Saturday, December 2, 2017

algerian chicken stew

The fragrance of Algerian chicken stew--oh my! Like inhaling heaven.

This recipe is from Extending the Table: A World Community Cookbook, and involves garlic, onions, cumin, basil, bay leaves, and other wonderful items. I change it and use whatever veggies I have on hand. It says to serve over couscous, but I made quinoa in the rice cooker to go with it instead.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

2 days; 2 smooothies

Still plowing ahead with a lunchtime smoothie almost every day! It's a wonderful way to get loads of raw greens in one go. Today's was avocado, banana, navel orange, fresh ginger, mint leaves, and komatsuna greens (you can sub in raw greens of your choosing).

Yesterday I threw in some frozen berries, a navel orange, a banana, fresh ginger, cabbage, and lemon juice.

Here's how I layer the smoothies in the blender: first goes in soft, squishy foods like bananas and avocados, then the greens, and if I have anything hard or heavy, like a chopped carrot or frozen fruit, I put that on the top to push everything else down toward the blade. I also add water to all my smoothies for easier blending. Chia seeds are good too!

Friday, October 20, 2017

easy hummus

I can't just pop into a grocery store in Japan and buy hummus because they just don't sell it here. I can, however, throw a couple cans of cooked chickpeas and a few other staples in the blender and whirr away my Middle Eastern food cravings.
My blender cookbook has an easy recipe, and I usually double it.

You'll need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (in Japanese, this sesame paste is called neri goma and is sold in regular grocery stores)
  • 1 clove garlic, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (I can't get kosher salt here, so I use sea salt)
  • one 15-ounce (425-gram) can of chickpeas (save the liquid!)
  • 1/4 cup chickpea liquid
Do this:

Put it all in the blender and whizz it up. I serve it with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of fresh parsley on top. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

slow-cooker salsa chicken meal

I don't know where I found this tip, but a great way to keep herbs fresh is to put them in a glass jar of water and cover with a plastic bag in the fridge. Works great! This jar-full happens to be cilantro (coriander), which I love on curries or Mexican food.

A meal we've come to love recently is cobbled together from various recipes. I serve the salsa chicken over rice.

 You'll need:

  • boneless chicken thighs, skin removed
  • salsa, medium heat
  • one onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped or minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt and pepper
  • a splash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
Do this:

Add all of the above ingredients to a slow cooker, and set to cook on low heat for about 8 hours. When it's done, shred with two forks.

Here are the side dishes I serve with it: lettuce, cilantro leaves, black olives, corn chips, sliced green onions, lettuce, avocado, tomatoes or more salsa, and sauteed garlicky corn (saute chopped purple onion in a frying pan in a neutral-flavored oil, then add thawed corn and minced garlic, and finally add some salt and pepper).

curried salmon croquettes

Curried salmon croquettes ready to fry up when we get home from calligraphy class. Ingredients: canned salmon, beaten eggs, sifted coconut flour, onion, garlic, parsley, turmeric, curry powder, salt and pepper, mayo, mustard, and rolled in golden flaxseed meal. Yummy served with lemon wedges, and for a side dish we have rice cooked in the rice cooker with chopped sweet potatoes. Lovely with coleslaw as well.

All done:

Monday, September 4, 2017

persian eggplant and tomato beef dish (gheimeh baademjaan)

Well, this was just absolutely delicious.

I had eggplants in the house that needed to be used up, so I just searched for a Middle Eastern dish with eggplant and ground beef. Voila!

Here's the recipe I used, and instead of searing the eggplant and doing all the fiddly bits, I just did it all in one pan in one go. It worked, and everybody raved about it. (I served it over quinoa, which I make in the rice cooker. So easy: you just double the amount of water, so if you're making two cups of quinoa, add four cups of water.)

You'll need:

  • 1 large eggplant (or a number of the small Japanese variety), chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 chopped onion
  • lots of minced garlic
  • olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt 
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2/3 cup tomato paste (I used less than this)

Do this:

Saute everything except the tomatoes, then add them in, stir till they are soft, and serve over quinoa.

Muy muy delicioso! I'm going to be making this every couple weeks for sure.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

gluten-free dairy-free chocolate-chicory-walnut mug muffins

Here's a new Mamatouille riff on a mug muffin recipe we use quite a lot. The chicory and dark cocoa powder added wonderful depths of flavor.

You'll need (per muffin):

  • a greased mug
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon chicory powder
  • chopped walnut
Do this:

Beat everything except the walnuts in a mug with a whisk. When everything is pretty happy and blended, throw in some chopped walnuts. Microwave for 1.5 minutes (or bake in the oven if that's your preference and you have the time).


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

ginger-citrus-carrot-cabbage smoothie (with a few extras)

I've been making green (well, sometimes purple or orange) smoothies since 2009 when I first started reading about the fantastic properties of raw veggies. And I have to admit, this is probably one of my favorites so far.

For four servings, blend 1 apple with peel, 1 large avocado, 1 carrot, 1/4 head cabbage, a knob of freshly-grated ginger, lemon juice, and water.

It's smooth and tangy with all those great flavors.

Friday, July 28, 2017

coconut-kale smoothie

Today's lunchtime accompaniment was coconutty and smooth.

Just blend banana, avocado, navel orange, coconut cream, kale, lemon juice, water, and chia seeds.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

chicory root "coffee"

OK, folks, the verdict is in: I love chicory "coffee." (I hope the import store continues to carry it.) Here's what I did: heat a cup of unsweetened soy milk, add about 8 grams (1.5 tablespoons) instant chicory powder and quite a few shakes of cinnamon. Whisk and drink up. Mmmmagic in a mug.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

sweet & spicy tomato chutney

Recipe development with leftovers floats my boat. Using up yummy bits from the fridge and reworking them into dinner is so fun.

Tonight: scrambled eggs with leftover sausages, roasted zucchini and yellow squash, and black beans, with chopped green onion on top.

Served with Jamie Oliver's sweet and spicy tomato chutney--it really jazzed it up.

For the chutney (changed a smidgeon from the original recipe), you'll need:
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes of various colors, quartered
  • 45 ml (3 tablespoons) red wine vinegar
  • 45 ml (3 tablespoons) brown sugar
  • salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
Do this:

Just simmer it up till it's thickened and gooey. 

Serve with whatever you like. Sweet! And spicy. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

yael and sharon's israeli eggplant

(Our dinner tonight: stuffed peppers, a salad with artichoke hearts, tomatoes, onion, black olives, cucumbers, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic, and our friends' eggplant recipe.)

Back in May, we had a fun, friendly, and fantastic Israeli family stay with us for a few days. On their last night, Yael and Sharon made the most delicious meal for us, including a special eggplant dish.

And here it is for you.

You'll need:

  • eggplant 
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • fresh lemon juice
  • fresh minced garlic
Do this:

Slice the eggplant and fry in olive oil till softened and browned. It took me two times in the pan to fit them all in because they need to be in a single layer. Toss in a bowl with sea salt, fresh lemon juice, and fresh minced garlic. 

And if you eat it, you'll want to thank our Israeli friends. I'll pass on your gratitude to them. 

Back in May when our friends were staying with us. We sure do miss them! 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Italian-style gluten-free chicken-mcmushroomic mixup pasta

(Caveat: I had a little help with the title.)

The Mamatouille family loves pasta, though the Mamatouille kiddiewinks lately say they're loving quinoa more. Whatever floats your plate!

I made this up for a dinner recently and then made it again about a week later when we had friends over for lunch.

You'll need:

  • 2 chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • shiitake mushrooms, chopped
  • sliced button mushrooms
  • a big handful of fresh spinach, washed and chopped
  • chopped tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • fresh rosemary from the front porch
  • dried oregano
  • dried Italian mixed herbs
  • white wine or sake
  • chopped artichoke hearts
  • goats cheese and red pepper flakes for topping
  • gluten-free pasta
Do this:

Cook that pasta.

In a frying pan, saute the chicken, onions, and garlic in olive oil, then throw in the mushrooms, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, spices, and white wine or sake (enough to simmer in, but not enough to make it soupy). 

Pour the chicken-veggie mixture into the pot of drained pasta, and mix it well. Plate it up with goat cheese and red pepper flakes, if desired. The Mamatouille Beans did not desire the red pepper flakes.

gluten-free wasabi salmon burgers

These are yummy little guys--but next time, I'm going to add even more wasabi!

You'll need:

  • 3 cans salmon (180 g or 6 ounces each)
  • 1/4 cup okara (soy pulp) or whatever binding agent/breadcrumbs you like
  • 3 beaten eggs
  • 1 tablespoon wasabi paste
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • flaxseed meal for coating
  • grapeseed oil for frying
Do this:

Break the salmon up (I also crush the bones), add everything except for the flaxseed meal and grapeseed oil, and mash it together with your fingers. Form into patties, coat with the flaxseed meal, and fry in the oil.

This fed four people for dinner, along with a little bit of corn on the cob, rice cooked with sweet potato chunks, and some sliced tomato and beansprouts.

But next time, I want that burning in my nose from the wasabi. This just didn't do it. More wasabi, please! 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

easy lower-sugar strawberry compote

We got a big box of strawberries from Costco on sale today, and many of them were just about to be a tad too ripe.

A Mamatouille original compote!

You'll need:

  • halved strawberries to fill the bottom of a small saucepan (I had about 2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 15 drops stevia 
Do this:

Just simmer till the strawberries are a bit mushy, and be sure to clean up the sticky mess after it all overflowed when you left the lid on and went to manage your kids' teeth-cleaning time. Taste the compote and adjust flavors as needed. Do lots of extra dishes and take apart the stovetop to get in all the sticky cracks and crevices. 

Enjoy on your favorite compote-worthy food. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

easy tuna curry salad lunch

There was leftover basmati rice in the fridge, so I pulled some tuna cans out and did some conjurin'.

You'll need:

  • cans of tuna, drained
  • cooked and reheated basmati rice
  • mayo
  • salt and pepper
  • curry powder, powdered coriander, cumin, and turmeric
  • onion and garlic (I used dried)
  • chopped walnuts
  • a dab of mango chutney
Do this:

Mix the tuna, mayo, spices, and walnuts, then serve over rice with a spoonful of mango chutney. Just a spoonful of chutney helps the yummy lunch go down. Sprinkle with a little dried parsley if you like the color green (I do).

Saturday, May 13, 2017

gluten-free dairy-free savoury rosemary-garlic drop biscuits

It was a dark-ish wet day, the kind of day that cried big raindrop-tears for soup. Also, I knew that I needed to get dinner in the slow cooker this morning, so hamburger soup it was. (Ground beef cooked in a pan, then added to the slow cooker with chopped carrots, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, peas, corn, water, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, pepper, basil, bay leaves, and beef bouillon cubes.)

And I was craving some kind of savoury biscuit to go with it (biscuit as in the American style: soft lumps of cooked dough, a bit crispy on the outside and mealy on the inside).

I've used this recipe from Elana's Pantry before, but today I heavily adapted it as I didn't have enough almond flour and I wanted to make it savoury and herby.

You'll need:
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1 cup gluten-free baking mix (just flours, salt, and baking powder; no sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • chopped rosemary from the front porch, powdered garlic, dried parsley, and Italian seasoning
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
Do this:

Mix dry ingredients and herbs and spices in a bowl, and in a separate bowl, beat eggs and oil together. Then blend the wet ingredients into the dry, and drop in big spoonfuls onto waxed paper on a baking sheet. Bake at 170 C/350 F for about 14 minutes.

Serve with soup and self-respect. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

gluten- and dairy-free chocolate-strawberry mug muffins

The J-Bean is officially nine! He's always coming up with new and nifty food combinations, and he requested these for his birthday because "mug muffins are bigger than regular muffins."

I made up a recipe just for him, and now I will share it with you (even if it isn't your birthday).

You'll need:

  • a (greased) mug, of course 
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed (or other neutral-flavored) oil
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of baking soda
  • frozen-and-defrosted chopped strawberries (or double the amount of fresh, but boy howdy, the fresh ones are expensive in Japan right now)
  • fresh strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon sifted dark unsweetened fair-trade cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons almond flour
Do this:

Grab your partner (erm, greased mug), swing him round and round, and land him gently on your biggest work space. (If you live in Japan, granted, it won't be very spacious.)

Beat an egg in the mug, then stir in the oil, salt, baking soda, defrosted and chopped strawberries, cocoa powder, maple syrup, and almond flour. Stir well and lick that spoon because eggs are so nice in Japan you don't have to worry about salmonella.

Cook in your microwave for a couple minutes, then splash with some soy (or other dairy-free) milk, if you like. 

Top with fresh strawberries and birthday candles. Eat with a spoon, but don't forget to take the candle wax out first.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

round the world in however-many days

These guys were born and raised in New Zealand, hitched a ride to a Japanese Costco, and will be made into Italian-stuffed peppers by a British-American family tonight.

Hey, stay tuned! The Beans and I are working on a collaborative cookbook. It might be awhile, but we're having fun in the process.

Friday, January 20, 2017

sunshine smoothie

We celebrated sunshine yesterday with a bright-tasting smoothie: spinach, frozen mixed berries, carrot, apple, navel orange, fresh ginger.

Monday, January 2, 2017

new year's eve celebration grub

We hardly ever stay up till midnight because we know our sons will be up early the next morning anyway, but we like to celebrate in style no matter how early it is.

This year we stayed home, had communion together as a family (I found this so meaningful), had an appetizer dinner with sparkling juice, brownies, a board game, and then we went outside to shoot off some crackers (poppers that spit out confetti streamers). In bed before the new year and happier for it.
I made homemade hummus and veggie sticks, edamame, Paleo artichoke-spinach dip, a salami and cheese tray, German pickles, and our friend and Seattle neighbor Yetta's delectable curried deviled eggs (I used 9 eggs, mixed enough mayo with the yolks to moisten, and then added 2 teaspoons each of Dijon mustard and white-wine vinegar, plus 1/2 teaspoon curry powder). We said Happy Birthday to 2017 with a special birthday plate from my college friend, Holly. I do not have a photo of the brownies, but they were made with coconut flour and were outrageously delicious, moist, and dense. (The recipe is here on the Elana's Pantry website.) A happy, joyful 2017 to you all! May your days be filled with goodness, good food, and light.