Healthy Cooking: The Art of Blueberry Pie, Val Wilson

There is nothing as sweet as wild blueberries picked fresh in the UP! The challenging part is not eating all of them as you pick so you still have enough to make a pie. The beautiful flakey crust and rich blue color can make that pie look like a work of art!


There are many health benefits in these little sweet berries. Blueberries are full of antioxidants, which are important for getting rid of free radicals in our bodies that can cause disease. What gives those beautiful blueberries their blue color is the antioxidant anthocyanins which studies have shown can help prevent neuronal diseases, cardiovascular illness, cancers, diabetes, and other inflammatory diseases. 


Containing vitamin K, iron, calcium, and zinc, blueberries are good for your bones. They also contain vitamins C, A, E, magnesium, folate, manganese, and beta carotene, and are high in fiber and protein. Plus research has shown consuming blueberries can help increase the rate of muscle strength recovery and muscle repair if you suffer from exercise induced muscle damage (EMID). And the wild berries are reported to have more of the healthy antioxidants and, in my opinion, more sweetness. 


In the following recipe I use whole grain flour. I prefer spelt or kamut flour. If you want to create a gluten-free crust, I would suggest using oat flour. Any flour will work to create the crust for this recipe. 


Blueberry Pie*

Crust 
3 cups whole grain flour 
1/2 cup olive oil 
1/2 cup water 
Pinch of sea salt 

 
Filling 
5 cups blueberries 
1/2 cup brown rice syrup 
2 T. lemon juice 
5 T. arrowroot 
1 tsp. cinnamon 

To make the crust, mix together all the ingredients until you get a firm dough that will hold together. Divide into two equal parts, form into round discs, and cover in plastic wrap. Put in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, then roll out the crust between two pieces of plastic wrap and put in an oiled pie pan.

For the filling, put all of the ingredients in a sauce pan, then cover and heat on low. Once the filling starts to heat up, the blueberries will release their natural juices. Once this occurs, mix everything together. As it heats, the arrowroot will thicken the filling.

Pour filling into bottom crust. Roll out the top crust in the same way as the bottom crust. Place the top crust over the pie and pinch the edges to create a decorative edge. Bake at 350 degrees or one hour. Let cool before cutting.


*Recipe from Chef Val’s new cookbook Simply Healthy Scrumptious Desserts

Chef Valerie Wilson has been teaching cooking classes since 1997. She offers weekly, virtual cooking classes that all can attend. Visit http://www.macroval.com for schedule, cookbook purchases, phone consultations, or radio show, and follow her on Facebook at Macro Val Food.

Excerpted from the Summer 2022 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2022, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. All rights reserved.

Healthy Cooking: Sweet Greens & Carrots, Val Wilson

healthy cooking, cleansing spring foods, healthy spring recipe, carrots and sweet greens, holistic wellness, U.P. holistic business, U.P. holistic wellness publication

Spring is the time our bodies go through a natural cleansing. We have just spent months indoors, typically eating more heavy foods seasoned with more fat to help keep us warm. When spring comes, it’s time to lighten up your cooking and include cleansing green foods.

Green foods contain chlorophyll, which has many healing properties such as detoxing the liver. The liver, gallbladder, and nervous system are organs to focus on feeding and nurturing during the spring. Chemically similar to hemoglobin, a protein that is essential in red blood cells as it carries oxygen around a person’s body, chlorophyll also can help with wound healing, cancer prevention, and is good for your skin.

Kale and collards greens are in this category of green foods. Both are high in vitamin C, protein, and iron. Celery helps to cleanse the blood, which brings one’s energy up to help with the busier time of spring. 

Carrots are a great vegetable to add color and sweetness to any dish. In the recipe below, the sweetness of the carrots and raisins help balance out the bitterness of the greens. Also known for helping to purify the blood, carrots are high in vitamin A, calcium, and phosphorus. Seasoning this dish with lemon juice and brown rice vinegar brings in the signature flavor of spring—sour. 

Sweet Greens & Carrots

2 cup carrots (pencil-cut) 
2 cups celery, including leaves (diced) 
Olive oil
Sea salt 
1/2 cup raisins 
2 cups collard greens (diced) 
4 cups kale (diced) 
4 cups summer Napa cabbage (diced) 
1/4 cup water 
1 T. tamari 
1 T. brown rice vinegar 
2 T. lemon juice
1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds 

In a large pot, sauté the carrots in a little olive oil and a pinch of sea salt for a couple of minutes. 

Move the carrots to the side of pot. Add the celery and another pinch of sea salt to the middle of the pot and sauté for a couple more minutes.

Layer the raisins, collard greens, kale, and cabbage on top of sautéed vegetables. 

Add the 1/4 cup water, tamari, and brown rice vinegar. Cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes, until vegetable are soft. 

Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice and sunflower seeds.

Mix everything together and serve warm.

Chef Valerie Wilson has been teaching cooking classes since 1997. Visit http://www.macroval.com for schedule, cookbook purchases, phone consultations, or radio show, and follow her on Facebook at Macro Val Food.

Excerpted from the Spring 2022 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2022, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. All rights reserved.

Healthy Cooking: Millet Sweet Potato Savory Biscuits, Val Wilson

Healthy Cooking, Millet Sweet Potato Savory Biscuits, gluten-free holiday treat, UP holistic business, U.P. wellness publication, Upper Peninsula of MI holistic wellness publication

During the cold winter months, warm baked goods are always satisfying. And since you may not always be in the mood for baked goods that are sweet, here is a savory, more dense, hearty biscuit recipe. These biscuits are great to serve with your dinner, plus make a great between-meals snack when you get a little hungry.

Millet is one of the oldest whole grains, and has been eaten since at least 2800 B.C. Very high in protein, iron, calcium, and B vitamins, millet is gluten-free and the easiest whole grain to digest. Known for helping to strengthen your spleen, pancreas, and stomach, it is great for anyone with digestive issues. Millet has a creamy texture, making it perfect to create baked goods such as these biscuits. 

Sweet potatoes are native to South America and were domesticated at least five-thousand years ago. The crop must have been an important one for our ancient ancestors because ancient pottery has been found to feature sweet potato images. Sweet potatoes have vitamin D for healthy bones, vitamin C, B 2, B 5, and manganese. They’re also exceptionally high in iron, calcium, and potassium, making sweet potato an excellent food for your heart. Plus, they help boost your immune system, contain antioxidants, and help strengthen your kidneys. In this recipe, the sweet potato creates a mildly sweet flavor that is sure to satisfy your taste buds. 

Millet Sweet Potato Savory Biscuits 

1/2 cup millet 
1 cup water 
3/4 cup rice beverage (non dairy beverage) 
2 cups sweet potato (peeled and cut in cubes) 
1/4 cup olive oil 
1/4 cup rice beverage (non dairy beverage) 
1 tsp. sage 
1/2 tsp. rosemary 
1/4 tsp. sea salt 
2 cups oat flour 
1/2 cup medium corn meal 
2 tsp baking powder

Put the millet and one cup of water in a pot and bring to a boil for a minute. Reduce heat to lowest possible temperature, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until all water has been absorbed and millet is soft. Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes. Add the 3/4 cup rice beverage to the cooked millet and let it sit covered while you prepare the rest of the recipe. Steam the cubes of sweet potato until soft. Put the olive oil, 1/4 cup rice beverage, sage, rosemary, sea salt, and steamed sweet potato in a food processor and puree until smooth. Put the oat flour, corn meal, and baking powder in a mixing bowl, add the pureed mixture, and mix all together until you get a firm, thick, muffin dough texture. Using an oiled muffin pan, spoon the dough onto the pan into 12 muffin-size biscuits. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until golden brown on the bottom. Eat them warm out of the oven or at room temperature after they have cooled down. 

Chef Valerie Wilson has been teaching cooking classes since 1997. Visit http://www.macroval.com for schedule, cookbook purchases, phone consultations, or radio show, and follow her on Facebook at Macro Val Food.

Excerpted from the Winter 2021-22 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2021, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. All rights reserved.

Healthy Cooking: Immune System Boosters, Val Wilson

immune system boosting foods, healthy cooking, healthy recipe, U.P. holistic business, U.P. holistic wellness publication

To help boost your immune system, eat foods high in antioxidants. Your immune system depends on the intake of micro nutrients from food which can act as antioxidants. Antioxidants can destroy free radicals, protecting the structural integrity of your cells and tissues. Eating a whole-foods, organic, nutrient-rich diet is your best defense to stay healthy and boost your immune system.

The best antioxidant food you can eat is brown rice. It’s a complex carbohydrate, giving you energy, high fiber, and lots of free radical-destroying antioxidants, such as vitamin E, B vitamins, gamma-oryzanol, alpha lipic acid, glutathione oeroxidase, superoxide dismutuse, coenzyme Q10, proanthocyanidins, lecithin, and IP6 (inositol hexaphosphate). The important thing to remember is that all of them help your body create a strong immune system. Black rice is a type of brown rice that is even higher in antioxidants because of it dark color. The pigment that creates the dark color is called anthocyanin which helps protect cells against damage-reducing inflammation, and can help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease also.

Both broccoli and sweet potatoes are high in vitamin C, which also helps boost your immune system. The whole grain corn contains vitamin A, which helps regulate the immune system and protects against infections by keeping the tissues and skin healthy.

The strongest anti-inflammatory food you can consume is turmeric. It contains co X-2 inhibitors ,which are natural pain relievers and a natural remedy for arthritis. Turmeric enhances the digestive system, contains strong antioxidants, and also has antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties. In the salad recipe below, the garlic gives the dressing a wonderful pungent flavor that complements the bitter, spicy flavor of the turmeric. And garlic has been used in herbal medicine for thousands of years because of it strong antifungal and antibiotic properties.

Black Rice Turmeric Salad 

3/4 cup short grain brown rice
1/4 cup black rice
2 cups water
2 scallions (thin slices)
1 cup corn
1 cup peas
2 cups broccoli (cut up)
2 cups sweet potato (peeled and cut in cubes)

Dressing:
2 garlic cloves (minced)
2 T. olive oil
2 T. tamari
2 T. brown rice vinegar
2 T. brown rice syrup
1 T. fresh grated turmeric root (or 1 tsp. dried turmeric)
1/4 tsp. sea salt

Put the brown rice, black rice, and water in a pot. Bring to a boil for a couple of minutes. Reduce heat to low, and simmer with lid on for one hour, until all water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes. Put the rice in a large mixing bowl. Add the corn and peas. The hot rice will lightly steam them. Set aside to cool. Steam the sweet potato until fork tender, approximately 10 minutes. Steam the broccoli until fork tender, approximately 7 minutes.  Put all dressing ingredients in a food processor and puree until well combined. Mix the steamed broccoli and sweet potato, scallions, and dressing all together in the mixing bowl. Serve warm, room temperature, or refrigerate and serve cold.

Chef Valerie Wilson has been teaching cooking classes since 1997. You can attend virtually including a special class through Peter White Public Library on 6/15/21. Visit http://www.macroval.com for schedule, cookbook purchases, phone consultations, or radio show, and follow her on Facebook at Macro Val Food.

Excerpted from the Fall 2021 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2021, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. All rights reserved.

Healthy Cooking: Grilling for Summer, Val Wilson

tofu kabobs, healthy grilling, healthy cooking, U.P. holistic business, U.P. holistic wellness publication

Summer is my favorite time of year. One of the reasons is because you can grill food outside. For some reason, food just seems to taste better to me when cooked outside. Be careful not to fall into the trap of thinking you have limited options of just grilling veggie burgers and veggie hot dogs if you are living a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. I have experimented grilling many vegetables and other fun recipes such as the tofu kabobs described below.

Tofu is a great option when you are grilling. When you marinate tofu, it takes on the flavor of the marinade and creates a very tasty dish. Tofu is a complete protein. It contains all eight essential amino acids. It’s also is a good source of calcium and iron, plus it contains phosphorus, zinc, copper, magnesium, and vitamin B1.

Yellow summer squashes are one of my favorites on the grill. They have high water content, helping to keep you hydrated, and have lots of potassium and fiber. Carrots and radishes are high in antioxidants and contain potassium, which is essential for healthy blood pressure. And onions contain anti-inflammatory properties.

When creating this recipe, I chose the vegetables to give a rainbow of colors to the kabobs. These kabobs taste great when grilled. However, if you do not have a grill, you can cook them in a skillet or even bake them in the oven.


 
Tofu Kabobs

Wooden kabob sticks  
1 lb. fresh firm tofu  
1 onion (cut in chunks)  
4 carrots (cut in long, round diagonals)  
1 yellow summer squash (cut in cubes)  
20 radishes (cut in thick rounds)  

Marinade
1/3 cup tamari  
¼ cup each olive oil and water  
2 T. each brown rice vinegar and mirin  
1 T. brown rice syrup  
1 tsp. each basil and thyme  

Arrange the tofu and all the vegetables in a shallow dish, lying flat rather than stacked on top of each other. Whisk together the marinade ingredients and pour over the vegetables. Let marinate 30 minutes. Take the wooden kabob sticks and place the tofu chunks and vegetables on each one. Alternate the vegetables to make each one unique. Heat a skillet or grill and brown the kabobs on each side, or place the kabobs on a cookie sheet and bake at 350  degrees for 20 minutes. If grilling the kabobs on a barbecue, soak the wooden sticks in water for 20 minutes before making and grilling the kabobs. 

Chef Valerie Wilson has been teaching cooking classes since 1997. You can attend virtually including a special class through Peter White Public Library on 6/15/21. Visit http://www.macroval.com for schedule, cookbook purchases, phone consultations, or radio show, and follow her on Facebook at Macro Val Food.

Excerpted with permission from the Summer 2021 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2021, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. All rights reserved.

Healthy Cooking: Greens for Spring, Val Wilson

spring greens, healthy cooking, stir fry recipe for spring, U.P. holistic, U.P. wellness publication

Once the long winter months are over, we start to see the first signs of spring appear in nature. Everything starts coming up green! Not surprisingly, the signature color of spring is green and we can reflect that in our cooking to feed our bodies healthy vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Most greens have a few things in common: Chlorophyll, which helps heal skin and helps cleanse toxins out of the body; glucosinolate, which is a sulfur-rich compound proven to reduce cancer risk by preventing or delaying cancer cells at various stages of development; Vitamins, A, C, B6, and E; Vitamin K, which is very important for bone health; and the minerals iron, calcium, magnesium, and manganese.  

Each green has it own taste, and you can combine a variety of greens to create a delicious dish. Collard and kale taste similar to cabbage. Carrot greens have a sweetness similar to the root part of the carrot. Daikon greens are more bitter to the taste. For the following recipe, you can use your favorite greens. Dandelion has a nice bitter taste. Bok choy is a light cabbage with a sweet taste. Nappa cabbage is wonderfully sweet. Arugula and watercress are both bitter and pungent.

Mixed Greens Stir Fry 

1/2 onion (thin half moons) 
1 carrot (cut in matchsticks) 
3 large collard greens (cut up) 
1 cup chopped carrot greens 
1 cup chopped daikon greens 
1 T. olive oil 
1 T.  tamari 
1 T. lemon juice  
2 T. toasted sunflower seed for garnish

Sauté the onions in a little olive oil and a dash of tamari until translucent. Add the carrots and greens. Add the olive oil, tamari, and lemon juice. Cover and turn heat to low. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the greens have wilted, and the carrot is soft. Serve with toasted sunflower seeds sprinkled over the top. 

Chef Valerie Wilson has been teaching cooking classes since 1997. You can attend virtually. Visit http://www.macroval.com for schedule, cookbook purchases, phone consultations, or radio show, and follow her on. Facebook at Macro Val Food.

Excerpted with permission from the Spring 2021 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2021, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. All rights reserved.

Chef Val’s Virtual Cooking Class – Creamy Pasta Casserole with Mushroom Sauce

healthy cooking, vegan organic anti-inflammatory cooking, U.P. holistic, U.P. wellness publication
Chef Val

Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine’s Healthy Cooking columnist will be teaching through the Peter White Public Library, Marquette, MI on Tues. March 30th, 7 to 8 PM – through Zoom 

Casseroles are great winter time comfort dishes. Chef Val will teach how to make a whole foods casserole featuring brown rice pasta. The recipe features a white sauce with two different types of mushrooms-maitake and white button. All the health benefits of the ingredients will be discussed as Chef Val teaches how to make the casserole. The recipe is vegan, whole foods, plant based, organic, anti-inflammatory and delicious!

Healthy Cooking: Making Millet & More, Val Wilson

Cooking for the holidays can be a joy or stressful. Here are some tips to keep things upbeat. Use recipes that are simple when making dishes for the holiday. Trying to follow an elaborate recipe can create stress, especially if you spend a lot of time on it unsuccessfully. Prepare some dishes ahead so you’re not overwhelmed on the big holiday. Loafs can be made the night before, or even a couple of days ahead, and refrigerated. Then all you have to do is bake it the day of your holiday dinner.  


Millet is creamy, nutty, slightly sweet, and gluten free, plus the easiest whole grain to digest. Millet has a high amino acid protein profile and iron content. It also contains B vitamins, phosphorus, 15 % protein, and feeds and nurtures your spleen, pancreas, and stomach.  


Tempeh is a complete protein containing all eight essential amino acids, and is 19.5% protein. Made by partially cooking, then fermenting soybeans, tempeh is easy to digest. Soybeans have easily absorbable iron, many B vitamins, and carotin, and support detoxification. Known for promoting vitality, and having anti-cancer properties, soybeans feed and nurture the lung and large intestines.


Kudzu is a thickening agent that is also very medicinal. When purchased, it looks like white chunks. Dissolve the chunks in water before adding them to the hot gravy for thickening. Kudzu helps to alkalize your body, relieve stiff muscles, and may help relieve migraine headaches by dilating blood vessels. The plant arrowroot is also a thickening agent used in cooking. Arrowroot is very soothing to your digestive tract.  


Tempeh Millet Loaf with Onion Gravy 

1 cup millet 
2 cups water 
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 (8oz.) package tempeh 
1/2 onion (diced) 
3 garlic cloves 
1/4 cup walnuts 
3 T. tamari
5 T. tahini 
1 tsp. basil 
1 tsp. marjoram
1/2 tsp. paprika 
1 carrot (grated) 
1/2 cup rolled oats 
2/3 cup water

Put millet in a soup pot with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 20 minutes until all water has been absorbed and millet is soft. Let sit 5 minutes, then stir in the 1/2 tsp. sea salt. Puree the tempeh, onion, garlic, walnuts, tamari, tahini, basil, marjoram, and paprika until smooth. In a large bowl, mix together the millet, pureed tempeh mixture, grated carrots, rolled oats, and water. Press into an oiled loaf pan, bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before cutting. 

Onion Gravy 

4 cups water 
1/2 onion (diced small) 
1 tsp. sea salt 
3 T. tamari 
4 T. kudzu or arrowroot, dissolved in 1/2 cup water 
1/4 cup minced parsley 

Bring water to a boil in a pot. Add the onions, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the sea salt and tamari. Simmer for 5 more minutes. Dissolve the kudzu or arrowroot in the 1/2 cup water and add to the pot, whisking as you add the thickening agent. Gravy will thicken as it continues to cook. Turn off heat once thick, and add the parsley. 

Chef Valerie Wilson, aka Macro Val, has been teaching cooking classes since 1997. She now offers cooking classes you can attend through Zoom. Visit http://www.macroval.com.for class schedule, purchase of any of her five cookbooks, phone consultation appointments, or radio show, Facebook Macro Val Food.

Excerpted with permission from the Winter 2020-2021 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2020, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. All rights reserved.

Healthy Cooking: Soybeans &Women’s Health,Val Wilson

soybeans and women's health, healthy cooking, U.P. holistic business, U.P. wellness publication

When it comes to keeping women strong and healthy, soybeans and products made with soybeans can be very helpful. Soybeans contain easily absorbable iron, many B vitamins, and carotin, support detoxification, promote vitality, and feed and nurture the lungs and large intestines.

Soybeans made into tofu are high in calcium. When made into tempeh, it is 19.5% protein. Containing all eight essential amino acids, it is a complete protein. When made into miso, it has 11 grams of complete protein in each tablespoon. And by fermenting it to make the miso, its healing properties are enhanced. Miso is a living food containing lactobacillus, a healthful micro-organism that aids digestion. There are so many wonderful health benefits from soy foods, I can see why we have been eating them for thousands of years.

Studies have shown soybeans can support your bones by reducing bone loss due to osteoporosis, helping to reduce the risk of fractures. Researchers conclude that their findings indicate postmenopausal women and others with low bone density could benefit from consuming soy.

I feel there is a lot of confusion about the plant-based phytoestrogen isoflavones found in soybeans. This part of the bean does not disrupt your estrogen levels, it balances them. If your estrogen level is too low, it raises it; if your estrogen level is too high, it lowers it. These isoflavones also have been credited with slowing the effects of osteoporosis, relieving some side effects of menopause, and alleviating some side effects of cancer. They have also been shown to dramatically lower the undesirable LDL cholesterol. It is interesting that in China, where they eat soybean products such as tofu, tempeh, and miso every day, until recently, they did not have a term in their language for hot flashes.

Tofu Kabobs

Wooden kabob sticks
1 lb. fresh firm tofu
1 onion (cut in chunks)
4 carrots (cut in long, round diagonals)
1 yellow summer squash (cut in cubes)
20 radishes (cut in thick rounds)

Marinade:
1/3 cup tamari
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup water
2 Tbsp. each: brown rice vinegar and mirin
1 Tbsp. brown rice syrup
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. thyme

Arrange tofu and all vegetables in a shallow dish, lying flat and not stacked on top of each other. Whisk together marinade ingredients and pour over vegetables. Let marinate for 30 minutes. Take the wooden kabob sticks and place tofu chunks and vegetables on each one, alternating the vegetables to make each kabob unique. Heat a skillet and brown kabobs on each side, or place kabobs on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. To grill the kabobs, soak the wooden sticks in water for 20 minutes first, then prepare kabobs as described above before grilling.

Chef Valerie Wilson, a.k.a, Macro Val, has been teaching cooking classes since 1997. Visit her website to purchase her cookbook Year Round Healthy Holiday Cooking, set up a phone consultation, or listen to her radio show, http://www.macrval.com. Facebook, Macro Val Food.

Excerpted with permission from the Fall 2020 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2020, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. All rights reserved.

Healthy Cooking: Feeding the Fires of Summer, Val Wilson

healthy summer cooking, nutrition for summer, U.P. holistic business, U.P. wellness publication

Summertime, when we are at our most active, is known as Fire Energy Phase according to the Five Transformations of Energy (the ancient study of the energy of food, how it relates to the seasons, and how it feeds and nurtures our bodies). Summer relates to how we feed and nurture our hearts, brain, circulatory system, and small intestines. These are the most active organs in the body, so it makes sense that they are associated with the most active time of the year. The heart provides blood, nutrients, and oxygen to every part of the body and every cell. The small intestines digest the food eaten and transfers digested nutrients to our blood, determining the quality of the blood flowing through our bodies. The heart and small intestines are responsible for the action of the circulatory system. This system helps regulate the temperature of the body. It adapts and makes us comfortable in whatever environment we may find ourselves. When the Fire Energy is balanced, we can feel comfortable in the heat of summer and the cold of winter.

Below is a recipe with ingredients that support our summer needs. Quinoa and corn, the signature whole grains of summer, are small and cook up quickly, giving the body energy to help keep up with summer’s busyness. Cucumber, with its high water content, is cooling to the body for hot summer days. It also contains silicon, an integral part of calcium absorption. Dulse flakes are the dried leaves of sea vegetable dulse that have been chopped very fine. Dulse is known for its high amount of iron, calcium, Vitamin C, E, and B12. Ume plum paste is a traditional Japanese fermented food. It has tremendous flavor and imparts a salty, sour, pungent, bitter, and slightly sweet flavor to the salad, satisfying all five tastes. Ume plum paste also has antibacterial properties and helps alkalinize the body. Ume vinegar is the salty brine created when fermenting ume plums.

Quinoa Cucumber Corn Salad

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 cup corn
1 cup peas
3 scallions (thin rounds)
1 cucumber (seeds removed and diced small)
½ cup grated carrot
½ cup toasted walnuts (chopped)
1/3 cup raisins
¼ cup minced parsley
1 T. dulse flakes

Dressing:
¼ cup olive oil
2 T. brown rice vinegar
2 T. ume plum vinegar
2 tsp. ume plum paste

Put quinoa and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to lowest possible temperature, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, until all water has been absorbed. Let sit 5 minutes after cooking, then put in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the corn and peas. The hot quinoa will lightly cook the corn and peas. Let sit for 20 minutes until cool. Add the scallions, cucumber, carrots, walnuts, raisins, parsley, and dulse flakes. Whisk the dressing ingredients together, add to the salad, mix all together, refrigerate, and serve cold.

*Recipe is from Chef Val’s fifth cookbook, Summer Season Healthy and Delicious Cooking, to be released in July 2020.

Chef Valerie Wilson, a.k.a, Macro Val, has been teaching cooking classes since 1997. Visit her website to purchase her cookbook Year Round Healthy Holiday Cooking, set up a phone consultation, or listen to her radio show, http://www.macrval.com. Facebook, Macro Val Food.