Sunday, July 20, 2014

veg-full sloppy joes

Sweet potatoes in Japan are purple on the outside, pale yellow on the inside, and great for topping with sloppy joe mix!

Here's a Mamatouille original. (Feeds six easily.)

You'll need:
  • sweet potatoes, cooked (I don't have an oven so I use my microwave)
  • salt and pepper to taste, for the sweet potatoes
  • butter, for the sweet potatoes
  • 700 g ground beef
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. pepper
  • 1/4 c. ketchup
  • 3/4 t. Japanese ground spicy mustard
  • 1 1/2 t. sugar
  • 3 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 3 T. tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf, torn in half
  • olive oil
  • a puree (done in the food processor) of 1/4 sweet pepper (yellow, red, green, or orange), 2 celery sticks, 1/8 purple cabbage, 4 cloves garlic, 1/2 - 1 onion, 1 carrot
Do this:

Saute the veggie puree in olive oil till almost soft, add the ground beef and stir and cook till no longer pink. Add the rest of the ingredients, plus a bit of water if needed to make it saucy.

Serve over sweet potatoes that have been doctored with butter, salt, and pepper, and enjoy with the familytouille.

no-bake chocolate truffle cake and the green-smoothie antidote

If you want to be chocolate-happy, but you don't have an oven, what do you do? Ask a friend (thanks, Sarah!) for ideas, and make the first recipe that's suggested to you: no-bake chocolate truffle cake.

And if you want a green smoothie later, all you do is grab a blender and toss in: 2 bananas, some pineapple, a carrot, fresh ginger, spinach, 1/2 avocado, water, and okara. I love that pineapple-ginger flavor.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

cut your green-onion time in half

Cut your green-onion cutting time in half while cutting your green onions.

Why didn't I think of this before? Just fold them in half!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

curried deviled eggs

Piping! You've got to try it! I'm not sure I'd ever done it before for deviled eggs, but it was a heck-of-a-lot-of fun. And when the eggs are a yummy recipe from a special Seattle-neighbor-friend, it's even better. (She adapted it from a Food Network recipe.)

You'll need:
  • 12 large eggs, boiled and cold
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder (taste and then add more if needed)
Do this:

I boil my eggs with a boiled egg timer till hard (and put plenty of salt and vinegar in the water to help them peel easier), then add ice cubes to the water when finished. I then peel under running water, and they usually come out nicely. (I also use a trick from an American fiction author, Debbie Macomber: when you start to peel the eggs, first tap the widest end where there's a bubble underneath the shell, and it makes it easier.)

Put the peeled eggs in the fridge a few hours or overnight.

After the little babies are chilled, cut them in half lengthwise and mash the yolks with the rest of the ingredients listed. Did I mention piping is a hoot? I also sprinkled a bit of dried parsley on the ones above for a July 4th/friend's birthday party celebration.

Enjoy the curry kick!

anything-goes hamburger fried rice + gingery green smoothie

It's lunchtime! What are you gonna make? Gather all your leftovers from the fridge, cook some rice, grab a frying pan, and you've got yourself a mean fried rice.

Plus a green smoothie: one apple, two bananas, grated ginger, 1/2 lemon, a bit of veggie-fruit juice, okara (soy pulp leftover after making tofu, or you could just use tofu), 1/2 avocado, 1/2 zucchini, spinach, and a bit of water.

For the fried rice, you'll need (or actually, you'll need whatever is leftover in your house):
  • cooked rice
  • chopped ham
  • sliced pork, chopped small
  • leftover hamburger, chopped tiny
  • leftover chopped cooked carrot and broccoli
  • a puree of okara (soy pulp) or regular hard or soft tofu, onion, garlic, and celery (I do this in the food processor)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • salt and pepper
  • sesame oil
  • tomatoes for garnish
Do this:

Heat some sesame oil in a frying pan, add the rice, ham, pork, hamburger, cooked veggies, and the okara puree. Stir and cook till a little bit crispy, then add your eggs and salt and pepper. Fry until the eggs are cooked, then serve with tomatoes and a gingery green smoothie. Eat it in a bowl with a spoon like Japanese folks would do.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

no-cooking-required tropical fruit and ginger compote

I was in a hurry for an easy-to-assemble dessert to end a shrimp curry meal, and quickly wrote "frozen mango" and "ice cream" on my grocery list. Well, something steered me down the baking aisle at Aeon, my local Japanese grocery store, and the baking aisle just happens to have canned fruit on it as well.

A can of pineapple and papaya jumped into my cart, and the rest is yummy-tummy history.

You'll need:
  • one 425 g/15 oz. can of pineapple and papaya (or other tropical fruit) in light syrup
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • one blender
Do this:

Pop the top of the can (I'm not sure why I even brought a can opener with us to Japan--all the lids are poppable with that little convenient ring), dump the contents (including the syrup) into the blender with the lemon juice and ginger. I have a Blendtec, so I just used the sauce setting.

Makes 1 1/2 cups compote.

I can't decide whether I liked this better over chocolate or vanilla ice cream, so I'm going to have to do some more taste tests to really nail it down. 

UPDATE: I've made this again and added 4 t. fresh lemon juice and 1 t. ginger. Much better. Zingier.