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.


Chickpea “Tuna” Open Sandwich

Chickpea "Tuna" Open Sandwich

Chickpea “Tuna” Open Sandwich

When you thought you had to give up the taste of tuna salad sandwich, here’s a recipe to rescue you. Adapted from The China Study Cook Book, added my twist, this is a winner recipe. Of course, you can make it into a sandwich, so you can take it to go.

Makes 4 open sandwiches

Ingredients: 1 cup cooked chickpeas, 1 celery stalk (chopped), 4 T red onion (minced), 2-3 Tbsp vegan mayonnaise, 1/2 tsp kelp powder ( I used 2″ square nori, and cut it into small strips), 1 tsp dijon mustard, 4 slices tomato, 1 tsp soy sauce, salt and black pepper to taste, 4 slices of bread

  1. Drain cooked chickpeas. Put it in a food processor or by hand mixer, pulse to roughly chop.
  2. Add chopped celery, red onion, kelp powder/nori, salt and black pepper. Mix well.
  3. Toast the bread.
  4. Spread the chickpea mix over the toasts. Put a slice of tomato on each bread.

Saturday’s Menu 8/11

Green Goddess and Iced Coffee

Breakfast: Cold Water Brewed Iced Coffee, Green Goddess—cold water brewed iced coffee takes 48 hours to make, but it’s awesome. Just soak enough fine ground coffee beans in cold water and leave it in a fridge for at least 48 hours.

Lunch at Organic Grill: Tofu Omelette with Cauliflower, Broccoli, Shiitake Mushrooms and Vegan Mozzarella Cheese, Home Fries, Muti-Grain Toast, Slices of Orange—I miss good old fashioned American breakfasts once in a while. This Tofu Omelette was not like egg omelette, but very good. I liked it. 🙂 The portion was large, and even I couldn’t finish it.

Dinner: Left-over Omelette and White Peaches, Rice Crackers with Nuts

Tofu Omelette

Left-over Omelette and White Peaches

Rice Crackers & Nuts



Friday’s Menu 7/6

Peachy Shake and Iced Coffee

Breakfast: Iced Coffee with Almond Milk, Peachy Shake (peach, banana, strawberries, OJ, soy protein)

Lunch Box: Lentil Burgers, Vegetarian Couscous, Sauteed Kale/Lamb’s Quarter—since my yesterday’s lunch was too greasy and heavy on the stomach, I decided to bring my own food for lunch. This was just perfect.

Cold Platter Dinner: Marinaded Bell Peppers, Muti-Grain Panini Bread, Sauteed Kale/Lamb’s Quarter, Berry Salad, Iced Mint Tea—no heat dinner. I really didn’t feel like cooking using oven because it heats up my kitchen 10 degrees higher. A nice satisfying cold dinner.

Friday’s Lunch Box

Cold Platter Dinner

Thursday’s Menu 7/5

Brown Shake

Breakfast: Coffee, Brown Shake by M

Lunch at Potjanee: Pad See Ew with Tofu, a mini spring roll, a mini salad with Peanut Sauce—great value and tasty, but my dish was too greasy.

Dinner: Basil-Tomato-Fusil—the ultimate summer dish. So easy to make, and so tasty. The trick is very ripe juicy tomatoes.

Pad See Ew at Potjanee

Basil-Tomato-Summer Pasta


Sunday’s Menu 7/1

Tropical Shake

Breakfast: Iced Coffee, Tropical Shake (Banana, Papaya, Mango, Pineapple, OJ, Tofu)

Lunch: Spaghetti with Vegan Pesto and Tomato, Limeade—there is a secret ingredient to this Vegan Pesto Sauce. Guess what. White Miso! It replaces cheese in the traditional pesto and equally tastes good.

Potluck Dinner at the Peace Concert on Hastings-on-Husdon: Spinach-Bean Salad, Watermelon, My Banana Bread, My Date Balls, Guacamole, Hummus, Grapes, Chips, Ramen Noodle Salad

Spaghetti with Pesto

Potluck Dinner

Thursday’s Menu 6/14

Green Goddess

Breakfast: Coffee, Green Goddess Shake

Lunch: Beet Stew, Soybeans with Kelp, Roasted Chestnuts, Strawberries, Tomato with Tahin-Lime Sauce in Pita, Homemade Wholewheat Toast—scraped up bits of everything in the fridge.

Dinner: Lentil Burger with Tomato, Avocado, Pickled Onion, and Pickles

Scavenger’s Lunch

Veggie Burger Deluxe