Sunday, October 18, 2015

Easy and Fast Hummus

Basic hummus using canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas) is easy and fast.
Preparing from scratch using dried beans makes hummus a lot better and tastier, but this is easy and fast

and makes good sandwiches!

1 can (15 oz or 16oz) garbanzo beans, drained
2 cloves garlic, roasted (if using a raw one, use just 1 clove)
2 tablespoons tahini
1/2 lemon for lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
a pinch of cumin
a pinch of cayenne (optional)
water (optional) 

Blend all the ingredients together in a blender or a food processor until creamy.
Add some water one spoonful at a time, for easier blending.

Yields: about 1 and 1/2 cups

Stock up with some canned beans!  
Enjoy hummus with chips and fresh vegetable sticks.

Bon Appetite♪

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Coconut Granola "for 2"

New category in my blog; "for 2" recipe is a small portion recipe! 

I don't like leftovers, good amount for small families like us and small portion is good when you just want to try it out.

1 cup/100g oats
2 tablespoons shredded coconuts

1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons coconut oil

dash of cinnamon and other spices (optional)

1/4 cup raisins or red currents
1/4 cup nuts

Temperature and time:
240F /120C-130C/low heat for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown
yield: about 1 pint

Melt coconut oil and add honey. Mix well.
Throw in oats, shredded coconuts, and cinnamon. Mix well.
Spread on a parchment paper on a pan and bake until golden brown about 15-20 minutes depending on your oven.

Stirring occasionally.
Remove from the hot pan and let it cool. Stir occasionally.
Add dry fruits and nuts when it is cooled.

Makes one pint jar.

Enjoy it like the other granolas!
I love to have it as a snack♪

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Sesame Miso with Green Beans and Carrots

Sesame Miso with Green Beans and Carrots

This sesame miso paste is easy to make and can be kept in the freezer for later use. 

Sesame-Miso Paste
8 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds finely ground
2 tablespoons miso (preferably awase-miso brownish miso)
2 teaspoons agave syrup or 1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce

1/2 bag of green beans; cut off the ends and cut the beans into 3 inches or 5 centimeters long.
1/2 carrots; cut into same size as the beans.

Make the sesame miso paste.
Grind the roasted sesame with a mill or 'suri-bachi' until moist and all the sesame seeds are ground. 

Ground sesame seeds

Add other ingredients, agave and soy-sauce, and mix well.

 Sesame miso paste


Boil water, about 4 to 5 times the quantity of the beans.
Add a pinch of salt. 

When the water is boiled, throw in carrots first. Cook on high heat for about a minute and then add the green beans.

Keep on high heat for about 2-4 minutes depending on your preference of softness. (I like them crunchy)

Drain and cool. DO NOT PUT under cold water. 

Marinate them with the sesame paste.
Keep in the refrigerator and serve cold.

*Try not to over-cook the vegetables. Keep the nice green color and the vegetables should be crunchy when you eat them.

*Sesame miso paste is rather dry to the texture at first but, when you add it to the vegetables the moisture of the vegetables will soften the paste.

*Add sesame miso paste to mayo or soy-sauce to make creamy dressing, and may add to dips and sauces.

*Other choices of vegetables: asparagus, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower cucumbers (raw), etc.

click and learn more:
Sesame seeds  are one of the essential ingredients used in Zen vegetarian cooking.
Miso, a soybean paste; a traditional Japanese seasoning made from fermenting soybeans, is something we use in everyday cooking.

Bon appetite! 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Why not dry your zucchini??

One of the major food sources in Zen vegetarian cooking is dried vegetables.
It is not just to preserve the vegetables; by drying them they become more nutritious and flavorful.
Many dried vegetables are used in Zen cooking as a vegetable stock;
 'Shiitake-mushrooms' for example.

So, why not dry zucchini????

Chopping and drying zucchini on the sunny porch.  

Let them sun-bathe! At least for half a day;
occasionally stirring them so that they will dry evenly.

Sundown....pack them in sandwich bags...and off to the freezer.
At this point zucchinis are about half of what they were before drying;
still not completely dried. 
 Keep them moist and half dried.

This way you don't need to defrost or soak them before using.
Just grab some and throw them into your favorite dish.

You can cut them in different shapes and thicknesses.
Today I chopped them small for my zucchini patties!

For just two in the family, this is a perfect way to eat this gigantic zucchini in one dish!

(Recipe will follow shortly)

Vegetables love care♪

Monday, October 12, 2015

Roasted Cauliflower with Romesco Sauce

One day, I found this recipe in one of the magazines I read in my dentist's office. 

I like how the cauliflower was cut. 
It is so playful♪
Japanese say, 'eating with our eyes'
Presentation is very important, not just how it tastes!

Anyway, I have made some changes and made it simpler.

check it out for the original recipe

Cauliflower--sliced as shown in the photo 
                      brush with olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper
Butternut squash (which I found in my fridge) sliced with the skin off    
Romesco sauce:
1 large red pepper cooked (I cook in a skillet with olive oil. Put the whole pepper in a skillet and cook it for about 4 minutes, turning it over. then, cover and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Peel the the skin off. The skin should easily peel off)
1 clove garlic (mashed or grated)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup blanched almonds
1/2 cup tomato sauce (homemade)
salt and pepper
cayenne pepper (optional)

Roast the cauliflower and the butternut squash at 400F for about 30-40minutes.

Put all the ingredients in a blender except for salt and pepper (and cayenne),
blend until smooth.

Serve with roasted vegetables. 

☆ Good recipe! Must try!

Bon appetite♪

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Japanese Cooking Tips 1 ~about sesame seeds~

In my cooking there are and there will be many recipes with 'sesame seeds' used as an ingredient or as  a condiment.

Generally, sesame seeds in Japanese cuisine refer to  "ROASTED sesame seeds" whereas what you find in regular markets in America refer to dried sesame seeds.
 (By the way, TAHINI is made from RAW sesame seeds)

roasted                              chopped                              ground

Different ways to prepare the sesame seeds give different texture to the dish you are preparing.

JAPANESE STYLE grinding uses a special grinding bowl called 'suri-bachi' and a stick, 'suri-kogi'.

Ginding sesame seeds using this bowl and stick makes creamy and smooth paste.  
I think it is different from using an electric mill. The texture of the paste made using this tool is the best as it breaks down the husk of the seeds.

I usually buy the sesame seeds at a Japanese market and re-roast the sesame seeds before I use them, even though they have been previously roasted.

Look forward to recipes with sesame seeds♪