Here in Japan you can find noodles in the grocery store that are made from yams. They are called Shirataki noodles and are a low calorie, low carb, translucent alternative to gluten packed pasta. This is one of my go-to products when I am in the mood for pasta, but can't eat it. The noodles themselves have no flavor, so it is really easy to flavor them using pasta sauce, cheese or other typical pasta toppings. 

Today I was feeling adventurous and decided to make my lunch for this upcoming week. So I headed off to the store to grab some ingredients to make the perfect, healthy and nutritious lunch. I bought some kabocha (Japanese pumpkin), a sweet potato, shirataki noodles, chicken and a zucchini. All of this was less than 10 dollars and will most likely last me all week (: 

Japanese pumpkin and sweet potatoes are different than the ones you find in the US. The American sweet potatoes are actually sweet, whereas the japanese sweet potatoes are not. If you want to know how to cook the sweet potato and pumpkin, check out my guides on Snapguide! 
Sweet Potatoes:

Ingredients for "Pasta" Dish: Makes ~5 servings. 
1/2 zucchini
1 small sweet potato
1/4 kabocha
2 packages shirataki noodles
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped chicken 
salt and pepper

1. Cook all the vegetables and chicken. You can cook the sweet potato and kabocha following my guides above. 
2. Drain the shirataki noodles and rinse under water (for some reason they have a fishy smell)
3. Add the noodles, chicken and vegetables into the skillet and top with olive oil. 
4. Cook for around 5 minutes, then place into a container to store, or eat up!

Nutrition: for 5 servings

Greetings from Castine, Maine! I haven't written a post in a while and I thought it was about time to make a new one! This summer my parents let me go visit my friends and grandma in Maine without them! So I have been staying at my grandma's cottage here called the Cooperage. 

Mini History Lesson: The last name Cooper means Barrel Maker. My Grandma and Grandpa decided to stick to the meaning of the name and continue the tradition of being a "cooper" so my grandpa made a couple barrels and they named their house the "cooperage".  I found out the meaning of "Cooper" a few years ago and ever since then it makes sense as to why there are so many barrels around! 

Anyways...I thought it would be nice if I made dinner for my grandma a couple nights while I was visiting here and this was one of the creations I came up with. Full disclosure..I am not very knowledgeable in the world of spices so the flavor of these stuffed mushrooms was a little bland. However, if you spice gurus out there end up trying this recipe. Please comment and let me know what spices you used and why! It would be much appreciated! 
2 portobello mushrooms
1/2 green zucchini cut into bite size pieces
1/2 yellow zucchini cut into bite size pieces
1/3 yellow pepper cut into bite size pieces
1 cup spinach
1/2 package of brown rice (microwave version)
1 Johnsonville  Bratwurst cut into bite size pieces
1/4 cup shredded cheese 
Sweet Potato Fries:
2 medium sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Mushrooms: So to start off the filling for the mushrooms, I heated up some olive oil in a pan and then threw in some diced onions and zucchini. (Oh, and also preheated the oven to 350F) After those cooked for a while I added my other vegetables and protein: yellow peppers and spinach and a bratwurst. (You can really use any vegetables or meat you want to, but these were just the ones that I had in the house at the time.) While the vegetables finished cooking, I heated up one of the 90 second brown rice packages in the microwave. Next, I added about half of the brown rice package to the sautéed vegetables pan and stirred the ingredients together. After the ingredients were finished cooking, I scooped some of the mix into each of the mushrooms, lined a baking sheet with foil and put in the oven for 35 minutes. Afterwards, I topped them with the shredded cheese and placed them back in the oven until the cheese melted and was golden brown on top. 
Sweet Potato Fries:
Wash the sweet potato and then cut it up into wedge size pieces. Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium mixing bowl, add the wedges, olive oil, salt and pepper and mix together with your hands so the wedges can get a good coating and wont stick to the pan. Afterwards, on a lined baking sheet (parchment paper or foil will do) place the wedges down and bake in the oven for 40 min. After the 40 minutes, take them out of the oven, flip over and bake for another 30 minutes. 

Hope you enjoy!