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Strawberry Cookies with White Chocolate Chips
苺ホワイトチョコレートクッキー

Who doesn’t like the white chocolate and strawberry combination?!

It’s a match made in heaven.

I was afraid that the chocolate chips might melt while baking, so I decided to put them right out of the oven, when the cookies were still hot.

Soft.

Chewy.

So good!!

Japanese Curry and Rice with Summer Vegetables
カレーライスと夏野菜

Once in a while I crave for Japanese curry and I make it.

It tastes good particularly in summer.

 

I sautéed zucchini and asparagus in a pan, and roasted Kabocha squash in the oven.

Homemade pickled ginger.

Watermelon Pickles
西瓜ピクルス

My mother used to make watermelon pickles when I was a child.

I thought it was kind of silly to rescue what seemed to be garbage to me at that time (although I did like to eat the pickles!).

I forgot about it for a long time.

But last weekend I had a chance to buy a watermelon because I was supposed to bring it to our family picnic to celebrate father’s day.

After cutting it into cubes, while looking at the pile of rind, I remembered the pickles and decided to make some myself.

I like to keep a little red flesh, which gives nice sweetness as well as the beautiful pink color.

I made three different versions.

This one is the basic one: watermelon rind and salt.

This is how my mother used to make.

This one is a bit sweeter version: watermelon rind, salt, sugar, white vinegar, black peppercorns, fresh dill, bay leaves.

This one is soy-sauce based and a bit spicy: watermelon rind, salt, sugar, soy sauce, white vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, crushed red pepper. Served with sesame seeds.

They all turned out great, but my husband and I agreed that we loved the second and the third ones.

Our neighbor, Mr. K picked the third one as his favorite.

Mango Coconut Rice Flour Steamed Buns
マンゴーココナッツ米粉蒸しパン

Rice flour steamed bun is one of my favorite snacks.

They are light yet satisfying at the same time.

I had a beautiful mango, and I used both pureed and diced for the batter.

Coconuts were also added to the batter, and then more coconuts were toasted and sprinkled on top.

So good!

Natto Soba Salad with Miso Dressing
納豆紫蘇そばサラダ

Various Japanese food items have become popular in the U.S. and the rest of the western world over the years.

But Natto is something you don’t see much (or at all!), and probably there is a good reason.

Natto is sticky (as you can see in the pictures above) and has a distinctive smell.

My husband and I have been married for about 15 years, and he eats almost everything I eat except for a few things.

Natto is one of them.

It’s amazing how quickly he can detect that I’m eating Natto just with the smell.

On the other hand, I am a huge Natto fan, and I make sure I always have several packages in the freezer.

Natto was served over soba noodles along with tomato, Shiso basil, fried onion, and sweet miso dressing.

This salad may not for everybody, but it is definitely for me!

Olive Sun-Dried Tomato Herbed Cookies
オリーブサンドライトマトハーブクッキー

I like rules, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I am a rule-follower in general.

I read furniture assembly instructions.

The best part of learning a new language for me is learning the grammar.

However, when it comes to cooking and baking, I am everything but a rule-follower!

I hate following recipes, and I’m always looking for food ideas that are unconventional.

So when this savory cookie idea came to me, I got excited.

I used one of my favorite cookie recipes as a base, and I added things that I like (olives, sun-dried tomatoes, Italian inspired dried herbs, fresh dill, black pepper).

So I was pretty confident that these would turn out good.

Well, these turned out not just good, but great!

These are salty and slightly sweet, the dangerous flavor combination that makes you want to keep eating!

Do not serve with milk. (lol)

Recommended beverage: chilled white wine.

Olive Sun-Dried Tomato Herbed Cookies– makes 24 cookies; adapted from this recipe

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup almond butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
1.5 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
sundried tomato, chopped
black olives, chopped
dried Italian herbs
fresh dill, chopped
black pepper

1. Mix all the ingredients.
2. Roll into small balls and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten a little.
3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

Oatmeal Zucchini Savory Pancakes
オートミールズッキーニ総菜パンケーキ

I like oatmeal, and I eat it for breakfast a lot.

On weekends I still want to have oatmeal in the morning, but I also want my weekend meal a bit special.

So I decided to make oatmeal into savory pancakes.

Oatmeal Zucchini Savory Pancakes: oatmeal, grated zucchini, chopped scallion, extra firm tofu, flour, chickpea flour, water, sugar, salt, pepper, soy sauce, nutritional yeast, cumin.

The pancakes turned out great!

I enjoyed them with mustard mayo.

Beet Bagel with Herbed Feta and Lingonberry Jam
ビーツベーグル、ハーブチーズとコケモモジャムのせ

Good morning!

I always like bright colors on my plate, but they make me happy particularly when I see them in my breakfast.

It makes me feel that I’m starting my day right.

Homemade beet bagel, homemade vegan herbed feta cheese, and lingonberry jam from World Market.

The tanginess and herbal flavors from the cheese go so well with the sweet lingonberries.

Have a great day, everyone!

Plant Chirashi Sushi Bowl
Vちらし寿司

Chirashi has always been one of my favorite sushi dishes.

In regular Chirashi bowl you will find various types of fish placed over sushi rice.

Since I switched to the plant-based diet, I have wanted to make a plant-based version.

When I succeeded in making this delicious vegan “salmon” I knew I was finally ready.

This turned out delicious and pretty, and completely satisfied my craving!

Asparagus Galette
アスパラガス田舎パイ

What’s in season now?

Rhubarb and asparagus.

At least in this region.

How do I know it?

Well, those are the two things I see at the local farmers market at this time.

Asparagus is so good and sweet.

I wanted to make a dish where I can really make asparagus the star, and I thought a galette would do.

I added a little vegan “cheese-egg” base at the bottom, and it complimented the asparagus well.

Vegan “Cheese-Egg” Base for this galette:
-about 1/4 cup vegan homemade mayo
-about 1/2 cup vegan homemade herbed feta cheese
-about 1/3 cup garbanzo flour
-a few tablespoons water to create thick paste texture

-Spread the base on rolled crust and then place asparagus.
-I sautéed asparagus in a pan for a few minutes. Do not overcook, as it continues to cook in the oven.
-Brush crust with mixture of maple syrup, soy milk, and oil.
-Baked at 425F for about 30 min.