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Natto Radish Soba

This was my quick meal.

I always enjoy a soba bowl like this.

Easy to make and very satisfying.

I happened to have natto beans and fresh radishes, and they always make a great addition to my soba bowl.

Drizzle soy maple sauce (dressing).

Set the table.

Bon Appetit.

Natto Radish Soba

100g cooked soba noodles
1 package natto beans
2 radishes, grated
2 tablespoons chopped scallion
3 tablespoons chopped tomato
1 tablespoon pickled eggplant (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped Shiso Japanese basil
soy maple sauce
– 1 tablespoon soy sauce
– 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
– 1 tablespoon maple syrup
– 2 drops sesame oil
– salt

1. Serve soba noodles with the vegetables.
2. Make soy maple sauce. Mix all the ingredients well.
3. Serve the soba bowl with the sauce.

Indian Butter Cauliflower

When we switched from 95% to 100% plant-based diet about a month ago, I thought Indian food would continue to be a great option for us.

And then I quickly realized that it was a bit trickier than I initially thought.

Yes, there are dishes that are flavorful not because of the meat but because of rather a wonderful use of spices.

However, many of our favorite Indian dishes contained some kind of dairy products, like cheese, yogurt and cream.

Then I realized that I could use something else besides cream to make an Indian butter dish.

I use cashew nuts for other things where I would have used mayo, yogurt, or sour cream, so I decided to use cashew cream to see how it goes.

The result was awesome!

We got all the wonderful flavors from a mix of spices, but we also got the creaminess that we were looking for.

I have to say I really didn’t miss anything, meat or dairy cream.

This is going to be one of our go-to Indian dishes; although it will be hard to find an Indian restaurant who makes vegan butter curry…

There are pretty plates that do not look that good when food is served on, and then there are not-that-pretty plats that make any food look good.

This is one of that latter kind of plate (or I should say bowl in this case), and I absolutely love it.

I happened to find it on eBay many years ago, and it’s still one of my favorite dishes.

Indian Butter Cauliflower

1/3~1/2 cup cashew nuts
hot water
canola oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped ginger
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cauliflower, cut into bite sizes
salt and pepper
1/2~1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2~1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon cumin
2 cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
1 can (28oz) whole tomatoes, pureed
1/2~1 can (6oz) tomato paste
salt and pepper
chopped cilantro or parsley

1. Soak cashew nuts in hot water that barely covers the nuts for 15~20 minutes.
2. Sautee garlic and ginger in oil. Add onion and continue to cook for another few minutes. Add cauliflower and continues to cook. Salt and pepper.
3. Add garam masala, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon sticks, and bay leaves. Mix well.
4. Add water to barely covers the vegetables. Boil and then turn down to low heat. Continue to cook until the cauliflower is cooked through.
5. Add pureed tomatoes, tomato paste, and sugar. Mix well.
6. Puree the cashew nuts until smooth and creamy. Add the cashew cream to the curry. Salt and pepper. Serve with chopped cilantro or parsley.

Lemon Lime Avo Ice Cream

I made this ice cream a few weeks ago and forgot to post it.

It’s getting a bit cooler here in Minnesota, and I thought I should post it before fall arrives!

The motivation for making this ice cream came from a large bag of lemons I bought.

I needed a lemon for something, but when I saw a large bag of a half dozen lemons priced for less than the double the price of ONE lemon at another store, I had to pick the large bag.

So I needed to make something to use them.

The problem was that I used avocado as a base, so it’s naturally green colored.

I quickly realized that I couldn’t call it “lemon” ice cream when it was so green like Green Giant!

So I decided to call “lime lemon ice cream”, and if I called it that, I had to add lime juice, so I did (no picture, but trust me there is fresh lime juice in this).

Like the other avo ice cream I made, the texture is absolutely amazing!

Super creamy and very satisfying.

Lime Lemon Avo Ice Cream: 2 avocados, lemon juice, lime juice, sugar

No-Meat Pepperoni

This is probably one of my best culinary creations.

No-meat pepperoni!

Doesn’t this look like real pepperoni?

But there is absolutely no animal meat in this one.

Interested in finding out how to make this?

Well, it’s actually quite simple to make it.

What you need is king mushrooms.

Slice them thin.

You marinate them overnight.

When cooked in the oven, it’s like magic.

They turn into no-meat pepperoni, or PB (plant-based; which I probably prefer) pepperoni.

King mushrooms are one of my favorite ingredients, mainly because of its texture.

Because of the unusually strong “meaty” texture for a vegetable, it adds so much interest to any dish, whatever you are making.

It’s one of my go-to ingredients, especially now we don’t eat meat.

This king mushroom “pepperoni” not only has a great texture but also is absolutely delicious, too!

I honestly like this so much better than real pepperoni which I was never a big fan of even when I was still eating meat.

So it was almost necessary to make pizza when you have such awesome “pepperoni”.

Don’t you think?

We just used the vegetables we had that day (onion, green onion, black olives) and the PB pepperoni.

We first spread red sauce, put the vegetables (and the “pepperoni”), baked the pizza, and then we drizzled my cashew “cheese” right before serving.

I also sprinkled chopped Japanese basil leaves on top.

It was so delicious!!

I would order pepperoni pizza if they had my pepperoni on it (lol).

I just made a second batch of PB pepperoni.

This time I decided to put them in the freezer because I want to see how they will turn out when I use the frozen version for pizza.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

PB (No-Meat) Pepperoni

5~6 large king mushrooms, sliced
– 75ml soy sauce
– 75ml maple syrup
– 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
– 1/4~1/2 teaspoon paprika
– 1/2~1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
– 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
– salt and pepper
canola oil

1. Slice king mushrooms. Put them in a large glass container. Add the marinade ingredients to the container. Mix well using a spoon until all the mushroom slices are coated with the marinade. Let them marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 400F.
3. Remove the slices from the marinade. Pat them dry with paper towel to remove the excess liquid.
4. Line two sheet pans with aluminum foil. Thinly coat the foil with oil; use a brush. Place the mushroom slices on the foil in a single layer. Lightly brush the top of the slices with oil. Salt and pepper.
5. Bake for about 10~15 minutes. Check frequently. Depending on the thickness of the mushroom slice and the location inside the oven, some of them cook faster than others.

These are kind of addictive, and I have a hard time stopping eating!

Breakfast Fruit Nachos

Who said you can’t snack in the morning?

When I have beautiful fruit like this, I want to start the day eating lots of it!

I cut them into small pieces.

Easy to scoop up with chips this way.

Here is the first layer.

Looks like a wreath.

Tortilla chips made with stone ground white corn, red quinoa, and black beans.

We always have several different kinds of chips in our house.

Terry is sort of an expert to spot good chips wherever we go for grocery shopping.

A drizzle of cashew cream and sunflower butter and fruit were placed between layers and on top.

This was such a great idea!

How fun is it you get to eat breakfast with hands?!

I didn’t think I was that hungry, but Terry and I devoured this.

Each bite is absolutely perfectly delicious.

Even though it looks like a snack, this breakfast is nutrition-packed with all the fresh fruit!

I drizzled a little maple syrup at the end, but it can be optional.

I spotted this mug at Anthropologie, and fell in love with the colors and the design.

This is my new mug, and this one is Terry’s.

One of the things in cups (and bowls, too) I look for is some design inside the cup (or bowl).

And this mug passes the test.

Breakfast fruit Nachos

cashew cream “cheese”
– 1/2 cup cashew nuts
– hot water to cover the nuts
– fresh lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
– about 1 tablespoon sugar
– salt
tortilla chips; I used Trader Joe’s Quinoa Black Bean chips
1/4 cup sunflower butter
2 cups chopped fruit; I used mango, banana, grapes, cherries, and blueberris
fresh mint

1. Make cashew cream “cheese”. Put nuts in a tall container. Add hot water to cover the nuts. Let them soak for at least about 15 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients. Puree until smooth using a hand blender.
2. Place chips on a plate. Drizzle the cashew cream “cheese” and sunflower butter. Sprinkle some fruit.
3. Place another layer of chips. Drizzle the cashew cream and sunflower butter. Place a pile of fruit in the middle. Sprinkle fresh mint leaves.

Fried Tofu Lettuce Wraps

Per Terry’s request, I made lettuce wraps.

Whenever I ask Terry to give me some food ideas, his response is almost always “pizza”, so I was pleasantly surprised when he gave me this interesting idea.

I hadn’t made lettuce wraps for a long time, and I thought it would be a great dish to make 100% plant-based.

First I made the filling.

I used fried tofu that I bought from a local Asian grocery store.

They sell deep-fried tofu.

I like to use the fried tofu for this dish because the crunchiness created from the deep-frying gives a nice texture; a little more substantial than regular tofu.

I crumbled it into small pieces using my hands (I wanted this rough texture, not neatly diced pieces), fried it in a pan, and then coated it with flavorful sauce.

Besides lettuce you’ll see a lot of vegetables in my lettuce wrap.

Super easy to put together.

It’s fun to make your own wraps, too.

Don’t they look fresh and tasty?!

Then I pour sweet chili sauce in a dipping plate.

You don’t “need” this sauce, because the tofu is so flavorful, but some people like extra sauce, like my hubby.

It’s a bit messy, but not too bad.

It’s always fun to eat with hands!

A shot from yesterday.

I went for an early evening walk with Terry and our neighbor friend.

It was a warm day, but I always enjoy walking by the Mississippi river.

Fried Tofu Lettuce Wraps

fried tofu filling
– canola oil
– 4 cloves garlic, chopped
– 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
– about 2 cups deep fried-tofu, crumbled
– salt and pepper
– about 2 tablespoons sugar
– about 2 tablespoons soy sauce
– 1/2 teaspoon shisen toban djan (chili bean sauce)
– about 2 tablespoons ten men jan (soy bean paste)
– about 1~2 white vinegar
– chopped scallion
iceberg lettuce leaves
julienned carrot
julienned cucumber
sweet chili sauce (optional)

1. Make tofu filling. Cook garlic and ginger in oil for a few minutes. Add tofu and continue to cook. Salt and pepper. Add the rest of the ingredients except for scallion. Continue to cook while stirring. Sprinkle scallion.
2. Serve the tofu filling with lettuce leaves and other vegetables and herbs. Salt.

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