Soshoku (simple diet? Lean diet?)


Bean Salsa, Yuzu Sesame Tempeh, Hijiki (seaweed) Salad, Steamed Cauliflower with yuzu dressing, Brown Rice

This is my version of Shojin Ryori (simple vegan meal for monks). I was inspired by bean salsa that I had over the weekend. His version had a lot more ingredients than what I did here and more soupy. Mine became more like salad than salsa. Hijiki salad is not vegan because I used fish-kombu broth to cook with. I could have used shiitake mushroom-kombu broth to be true vegan. The Japanese broth is pretty much the only cheating that I do. Shiitake mushroom-kombu broth is good, but not the same. If you can’t find yuzu juice, substitute with lime juice or lemon juice. But use less if you are using lemon juice, because yuzu is more subtle than lemon.

Bean Salsa:

1 ear of fresh sweet corn (scrape kernels off with a knife)
1 cup cooked beans (azuki beans and pinto beans used here)
3 scallion stalks (chop small)
1/4 red onion (small dice)

One or All of followings:
1 avocado (1/2″ cubes)
2″ cucumber (1/2″ cubes)
1 tomato (1/2″ cubes)
1/2 bell pepper (1/2″ cubes)

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp Lime juice
1 tsp chipotle powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt

Cut up vegetables all about 1/2″ cubes. Mix them with beans, corn, and spices. Let it sit at least for 10 minutes.

Yuzu Sesame Tempeh:

1 block tempeh (1/2″ thick slice)
2 Tbsp yuzu juice
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp hot sesame oil
2 tsp maple syrup

Soak temper slices in the marinade for at least 1 hour. You can leave them over night.

Bake, panfry, or broil them for 10 minutes or so until they become golden brown.


1 head cauliflower
2 Tbsp yuzu juice
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbs maple syrup

Break cauliflower into florets. Steam them just enough about 1 minute.

Mix the yuzu dressing. Drizzle over the steamed cauliflower.


Tough Choices for Vegana+sin Gluten in Barcelona, Spain

Alright. I knew it would be tough to be a vegan and gluten free in Spain. But Boy, YES, it was really really tough. There are plentiful beautiful vegetables and fruits at local vegetable stands, and they are not expensive. 2 big bundles of baby green asparagus was 3 euros. I walked onto an organic farmer’s market by Ave. del Paral-lel on the last day there. It was Saturday. There were a few green produce vendors and their produce was flying. There was a preserve shop where I really wanted to buy a jar of preserves, but couldn’t find the one I liked.

Yet, to find a pure vegetable dish in a restaurant was a mission impossible. The common vegetable dishes you can find in a restaurant there were potatoes and pimientos. Once at a tapas bar in a mercat, I saw green asparagus and I had them. They were fine, but 12.60 euros for 6 green asparaguses was ummm, a bit too much. Especially when you can have a complete meal with vine and dessert costs the same or less.

There are a handful of vegetarian restaurants in Barcelona, and most of their dishes are pretty good, but if you can’t eat gluten/eggs/cheese, well, then your choices would become half. Here are my favorite dishes that I had at Sésamo, one of the top 10 vegetarian restaurants in Barcelona.

Cauliflower Bomb at Sésamo


This was totally a cauliflower bomb. I forgot its real name. Roasted whole head of cauliflower with tahini sauce and pesto sauce drizzled over it. I didn’t think I could finish this only with another person, but of course I did.

Killer Desserts at Sésamo


Dark Chocolate Fondue with fresh fruits, Mango/avocado/chia seeds pudding, and chocolate caramel truffles. I know caramel is not vegan, but when I saw them, I had to try one. The pudding was good and interesting, but the dark chocolate fondue was absolutely my fave. I licked the glass.

Flower Bowl

Flower Bowl

Flower Bowl

I needed to make something fast, good and comforting. Then I came up with this idea from someone else’s recipe which was to roast everything and drizzle dressing. I decided to go against roasting. I used only 1 pot. Easy to clean.

Serves 4

1 cauliflower
1 bunch broccoli
1 cup cooked chickpeas
2 cups your choice of uncooked pasta
1/4 bunch parsley (optional)

For Basic Cashew Sauce:
1/4 cup cashews
1 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp nutritious yeast
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp white miso
salt and black pepper to season
1 cup cooking water from cooking pasta/broccoli/cauliflower

For Green Aioli Sauce (this is a really nice alternative sauce, which works great on both cold and hot pasta and cooked vegetables):
Same ingredients from Basic Cashew Sauce, but only 2 Table spoons cooking pasta water
3 oz tofu
1/2 bunch parsley leaves (and you don’t have to mince extra parsley on top)

  1. Soak cashew in hot water. Cover. Let it sit.
  2. Divide cauliflower and broccoli into small florets. Remove large stems and leaves.
  3. Boil enough water in a large pot. Sprinkle 1 Tbs salt.
  4. Put pasta in the pot. Set a timer. When 4 minutes left to be done, drop cauliflower and broccoli florets in.
  5. Keep 1 cup cooking water. Drain.
  6. Drain cashews. Put all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and pulse with a hand mixer until smooth. Or you can use a blender. Season with salt and black pepper.
  7. Pour sauce over the cooked pasta/cauliflower/broccoli. Gently mix.
  8. Mince parsley and sprinkle on top. (optional)

Roasted Vegetable Dinner: Cauliflower, Butternut Squash, Bell Pepper, and Kale

Rosted Vegetable Dinner

Rosted Vegetable Dinner

Another roasted vegetable dinner for fall. I usually pan fry cauliflower, but for night since I had so many other things can go in oven, I decided to roast them in oven. Bell peppers were fired roasted at stove top. Add kale avocado salad, and home made multi-grain bread, there is a dinner.

Ingredients: 1 head cauliflower for 2 people, 1 butternut squash for 4 people, 1 bell pepper for each person, 1 bunch kale, 1 avocado and 1 lemon  for 4 people salad, handful of pine nuts for pepper salad, olive oil, sea salt and black pepper

  1. Popcorn Cauliflower: Wash and divide them into small florets. Toss with olive oil and sea salt. Use about 1 tsp salt for 1 head of cauliflower. Spread them on a baking sheet avoiding to overwrap. Roasted at 375ºF for about 10-20 minutes until they become partially golden. Flip them after 10 minutes.
  2. Butternut Squash: Half length wise. Scoop out seeds. You can wash the seeds and dry roast as well. Splash olive oil on the cut side and rub it with finger. Sprinkle salt. Place on a baking sheet face down. Roasted at 375ºF for about 30 minutes. Test with a bamboo stick. When it’s done, scoop out meat. Mash little bit. Season with salt and pepper if you like.
  3. Bell Peppers: Place them over medium heat on a stove top directly. Rotate them every few minutes to char all over. It will take about 10 minutes all together. When it’s charred all over, put it in a small bowl or pan and cover. Let it steam. when they are cool enough to touch, peel with fingers. Do not rinse with water. The wonderful charred flavor will disappear. Toss with a splash of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and toasted pine nuts.

Scallion Noodles with Pan Fried Cauliflower

Scallion Noodles with Cauliflower

Scallion Noodles with Cauliflower

I often make this scallion noodles in summer time. But today I just thought of having one. I sauteed the whole head of cauliflower although I knew it was too much for 2 meals. They are delicious by themselves.

1 head of cauliflower
noodles for 2 meals
1 tomato (optional)
olive oil

Scallion Sauce:
1 bunch scallion (minced)
1″ fresh ginger (grated)
3 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp apple juice or orange juice
1 tsp hot sesame oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp Hoisin sauce (optional)

1. Mix all the scallion sauce ingredients together in a bowl.

2. Divide the cauliflower heads into florets. Heat a frying pan, and sauté cauliflower in olive oil. About 7 minutes each side. Lightly salt them.

3. Cook your choice of noodles.

4. Put noodles in a bowl, pile up cauliflowers, add 3 table spoonful of scallion sauce.

Sunday’s Menu 11/18

Sauteed Broccoli/Cauliflower and Mixed Berry Bread

Breakfast: Coffee, Sauteed Broccoli/Cauliflower and Mixed Berry Bread

Lunch: Spinach Salad, a cup of Potato-Leek Soup, Chocolate Covered Pretzel

Dinner: Raw Tomato Pasta, Sauteed Broccoli/Cauliflower

Bob’s Spinach Salad

Raw Tomato Pasta with Sauteed Broccoli/Cauliflower

Chocolate Covered Pretzel


Saturday’s Menu 11/10

Pink Shake

Pink Shake

Breakfast: Coffee, Pink Shake

Snacks: Donuts at Donut Plant, Puffy Rice Crackers at Essex Market—walked around in Lower East Side, and ate around like a tourist.

Dinner at Num Pang: Cauliflower Sandwich, Tofu Sandwich, Corn

Puffy Rice Crackers



Cauliflower and Tofu Sandwiches, Corns




Saturday’s Menu 11/3

Home-made Oatmeal Cereal

Breakfast: Cereal with Banana, Coffee

Lunch: Potato-Cauliflower Hash, Clementines

Dinner at Maz Mescal: Vegan Special—the only vegan option they had. It was good, but I thought over-priced.

Potato Cauliflower Hash


Vegan Special



Friday’s Menu 11/2

Home-made Oatmeal Cereal

Breakfast: Home-made Oatmeal Cereal with Nuts and Dried Fruits, Coffee

Lunch at Minar (again): Masala Dosa—one of my favorite Indian dish

Dinner: Mustard Leaf Dumplings, Sauteed Kale and Cauliflower, Baked Beans—still cleaning up the contents of the fridge. Luckily vegan food don’t parish as fast as dairies or meat or fish.

Masala Dosa

Candle Light Dinner


Wednesday’s Menu 10/31

Breakfast: Home-made Oats-Nuts-Fruits cereal, Banana, Almond Milk, Coffee

Lunch at Dee Daa: Drunken Noodles with Tofu, Green Papaya Salad—at this busy Thai restaurant on E44th Street, things were normal. The difference between above E40th and below is huge.

Dinner: Beet Stew, Pan Fried Cauliflower, Sauteed Kale—camping in my own apartment in New York City. As far as camping food goes, we are eating well.

Drunken noodles and green papaya salad

Beet Stew, Cauliflower, Kale