Many years ago, I worked in international animal welfare. In choosing photos for marketing campaigns we came up with the ‘nose scratch factor’ – show the photo to someone and if they almost immediately went ‘aww’ and reached out to scratch the nose of the animal on the photograph, we had a winner.
I’m endeavoring to do a similar thing with photos of food. But instead of scratching it, I want you to eat. Even better than that would be if you were inspired to cook it and eat it. No, wait, even better would be if you could grow part of it and eat it.
I love food. For me it is a constant connection to nature. A way of connecting with people. One of my favourite quotes is from Hippocrates who said ‘Let food be thy medicine and let thy medicine be food’. I get that. I know, simply from my own experience, that what I eat plays a major role in how healthy I am.
Over the last year, a number of possibilities for Peka Peka have begun to emerge and one of them (rapidly becoming a probability) is a food forest. My imagination has been captured by the idea of growing a forest of food. The kind of food Hippocrates had in mind. Yummy stuff but also healing stuff. This also speaks loudly to me of biomimicry, of learning from Nature. When asking myself ‘how would Nature grow food?’, acre after acre of the same crop sprayed within an inch of its life (and ours) with pesticide is not what springs to mind.
I could go on. And on. Food, it would seem, is one of the main ways I connect dots. But instead, I’m going to leave you with a recipe for this evening’s ridiculously simple, delicious and nutritious meal. Taking a photo of it prompted me to write this post, as I realised that if I really do want you to make it and eat it, a ‘how to’ would probably help…
Smoked fish with brown rice and sea vegetables.
1 cup of organic brown rice
180 grams of smoked fish (The Smokehouse produce is gorgeous)
1 tablespoon of miso paste (if you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend Urban Hippie miso)
a small handful of wakame (I use Pacific Harvest)
another small handful of karengo (also Pacific Harvest)
a drizzle of hot sauce (if you like)
Let the smoked fish warm to room temperature while the rice is cooking, it’s much tastier warmed up a little. When the rice is ready, take two small soup bowls adding half a tablespoon of miso to each, along with half a cup of boiling water. When the miso has dissolved add half of the wakame to each bowl, sit back and watch as it unfolds into beautiful deep green fronds. Or not. If you want to keep busy, find two slightly larger bowls and add as much brown rice as you like, flake half the smoked fish into each, divide the karengo between the two servings along with most of the wakame from the miso, leaving just enough to perk up the miso!
The final touches are simply to squeeze half a lemon over each serving, drizzle some sesame oil, add a touch of hot sauce if want it a little bit spicy and Bob’s your Uncle…While this isn’t a super quick meal because the rice takes 20-30 minutes to cook, the rest of it takes 5 minutes or less. At which point you can happily sit down with miso soup and a bowl of rice-y goodness to follow.