Sunday, April 14, 2024

gluten-free vegan blonde brownies


These gluten-free vegan blonde brownies come by way of FitGreenMind on Instagram, the popular account of a German girl named Maya who makes great videos and comes up with delicious recipes. 

You'll need:

  • 1 can (450 g) chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup (75 g) peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (40 g) flour (I use a gluten-free baking mix)
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • dark vegan chocolate (a bar, chopped, or chips)
Do this:

Drain the chickpeas and rinse them, then add to a food processor with all the ingredients except for the chocolate. Process until smooth.

Add the batter to a bowl, then stir in the chocolate. 

Line a loaf pan with baking paper and add the mix, flatten it out, and bake at 170 C for 35 minutes. Let it cool completely, then cut into bars.

These are so more-ish! 

Sunday, April 7, 2024

quick and easy gluten-free oyakodon (Japanese chicken and egg dish)

I've been making oyakodon, a Japanese chicken and egg dish to put on top of a bowl of rice, for years and years. The recipe I had was a bit complicated and time-consuming, so I was happy when a friend here in Japan passed along a simpler version. I can't remember where it's from exactly, and I've changed it a little bit anyway, so here's my take. This makes enough for four people. 

You'll need: 
  • 2 chicken breasts, chopped in bite-sized pieces
  • 1 bunch of spinach, washed and chopped
  • any kind of mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • oil for cooking
  • 4 tablespoons cooking sake
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup homemade dashi (with konbu and katsuobushi flakes)
  • 4 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
Do this:

Heat up your oil in a frying pan and cook the chicken till all the pieces are browned. Add the mushrooms and onions, then all the liquids and sugar. When everything is soft, add the spinach for a minute and then dump the eggs over it all and let it set till cooked. 

Serve over rice in a bowl, and add all those delicious juices and then eat with a spoon. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

easy chili


I served this with grated soy cheese, tortilla chips, and salad. (Would be great with cornbread too!) Normally I do a chili with kabocha squash, cinnamon, and cocoa powder, but it was nice to have a more traditional one for a change.

You'll need:
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 piman (small Japanese green peppers, chopped (or 1 chopped regular green pepper)
  • 6-7 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 kg ground beef
  • 2 450ml cans kidney beans, drained
  • 2 450ml cans chopped tomatoes (add water to the empty cans to swish out the tomato remains into the chili pot, for a total of about 1 can of water)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Do this: 

Saute the onions, green pepper, and garlic in oil in a soup pot, then add the rest of the ingredients and stir till the ground beef is in small pieces. Simmer about 20 minutes or more if you have time.


Substitute half the ground beef with cooked lentils.

Add a teaspoon of cumin if you like it. 

Sunday, March 17, 2024

dairy-free turmeric latte + dairy-free gluten-free turmeric latte pancakes

I've been making turmeric lattes (or golden milk) for a long time, but then completely forgot about them until my friend reminded me again the other day. Now I'm making these delicious healthy drinks about every other day! I originally got the recipe from BBC Good Food

Well then I brainstormed and thought why not make some turmeric latte pancakes! They were easy and spicy and delicious, and I topped them with soy cream that I whipped with a little vanilla and powdered sugar, then a drizzle of honey. 

First, the latte.

You'll need (for two lattes):
  • 350 ml or so of dairy-free milk (I use soy)
  • 1/4 t. ginger powder
  • 1/4 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. turmeric
  • 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 1 t. honey
  • black pepper to taste
Do this:

Throw it all in a pot on the stove on medium flame/heat and whisk till hot and frothy.

Now for the pancakes! 

You'll need:
  • 150 g gluten-free and dairy-free pancake or baking mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup milk 
  • 1/2 t. turmeric
  • 1/8 t. black pepper
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. ginger powder
  • 1 T. honey
  • 1/2 t. vanilla
(For the whipped cream I whipped 200 ml soy cream with 1/4 t. vanilla and 1 t. powdered sugar.)

Do this: 

Whisk the pancake ingredients together and cook on a griddle or frying pan in a little oil on both sides. Top with whipped cream and a drizzle of honey.

This made about 12 small pancakes. 

Joy joy enjoy! 

sweet and spicy nuts


A lovely friend shared some of these sweet and spicy nuts with us on her boat on the Thames last summer, and when I asked for the recipe, she wrote it up in her beautiful handwriting and mailed it to me. It came originally from Gordon Ramsay.

You'll need:

  • 300 g mixed nuts (whole, blanched, unsalted)
  • 2.5 tablespoons icing/powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  • black pepper
Do this:

Mix nuts, powdered sugar, salt, and cayenne pepper in a big bowl, then grind over some black pepper. Tip the nuts into a hot wok/frying pan, then sprinkle over about 1 tablespoon of water to help it all caramelize. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring or shaking constantly till browned. Dump it all onto a baking tray lined with baking paper in a single layer. Put in 140 C oven for 30-40 minutes, turning occasionally. 

Serve with love in a glass jar on a boat on the Thames or in a bowl in your living room in Japan. Give as gifts in jars for birthdays or just as a love-note of crunchy joy. 

Friday, January 12, 2024

favorite new year's black-eyed peas

I've experimented through the years and riffed many times on my grandma's black-eyed peas New Year's Day tradition. We think
this year's was the best so far.

And I believe that part of the flavor came from gratitude; I finished cooking this pot of beans on January 1, 2024, just before our Ishikawa Prefecture earthquake hit at 16:16. We survived and so did our black-eyed peas. (Normally I would serve these with cornbread, but after evacuating from the house and coming back later in the evening, I shakily defrosted some frozen rice instead.)

You'll need:

  • Bacon fat
  • Chopped bacon
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Komatsuna greens (mustard greens)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Green beans
  • Veggie bouillon
  • Tomato paste
  • Bay leaf
  • Dried thyme
  • Dried parsley 
  • 500 g dried black-eyed peas
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Paprika
Do this: 

In a stock pot, saute onions, garlic, bay leaf, and komatsuna greens in a big wad of bacon fat. Add in the chopped bacon and cook through, then some chopped green beans. Next, add the black-eyed peas that you have soaked overnight in the fridge and then drained. Cover all of it with water and throw in your seasonings and tomato paste. Simmer until the beans are soft and a lot of the liquid has evaporated.

The only measured ingredient was those black-eyed peas. All the rest was conjured with love. 

Add in or detract as you desire. You know what your family likes. 

Everyone in mine said this was the best version yet.