Summery Strawberry Mousse


I had this one for breaky as it’s not over sweet and the fresh sweetness of  the strawberries is so inviting and comforting.  It tastes rich, but completely healthy and low in calories, what more can you ask for?

If not for breakfast, I also think this would be a great spread for scones or sandwiched in a sponge cake.

I initially wanted to make a chocolate orange tofu mousse, but forgot to buy the chocolates and orange…doh!  The strawberries were calling out for me to buy them.  They looked too vibrant and juicy to resist…aaand they were a bargain!  Bonus!

So here you have it, a baby of tofu, ginger and strawberries was born and devoured almost immediately.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tub of firm tofu
  • 1/2 a punnet of strawberries (10 – 12 medium)
  • 1 tablespoon of pure natural honey
  • 3 tablespoons soy milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth and creamy
  2. transfer into small ramekins then chill in the fridge until you are ready to serve

Black Bean and Pumpkin Chili.


There goes another weekend.   Here’s what happened;

A short bike ride took us to Akaoka Beach for lunch, but the wind was insane…

Something had to be done about that, so we stopped in at our favourite cafe, where they make the most delicious baked cheese cake I have ever eaten.  Just look at it! mmmmm…

Sat night was spent in a really good izakaya. My images don’t do the food any justice, but believe me, it was mouth watering.  Only one problem, there wasn’t enough.  However, the umeshu (plum wine) quickly satisfied me. 

On Sunday, I woke up ridiculously early considering I didn’t get home until a little after 3am.  Luckily there wasn’t much of a hangover, but still, I needed to freshen up my head and make the most of my Sunday.  That’s where my trusty mamachari (my bike in the image above) came in handy.  We went for a 25km or so bike ride to this beautiful park out in the country side.  despite it being a really hilly ride, it was one of the most beautiful routes.  My poor wee body is suffering a little now, but it was worth it.

Whilst munching on some very deserved lunch, more Japanese was studied.  I like to believe it’s getting better, but I can’t seem to find the confidence to speak it much unless I’ve had a few.  I suppose the same can be said about speaking in general actually.

A healthy and hearty meal followed in the evening.  I have never made a vegetarian chili before, in fact I’ve never even eaten one, but wanted to give it a go.  It wasn’t as spicy as I usually like it, but it was really satisfying.   I served it up with genmai (Japanese brown rice)…beautiful.

I have so much left over, so tonights dinner is an easy one.

Perhaps I’ll make a tofu and avocado guacamole and serve it up with warmed wraps and a fresh, crunchy salad.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 small kabocha/squash
  • 1T olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 can chopped plum tomatoes
  • 2 cans black beans / 2 cups dried(is what I used)
  • 1 tsp chili powder/ 1.5 tsp dried chopped chilies
  • 1 tsp toasted and crushed cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 fresh chili (chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 300 ml water/ Dark Ale (I used water as Andy can’t have yeast)
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar

Directions:

  1. If you are using dried black beans, soak them over night for quicker cooking.
  2. The next day cook every cup of beans with 2 cups of cold water
  3. bring to the boil then cook on a low heat for an hour to keep the beans in their Jackets.
  4. Cut the pumpkin/squash into 1/2 ” cubes.
  5. Pour olive oil into a large pot over a medium – high heat
  6. Add onion & saute until soft and translucent (around 3 minutes)
  7. stir in the tomatoes, pumpkin and spices then bring to the boil
  8. cook for 25 min or until the pumpkin becomes tender
  9. Sir in the pepper and cook for a further 4 min
  10. stir through some fresh coriander saving some for garnish
  11. serve up with rice and a little yogurt or sour cream

What makes you smile on a gloomy day?


Wow when will it stop raining?  It almost feels like Scotland here in Kochi right now.

I’m now on a mission to cheer myself up.   What do you usually do to lighten the mood when it’s the greyest of greys outside?

Besides baking and eating cakes my number 1 is listening to Joanna Newsom, especially when I want to feel creative.  My number 2 is painting, but the light is too gloomy to make the most beautiful of paintings look decent (that may just be an excuse for today).  Next in line after listening to Joanna, would be listening to a very eclectic Japanese musician, who owns the quirkiest of cafes in Hiroshima (One of our best finds since coming to Japan) Her name is Goto Izumi.  Her music is a desired taste, but makes me smile every time.  You can find her here.

Oh I almost forgot, before all of the above my all time pick me up is, of course, my out of this world, magic potion, cinnamon porridge. ahhhh shiawase 🙂

Sadly this can only fill a very small portion of my day.   Bellow you will see what is next on the BendiBenri list of rice cooker delights.  Not as flawless as those you will find in restaurants or izakaya, but still delicious, perhaps fresher and definitely healthier.

Simple salad Maki with a herby crunchy salad and ginger Miso soup.