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  • Jane Sloan


Miso Baked Beans

The Sun has moved in to the sign of sweet tenacious Taurus. We find ourselves in the middle of the spring season – which I had to remind myself of as I watched the snow flurries this blustery morning! Soon the leaves will show on the trees that survived our recent ice storm, and flowers will blossom in all the paths and gardens. It’s a time to listen to the birds sing their mating calls, to smell the forests come alive, to feel the warmth of longer days and to taste the newly sprouted greens that the earth has returned to us. This fixed, earth sign is ruled by the planet Venus, and Taurus finds its strength from tapping into her sensual nature and harnessing the magic of touch, taste, feel, smell and the beauty in sound. Aries sent me a new project and since the Sun’s ingress to Taurus I have landed a physically demanding role that I took on with determination and steadfast dedication – taking the bull by the horns, so to speak. I have already seen the gifts of this new creation, both in its form and in the monetary rewards for my efforts and this keeps me going. But I am feeling the physical effects land in my neck and shoulders, making it hard to move freely at times. Taurus rules the cervical vertebrae, the lower jaw, the neck and shoulders, which encompasses the tonsils, the larynx, and the thyroid gland. Imbalances of the Taurus nature can show as a sore throat, infections, laryngitis, and often sluggishness and poor muscle tone that accompanies an underactive thyroid gland. Venus ruled, the Taurean will gravitate to sweets, breads and cakes, which it seeks as a form of energy, but unless the Taurus person is extremely active this fuel will turn into unwanted storage. This fixed earth energy is drawn inward and can turn imbalances into chronic conditions, if one does not pay attention and act on these maladies. There is no denying that the Venus ruled Taurean loves food. Food can be one of the most sensual experiences you can have. My moon is in Taurus and food is my passion, my creativity and at times my obsession. I struggled with an eating disorder for much of my life, and food became that replacement for love, my emotional emptiness and lack of security. I am grateful to have embraced that food is my nourishment and strength, which feeds both my physical and emotional needs. When I educate on food, I emphasise that food needs not only to be of good quality and nutritional value, but it NEEDS to taste good! I entertain and tantalize my taste buds... I want to be seduced with flavours, textures and scents. My Taurus moon gives me an affinity to these sensations and it delights in the preparation of every meal. My dinner for the hard working Taurus must subscribe to the simplicity of good hearty food, that is somewhat traditional and definitely comforting. A good cut of beef in a peppercorn cream sauce would do the trick.... but I am entertaining a vegetarian for dinner so I am going back to my macrobiotic days and pulling out my favourite cookbook from that time... The Natural Gourmet by Anne Marie Colbin How appropriate is that! Taurus might feel a little slighted if there was not a good wine to accompany dinner so I found a Californian Chardonnay from Tom Gore vineyards. The label reads “Farming is my life’s work and greatest joy” Sold! A couple of salted caramel truffles also fell into my basket, which should make the meal complete.

Baked Beans with Miso and Apple Butter 2 cups dried kidney beans, soaked 6 cups water 1 ½ Tablespoons mellow barley miso or mugi miso ¼ cup unsweetened apple butter 1 ½ teaspoon whole grain mustard 1 Tablespoon grated onion 2/3 tablespoon brown rice vinegar ( I used apple cider vinegar) Drain beans and place in a 4-quart pot. Add the 6 cups of water and cook, covered, over low heat until tender, about 40-45 minutes. (I added 1- 2” by 4” strip of Kombu or Kelp to the cooking water. Adding the seaweed helps the digestibility of the beans as well as adding mineral – especially iodine needed by the thyroid. When the beans are finished cooking the kombu will be soft and break apart, but I try to add as much of the kombu to the bean dish to enhance the mineral/ iodine content of the food. There is not much taste to the kombu after the cooking ) Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid (with kombu) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a heavy 3 quart casserole dish or pot. In a medium bowl, combine the reserved bean cooking liquid, miso, apple butter, mustard, onion, and vinegar. Place the cooked beans in the pot, add the miso-apple butter mixture and stir to combine. Cover and bake for 1 ½ hours. I topped the beans with avocado and served with a side of spring greens and edible flowers.

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