Life is sustained by food with living energy. Crops with living energy can only be produced on land that possesses living energy. If the soil bacteria are healthy the vegetables and fruits will also grow in a healthy way. Hiromi Shinya MD

“I recommend you eat a large bowlful of steamed vegetables everyday. In the Shinya household, we eat them in the morning. Okura, Brussels sprouts, cabbage spinach komatsuna, asparagus, snow pea, string beans, broccoli, bean sprouts, chive, carrot, Daikon radish, potato, lotus root, pumpkin, bell pepper, sweet potato, corn, green peas. You can pick any seasonable vegetable.

One can experience the change of the seasons through the taste of vegetables. It makes me feel happy to eat a crisp apple in the fall. Actually, it is very important for your health to have a positive mind.

Just heat up a bowlful of vegetables in a pan or steamer. Do not steam too much as over cooking ruins the taste and losses nutrients and kills enzymes. I usually steam vegetables in a multilayerd pan. With this pan it takes only 3-5 minutes to cook. For bitter vegetables such as spinach it may be better to boil briefly than to steam.

Simple cooking is, I believe, the best way. For variety you might try seasoning with fresh herbs or by making sauces which is the Japanese way. I’ll teach you how to make some of my favorites.

First make a basic “Shoyu-dare” sauce. The base of this sauce is soy sauce. You can enjoy many different varieties of this sauce by adding lots of herbs and flavored vegetables. Adding some spices to make the sauce hot is a good idea too. This will stimulate your appetite. Adding sesame flavor is also a good idea during the summer season.”

Recipe for Shoyu-dare (makes 2 cups)
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 Tbs natural sugar
1/2 cup bonito flakes
2 Tbs white sesame seeds

Put all of the ingredients except for the sesame seeds in a medium pan and bring to a boil.
Remove from heat and strain the sauce.
Roast the sesame seeds until lightly golden and add seeds to the sauce after it has cooled.
Store in an air-tight container.

This basic shoyu-dare is a non oil sauce with Dashi broth and sesame flavor. Serve over steamed vegetables. This sauce with added herbs is also delicious and wonderful with fish.

Hiromi Shinya, MD