Thursday, January 28, 2016

Vegan Macro Challenge - Final!

Hello Food Friends!

Here are the last recipes from the vegan/macro challenge.  I cooked them a little over a week ago.  Yes, it's an overdue post.  Better late than never!

It was a wonderful month cooking. Thanks to this project, lately I've been inspired to check out a lot of new recipe books! Fun!  Thank you Jillian for organizing the vegan/macro challenge!

And so we close this project and move on to another to stay motivated to cook.  I'll let you know what's next soon!

Lentil Stew with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Herbs (recipe)

Ginger Pear Crisp (recipe)

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Vegan/Macro Challenge Day 5, 6 and more...

Hello Hello!  

I'm behind in posting, but I've been cooking!  Day 5 and 6 are done.   Day 7 (the final day) Jillian decided to end with a big finale!  A big list of recipes!  It's been a busy weekend so I decided to take it easy and do a couple recipes at time.  I have a few more to cook, but it will soon be coming to an end.  

I've included the links to some of the recipes. Cook along!

Day 5
Overnight Oats with Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Dates
Steamed Napa Cabbage

Green Lentil Soup
Brown and Wild Rice
Steamed Greens
Arame Sauté

Dinner: Leftovers

Day 6
Fried Home-Made Mochi

 Nourishing Warming Soup (Recipe)

Squash and Carrot Ginger Soup
Penne Alfredo

Boiled Rice
Gingered Chickpeas

Day 7 (Celebratory Weekend of Cooking)
Scrambled Tofu (Recipe)

 Stuffed Squash (Recipe)

 Corn Chowder (Recipe)

 Carrot Cupcakes (Recipe)

Monday, January 4, 2016

Vegan/Marco Challenge! Day 3 and 4!

Astragalus Root!  Have you heard of that before?  That was an ingredient listed on one of the recipes.  It was traditionally used as a herbal medicine to help strengthen the immune system.  It's always fun to learn something new!  

I've included links to some of the recipes.  I hope you'll try cooking the Immune Building Soup!  It was delicious!  Perfect for the cold weather!  

Breakfast: Day 3 
Miso Soup with Onion, Carrots, and Napa Cabbage
Water Sautéed Kale
Soft Rice with Umeboshi

Lunch: Day 3

Dinner: Day 3
 Daikon Nishime
Immune Building Soup (Recipe)
Blanched Assorted Greens

Breakfast: Day 4
 Miso Soup
Water Sauté Bok Choy and Leeks
Polenta with Corn

Lunch: Day 4
 Quinoa Salad (Recipe)
Tempeh Salad (Recipe)

Dinner: Day 4

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Vegan/Macro Challenge Day 2! Home-made Mochi Recipe

Hello foodie friends!

Oh what fun it's been to cook!  

When I first began practicing macrobiotics I fell into eating VERY narrowly. I'm sure many of you can relate to that. It was always, I can't eat this, I can't eat that. Over the past couple years I've expanded my pallet, ingredients, and cooking methods immensely.  It's only day two of the vegan/macro challenge and it's been so wonderful to be reminded of the variety we CAN eat! Yesterday's menu included pan fried mochi for breakfast. I love mochi, but somehow I've forgotten to include that in my menu planning for several months!!! How did that happen?!?!  Ack! It's so easy to fall into routines! That is why participating in cooking challenges and projects are so wonderful. It's a great way to be remind of the variety we can eat and to learn new recipes!

So yesterday, I ran out to my local natural market to buy mochi, only to find that they were out of stock until Tuesday! Ugh! But no worries...I remembered my mom's special home-made mochi recipe. It's not made the traditional way (I don't own the traditional tools) and it's not made the modern way (with bread machines) either. It's just a creative way of making mochi when you don't have any of the proper tools to make mochi. That's why I call it "special!" I'm posting the recipe here so you all can make it when you find yourself in a bind. 

Note: it's not going to come out pretty like the store bought mochi or how the professionals do it. It's really sticky and messy!

1 cup sweet brown rice
1 1/3 cup water
pinch of salt

Soak one cup of sweet brown rice overnight. Drain the water, blend the sweet brown rice with 1 1/3 cup of water, and pinch of salt until it turns creamy. Pour mixture into a ceramic Osawa pot and close the lid. (If you don't have a Osawa pot or pressure cooker, it can be done in a ceramic cookware and a big pot, but you'll have to cook it an additional 15-20min longer.) Fill the pressure cooker with about 2 inches of water, and place the Osawa pot in the pressure cooker. Pressure cook for 45min. Voila! Then the messy part comes...spooning it out. Spoon out and place it on a well oiled frying pan or drop into your soup! Enjoy!

Pan-friend Mochi with Brown Rice Syrup and Cinnamon
Steamed Bok Choy

Nori Rolls with Sauerkraut, Blanched Carrots and Collard Greens

Squash (Kobocha) Risotto
Sautéed Swiss Chard and Shallots
Boiled Salad with Daikon, Carrots, and Nappa Cabbage
and lets not forget a glass of white wine! Woo!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Vegan/Macro Challenge! Day 1

Hello friends!
Happy New Year!  2015 was a year full of so many big surprises and challenges but some of the best things have come out of all of this!  I am so grateful for the things I've learned, the people I've met, and the direction my life is headed.  I'm so excited for 2016!
First, I want to thank all the people who supported me throughout my Kickstarter campaign!  I'm here to announce that I was not able to reach my fundraising goal for the Peaceful Plates Around the World.  There were so many challenges and curveballs that came along the way, all were out of my control, both fortunate and unfortunate, but I feel a tremendous amount of gratitude. I think a lot came out of this. I've gained so much from this whole experience. I reconnected with old friends and made new friends, and my project was recognized by many wonderful inspirational leaders that I respect. Most importantly I believe just the introduction of the project alone helped to bring awareness to the food and environmental movement. I feel blessed to have had 143 monetary backers and several hundred other people sending in words of support! It was all a bit overwhelming. 
Today, I'm here to share with you my next food adventure.  Through my fundraiser, I had the honor of connecting with a wonderful artist, who is also an amazing macro/vegan chef, Jillian.  What an inspiring lady!  Although I have never met her in person, her messages have been full of warmth.  She has a beautiful spirit that brings me happiness and motivates me to cook!  You should check out her beautiful blog.  She shares many recipes that I'm so excited to try! 
Jillian launched a vegan/macro cooking challenge that many people are participating in on Facebook.  Cooking...and...challenge...this is right up my alley!  I'm so excited to participate!   I really love the idea of this activity because it builds a community, inspires one to cook and learn from others...a perfect way to start 2016!  There are a few days I already know I will not be able to cook due to my work schedule, but that will not stop me from participating.  You have to take advantage of all that you can learn from opportunities like these!  Let's do it! Woohoo!
So here we go...DAY 1 of the Vegan/Macro Challenge:
Miso Soup with Shitake, Daikon, Leek
Millet with Corn
Quick Steamed Kale

Udon with Sautéed Vegetables, and Baked Tofu Cutlet
Roasted Barley Tea

Carrot Juice

Azuki Bean Soup with Sweet Vegetables
Brown Rice
Steamed Broccoli
Umeboshi Pickle

Apples cooked in Juice with Toasted Walnuts and Cinnamon

Wishing you and your family a healthy and Happy New Year!
Much love, Akiko

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Eat a balanced meal!

Hello food fans,

What a crazy week it's been.   Fundraising is no joke!  It's a full time job!  That on top of having my normal work hours and having to practice for a concert I have this Friday-- this girl is on little sleep!  But I'm still full of energy!!!!

The Kickstarter Fundraising Campaign for the Peaceful Plates Around the World project is only going on for 6 more days!  It need help folks!  View this cooking project and support here.  Share it with your friends!  Don't wait to donate any longer!  Together we can make this happen!  

With so much chaos here, I sometimes surprise myself with how much energy I have.  The well balanced meals must help!  I did cook a few meals this week, but I'm lucky to have a husband who has taken over most of the cooking while this campaign runs!  

Wish me luck!  6 days to go!   Support the Peaceful Plates Around the World!  

Ginger Sesame Pasta
Azuki Bean and Butternut Squash Soup

Friday, December 11, 2015

Support Peaceful Plates Around the World

Hello friends,

Thanks for following my journey as I try to bring Peaceful Plates Around the World to life.  There had been an outpouring of interest and so many kind words of support.  I've never been approached by so many people from all over the world sending me words of encouragement!  I'm excited to announce that Dan Buettner, author of the Blue Zones book tweeted about my project!

What an honor to have the endorsement by a person who is high on my list of most inspirational people!  The Blue Zones is a fantastic book!  You gotta read it!    

Although the words of support have been wonderful, the fundraising portion has been slow!  I see the video has been spreading, making it's way around to many people around the world.  Is been getting a lot of views, shares, and likes.  But as always, in every fundraising campaign, it's difficult getting the actual funding!  As of now I need to raise about $1,000 a day in the next 11 days to make this project come to life.  I haven't given up hope, as I know a lot can happen each day.  As most of you know Kickstarter is an all or nothing deal.  If I don't meet my fundraising goal, donations will not be processed, I will not receive any funds, and I will sadly not launch the project.   I announced this project knowing there is a 50/50 chance.  If you know me, I'm the type of person that takes risks when I know it doesn't hurt to try!  

If you are reading this post and believe in this project, I would be so grateful if you can contribute today! Any amount will get me one step closer and it will reassure me that there is still a chance!  

Support HERE

I would also be forever grateful if you can help me reach out to people who would be willing to support!  

Here are other ways you can help:
1. Share my project with your family and friends
2. Share my project on your social media posts or FB groups, etc. 
3. Share my project to blogs, newsletters, media
4. Connect me to organizations and businesses that may be interested in supporting the project.
5. Join and invite friends to the Peaceful Plates Around the World Kickstarter Events page on FB     
It's a small world folks!  Global culture is emerging and unique traditional ways of life are vanishing fast!  One of the goals of Peaceful Plates Around the World is to document the traditional cooking practices of these unique cultures while they're still around.  

Help me bring Peaceful Plates Around the World to life! Please don't wait much longer.  The clock is ticking!  Any amount is greatly appreciated $10, $25, $50, $100, $1000.  Give what you can, DONATE TODAY!  

Please take a look at the Peaceful Plates Around the World project and support today!