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KYOTO Cinnamon Rolls
KYOTOシナモンロール

Any type of homemade rolls make an awesome weekend breakfast in my opinion.

Cinnamon is always a good idea.

This time I added homemade sweet red beans.

My roll does not form perfectly, but that’s okay.

A little imperfection is a charm in any homemade baked goods, right?

When they were out of the oven, I drizzled Matcha green glaze.

Or should I say I smothered the rolls.

Then sprinkle chopped walnuts.

If you ask me, this combination of cinnamon, sweet adzuki (red beans), Matcha, and walnuts is absolutely amazing!

A cup of hot coffee is definitely recommended to accompany these rolls.

Black, of course.

I am using a fork in this picture, but in reality, I used my hands.

It gets messy, but licking the mixture of sweet red beans and Matcha glaze is a fun part of this breakfast.

Have a great weekend!

Mini Daifuku Pouches
ミニ苺・パイン大福

Daifuku is a type of traditional Japanese sweets.

It’s usually sticky mochi stuffed with sweet bean paste inside.

Sometime people like to add fruit inside along with the bean paste, and strawberry is probably the most popular one.

I happened to have beautifu fresh pineapple, so I decided to make the pineapple version, too.

The Daifuku mochi is pretty easy to make when you use a microwave oven.

Aren’t they adorable?

They are so smooth, just like baby’s butts!

I wasn’t sure how the pineapple version would turn out, but I really liked it, as its tartness goes well with the sweet beans.

It’s really refreshing.

My pink Sashiko (Japanese traditional embroidery) cloth looks perfect in this picture.

Groovy Pasta Bolognese
グルーヴィーVミートソースパスタ

The V meatloaf was great, and I also realized that the basis makes great bolognese sauce.

So I decided to make another batch.

The V-meat is already so flavorful that you don’t really need much to make sauce.

I basically combine the V-meat with canned whole tomatoes (I mash them with a fork; it doesn’t have to be completed mashed), and season with salt, pepper, wine, herbs, hot sauce, and a little sugar.

Keep it simple.

Now this is my little trick.

Lasagna pasta is awesome when sliced and eaten as “pasta” with sauce.

It’s slightly thicker than regular pasta (even those wide ones like fettucine), and the texture has a nice chewiness that reminds me of homemade pasta.

This was absolutely delicious!

I thought I made enough for two meals, one for lunch and the other for the next day’s lunch, but it was gone in a few minutes.

I devoured it.

You may ask what’s the thing sprinkled on top?

Well, that is my “nutty parm”.

I just recently bought How Not To Die Cookbook, and this is my second recipe I tried from this book.

I didn’t have all the spices/herbs listed as ingredients, so I just used whatever I had, and I also used different kinds of nuts, but it turned out awesome!

I think this will be great on so many different things.

I’m really close to finishing the book.

I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in nutrition and health.

I quit buying cookbooks many years ago, because there are so many ideas and recipes out there online today.

But when I heard about this particular cookbook that is associated with the book, I decided to buy a few copies to give out to some family members.

Since we started the 100% plant based diet, a lot of people ask us what we eat.

We do our best describing what we eat, and I sometimes tell them to check out this blog.

When we talk about food and health, it can be a bit tricky, because some people seem to feel that they are personally attacked.

The last thing I want to do is preaching people, so I never tell people what to do.

But I strongly feel that everyone should have unbiased information on food and health so that they can make their own “informed” decision.

A few of our family members have expressed a stronger interest more than others, although they don’t seem quite sure exactly what it’s like to prepare a meal without using meat, fish, or dairy.

And I thought this cookbook may be a good way to introduce them to just that.

I’m not expecting all the recipes to be fantastic, but I hope they will try and like some of the recipes, and feel that it’s not that hard to cook plant-based food.

(One of my good friends who was a recipe developer for a large food corporation once told me that it’s typically only a few recipes that people actually try in a cookbook they buy!)

 

Princess
プリンセス

The color of cantaloupe is just so pretty.

It screams “princess”!

The ingredients are simple: cantaloupe pureed with sugar and lemon juice, vodka, and seltzer.

I like cantaloupe, but I usually hesitate to buy one, because some of them are just not sweet at all, and there is no way to know before you buy it, cut it, and then taste it.

But the other day someone at work who knows that I like fresh fruits and veggies told me that the cantaloupe she bought the day before was so sweet and encouraged me to get one from the same store she got hers from.

I was not able to make it to the same store, but I did get one from a different grocery store.

And mine was sweet and delicious, too!!

The drink was simply garnished with cantaloupe balls.

My husband is not a big fan of cantaloupe, but he liked this princess bubbly as much as I did!

Miyabi Scones
雅スコーン

Scone is usually not my favorite baked goods to pick from at bakeries.

They look and sound cool, but often times I get disappointed by its dryness.

So I got very excited, because these scones turned out to be not only tasty but also nicely moist inside.

This is something I’ve been somewhat obsessed about lately.

It’s roasted soy bean powder, called “kinako”.

Kinako has been used for many many years as part of the traditional Japanese sweets.

It was never my favorite, when I lived in Japan, but now I really appreciate its unique sophisticated flavor.

Trader Joe’s really does a good job with packaging designs.

They make me want to buy their product because they look good in my kitchen.

These beautiful Japanese black beans were a gift from my friend, and I thought these would be perfect to be added to these scones.

I wonder if using beans for sweets is only found in Asia, and if so, why that is…?

Just out of the oven!

These scones were so good, and I really enjoyed them with my homemade v-butter.

Perfect for breakfast and snack.

I still have some “kinako” left, so I guarantee you’ll see other things made with it soon here.

Miyabi Scones – makes about 8

175g all purpose flour
50g “kinako” Japanese roasted soy bean powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
a pinch salt
25g sugar
55g refined coconut oil, in solid condition
150ml soy milk
1/2 cup cooked Japanese black beans “kuromame”
soy milk to brush on before baking

1. Preheat the oven to 410F.
2. Combine flour, kinako, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Mix well.
3. Add coconut oil. Mix using hands.
4. Add milk and black beans. Do not knead.
5. Flat the dough, about 1-inch thick.
6. Cut out; I used a 7cm round cutter. Place on a pan lined with parchment paper.
7. Brush soy milk on top.
8. Bake for about 15 minutes.

Awesome V Meatloaf
Vミートローフ

Meatloaf was one of my husband’s favorite dishes when we were still eating meat.

I totally forgot about even the existence of this dish, but a few weeks ago he talked about it, and I kind of took it as a challenge.

I have actually made vegan meatloaf in the past, but it was not my favorite.

Although it tasted pretty good, but the texture was off.

It was a little too soft, and “beany”.

So this time I took some time really thinking about the best ingredients and the process to achieve the taste AND the texture that would satisfy me.

And I think I succeeded!

It’s got a nice crusty crust outside, the inside is moist and juicy, but got the right texture, definitely not soft or “beany” at all.

It’s almost crazy that it looks like the real “meat” meatloaf!

With a strong request from my husband, this meatloaf was served with gravy, instead of ketchup-based sauce.

My V-gravy recipe is found here.

The more gravy, the better anything tastes!

Okay, one more picture.

I hope you can really get an idea of how wonderful its texture is.

Leftover meatloaf was crumbled into small pieces and cooked with additional herbs and spice to make Italian sausage and then added to my tomato sauce.

I served it over spinach bowtie pasta, and it was a big hit at our house.

Here is the recipe for the V-Meatloaf.

Next time I will probably double the recipe so that I will have extra for making sausage, burger, or meatballs.

That’s how much we liked it!

Awesome V Meatloaf

1 cup walnuts
1 cup cooked lentils (do not cook too soft)
1 cup cooked wheat berries
1 cup quick oats
0.5 cup baguette slices soaked in soy milk (and then squeeze the milk out)
mixture of 3 tablespoons of flaxseed meal and 5 tablespoons of vegetable broth
1.5~2 cups mixture of chopped and sauteed garlic (3~4 cloves), 1 onion, 2 stalks celery, 1 package crimini mushrooms
1 tablespoon soy sauce
a pinch of sugar
salt and pepper
dried thyme
canola oil for brushing

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
2. Process walnuts in a food processor until chopped into small pieces (do not make it into paste).
3. Add lentils, wheat berries, quick oats, and baguette to the walnuts. Process (pulse) until the mixture looks half paste and half coarse.
4. Take the mixture out of the food processor into a large bowl.
5. Add the flaxseed-broth mixture, vegetable mixture, soy sauce, sugar, salt, pepper, and thyme. Mix well.
6. Place in a parchment paper lined pan; I sed 9.5 x 5.5 x 2.5 pan, but only filled about a little over a 2/3 length.
7. Cook in the oven for 50 minutes. Brush the top with oil. Cook for another 10 minutes. I broiled the top for a few minutes to give the extra crustiness.

Yakko Rice Bowl
冷奴どんぶり

You may ask what is “Yakko”?

Well, you probably already know what it is.

It’s another name for “tofu”.

I don’t know why but we often use the term “yakko” to describe tofu dishes.

Napa cabbage.

One of my favorite leaf vegetables.

It’s crunchy, juicy, and I love the crunchy texture and the slight sweetness.

Radish is something I almost always have in my fridge.

Rice, a slice of soft tofu, and a mountain of fresh veggies, as well as fixings, such as grated ginger and chopped scallion.

Simple garlic chili sauce: garlic chili paste, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, oil

Very refreshing and satisfying.

This is a kind of lunch I can eat everyday.

By the way, these plates are also hand-made.

Since I don’t have much experience, when I put glaze on, I have some rough idea of the color my plates are going to be, but other than that I really have no idea of how (how dark, light, etc.) they will look.

So it’s always a kind of surprise when I go pick them up at the studio.

Yes, I still need to practice, but it’s so satisfying to eat out of a bowl my hands created.

Bollywood Mango Rolls
ボリウッド・マンゴーロール

Homemade rolls are the best.


This is my homemade mango chutney.

It’s so easy to make and it’s so delicious when you make it yourself.

My hoemamde mango chutney was rolled in curry spiced dough.

This is just out of the oven.

They are good as they are…

But I decided to dress them up a little, with (store-bought) mango chutney glaze; I like this brand.

I sprinkled chopped fresh mint and cilantro.

Don’t they look great?!

I love anything savory and sweet, and this roll is savory, sweet, AND spiced up!

What could be better than that?

Yes, I’m still working on putting focus on food…

Have a great weekend!

Can’t believe we are having snow in April!!

Where is spring???

Secret Garden Sushi Cake
秘密の花園寿司ケーキ

Happy Easter!

My husband got me these beautiful tulips.

Tulip is one of my favorite flowers.

It looks so good in my white kitchen.

So for Easter, when it comes to food, it’s all about the pretty pastel colors, in my opinion.

Ham is out.

So, in that case, really anything goes, right?

So what did I make?

A sushi cake!

This was such a fun project, and I really enjoyed putting this together.

We are big green tea drinkers.

We usually stick to real Japanese tea grown in Japan, but this Harney and Sons’ Matcha Iri Genmaicha is my recent favorite.

Love the color and the design of the container, too.

It comes in individual bags.

I was happy to see the individually cut pieces looked still pretty.

Yep, I got my Easter blouse out.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Adzuki Brownies
小倉ブラウニー

We hear that our country has been becoming diverse.

But when I saw “Adzuki” beans being sold at a regular (not an Asian store) grocery store, the word “diversity” really hit me.

I almost couldn’t believe it!

Adzuki beans are typically cooked to make sweet bean paste that has been a major part of traditional Japanese sweets for many many years.

Although some Japanese dishes (e.g., sushi, ramen) have become pretty well-known, adzuki has not really caught any attention.

So I was extremely surprised that they were this easy to come by.

The price is not bad either.

I bought 300g (0.66 lbs) and it was less than $3.

My mom cooks adzuki beans herself and makes sweet paste.

But this was my first time cooking adzuki, and I quickly found out that cooking beans can take time.

It took me a little over 2 hours from start to finish, but it was so worth it, because it tastes so much better than the store-bought one that I usually get from an Asian store.

There are so many things you can make with this, but there was a recipe I wanted to try.

Brownies!

Adzuki beans and chocolate?

Well, it’s actually not a bad combination.

These brownies are tasty yet light, and before you know it, your hand is reaching for one after another.

The recipe called for rice flour.

I don’t have a lot of experience baking with rice flour, so I didn’t know what to expect.

But I really liked the final result.

Texture-wise, it’s closer to cake than brownies.

These can be a nice little gift when wrapped individually.

By the way, I started pottery again.

I’m still the super beginner, and there are a lot to learn.

But I really enjoy serving food on my own plate.