DIY Garam Masala Spice Mix

garam masala spice spoonsGaram Masala is, simply, a dry-roasted spice mixture. You can use all sorts of different spices. Garam masala isn’t limited to the spices used in this recipe. Feel free to play with different quantities or try adding fenugreek, fennel, black mustard seeds or fresh nutmeg. In a blind taste test, husbatron preferred the fresh taste of this recipe over the other two types of garam masala that I had. Beep-bop-boop! Continue reading

Goya Salad

goya salad umeboshiI know, I know. Another goya post… I get it. But it’s just so dern good for the kaphas and pittas out there! Maybe you don’t like goya as much as our vata friends do, but give this a try. It’s surprisingly tasty. It’s really balancing to our typical American diets which are mainly made up of the sweet taste.

Typically, ayurveda encourages 80-90% cooked food. More raw foods in the summer time when digestive fire is strongest. So, while you probably shouldn’t be eating raw goya in the winter, it’s great to try some in the summer time. I’ve got 8 different preparations you can try out. Continue reading

Beni Imo Sweet Potato Cakes with Coconut Chutney

beni imo cakes on displayI made some steamed beni imo and was feeling ho-hum about mashed beni imo or a soup. I wanted something crunchy, like roasted beni imo or beni imo chips, but I don’t have a real oven. We only have a fish grill, which works great for… um… fish. And nothing else. So, I made sweet potato cakes in a pan.

These can be made with any ol’ variety of sweet potato. Beni imo is my fav, it’s local, and that’s what I had in my pantry. I went with Indian spices, but it’s a pretty flexible recipe, so use whatever strikes your fancy. Garam Masala is a combination of roasted spices. If you don’t have this on hand, I have a recipe for it here! It will only take a few extra minutes and is totally worth it. Plus you can store it for several months. Continue reading

Urizun mame- Winged Bean Thai Noodle

urizune plateWe have the winged bean here, with lots of names like; asparagus pea, Goa pea, and Thai green bean. Interesting-looking bean, don’t you think? I’ve walked past it several times thinking it was Goya San’s cousin, then hurried by, trying not to make eye-contact.

I’m so glad I finally picked it up to try. It’s got a really pleasant crunch and a nice flavor. It cooks faster than a regular green bean too. Continue reading

Kabocha Ice Cream with Miso Caramel Sauce (Dairy-free)

kabocha miso caramel pourYes! I did it again. Ice cream. Well, since my last ice cream post, l’ve discovered that people are much more excited to read about ice cream recipes than various gourd curry recipes…  Dessert bloggers get all the love. So, today I bring you a Japanese squash dessert!

I found kabocha at my local farmers market, but I think you can easily find it in the states too. Kabocha is a type of winter squash. It’s sometimes called a Japanese Pumpkin. It’s fairly sweet, which means less added sugar and more winning. Continue reading

Shikuwasa-Gingerade (Okinawa Lime)

shikuwasa juiceThere’s an old saying in Okinawa that says, “When life hands you shikuwasas… celebrate with shikuwasa-ade.” Ok, they don’t say that, but they should. I was thrilled to find shikuwasa at the market this week. I’ve been eagerly waiting for them to show up this year.

Dainty little shikuwasa. Oh, how I love thee. It’s called an Okinawan lime, but I think it’s much tastier than lime. If lime and tangerine had a teeny tiny little baby, it would be named shikuwasa. Continue reading

DIY Homemade Vanilla Extract OR Vanilla Infused Bourbon

vanilla insta extractI won’t tell if you “accidently” pour too much “vanilla extract” into your morning coffee. It will be our little secret…

If you happen to still be buying imitation vanilla extract, here are a few things that could be in it: chemically synthesized vanilla flavor from cloves or a paper byproduct, toxic blood-thinning substance from the Tonka bean, corn-syrup, sugar, or a vanilla-like substance from coal tar or rice bran. Guess what is NOT in it? Vanilla.

OK! Real vanilla extract only has two ingredients. Alcohol and vanilla beans. You can use anything from top-shelf to bottom-shelf booze for this. Vodka, bourbon, rum or brandy are all good choices. Go with something nicer if you’re planning to slip some into your morning coffee, if not, bottom-shelf vodka works just fine for extract. Continue reading

Kabocha Squash Thai Curry

kabocha insta curry yumOh, hey kabocha. You delicious lil thing, you. Continuing on with the delights from the Japanese farmers market. Will it ever end? I hope not.

Kabocha is a winter squash, but it’s often called Japanese Pumpkin. I remember seeing it occasionally in the states.  Additionally, a kabochayarou is a man with an unattractive, unusually-shaped face. Yay! Fun Japanese words!


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DIY Citrus Vinegar Cleaner

Citrus Peels

Citrus Peels

Vinegar is an all-purpose cleaner. It will kill most molds, bacteria and viruses. It’s safe and gentle enough for home-cleaning purposes. While this will not kill every germ, I’ll take the risk to avoid the harmful chemicals that most cleaners contain. Don’t forget that soap and hot water are STILL well-documented for the preventing the spread of pathogens, like salmonella. Studies are suggesting that allergies are due to a lack of exposure to parasites by creating a sterile home environment. Other studies indicate that prevalence of toxic fumes from cleaning products and flame-retardants are contributing to childhood asthma. Raise your hand if you’ve cleaned a tiny bathroom with bleach? Ack! Unlike these toxic cleaners, vinegar cleaners will not aggravate your skin and lungs. Vinegar is a weak acetic acid. It kills germs by denaturing (chemically changing) their structure. Continue reading