wholefoods

I Heart American Healthfood Stores

The other day, Soroosh asked me, of all the places we’ve been together, where would I like to go again before leaving nashville. So I screamed, WHOLEFOODS. Also, Trader Joe’s. American health/organic supermarkets are SO much better than any I’ve ever visited ever. From NZ to Australia to Japan to Europe, Merica is the best. The best. I want to live in their (the supermarkets’) shelves. Right next to the turmeric coconut water. Or the Nigerian cacao nibs.
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Wholefoods has this amazing buffet section where you can fill a plate or box with a HUGE assortment of hot and cold healthy, organic, vegetarian and vegan dishes. They also sell pre-made stuff like brown-rice sushi and quinoa rolls etc. It truly is heaven. If I needed a reason to live in America, this would be it. I could eat healthy and organic everyday and I could do it without a single effort.
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Unlike Wholefoods, Trader Joe’s isn’t entirely organic but it’s still a really fun and upbeat healthfoods market. Gosh, sometimes (haha) I love Americans!
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All of the over-Instagrammed protein bars. Yep, all of em.
image-2-png-14Mmmm sunflower seed butter!

Day Nine, Our First Hanami!

Hanami┬áliterally means “flower viewing”, however, it commonly refers only to cherry blossom viewing. Cherry blossom viewing is easy: simply enjoy the intensity of the many blossoms by looking at a single tree or a group of trees and eat good food. I made Petite Kitchen’s gluten and refined-sugar free cheesecake topped with 100% cherry jam, My New Root’s Life-Changing Loaf, hummus, babaganoush/eggplant dip (recipe below) and a simple pasta salad with tuna, blue-cheese stuffed olives, red onion, parsley and cherry tomatoes. My beautiful friend Mina prepared a vegetable frittata, brown rice, carrot, mushroom and soybean onigiri (rice ball), rice-paper rolls, semi-dried bananas, a tomato salad and cut fruit. It was all so good. I am so happy. Happy one year Japanniversary to me! <3

PS: Just like that, sakura carpets, already!
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Babaganoush:
1 large eggplant
2 tbsp tahini
juice of half a lemon
2 garlic cloves

Optional toppings: a handful of skinned then roasted pistachio nuts, some sesame seeds, and a small dollop of extra virgin olive oil.

You’re going to take me as a fool but I’m not kidding, honto (really in Japanese). Place the eggplant as is in a toaster oven or normal oven on high heat (mine goes up to 220) until burnt on the outside and squishy on the inside. Don’t fret the burnt skin, it’s what gives this dip its smoke.

When cooled, scoop out the insides and blitz alongside remaining ingredients (excluding toppings – well, duh) in a food processor or in batches, in a blender like moi. Das all. Top with toppings and enjoy with bread, cut veggies, grissini or what have you!