#monthofkarate – My attempt at letting a picture tell a thousand words.


wankuan me.jpg

At the end of last year my longtime IRL and online friend, and fellow soprano, Beth, of This mixed up life, challenged me to participate in a photo a day project, hosted by Chantelle of  fat mum slim. I am not much of a photographer but I wanted to make sure I took some photos. After all my kids are growing up, I live in a place that gets great sunsets, I like to experiment in the kitchen, and so the list goes on. The main reason I took the project on, however, was as a mindfulness exercise, and an exercise in awareness and appreciation of the wonderful life I have.

So since the 1st of January 2016, I have been posting a photo every day, inspired by a specific daily prompt word (or in the case of July, letter or number). Because of my karate obsession many of my photos have been of or related to karate. I had some comments from fellow karate-ka, and even my instructor to the effect that they liked seeing posts and photos related to karate…..so I set myself a little challenge, because just using the prompts was starting to get too easy (um….well….not exactly, but starting to get comfortable at any rate….and we know how much I like staying in my comfort zone….not). So this month, (August), I have tried to relate each prompt to something about karate and martial arts. I have done my 28th post today. A walk in the park, it has not been; a mindfulness exercise and a period of reflection, (and even personal growth), it certainly has.

I had actually been thinking of doing something similar even before all this…..although probably I would have used words and not photos because words are more my thing. Ever since I read a post by Joelle at A beginners Journey which was relating a hamburger to karate (inspired by another martial arts blogger, Andrea, The martial arts woman, who implied that ANY topic could be related to martial arts), because, frankly, I agree with Andrea’s perspective.

Here are the prompts:


and here are my photos (and often overly verbose posts), so far: #monthofkarate. I have the last three to go….I think 29th will be easy…..I may well have to get creative and tenuous with the last one (have done that a few times this month…..so sue me).

As you like it (aka GF vegan Okonomiyaki)

20160822_160629So….big news is that we are in the thick of planning a family holiday to Japan! The highlights of many of our holidays (at least for my husband and myself) have invariably included food.

We hope Japan will be no exception (despite the warnings of the inherent difficulties of finding vegan / low gluten versions of traditional Japanese dishes in Japan)…..I am optimistic about being able to find something suitable to eat. I don’t however want our 2 pint sized travelling companions to rain on my culinary parade. So in a quest for tolerance of the new and exciting, I am trying out some easily accessible Japanese dishes on them.

So far this week we have had Onigiri, Vegetable Donburi, and Okonomiyaki. I do have a vegan Japanese cookbook which I used for inspiration……however I didn’t have most of the ingredients on the list so I have pretty much winged it for all three dishes. Onigiri and Donburi are pretty easily adaptable to GF vegan versions but Okonomiyaki (literally meaning what you like fried) is typically made with flour and eggs (and often meat or seafood too).

Here is my take on what like, fried!

Makes 8 large pancakes (serves 8)


  • 10 cups of finely chopped / julienned or grated veg (I included a combination of carrot, broccoli and broccoli stalk, brussel sprouts, bok choi, green beans, celery leaves / stems, spring onion, and super finely chopped mushrooms…..don’t tell Mr 7 about them)
  • 3 tablespoons linseed meal mixed with 1/2 cup water and left to stand while preparing flour etc
  • 1 cup each of the following flours: besan (chick pea), buckwheat, rice, potato, GF plain flour mix
  • 1 tsp (or less) salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 4 cups – 5 cups water (enough to make a thickish batter)
  • spray oil for frying



  • Mix flour / salt and baking powder in large bowl.
  • Add linseed / water mix and 4 cups water and mix to a batter, adding more water as needed to form a thick batter (somewhere between pancake and waffle mix).
  • Mix in vegetables.
  • Heat one or several fry pans and spray with oil.
  • Put sufficient batter into pan to form a thick large pancake.
  • Cook on low to moderate heat for about 5-7 minutes and then turn and cook 5-7 minutes on the other side (until browned on both sides and cooked through).



Serve fresh / hot (although leftovers can be warmed in the microwave or pan or eaten cold and still excellent!)


We served ours with Japanese pickles (cucumber sliced finely and left in a combination of soy, rice vinegar, sugar and sesame oil), diced nori sheets, sauce (mixture of vegan Worcestershire, bbq, tomato, soy), sriracha, and a tahini dressing (rather than mayo). I also put sauteed mushrooms with soy and sesame oil on the top.