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Sweet Mama Kabocha Salad

As I promised yesterday, in this post I’d like to show you how I used my homemade vegan mayo.

I think this Sweet Mama Kabocha Salad is a great way to showcase the mayo as well as this squash which has such a cool name!

This is Sweet Mama.

I found it at the local farmers market.

I love trying different kinds of squash, and farmers market is one of the best places to find interesting ones.

Last weekend when I was checking out one of the vendors squash selection, this caught my eye.

I initially thought it was a Kabocha, which is a very popular Japanese winter squash, because it had a similar look.

But the label said “Sweet Mama”.

I had never heard of it, but I came home with it.

When I did some research later, Sweet Mama is described as “hybrid squash”, but I couldn’t find out “a hybrid of what”.

According to this site, Sweet Mama is described as a “Kabocha-type” squash.

When I cut it in half and then later cut it into small pieces, I did notice that it is very similar to Kabocha in many ways, like colors of the skin, fresh, and their texture.

So I decided to make one of my favorite Kabocha dishes, Kabocha Salad.

When you cook it, you can definitely see even more similarity to Kabocha as the fresh becomes dry (like potatoes) when cooked, (which I like), and it has mild sweet flavor, similar to Kabocha.

I kept the skin on as I do with Kabocha.

Some parts of the skin can be harder than others, but I actually enjoy the two different textures: soft fresh and harder skin.

So this is where my vegan mayo comes in.

The cooked Sweet Mama was mixed with dried cranberries, coated with the homemade vegan mayo and a little maple syrup, and then served with freshly ground black pepper.

Absolutely delicious!!

I can eat a big bowl of this salad myself.

Sweet Mama Kabocha Salad

2 cups Sweet Mama Kabocha, cut into small pieces
salt and pepper
1/2 cup dried cranberries
homemade vegan mayo – add 1 tablespoon at a time until it achieves your preference
a drizzle of maple syrup
salt and pepper

1. Add Sweet Mama Kabocha in boiling water. Boil again and then turn heat down to medium-low heat. Continue to cook until cooked through but do not overcook; Kabocha will lose its shape when overcooked. Drain. Salt. Let it cool and dry.
2. Combine the Kabocha and dried cranberries.
3. Add homemade vegan mayo and maple syrup.
4. Salt and pepper. I like a lot of black pepper for this salad.

One more picture of me and Sweet Mama.

Yes, it was heavy, but when they have a set price for “each” and not “per pound”, I have to go for a big one, right (lol)?

Vegan Mayo

This was created without a lot of thoughts or plans, but the result was amazing.

I liked it so much that I decided to share it here.

Well, this is how it started… I had some tofu in the fridge that I needed to use up.

I was initially thinking about making some kind of sweet cream with it, but at the last minute I changed my mind, and I thought why not trying to make mayo.

I was actually thinking about making vegan mayo with tofu recently.

So this is what I came up with.

This time I remembered to measure the ingredients AND I wrote them down!

Vegan Mayonnaise – makes about 1.5 cup

300g silk tofu
1/6 cup soy milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1.5 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1~2 tablespoons sugar

1. Mix all the ingredients well using a hand blender until very smooth.

I’m so excited about this mayo, and I’m going to show you what I used this in my next post!

Stay tuned!!

Vanilla Pudding with Banana and Brownie Crumbles

Pudding is not a fancy dessert but I probably like it because of that.

It’s kind of a comfort dessert for me.

And when I found this vegan brownie, this idea of sprinkling brownie crumbles on top of pudding overwhelmingly came over to me.

These Kerr’s jars were the perfect size for my pudding.

It was kind of fun to open the jar like thins because this brings excitement like when you open your present.

In this vanilla pudding you’ll find banana slices and brownie crumbles, and this was tasty!!

I don’t have the recipe for this one, unfortunately (because I’m really not sure of the measurement of each ingredient), but here is a quick note for myself and for others who would like to know what’s in it…

Vanilla Pudding with Banana and Brownie Crumbles

vanilla pudding
– cashew nuts, soaked, and pureed with hand blender until very smooth
– soy milk
– sugar
– corn starch
– salt
– vanilla
banana slices
brownie crumbles

Moroccan Chickpea Stew with Roasted Veggies

Last week Terry and I took a whole week off and enjoyed a few mini trips.

The destination of one of the trips was our favorite city, Chicago.

We LOVE Chicago for so many reasons, but one of the things we really enjoy doing there is trying different restaurants because there are so many options!

People come home from their trip with souveniors, but I come home with food ideas (lol).

We are having more and more vegan friendly restaurants in the Twin Cities, but Chicago has so much more options, so consequently I find more cool vegan food ideas.

One of the restaurants we like to visit when we are in Chicago is Native Foods Cafe.

We stayed at Virgin Hotels Chicago(we had a very cool suite!), so we were only a few blocks from the restaurant.

We ended up dining at Native Foods Cafe twice during our 3-day stay in the city!

One of the meals I had there was Moroccan Bowl.

To tell the truth, I did not love the bowl because the tofu which was supposed to be marinated with Moroccan spices had little to no flavors and some of the veggies were a bit under-cooked.

But I did like some of their ideas.

One thing I really liked was their large pieces of roasted veggies.

So here is my big batch of roasted veggies.

These are some of my favorite vegetables to roast: carrots, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower.

So here is where my Moroccan bowl starts to greatly differ from the restaurant’s.

Well, it’s not fun to re-create exactly the same thing after all, right?

So the main part of my Moroccan bowl is this chickpea stew.

And I didn’t forget raisins.

I used golden raisins for my bowl because just in general I prefer golden raisin to regular darker raisins; the restaurants’s Moroccan Bowl had regular raisins.

I think the golden ones are more plump and fruity.


This is my Moroccan Chickpea Stew with Roasted Veggies.

It was served over brown rice.

I was pretty happy with the final result.

This is why taking a trip is a good thing, and it’s okay to come home without a T-shirt or a shot glass but with food idea notes!

Moroccan Chickpea Stew with Roasted Veggies

roasted vegetables
– canola oil
– 2 carrots, cut into bite-sized pieces
– 2 cups Brussels sprouts
– 2 cups cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
– salt and pepper
Moroccan chickpea stew
– canola oil
– 4 cloves garlic, chopped
– 1 onion, chopped
– 2 celery stalks, chopped
– salt and pepper
– 1~2 tablespoons flour
– about 1 cup water
– 1 28oz can whole tomatoes, pureed with hand blender
– 2 bay leaves
– 2 cinnamon sticks
– sugar
– spices (ground ginger, ground cumin, ground cinnamon, ground cayenne, ground allspice, paprika)
– 1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
– 1/2 cup golden raisins
– 2 tablespoons toasted almond slices
– chopped cilantro

1. Roast vegetables. Preheat oven to 400F. Place vegetables on a pan lined with foil. Drizzle oil. Salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 20~30 minutes or cooked through.
2. Make stew. Sautee garlic and onion in oil. Add celery and continue to cook for a few minutes. Salt and pepper. Put flour and continue to cook while stirring for a few minutes. Add water. Boil and then turn down to low heat.
3. Add tomatoes, bay leaves, and cinnamon sticks. Boil and then turn down to low heat.
4. Add sugar, spices, chick peas, and raisins. Add salt and pepper.
5. Serve with the roasted vegetables. Sprinkle almond slices and chopped cilantro.

The best thing I had at Native Foods Cafe was their Oatmeal Cream Pie.

It was DELICIOUS, and I still dream about it (lol).

Matcha Toast

A homemade whole wheat toast, Matcha bean paste, melting butter, crunchy walnuts, and sweet maple syrup…

What not to love?!

This is like the king of toast for me.

The bread we eat at home is mostly homemade, simply because it tastes better.

Since we bought the Kitchenaid stand mixer, making bread has become so easy and fun.

My dough is so much smoother than before and this seems to lead to the better result at the end.

This is my 1/3 whole wheat pullman bread, which is usually my go-to flour ratio (1/3 of the flour is whole wheat and 2/3 is bread or all-purpose flour).

This is how to make my Matcha toast.

1. Toast a homemade 1/3 whole wheat bread slice.
2. Spread Matcha flavored sweet bean paste (no recipe).
3. Place pieces of homemade vegan butter and chopped walnuts on top.
4. Drizzle maple syrup (optional).
5. Sprinkle Matcha powder.

This is delicious when the butter is still cold and keeping its shape.

But it’s also delicious when the butter starts melting.

Happy Tuesday evening everyone!

Miso Eggplant Stuffed Oyaki

Oyaki is a traditional Japanese snack which is basically a thick chewy dumpling with filling inside which can be sweet or savory.

This was actually the first time I made Oyaki, and it quickly became my favorite!

Oyaki is an awesome snack for many reasons; 1) you can eat it with a hand; 2) it doesn’t contain much fat or sugar; 3) it’s filling and satisfying.

They were surprisingly easy to make, and it didn’t take long at all once I prepared the filling.

This time I decided to make a savory version and used eggplant for the filling.

Eggplant is known to be paired up with tomatoes, but in Japan the “miso x eggplant” combination is a popular one.

Eggplant was sauteed first and then coated with sweet miso sauce.

Very tasty!!

Miso Eggplant Stuffed Oyaki makes about 8

miso eggplant filling
– 1~2 eggplant, cut into small pieces
– canola oil
– salt and pepper
– 1/4 cup sake
– 1 tablespoon sugar
– 1 tablespoon dark “haccho” miso
– water
oyaki wrappers
– 400g all purpose flour
– 3g salt
– 300ml boiling water
canola oil for frying
water for steaming

1. Make filling. Sautee eggplant in oil. Salt and pepper. Add sake and boil. Add sugar. In a small bowl put miso and add a little water and stir until the miso is not too thick. Add the miso to the eggplant. Coat the eggplant with the miso/sugar sauce well.
2. Make oyaki wrappers. Combine all the ingredients. Mix well and divide into 8 balls.
3. Flatten the balls, place the filling, and wrap them well. Make them disk-shaped.
4. Cook them with oil in a pan for a few minutes each side until browned. Add water that comes up to one fourth of the Oyaki. Cover and continue to cook/steam for about 5 minutes or until cooked through.

Have a great week everyone!!

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