Japan Assorted

Odaiba, Tokyo:
Those boats are restaurants. Romantic, right?!
A big game arcade.
Sumo game which I played and lost (sad face).image[3]image[2]
Japan obligatory, purikura  (or in my language, “sticky photos”) where you can thin your face, enlargen your eyes, change their color and much much more!
Japan famous Kobe duo performing at Odaiba, Tokyo:
Tokyo art students’ exhibition. Is there anything more beautiful than seeing creativity at work?
First time trying Taco Bell (in Tokyo-go figure). Verdict? Good! Much prefer the soft tortilla to the crunchy corn one though.
I’m not sure if you know, but I take all of my photos with my iPhone so I apologise for the low quality of the night photos. I hope you can still see the purple reflection of the ferris wheel though.
Osaka somewhere:
Delicious Pakistani food and immaculate service. Click HERE for more details.
One last time at Osaka station:
My favorite, Moku Moku:
Suita Green Place, Oasis supermarket:
In other words, Japan has it all!

Easy Vegan Mexican Rice

Last night we had a little get together for D’s birthday. He’s the JET (that’s the program I’m here with) ALT (assistant language teacher) that’s been in Mimasaka “city” for the longest between him, A and me.

I am so thankful for D. If it wasn’t for him, I would have had to do a lot more biking around to find where I can purchase pretty plates, pay utility bills and buy avocados. Though if you can remember/have been following for that long, I still did A LOT of initial biking/adventuring around. But in all seriousness, D has been amazing and I would have had an even harder time surviving this place without his friendship and ability to speak both Japanese and English. Ari-ga-to brother.

Anywho, D is from Jamaica but since I don’t know anything about Jamaican food other than the incredible Jamaican banana fritters he made us once (sweet, savory and cinnamony all at the same time), I opted for Mexican cuisine seeing as it’s relatively easy to throw a Mexican/taco night.

From my previous experience of Mexican nights in Japan thus far…A and I stuck to the basics, mince, guacamole, chopped veggies, sour cream, jalapenos, shredded cheese and of course, tortillas. But this time, I also made a super easy/lazy but healthy “Mexican” vegan rice (below). For dessert/cake we simply topped a chocolate brownie with plain yoghurt and strawberries.

2 cups long-grain brown rice
1 onion, chopped small
2 cups frozen mixed carrot, peas and corn
1 can of preservative-free pinto beans, drained
1 can whole peeled tomatoes
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp hot chili powder
salt and pepper

First, cook rice as per packet instructions – this is probably the trickiest part… try not to over-cook like moi.

In a large pan, fry onion with a little oil until golden.

Add mixed veggies and stir-fry for 5-10 minutes.

Add everything else, pinto beans, tomatoes, turmeric, cumin, chili, salt and pepper and cooked rice then mix to combine.

Cook for a further 5 or so minutes or until everything’s steamin’.

Eat as a side-dish, as a main-dish or stuffed inside a burrito.

Step by step guacamole

Not to blow my own trumpet or anything but I’m kind of the guacamole queen. Once at a dull party (not mine, obviously), this random dude came up to me before leaving and said, “I only stayed this long for the guacamole”, which is how I became the guacamole queen, you see! My secret? Simplicity. No need for coriander or chilli.

1 avocado
half a lemon
salt and pepper
1 tomato

scoop out avo flesh
add lemon
season with salt and pepper
top with chopped tomatoes

Strawberry and Avocado Salsa

This summer inspired salsa is definitely an “i accidently ate the whole thing” dish – it’s super healthy and insanely addictive!

2 ripe avocados, diced medium 
1 punnet strawberries, diced medium
1 small red onion, diced small
1/2 bunch coriander, chopped finely 
1 red chilli pepper, diced small
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp olive oil

Simply combine all ingredients in a bowl and serve with your favourite chips (advocating healthy-eating and all, I used Garden of Eatin’s organic, gluten and preservative-free chia seed corn chips).