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.


Fairly Tale and Plum Tomatoes Gratin

When I saw organic fairly tale eggplants at my local food coop, I had to take some home. Their life is short, they are so cute, and the price was 1/3 of a farmer’s market. I wondered if I grill them or sautée them. I ended up sautéeing them with plum tomatoes in olive oil. Being accompanied by gluten free seedy toasts and home made ice tea, it’s a lovely summer lunch. No much recipe to share since it’s so simple. But here you go.

fairy tale and tomato gratin

fairy tale and tomato gratin

1 lb eggplants
1 lb tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
olive oil
sea salt
black pepper
1/2 tsp oregano (if you are using fresh, use 2 Tbsp)
1/2 tsp basil (if you are using fresh, use 2 Tbsp)

  1. Halve fairly tale. If you are using larger eggplant, cut them to the similar size. Quarter tomatoes or slice them in thick (1/2″) slices. Crash garlic cloves.
  2. Heat a frying pan in medium-high. Splash olive oil in a pan. Sautée eggplants for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, garlic, and oregano and basil. Cover the pan with a lid. Lower the heat to simmer for 5 minutes or until everything becomes tender.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.

5 Small Vegetarian Dishes

5 Vege Dishes

5 Vege Dishes

All of above small dishes are easy to make, but making 5 dishes for 1 dinner seems a lot of work. Yup, it’s the Japanese cooking. I was talking to my Mom the other day, and she told me what she made for dinner on that day. Grilled fish, roasted Japanese eggplant, simmered beef, potatoes, carrots, and onions, boiled spinach, miso soup, and white rice! So, I tried to do the same minus beef and fish. Above dishes are all good warm or room temperature. All dishes above (except rice) are great nibbles if you like to drink.

Sautéed Shishito Peppers

Heat a splash of olive oil on a pan, put shishito peppers in. Turn an few times until they blister, but not to burn. Season with salt.

Pan Grilled Tomatoes

Halve tomatoes. Heat a splash of olive oil on a pan, line tomatoes in. Sprinkle salt. When they are soft, turn them over and grill a few more minutes. This was always a part of my English Breakfast when I traveled there.

Kabocha (Japanese Pumpkin)

1/4 large kabocha, soy sauce, sugar, sake, water

Peel the green skins. I use a peeler and it is easier than a knife. Chop it at bite size.
In a medium sauce pan, put kabocha and pour water just enough to cover them. Heat up until boil. Add 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp sugar, 1 Tbsp sake. Turn the heat down to simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes or until kabocha is done. Stick a folk or a chopstick in a kobocha piece and if it was easy to come out, it’s done.

Fire Roasted Eggplant

2 Japanese eggplants per person, 1/2″ fresh ginger (grated), soy sauce

Place eggplants directly over the fire. Yes, keep the pan holder comes with the stove top, but no pan is needed. When one side is charred, turn it to expose the other side to the fire. It will take 5 minutes or longer one side. When all sides are charred and eggplant is collapsed, take them off the fire, place them in a bowl. Cover with a plate to let them steam. Peel and cut it in bite size. To serve, place grated ginger and a dab of soy sauce on top.


Broccolini and Tomato Salad


This dressing is very yummy. You can mop it up with bread. Make sure to use broccolini or young broccoli.

Ingredients: 1 lb broccolini or young broccoli, 2 tomatoes

For vinaigrette: 1 lemon (grated zest and 2 Tbs juice), 1 large shallot or 1/4 red onion (minced), 2 tsp dried marjoram or dried oregano (1 heaping Tbs if you are using fresh herb), 6 oil-cured olives, 4 Tbs olive oil, salt and black pepper

  1. Break broccolini into florets. Cut the stems into 2″ length, peel them, and halve them lengthwise. Steam broccolini for 3-5 minutes until tender but not mushy.
  2. Seed olives, and mince them. Whisk all the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl. Season with salt and black pepper.
  3. Pour vinaigrette over warm broccolini. Mix with your hands.
  4. Cut tomatoes in wedges. Add tomatoes over broccolini and serve.

January 21st Menu

Everything Shake

Everything Shake

Breakfast: Coffee, Everything Shake (Soy Milk, Carrots, Cucumber, Spinach, Apple, Pineapple, Strawberries)—it was okay, not a hit.

Lunch: Feast! (Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale, Wild Mushrooms, Beans, and Kale Soup, Avocado/Tomato/Green Pepper Salad, Spelt Toasts)

Snack Dinner: Mmmaple Pecan Bar, Fuji Apple, Cranberry Walnut Toast, Red Grapes



Snack Dinner

Snack Dinner



Thursday’s Menu 12/13

Light Pink Shake

Light Pink Shake

Breakfast: Coffee, Light Pink Shake—I meant to make Tropical, but there was no OJ in the fridge. I had to modify it by adding raspberries, otherwise it is too plain.

Lunch: Eggplant Tofu Lasagna, Fuji Apple

Dinner: Udon Noodle Soup Delux (Udon Noodle MIso Soup with Enoki and Chinese Cabbage, Green Beans with Sesame Dressing, Kimpira Gobo, Simmered Soy Beans), Beet/Avocado/Tomato Salad—loved it.

Lasagna Lunch

Lasagna Lunch

Udon Noodle Soup Delux

Udon Noodle Soup Delux

Tuesday’s Menu 9/25

Very Berry Milk Shake

Breakfast: Coffee, Mixed Berry Milk Shake

Lunch: Simple Tomato-Basil Spaghetti—the taste of summer, one last time.

Snack: Oats ‘n Honey Bar

Dinner: Rice and Beans with Avocado and Tomato

Dessert: Almond Cookies!

Simple Tomato-Basil Spaghetti

Oats ‘n Honey Bar


Rice and Beans with Avocado and Tomato

Very Almond Cookies