Archives for posts with tag: healthy

The Joy of Cooking with Friends… presents Aji no nanbanzuke. Thanks to Yuka from the trippplenipples and Make Believe’s own Amber Joy, as the Tokyo summer gave us one last day of beautiful sun and glory,  we had an afternoon of wine, cooking and made some classic Japanese dishes with Yuka’s help. This really deserves to be shared and can easily be made with a few key ingredients.

Nanbanzuke is a Japanese dish with meat or fish that has been deep fried and marinated in a sweet vinegar sauce. The Aji you can’t really see in the picture is a type of fish, horse mackerel to be precise, which is what we used, together with sliced vegetables and a lovely sweet marinade.

Yuka took charge of the fish which needed some preparation and a little clean, while Amber sliced away and I helped make the dashi. A video here on how to cut and clean Aji the whole way, although for this dish removing the head, innards and fins is fine. It is great in summer as has a refreshing note to it and even though this was the first time making it I will definitely be making this again. Even in winter this is a perfect part of any meal.

Try another white fish or salmon if you like and you can cut the fish or deep fry the whole fillet as we did. Making the marinade, allowing it cool while chopping some vegetables, deep frying the fish and putting it in a plate for a few hours is all this takes. Although best served after all the yummy sweet vinegar has had time to be infused with the fish, it is also great as soon as you’ve made it too. Without the depth of flavor that marinating gives you but SO fresh and deeply enjoyable nonetheless.

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Soups are brilliant for these cold winter months fastly approaching here and I although I didn’t used to much of a soup fan, that rapidly diminished when I realized how easily they could be made. Growing up mostly on Indian food, granted we have many soup/daals, I used to find some Western dishes daunting, especially soup. I’m not sure why, guess it was just down to the way it came in the tins and looked so foreign to me and from tasting some pretty bland attempts. That of course changed when I realized it is the simple hand blender that can make soup out of anything. Although nothing beats a Heinz tomato soup, I do enjoying making my own variations and last time I was sick I actually looked forward to making some nice soups to make me feel better and blitzed every meal.

This is a lovely wholesome soup, and even though you could easily use vegetable stock cubes, I chose to put my own selection of veg in with the pumpkin and lentils and it tasted perfect. Another thing with growing up on Indian food, in my house anyway, is the way I was brought up on very little packets and cans of instant food. Indian food is surprisingly easy to make with fresh ingredients and even now with other dishes I make, I like to add as little as I can of pre-packaged food which is full of additives and preservatives. Of course we all need a helping hand so I don’t rule them out completely, it’s just I prefer to cook without them. This of course means food can look different and taste different, but being creative and putting in a little more effort is always worth it I think.

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The famous milk debate of Soy Milk versus the real stuff has often concerned me. I love milk. Nothing can substitute it in a cup of tea or in my porridge in the morning. I have had mixed feelings about how much I should be drinking though and whether to incorporate and start buying Soy milk more thinking it is THE way to be healthy.

Great news however. A documentary (watch from 0.27sec-6.00min) I watched recently confirmed milk is good for you so has ended the battle for me. Apparently the calcium in milk attaches to fat in your system so you poo it out! Milk helps get rid of the fat!

Alex James from Blur, who I used to be in love with, is now a farmer and confirmed this so we can enjoy cheeses, milk, yoghurt, ice-cream!? and other dairy products without worrying now. Low-fat and in moderation of course…

And it’s not that I don’t like Soy milk, I just like proper milk too and now can enjoy both happily!

A simple lunch today as I started setting up my blog! Lots of recipes to come but thought I’d kick off with one of my favourite lunch/snacks. Healthy, tasty and ready in minutes.

Waiting for the wholemeal bread to pop out of the toaster, I chopped a small tomato and put it in a  small bowi. Scooped out an avocado, threw in some coriander, squeezed in some lime juice, finely chopped and added a little garlic clove and red chilli, a quick crush of salt and pepper in, mashed it up well and was ready to spread on the toast!


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