Weekly Recipe Bulletin: Tokyo Oatmeal, Chocolate Mousse a la Sante, Apple Sunday Sweetness

I can’t believe it’s been this long, but about 8 years ago I moved back to Japan to teach English and after a year in the middle of nowhere I was relocated to West Tokyo.  The area I lived in was like a village in a huge city and luckily, my friend Stephen lived a hop skip and a jump from my apartment.  Together we explored Sengawa – there was this one main drag that had everything; a video store, pachinko parlours, phone shops, bakeries, shoe shops, flower stores, and a little fruit shop.

Sengawa’s Main Drag

Every Monday on my day off work, I went grocery shopping for the week and stopped off at the fruit shop where I got literally two bags of fruit – in it were 7 asian pears (called nashi in Japanese).

Asian pears are delectable.

Why?

Well, they look like an apple and taste like a  mix of apple and a perfectly ripened pear.  They’re sweet but not overbearing.  Each morning, I made oatmeal with a nashi and when I moved back to Canada I kind of forgot about nashi’s until the other day when I happened upon one at No Frills.  Here is the recipe:

Tokyo Oatmeal

– 1 nashi, diced

– 1/3 cup of quick oats

– 2 tbsp goji berries

– 1/2 tsp cinnamon

– 1/2 tsp nutmeg

– 1 tbsp maple syrup or brown sugar

– almond, rice, or soy milk

– 1 tbsp flax seeds, milled (optional)

Directions:  cut up a nashi and put the chunks into a small pot.  Add almond milk until the nashi is just covered and over medium heat, bring to a gentle boil.  Add 2 tbsp goji berries and 1/3 cup of oats.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Add spices and flax-seed.  Stir in maple syrup and enjoy!  Serves 1.

Dairy and gluten-free.

I was reading Meghan Telpner’s weekly newsletter and she had a recipe for Chocolate Black Bean Pudding – it looked so interesting so I had to five it a whirl.  Sure glad I did!  With a few tweaks of my own it turned from a pudding to a delicatble mousse.  What I like about this recipe is that it is a nice dessert but the black bean component slows down digestion and will therefore help control your blood sugar.  It’s rich and flavourful, satisfying and yet also a “healthier” option for connecting with your sweet tooth.  Bon Appetite!

  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 cups black beans
  • 1/2 cup pureed sweet potato
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds, ground + 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 banana’s, diced

Instructions:  in a small pot on low heat, melt the chocolate.  Place all ingredients including the melted chocolate in a bowl and either process it using a food processor or even easier, an immersion hand blender.  Blend until smooth and place in the fridge for 1 hour and serve with a bit of chopped up banana on top.  Serves 8.

Dairy and gluten-free.

Apple Sunday

I saw this recipe in my weekly WHFoods newsletter and thought it sounded like a treat and a half…and I was right.  It’s divine.  Like the recipe above, it’ll satisfy your sweet tooth but the protein included somewhat keeps your blood sugar from spiking into oblivion.  It’s full of whole and natural foods and something you can feel good eating – 1 serving contains 100% of your daily manganese and 30% of your DV vitamin E requirements.  I found the almond extract a little over powering so reduced the amount in my version below.

  • 2 apples (one granny smith green apple and a red apple of any kind)
  • 2 TBS almond butter
  • ¼ cup maple syrup (the real kind, not the Auntie J variety)
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 TBS grated coconut

Instructions:  cut up the apples into little cubes and place them into two dishes.  In a small mixing bowl, combine the maple syrup, almond butter, and almond extract and mix until well combined.  Drizzle the mixture onto the apples.  Top with each  bowl with 1 tbsp unsweetened coconut.  Serves 2.

Dairy and gluten-free.

THE DAILY DL (Dalai Lama):

“Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.” 

– Dalai Lama XIV

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