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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Le paysan

We travelled to Kagawa in Shikoku Island to try out this vegetarian french restaurant, Le paysan
They sometimes use dairy but they have lots of things without it.
the food was fantastic!
You know when you go to a restaurant and order something. and then you think "I can make that easy and probably it will taste better...."
well, this was NOT it! the dish was very creative and you could
tell they spent lots of time and effort and of course took the skill
to prepare all the dishes.
the staff was knowledgeable and friendly.
enjoyed the experience a lot.

soba noodle sushi

tried sushi with 100 percent soba noodles. you think it's strange?
it was really good. and it was actually easier than using rice too.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

after the conference we went back to Tokyo and did a bit of touristy stuff.

there was the earth market happening too. We bought packets of sun-dried Shitake flakes, which I never come across before! My daughter is not a big fan of mushroomy things but this she liked it.

I also bought a shirt made of bamboo fabric. Bamboo is an excellent material to use because they grow pretty quickly.

We had a lunch at Brown Rice Cafe deli. very interesting menus. hard to decide what to buy but very happy with our decision in the end. japanese style lunch box and brown rice inari topped with roasted veges. yummmmm

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

the entrance

The home for the next three nights.

It was bigger than I expected. Knowing that we were to share the house with another person I was relieved to meet this gentle lady from Kyoto. Unfortunately we didn't have much time to do much once we got back to the house as it was always late after intensive days at the conference.

surrounded by thick old trees.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Kushi institute conference

finally I can post about Kushi Macrobiotic Conference!

It was held in Yamanashi, surrounded by beautiful old trees and clean air!!

On the first day we had a welcoming party and of course that means....
The buffet menu was
quinea salad in a plate of chicory
steam salad
cold cabbage roll
soy and vegetable mini burger
kidney bean corochette
gratin with autumn vegetables
brown rice with sun dried daikon
brown rice udon noodle
green tea mousse

It was so good to be there with like-minded people. This was my first conference for me and I didn't know what to expect but I had a very good feeling already. holding my daughter's hand I was so excited about the new experience I was about to have.

Because we couldn't stay another night at Shalom Hutte, we travelled down south of Nagano to stay at Yoshi Yoshi minsyuku.

I was sad to leave Shalom but when I met the host from Yoshi Yoshi I felt positive about the stay already. Carrying an one year old boy he rushed around to find a toilet for layla! (,who didn't want to use Japanese squat style toilet)

And the meals were fantastic!!!

Very different from European style dishes at Shalom Hutte. The meals here were traditional Japanese,
touch of Shoushin (Buddhist temple meals) Lots of things I haven't tried before and I really liked it.

Next day the host took us to his farm.
we pulled a couple of daikons, sweet potatoes.
There are soy beans, millet and even rice too.

while staying at Shalom Hutte, My daughter and I went exploring in the area. then we found an area full of chestnut trees.

we helped ourselves and collected so many and shared with Shalom Hutte staff. We had to leave before the dinner but they were going to use the nuts for the meal that night.

I wonder what they turned into.....

Personally I just love them boiled and eat them straight out of the shell still warm. The natural sweetness of the chestnuts are so comforting to my usual yang state.

here I am helping the staff with adzuki beans.
so easy to buy a packet of beans from a shop but it takes a lot of time to even collect a small bowlful.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Here are some of the meals that were served in Shalom Hutte.

All the meals are vegan, macrobiotic friendly and most of the produce they use are organic and fresh from their own garden. They bake their own naturally leavened bread as well.

Because it was their late summer they had abundant supply of nightshade vegetables such as eggplants, tomatoes etc. I hardly ever cook those vegetables myself these days but I did enjoy them for a special occasions.

meals are European inspired with many interesting sauces to make the dish more tasty and interesting. The courses start with an entree, soup, the main dish and then of course a dessert to finish off.

Nicely presented too.

Breakfast was buffet style. steamed brown rice bread was my favourite, served with homemade soy butter or/and sesame and miso spread.

Friday, October 2, 2009

After Tokyo we traveled to 'Shalom Hutte' in Nagano, Azumino Shinshu.

My parents had given me a book about Eco, allergy-friendly accommodations in Japan. and Shalom Hutte was one of them. It was also featured in a macrobiotic magazine called BIO as well.

The owner spent 3 years building the place himself and opened the ground for local kindergarten, which was great for my daughter as well.
The guided tour around the inn is organised by the owner very mornings, taking you to their organic farm and ecological facilities.

their farm and compost toilet
We stayed here for two nights and I wish it was longer!
I can only say the positive things for this place. It is definitely a place where you can relax and feel peaceful, surrounded in the beautiful natural environment. The staff are all so friendly and helpful. perfect for families as well as those for need to be away from their busy lives for a few days.
I will post more on their fabulous meals next time.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Next day my daughter joined me in Tokyo and went out for lunch in Nezu.
This is the shop I wanted to visit for a while. It has a quite good range of organic groceries as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.

Lunch here is organic and macrobiotic. home style Japanese meal.

we ordered a set menu which changes daily.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

As some people know, I am in Japan at the moment. I will be here for another 2 months or so. Japan is where macrobiotic philosophy started.
I still have my parents living in Ehime-ken in Japan and that's where I am staying mainly. However my daughter and I have just come back from the central Japan, greatly experiencing the macro community. And I have to say it was one of the best experience I have had in a long time!
I just loved it so much.

It was so condensed so lots to write. I will post slowly...
On Tuesday I flew to Tokyo for the final seminer to finish off the correspondent study that I had been doing.

this is where the seminer was held

little cafe down stairs as well as selling some macrobiotic groceries

This is what we made on the day.
Brown rice - cooked with a pressure cooker, Osawa pot, and
ceramic pot. The texture of the rice are different
depending on how its cooked.
Osumashi (vegetable soup) - good stock is very important for this
light soup
Nimono with hijiki, carrot and shitake mushrooms
Nishime with sweet seasonal vegetables -calm energy is created
by cooking gently. Yin and yang energy can be
altered by changing the way the vegetables are
sweet and sour tempeh
grain coffee jelly with soy cappuccino topping - here they used the
grain coffee with barley and chicory

Friday, August 28, 2009


bread is one of essential food products for many people. It provides energy from its carbohydrate contents. However consuming too much of the baked processed grain (that includes wholemeal) could make you feel sluggish and heavy. The commercially processed flour is likely to be oxidised from the high heat through the milling process as well.

there are alternatives!

I stone-mill my own flour to avoid oxidation and make sour dough bread.

Essence bread!

how I love this heavy sweet bread....

(this is my lunch today. freshly steamed essence bread served with water sauteed vegetables with miso. My own black and white sesame paste and activated nuts add different texture)

I firstly soak grains, sprout them. Mash or food precess it all together and then bake or steam.
You can also purchase one from many health food stores now.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Having organic everything (well as much as I can) for myself and my family has been very important. It even surprises me that there are people who still think that eating/wearing organicly does not make any difference in how we feel and how our enviroment will be in the future....

what is organic?
organic food is free of pesticides
GM or GE
Water pollution
Organic methods aim to achieve
Environmentally sustainable practices
Food with higher nutritional value
Improved soil fertility
Animal welfare

Organic systems work in harmony with nature, keeping harmful chemicals out of our land, water and air, creating a healthy and safe environment rich in wildlife, woodlands and nutrients.
There are so many reasons why I like to use organic ingredients.
1. Organic food is free of nasties.
2. Organic food production helps protect future generations.
3. Organic food production helps protect future generations.
4. Organic food tastes better.
5. Organic method prevents soil erosion and build healthy soils.
6. Organic food uses less energy.
7. Organic method helps protect water quality.
8. Support for small and independent farmers.
9. Organic food contains lower nitrates levels.

It's really worth it.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

macro sweets

Now that I have no website going at the moment....

I might post some of the sweets that I make.

of course they have no dairy, eggs or refined sugar added and organic as much as possible.
Almond chocolate tarts and tofu cheesecake with seasonal jam topping have been our signature macrobiotic sweets since started.
eating sweet things can be very theraputic experience. enjoy and taste every mouthful and you shouldn't need more than the body could handle.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

cooking class

Thanks to everyone who attended last night' macrobiotic cooking class in Yarraville.
I had a great time.
I'd set up a winter menu which was
warming miso hot pot with sweet winter vegetables
Spiced millet with deep fried tempeh triangles
Seaweed salad with rocket
cereal Bar.
We made the first two last night plus I had raw chocolate truffles for samples. And we will make the rest next week.
There were lots of ingredients that were new to most of the participants and I am glad to say they were enjoyed very much.
Millet is unfortunately associated a lot as a "bird food'' however is is so easy to cook and very good warming grain with a texture a bit like couscous.
Tempeh also is a good protein source with the additional benefit of fermentation.
and don't forget the superfood goji berries which were stirred through with the spiced millet. The colour of the dish was beautiful.
Looking forward to next week....

Sunday, August 2, 2009

this is the most exciting thing!
our organic brown rice is back!
Organic brown rice has been unvailable for nearly 2 years because of the drought.
I went down to Victoria market on Saturday and here it was in a bulk section. Australian brown rice!? I have been getting Italian semi-brown rice for a treat in the past.
Rice takes so much water to grow them so it does make no sense trying to grow it here in Australia. However when you think about importing from overseas does it take more energy and resorces to get it here?
I am not sure the answer. If anyone knows let me know.
Anyway I was glad to share the excitement with my daughter about the brown rice, though she was more excited when she saw her buckwheat pancake for breakfast that morning.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


I have just finished a book called Eating with the Seasons by Paula Bartimeus. It is not a macrobiotic book but there is a great amount of useful information in the book. she talks about the inportance of seasonal ingredients, cooking methods, yin and yang, warming and cooling foods etc.

Another book is 'How to see your health:the book of oriental diagnosis' by Michio Kushi. He has written over 5o books on macrobiotics and this is one of very fascinating ones. It is a diagnosis method that tells you various conditions by looking at someone's physical characters. I knew what you eat and environment you are in at present influence how you look and feel. But even before you are born (what your mother was eating when you are inside her tummy) could influence how you look and your tasting buds!? It was a very interesting read.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

As some might have noticed, my website has been hacked into.. noticed, my website has been hacked into....
I will get it fixed as soon as possible but occasion like this reminds me of my incapability of anything to do with the technology. very unfortunate...
sorry about that.

I was listening to an interview with Michio Kushi the other day. There is so much more than macrobiotic diet. "Even you are sitting down, chewing organic brown rice for the hundred times, avoid all the extreme foods that burden your body and soul if you tend to citicise others and not being humble you cannot call yourself macrobitician."
take it one moment at a time...

Friday, May 29, 2009

So we know eating whole grains and legumes is so good for you. But do you know how you prepare them properly?
I hear some people complaining about flatulence after a bowl of beans. if that happens to you ask these questions...
do you soak them before cooking?
do you chew them thoroughly?
do you choose the right beans for your body?
do you discard the foam while boiling the beans?
do you cook them with a piece of kombu, fennel or cumin?
the gas from legumes is generated by trisaccharides they contain. The healthy intestines have enzymes to properly break it down. If you are not used to eating beans try starting small. small amounts and smaller beans. It will encourage your body to form the right enzymes. sprouting them will make them even more digestible and nutritious.
don't give up! they are rich sources of potassium, calcium, iron, several B-vitamins. The protein from the legumes can help regulate sugar, water and metabolic balance.
Nothing better than warm rich bean stew in a cold winter night... or a a bowl of sweet adzuki bean zenzai....

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

change of the season

The weather has been so beautiful lately. still quite warm during the day but definitely colder in the early mornings. Autumn is my favourite season. seeing the leaves changing their colour is one of the most beautiful things in nature. above all it is the chestnut season! My daughter and I adore them....
change of the season means your body is requiring something different form what it did in the summer. The intensity lessens and the energy begins to settle in. The cooking style should help energy move deeper into the body now. longer, slower cooking using round and sweet vegetables, grains such as short-grain brown rice (though impossible to get them in Australia at the moment...) and millet are great for this time of the year.

Friday, April 3, 2009

whole organic brown rice fermented for sourdough starter! to tell you the truth this was meant to become brown rice yoghurt. it didn't work. was even too stinky for me.
left it overnight and I heard the loud bang in the middle of the night.
It was everywhere in the kitchen!!!
this is the power of fermentation....

another beautiful macro dessert! strawberry cream pie has landed! of course no dairy, eggs or refined sugar added in this. The creamy filling goes so well with this a bit tangy home made strawberry jam thickend with kudzu and agar agar.
topped with the tofu cream.
order one now before the strawberry disappears!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


sometimes it is enough to just say 'thank you'
sometimes it is nice to give something to show your appreciation.
certainly the gift does not have to be anything expensive or anything you buy from a shop.
I made these biscotti for people who made an extra effort to help me out with something yesterday. Ones with roasted almonds and others with black sesame and pumpkin seeds.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

fresh baby carrot from the garden!
so sweet and crunchy. i know the nutrients in carrots are best absorbed when cooked with oil etc but when they are so fresh I cant help but eat them raw. ( if my daugther doesn't get them first)
of course the carrot leaves are used for my breakfast soup.