Tag Archives: vegan

Vegan Chocolate Cupcake with Tofu Green Tea Frosting (also for non-vegans who are in urgent need of cupcakes but out of eggs)

Cupcake recipe slightly modified from: Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule (Isa Chandra Moskowitz), I found the recipe online but would definitely consider buying the book.

Frosting recipe adapted from: http://cookpad.com

vegan chocolate cupcake

OH MY GOD, I’M SO STRESSED OUT. I NEED TO EAT A CAKE, LIKE, RIGHT NOW.

It was 11PM and I was at home hunching over my laptop, stumbling through never-ending to-do list for the projects that had to be wrapped up before holidays, which at this point was very quickly becoming to look less and less likely.

Everybody knows a cake is a perfectly logical solution to mitigate the possibility of nervous breakdown under such crisis, and clearly it would be even more effective with chocolate.  So, naturally, I decided to bake chocolate cupcake, although it did pose some logistical issues in this particular situation including the fact that I’m not a very good baker nor have I ever even tried to become one, as well as that I was all out of eggs.

However, neither of these was going to stop me – 2 hours later, I was in the kitchen inhaling the most moist, fluffiest and richest cupcakes I ever baked. Once again I proved to myself it is when I do something I’m totally NOT supposed to be doing that I demonstrate remarkable concentration and skills.

Or possibly, this recipe is just really, really amazing. Continue reading

Mushroom Ma Po Tofu

Recipe slightly modified from: http://www.eatingwell.com

mushroom ma po tofu

Sometimes I wonder just how many vegetarian conversions mushrooms have been responsible for. People may decide to omit meat from their diet for ethical or health reasons  – But I know a friend who one day completely stopped eating meat, and what convinced him (yes, it was a guy, too) that he could live without meat for the rest of his life was mushroom cannelloni he ate that day.

I don’t plan to become a herbivore any time soon, but if any dish was to makes me seriously question whether I ever need to eat meat again or not, this would be it.  Continue reading

Purple Yam Soup

Recipe as a result of: My attempt to make something Halloween-ish that is spooky and sweet but does not require baking (and I got it)

purple soup

I was in elementary school when my dad took us with him from Tokyo to San Francisco, while he was invited to attend a 6-month business training program at the headquarters of the American company he was working for. It was the first time for all of us to live outside of Japan, even for a short term. We arrived late summer, spent a hectic few weeks getting settled in, then October came around.

Halloween is fairly established and enjoyed by many in Japan nowadays, but at that time not many Japanese even heard of it unless they had been in the States. So, imagine you are in the 3rd grade, never had Halloween before, and your mom (who probably just learned what it is, too) explains to you what will happen.

This is EXACTLY how it was processed in my 8-year old brain:

Wait – Let me get this straight.

… I get to dress up.

… Then I go around neighborhood, while still being dressed up, knocking on everybody’s doors.

… And they give me candy?

NO. FREAKIN’. WAY.

I’m in!!!!!

We went back to Japan in following winter after dad completed his program, but this miraculous event was thoroughly ingrained in my memory. To this date, Halloween is my favorite holiday – It MAY be somewhat responsible for the fact that I now live in US. Continue reading

Avocado Chocolate Ice Cream

Recipe inspired by: My determination to resolve dilemma with mushy avocado

avocado chocolate ice cream

With the ridiculous amount of avocados I consume, I would say I have become quite proficient in projecting when they will reach desirable ripeness.  However, occasionally under rare and unusual circumstances, I miscalculate and end up with ones that are too mushy to use in salad – like this summer in LA when it was 250,000 degrees with heat wave and they went from green and firm to black and super ripe in a flash.

Fear not, though, fellow avocado lovers!  No avocados shall be wasted on us. Ever.

Don’t get me wrong, I like my chocolate ice cream rich and creamy with full dairy fat and full sugar (and whatever it is Häagen-Dazs puts in – If they said there is baby octopus in it, I would probably be OK with that).  And I would have been happily settled with making guacamole if this was less than decent.  Well it is actually more than decent.  As a matter of fact, I totally nailed it. Take THAT, heat wave. Continue reading

Tempeh and Eggplant Ragu with Quinoa

Recipe trying to imitate: Eggplant Ragu from Granville Cafe

Eggplant Ragu

Upon hearing a phrase “fermented soy beans,” we Japanese are probably the only people who would go “Mmmmm…. Now THAT sounds delicious” and even truely mean it.  But why not?  They have given us critical foundation for traditional Japanese flavors that we simply should not live without – Soy sauce is made of fermented soy beans, for instance, and so is miso.  And let’s not forget that dreaded but addictive natto.  Mmmmmm.

So as you can imagine, I think quite highly of fermented soy beans and believe anything that comes from them, even if it is originated outside of Japan like tempeh, cannot be not awesome.  But all these make it kind of ironic that my favorite tempeh recipe couldn’t be farther away from any Asian flavor.  Continue reading