My friend came to visit last month. We had an amazing time traveling around Okinawa, Osaka and Kyoto. That probably goes without saying though. We found ourselves on an ice cream kick in Okinawa, before heading to Osaka and Kyoto. It all started with ube ice cream then we moved on to green tea ice cream. There was some Okinawan sugar cookie, pistachio, vanilla and beni imo ice cream mixed in there as well. I’m addicted to the ube ice cream which is a type of purple potato. It tastes like carnivals and magic. I know you want some now, but it’s not what this post is about! Gomennasai. Seriously, we probably ate 14 ice cream scoops each in the 2 weeks she was here. We may, or may not have had double ice cream on some days. What can I say? It was really hot!! Continue reading
Tag Archives: kapha
My beloved Beni Imo- Mashed
Beni imo may be my most favorite thing about living on Okinawa. Seriously, I love this ‘tater! It’s like a sweet potato, but has lovely vanilla notes. AND IT’S PURPLE! It’s really exciting to cut into one of these beauties. The color is just so intense and somehow unexpected every time.
Last thanksgiving, I turned these into a sweet potato soufflé, which is tradition in my family. I also got a little daring and made a side dish with beni imo, Okinawan brown sugar and pineapple bits. I’ve made a Thai-inspired beni imo soup. You can use it anyway that you would use a sweet potato. They occasionally find their way into a curry, but I really like to let the color shine alone, like in this recipe. Continue reading
Goya Chanpuru, an Okinawan favorite
Yesterday, I would have traded a slice of chocolate cake for this bitter melon dish. Crazy, but true. I wouldn’t have traded a whole chocolate cake for it though, I’m not insane. I blame the heat. My body needed some cooling bitter taste.
Goya Chanpuru is an Okinawa classic. This knobby green bitter melon is useful during the hot, humid summers of Okinawa. Chanpuru means “to mix” and can be used with any number of vegetables. The usual recipe has goya, onion, egg and pork of some variety. I didn’t do anything fancy here. I just wanted the goya. I guess it was a teensy bit fancy since I bought both green and white goya. What’s the difference, you ask? Not a clue. Continue reading
Yuugao- Okinawan Bottle Gourd Curry
I was inspired this week to try some new Okinawan summer veggies. I saw this huge green vegetable, with a sticker price of around $1.75, and decided that I must learn to like this, based on the price alone. I stood there in the middle of the market, entering kana into my Japanese translation app to discover that yuugao is bottle gourd! Then I Google what the heck a bottle gourd is good for. Apparently, they make delightful liquid vessels once they’re dried. Also, people eat them. I’m off to a good start! Continue reading
Okinawa summer salad with ponzu-sesame dressing
Well, it’s blazing hot here on Okinawa. Pair the heat with the high humidity and it’s like a non-stop sauna. Wahhh! My husband is REALLY enjoying this weather, but it’s making me a lot bit cranky. I’ve been looking for ways to keep cool and keep my pitta nature under control. Ding ding ding! Cooling, refreshing salad!
I went to the local farmers market and came back with a bunch of summer veggies that I wanted to experiment with. You’ll probably be seeing some of these in upcoming posts. I’ll be using Okinawa varieties of produce, but I’ll list substitutions next to the ingredients in case you don’t have access to the same produce. I’ve also included picture of these ingredients and the label in case you are in Japan. Continue reading
Stewed Apricots with Vanilla and Cardamom
Le sigh. Is it just me? Doesn’t this just SOUND luscious and yummy? I intended this to be a breakfast post, but I think it would also make a lovely dessert, perhaps with some coconut milk?
So, fruit for breakfast is a good ayurvedic start to the day. Ojas and all. Continue reading
Stewed Apple Breakfast
I know. It sounds lame. Uninteresting. Boring even. BUT! It is delicious. Simple. And nourishing.
Ayurveda says that fruit in the morning is like gold. It’s the best time to get the maximum nourishment from fruit. Cooked apples in the morning help create ojas. We want ojas! Ojas is beauty, health and immunity.
If you’re a light-breakfast kinda person, like me, this will be perfect! If you need a heartier breakfast, eat the stewed apples 30 minutes before you eat anything else for best digestion. Ok! On to… Continue reading
DIY Ayurveda shampoo
I hate buying shampoo and conditioner. Even the organic, SLS free, phthalate/paraben free kinds have a bunch of funky ingredients. Those brands sure aren’t cheap, either. It’s one of the only remaining conventional beauty products that I’ve been purchasing.
I wash my hair a lot. I’m just not one of those people that can go several days without a shampoo. I run and do a lot of sweaty yoga nearly every day. I live on an island with blazing heat and lots of humidity. 2-3 showers a day just to keep cool during the hottest bits of summer. My hair is prone to being oily in a pitta provoking climate like this one. Continue reading
The three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha
What is a dosha? Ayurveda groups the five elements (ether, air, fire, water and earth) into three basic types of energy, collectively called Tridosha. These elements make up everything around us. The Sanskrit word, dosha, literally means fault, impurity or mistake. This sounds a bit harsh, but dosha can simply be a way to organize things. When the doshas are in balance, there is no impurity or mistake, it’s just a way to describe one’s nature. When the doshas are out of balance, we would then use it to mean fault. The following are the Tridosha types:
- Vata– ether and air
- Pitta-fire and water
- Kapha-water and earth
Everyone is born with a specific ratio of all five elements, this is known as prakruti. Prakruti is organized by the doshas. The ratio of the doshas you were born with will be balanced for you. Everyone has a difference combination of doshas, which is why one diet will not work for all people. Continue reading
The bee’s knees for your face
Honey. Put it on your face. Like right now.
I’ve been reading up on mead lately. It’s got me thinking about how awesome bees are and how I used to use honey on my face. Somehow, during the move to Okinawa, I forgot how great honey was as a cleanser and moisturizer. I’m bringing that back this week!
I used local unfiltered wildflower honey. It gave my face a very gentle scrub since it still had propolis and other hive particles in it. Honey has anti-bacterial properties as well as antioxidants. It smells nice. Oh, and my favorite part is that it’s FOOD, so it’s nourishing for your skin. It makes my skin feel dewy. Continue reading