28 Nov 2009

Beautiful November!

What a beautiful weekend it has been. Nothing but Chilling, making funky knit Jewellery, studying Japanese and practising Yoga in the beautiful autumn sun. This week has been a strange one. 10 degrees one minute and 24 the next. Keep it up Mr sunshine! However, I have the feeling today was the last we have seen of its beauty.
As I mentioned in my last post, yoga everyday... So far so good.

Today I decided to take my new yoga mat to this beautiful spot which was introduced to me by a good friend who once lived here in Konan City, Kochi (thanks Jules). It has been a while since my last visit, but luckily today the sun was at its best for me to salute it with a dose of A & B (sun salutation, Astanga series). Just to prove how amazing this spot is for doing yoga, here is a short video Andy took.

Suryanamaskara B x 5

27 Nov 2009

Sweetpotato, pumpkin and onion mash

The weather is becoming cooler by the day and the last of the momiji are parting from their branches.  Winter is approaching fast and the thought and excitement of winter deliciousness is beginning to excite my taste buds.
The thought of this yum also frightened my waist line, or what's left of it anyway (I bake cakes way too much) so this past month has been filled with the need to get back in shape.  Yoga every day has started me off to a decent start.  I also bought this genius little application for my ipod for strength training.  It's basically a game where you battle other users to beat their score.  The ipod scores you on your form and control.  such a genius piece of equipment.  Impressed.  Anyway, only just started using it and my body is feeling tender...I didn't realise how out of shape I became!
Let's just hope the motivation lasts longer than a week.

As for food, this week I wanted a wee change from our usual rice and veg, so decided to pick up some fresh fish fillets, leafy herbs and of course pumpkin and sweet potatoes and created this delicious dish.

The recipe will follow shortly....


2 cups sweet potatoes
1 cup pumpkin or butternut squash
1 cup celery
1 cup red onion
1 tsp powdered stock/ vegetable or konbu dashi
1 clove garlic
fresh ground black pepper
a dash of olive oil
a dash of soymilk


- Cut the pumpkin and sweet potato into cubes and boil untu\il tender
- Meanwhile, saute the onion, celery and garlic for a couple of minutes until translucent.  You want to have a bit of crunch to the vegetables.
- When the potato and pumkin is tenter and crumbling slightly, drain and return to the pot
- mash with the powdered stock, soy milk and a little olive oil
- mix in the sauted oinion etc
- sprinkle the black pepper

To accompany the mash I served mixed herbs with a lemon dressing and cherry tomatoes and
grilled a fillet of white fish and placed on top of the mash.

Beautifuly colourful and of course...delicious!!!

11 Nov 2009

Pumpkin & Coconut Soup

This soup is one I picked up from working in a bistro a few years ago. It is an absolute favourite of mine. It's deliciousness is 5 star. You have to try it to see what I mean.


Half a Kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) or 1 squash
1 onion
2 pints of vegetable stock (I used 2 sachets of Konbu dashi)
200 ml Coconut milk (1/2 tin)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice
1 scallion (garnish)


1. Cut up the Kabocha/squash and cook it in the stock until the pumpkin becomes soft.
2. In the meantime chop up the onion and sauté in a pan with a little olive oil.
3. When the pumpkin is cooked add the onion, spice, and coconut milk.
4. Spoon half of the soup into a blender and blend until smooth then transfer back to the pot and reheat.
5. Quarter the lemon then squeeze the juice into the soup and stir.
6. Serve with your garnish.

Day 2 soup = Pasta sauce!!

Brown pasta mixed with pumpkin soup, 1 small eggplant, a cup of spinach, 2 scallions, 1 big juicy tomato, 1 tub of firm tofu(diced).... basically all the leftovers in my fridge

Nice, quick and very satisfying : )

9 Nov 2009

Shiawase Sunday...pure bliss...

Unfortunately my Sunday had to come to an end :(
We are into the 2nd week of November and the shorts and T-shirt are still a strong contender in the wardrobe stakes. 24 degrees and a clear blue sky.
A lazy morning uploading images from the Japanese wedding we attended on Sat mixed with a yummy Sunday breakfast and watching "In treatment". I had the intentions of a morning full of Astanga, but that thought passed when I realised I need to clean (That also didn't happen). Instead we took an hour bike ride to our favourite cafe "Cotton Time" and devoured a smoked salmon and cream cheese wrap (above) coupled with Japanese study.
These wraps are sooo unbelievably fresh and addictive, you pretty much inhale it! Only one problem, fujuubun (not enough).

Arriving home and only an hour to spare before the family were online for their weekly catch up, so I spent it making unleavened bread or more like yeast-less garlic focaccia...(Oh my gosh) It has been soooo long since eating bread I almost forgot what it tasted like (not such a bad thing, as it does stick to your insides like glue, but it was a sunday and best time to indulge a little).
This bread was too easy to make and so easy to manipulate with any flavour you are in the mood for.

I'm gonna make more later so I can take a picture, but here is the recipe for now.

2nd time bread (above) with garlic and sunflower seads (I cut the cooked bread into slices, drizzled a little olive oil onto one side then toasted it and served it with soup...oishiiiiii)

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup water
1 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried crushed garlic
sprinkle of fresh cracked pepper and salt
sprinkle cayenne pepper.

1. Sieve the flour, salt, baking powder into a bowl then mix in the water little by little. Depending on your flour you may not need to use all of the water.
2. mix into a dough.
3. turn onto a floured surface and kneed into a ball.
4. Plop the dough ball into the greased rice cooker flattening it to 1/2 and inch. It doesn't have to be even, but make sure there are no holes.
5. brush the dough with the olive oil.
6. sprinkle the pepper, garlic, etc. onto the dough
7. Set the rice cooker to the cake setting and time it to 45mins
8. wait for the beep then turn it out onto a wire rack and eat immediately. (best when hot)
9. It also tasted great day 2, toasted :)

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