Curried Tomato,Soybean & Rice One-Pot


I think I’ll keep this post short and sweet with a little added spice today.
Annoyingly I have come down with a nasty chest infection which has forced me to take a day off work. I suppose it’s not such a bad thing to stay at home and rest instead of spreading my smelly germs around the school. However, I really can’t handle being cooped up in the flat all day. Sadly, I have no energy to do much, but I’m sure there is a little left in me to write a post on a one-pot rice cooker dish I made last night. I really wanted to share this one. “It’s up there”, as Andy groaned in enjoyment to me last night. I hope it’s up there for you too.

I actually wasn’t so sure how this meal would turn out as I was purely experimenting, but not in an extremely adventurous way though. In saying that, I think I have a fairly good idea on ingredients and flavours which work well together without following a recipe so kind of knew it might taste half decent. I also hadn’t made a full dish in my rice cooker for a while, so thought, since I was feeling out of energy and steam, it was the perfect meal to make, offering me the goodness I need to get better.

By the time the dish was ready the sun had completely set leaving me no natural light to show off my food in a photo. Dull cooker hood lighting is what I settled for. This made my dish look not to dissimilar to a rice and baked beans combo. I swear to you though, baked beans were no where near this dish or my house thankfully.

I would have preferred to use chick peas, but I just had to use what I had on hand. Since I have been asked to make it again there will be ample oportunity for modification. Hopefully, by then, the sun will be shining to show off the goods with a mouth watering snap. For now, here’s an Idea of what it looked like last night.

This dish was so full of flavour you don’t even notice an absence of meat. It contains enough protein and nutrition without adding meat. In saying that I never miss meat, but I’m sure Andy does.
This dish was just too easy. With having such a heavy schedule at times, it’s perfect for me.

The aroma it releases whilst cooking really waters your mouth, but the true joy is in the eating. Give it a go, you’ll see what I mean. What you can’t see in the photo above are the crunched almonds I sprinkled on top before serving. They really make this one memorable for me. Those and the cottage cheese, Yummmm…

What I enjoy most about cooking is when dishes are easy to prepare, but offer amazingly delicious results good enough to impress. I also love knowing what’s in my food and the benifits it can give my body. Got to stay beautiful and healthy if I want to continue traveling the way I do.

I don’t know if it’s because of the restaurants I choose to eat in, but I never feel satisfied after a meal. Of course I’ll feel full but I either leave with over powering guilt that I’ve gone way over my calorie limit, or annoyed that there wasn’t enough goodness in what I had eaten due ti it being destroyed with butter, oil and salt. Living in Japan, does offer a lot of healthy option in restaurants adding soba noodles, sashimi and tofu and an array of salads. However, even Japanese chefs can take short cuts by adding unnecessary oil or lard to their soups for flavour, or over dress and drown their salads or by deep-frying and over seasoning their vegetables. I have found a couple of cafes which offer the goodness I look for especially he one I visited on my birthday. But finding cafes like those are like finding a needle in a hay stack.

For me I prefer to cook at home, more satisfaction for the money in my opinion. Living in the country offers you the freshest of vegetables, which you’d be a fool to pass up.

So, back to the one-pot, this dish couldn’t be easier. If you have a rice cooker and love to experiment like me, give this one go. I have never used a pressure or slow cooker before, but I’m sure it would also work in any of those. If you do like the sound of it and try it out, please let me know what you think. Or if you have suggestions to make it even better my coments box is always open.

Oops I must have had more energy than I thought as this post is possibly longer than the others I’ve written.

Appologies if I went on a bit too much.
Happy cooking 🙂

Here you, go;

Ingredients: (serves 4)

  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1 tin of organic plum tomatoes
  • 500mls water
  • 2 sachets of Konbu Dashi
  • 1 inch of fresh root ginger (chopped)
  • 2 plump cloves of garlic
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 100g soy beans (Garbanzo/chick peas would also be fabulous)
  • 1 cup chopped spinach
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 2 tbsp crushed almonds (they make the dish. They beautiful flavour and texture)
  • 2 tbsp cottage cheese

Directions:

  1. Simply put all ingredients into the rice cooker leaving out the spinach and coriander
  2. Set to the porridge setting and press cook.
  3. After 20 minutes, open the cooker to stir the ingredients again. Close and wait for the music. (My cooker plays twinkle twinkle little star when the food is done :D)
  4. Stir though the herbs and spinach
  5. dish up the risotto style dish on smallish plates
  6. Top with the cottage cheese and crushed almonds and enjoy.
  7. I also squeezed a little lemon juice on my portion (only because I love citrus flavoured curries)

I love SALAD!!


It’s most definitely salad season here in Japan… Yipeee!!! Absolutely one of my most enjoyed foods.
The joy with salad is, you can go as simple or complex as you like, there are no limits!! Time to get creative…

What type of salad makes your mouth water? I want to try them all!!  Please post your comments 😀

Today, despite the gray dull rainy weather, I never lost my appetite for preparing tonight’s salad.
Perhaps that’s the reason the sun shone for the first and only time today when I decided to photograph my creation…hhhmmmm, maybe 🙂

Recipe:

  • Around 2 cups of spinach
  • 1 shredded carrot
  • 1 shredded small cucumber
  • 1 chopped small red pepper
  • 6 chopped green olives
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 1 cup pasta
  • 1/4 cup bulgur wheat
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 9 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • A hand full of chopped basil
  • Roughly 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1/2 cup celery leaves
  • 1/2 can tuna(drained)

Dressing:

  • 1 tsp wasabi
  • 1 tbsp Mayo(light)
  • 3 tbsp soy milk

Directions:

  1. Boil your pasta and bulgur in separate pans according to the package instructions.
  2. In the mean time, Wash and chop your veg.
  3. As soon as your pasta and bulgur have finished cooking, rinse with cold water, simply to avoid over cooking and wilting your fresh greens.
  4. Assemble your salad, keeping aside the avocado, tomatoes and sunflower seeds as these are to garnish the salad. Squeeze the lemon juice over and mix through,
  5. For the dressing, combine all ingredients and set aside. I love my wasabi strong, so carefully add and taste, add and taste until you reach your desired strength. Even if you feel it’s still a little over powering, you will find the flavour will mellow out when mixed into your salad.
  6. Drizzle a little of the dressing over each serving.
  7. Finally  garnish with the avocado, seeds and tomatoes.

Enjoy 😛

Juicy grilled Mushroom, Aubergine and Asparagus Salad on a bed of Spinach.


What a long title.  Maybe I should reconsider that one?

Anyway, this was last nights dinner.  I love warm salads and grilled veg.  This one is a keeper.

I bought some fresh locally grown beefy shitake mushrooms from our local supermarket.  Wow..the juiciness the bursting flavour.  In my opinion they win hands down on any mushroom I have ever eaten.  I never dressed them in anything.  The only addition was olive oil which I used to grease the grill pan.  Wonderful.  Oh how I love fresh veggie’s.  They beat meat any day in my opinion.

I’ll never call myself a vegetarian, I just have a love for the beautiful veggies ♥♡

So here it is my salad if the month, enjoy.

Ingredients;

  • A bunch of spinach washed and shredded thickly
  • 1 carrot, peeled into slithers
  • 8 green Olives dices
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 10 small beefy mushrooms of your choice
  • 1 medium aubergine, cut into discs
  • 1 cup of soy beans or any bean of your choice
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • a splash of olive oil

Dressing for the spinach and carrots:

  • 1 tsp honey
  • a plash of oliveoil
  • a splash of apple cider vinegar
  • a sprinkle of freshly cracked pepper

Directions:

  1. grease your grill pan with a little olive oil
  2. Cut the spears off of the asparagus and set aside
  3. chop the asparagus stocks evenly
  4. place all of your veggies and beans out evenly
  5. cook on medium heat, turning occasionaly
  6. In the mean time assemble the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and cover with the vinegar dressing.  Allow the salad to sit and the flavours to mingle.
  7. When the veggies are cooked nicely, turn off the heat.
  8. Steam the asparagus spears gently.  You want them to be a little crunchy.
  9. Dress 2 plates with the spinach salad then evenly place the grilled veggies on top
  10. Garnish with an umeboshi and the asparagus spears then serve.

PUMPKIN CAKE!


This month I have chosen to use pumpkin in as many dishes as possible.  I want to find new ways of using it so if you have any suggestions please post them my way.  Jules has offered one of her delightful recipes which I look forward to trying now that I have all the necessary ingredients.



Japanese pumpkin (Kabocha) is in season this month which is every reason why I want to cook with it.  Fresh is always best. This pumpkin is beautifully sweet and it’s colour is a brilliant orange.  High in bita carotene a powerful antioxidant which converts into vitamin A in the body.

This anti-oxidant has been shown to help improve immune function and can reduce the risks of diseases such as cancer and heart disease.  Not only that, pumpkins also contain many other vitamins and nutrients including: calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and vitamins A, C and E.  Furthermore One cup of pumpkin contains 3 grams of fibre and only 50 calories.   It is high in carbohydrates so can be a healthy substitute to pasta, rice or potatoes.

Kabocha is traditionally eaten in celebration of the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, when people lack the nutrients found more commonly in summer vegetables. Kabocha is often enjoyed as tempura or boiled in sugar and soya sauce resulting in a soft, sweet dish.
For this blog posting, pumpkin cake is first on the list.  Pumpkin has an amazing texture perfect for baking with and will make your cake beautifully moist and colourful.


It was my day off yesterday and was on the lookout for something easy to make and using the ingredients I already have. That’s when I thought a pumpkin cake would be the ideal choice.  I did want to wait until I received my mums amazing squash recipe (which I have to add to this blog when I get it.  It is perhaps the only cake you can’t resist to scoff, even if it has fallen and broken into peices on the kitchen floor – ah the memories) however I felt a bit impatient and thought I’d make one up myself.  I didn’t want to be too experimental with this one so I thought the best thing to do was to work with something which was already a bit of a success, the banana cake.    The results were even better than expected.




Again, like the banana cake, this pumpkin one is a must try.  I wouldn’t have put it on here otherwise.  Very moist and flavourful.  You can’t really taste the pumpkin, but it gives this cake a mouth watering texture. You may find it also beats the banana cake in the tasty stakes.  I didn’t think this could be possible, but the proof is in the pudding!! 🙂


Ingredients

  • 100g Butter or Marg
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup All purpose flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed cooked pumpkin (if you are struggling to get it into a creamy mash add a little soy milk)
  • a big handful of crushed walnuts
  • 1 cup raisins (boiled in 1 cup of water – drain)
  • tsp heaped cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp clove powder
  • 1 tsp nutmeg powder

Directions

1.  Grease the rice cooker bowl/pan with butter or marg

2.  Mash the cooked pumpkin with a sturdy fork or blend in a blender with a little soy milk

3.  Cream the butter and sugar together and mix in the eggs

4.  Mix together the mushy pumpkin

5.  Mix in the sieved flour and spices

6.  Mix in the  raisins and crushed walnuts.

7.  Scrape into the rice cooker and bake for 60 minutes on the cake function. If you don’t have that function switch to on then check the mixture when the setting finishes with a chop stick.

8.  If it comes out clean you are in the clear and can let it cool on a rack then eat if not put it on for a further 20 mins.

9.  If you want to make this in the oven the directions will be the same as in the banana cake recipe I found.

10.  Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let it cool before cutting.





Remember, the steam in the rice cooker cooks the cake so don’t look until the timer has beeped.