6/09/2007

" Chew on This " and " E-Myth Revisited "

Have you read " Chew on This--- Everything You Don't Want to Know About Fast Food " ?
How about " E-Myth Revisited --- Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It" ? They are both American books. (Both are translated into Japanese )

After reading these two books, I was little confused. The first one " Chew on This" is quite strict about fast food such as McDonald's. The second one " E-Myth Revisited" is introducing McDonald's as the ideal business model and praise it. Yet, I learned a lot from both books.

As a working woman who runs business, there are lots to learn from McDonald's business model.
Meanwhile, I would like to pursue businesses which help and support consumers' happy life style. Honestly, I do eat fast food once in a while. " Slow Food " has been a trend here in Japan, but our life and work requires us hectic days. I think it's inevitable to have fast food sometimes. I feel , if so, I hope the ingredients are safe enough, all the necessary information is disclosed and corporate social responsibility is fulfilled.

Fried Rice ( Egg, Green Onion Version )


I didn't have much ingredients in the fridge today. Cooked fried rice for lunch. You can use the left over ingredients in the fridge and create your own.
Ingredients:
Half cup of chopped green onion. Half cup of Katsuobushi ( dried bonito flake ) 1 egg. 1 tea spoon green lavor. 1 tea spoon soy sauce. sesame oil
1) Beat the egg in a bowl. Put the pan over medium heat and pour some sesame oil.
2) Cook the egg and make scramble egg like thing. Take it out once.
3) Stir fry the chopped onion in the pan. Add 1 to 2 cup of rice and fry.
4) Add dried bonito flake. Stir. Add cooked egg in there.
5) Stop cooking. Arrange the fried rice on the dish. Pour soy sauce. If you have green lavor, sprinkle over it like the photo.

Green Tea for Snack


Lately, I see green tea in many products. Of course, green tea ice cream has been there since I was a child. There are more variations now.
Glico's green tea pocky, green tea cookies and much more. Green tea has vitamins , catechin etc. There have been TV programs and information surrounding us to recommend Green tea as Japanese healthy drink, so I guess that sort of good impression is helping this green tea's heavy usage. Of course, I like green tea, so if it has good influence to our body, I 'm glad to hear that, though I try not to count on these information too much because the balance of eating food, drink matters the most.
This photo is Green Tea KitKat. I wish it had little stronger green tea flavor, but it tastes milky and good. Produced by Nestle Group Ltd. Limited time offer. ( It says)

Kimpiragoboh --- Fried Burdock Root and Carrot


This is one of the Japanese tastes of Mom's cooking ( Ofukuro no Aji ) . You can make variations by adding other ingredients such as lotus root, hijiki ( sort of seaweeds) or make other versions such as green pepper etc.
Usually, I shred them. This time I used peeler for both burdock root and carrot. It is better just wash both burdock and carrot without peel the outer skin, for the outer skin has the good flavor.
Ingredients:
Half Carrot and half burdock root. Soy sauce and Sake ( Japanese rice wine). Sesame oil.
Hot chili pepper. ( 1 piece, cut )
1) Peel both carrot and burdock as shown in the photo.
2) Put the pan over medium heat and pour 1 table spoon of sesame oil and chili pepper,
3) Start cooking burdock. After a few minutes, add carrot.
4) After 5 minutes or so, when the vegetables are well cooked, add 1 table spoon soy sauce.
5) Stir well. Add 1 table spoon of Sake and stir. If you have grated sesame, it is also nice to sprinkle it over it.

6/08/2007

Detox --- Petite Fasting Over A Weekend

The word of " Detox " has been a Japanese word lately. I don't know when it came into our lives, probably three four years ago ? There are fasting center in resort places for people who like to cleanse their whole body and reset it. Those center offer packages such as 3 day mini package or one week package. I 've never tried it since if I have such holidays, I would prefer to go abroad. Instead, what I do once in a while, probably 3 , 4 times a year is detox weekend using Saturday and Sunday when I don't have any plan.

I make Friday dinner very light.
Then, Saturday morning, I start my petite detox course--- I cannot do complete fasting, so I try to drink lots of water basically and have vegetable soup, fruits juice , herb teaonly and very lightly. It is important to do this over the weekend because during working weekdays I need energy to work. While on detox, sometimes I feel light headed, less powerful and need to rest. Also, I cannot take bath since I would feel dizzy if I take hot bath. By the end of Sunday, it feels the body is lighter, cleaner. Monday morning, I would eat something very mild for stomach such as soup, congee ( rice porridge). It is about time to do it again, but not this weekend, so probably next weekend.

6/06/2007

HARRITS Donut Shop



This is " Harrits". Former private house has been refurbished to the shop. Japanese atmosphere and donuts. Interesting combination.

Harrits: 1-34-2 Uehara, Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo, Japan

TEL: 03-3466-0600 Open: 8:00-19:00 Closed on Mondays, 1st and 3rd Sundays

Donut Lunch with (Mung Bean) Vermicelli Soup


This donut has chocolate cream inside. I picked it up for lunch on the way back to the office .
Donut was soooo fluffy. This is from the donut shop I wanted to try for a long time. They make their donuts by hand, so you have to wait for a while if there is none in the showcase. Fortunately, I could get the last two. The shop " Harrits" has been introduced on TV. That probably helps. The shop is located on the very narrow alley in the residential area, but there were several people before me in the line.
They have 6 seats cafe and you can drink coffee or tea waiting for the donuts.
In the meantime, the right hand side is bean-starch vermicelli (mung bean vermicelli) soup ( beans for sprouts ) . This kind is becoming a hit. According to Nikkei this morning, low calorie and nutritious. The one in the photo is the popular one, called " Toromi- Chuka"( thick Chinese) .
This has collagen and iron. Others from same series have Calcium, soy milk etc.... tempting for women. It tasted good. Produced by Knorr , Ajinomoto Group. Other manufacturers are
making the similar kinds, too. I' d like to try them also.
Harrits:
1-34-2 Uehara, Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo , Japan
TEL: 03-3466-0600

6/05/2007

First Watermelon This Year



This watermelon was given by Ms. Lin who lives in the same building. She is feng shui specialist and often asked by people to read their feng shui. It seems this was given by one of her fans. The box had plenty of them and the luck came to me.

By the way, we have some proverb regarding the first fruits in the season. Please forgive me if my translation is not exact, but I will try. " If you eat the first fruit in the season, your longevity will increase up to 75 days. " I have had first fruits many times by now. How much longer should I live ???

Bread-baking Machine is getting popular !?

According to Nikkei Newspaper (evening version ) today, bread-baking machine is getting popular again. mmm, I don't have any. Doesn't it take time ? According to the article, the popularity has been spreaded by blogs and word of mouth. If somebody makes bread in the morning and if I could smell it when I get up, yes, that would be nice !

June 5 is The Environment Day

Today is Environment Day designated by the government. Also, June is Environment Month in Japan in order to promote awareness and environmental conservation among corporations and among people. Let's think about it and do whatever we can do even if it is a little thing.

I am not such a connoisseur on this issue although I try to read the related books and attend "Eco" events. Trying to know little by little. Still I feel it is better than doing nothing, isn't it ?

Rakkyo --- Pickled Shallots


Around this time of year, you will also find Rakkyo, Japanese
shallots at the stores. This year I bought "Rakkyo Set", which comes with a plastic bottle, rakkyo, chili pepper, sweetened vinegar all together at the local supermarket.
You wash the inside of the bottle, wipe with clean towel, then
put all the ingredients inside. I can eat it around June 10.

6/04/2007

Tofu Hamburger and Garlic Cabbage

Tofu Hamburger and Garlic Cabbage:


Tofu Hamburger Ingredients:

1 small tofu ( more than enough for 1 serving) , 1 egg, half onion, a cupful of bread crumb , vegetable oil

1) chop onion. Cook the onion in the oiled pan till the color becomes clear or brown. Cool it.

2) Beat the egg in the bowl. Add tofu and crush. Mix well.

3) Add bread crumb and cooked onion. Make 2 to 3 hamburgers.

4) Heat the pan , pour some sesame oil and cook the tofu hamburger over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes. (Don't burn , pls. check--you can burn a bit actually since it gives crunchy texture. If they are cooked enough, stop. )

5) I used Yuzu sauce ( yuzu lemon and soy sauce and vinegar). You can put any sauce you like.

Garlic Cabbage Ingredients:

1 clove of garlic, sesame oil, 5 cabbage leaves ( up to your appetite ), 1 teaspoon of soy sauce

1) Heat the pan. Put some sesame oil.

2) Add chopped garlic into the pan. Cook the cabbage. Smother a minute and remove the lid.

3) Keep cooking for a few more minutes. Pour soy sauce. It's now ready to be served.

Tofu Hamburger is very light without meat ! Good for dinner.



6/03/2007

Goya ( Bitter Gourd)


It seems Goya is cultivated in South Western Japan. Yet, my impression is that Goya is Okinawan food since they often use this vegetable in their cooking. It is bit bitter, but considered very good especially in Summer time because it has lots of vitamin C which stays in the veggie even after cooked. Also, it tends to cool off your body. This is the veggie which should be eaten in Summer. I've heard that Okinawan grandmas say to children or young girls that they 'd better not to eat this during Winter time.

Stir Fried Goya ( Bitter Gourd )



You don't know how to cook ? Don't worry. I'm not professional cook,but there are some easy ways and also you get used to it.

Cut lengthwise first. ( I need only half of the length, so cut in half also.) hollow out the fluffy white cotton like part. That produces bitterness.
Stir Fried Goya :

I introduce simple one that I created.
Ingredients: Mentsuyu ( Soup or sauce for noodles) , Sliced goya, Grated sesame, Sesame oil
1) Put the pan over medium heat, pour some sesame oil
2) Add sliced goya into the pan.
3) After cooking goya for 5 minutes or so, add 1 to 2 table spoons of mentsuyu ( soba noodles soup) over goya.
4) Stop cooking and put into the dish. Sprinkle sesame on the top.




ECO LIFE FAIR 2007


Sunday at Yoyogi Park. The event style and attendees were different from Earth Day. Mainly this attendees who set the booths were major companies, NPOs, associations. If I had more time, I could have stopped more booths and learned more. Unfortunately, I had one hour only to spend there. I needed to work after this.



"ECO" is getting into our life. Government is backing up, but we
can feel the movement also. I haven't seen the movie " Inconvenient Truth" yet. Need to check where I can see it, or maybe on DVD. This is the third "ECO" event since April. ( Earth Day, LOHAS Awards, then this ). Probably there are more.

I can always learn from books and internets ,but for me, it always helps to meet people and learn from them. The bottom photo is Iced Organic Green Tea Latte . It was good !
( You pay 100 yen first and get this cup. Bring the cup to the shop and ask for your drink.
After drinking it, return the cup to the original booth and get refund of 100 yen. Same for food)

Japanese Wedding at Meiji Shrine / Iris Garden in Meiji Shrine


I was glad for the bride, for the weather was perfect for wedding.
I bumped into this wedding ceremony group in the shrine. The newly weds and the relatives were walking in a group led by Shinto priest.





Iris Garden. They just started blooming. To enter into the garden, you have to pay for 500 yen. ( about US$4) I think it's worthwhile. The garden is so green and refreshing. You may forget that you are in Tokyo.

Pony Park, Back Yard of Meiji Shrine



I was going to be home buddy today. There were parties, visiting Friends' places, events for the past several weekends. I was bit tired. Then this wonderful weather today !!! Oh well, I thought
I should appreciate this weather. Was ready going for a walk.
Then Mr. Ono ( Cafe ZINC) called and advised me that there seems to be an eco-event at Yoyogi Park. He knows I like this kind of event and always gives me those information.



OK ! I decided to go to Meiji Shrine to check out Iris Garden
( It's season now ), then walk to Yoyogi Park event from there.
I found pony park near the Sangubashi entrance of Meiji Shrine.

Have you been to this part of Meiji Shrine ? There aren't very many people usually. It's kind of backyard of the Shrine. Nice park. You can do picnic here.

Cabbage and Minced Pork/ Beef




My stomach was little tired. Healthy fruits breakfast today.








Easy lunch using cabbage since I believe cabbage is good for stomach. ( Too much night outs and drinks last week !? )

Ingredients:
Cabbage 5 leaves
Minced pork and/or beef 0.2 lb
Sesame oil 1 table spoon
Soy sauce 1 table spoon
1) Tear cabbage into bite size pieces.
2) Put sesame oil into the pan. Medium heat.
3) Put meat into the pan and cook.
4) Add cabbage. Cook for about 3- 5 minutes.
5) Pour soy sauce over the cabbage. It is now ready to eat.

ifia JAPAN 2007 & HFE JAPAN 2007 3/5


This was Nanzanen( from Anjo City, Aichi Pref.) 's booth.

They are the sales company of Green tea powders.
As you can see in the photos, there are many ways using green tea powder such as sponge cake, sweets etc.

ifia JAPAN 2007 & HFE JAPAN 2007 2/5


These were pretty. There were rabbits, apples, persimmons, wild rose and even Santa clause ! They look same as other Japanese confectionery, but there is a difference. They are health promoting food and have additional nutrition such as calcium, iron...etc. These are served to patients at hospitals and children at schools. When I was in school, I'd never had it. mmm, tempting. Hayashikane Sangyo Co., Ltd.

ifia JAPAN 2007 & HFE JAPAN 2007 1/5


I visited ifia JAPAN 2007 and HFE JAPAN 2007 on Friday.


There were several people I had conversation with. It was interesting to see functional food and materials there.
This photo is from KODAMA FOODS CO., LTD. They are specialized in dried vegetables. Probably we are taking their veggies without realizing. ( ex. instant noodles)