Posts tagged ‘easy lunch’

May 11, 2012

Hide’s Lunch

by 田草川(たくさがわ)かおる

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.


So, I cooked fresh rice for breakfast. What do I do with it? Prepare some lunch for my husband Hide!

A very simple lunch, but is should keep him going through the afternoon!

20120511-181023.jpg Using the rice, I made two different types of rice ball, one is with my  “Handy salmon flakes” and another is with “Umeboshi (pickled plum)”.

For the side dish, I cooked some “Dashi-maki-Tamago (rolled egg)” and vegan burger again! This time, using chickpea and celery.

I will ask him how he liked it, and then introduce the recipe!

April 21, 2012

Gluten Free Vegan Gnocchi

by 田草川(たくさがわ)かおる

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.


Although, I am Japanese, I love cooking foods from other countries. Chinese and Korean foods are quite common on our table, but the most popular cuisine that I cook (apart from Japanese) is Italian!! I used to have pasta machine at home in Tokyo, and had fun making my own pasta. Our honeymoon was to South Italy, and my husband Hide ate pizza and gelato everyday for 2 weeks and gained 3 kilos. I was 7 month pregnant at that time, and proud to say that I didn’t gain any wait!

This is how much we love Italian food, and I still make my own tomato sauce and never bought ready made pasta sauce.


Here is a simple recipe that is loved by everyone in my family, including my 19 month old baby Yumi, and you must try it.

 Once you made the gnocchi dough, you can eat it in many ways. It will keep in fridge for about 3 days, and some people say you can freeze it, but I usually finish it within 3 days, so am not quite sure how the texture would turn out.


I sometimes add mashed pumpkin or sweet potatoes to the basic recipe, and have it with my “soy cheese” sauce. It is a great alternative to carbonara, low in fat and calories, so you can enjoy your “pasta” without any guilt!



Ingredients (to make about 12-15 gnocchi pieces)

-1 large potato (about 250g)

-50-80g Potato starch

-1 pinch Salt


Step 1 : Peel the potato skin, cut into 8 pieces and steam for about 20min, until soft. (You can boil it with the skin on, then peel it or cook it in the microwave  as well. I just prefer steaming my vegetables, so that they will have maximum taste to it)

Step 2: Mash or mix in food processor until smooth, add salt and potato starch. Form into small ball (about 20cent coin big and finger thick) and cook in boiling water for 3-5min. It will swell up and become about 50cent coin size.

Serve immediately with your favorite sauce. Today, I cooked tomato sauce with kidney bean burgers, looks like meatball!? It was sooooo good, I enjoyed my organic wine very much with it. I hope you enjoy it too!



April 10, 2012

Easter Picnic

by 田草川(たくさがわ)かおる

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.

How did you enjoy your Easter Holiday? We took it quite easy, bush walking, beach visiting, swimming and going to the Royal Easter Show! I cooked to my heart content during the last 4 days, and it was a fun time for me.

Yes, I admit, I love to cook, and it is one of my favorite thing to do. I guess, I’m lucky that I have a very easy going family who would eat almost anything I cook, and with their help, I can challenge new recipes.

This is just a quick photo of a picnic lunch for this Easter.


You can learn how to make the rabbit and heart in this month’s Sushi Art class. The Easter eggs turned out to look like strawberries, but all the same, my daughter Yumi LOVED it!!

April 6, 2012

Cabbage Scone (with Yeast)

by 田草川(たくさがわ)かおる

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.

The first time I made scone was in Year 11, during Hospitality class, and I still remember the feel of “Crumbing” the butter into flour with my fingers. Nowadays, thanks to modern technology called “Food Processor” life is made much easier with less mess to cook a good scone.

This recipe uses yeast instead of baking powder, and you have to rest it in the freezer over night but the slow process gives it a new texture, and since it can be kept in the freezer for up to 2 weeks, you can bake a fresh batch whenever  you want to!

I used “Cabbage” in this recipe, a good way to use it up because when you are only a family of 2.5 (well, my daughter Yumi eats more than half and adult,,,) it’s not easy to use up a whole cabbage.

I hope you find this recipe interesting! Quite different to my usual recipe, since this does require butter. I tried making it with olive oil, but it just didn’t turn out right. If you want to stick to olive oil, just use the same cabbage mixture with my basic healthy muffin recipe, it will turn out just as nice!


Ingredients to make 12 scones

-120g Organic Plain Flour

-120g Hard Flour (Flour for baking bread)

-60g Organic Wholemeal Plain Flour

-3 Tablespoon Organic raw sugar

-1 pinch Salt

-140g Unsalted butter

-1 teaspoon dry yeast

-2 teaspoon water (room temperature)

-100cc milk

-250g cabbage/ olive oil/ salt


Step 1: Chop the cabbage in a food processor, cook in a frying pan over low heat with a little bit of olive oil and salt; cook until the volume becomes 1/3 (this may take more than 30min, so do this when you have the spare time)

Step 2: Cut the butter into 1cm cubes, keep it cold;  In a food processor, mix all the flours add butter cubes and mix well; add sugar and mix well; add yeast dissolved in water and milk, mix well

If  you bake now, you will get a plain scone, but here I add the cooked cabbage!

Step 3: Fold the cabbage into the mixture, spread and fold for 6-8 times; make it 2.5c thick wrap and rest in fridge/freezer over night.

Step 4: (Thaw, if frozen) and cut into 12 pieces, brush with milk and sprinkle some almond flakes as a decoration; Bake in preheated oven at 180 C for 18-20min.

Looks like hard work? Not really, you just need the patience to rest it over night! Enjoy this new texture!

April 5, 2012

What to do with 1kg of Flour

by 田草川(たくさがわ)かおる

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.

As a mum of a very hungry baby (Yumi turned 18 months and eats more than her 3 year old cousin!), it is important for me to have healthy and easy snacks handy to keep my baby happy. She grew up with my home made snacks, and I think I bake about twice a week.


These photos were taken before she was 1, and you can see her enthusiasm to eat 🙂

I buy organic flour, which is about $4 a kg, so it is a bit expensive than regular flour, but when I think of the amount that Yumi eats, it is very worth the cost.

With 1kg of flour, I tried making different things to show you the variety. There are always muffins to bake ( I bake more than 1000 mini muffins a year!)

 This is Pumpkin muffin with nutmeg, using my basic healthy muffin recipe. I like this recipe because it has a lot of vegetable in it, and no sugar! You can add the sweetness with maple syrup or fruit preserves (also home made)

 Another one of my favorite is Biscotti! The trick to cooking this is baking it twice! I make it with my daughter (she loves to mix!) and this is good because you don’t have to worry too much about being over beaten. A great take out snack, keeps Yumi quiet until she finishes 1 stick!

 This scone is made with yeast, and needs to spend a night in the freezer, but can be stocked in the freezer for about 2 weeks, so usually, I make a batch and keep it there to have fresh oven baked scone whenever I feel like! A great recipe to use up THAT veggie too 🙂

 I don’t bake cookies as much as other things, but this no egg, no butter, no sugar recipe was too good not to share! A bit crumbly so I won’t recommend it giving to kids like Yumi who wants to run around while they eat! This cookie taught her manners, always sit when you eat!

 This looks like my Healthy mini muffins, but they are 3 times bigger and NOT BAKED!! Instead, it is steamed, and takes less than 20 min to prepare and cook! A very good snack or even a breakfast, just be careful with the steam!

Each of these recipes use 200 to 250g of flour, and they are all easy and tasty, so why not give them a try with your kids? I can’t wait to do more baking with my daughter 🙂

April 2, 2012

Handy Chicken Mince

by 田草川(たくさがわ)かおる

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist/ Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Here is another recipe that you can prepare in your spare time, and use it in different ways! With this recipe and my Handy Salmon Flake recipe,   it makes dinner preparation much easier!


Ingredients (I usually split my chicken mince pack, freeze half and cook half amount at a time)

-250g Free range Chicken mince

-2 Tablespoon Organic Raw sugar

-1 1/2 Tablespoon Mirin

-1 1/2 Tablespoon Sake (cooking rice wine)

-4 Tablespoon Soy sauce


Step 1: Mix all ingredients in a bowl, make sure that the lumps from meat doesn’t exist and is mixed well with the seasoning

Step 2: Put everything in a non stick frying pan and cook on low to medium heat; during this process, liquid will come out from the meat but keep on cooking, breaking up the lumps as you cook. Similar to cooking scrambled eggs, using spatula.

Step 3: Cook until most of the liquid is gone, you can serve this hot or cold.

I would like to introduce the variation using this mince, but in Japan, we usually eat it with rice. It is called “Soboro-gohan” and a popular dish for take away lunches. My 18 months old daughter love this, as I wrap it with rice in nori seaweed.

In that sense, you can use it in sushi, mixed seasoned rice (Maze-gohan), with noodles, with veggies, the possibilities are endless, and a big help to add one extra dish on the table. ENJOY!!

March 4, 2012

Omusubi Rice Balls

by 田草川(たくさがわ)かおる

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist/ Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.


When you have small children (well, mine is only a baby) and is going out, you need to carry food so that they don’t get unhappy from hunger. I usually take a piece of fruit and muffins to keep my baby happy, but here is another option: Rice balls!


Rice balls are called “Onigiri” or “Omusubi” in Japan, and it means “Tying together”. The name comes from the way you prepare it, by cooking rice, seasoning it, and shaping it into a ball by holding your hands together.

It is easier done then explaining it, and very handy once you know the trick!


I made three different flavors today!

To the left is using my Handy Salmon Flakes,  the back is using miso from Dengaku, and the right one is using Takuan (pickled daikon) and sesame.


In Japan, people usually put things like Umeboshi (pickled plum) or Konbu (seasoned kelp) in their rice balls. When you go to a 24hour store in Japan, you will see so many varieties of  rice balls being sold, some with things like tuna and Kara-age Chicken inside!


The shape varies from family to family. My mum’s side makes it triangle, but my dad’s side makes it round. You can change the size to match the people who’s going to eat it. Yumi (my daughter) can eat one full rice ball, but I do tend to make small ones for her so she can hold it and feed herself.


The key is making the rice to the right stickiness. Japanese rice are the middle grain rice (the sticky type) and be sure to match the amount of water with the amount of rice.

1 cup of rice should be cooked in 1 cup of water.

Many people nowadays have electric rice cookers, but I don’t! I cook my rice in a thick pan over stove. It’s very quick and I find it very tasty.


Hope you can find your favorite combination of seasonings!




February 27, 2012

Sweet Chili Chicken Noodle

by 田草川(たくさがわ)かおる

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.


Is it only me that buys different sauce and seasonings to cook new flavors, but don’t know how to use it up before it goes bad? Living in Sydney for almost 6 months, I used up more than 3 bottles of soy sauce, 2 bottles of sake(cooking rice wine), 1 bottle of vinegar, 1 bottle of sesame oil and 2 packets of miso. So these things, I know how to use everyday.

However, I have bottles of fish sauce, sweet chili sauce, tomato sauce, and many other sauces that I don’t know how to use very much.

Sweet chili sauce, I bought it to make Vietnamese rice paper roll, and I think I made it more than 3 times, but the sauce is still here. Today, I decided to make some noodle from this, and believe it or not, it is YUMMY!


Ingredients (for 2 people)

-1/2 Onion

-1/2 cloves Garlic

-1 bunch Coriander

-Leftover vegetables (I used, 1/4 Carrot, 1/4 Red Capsicum, 2 Tomatoes, Lettuce)

-2 bunch of Organic Somen Noodle

-1 1/2 cups Asian Chicken Stock (Home made)

-2 Tablespoon Sweet Chili Sauce

-1-2 Limes


How to Cook:

Step 1: Cut all the vegetables into thin strips, in a large pot, stir fry onion, garlic and half the coriander using a little bit of oil. Add all the vegetables EXCEPT lettuce and cook.


Step 2: Pour the chicken stock and sweet chili sauce; in a separate pot, prepare the noodle.


Step 3: Put the noodle in a bowl to serve, pour over the soup, garnish with lettuce, remaining coriander and leftover chicken meat.


Enjoy with lots of limes and beer! YUM 🙂

I used lettuce, but you can use bean sprouts to make it more Vietnamese. Or even cucumber. The point is to have some fresh (Uncooked) vegetable on top as a garnish to give you some texture while you are eating.

This Asian Chicken Stock is sooooo handy, yet I forgot to introduce it! Will do so soon 🙂


February 5, 2012

Salad Noodle

by 田草川(たくさがわ)かおる

Hi, this is KK, Sushi Artist/ Healthy Muffin Maker/ Mum 🙂
Thank you for visiting my blog.


Today, I would like to introduce how to make Salad Noodle.
This is a great dish to make for weekend lunch or quick snack for kids.
My husband Hide loves it so much, he asks me to make it at least once a week!



You can use any vegetable you like for topping, but make sure to cut them into thin strips so that they mix well with the noodle when you eat!

Here is one of our favorite combination.

1 Tomato

1/2 Lebanese Cucumber

1/3 Carrot

1/2 Kholrabi or 1/4 Daikon

I also added

1 Egg

2 Chicken Drumstick

for extra taste. You can use ham or any left over meat you like, as long as they are shredded into small pieces.

For the sauce, you need

1 teaspoon Organic raw sugar (brown sugar or white sugar can be used)

2 teaspoon Apple vinegar (you can use rice vinegar or white vinegar but not balsamic vinegar)

3 teaspoon Soy sauce

1 teaspoon Sesame oil

Today, I added a touch of chili paste, but this is to your preference.

This amount is enough for 2 bundles of Organic noodle, so just remember the 1:2:3 ratio, and you can use any size spoon to match your family.


To cook the Salad Noodle;

Step 1: Prepare the Chicken, boil water in small saucepan, add salt and cook chicken until tender, cool slightly and shred them in small pieces. I repeat, you can use leftover meat or ham or turkey or omit this whole process


Step 2: Beat egg in small bowl, make thin crepes, cut into thin strips


Step3: Boil water in large pot, cook noodle according to the package. (You can use Ramen, Somen, Soba or any type of noodle you like, we use Udon at home because it stays strong and firm even after it is drained and washed under cold water.)


Step 4: Cut vegetables into small strips, mix ingredients for sauce.

(Since Udon takes 11 min to cook, I chop the vegetables while I wait. If you are using Somen, which requires much shorter cooking time, be sure to chop the vegetable before you start boiling the noodle.)


Step 5: Drain noodle, rinse under cold water, drain and put in deep dish, arrange vegetables, eggs, meat, pour sauce and serve!


This sauce matches most vegetables, but I think it goes especially well with tomato and cucumber. Sometimes, I cut cucumber into bite size, marinate it in this sauce overnight (obviously you have to use tablespoons  to make enough sauce for marinating!) and have it as a side dish. Or, I slice some tomato on a plate, boil eggs and cut them into dices, put in on the tomato and pour this sauce. Yum, yum goes so well with cold beer!


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