Savory

Weekend Vibes

I started looking at what other foodies were tagging their Instagram photos with and this one, #weekendvibes seemed especially popular. So, I started using it and voila! 20+ followers! Hehe. Are YOU following my Instagram yet? The following are pictures from my weekend or vibes of my weekend or the weekend of my vibes?

And, I’ve started utilizing Instagram in other ways. Maybe you hardcore foodies already do this but I began searching particular places (as opposed to specific tags), like “Tottori City” and that way, came across many a delicious foodie pictures taken at quirky restaurants and cafes that I would have otherwise never have known existed. That’s how Yasuko and I ended up at Moco Lifestyle – so stylish!

The salad is simply a cup of cooked wholewheat couscous, mixed with a can of mixed beans (drained and rinsed), cooked asparagus, raw cucumber, juicy green sultanas, a splash of olive oil, juice of half a lemon, sea salt and ground pepper. Delishas.
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Frittata For Dummies

I have the lovely Laura (aka Yoooya) from Belgium staying with me for a few days and I couldn’t be more grateful! Not only has she been absolutely lovely and great company but also, my lab mouse. Last night I baked us my very first frittata and she said it was delicious! Providing Laura actually meant it and wasn’t just saying it for free accommodation, you too, can create this deliciousness.

This fool-proof recipe can be easily doubled and adapted:

6 free-range eggs
1/4 cup of full-fat dairy (milk, sour-cream, creme fraiche, coconut cream or yoghurt)
sprinkle of sea salt and ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated mozzarella (or cheddar)
1/2 white onion, diced small
2 cups potato, peeled and diced small (or sweet potato, or pumpkin)
1 cup of spinach, torn (or broccoli or any other vegetable like asparagus, edamame beans, mushroom, etc)
handful of fresh mint, torn (or basil, parsley and coriander)
1/4 cup blue cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts

The trick to a good frittata says the internet, is to fully cook the add-ins so…

Beat the first 4 ingredients together in a large bowl then set aside

Next brown the onion (usually on medium heat with a little oil in a frying pan).

Add potato, cook until tender (about 10 minutes).

Add spinach and mint, cook for a minute.

Combine vegetables with egg mixture.

Pour into an oven-proof dish.

Top with torn blue cheese, pine nuts and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Bake at 200C for 20-22 minutes (keep an eye on it!)

Serve hot or cold but always with salad! imageimage[1]

Nothing Beats Persian Food

Nothing. Nada. Nil.

In addition to all of the other food, I have been eating some LEGIT Persian food. And not any Persian food but Persian food made with love by my loving mama and talented sister. And, with local and organic ingredients. Oh my, how I wish you could taste it too!

From top to bottom: Persian breakfast featuring a wholemeal fruit and nut loaf from Vic’s Cafe, khoreshteh gheymeh bademjoon (a lentil, eggplant and beef dish) with saffron rice, salad, yoghurt and pickled vegetables. And last but best of all, ghormesabzi (a green stew made from beef, red kidney beans and a combination of herbs and vegetables). Yum to the freakin’ O.
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This Is What Rural Japan Looks Like

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Spring Quinoa Salad 

1 cup Quinoa cooked in 2 cups of water
bunch of asparagus, blanched in hot water for 10 seconds
punnet of green peas, blanched ” ” ” ” ” ”
punnet of snap peas, blanched  ” ” ” ” ” ”
1/2 cup cooked and shelled edamame beans
some red grapes, sliced
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup pistachios
bunch fresh parsley, torn small
bunch fresh mint torn small

Dressing:
juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper

Combine all salad ingredients together and gently mix.

Combine all dressing ingredients together in a small jar and shake shake shake then mix through salad.

Refrigerate.

Some People Come To Japan And Turn Japanese

and others retreat to their roots.Because, there’s only so much salt, sugar and seaweed a girl can take. Ah, I feel so ready to move on to my next chapter… though I know how important it is to enjoy the now and how dangerous it is to wait wait wait. Especially when we don’t know what could happen the very next second. So, I have booked my ticket to Spain! For which, as you can imagine, I am crazy excited. I wish it was sooner. And this wish is dangerous. So, I must try to be positive and to continue making the most of my current situation. Because there are a lot of things I (hate is a strong word but still) hate about my job and my place of residence. But, it’s not forever. It’s a learning experience. It HAS been an incredible learning experience and and this too shall pass. So I will continue to actively foster creativity in my everyday at the same time as eagerly awaiting my future adventures.

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
-Viktor E. Frankl

Pictures: my number 1 love, which used to be a pancake but is now a Persian breakfast and my Persian-inspired bento which is actually a big contradiction because Lunch for Iranians is the biggest meal of the day. So, this tiny thing would definitely not be sufficient but alas the flavors are there. Recipe below.
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1 cup brown jasmine rice
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 small pumpkin
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes
bunch of fresh parsley (chopped or torn)
1/2 cup raw walnut pieces
1/4 cup raisins
bunch of young radish (sliced thin)

Dressing:
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp black pepper

Cook rice as per packet instructions but incorporate the turmeric in the cooking water.
Once done, let cool.

Chop pumpkin small then toss in a bowl with a tbsp of oil (I used olive) and a sprinkle of salt and pepper then bake in a toaster oven or oven oven on high (220C) turning every now and then and keeping a close eye on it for 20 or so minutes or until crispy and golden. Again, let cool.

Mix rice and pumpkin with remaining salad ingredients together.

To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a small jar and do as T Swift and shake shake shake it IN TO the salad.

Refrigerate before nomnom for best results or  bon appétit if you just can’t wait!

Experimenting In Ze Kitchen

Most of the time I don’t follow a recipe. Instead, I experiment and end up pleasantly surprised (most of the time). Below are some of my recent creations. From top to bottom: gluten, refined-sugar and dairy-free walnut and mandarin cake which I made using the juice of two mandarins and which ended up tasting not a smidgen mandariney but still yum according to my mom (that rhymed). Wholemeal turmeric, sundried-tomato and parsley muffins, and today’s lunch: a green salad of broccoli, snap-peas and asparagus, all young and all blanched in hot water for 4 seconds then tossed with raw pumpkin seeds and pistachio nuts before being dressed in lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper.
Oishi katta (it was delicious).  They were delicious.
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Two Days!

I can’t believe how fast time flies. My parents bought their tickets to Japan 8 months ago! I remember texting my mother and saying  I couldn’t wait that long! Now they’re arriving in just 2 days! I literally cannot wait to share my life in Japan with them and our time in Japan, with you!

Here are some pics from the past few days… First, yours truly, all dressed up for the end of year staff party wearing the necklace my student gifted me. Next, the dinner set up.. isn’t it adorable? It’s sakura themed. That night, we ate many things which I didn’t photograph because 1. I wanted to enjoy the moment and 2. It was really bad lighting. Okay, mostly 2 hehehe. Anyways, we ate sashimi (raw fish), salad, rice balls, fried chicken, fried squid, fried octopus, fries and okonomiyaki (a savoury pancake). Third picture is a perfect example of how unhealthy some Japanese eat, an entire basket of ramen. Second last, banana and cacao nib muffins rising… Last but not least, pics of today’s stove-top granola, made for my parents. If you’ve read my bio then you’ll know my mum is the healthiest eater in our family. This granola is basically all she eats hehe. Recipe HERE.

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I Was Summoned To Make Dal

I’d swore I’d never do it. I’d swore I’d never post 10 pictures of the same damn thing from different angles like all of the other food bloggers but today is an exception. I was summoned to make Indian daal, dal, dahl or dhal, however you spell it. Here are the pictorials, followed by the cooking instructions. Oishikata (it was delicious).image[3]imageimage[2]image[1]image[4]image[5]image[6]

2 cups yellow split peas
1 cup orange lentils
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 cinnamon stick

(In a large pot, bring the above with 2-3 cups of water to the boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour or until soft and mushy – you will need to stir and top up the water every now and then)

1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
1 medium onion, chopped small
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped small
1/2 knob of ginger, chopped small
1 tbsp vegetarian indian curry paste (optional)
2 medium tomatoes, chopped small
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tbsp sea salt
1 can coconut cream

In a frying pan, warm 2-3 tbsp vegetable oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard and cumin seeds, cover the pan and wait briefly until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Then add onion, garlic, ginger and curry paste. Fry until translucent. Add remaining ingredients: tomatoes, pepper, coriander powder and sea salt and cook for 10 minutes or so or until the flavours have melded.

Now add the lentil mixture to the onion/tomato mixture or vice versa and stir.

Turn the heat down and bit by bit add the coconut cream depending on your desired consistency. To state the obvious, the more coconut milk, the runnier the curry.

fresh coriander
2-3 tbsp coconut cream
squeeze of lemon

Serve topped with fresh coriander, a splash of coconut cream and a squeeze of lemon.

 

One Pot Pasta With Broccoli, Olives, Mascarpone and Lemon

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I think I’m just gonna go ahead and marry myself.

140g dried wholemeal penne
200g young broccoli with its young leaves, cut into small florets
some kalamata olives
juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp basil pesto
3 tbsp light mascarpone (left over from that amazing cheesecake I made)
½ small bunch parsley, torn

Cook the pasta following pack instructions, adding the broccoli 4 mins before the end of the cooking time.

Reserve a cup of the water, then drain everything and tip back into the pot.

Add all remaining ingredients to the pot + enough of the pasta water to create a creamy sauce. Season with a good grinding of black pepper and a little sea salt.

Makes for two.