clean eating

Step By Step Vegan Curry Cashew Cabbage

Cabbage is like tahini, once you’ve used it for hummus, it sits in your fridge forever. Seriously though, how many of you have had to let a half, or a quarter head of cabbage rot after you’ve made your coleslaw or whatever? Living in the countryside has been difficult but it’s also had its perks. For one, I am constantly gifted vegetables. And not just any vegetables but ones grown with much love and care. Any-who, what to do with all these cabbage heads? Pinterest! Where I got the idea for this simple curry cashew cabbage thingamajig that I slightly adapted (since that one used butter and much ginger). Enjoy!

STEP ONE: gather your ingredients
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1/2 cup raw unsalted cashews
1/2 smallish cabbage head
1 tsp turmeric
salt and pepper to taste
image[1]STEP TWO: melt coconut oil in a pan (med heat), add cashews and cumin and stir until both are fragrant and golden.

STEP THREE: add cabbage, add turmeric, stir. 

STEP FOUR: tis not really a step but just keep stirring for a further 5 or so minutes then nomnomnom away!image[2]

 

Vegan turnip, carrot and bean soup

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This was simply an “I need to use up these vegetables” moment that just happened to work. It’s so easy it’s not even a recipe and I’m no chef, I just chopped some veggies and put them in a pot with water and some spice then hovered impatiently over it then burnt my tongue badly from it.

1 onion, chopped small
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes
3 or so cups water
2 cups small white turnips, chopped
1 cup wild carrots, chopped (regular carrots are OK, too!)
1/2 cup green peas

1 can of all natural mixed beans

Fresh coriander
Salt and pepper

Saute onions with oil in a medium pot on medium heat until translucent.

Add tomato paste and saute for a further minute.

Add everything else (spices, vegetables, water) and simmer at medium-low heat for 20ish minutes. Since the beans are pre-cooked the whole thing shouldn’t take that long to cook and come together.

Pour into bowls and serve with fresh coriander and salt and pepper, to taste.

HASHTAGsurvivingajapanesewinter.

Avocado chocolate mousse

In my previous post we established that to succeed at health-food blogging one must acquire an adorable child. So, here’s Emma, the cutest one of all promoting my healthy chocolate mousse.

Emma says, well if she could speak, she would say, “have you tried the unusual yet delicious combo that is avocado or as we Japanese say, “abocado” and chocolate?! Here, auntie Anisa presents it in the form of a HEALTHY delectable mousse topped with mixed frozen berries and raw macadamias. I sure digs it.”

Recipe here.
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Fat free chips

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What’s the bet this will become my most viewed post? Guess only time shall tell. Last week, I was given a bag full of sunchokes AKA Jerusalem artichokes from my friend and our local organic farmer, Gery. Sunchokes are knobby-looking tubers that grow underground. They are rich in vitamins and practically fat free. According to Gery-san, they grow all year round but are at their sweetest in winter. They are to be eaten like a potato, roasted, pureed into soup or last but not least, chipified. But, since I don’t eat fried food (lol), okay, you caught me, let’s try that again, since I don’t cook fried food, I baked my sunchokes. Baked em free of fat, salt or any additives at all.

Unlike most tubers, but in common with many other members of the Asteraceae (including the artichoke), sunchokes store the carbohydrate inulin (not to be confused with insulin) instead of starch. For this reason, sunchokes are the best “clean” potato substitute both for diabetics and the health conscious in general.

Ingredients:
Sunchokes.

Preheat toaster oven to 260C (don’t fret, I’m sure a regular oven will work too! You might just have to squat a few times outside of your gym schedule).
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Wash sunchokes then slice em thin – best to use a slicer thingy (no need to peel, the extra fiber is good).
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Rub between paper towels in order to draw out as much moisture as possible.
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Place sunchoke slices on an oven tray and bake in small batches until crispy.image[4]
That’s it! Just watch them so they don’t burn by turning them often (hence the squatting/gym reference).

Nothing else, no oil, no spice, no salt. Just as is. You’ll be surprised at how naturally flavorful and sweet they are all nat-u-ral.

Enjoy as you would regular chips, with a movie, smothered in dip or at 3am in your lonesome bed. Nah, just kidding no one does that… so a more appropriate suggestion for this hashtagfitfam generation would be to mix them through your paleo salad.

Broccoli, pecan and raisin salad

Last night we celebrated the birthday of the three youngest boys in our village ;). Well, the neighboring village to my village which I have forcefully entered myself. As usual, much tasty food was had but for me, the star of the night was Aki-chan’s Broccoli salad. It was proof that something so simple has the potential to be so delicious. I do not have the exact recipe but this is what I imagine it is according to the details Aki gave.

One head of broccoli, steamed
Raw pecans, chopped
Raisins, as is
1 tbsp grape-seed oil
1 tsp soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Simply mix everything together.
Yum, vegan and nutritious!

Images (from top to bottom): broccoli salad, ginger chicken, okara banana cake and chocolate chickpea cake.

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Post holiday diet

I have a love/hate relationship with Japan. Love because it’s a fascinating country and hate because it’s so darn difficult finding health-foods (and fookin expensive when you do!) For example, there are NO, seriously ZERO “healthy” options sold at the highway service areas. No fruit, no salad, no raw nuts/bars, just more instant additive-laden soup and noodles and white-rice rice balls and sweets, so many sweets with cream and anko (red bean paste).

The ‘sister visit’ was unforgettable but now, it’s time to once again, healthify my life especially seeing as it’s nearly the New Year and all.

Yeah yeah we’ll see how long I can keep this up for ;)

First: mixed seed crackers from The Breadman Organic Bakery (Christchurch), homemade ricotta, cucumber, avocado, raw walnuts and tomato.

Second: 1 banana, 1/2 cup unsweetened So Good almond milk, handful of freeze-dried blackcurrants blended together and topped with homemade granola, pomegranate seeds and silvered almonds.

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My most viewed post

I dedicate this re-post to my one and only sister, Delaram who has repeatedly shared, liked and commented on every single one of my blog-posts both online and in person. Deli, I appreciate every one of your efforts If I ever “make it” you’ll be the one person I won’t forget harharhar

Delaram loves carrot cake which is why I attempted these truffles in the first place and you know what else? She’s coming all the way to Japan to see me in THREE days. We have a FULL (and fun) schedule so watch this space!

The recipe for my “Mind-Blowing Carrot Cake Truffles” is my most viewed post yet: 24,907 and counting. I know, it isn’t that much compared to all the famous food bloggers out there but for me, it’s insane. Especially when the views come from St. Lucia, Zambia, Ecuador,  Qatar, Morocco, Cameroon, Benin, Luxembourg and Poland! WOW.

Blogging, at least for me, takes a lot of perseverance and faith. It’s laborious putting your energy and time into something without knowing what, if any, results will come of your actions. I haven’t started making a living off of my blog/writing yet, but for now, I’m over-the-moon knowing you’re eating these instead of cake.

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Another green smoothie and my favourite Japanese illustrator

Good morning! How is it Wednesday already? Time really does fly (on a jet plane) but today, I ain’t complaining because in exactly 23 days, my sister and brother-in-law are coming to visit me in JAPAN (not that I’m counting or anything). I’ll be honest, I’m rather homesick.. I miss Christchurch. I miss the atmosphere of the Riccarton Bush Farmers’ market, I miss C1s vegetarian sliders, I miss Cafe Valentino and my CV family and I even miss my stupid dog’s (sorry, my SISTER’s stupid dog’s) non-stop barking. Oh and my friends and my mama and my papa as well.

I have two things for you on this gloriously cold Winter day:

First, another green-smoothie recipe:
1 banana
1 kiwi
handful of kale
handful of spinach
3/4 cup of water

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Notice the fruit sticker.
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Next, my favourite Japanese illustrator:
Mitsuie Yusaku

Someone once said, good art is that which reflects a little or a lottle of yourself. Well, actually I just said that but I’m sure someone once said the equivalent. I first came across Mitsuie’s work in an adorable stationary shop at Osaka station and his illustration (below) of a lady with a top bun writing on a large desk with an open drawer and a hot cup of tea by her side instantly reminded me of myself. In other words, I could relate. That’s the whole point of art isn’t it?

Below are a few of my favourites but if you’d like to see more of Mitsuie’s work and consequently, a piece of yourself in his illustrations, visit Mitsuie’s website by clicking his name.

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