Japanese Vegetarian Cooking

Vegetarian cooking in Japan was established by buddist monks in the Kamakura era. Cooking methods and detaied rules were set up at that time.

  • Vegetables with strong smell such as leek, green onion and garlic should not be used.
  • Spices with strong stimulating effect should not be used.
  • Five cooking methods – raw, boil, grill, fry and steam.
  • Five seasonings – sweet, mild spicy, sour, bitter and salty.
  • Five colours – red, white, green, yellow and black ingredients used in the menu.
  • Minimum wastage of ingredients used.

Below are examples of Japanese vegetarian meals.

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The Balanced Diet

What It Means and Why It’s Important

Whether you have diabetes or are just trying to make healthy choices, you’ve probably heard that you should follow “a balanced diet.” But what is a balanced diet? Diabetes Forecast, the consumer magazine of the American Diabetes Association, seeks to answer that question and share helpful recipes in its June 2011 issue, which focuses on summer cooking and eating.

A balanced diet isn’t just for people with diabetes – it’s an important guide for anyone trying to follow a healthy meal plan. So what does it consist of – and, more important, how can it be applied in real-life settings?

One recommendation is to eat more nutrient-rich foods. “It’s a matter of really shifting away from the foods that are empty calories [to] the foods that are full of nutrients,” says Linda Van Horn, PhD, RD, professor of preventive medicine and associate dean for faculty development at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and chair of the 2010 U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. Examples of nutrient-rich foods include seafood with its omega-3 fatty acids – which are “good” fats that protect against cardiovascular disease – and fruits and vegetables, which provide potassium, dietary fiber, calcium and vitamin D.

Another example of nutrient-rich foods includes whole grains, which contain iron, B vitamins, magnesium and fiber. This doesn’t just mean having whole wheat bread instead of white or brown rice instead of white rice. Lesser-known whole grains can enrich your diet, too, so try some of Diabetes Forecast’s whole-grain recipes in the June issue, such as Minted Barley Salad or Amaranth Pudding.

Of course, the other side of a balanced diet involves eating less of the things that are bad for you, such as saturated and trans fats, sodium, refined grains and added sugar. These foods can increase your risk of diabetes and diabetes-related complications such as heart attack and stroke. In addition, consuming foods with added sugar means taking in extra calories instead of extra nutrients.

Finally, once you’ve identified what you should have more of and what you should have less of, be sure to keep a balance in your overall diet. That doesn’t mean you can’t have special foods for special occasions; just be moderate in your choices.


Whole grain recipes ….

Vegetarian Mar Por Tofu Recipe from My Clippings


5 oz vegetarian ground beef
4 pieces tofu
3 tbsp chili soybean
2 tbsp chopped garlic


1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp ketchup
1/2 cup water


  1. Rinse and cut tofu into dices.
  2. Stir-fry chili soybean with 3 tbsp oil. Add chopped garlic and ground beef. Toss to combine thoroughly.
  3. Add tofu and seasoning. Cook for a few minutes. Stir in 1 tbsp sesame oil. Serve hot.

Source: Hong Kong magazine

Chinese Vegetarian Dishes VI

Below are the dishes I’ll teach in the cooking class this evening.

Braised Stuffed Deep-fried Tofu with Suey Choy

Nutrition value for 1/8 portion of recipe:

Calorie 144, Fat 9 g, Carbohydrate 11 g, Fibre 2 g, Sugar 2 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 338 mg, Protein 6 g.

Crispy Rice Cake with Mixed Vegetables in Sweet and Sour Sauce

Nutrition value for 1/6 portion of recipe:

Calorie 340, Fat 16.2 g, Carbohydrate 42 g, Fibre 2 g, Sugar 8 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 623 mg, Protein 8 g.

Stir-fried Tofu with Mixed Mushroom and Vegetables

Nutrition value for 1/6 portion of recipe:

Calorie 162, Fat 11.4 g, Carbohydrate 11 g, Fibre 3 g, Sugar 4 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 419 mg, Protein 7 g.

See my related posts and pictures of ingredients:

Red and Processed Meats Increase Risk of Bowel Cancer

A new report from the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) recommends limiting red meat consumption and completely avoiding processed meats, and ‘confirms’ that red and processed meats increase risk of bowel cancer.

The report, referred to by the WCRF as “the most authoritative ever report on bowel cancer risk”, examined the links between bowel cancer risk and diet, physical activity and weight, concluding that intake of red meats should be limited to 500 grams per week, whilst processed meats should be avoided altogether.

“Our review has found strong evidence that many cases of bowel cancer are not inevitable and that people can significantly reduce their risk by making changes to their diet and lifestyle,” said Professor Alan Jackson, chair of the WCRF Expert Panel.

“On meat, the clear message that comes out of our report is that red and processed meat increase risk of bowel cancer and that people who want to reduce their risk should consider cutting down the amount they eat,” he added.