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Vegan Crab Cakes
Vクラブケーキ

Variety is important for almost anything.

But when it comes to eating, it is essential.

No one wants to eat the same thing over and over.

Having variety can be a challenge when you are on a specific diet like we do: plant-based diet.

Well, I did some research, and I learned that it is possible to make plant-based “crab” cakes.

Some recipes call for hearts of palm and some others list jackfruit as the main ingredient.

So I decided to use both for mine.

These are hearts of palm.

This was my first time to try this.

I cut them into small pieces and then shredded by using the food processor.

For the jackfruit, I cooked it in boiling water for a minute or so, and then loosened it using my hands.

I have used jackfruit before.

I mostly like it as it does have an interesting texture.

But there is one thing that usually bothers me.

Its smell.

It’s not the natural smell of jackfruit, but it’s the smell of the brine in the can.

Cooking it in boiling water seemed to help a bit, but this time I also sprinkled some sugar, which did seem to help taking away the smell quite well.

Look at this!

If I didn’t know, I would believe it’s crab meat!!

I LOVED these vegan crab cakes, really everything about them, from the taste to the look, to the texture!

Vegan crab cakes (makes 8 small cakes):
1 can hearts of palm (drained and shredded in food processor)
1 can green jackfruit (cook in boiling water, mix with sugar, remove excess liquid, shred with hands)
chopped scallion
a few spoonfuls homemade vegan mayo
Dijon mustard
celery seeds
paprika
cayenne pepper
ground mustard
salt and pepper
sugar
a few sprinkles garbanzo bean flour; I added as a binder but I’m not sure if it’s “necessary” or not.

Spicy Summer Soba
ピリ辛夏そば

What’s your go-to meal on a hot and humid summer day?

Mine is cold noodles.

Soba noodles were served with homemade almond tofu, Wakame seaweed, and summer veggies.

So refreshing and tasty!!

Tofu Stuffed Bitter Melon Tempura
豆腐詰めゴーヤ天ぷら

 


My bitter melon adventure continues.

My first bitter melon dish, namul, did not fly.

I could not eat more than a few bites, because it was too bitter.

My next bitter melon dish was my previous post, smoothie.

It was still a bit bitter, but the bitterness was surprisingly pleasant.

Many people recommended tempura.

I was a bit skeptical, but when I heard some people say “I don’t like bitter melon, but I like it when it’s tempura,” I got encouraged.

I was initially planning to make simple tempura, but then I saw some meat-stuffed versions, and I thought it would be fun to stuff mine with tofu.

(I used scrambled tofu that was flavored quite heavily with various spices, including cumin, for the stuffing.)

It was still bitter, but I actually liked it.

I wonder if tempura makes bitter melon easier to eat, or it is me that is getting used to bitter melon.

I simply enjoyed it with Kosher salt.

I also really liked the combination of bitter melon and tofu.

Here was my bitter melon dish, number 4.

Braised bitter melon.

This was pretty tasty too.

Now I used up all the bitter melon I bought.

At this point I’m not sure if I will go back to buy more…

Bitter Melon Smoothie
ゴーヤスムージー

Bitter melon is a popular summer vegetable in Japan.

I’ve never tried it in Japan or in the U.S.

But when I saw it at a local Asian grocery store, I decided to give it a try.

This is what I got.

I thought it was pretty reasonable.

I initially made namul with it.

My reaction to my very first bite of bitter melon?

“Bitter!”

I knew it was supposed to be bitter, but it was much more bitter than I thought.

Unfortunately, I had to throw it away.

I asked other people including my mother some ideas on how to cook/eat bitter melon.

My parents grow bitter melon in their garden, but my mother told me that it’s not her favorite.

She did tell me that she does like bitter melon smoothie (and tempura).

She gave me her smoothie recipe (bitter melon, banana, apple, milk), and I decided to give it a try.

I didn’t have apples, so I used gold kiwi and cherry plum.

I could still taste the bitterness from the melon, but the bitterness was rather pleasant.

Interestingly, a lot of people told me that they initially did not like the bitterness, but then they have come to love it.

So I’m hopeful…

Bagel Breakfast Sandwich
朝食ベーグルサンドイッチ

The king of breakfast!

Yesterday we decided to visit a farmers market different from our local one to check out other vendors, and I got some beautiful bread, including these bagels.

So I knew I wanted to make a sandwich for breakfast this morning.

In this sandwich you’ll find spinach, tomato, scrambled tofu, tempeh, and homemade vegan mayo.

It was super tasty and a great start of the day.

Almond Tofu
アーモンド豆腐

Remember my first homemade tofu, Sunflower Tofu?

Well, I liked it so much that I decided to make tofu again.

This time, an almond version.

It’s so easy to make, and it turns out great this time too.

Very creamy and smooth.

Carrot Ginger Bread with Cranberries
キャロットジンジャークランベリーブレッド

Time to bake bread.

Carrot Ginger.

Carrot Ginger Cranberry.

Now I need to make vegan butter.

Pasta with V-Meatballs
Vミートボールパスタ

Going back to basics.

Who doesn’t like pasta with red sauce and meatballs?!

When the meatballs are plant-based, it’s even better in my opinion!

Homemade vegan meatballs.

Don’t they look delicious?!

I know it’s carb-overload, but I really enjoyed the garlic bread my husband made to complement the dish.

By the way, the pasta was homemade too, and it made this dish a bit special.

Black Bean Walnut Matcha Bread
黒豆胡桃抹茶ブレッド

This is one of my favorites.

Black beans, walnuts, and Matcha.

How can it be not good, right?

It was beautiful inside and out.

You can see how well it’s packed with beans and nuts.

It was great with a thick spread of my homemade vegan butter.

But you can make it special by pouring some maple syrup, too.

So good!!

Zen Soba Soup
ZEN 蕎麦

A bowl of soba noodle soup always makes me smile.

First soba noodles.

And then soup.

But after that you can just add whatever you like.

Lucky me, I had some homemade sunflower seed tofu.

I hope everyone had a good start of the week.