looking for. My digestive system started working on its own and I dropped supplements that I believed I was doomed using for the rest of my life!

I was so pleased and excited with the results while being busy learning how to cook a basic miso soup and blanched kale that I did not think about cheese. I stopped drinking coffee and started drinking kukicha tea. It has very mild taste and very easy to switch to.

A few months later I was enjoying baked Brussels sprouts, sautéed Portobello mushrooms and brown rice rolls.  I started questioning what if I have a little bit of food I ate before that gave me so much pleasure in the past? A new unexpected experience took place – I did not enjoy that food as much – it tasted too salty, too heavy, or too sweet. Every time I eat out, I feel that homemade clean plant-based food is so much more delicious and satisfying. It pleases my palate during eating and leaves me with very enjoyable taste. I feel energized, light and nourished.

I discovered amazing natural taste of kale, collard, rutabaga, parsnip, daikon, leek, mushrooms, millet, lentil and more…. They are so delicious by being simply cooked! I learned that cooking healthy is EASY! Natural taste does not call for complex long cooked fatty or hot sauces. It inspired me to start creating my own recipes of delicious simple dishes.

It does not take long to acquire taste for new food. Our taste bites follow the food we eat!

This salad is rich with calcium, vitamins, fiber, protein and uplifting energy. It is a great vegetable option for breakfast to accompany soft grain dish. During Spring or Summer it is perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner due to its cleansing properties.

Kale salad


**Health Tip: A high-fiber diet has been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels. It helps normalize blood glucose and insulin levels. It promotes regular bowel movements and prevents constipationFoods containing fiber are helping to maintain a healthy weight and lowering your risk of diabetes and heart disease.  We get fiber from unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and beans.


What to pack for lunch to the office in 5 precious minutes in the morning?

Quinoa beans veggies

Red White Quinoa with Black Soy Beans Peas Tomatoes

My daily commute to the office is about 40 miles one way. My company is located in the Northwestern suburb of Chicago. It is a nice area with huge shopping mall and some good food stores but if I want to have a healthy kosher cooked meal, I have to bring it from home. I usually pack my lunches in the morning. If there is not enough time to cook the whole lunch in the morning, it is important to add some green leafy vegetables freshly blanched, steamed or sautéed to make it more nutritious and rich with upward energy in the morning.

Last night I cooked red and white quinoa and also I cooked black soy beans which I left soaking before leaving for the office.  Cooking grains and beans – is the easiest thing. Put it in a pot, when it starts boiling, minimize flame, remove foam, put up a timer and go rest! When the timer announces that cooking is complete, you or anyone in your household turns it off. Done!

In the morning I made a salad and packed in my glass container.

Quinoa, black soy beans, freshly minced parsley and scallion, yellow grape tomatoes and steamed green peas. Dressing is a mixture of lemon juice, umeboshi paste, brown rice vinegar, olive oil.

Please see recipe page for detailed cooking instructions


**Health Tip: Organic beans are the healthiest choice of protein.  Beans are an excellent source of fiber, B vitamins, iron, and potassium and are low in fat. Beans should be soaked for 6 – 10 hours before cooking to make them easily digestible. Your body doesn’t have to work too hard to digest them. You don’t feel tired or sleepy after the meal.