Making Croutons

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A half-loaf of home-made sourdough bread was a couple days old, and tired of being stored in the fridge. I decided to make croutons with it for the week’s luncheon salads. I poured olive oil, spices, parsley and fresh rosemary into a Pop-It storage box (made with safe materials in Italy), then tossed the bread squares in and shook the thing with all my might to coat them well. With ambient heat from the oven while baking the croutons, a new loaf of bread was rising nearby. Sliced thinly, the croutons were ready after ten minutes in a 350° oven. Cooled croutons were poured into elegant jars to be used at table. And they won’t need to be stored for long; these croutons will quickly be poured out onto salads. @M-J de Mesterton

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M-J’s Shirataki-Miso Soup

Burdock Root or Gobo Slices, Broccoli, Adzuki Beans, Brown Rice and Shirataki Noodles in Miso Broth

©M-J de Mesterton 2014

Burdock root, known in Japan as gobo, is one of the best blood-purifiers. It has diuretic properties that help expel toxic products from the blood through urine. This root-vegetable is employed in the treatment of skin problems such as eczema (dermatitis) and psoriasis. Burdock is a remedy for liver and gall bladder complaints. Effusion of burdock seeds has been used for throat and chest ailments. Burdock is an appetite-stimulant and is used  for enhancing digestion and relieving dyspepsia. Dried burdock root is reconstituted by pouring boiling water over the bits and letting them stand until softened. It may also be used as a tea, or incorporated into brown rice, where it will soften as the rice and burdock mixture cooks. I use either fresh or dried burdock in stir-fried vegetables or kinpira-style braised vegetables.

©M-J de Mesterton 2014

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