View Full Version : Dirk Cookbook

07-07-2013, 02:46 AM
I was really hoping that Dirk had posted some of his favorite recipes, but I guess not. Perhaps Dirk will write a cook book. That would be even better.

John Pickard
07-07-2013, 05:34 PM
Welcome to Dirk's Works, dalesaa!

Some time ago Dirk has been asked about doing a cookbook, but based on his responses then and conversations I've had with him about Macrobiotics, I don't expect he'll ever do one.

Besides - in my humble opinion - any recipe should only be a springboard for you to cook the healthiest way possible for you individually, intuitively... Macrobiotics is a lifestyle you have to participate in, after all, not just mimic what somebody else is doing.

Having said that, for some of us (including me) using a recipe to introduce how to cook a new food is very helpful. I wouldn't have learned how to properly cook kale or collards if my wife and I hadn't taken a recipe and experimented with it. We have 2 Macrobiotic cookbooks: Avaline Kushi, the late wife of Macrobiotic sensei Michio Kushi, put out several cookbooks (we have "The Quick and Natural Macrobiotic Cookbook), and Jessica Porter's 'Hip Chick's Guide to Macrobiotics" is a really good - and frequently funny - introduction to Macrobiotics and has a number of really good recipes.

And because some of us work with recipes, I would encourage anyone who has a favorite Macrobiotic recipe to post it here. I would, except all my amounts are "to taste" or "depending on your need at the moment." I like one-skillet (or one roasting-pan) meals, too... My wife and I collaborate in the kitchen, too, which frequently means we make it up as we go along...

Have you read "Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy"? Have you read any of Michio Kushi's work? I have "The Macrobiotic Way" and I find it fascinating - I'm due for a re-read, in fact. The more I learn about Macrobiotics, the better I eat.

Oh, my. I do tend to ramble when I'm interested in a topic, don't I? ;)

Anyway, like I said, welcome, and maybe between us we can get a good recipe exchange going...

I am

07-07-2013, 07:21 PM
What's up Dawg,

Thanks for the prompt response.

I agree with you that any recipe should be based on individuality. Like myself, some may have a food intolerance and/or food allergies. Unfortunately, for me, I have some pretty common and odd food allergies (milk, brown rice, millet, wheat, mushroom, almond, rye, banana). I think they came about when I became ill four years ago.

In addition, I'm learning every day another food that my body can no longer handle. I've pretty much eliminated the above foods in addition to all dairy, most meat, sugar (and anything containing HFCS), flour, salt, and foods high on the glycemic index. It doesn't leave much, at least based on my knowledge of food out there. I'm pretty much living on chicken breast, eggs, green vegetables/mixed vegetables and water, right now. So, as you can see, I'm really eating pretty bland at the moment.

I too like and use one-skillet. That's mostly because when I bought my home back in 2008, I bought a huge refrigerator and didn't have room left for the stove that was supposed to go next to it.:D Anyway, I do fine with an electric skillet. I also have an convection/microwave, but I hardly use it anymore.

I am currently reading "Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy". But I'll have to check out your other recommendations.

No worries on the rambling, I tend to ramble myself. That's probably why I don't have many friends that visit....or call. :( I welcome and appreciate any meal suggestions/recipes that can work within my limitations.


John Pickard
07-09-2013, 10:54 PM
I'm fascinated by food allergies because they seem to be a fairly recent development, and I can't discount the theories that many of them are caused by food additives - artificial colors, sweeteners, hormones, etc.

I recall that when I was taking statins for my cholesterol, I was told to stay away from anything with grapefruit in it. So I can't help but wonder how much of your food issues stem from your medications and the forced changes in your physiology.

Have you tried kale? I love the stuff. I use it in saute's and we roast vegetables quite often (there's nothing like roasted cauliflower, and I love roasted broccoli). We often roast a bunch of different vegetables with some extra firm tofu that we've marinated for a few minutes (usually in a soy sauce mixture)... The kale starts getting crunchy and has this remarkable flavor. Raw, it has this tomato-like quality to the taste. It's good, and nutritious has all get-out.

We get ours at the weekly farmer's market (there are several different varieties, and every one of them is good), along with our cabbage, green onions, lettuce, etc.

You're doing right by avoiding processed sugar in any form. I'm convinced it's the biggest public health issue in years. But I'm surprised that you have issues with grains other than wheat, though. Have you tried quinoa? Very high protein (at least as good as soy, maybe better), and delicious. Be sure you rinse it thoroughly before cooking, though - even when they say it's been pre-rinsed.

Trust me, I know... ;)

Enough for now. More later.

I am

07-10-2013, 01:17 AM
What up Dawg? (that's an 80's thing):)

I donít take any medications, nor have I ever taken any for my ailment other than being prescribed vitamin D2 and B12 shots, since I was depleted of both. For some reason, Iím not able to absorb them anymore. I was prescribed a couple years ago 50,000 iu a day of D2 for seven days to bring my levels back up and then one a week. When I retested, I had to do another week of loading. Since then, Iíve been taking 50,000 iu a week with a lifetime prescription. I did five days of B-12 shots which cost $40 bucks a shot. They wanted me to do weekly shots but I couldnít afford it, so I just take an over-the-counter B-complex drop under the tongue.

With regard to food allergies, Iím actually allergic to wheat (gliadin and gluten) but was only a low to moderate reaction. Low reaction to bean sprouts, cantaloupe, eggplant, and kamut as well. I had a test for the standard food panel IgA/IgG/IgE, and the vegetarian food panel. There are also tests for ethnic foods and environmental inhalants.

I have tried Kale, but only in green juice; never used it any other way. I remember my doctor getting angry with me when I tried juicing. I too love broccoli. I eat at least four-six cups a day. I sautť it with white rice (which I shouldnít eat but a little wonít hurt), black beans, and add a few ounces of chicken breast. Iíll lightly salt and add a little soy. Sometimes, Iíll sautť it with coconut oil. Nice flavor.

Ĺ cup rice, 1 cup black beans, 2 cups of broccoli, oil and salt to taste. 3 ounces of chicken, optional.

With regard to sugar, surprisingly, my doctor actually told me to stay away from sugar, products containing HFCS, all artificial sweeteners, as well as fruits that are high in sugar, mainly because of my liver not functioning properly. Iíve failed every liver function tests over the last four years (approximately 2-3 dozen tests in all).

Quinoa. Iíve heard of it, but havenít tried it. I heard it take a long time to cook and has little or no taste to it, which is perfect for me.

Even though some of my doctorís advice has been good, Iíve lost all confidence in doctors, mostly because I have been progressively getting worse. After 4 years of doctors, $40,000, life savings depleted, loss of my job of seven years a couple months ago, Iím through with them. And so, for the last couple months, Iíve been focused on getting my health back.
Hereís a little background about me.

About four years ago, I was 160 lbs, lifted weights, took taekwondo classes 2-3 days a week and did extra cardio at home on a treadmill 3-5 times a week.

On or about November 20, 2009, I started feeling different. I wasnít sure what was going on. It felt like I was coming down with a cold or flu but they never manifested. Instead, I started feeling like I was starved for oxygen, and felt fatigued. Then, weird stuff started occurring like puffy eyes, puffy thyroid gland, bloating, heart palpitations, edema in the hands, legs, ankles, patchy hair loss, started waking up in the morning pale as a ghost, and could see all the veins in my body, my balance was off and I stumbled around as I got out of bed feeling light as a ghost, and the list goes on. I thought I was experiencing congestive heart failure. This went on and on, and I started to gain weight. I thought that maybe I was experiencing some type of an allergy or reaction to mold or something, so I had my well water checked, checked the house for mold, etc. Everything checked out fine.

In February 2010, I was 30 lbs heavier, very ill and I decided to go to a Life Line Screening at a local resort that was specifically for people over 50. I got stares from all of the elderly that shouted, "what is he doing here?" as I was only 37 years old. In any event, I was sick and didn't have insurance or the money required to be a doctor's personal ATM machine, if you know what I mean. The testing only cost a couple hundred dollars and was pretty extensive. In any event, the test result concluded that my CRP was elevated as well as my liver enzymes. And they stressed that I needed to follow up with a doctor right away.

Soon after this, I scheduled an appointment with an allergist to see if I had any allergies, environmental or to food. He reviewed the screening results and ordered a bunch of tests for hepatitis, celiac disease, lupus, etc. etc. He concluded that it was probably just a virus. A Virus, for three months?
In April 2010, I went to see an internal medicine doctor who performed even more blood work. In the end, she found that I had been infected with the Epstein-Barr Virus, and that it was still active. After months and months of monitoring, I continued to gain weight, my liver was getting worse and the virus was still present and active. She then sent me to an infectious disease doctor to test for HIV. The results were negative. Months passed, I continued to gain weight. Then my doctor sent me to a sleep clinic to rule out sleep apnea and to a neurologist to have an MRI of my head to rule out MS. My sleep apnea results were not good so they put me on a cpap machine. The MRI was negative, but he said that that didnít mean that I didnít have MS, whatever that meant. What was the point of the $2,500 test?

After months of monitoring, the virus was gone in May of 2011, yet I continued to gain more weight and was up to 220. Diet after diet, I continued to gain weight. My doctor (an internal medicine doctor) said I needed to eliminate all meat, dairy, flour, sugar, salt and ALL processed foods including any and all salad dressings, except balsamic vinegar or vinegar and olive oil. Still, I continued to gain weight.

In September 2011, my doctor had me test for food allergies once again, but this time through US Bio Tek with antibody assessment panels. The results were eye opening to say the least, but I had already eliminated most of the foods that were shown to cause bad reactions to my immune system.

So what was going on? As months past, I continued to gain weight and my doctor was conducting blood work every two weeks at one point, then every two months. My blood sugar levels started to fluctuate. My liver cat scan showed fatty liver by now. And by May of 2012, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetic and weighed in at 245 lbs and experiencing hypoglycemia on a daily basis, more so when I exercise.

Today, Iím still sick, but I have lost approximately 18 lbs since April 19. Still suffer from and battle hypoglycemia day to day. However, Iím eating an extremely healthy diet and hope that someday I will reverse all this.

Tomorrow, I try a new breakfast. 16 ounces of water, 16 ounces of organic vegetable juice, 2 tbsp of flaxseed (going for broke on this one, since I have an moderate allergy), 2 tbsp lecithin (granules), and 2 tbsp of vegetable protein. All mixed well. Apparently is supposed to do wonders for diabetes.
Sorry for being so long-winded.

Check you later,


07-10-2013, 01:26 AM
The quality of a protein is measured by its mix of essential amino acids, the higher the number, the higher the quality of the protein source:


84 lean ground beef
136 skinless chicken breast
144 broiled pork chop
148 canned white tuna in water

Vegetarian sources (Dairy and egg)

137 nonfat milk
145 egg whites
137 whole poached egg

Vegan sources (plant sources):

70 peanuts
79 tempeh
101 amaranth
103 black beans
106 quinoa
117 soy protein concentrate

07-10-2013, 01:40 AM

By the way, I'm about halfway through Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy, and I must say, I'm surprised to find that I share many of Dirk's views with regard to politics, food, doctors and other things. He can be rest assured that there are still some of us left out here.


John Pickard
07-13-2013, 03:58 PM
There is no doubt that meat is a superior source of protein - but it is also a superior source of concentrated saturated fat, cholesterol...

The key to protein intake is to keep the diet varied and not eat the same things every day; rice and black beans one day, quinoa and adzuki another, raw and fresh vegetables all the time... The odd filet of halibut or cod...

Also, we probably don't actually need all the protein we think we do. Some of that perception is probably evolutionary - we didn't get meat all the time so we ultimately became hardwired to eat as much of it as we could when we had the chance. When it was a minor part of our overall food intake it didn't hurt, but now that we have access to it all the time, it does.

And "soy protein concentrate" probably has anything beneficial processed right out of it...

I'm glad you're liking "Confessions" and find his views to be like yours (and mine, too, if truth be told). If you go to the site's main page (www.dirkbenedictcentral.com) you'll find a link to an essay Dirk wrote for Dreamwatch magazine back in 2004. It's called "Lost in Castration." You might like that, too.

I am

07-13-2013, 06:56 PM
Hey Dawg,

I totally agree with you on the protein thing. I'm down to eating meat (chicken breast) once or twice a week. Once the supply I have is gone. I'm done with meat. I would say that 90% of what I eat is vegetables. I'll eat white rice here and there, but I think I'm having a bad reaction to it. Hands swell and I start retaining water. I think it spikes my insulin too much, being diabetic. I want to try brown rice, but as I've said before, I'm allergic to it. Food allergies are common in diabetics, but can be overcome and re-added to the diet. I think I need to do what Dirk did in his book and go back to zero.

I finished his book a few days ago. It was inspiring and I found it to be aligned with what has been going on in my life for the last four years in terms of being sick. I've had dozens of episodes of being violently ill. So far, they've only found that I have liver disease, diabetes and sleep apnea. But since I no longer go to doctors and have become my own doctor, I don't know what else could be lurking about, if anything.

The last four years have been frustrating to say the least, but I believe I've finally found the answer in "Confessions". It makes a lot of sense to me. I grew up being athletic and was in the military and have needed to adjust my diet many times in order to cut weight off me and found, of course, that the better you eat, the better you feel. I'm only 5'6" tall with a medium frame, to give you an idea of how bad of shape I've gotten myself into in the last 4 years. It's been nearly impossible to shed the weight. I know the diabetes is throwing my hormones out of balance. I was told that my cortisol levels were too high and causing me to store everything as fat. I'm trying to get over that hump. I can't fast because it could kill me. My blood sugar drops a lot if I miss meals or exercise too hard. I wish I could eat only brown rice for 10 days and have Dirk come cook for me for a year. Who knows, maybe I'll try it despite the allergy. What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger, right?

I read Dirk's Dreamwatch essay a while back and loved it. I shared it with some friends and family as well. It's not often that I find someone complaining about the same things I complain about, especially toilet seats. I didn't go as far as putting in urinals though. However, I put up a sign telling people to lift the toilet seat when they're finished. :))

Well, I better be nice here. I have a dry sense of humor that people criticize me for or just don't understand. I try to make people laugh and I get told all the time that that's the reason I'm single. Maybe so. But I know the true reason.

Anyway, "Confessions" was chock-full of amazing information. I found myself noting quotes and other information constantly. I'm definitely taking the journey because I really need to go back and be reborn. I have a long journey ahead of me, not because of the lack of willingness to do it, but because I have so much to let go (weight).:))


John Pickard
07-14-2013, 11:03 AM
If "Confessions" has inspired you that much, I'd very strongly recommend you study other works on Macrobiotics - as I think I said earlier, Michio Kushi's book "The Macrobiotic Way" is one I have that I really like. It really gets into the whole Macrobiotic picture, not just the food. And I'll again recommend the "Hip Chick's Guide to Macrobiotics." And I'm sure there are works out there that will address eating to beat diabetes, too.

Given your diabetes, I'd hesitate to jump into an all-carb diet, at least right away. My wife and I are easing into the Macrobiotic lifestyle because of our own health concerns; we've dumped the sugar (extreme yin) and meat (extreme yang) and 98% of the time our carbs are whole grains, and we're moving ever closer to being fully Macrobiotic in our diet. I have a potential diabetes issue (lazy pancreas) so I'm very aware of my carb intake - I try to keep it at about 40% of my daily diet (although I'm often not very good about it). I'm actually looking forward to my next doctor appointment, because that will be the first blood work I've had done in a couple of years. We'll just see how much healthier I am...

Do you know how to make miso soup? It helps cleanse...

I've started studying the "Nightshade" plants and how they are used (or not) in Macrobiotics. Tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, etc. I was surprised to learn how "yin" they are. I read a thing just last night that talked about avoiding nightshades if you have symptoms of arthritis... I wonder what else avoiding some of my favorite foods will improve......


I am

07-14-2013, 05:50 PM
Yo Dawg,

I have on order Aveline Kushiís ďComplete Guide to Macrobiotic CookingĒ; however, Michio Kushiís book sounds interesting, since I really need to learn about the whole yin versus yang thing, and how to balance the two.

Iíve never prepared miso soup , but Iíve picked up the following recipe along with its ingredients from an online Asian Food Grocer (the ingredients were hard to find in my neck of the woods).

Miso Soup

6 cups Water
1 piece Dried Sea Kelp (6" kombu)
1 cup Dried Bonito Flakes (tuna flakes)
4 tbsp Miso Paste
4 oz Firm Tofu (cut into 1/2" cubes)
1 tbsp Dried Seaweed Flakes (wakame)
2 Finely Chopped Scallions (optional*)


Prepare Dashi:
1. Wipe dusty coating from the sea kelp. Place the kombu in a large pot with 6 cups of water. Bring water to a slight roll (DO NOT BOIL), steep for 5 - 20 minutes, keep water to a slight roll.
2. Remove and discard the kombu. Add bonito flakes (tuna flakes). Steep for 5 - 20 minutes, keep water to a slight roll.
3. Remove the pot from heat then let it cool. Strain liquid into a sauce pan then discard the bonito flakes.
4. The remaining liquid is "Dashi", this is a liquid base that can be used to make a variety of soups and sauces.

Prepare Miso:

1. Place 6 cups of dashi into a sauce pan then let it roll (DO NOT BOIL).
2. Add 4 tbsp of miso paste, stir until it dissolves.
3. Add 4 oz of tofu cubes and 1 tbsp of wakame (2 finely chopped scallions optional*).
4. Have miso soup sit for 5 minutes before serving.
5. Then serve into bowls, and enjoy!

Makes 4 Servings

With regard to the nightshade plants, I believe Dirk placed tomatoes, potatoes and eggplant on his untouchables list. I assume it was because they were either too yin or yang? He provides a pretty good list of both. I presume that if it is anything other than grains, vegetables, or beans, it is too yin or too yang.

Later, :cool:


07-14-2013, 05:54 PM
I almost forgot. I guess you'll just have to experiment to see what else avoiding some of your favorite foods may improve....Good Luck! ;)

John Pickard
07-14-2013, 10:43 PM
I've not made or used dashi for my miso soup - yet, anyway. Right now, I just use filtered water, white miso paste (1 teaspoon per cup of water), and a few pieces of scallion. Sometimes I'll have a few cubes of extra-firm tofu...

And never, ever add miso to boiling water. Hot, fine - but boiling will kill everything beneficial in miso.

And check your PM's.

I am

07-15-2013, 09:50 AM
There are a number of videos on YouTube on preparing miso soup with dashi. I'll let you know how it turns out. Keep in mind, I've never had miso soup before, so I have nothing to compare it to. I'll have to make a batch without the dashi, and then compare.

Will two teaspoons per cup of water be too much??

John Pickard
07-15-2013, 10:03 PM
I think 2 might be a little much, particularly if you've never had it before, but it depends on how strong you want the flavor, which is also a bit salty.

And be aware there are different forms of miso, depending on what grains are used (soy is the base, but they can also have brown rice or barley in the recipe) and how long it's allowed to ferment. White miso is the "youngest" and most mild flavor, and it's the one I like for my morning bowl of soup - we use around 1 teaspoon per cup.

I also like "hatcho" miso, which is soy and barley and aged until it's almost black. It's got a much stronger flavor - as I said, I prefer the white miso in the morning, but for a more savory evening bowl, I think the hatcho miso is extremely good.

But yes, please let me know about the dashi.

I am

10-19-2013, 03:54 PM

I've been reading your story and waiting for you to post again. I'm wondering how you are doing. Please let us know....