Category

Winter Food

Blog, Winter Food

Kabocha Crust Pizza

This has to be one of my favourite ways to make a pizza base and it’s so super easy,

All you need to do is steam half a kabocha pumpkin or similar ( like a kuri pumpkin) . After the pumpkin is done all you need to do is let it cool slightly so you can handle it and scoop out the flesh into a food processor. To this add a cup of oat flour and a teaspoon of baking powder and a pinch of salt then process, keep adding flour until you get a dough. Take your dough out and knead it slightly . To a baking sheet cover with some parchment paper and add a dusting of flour. Put your dough on the sheet and roll out into a pizza shape ( I like to make a crust around the edge. Place this in a moderate oven and half bake for around 15 mins. This recipe also works well with sweet potato.

Take your pizza out and then add your toppings a base of tomato purée tomatoes,slices of already roasted kabocha,vegan cheese,lotus root and a sprinkle of aonori or what ever you wish. Put your pizza back in the oven until baked and crispy.

Enjoy with a nice fresh salad.

Blog, Winter Food

Nanakusa-Gayu

On the 7th of January in japan (jinjitsu) it is custom to make a seven herb rice porridge Nanakusa Gayu 七草粥 to help heal the stomach after the New Year festivities. It is quite common in japan if you have an unwell stomach to eat Okayu rice porridge. The 7th of January is one of the 5 seasonal festivals the porridge is said to prevent illness for the coming year. The herbs used in japan are waterdrop wort,shepherds purse,cudweed,chickweed,nipplewort,turnip and daikon radish. As I live in the UK I have had to substitute for herbs I could find. I used watercress,rocket,mizuna,chive,coriander,daikon radish and parsley a mixture of these. I made a kombu dashi kombu and shiitake soaked in water over night and cooked up already cooked Japanese rice in the dashi with a 1-5 ratio. Simmer for around 30 mins and then mix in your herbs and steam for 10 .Or you can just put the herbs on top and mix them into the warm rice. I like to add some sautéed daikon radish and if you have any left overs miso is nice to add also with some chopped onion and sesame seeds. Wishing everyone good health this 2018 !

Winter Food

Stollen

I have noticed that Japanese Instagram feeds are full of pictures of stollen at Christmas, it seams to be very popular. Because of the popularity in japan every year I make my own vegan version .

Here are a few past stollen from previous years.

This was using matcha in the flour and in the marzipan

 

This year using my recipe I made mini stollen bites

This is just the basic recipe which you can use to make one large stollen or mini stollen if you so wish.

First make your marzipan

I used one cup of almond flour mixed with two teaspoons of almond essence and three tablespoons of maple syrup. Cream this into a dough and set aside wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge until needed.

(I always find I have some left over which is lovely to stuff into dates)

For the stollen

In one bowl mix

3 cups of oat flour

3/4 cup of almond flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

cinnamon,nutmeg,allspice,ginger and clove ( 1/2 a teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of each )

Mixed fruit and peel I used raisins, cranberries,chopped candied yuzu ( you could also add orange and lemon zest and flaked almonds)

In another bowl mix

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1/2 cup apple purée

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 teaspoon brown rice vinegar

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 cup almond milk

1 tablespoon melted coconut butter

Mix wet into dry to form a dough.

At this point if you want to make one large stollen shape the dough in to a log and then flatten it. Roll your marzipan into a long sausage shape and put this in the middle of your flattened log then fold over the sides to encase the marzipan inside and reshape.

Or to make individual balls make balls then flatten them into a cookie shape, add balls of marzipan to each one then fold over the sides again to encase the marzipan and then roll back into a ball.

Now bake in a moderate oven for around 20mins

When they are done leave to cool and then dust with icing sugar.

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Food

Hot & Spicy Fermented Cabbage Nabe

Another snow day called for hot soup.

This one is made from vegan Kimchi and is so quick and easy to make.

A Donabe pot is what a lot of people in Japan use to cook with as it means everything just goes in one pot. They are made of special clay for use over an open flame. Quite a lot of people in japan have limited kitchen space and using a donabe with a one ring gas burner stove makes for an easy simple meal.

Also there is nothing better than serving up your meal into bowls straight from your donabe on the dining table.

If you do not have a donabe pot this dish can easily be made on the stove with any pan or pot.

First sauté some shiitake and maitake mushrooms in a little toasted sesame oil. Add to this some carrots cut into quarters and some chopped green onion or leek. Then add tomato purée about two tablespoons and top up your pot with water. Add two heaped tablespoon of kimchi or other fermented cabbage. Maybe check out a company in the UK called Hurly Burly I used their jalapeño and oregano fermented slaw in this dish. Also Biona organic do a vegan kimchi or you could use sauerkraut. I then added two good handfuls of beansprouts and some chopped nappa cabbage. Finally some nice big pieces of firm tofu to soak up all that lovely juice.

Put the lid on and let it simmer down.

I served mine with rice and added some schichimi powder for extra warmth.

A perfect cosy meal.

 

Blog, Winter Food

Rustic Raw Mince (Fruit) Pies With Sake & Yuzu

Yeaterday I went for a beautiful long walk in the snow. On my walk I got to thinking how I could make raw mince pies. For those of you who are not sure what a mince pie is it’s basically shortcrust pastry with a filling of normally spiced fruits maybe with alcohol like brandy and fruit peel.

As soon as I got home I set to work on creating the pies and they turned out much better than I thought they would.

To make the crust I used 1/2 cup of coconut flour and 1/2 cup of almond flour. I placed this in my food processor with two large dates and pulsed this together. Then I added 6 tablespoons of melted coconut butter and 1 tablespoon of rice malt syrup ( you could use what ever sweetener you want) I started to process until the dough came together. I then tipped out the dough onto plastic wrap and wrapped it into a tight ball and pressed it all together.

I then placed a sheet of plastic wrap over my mince pie tray and started to press in the dough to make pastry cases. I did this as I wasn’t sure how the dough would roll but after making the stars for the  tops I think you could roll this and cut out the rounds with a pastry cutter. Anyway this way made for a rustic raw edged looking pie but I thought it was quite in keeping. I then placed the tray covered over into the freezer. With the remaining dough I cut out stars for the tops of the pies.

Now for the filling I tipped into a bowl 1/4 cup of raisins,1/3 cup of dried cranberries, three chopped dried soft figs,a scatter of flaked almonds,the juice of one clementine ( I basically cut the clementine in half an squeezed the juice out),a dash each of cinnamon,nutmeg and allspice,the zest of one small lemon,a tablespoon of candied chopped yuzu and a sake cup of sake. I then used the end of a rolling pin to squash all the fruit. It’s a good idea to make this in advance and let the fruit soak up all the juices.

After taking the pastry out the freezer you can then lift them out the plastic wrap and fill them with your filling for a totally raw pie.

However I placed mine in the oven for five mins just to slightly brown them . If you do this place them back in the freezer after for five mins because if they are warm they fall apart slightly.

I think they made a lovely alternative mince pie and this year I will be having these instead of the normal pastry ones I make. Nice with some vegan cream. You can warm them slightly as well before eating.

 

 

 

Blog, Winter Food

Christmas Yuzu Snowball Truffles

As the snow comes down making it very festive I decided to make these snowball truffles.

Using yuzu juice and candied yuzu peel. If you can’t get this you could easily substitute with lemon juice and candied lemon peel.

In a food processor add

2 cups of desiccated coconut

1/4 cup of chopped dried cranberries

1 cup of almond flour

3 tablespoons of melted coconut butter

1/4 cup of rice malt syrup or maple syrup

1/4 cup of yuzu juice

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence

1/4 cup of chopped candied yuzu peel

Blend all the ingredients together . Then tip it out onto some plastic wrap and squash all the ingredients together into one big ball so that everything is well pressed together.

Then take tablespoons of truffle mixture and roll out in to individual balls. Finally give them a dusting of icing sugar to make them even more snowy looking.

Place in the fridge to set keep them refrigerated until you want to eat them.

These would be perfect boxed as a gift.

Winter Food

Steamfried Brussels Sprouts with miso

Brussels sprouts are the perfect winter seasonal vegetable.

These panfried ones have lots of flavour start by cutting each Brussels sprout in half . Add a little oil to a hot pan and sear the flat side . Meanwhile make a sauce with 240ml of veg stock,1/2 tablespoon of grated ginger,2 tablespoon of mirin,1tablespoon soy sauce and four tablespoon of white miso paste and whisk.

The amount of sauce you need depends of how many Brussels you have so use your judgement.

Pour the sauce into the pan and cover to steam the Brussels sprouts. Then add shimeji mushrooms and crumbled yuba ( if you can’t get yuba you could maybe add some crumbled tofu)

Finally before serving add some yuzu rind (or lemon) and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Lovely served on rice .

 

Blog, Winter Food

Damako Nabe ( Rice ball Hot Pot )

From the mountainous  region of Tohoku comes this local dish which is perfect for cold winter days.

After cooking your rice mash it and then sprinkle with potato starch and roll into balls then set aside.

Use a dashi stock for the broth I always like to make one in advance with kombu kelp and dried shiitake. Just place them in water for a few hours then take them out and add mirin and tamari.

The vegetables I used were leek,taro,carrot,mixed mushrooms spring onion,nappa cabbage,komatsuna and daikon radish.

Place your vegetables in your donabe pot with your dashi stock except the leafy greens.

Then simmer your vegetables and add your rice balls the rice balls soak up all the lovely juices.

You could also add tofu or yuba if you wanted.

If you do not have a donabe pot you could steam your vegetables or add them to a cooking pot.

Finely add your leafy greens when everything else is tender and a sprinkle of shichimi pepper.

A hot, healthy,cosy dish for a cold winter evening.

 

Blog, Winter Food

Bifun Soup

As the weather is turning considerably colder I find myself craving soups, stews and nabe ( hot pots ). This one is especially good for keeping those colds at bay with warming ginger and spices.

First I made a stock I used one litre of vegetable stock in a pan and I added to that a tablespoon of tamari,some sliced ginger,half an onion cut into four large pieces,a star anise and half a stick of cinnamon. I put this on a gentle simmmer for about 20mins.

In the mean time I pan seared some tofu and sautéed some shiitake mushrooms. I steamed some broccoli,komatsuna,baby corn,snap peas and bean sprouts. Chopped some mint,coriander basil and sliced a red chilli pepper.

I then cooked my bifun ( rice vermicelli noodles) for a few mins and then drained them in cold water to stop them from cooking further.

Then I drained the liquid on the broth and discarded the rest.

I placed the noodles in a bowl added my stock and the rest of the toppings. Finally I added a wedge of lime,chilli oil,a teaspoon of smooth peanut butter and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

 

Blog, Winter Food

Hiyashi -rice

  • I brought back some dried maitake mushrooms from Japan and couldn’t wait to try them.
  • For this dish you could just as easily use fresh maitake .
  • Did you know that maitake is a good source of vitamin D ? Which makes it a good winter dish .
    Inspired by a meal I had at ain soph journey I made  this vegan hayashi-rice . Using a selection of  maitake and shimeji,enoki and eryngii mushrooms I sautéed them with onion .
  • Add a tablespoon of tomato purée and Worcestershire sauce each to a separate pan and warm through . To thicken the sauce I use  Kuzu powder. Just add a teaspoon to a little cold water to make a slurry before adding to your sauce .
  • Mix the sauce into your mushrooms .
  • Serve with rice and maybe a miso soup .

ビーガン
ハヤシライス
漬物
みそ汁

Blog, Winter Food

Tomato Ramen

Nothing better than a  hot comforting bowl of tomato ramen for dinner to night on a cold night and so simple to make .

All I use is a tomato soup . ( I like to use an organic one from Abel & Cole ) be careful when buying tomato soups check the ingredients as many contain milk.

cook your ramen and soup in separate pans choose your choice of topping here you can see I used sweet corn,bean sprouts,chopped onion and  (bok choy,pak choi ) .

Add your soup to the bowl and top with ramen and vegetables

super easy .
トマトラーメンのホットボウル

Blog, Winter Food

Kagami Biraki Zenzai

in Japan on the 11th of January is Kagami biraki the breaking of the new year Mochi for luck and good fortune .
It is traditional to make  zenzai a sweet red bean soup with the toasted Mochi on the top.

This can be made as simple as you wish you can buy a tin of sweet red beans and add a little water and cook up into a soup. Zenzai is also available in a pouch just simply heat and serve .  Or you can buy a can of azuki beans drain and simmer in water with a sweetener . After this it gets a little more complicated if you want to cook your beans from scratch so for ease I do one of the above .

I cooked my mochi rice cake under the grill and topped this onto my zenzai

 

Blog, Winter Food

Nanakusa-Gayu ( seven herb soup)

Nanakusa-Gayu ( seven herb soup)
Nanakusa-Gayu ( seven herb soup)

On the 7th of January (Jinjitsu) this is the day that in Japan it is tradition to eat (Nanakusa-gayu) 七草粥
Seven herb rice porridge soup. To help the stomach after Osechi Ryori / Christmas and new year and bring health to the coming year.
I do not have all the traditional herbs from Japan so I used a mix of daikon and turnip leaf, ( which I had been growing in preparation) parsley,Basil, mizuna and rocket leaf and watercress.

The tradition herbs are nipplewort,chickweed,cud weed,shepherds purse and water drop wort.

I made a kombu and shiitake stock to give it flavour and rich minerals and cooked up the already cooked rice in it with some sautéed daikon radish . Add your greens into the rice when cooking or cook separately and top onto the rice when your porridge is done .

It can take a while for your rice to cook down and you may need to keep adding stock until you get the correct consistency

You can top your rice porridge with maybe a grilled mochi rice cake or sliced shiitake that you used to make your stock with.