Ground Cherry Salsa Salad

ground cherry salsa with avocado and cucumberIn Japan, Houzuki is a “ground cherry.” It’s not that the fruit is mashed up, but that it is a low growing plant. When ready to be eaten, it tends to drop its fruit on the ground, hence the name I suppose. They ripen in their husk to a golden hue. I’ve heard the ground cherry likened to a gooseberry, but can’t attest to the similarity.

The ground cherry has a lively flavor that is at once sweet and acidic, like pineapple or tomato. The local farmers markets are flush with beautiful fruits, so I wanted to make a fresh fruit salsa. Continue reading

Purple Carrot Chutney

purple carrot chutney ramekin

I’ve been on a chutney kick lately. Chutney goes well with rice, pasta, corn cakes, and idli (fermented bean and rice cakes). It makes a great dip, but it’s so good that I’ve been known to eat it by the spoonful. If you struggle with finding new ways to pack a ton of vegetables into a meal, then chutney is a great choice. Continue reading

Tomato Chutney

tomato chutney bowlI spent the past week working at an organic farm on Okinawa. Gee whiz, the life of a farmer is rough! The work is hard and the rewards are great! In addition to feeding pigs (blech!), I learned about the farm-to-table concept. Husband and I talk about a small farm of our own one day, so I was testing the waters. I think it will be a good fit, so long as we can find farmland, in the middle of the suburbs, for a great price. This experience afforded me plenty of opportunity to practice Japanese and eat delicious organic food. Continue reading

Tangerine Turmeric Bliss Smoothie

tangerine bliss smoothie rose cupMikans are a seedless variety of tangerine. After zesting six mikans for another recipe, I knew that I had to act fast before they dried out. I wasn’t going to eat them over the course of a day, so I did what anyone with a high-powered blender would do. . . I drank them.

To be clear, this is a dessert, and probably the best fruit smoothie that I’ve ever had. It’s bright, warming, and comforting. The tiny specs of vanilla bean warm my heart and I’m pretty sure that I’m in love.   Continue reading

Kombucha Candy

kombucha candy carnival glass 2If you brew kombucha, then I’m sure you’ve asked yourself what to do with all of the extra SCOBYs. After nurturing these babies like a mother, you can’t just throw them away, right? You’ve already given one to everyone you know . . . twice. If there are no more vacancies in your SCOBY hotel, then I invite you to make some kombucha candy. Continue reading

Japanese Ginger Carrot Dressing

japanese ginger carrot dressing mixedIf you’ve ever been to a Japanese Teppanyaki restaurant in the states, then you’ve had a taste of this dressing, atop a small bowl of iceberg lettuce, right next to your miso soup. Did you know that carrots are the key ingredient? I sure didn’t. This dressing had me baffled for years. Why don’t they call it carrot-ginger dressing? Give a girl a break.

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Purple Carrot Salad

purple carrot salad bowlI can’t get enough of purple vegetables. At the farmer’s market last week, I found gorgeous purple carrots. I thought to snatch them all up, but opted for a small healthy bundle. I’ll cross my fingers for more this week. In the meantime, I’ll share with you a simple salad that will showcase the carrots. I could hardly stop myself from eating the whole bowl. It’s super delish! After we gobbled down this salad, I regretted my display of self restraint. Continue reading