20 min Asparagus & Pesto Risotto


This was my first attempt at making risotto without assistance from my wonderful rice cooker.  The recipe was one from Jamie Oliver‘s 20min meal iPhone app where the directions are so easy it’s ridiculous at how beautiful it tastes.  If you love risotto like I do, then try this one out! yuuuummmmm…..

RECIPE AND DIRECTIONS FROM JAMIE OLIVER’S 20 MINUTE MEALS iPHONE APPLICATION

Asparagus and Pesto Risotto (2 servings)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium bunch – Asparagus
  • 2 heaped tsp – Pesto (home-made is best)
  • 1 sm – red onion
  • 1 stick – celery
  • 2 knobs – Butter
  • 150g – Arborio rice (Japanese rice also works well)
  • 400 ml – Vegetable stock
  • 25g – Parmesan Cheese
  • 100ml – white wine (use a nice one)
  • splash – olive oil
  • pinch – sea salt (I didn’t use any)
  • black pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pre-heat your oven to the lowest setting & place your plates in the oven to warm
  2. Place a large saucepan on a low to medium heat.  Peel the onion & trim the celery stick then finely chop them
  3. Add 1 knob of butter to the hot pan with onion, celery, a splash of olive oil, and a splash of water.  Cook over a low heat for around 5 mins, stirring occasionally, until soft.  Meanwhile…
  4. Bring the stock to the boil in a medium saucepan, then turn the heat down to low.
  5. Snap the woody bases off the asparagus and add them to the saucepan of stock.  Slice the remaining tender stalks up to the tip then leave the tip whole.  Put to one side.
  6. Finely grate the Parmesan.
  7. Once your vegetables are very soft (but not browned) add the rice to the pan.
  8. Stir & fry the rice for a minute until translucent, then add the wine and keep stirring until all the wine has absorbed by the rice.
  9. Turn the heat under the rice up to medium then add a ladle full of hot stock, avoiding the asparagus stalks – these are there to add flavour but not to be eaten!
  10. Stir constantly and continue adding stock, a ladle at a time, waiting for the rice to soak it all up before adding the next ladle full.  Continue until you’ve used tow-thirds of the stock.
  11. Once two-thirds of your stock has been added, stir the sliced asparagus and tips to the rice.
  12. Keep adding the stock until the rice if just cooked and the risotto has a nice oozy consistency.  If you run out of stock, use boiling water.
  13. Take the pan of risotto off the heat and stir in your teaspoon of pesto and half the parmesan.  Cut your lemon in half then squeeze in a little juice.
  14. Taste the risotto and season with salt and pepper (if you need it).  Cover the pan with a lid.
  15. Divide the risotto between the two warmed plates.  Sprinkle over the remaining parmesan and top each with a dollop of pesto. DONE!
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Banana Breakfast Muffins


Last night was a strange one…  Awoken at about 2am, soaking from head to toe and covered in what looked like spangly spiders.  I also remember frantically searching for the light switch saying something (not sure what though) to scare the spiders away….ewwww…it makes me shiver thinking about it.

My head is possibly trying to adjust after all the assignment writing those past few months, or it could be the research methods philosophy I am trying make sense of.  However, I put it down to the head and foot massage I gave Andy last night to relieve him of the stress he was swimming in due to a presentation he has to do today.   Lucky Andy, he slept right though the night, which, for him, is strange.  His energy must have transferred over to me during the massage, but he doesn’t seem to think that’s true.    Anyway, to relieve myself of the light trauma from last nights spider hallucinations, I  decided the perfect solution was to bake cakes for breakfast, just something quick, so thanks to my trustworthy banana cake recipe it saved the day 😛 well, so far…

Hot from the oven…I forgot how good they tasted…would you like one? (by the way, I know what you’re thinking, “is that all she can cook?” … it’s not honest…it’s just that they’re sooo quick to make and absolutely satisfying).

No chocolate this time, and a little less sugar too…oh yeah, and I used half and half wholemeal and plain flour…the healthier option 😛

Easy Chilled Cucumber Soup


The supermarket was offering fresh cucumbers by the case load for an amazing price that I’d be silly to pass up.

The first dishes that came to mind were an Indian raita and a cold cucumber soup.

First up is the soup.

You could drink this as a savoury smoothie (after my first taste I instantly thought of gin.  I reckon this soup would work as an amazing mixer for Hendricks) in a glass, topped up with ice, or enjoyed simply in a bowl as a soup.

What better way to celebrate summer than with a cold soup and salad.

Here’s what I came up with:

Ingredients:

  • 4 large cucumbers (peeled and de-seeded) or 5 Japanese cucumbers (peeled)
  • 1 small/half clove of garlic (minced) (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups Low fat plain/Greek yoghurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Konbu dashi (or vegetable bullion powder)
  • 2 green onions (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint (chopped)
  • The Juice of one lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste (optional)

Directions:

  1. Simply add all ingredients to a blender
  2. Blend until smooth
  3. Chill in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve
  4. serve in a glass filled with Ice or in a bowl as desired.

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)

Thai Mushroom Soup with basil & olive bread


Benri is back! At last a dish I feel is more than worthy of a post.

As I mentioned in a previous reply to a comment, Andy gave me a cookbook (one by the Weightwatchers team) as part of a birthday gift. I don’t think it was because he thinks I need to lose weight (I hope not) or I need more practice (which I do) or thinks my style of cooking doesn’t meet his expectations (his mmms & ahhhs confirms he’s satisfied). We have always enjoyed the recipes from the weightwatchers books as they are usually full of variety, so perhaps he is worrying I run out of ideas and stop cooking for him, so this gesture may be a gentle nudge to keep on doing what I’m doing.

I have been dying to get back into the kitchen for weeks. I was beginning to feel like I was going to burst if I didn’t get a post out there soon. Is that sad? Do I yearn for the life of blogging more than I do the outside world? I’m pretty new to this world of blogging, which I have found can be quite addictive. I’m quite happy to make it become a part of my life. However, not my life. What I love about blogging is the thought of other people loving and talking about the same interests I have. I just want to share what I love. One thing I do need to do is post more often. I’m thinking perhaps twice a week will be more doable.

Being so far away from close friends really does influence more activity on the net. If I can’t feed them, I feel the next best thing is to share what I feed myself in this blog and talk about it.

I love this hobby and it’s here to stay.

Anyway, before I run off the point, which is my last nights dinner; a creamy Thai mushroom soup served with basil and olive yeast free buns and a tomato side salad.

This one wasn’t taken from the book. It was only inspired by a recipe title in the book. I suppose you can say the ingredients share a similarity, but the taste is on a different level. A lot more to my liking. I also just wanted to use up what I had in the fridge. I’m terrible at following recipes actually. I always seem to be missing then substituting ingredients.

Due to the coconut milk this version isn’t as low in calories as the weight watchers recipe, but it still oozed fresh delicious nutritiousness (is that even a word? Well it works for me).

This one is a keeper. I hope you like it. If you’d like to check out the original recipe which caught my attention, I’ll post it in a comment below this recipe.

Creamy Thai Mushroom Soup

Ingredients;

  • 1/2 a tin of coconut milk topped up with water making one pint
  • 1 cup soy beans (or any white bean)
  • 200g mushrooms (a mixture of your choice)
  • 1 tbsp red Thai curry paste
  • The juice of one lemon/lime/1tbsp rice vinegar/1tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 plump cloves of garlic
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 sachet of konbu dashi/ 1 1/2 tsp

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized sauce pan, saute the chopped onion and garlic in the olive oil until the onion is translucent
  2. add a little water to avoid sticking
  3. add the beans
  4. add the chopped mushrooms stir the contents together.
  5. mix the Thai paste, coconut milk, water & Konbu together
  6. pour into the sauce pan
  7. bring to the boil then turn to low and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  8. In the mean time prepare your side salad
  9. I used 2 chopped tomatoes, 2 cup of chopped spinach and salad leaves, 3 chopped umeboshi (pickled plums) and 2 green onions, chopped.
  10. The bread recipe is below
  11. When the soup is ready stir through the lemon juice
  12. blend the soup in batches then return to the sauce pan and heat through before serving in warm bowls.

Yeast Free Bread Buns

Ingredients: (serves 4)

  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1tsp salt
  • 5 chopped green olives
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 -3/4 cup water

Directions:

  1. sieve the flour, baking powder,soda,salt together in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  2. add the basil
  3. make a well in the center of the flour and mix in the water little by little until it forms a dough and the texture is a little gluey.
  4. transfer the dough onto a floured surface then separate into 4 equal parts and form into small bun shapes.
  5. grease the rice cooker pan with some of the olive oil
  6. insert the buns
  7. brush the buns with the rest of the olive oil
  8. close the rice cooker lid and set on cake for 45mins.
  9. When they are done, crisp them up a little under the grill before serving. (best served hot)

Red Thai Curry Paste ~krung Kaeng Phed on FoodistaRed Thai Curry Paste ~krung Kaeng Phed

Purple Birthday Cake


Since last weekends little disaster, I have felt a little shy in the kitchen and uninspired to experiment.  I know every disaster can only lead to a better success, but I just can’t seem to find the will power.

However, I think I’ve finally come to the decision on which birthday cake I should try to make for my 30th.  I found it here, but super surprised by the colour the egg plants give to the cake.  I’m not completely convinced they will make my cake as vibrant a purple as you see in the image, so I thought that if I purée 200g of blueberries and add it to the batter they may produce a vibrant colourful cake.  I’m not too sure though.  I’m a little worried the cake will turn out a washed out grey colour.  Only one way to find out!

If you know what the results might be, please post your advice.  I will appreciate any help I can get.

I really want this cake to look and taste impressive.

I’m so excited it’s almost the weekend.  I know it’s a pretty scary birthday to celebrate, but I’m actually really looking forward to it. It is only a number after all.  Another excuse to splash out on some Champagne :D.

Anyway, here is the recipe I’m gonna try out tomorrow night for Sat.  Please advise if you know it definitely won’t work.

Eggplant and blueberry Cake Ingredients:

  • ½-cup margarine
  • ¼-teaspoon salt
  • ½-cup sugar
  • 1-teaspoon baking powder
  • ½-cup honey
  • 1-teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 egg whites
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 cups grated eggplant
  • 200g frozen blueberries
  • ½-teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1½-cups white flour
  • 1-cup nuts (optional)

Frosting

  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 100g white chocolate

Directions:

  1. Preheat the rice cooker on cake setting to 55min.
  2. Cream the margarine in a medium-sized bowl until soft and whipped, then add the sugar and honey until mixture is light and fluffy.
  3. In another bowl sieve the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and nuts to thoroughly combine.
  4. Blend the frozen blueberries until smooth.
  5. Stir the grated eggplant and the blueberry purée into the butter/sugar/honey mixture
  6. Add the flour mixture to the sugary butter mixture and combine by hand to incorporate just until the flour has mixed in.
  7. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites to a firm peak then fold into the batter.
  8. Pour the mixture into a cake pan and bake for about a half hour to forty-five minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. This cake can be topped with cream cheese-vanilla icing made with a mixture of 3 ounces of cream cheese and 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar, and 1 T of vanilla. Drizzle the icing over the cake and then top with a light sprinkle of nutmeg.  (I’m going to try a cream cheese and white chocolate frosting)

Rice Cooker Blueberry & Lemon Cream Cheese Pound Cake.


I have tried to decide on a cake to bake for my big birthday night out on Saturday.

Here’s the criteria;

  • I’m not so fussed about it being healthy.  If it is then it’s a bonus.
  • I want it rich and decadent
  • Delicious
  • Amazing
  • Beautiful
  • colourful
  • Not too delicate as it has to travel 45 minutes to the restaurant.

My first thought was a red velvet cake due to its boldness in colour and style.  Unfortunately  none of my local supermarkets stocked enough red food colouring, so that was that option out of the window.  I actually can’t seem to justify using so much food colouring either.  They do look really pretty though.

Do you think the cake would turn a beautiful purple if I used grated aubergine skins and blueberry purée?

Anyway, whilst I was rummaging around other foodies blogs I stumbled upon a beautiful blueberry sponge cake with cream cheese frosting, which looked toooo good to pass by.   This one was quickly marked in my favourites.

The cream cheese in the frosting of this recipe reminded me that I have always wanted to try out a baked cheese cake recipe in my rice cooker.  You see, baked cheese cakes here in Japan are the best you will try.  They are so simple, containing the main flavours, cheese and the zest of lemon, but they just look too plain for a 30th birthday party.  I have never really liked the biscuit bases in the ones I have tried before and the filling is always too creamy for me.  However, they do look colourfully impressive, with all the various combinations of fruit don’t they?

Decisions, decisions.  Cheese cake or blueberry cake???

So, I thought, why not join both cake ideas?  It would have been too much of a risk experimenting on the friday night before the big night out, so today is the day the cake experimentation began.

The results?  So far so good.  It has risen at least, and looks promising.  I am now waiting for it to cool completely before taking it out of  ‘Benri’ for a photo shoot.

Ok, the results are in.  Just as I thought.   A superficial disaster!!  I will say this though, it is absolutely delicious.   Try out the recipe in a regular oven, it is yummy.

I’m going to try this one again, but not using a ring tin next time.  My tin was useless. It wasn’t stick proof and wasn’t greased enough 😦 I think I’ll save it for the fruit terrines in future.

At least you can always rely on the sun to make any disaster look pretty, ehe?

For the cake, which is beautifully rich and lemony, here’s the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 200g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 cup superfine sugar (caster sugar)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • juice and zest from  lemon juice
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 100g butter
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Directions

  1. Pre-heat your rice cooker on the cake setting.
  2. Grease the rice cooker pan with butter or oil.
  3. sift the flour 3 times, on the 3rd time sift in the baking powder and soda
  4. Beat cream cheese with milk to soften.
  5. mix the butter and sugar together until fluffy
  6. Add the egg yolks then mix until smooth.
  7. mix in the cream cheese mixture, vinegar and the lemon juice & zest to the butter mixture
  8. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until fluffy.
  9. Gradually fold beaten egg whites into the cream cheese mixture, stirring gently.
  10. mix in the blueberries
  11. Pour into the bundt cake tin (make sure it fits in your rice cooker first) then insert the tin into the rice cooker pan and smooth the surface.
  12. Bake 35-40 minutes, until a pick inserted in the middle of the center comes out clean.
  13. be careful not to open the lid until it has been in the oven for at least 20 minutes.

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 😛

Chocolate Orange Tofu Mousse


Success, I wasn’t tempted or distracted to buy anything from the supermarket that wasn’t necessary or overly indulgent.   I also remembered to pick up some oranges for this particular post.

So here we have it, the Chocolate Orange Mousse I’ve been meaning to make!

I have to admit, the other mousse I have made in the past, in particular the strawberry one, there was a hint of tofu taste I wasn’t overly happy about.  The taste doesn’t bother me, but I guess it may put some people off and sway them away from the power and versatility of the wonderful stuff.

But here, however, no one will be able to guess the full ingredients.

After making deserts, I can’t resist testing the batter or in this case, completely cleaning the entire blender of any trace of chocolate orange mousse with my spoon.  This one is a pleaser.  I’m never so confident about my food until I have had at least one other person try it, but this one is an absolute exception.

My pouring/presentation skills have a little to be desired, but I am a learner after all.

What really matters is the pure deliciousness of the content.

I assure you it’s a good one and extremely easy to make.

Ingredients: (serves 2)

  • 100g 70% Coco Chocolate
  • A knob of butter
  • The juice and zest of 1 small orange or 1/2 Med/Large Orange
  • 150g Firm tofu
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger Powder
  • 1 tbsp Pure Natural honey or Brown Sugar

Directions:

  1. 1st melt the chocolate in a double boiler, when it is melting nicely add the nob of butter and honey/sugar
  2. In a blender add all the other ingredients and blend until smooth
  3. When the chocolate has melted fold in the tofu slowly mixing until the colour is even
  4. There with be remains of tofu mixture on the blender, so transfer the chocolate tofu to the blender and blend together scraping the white from the sides to create an even colour.
  5. Pour into small serving dishes, cover and chill until you are ready to serve, one hour + is best.
  6. Garnish with a slice of orange and serve.

Five Spice Kabocha, Brown rice and Tofu Salad


Can you see a wee theme going here. This one is definitely a take on a post from yesterday. Yup, I loved that mushroom salad so much I wanted to make a variation. Grilled and roasted veggies are soooo goood.

This one is similar but different, if that makes any sense

The main component is Kabocha. The five spice seasoning adds that extra dimension to the flavourful vegetable. All of the other flavours in the dish compliment it without over powering it. The varitey of beautiful textures from the soft tofu to the brown rice with bite are utterly satisfying and extremely healthy and wholesome.

My image, again, doesn’t do the dish any justice, but it gives you an idea at least. Just ignore the flash of light to the left.

Here you go…delish!!

Ingredients;

  • 1/4 kabocha cut into thin slices (be careful, using a very sharp knife makes this easier, but also pretty dangerous)
  • 1 medium aubergine
  • 1 cup of cooked brown rice
  • 150g firm tofu (drained)
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese 5 spice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Sprinkle of cracked salt and pepper
  • A bunch of spinach roughly cut
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 umeboshi

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl add the sliced kabocha
  2. Splash a little of the olive oil and add the five spice then mix evenly (with your hands, I find is best)
  3. Add to the grill pan – the rack.
  4. Perform the same method to the aubergine using the rest of the olive oil, then add to the grill tray along with the kabocha
  5. Grill on a medium heat turning frequently
  6. In the mean time, wash and chop your spinach. Drain and dress with the lemon juice and sesame seeds
  7. Cut the tofu into cubes and add to the spinach.
  8. Allow your rice to cool a little before adding to the spinach and tofu.
  9. Mix through with a little salt and pepper
  10. Dress your plates with the salad
  11. When your veggies have cooked through, place on top of the salad
  12. Serve with umeboshi or a pickle of your choice.
  13. Enjoy 🙂