Posts Tagged ‘rice’

July Shenanigans & Recipes…

This summer has been one of the best.

Bobby and I have been cooking up a storm…

moscow-mule

^^A moscow mule (a drink my dad introduced me to).^^

This was mine, but I gave it to Bobby – after one sip I didn’t want anymore! It’s delicious but I wasn’t in a drinking mood. {HERE} is the recipe I posted 5 years ago when my dad first told me about it. It’s a mix of ginger beer, vodka, lime, and mint. Sometimes we do half seltzer / half ginger beer. Gingerale also works.

tempeh-onion-goop

^^Sweet and Savory Tempeh with Onions^^

I started off following Gwyneth Paltrow’s recipe for Tempe Manis (Sweet Tempeh)¬†but changed it… a lot. As you guys know, I’m not really into sweets that much, so I cut out just about all the sugar, and instead caramelized some onions to give it sweetness. I will hopefully remember what I did so I can post my version of the recipe later. So delicious.

kale-mustard-green-salad-seaweed-avocado-goop

^^Kale & Seaweed Salad with Avocado – Except with Mustard Greens because I mistakenly grabbed the wrong bunch of greens!^^

Another Gwyneth Paltrow recipe. Which she actually got from Cafe Gratitude (in LA I think?). {HERE} is her recipe. I changed it a bit – I only used one avocado, I didn’t add the cucumbers (all of a sudden I am hating cucumbers, weird!), and I accidentally bought mustard greens instead of kale. I’ve remade it with kale and I actually prefer it with mustard greens. They don’t come out bitter.

dinner-veggies-kabocha-rice-beans-cucumber-mushrooms

^^Random plate^^

This plate has a veggie stir-fry that was *amazing* – it has fake chicken from Trader Joe’s, but aside from that I don’t know what’s in it because Bobby (a budding cook, apparently) made it. I’ve also been *loving* white rice. Having it almost daily, in large amounts. My appetite has been interesting the last month or so. In this pic there is also kabocha (simply steamed, though I have another kabocha recipe I’ve been meaning to share), Rachel Ray’s sesame green beans, a cucumber salad (before I started hating cucumbers), and roasted mushrooms – I think these were oyster mushrooms.

Lastly…

natto

^^Natto^^

This is a fermented soybean product that is eaten a lot in Japan. It has an interesting (funky) smell and it’s slimy/stringy like okra (only more so). It’s definitely an acquired taste, but I have learned to love it. In fact, Bobby made a batch of homemade natto this week, which is aging in the fridge right now. It should be ready this weekend.

Aside from lots of good eats, other wonderful things have happened recently.

I got to meet my close friend’s baby:

maggie-and-eden

She is so sweet. So cuddly and adorable.

And Bo the cat is a weirdo ūüėČ

bo-weirdo

I can’t believe I caught that picture! I was reorganizing the area next to my washer/dryer and was taking these shelves downstairs, but Bo decided to hang out in the shelf and I got him mid-yawn.

What have you been up to the past couple of weeks?

Tarafu Ku Manma Hijiki – Hijiki and Roe {Macrobiotics}

Today I want to spotlight on one of my favorite styles of eating – macrobiotics. (Remember Macrobiotic March?)

When Bobby and I were in Japan, Bobby’s mom bought us this package of hijiki and roe:

otyashizuoka komochihijiki - hijiki and roe japanese food

(I think you can buy it online, {HERE}.)

If I am not mistaken (I could very well be), it is called “tarafu ku manma hijiki”, but it might also be called “otyashizuoka komochihijiki”, or¬†„Āü„āČ„ĀĶ„ĀŹ„Āĺ„āď„Āĺ. (Yeah, I really don’t know if I’m right on this – any Japanese speakers care to help me out?)

It comes in a sealed plastic bag inside of a pretty paper one.

hijiki-roe-japanese-food

(You may also be able to buy it {HERE}.)

Here are various flavors of tarafu ku:

tarafuku-flavors

{source}

By the way, {THIS} is the google search I used to find more about tarafu ku manma hijiki.

And here it is at our house:

tarafu ku manma hijiki roe

After we got back from Japan (this was back in October), we got into the habit of eating a Japanese breakfast every morning. We had this side dish simply, just over white rice. It lasted a few days because we wanted to spread it out – it was delicious!

This dish is certainly macrobiotic. It combines seaweed (hijiki), which is a macrobiotic superfood, along with roe, which counts as seafood, and thus is an “occasional” food by the macrobiotic style of eating. Occasional is defined by you – that could mean a few times a week or a few times a month. Tarafu ku manma hijiki is slightly sweet though I am not sure what the sweetener is. In general, those following a macrobiotic diet shy away from anything sweet, so ideally you could make this yourself at home and use a macrobiotic-approved sweetener (brown rice syrup) or omit it entirely.

Have you ever seen this dish? Would you try it?

I have not been able to find this in any stores here in NYC. I suppose I need to keep looking, or attempt to make my own! (If I do I will share the recipe.)

{food} Japanese Lunch at Sakagura

A few weeks ago Bobby’s mom was in here in NYC for a few hours on a layover. We took the opportunity to have¬†lunch at her favorite New York restaurant, Sakagura. Sakagura has lunch specials, so we each got a different one.

I think I got this:¬†“Jewel” Oke Bento ($20.00) –¬†Assorted Appetizers , Fried Tidbits , 5 kinds of Seasonal Sashimi , Grilled Tidbits , Mini Rice Balls and Miso Soup.

There were fried intertwined veggies; a hijiki seaweed salad (the black and orange stuff in the dark brown bowl); rice balls (looks like rice sushi in the middle but really was all rice); the white ball with yellow on top (top left) is satoimo, a Japanese sweet potato; fresh sashimi (tuna, scallop – my favorite, squid, salmon, and one other that I don’t remember – mackerel?), and finally on the bottom was eel with eel sauce, a piece of pork, a piece of potato, and some scrambled egg.

My favorite part? I loved it all.

Bobby got a soba box Рit must have been this one: Kaisen Don ($21.00) РAssorted Variety of sliced Fresh Sashimi Served atop of Sushi Rice, with Soba Noodles ( Hot or Cold ). You can see the bowl of rice and sashimi (top), soba sauce (top left), soba (front and center), and a few edamame.

He also enjoyed his very much.

Bobby’s mom also ordered a soba set – I think it was set¬†C – Yakizakana Gozen¬†($20.00) – Seasonal Grilled Fish, Seasonal Appetizers, A Bowl of Rice, Homemade Soba Noodles (Hot or Cold). It looks like the fish was salmon (front slightly right); there was steamed spinach (middle right); some seaweed, potato, and pork (bottom left); soba (back left) and soba sauce (top middle); and something in the middle there that I can’t quite make out.

We all shared a bowl of black sesame ice cream for dessert. No pic! It looked too good and I forgot to take one before diving in.

Sakagura is always a hit. We have been there a few times before, but I don’t think I have blogged about it.

What is your favorite Japanese dish?

I think mine is anything with hijiki seaweed. I even had some tonight – I had some “Japanese fried rice” from Trader Joe’s that had hijiki in it; then I added 2 scrambled eggs – perfection. When we lived in California¬†I used to LOVE going to a place called Delica. They have a fantastic salad – the “Hijiki and Soybean Salad“. My attempt at recreating it is here.

Hijiki is also a staple in macro plates. Here are my favorite macro plates.

{food} Sunday Dinner with Family

Growing up I always had a friend whose Sunday nights were reserved for dinner at her Grandma’s. I always liked the idea. I guess I just like rituals. So recently Bobby and I have a new ritual with our New York family – our aunt and uncle (this is the aunt I bake gingerbread with) have been having us over for dinner each week and we are loving it! Other family members always drop by as well throughout the night.

This week’s menu was a roasted red snapper, served chilled with homemade cocktail sauce (ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice), lemon wedges, and fresh parsley.

We also had curry rice, a salad, and bread.

For dessert we had¬†an array of little chocolate pasties. They were similar, each filled with chocolate mousse and other various delicious things. There was also vanilla ice cream. The pastries are from a little shop somewhere in the East 90’s. I forget the name but can ask next time.

This past weekend was one of just two weekends I’ll have off during my yoga teacher training and I tried to enjoy it to the fullest. The only other weekend off is Thanksgiving and I have to go down to Miami to be in a wedding anyway. Then this week I jumped back into taking classes (we have to fulfill a certain number during the course of the training). And I have another exciting thing to share but I want to wait until it’s official.

Hope you all are having a lovely week so far. Sometimes I wish fall would last forever.

Complex Versus Simple Carbohydrates

I got this question at work the other day (we’re a fairly healthy-minded bunch):

What are complex carbs vs simple carbs?

This question seems complex, but the answer is quite simple. Simple carbs and complex carbs end up in the same place of the nutrition facts label, but they are most certainly different.

Are all carbs bad?

Clearly not all carbohydrates are bad. We need carbs to live – glucose (what carbs break down to in your body) is what your body uses for energy. That’s why when you eat a candy bar you get hyper for a little while – your body just got a big dose of easy-to-use energy because the carbs were partially processed before they got to your stomach. Simple carbs and complex carbs both turn into sugar in the body; the process just happens faster for simple carbs.

McDonald's Soft Serve Vanilla Ice Cream Cone

I’m pretty sensitive to sugar (too many sweet treats = too many pimples). In addition to my skin sensitivity to sugar, I also seem to have either a mental or physical reaction to eating it – once I start it’s hard to stop! If I have a McD’s cone as a snack I also want one for dessert that night, for a snack the next day, and forever more. So I try to avoid sugar to avoid sugar cravings and bad acne. When it comes down to¬†complex versus simple carbohydrates, complex is what I choose, especially complex carbs from veggies.

Which carbs are bad for us?

Most scientists agree that the faster carbs (simple, or white carbs; meaning they convert to sugar quickly) are the worst type of carbohydrate. This is mainly because they spike blood sugar, which has a number of negative long-term effects including a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. These carbs include (and thus I try* to avoid…):

  • Processed carbs like¬†white bread, white flour, sugar, high fructose corn syrup (also regular corn syrup)*
  • Processed carbs like¬†candy, cookies, most baked goods*
  • Fake sweeteners (not technically carbs because they have no calories – but they give me a stomachache, a headache, and it’s probably not good to eat frankenfood chemicals)
I love muffins!

I love muffins!

*I still eat these things, but in moderation when I want them. Artisan bread with smooth creamy butter? On occasion, yes please!

Which carbs are good in moderation?

There is definitely a middle ground when it comes to complex versus simple carbs, and that middle ground is whole grain-y things (for me). They’re not the easiest foods to digest (see IBS), but they certainly are delicious. These guys include:

  • Unprocessed grains like¬†rice (white or brown).* (I grew up hating rice but now I LOVE it. I usually have it several times a week. It’s especially good with¬†ghee, aka clarified butter.)
  • Oatmeal (steel cut, regular – preferably not instant).
  • Winter squash (these are¬†my favorite foods, but¬†it’s easy to get a stomachache if you eat too much of them; squash also has lots of beta-carotene – but beware the orange glow).

I love having rice with veggies, like in bi-bim-bap (pictured above Рveggies, egg, beef over rice). In fact, I just like mixing foods together in general. Mix-it-up bowls are possibly the greatest invention ever.

Which carbs are good for us?

Most vegetable carbohydrates are good for our bodies. Some of my favorite carbs are…

  • Root veggies like carrots, parsnips, winter squash (kabocha, acorn, spaghetti, butternut, etc…)
  • Non-root veggies like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, peppers, yadda yadda yadda… Veggies are a diet staple.
  • Fruits (but not too much). Fruit makes me break out as well in large (more than 1 a day) quantities. Some lower-sugar fruits that I really like are: papaya, blueberries, berries in general, cranberry juice (without sugar) and spritzer, lime/lemon juice and spritzer, melons (cantaloupe, honeydew).

***

Do you eat a lot of carbs? Do you avoid any? Which are your favorites?

When it comes down to¬†complex carbs vs simple carbs, it’s probably better to choose the complex ones. But remember to include healthy fats (including saturated fat – it’s good for the brain) and protein. Out of the simple carbs, sugar is probably the worst. At least that is what works for me!

A Spiced Rice Obsession

Do you remember this “Indian rice” recipe I made a few months ago? I almost forgot about it until this week. Then I made a variation of it and now I’m obsessed again. It is just so good. Eating rice (spiced rice!) just makes me happy.

Here is my new variation, and the new ways I’ve been enjoying it:

Obsession-Inducing Spiced Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice of choice (this week: brown basmati (1x) and short grain white (1x))
  • water (1:1 ratio for white rice; 2 cups water to 1 cup rice for brown)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of ghee (butter works too) (or if you are vegan use peanut/sesame oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2+ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2+ teaspoon dill
  • 1/4 cup raisins

Method

  1. Soak raisins in hot water until plump. Chop in small pieces.
  2. Put all ingredients in rice cooker, mix, press start.
  3. (Alternately, you can cook rice on the stove, the normal way…)
  4. Serve with peanut butter.
  5. Or serve with yogurt.
  6. Or however else you choose.

My dessert one night: peanut buttery brown basmati rice concoction (just basmati obsession-rice + heaping spoonfuls of peanut butter):

And a breakfast of: yogurty short-grain white rice mix (obsession-inducing white rice + 2% greek yogurt + NuNaturals cocoa bean extract) (enter my NuNaturals giveaway here):

The rice comes out nice and chewy and flavorful. I will definitely keep making it!

***

Don’t forget about my NuNaturals giveaway! It ends Saturday.

***

Teaser:

White obsession-rice over a mystery salad… can you guess what’s in that lunch bowl of yum?

Indian Brown Rice Recipe (Whole Foods-Inspired Recipe)

The other weekend Bobby and I made it out of the house early enough on a Sunday to go to meeting. Usually we stay in on weekend mornings, choosing to clean (me), sleep (him), eat (both of us), or do other fun things to pass the time. That one Sunday that we made it out though, we were quite hungry by the end of our Sunday morning silence. (For more info on meeting/Quakers click here.) We headed to Whole Foods for brunch where I stumbled upon one of my new favorite simple recipes.

Indian Brown Rice Recipe (Whole Foods-Inspired Recipe)

I made sure to go back to the hot food bar and copy down the ingredients. Which I will now share with you.

Ingredients

  • 1 rice cooker cup brown rice (I used brown basmati) (1 rice cooker cup ~ 3/4 of a regular cup. I don’t know why the cup is a different size.)
  • 2 rice cooker cups of water (or amount required by your rice cooker / rice packaging)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons ghee or butter*
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill (or other green spice – a bayleaf maybe, or oregano, etc…)

*Vegans can substitute oil instead of butter/ghee.

Method

    1. Toss everything in your rice cooker. Mix. Press “start”.

    1. Wait until rice is done. Mix again, and eat.

It’s a very simple recipe with great results. I hope you enjoy it.

Do you like basmati rice? Do you like Indian food?

I generally don’t like Indian food, but I do love basmati rice. My friend recently made mutter paneer that I *did* actually like though, so maybe I am coming around.

Did you watch the superbowl?

I did! I couldn’t follow it at all, but I thought that one of the coaches looked like Foreman (from House) and I thought the Black Eyed Peas were absolutely horrible.

OZU Macrobiotic Restaurant Review (New York)

I promised this a while ago, and here it finally is…

Ozu (Macrobiotic) Restaurant Review

Ozu is a small Japanese restaurant on the upper west side. I found it because my friend Mel works nearby and we wanted to find a place close to her work for our weekly lunch date (we have since moved to dinner dates; we just work too far apart for lunch to pan out as planned). Ozu is macrobiotic, but not really advertised as such. Traditional Japanese food is typically macrobiotic by default. Here is another inside view (small and cozy, but nice):

We went for lunch one day back in September and I got the lunch special – a macro plate with a side salad. Possibly the best macro plate I’ve had – a close tie with Good Health’s. This macro plate was: chickpeas, seaweed, carrots, yams, kabocha, and brown rice.

The salad was fabulous too, and came with a slightly tangy dressing.

Mel got a noodly pad thai dish…

A Second Trip to Ozu!

I didn’t grab a picture of the noodly dish at the time, but I brought Bobby and another friend back just a few days later and they both got the “Thai Noodles” on my recommendation. The dish had thick rice noodles stir fried in peanut sauce, with broccoli, string beans,¬†carrots, kale, and collards topped with raw bean sprouts and walnuts. They added salmon as well.

I am pretty sure they were very satisfied. I got this vegetarian macrobiotic (and vegan actually) fried rice. I don’t know how I finished it all, but I did.

We also split the “Carrot Pancake” appetizer, which apparently I forgot to photograph. It was a pan-fried pancake of wheat flour, cabbage, carrots, kale, ginger, kabocha squash, coconut milk and carrot dressing. Served with soy dipping sauce. Reminded me a lot of my okonomiyaki (Japanese frittata thing) – I love my okonomiyaki recipe; must make it again soon.

Macrobiotic food is just about the only type of food I can always finish without feeling guilty and/or sick. Macrobiotic eating has really really helped me overcome any and all kinds of food phobias that I used to have; I would say that macrobiotics has actually been the major factor in helping me learn to eat intuitively.¬†(Part of macriobiotics is remembering that it’s not about the food, and that to be macrobiotic you sometimes should not be macrobiotic… if that makes sense.)

Would anyone be interested in hearing more about macrobiotics?

I have touched on it before, and I did a macrobiotic experiment a while ago (macrobiotic wrap-up posts here – scroll to bottom of page), but I’m sure there is more to discuss. Do you have any specific questions about macrobiotics? Want any macrobiotic recipes? Leave comments and let me know!

P.S. I did do Meatless Monday yesterday and I also didn’t have any added sugar (as far as I know), both for Healthy Monday.

Melissa: Make Your Own Sushi (on the cheap!)

Today’s guest post is dedicated to my wonderful husband, Bobby. Bobby is half-Japanese and has a passion for sushi. Sometimes we make it ourselves (make your own sushi) and sometimes we go out searching for great rolls! Thanks again¬†Melissa for your post.¬†Melissa was one of the first bloggers I started reading regularly. I’ve been enjoying her “side notes” recently. So without further ado…

***

So, I know you probably go out for sushi and cringe at the sight of the bill after enjoying your meal…but have no fear! I’m here to teach you how you can make your own rolls at home and spend probably half the amount you would at a restaurant! And you can make them anyway you want!

I made a simple vegetable roll to demonstrate (and I apologize beforehand for the pictures, color and angles, since my kitchen lighting is horrible and I had to photograph my own demo) but I’ll provide some nice add-ins you can use that won’t be too foreign!

Ingredients:

  • Rice (long grain/Japanese Botan Rice)
  • Nori (dried seaweed, large squares)
  • 1/2 Avocado, cut into strips
  • 1 Carrot, sliced into long strips (I use a peeler to make it easier to handle!)
  • 1 Cucumber, sliced into long strips
  • Small glass/bowl of water to dip your hands in periodically

Directions:

  1. Cook rice according to directions either on the stovetop or in the rice maker. For mine I used 1/2C of rice for two servings with 1.5C of water, all in the rice maker.
  2. While the rice is cooking, take this time to cut up all the veggies.
  3. After the rice is done, let it sit for about 10 minutes and then remove it to let it cool (it being hot will cause the nori to cinch up and get rubbery).
  4. Lay out the nori piece on a DRY cutting board (I’ve found this to be the best surface where stuff doesn’t stick).
  5. Place about a 1/2C of rice onto the center on the nori.
  6. Wetting your hands, spread the rice out thinly leaving about a 1/2-1 inch gap at the top and bottom.
  7. Stack all the contents you want inside your roll at the bottom of the nori sheet where there is no rice. I normally start with the cucumber on the bottom to help make rolling easier, then cucumber, other vegetables then the meats/avocado/tofu and such.
  8. Now comes the part everyone is so afraid of: the rolling. This isn’t as hard as you think and can be done the first time without a bamboo roller. The easiest way to roll the sushi is to get your thumbs underneath the nori and use your other fingers to tuck and push everything together. Keep the insides as smashed together as possible without causing them to shoot out the side, and keep rolling over the rice layer until the opposite empty side of the nori.
  9. When you reach the other end dab your fingers in the water and apply some to the end of the nori to help it all stick together. Lay the roll on the seem to help it seal.
  10. The next hard part comes with cutting the sushi. This is where many have a hard time and it causes their sushi to get smashed and fall apart. The key thing is a WET knife and quick, concise strokes. I like to put my hands around the roll like a claw and cut very quickly with the knife. I use a wet towel between slices to remove all the gluten and rice to ensure easy cutting.
  11. Then voila! You have homemade sushi!

Of course this is a very simple variety of sushi, but you can also add a variety of other ingredients too.

For veggie rolls I also like to add:

  • Bean Sprouts
  • Steamed Zucchini
  • Green Beans
  • Bell Pepper Slices
  • Asparagus
  • Daikon
  • Eggplant (cooked of course!)
  • and anything else you might like!

For protein you can add:

  • Egg (pan fried like an omlette and cut into strips)
  • Tofu (baked/pan fried)
  • Any kind of meat (chicken, port, steak), cut into small strips
  • Fish
  • Shrimp
  • Octopus

Other add-ins include:

  • Cream Cheese
  • Japanese Mayo
  • Dressings
  • Peanut Sauces
  • Sweet Potato Puree

The world is your oyster when it comes to the variety of rolls you can make for sushi rolls! And it doesn’t take long to make either; the hardest most time consuming part is chopping up all the ingredients for the inside of it!

I hope this was easy enough to understand but if you have any questions, feel free to email me (trying dot to dot heal at gmail dot com). You can view my other three sushi tutorials here, here and here.

Enjoy!

***

Thanks again Melissa! I hope to use your tutorial as soon as we get back :)

What’s your favorite sushi?

Recipe: (Organic) Roasted Veggie Bi Bim Bap

Last night (on the fourth of July) I made bi bim bap for dinner. Bi bim bap is a Korean dish – it’s rice, topped with lettuce, various cooked veggies, and an egg. And meat, for non-vegetarians. (Like that yolk, Sophia?)

In the spirit of being local/homegrown/American (it was fourth of July) I made this with mostly organic produce from our farmers’ market; the eggs are also organic and free range and delicious. I think the rice is even organic too. I’m making a serious effort to be more local/organic these days.

That is Bobby’s bi bim bap. It’s brown/white rice (a mix), some lettuce, a fried egg, and roasted veggies.

Maggie’s Organic Roasted Veggie Bi Bim Bap

Ingredients

  • brussels sprouts, quartered
  • green beans
  • burdock, finely sliced
  • turnips, sliced (I used a mandoline)
  • zucchini, sliced (mandoline again)
  • peanut oil (a few tablespoons)
  • soy sauce (a few teaspoons)
  • lettuce
  • rice (brown or white)
  • red spicy Korean sauce (we used ketchup + hot sauce – a good approximation!)
  • 1 fried egg per person

Method

First I coated the brussels, beans, turnips, zucchini, and burdock in peanut oil and soy sauce. I put the brussels, burdock, and beans on one pan because those have to cook for longer; the turnips and zucchini can go on another sheet. I baked them at 400F for 35 minutes. I took out the turnips/zucchini early (25 minutes or so).

(Note: in the picture above I had put the burdock with the turnips/zucchini – I had to move it to the other pan because it wasn’t done after 25 minutes!) Then they came out:

Once the veggies were done, we simply made bowls of rice + lettuce + fried egg, and added the toppings. Here is the bi bim bap base (Bobby’s):

And here is the finished product (mine – extra lettuce, obviously):

We topped it with homemade ketchup + organic hot sauce. Yum!

This was so much better than some of the other things I have made recently – not because the other things are bad, but because this was made with fresh, organic, local ingredients. I am finally converted. These veggies were fabulous and it’s not worth it to me to save money with non-organic produce anymore. I’m going GREEN.

Exercise of the day: I’m about to do my Diane von Furstenberg¬†exercise, and then Bobby and I are going to the Met a little later to meet up with a friend. We’ll walk there (over a mile) and back.

Do you buy organic? Is it worth it to you? Can you get organic produce/products where you live?

1 2