Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Japanese Breakfast II

Spending a very slow Sunday morning. My cold has subsided a bit, and I am hungry for a substantial breakfast since I went to bed early to get rid of the fever last night.

So I made myself a hearty breakfast.

brown rice (oats and millet cooked together)
miso soup (bean sprouts and seaweed)
spinach (sesame paste on)
picked plum and sea kelp

3 years ago back in southern California, my usual Sunday brunch consisted of white flour, butter, sugar and maple syrup, in a form of pancakes. I never would have imagined eating the way I did this morning! Not in a million years.

Until next time,


Saturday Night

Had a semi-date dinner plan but since my nose is running Niagara style and my occasional coughing makes people imagine that I'm dying, I came home like a good girl. Recovery from a cold is in high order, seeing that it's my 6th day in. Should probably go to bed soon but since it's Saturday night I've decided to enjoy the time alone at flat.

Starting with re-decorating the space with a lovely bunch of fuchsia carnations that I picked up at the grocery store after work tonight.

A girl space complete. And of course...

...The Big Ban Theory!!!

My favorite sitcom of all (simply because I love nerds and geeks)! They started playing the show on TV in Japan a few months ago every Saturday, and I'm in awe. Whenever I don't have a dinner plan or girls' night out, I have something to look forward to after work. I'm a Howard fan all the way.

And strawberries to go with my TV time!!

The yumminess is beyond words.

Wish it was Saturday night every night.

Until next time,


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Morning Porridge

Breakfast should be something easy on the stomach. 80 percent of the time I make a bowl of oatmeal, but this morning I was feeling a little more hungrier than usual and made myself a brown rice porridge.

brown rice (cooked)
dried kelp dried shitake mushroom
pickled-plum paste

You just cook everything in a pot. Easy to make, hearty and warm and filling, it's perfect for a little wake-up meal.


Radish Tea

My skin is being a little iffy since I'm coming down with a cold and also expecting the delightful time of the month soon. My latest remedy for the skin problems, namely blemishes?: radish tea.

dried radish (a quoter cup)
water (2 cups)

You just boil them together on a medium heat for about 5 minutes. You can remove the radish or eat it, but I prefer using it for some other dish than in my drink.

It does taste a bit like radish, a little tangy and sweet. It takes a bit of getting used to the taste since I still think of radish as a vegetable and not exactly a "tea" material. But it works great on your skin the next morning when you wake up, I can guarantee you.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Brown Rice Millet Jelly

A vice in macrobiotics is sugar. Processed sugar, like the regular sugar, confectioner's sugar, or even brown sugar, are considered unnecessary in your body.

But that doesn't mean "sweetness" is banned forever in your diet. You simply use more natural alternatives, such as ama-sake, which I often use in my cooking as you can see in my blog entries, maple syrup, and brown rice millet jelly. The last one of which I had never had in my kitchen until today. I had another delivery made with lots of macrobiotic food and organic stuff this morning. Included was the item in question.

It's sort of like honey in texture, only maybe thicker, and tastes a lot like maple syrup. Very tasty on its own.

I tried it in my brown rice flakes that I blogged about the other day, and it was really yummy. Will use it more often now.

Until next time,


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lunch at Home I

The sun light gently comes in through the south window, and I simply cannot think of a better place to be right now than right here in my living room.

A half day off is really lovely. I can't get this enough. Being able to go to work at 5 pretty much means that I get to eat three meals at home!

My lunch today:
vegetable-fruit soup
squash bread
roasted chestnuts

The soup is actually an organic vegetable-and-fruit juice right out of the carton. Amazing what a plain heating up can do, really, creating an instant main course of a meal!


Mid-night Snack

I have a half day off tomorrow. Yay!

And instead of being in bed at 10 at parents', I'm back at my flat spending the night up watching movies.

The stew I ate for dinner digested really quickly and I got hungry again. It's a little too late at night to be eating something but I couldn't stand it. So here is what I opted for a mid-night snack: toasted brown-rice flakes with soy milk.

I added a spoonful of ama-sake to sweeten a bit. Very easy on the stomach, and you are less guilty for eating so late and near bed time.

Until next time,


Burdock-root Stew

My dinner tonight: vegetable stew cooked with miso and soymilk.

burdock root
maitake mushrooms
shiitake mushroms
spring potatoes
soy milk
miso paste

All in a pot cooked slowly over a medium heat until the potatoes pretty much dissolved. It's so creamy and rich, it's hard to believe it's dairy-free.

Until next time,


Pretty in White

I went to a wedding dress fitting today.

Well, the bells will be tolling this summer not for me but for one of my best gal pals.

I had never been to a wedding dress fitting. Well, it's not something I get to experience more than a couple of times in my life time, I'm assuming. So I set out to the place totally determined to take it all in and really enjoy the ride. And I have to admit, it was quite exciting being in the spacious room with big floor-to-ceiling mirror walls, and seeing my girl friend get into one dress after another two hours straight. She was glowing with a beam and looked really happy, smiling the most special smile I had ever seen on her. And I just couldn't stop telling her how beautiful she looked in every one of the gown she put on.

I have to admit. Seeing all the gowns did put me into a perspective of things about my single-and-mingle-in-a-jungle life. While waiting for my gal to get clad in all white behind the curtain, I strolled around the room greeting the dresses hung, imagining which one I would choose for myself.

I never thought I had it in me, but I might have a bride gene or at least a shred of it left in me still. If, after all.

I thought they would give me a glass of champagne like they do at the Vera Wang showrooms, but instead it was a cup of peach tea. Oh well. It was just as lovely, though.

Until next time,


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Lunch at Work I

This is the lunch I brought to work today.

brown rice (this time with black rice grains)
pickled plum
steamed broccoli

Here is a delightful dressing that I tossed the broccoli with.

hato-mugi miso
white sesami paste
a bit of maple syrup

Very tasty and filling.

I break out less lately, and I have a feeling all the brown rice I've been eating is paying off.

Until next time,


Thursday, February 18, 2010

New Toothpaste

I got myself so into the whole macrobiotics concept in the last month and a half, it was a matter of time I started being keener on using organic items outside of the kitchen as well.

Replacing my regular tooth paste to Pax Naturon was the first and easy step to make, since I needed to buy a new paste.

It's less foamy, but tastes clean and cleans well, too.

Until next time,


Les Tulipes

I am, again, letting the brightness of tulips shine in the flat. It's been a little bleak and cold, even for February, of late. I was in desperate need of something warm looking to lay my eyes on when I wake up in the morning and come home at night.

Until next time,


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Winter Squash Soup

The problem with my schedule is that I can't come back home at a decent hour. Having a decent dinner at a decent time on a regular basis is something I haven't done in a long while . Practicing macrobiotics, I want to finish eating my last meal 4 hours before bed, which is nearly impossible since I want to be in bed by 12. And I'm starving after work, so I opt for something very light.

I used to have fresh salad, some fruit or yogurt. But raw vegetables and fruit, or dairy products are now off limits for me. My option now, is some warm soup.

And tonight, I made a soup out of winter squash.

half of winter squash
a cup and a half of soy milk

...that's it. Can you believe it? Creamy yet dairy free, buttery yet butter free, sweet yet sugar free.

You basically cook the squash in a bit of boiled water until soft enough to, well, squash it with a spoon. Then you add the soy milk to make a very smooth concoction. That's it. It's ridiculous what a divine soup only two ingredients can make. A pinch of salt added might work better for some people, though.

For a bit of crunchiness, I also sprinkled on some brown rice flakes.


Until next time,


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Fruit Tea

Here is a drink I had at a cafe while shopping with sis yesterday.

Rose hip Hibiscus tea with dried fruit. The scent was a little too sweet for me, but it tasted just right: citrus-y and apple-y and berry-ly.

I have been off coffee for a month and 14 days now. I am quite impressed with myself.

Until next time,


Happy Valentine's Day!

It was St. Valentine's day yesterday. Yes, we do have the day in the land of samurai, too, though the event is considered the chance for the females to come forward and confess their feelings to their crush...

...which is just about the stupidest thing I've ever heard.

So I went shopping with sis for our beloved nephew, a month old, on this special occasion.

I had never, EVER, gone shopping for clothes for someone other than myself in my entire life until yesterday. But I had the most fun looking through the littlest things possible to put on a human being. It's ridiculous how adorable these things are.

I might have bought a little too much... you think?

Here are a few of my favorites:

If only I could buy 16 fashion items for myself with 400 bucks, too!

Until next time,


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Book Report: The Macrobiotic Path to Total Health

This is virtually the bible for all who practices or believes in macrobiotics. I got it delivered yesterday.

I debated for a little while when I was to place the order, because they do, naturally, have the Japanese and original version of the Mr. Kushi's wordings in prints. I wanted to try and read in his actual words, but English version, unbelievably, happens to be cheaper! on Amazon (and in the market, for that matter), and I decided it's just easier for me to read and register after all.

The thin leaves and small prints remind me of my college text books...

My bed-time bible (mine's King James) will now be replaced for a little while.

Until next time,


Hot Spring Getaway

My family's thing is to throw a birthday dinner party at a hot spring hotel so we get to have a gorgeous dinner AND take a bath and unwind to the full capability. The hotels usually let us use a room for a half day so we get to hang out while we are not bathing or eating.

I love this family tradition because, not only we get to eat until we can't move an inch for hours after that, but it's something that we get to do together during our busy schedule and truly relax and laugh hysterically and talk endlessly. It was mom's b-day last week, so we used the national holiday (11th) for the event.

We all had a food comma for about four hours after the dinner. Lemme just give you some visual aids of what it consisted of.

Forgot to take pics, but we also had a miso soup of some kind and a rice dish. Back to my macrobiotic meals tomorrow...

Happy birthday, again, mom!

Until next time,


Monday, February 8, 2010

Bakin' Time! VIII

So it's my usual Tuesday day-off.

Somewhere between thinking about the baked cheese cake I made last Tuesday and pondering a plan for a gateau chocolate on Valentine's day come Sunday, I have this sudden crave for a baked chocolate cheesecake. And my PMS has just hit its peak and I can't seem to get sugar out of my mind. Very UN-macrobiotic, indeed, but hey, if macrobiotics is based on the organic, natural food for human body, every single cell in my body is now screaming sugar!! And I shall answer to them respectably.

...but of course, I didn't have my camera with me.

It looks chintzy through the image captured by my cell phone, but tasted great. Another hit among the cream cheese loving family members of mine.

Until next time,


Survival on the 16th Floor

I was at a monthly 7-hour meeting in Shinjuku yesterday. My ass usually falls into a comma after an hour if not sooner.

Before lunch (at 2), I can survive fine. After lunch, driking a lot of water throughout the day is absolutely a must to stay awake just so I need to pee the entire time. I always bring a 1 litter Volvic.

I've also learned that I need a little more sugar intake than usual since I get hungry easily when I'm not doing anything but sitting and listening, so this time I brought my recent fav drink, guava juice, to the rescue. I love the taste of guava; it just might be the favorite fruit of mine.

Since I am macrobiotically conscious now, I haven't had my used-to-be favorite diet coke this year at all, or any carbohydrated drinks for that matter. I don't even crave for them anymore. Yay me.

Until next time,


Lunch Out II

Again in Shinjuku for a meeting, and that means a macrobiotically sabbatical lunch.

Since I had a very little time to think of where to munch at, and also I really enjoyed the salad I had the last time, I went back to the same casual French place, Moufftard du Paris.

For lunch they always have:
1) pasta of the day
2) fish of the day
3) meat of the day
4) salad of the day

and they all come with a basket of rolls (several kinds) and free tea or coffee. And today, they had Salade Niçoise! My favorite of all salads! Life is kind to me.

Can't believe it's merely 10 bucks.

Back to the 16th floor for 6 more hours of sitting now!


Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Japanese Breakfast

Felt like eating rice for breakfast like a true Japanese at heart this morning.

brown rice
pickled plum
okura with sesami sauce

I just can't get enough of the brown rice lately. It's grown on me.


Friday, February 5, 2010

Tofu in Pot

I come home around 10 from work, which is a tad too late for me to have dinner since I want to try to be in bed by 12. So I eat light yet hearty enough.

On a very cold winter night like today, tofu in a pot makes it perfect.

shimeji mushrooms
welsh onion
dried kelp
dried shitake mushrooms
soysauce (dipping sauce)
lemon juice (dipping sauce)
plum vinegar (dipping sauce)

Delish! and keeps you super warm!


Monday, February 1, 2010

Bakin' Time! VII

Mom's having her 59th birthday on 5th. She had me when she was 30. I am turning 30 in two months. If I try and become a mother this year I will have a kid that has the same age gap with me as the gap between mom and me...

...just a thought.

In the meanwhile, I want to celebrate the big day for mom. She has exactly a year before retirement; she should enjoy paying tax while she can. I can't make it back here (at the parents') on her actual birthday, so I decided to bake a cake today instead while I'm here and do a pre-b-day celebration. I was gonna go with my fool-proof gateau chocolate that I made for dad last year (, but with the Valentine's Day nearing and thinking that I might bake something chocolate-y then, I opted for a baked cheesecake this time. And I love the timing since strawberries are now in season!!!

The thing about baking a cheesecake is that it's ridiculously easy. Unless you can't differentiate cream cheese from papier-mache, you can't possibly fail.

I tried and sprinkled some chocolate powder over the cake but that didn't look very pretty, so I had to remove them all. Which made the surface look messier since the chocolate went in the cracks and I couldn't dig them all out.

But oh well, it tasted just fine and sis said it's the best I've ever made.

Happy birthday mom! I love you!

Until next time,