As I was falling asleep one night, I started reminiscing about the steamed buns that I'd eaten years ago at Chinese food restaurants. I wondered if I could make a loose approximation of this classic dish, and the idea for this recipe flowed in: make sprouted buckwheat balls, filled with cashews, walnuts, carrots, green onions, and celery. Season with Chinese 5-spice mix, roll in sesame seeds, and dehydrate for a few hours. They didn't turn out like steamed buns, but the Bucky Balls are delicious, none the less. Serve with a little wheat-free tamari, or our Miso-Lime dressing for a lovely entree.
Ingredients: makes 12 balls (serves up to 4)
2 cups sprouted buckwheat (sold as hulled buckwheat groats for sprouting)
1/4 cup mixed cashews and walnuts
1/4 cup carrots, sliced
1/4 cup celery, sliced
4 tablespoons green onions, chopped
3 tablespoons walnut or sesame oil
1 teaspoon Chinese 5-Spice powder
1/2 teaspoon Celtic, or Himalayan sea salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup sesame seeds with 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt
Serve with greens and crunchy, peeled and sliced jicima.
Directions for Sprouting
To Sprout Buckwheat: soak for 30-60 minutes. Rinse and drain 2 times daily. Keep covered. Sprout until "tails" are 1/4 inch, about 36 hours. They keep well in the fridge for several days if rinsed, drained, and covered daily.
Directions for Bucky Balls
Give buckwheat a final rinse, and drain well. The drier the buckwheat is, the better the balls will hold together.
Put into food processor with oil, salt, pepper, and Chinese 5-Spice mix.
Process until buckwheat is smooth. Transfer to large mixing bowl.
Put carrots, celery, green onions, and nuts into food processor.
Pulse to mix to desired texture. (We like it a bit chunky.)
Transfer to bowl and mix well.
Form into 1 1/2 inch balls, and gently press into sesame seeds.
Pat back into shape, and place on Teflex sheet on a dehydrator tray, with temperature set to 110. Dry for 4 hours. Turn over after 90 minutes so the bottoms can dry.
3 tablespoons South River Azuki Bean Miso (or your favorite)
3 tablespoons Spectrum walnut oil, or your favorite
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons pure water
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger root
1 tablespoon honey
1 clove garlic, crushed
Put all ingredients into blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Or mix by hand.
A Little Story: A Changing Life
For over a year we've been sensing that something was coming, along with a deep feeling that we needed a "sea change"—a fundamental shift in the way we live our lives. As sure as the seasons turn, it has come.
Life has a way of changing us. And this is good, yet it can be challenging too. Who would ever want things to stay the same forever? Intolerable situations, like poor health, would never go away. The flip side of this can be that experiences of wonder and delight eventually come to an end—it's just the nature of this world. This is what's been happening to Rex and me. After nine years the cycle of our island oasis life is nearing completion.
What's the cause? Our lease is up, and we have to move. The love of family is pulling us back to the mainland. I've been wanting to take art classes, and the logistics of island living aren't working for us now. Travel has become a burden because we've entered an active cycle where we need to leave often.
It's strange... we thought we'd stay forever in the islands, and create a family sanctuary for generations to come. This never happened, and looking at it now this is a blessing because had that sanctuary existed, it would have been much harder to leave. Within a month or two we'll be living in a bustling university town on the coast of northern Washington with easy access to an airport.
All this is to say that our bi-weekly Healing Feasts may not come out as regularly as we'd like for awhile until we get settled in our new home. Packing has begun, and there's less time to be in the kitchen, creating new recipes.
Life is so much about checks and balances and trade-offs. These changes are ones we feel we'll welcome, despite the sadness of saying goodbye to the San Juans and leaving some dear and amazing close friends who've inspired us in countless ways, and helped us to grow and evolve. We can still come back, though... the islands will always be here for us to enjoy.