whole*istic

Trying to live a holistic life in an unholistic world

Posts Tagged ‘holistic

카페 수카라 Cafe Suッkara & 파절이 Pajeori

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Tonight I had the pleasure of meeting up with my good friend, S, at Suッkara in Hongdae.

S is an inspiring and amazing lady. Introduced by a mutual friend we share a love of Australia and design, and recently found out that we also share a passion for a holistic way of life centred around organic farming and good, slow food.

She is also involved with 파절이 (Pajeori) which is a non-profit organisation focused on organic farming. Currently Pajeori have a large farm, 3000m2 if I remember correctly, on Yeouido Island, Seoul and are harvesting over 30 different kinds of vegetables and herbs.

It is a small group that is very passionate and proactive in clean, organic produce. Currently they are working with several cafes/restaurants around Seoul, and Suッkara in Hongdae is one of them.

파절이 Pajeori on Yeouido. ‘Up’cycling: reusing old plastic bottles as plant pots.

Suッkara is a beautiful, restaurant with beautiful food and drinks. The dim lighting creates a subdued atmosphere, whilst the open kitchen evokes a homely ambience. We were there at around 6:30pm, and the restaurant was calmly abuzz with people seated all around the low bar encompassing the kitchen and at the well spaced, kitsch tables and chairs.

Suッkara was established around 4-5 years ago, and with a focus on high quality, homemade, organic food, it’s no wonder why. The drinks list is extensive with teas, sodas, wines and cocktails to a variety of appetisers, meals and desserts.

Caught up in conversation, I must admit that although I read the menu (in English too) thoroughly, details are escaping me now. Vegetarian and vegan friendly, there were options for each meal to omit or substitute dairy or meat. Options ranged from curries, salads and were well priced, with our meals at ₩10,000 – ₩12,000 each. Sizes were very generous and accompanied with interesting pickled side dishes and soups.

I had a delicious japanese plum and ombashi soda, which was lightly carbonated and very refreshing. It was clean and tart and only mildly sweet.

I ordered the special menu item, which was absolutely amazing. A whole baby eggplant had been steamed and then roasted and topped with a marinara sauce and a sprinkling of feta cheese. I can’t for the life of me figure out what was in the marinara, it almost had a meat-like texture and the flavour was rich and deep. It was coupled with a bean and gingery rice, which complemented the sweeter and softer texture of the eggplant. It also came with a refreshing, cold pumpkin soup, which wasn’t sweet like some can be. It became the perfect extinguisher when I stupidly decided to eat half of the small, fire roasted green chili.

Special menu order: Eggplant and ginger rice

S ordered the vegan platter which was as amazingly delicious as it was beautifully presented. On the wooden platter was a selection of thinly sliced cranberry and nut sourdough bread, cashew cream cheese, chickpeas, salad and a velvet-like shiitake mushroom and vegetable soup. I could taste a strong, earthy tofu flavour which matched the rustic bread perfectly.

Vegan Platter

S’s boyfriend ordered the cheese omelette which came with purple rice and salad. Never, ever in my life have I been floored by an omelette. Australia is boss for brunch so I’ve had my fair share of omelette’s. But this was out. of. this. world. So smooth, so light, so fluffy. The omelette glistened with a shininess that had me worried it would be too oily, but any oily-ness dissipated into deliciousness. Totally delectable, I can see why it is one of S’s menu favourites.

Cheese omelette

Whether alone, with friends or for a place to impress a date, Suッkara is the destination! I will be back for sure. The only problem will be deciding what to eat next!

Suッkara also runs workshops. The next one will be Monday 8th October at 7ish where you can learn how to make their beautiful pickled vegetables.

How to get there: Hongik University Subway Stop: Line 2. Go out exit 8. Immediately take first street right and walk two blocks until the road ends. Turn left at the intersection and take first right down the long main road. Walk the length of the road (around 6 blocks) and turn left. Suッkara is on the left. If you come to another road on your left, you have gone too far.

Address: 서울시 마포구 서교동 327-9, 산울림소극장 1층

Phone: 02-334-5919.

Opening hours: 11:00~24:00(Last order 23:00)

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Written by ayearinpatissiere

October 2, 2012 at 15:44

Birthday brownie with a tangy, coconut, cheesecake buttercream

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Ambitious heading, right. But well, look at them.

So, it’s someone special’s birthday tomorrow and I made the obligatory Korean seaweed soup, (miyeok guk 미역국) which is traditionally eaten throughout pregnancy and after giving birth; first as a ritual to give thanks to the goddesses for delivery of the baby and in the hopes the baby would have a long life. The tradition is maintained on birthdays because of its association with birth and longevity.

Of course, in ridiculous sleeping patterns as per usual, and after finishing chatting with some friends and reading a book at 2am, I had an epiphany, a birthday cake was needed! However, this person is not too fond of sweet, western desserts, which is perfect, as I’m also trying to slowly ween my friends and family onto more healthy, wholesome food and sweets, one cake at a time!

After mentally scanning the contents of my cupboard and fridge. I did what any normal person would do on a Sunday at 2am, I decided to freestyle a gluten, flour, egg, dairy and (nearly) sugar-free birthday cake.

Happy birthday??? You non-vegan, celiac person….I know you don’t even like western style cakes, but please be my guinea-pig sampler and try this whole*istic brownie anyway….

Yep. Totes normal.

Anyway it’s good. Really good. It cracked and went crisp, and had a crust on the outside and fudgey on the inside. It’s not dry and cakey. It’s rich and it’s filling.

But, I’m not gonna lie.

At first bite, it was “What. the. shiz. is. this. shiz……it tastes…..shizzy”

But then it tasted amazing.

Outta this world amazing.

The chocolate kicked in. The texture was soft and…what’s another word for moist, I can’t stand that word, but for lack of a better word….ooey-gooey and….succulent?

It doesn’t have that sickly, sugary sweetness, nor the taste of butter, which I imagine most people will miss. (Butter ya’ waistline or your artery’s won’t) But I guess I am one of those strange freaks who actually prefers the taste of something more clean and healthy and feels happier knowing that what I am eating is actually good for me.

It’s still addictive (help! I  just woke up and had some for breakfast. FML.  Meeting up with a friend soon and taking it all for her!), decadent and delicious, it just may take a bite or two for your tastebuds and synapses to synchronise and realise that yes this a brownie, but not the brownie you’re used to.

I didnt add any refined sugar, but I only had Ghiradelli semi sweet choc chips which have sugar in them. Also, I would add 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper to these myself, but pretty sure that that would be the straw that broke the camel’s back for this person.

So without further ado:

Fudgey Brownies with coconut butter cream

Ingredients – Brownies

1 1/2 cups black beans (yup beans!)
1/3 cup maple syrup / honey
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup pureed dates
1/2 cup chocolate – melted
2 tbsp almond /walnut / coconut butter

1/3 cup oats – processed into oat flour
3 tbsp raw cacao powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup walnuts (or whatever you want to mix in; coconut, goji berries, cherries etc)

Method:

1. Ahhhhh…..put everything except walnuts in a food processor. In whatever order, because you just want to blend the absolute crazy outta it until it’s as smooth as a baby’s bum.

2. Scoop out. Should be quite thick and a pain in the ass to spread out.

3. Place in 175°C oven for 15-18 minutes.
(I did mine for 18 mins, but it’s a little toaster oven (built in ovens are a rarity on K-Town) and it has this glitch where when I close the door the dial likes to switch itself up about 40°C, so depending on whether I remember this, cooking times are varied, as are burnt patches. This time I remembered – so crisis averted!)

4. Let it chill out for 10 minutes to firm up before trying!

Ingredients – Coconut butter cream

1/2 cup coconut

1 cup cashews

1 lemon – juiced

1/4 cup coconut cream

2 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp almond/soy milk

1 vanilla bean – centre scooped out

Method:

1. Pulse coconut in food processor until it is a wet, grainy, sand like consistency.

2. Add cashews and pulse until it is same wet, grainy, sand like consistency.

3. Add in lemon, coconut cream, maple syrup and vanilla bean. Pulse. Mixture should blend together, then start to separate and go a bit oily.

4. Add in milk to emulsify. Blend on high until it slightly thickens and smoothens out. A Vita-mix will get it smooth smooth, in my mini food processor there were still fine coconutty micro-particles which provides a nice contrast to the smooth fudgey brownie.

5. Spread out thick on to cool brownie.

6. Top with walnuts or whatever you desire.

7. Slice and dice and wish someone a very happy birthday!
Or eat it. All of it. But just remember all the beans in there, and beans, beans are good for your heart, but beans, beans make you…….

Written by ayearinpatissiere

October 1, 2012 at 05:18

To market, to market……

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So, I finally took the leap of faith and quite impulsively decided to get things cracking and make some stuff. Call me crackers……hahaha

I’ve always had grandiose ideas of one day opening my own cafe, having a range of my own nutritious, daringly different and holistic products, but I always made up some other excuse as to why I couldn’t / shouldn’t do it.

There is an abundance, a complete market saturation of ‘health food’ products in Australia. So much so, just like violence or sex in movies, (why is it though that when you’re visiting your family for Christmas and watching a movie and everything will be PG rated until your mum/dad/grandma walks by or sits down and suddenly there is a full-on porno sex scene or a colourfully explicit rant – I’m thinking Billy Bob in ‘Bad Santa’.) that we have become desensitised to all things organic, holistic, vegan, gluten-free, nutritious what have you…..

However, here in Korea, health foods are quite different. There is an obsession with well-being food, and a focus on the medicinal properties of food. I have learnt to appreciate food differently since living here and also focus on seasonal foods, a practice more strictly adhered to here (for instance, samgyetang 삼계탕 is a temperature hot chicken soup that is traditionally eaten in the hottest part of the stifling hot and humid Korean summer – fight fire with fire mentality I guess, fighting! 화이팅!) as it is brutally expensive for out of season, imported produce.

Whilst I absolutely love the high protein korean drinking snacks, dried anchovies, squid, cuttlefish 오징어, which are a welcome change from the high fat, high salt chips, cheese, cured meats and crackers Australian drinking snacks (although a double edged sword – it’s what I’m craving as well, oh Prosciutto, Parmigiano, Emmental, lavosh crackers – although my almond and black sesame crackers are a dead ringer for said crackers – how I miss thee….) I noticed a distinct lack of actual healthy/energy type bars or convenience foods.

cuttlefish 오징어

Due to my working hours, I usually have a smoothie for breakfast around 11am and then won’t eat my next meal until I finish work at 9:30pm. I have some fruit during the day, not wanting a full-on meal like a sandwich or Korean set to fill me up and make me too tired to teach. However some days, I want something more.

Something like a muesli bar or a biscuit that won’t make me feel like shit or guilty, because even though I like to think I don’t succumb to unrealistic ideals or notions of beauty, essentially I’m a woman living in a highly developed, highly materialistic city that places an obscene focus on the superficial, equating beauty with how good/decent a person you are (an ‘ugly’ person is generally less respected/trusted than a supposed ‘beautiful’ and thin person here in K-town) Unfortunately, women, and some men, feel guilty for any food we eat thanks to the mass media and ideals of beauty so deeply ingrained into our psyches from a very young age.

Also, I live in Gangnam. Gangnam style. Gangnam face.

I’ve tried a multitude of bars here, post to come soon. I’ve painstakingly translated every ingredient only to become horrified at the amount of sugar, corn syrups or artificial ingredients to walk away disgruntled, empty handed and hungry.

So I noticed a massive niche for the types of simple, nutritious ‘fast’ slow food that I was used to preparing/buying back home in Australia.

Artificial flavours, preservative, chemical, refined sugar free products.

Food that not only energises and nourishes you, but tastes bloody good aswell!

I’ve launched a small range of products. I must admit that these weren’t the right markets to try and sell this type of western style holistic, health food to. Disheartingly, the first thing I sold out of were the ‘locked and loaded’ cookies (a mix of almond and hazelnut flour, coconut, coconut oil, goji berries, gluten-free oats, choc chips and cacao butter) as the crowd was really just looking for traditional bakery items like cookies, cupcakes and brownies. Although, did get to chat to the mayor of Seoul and also get interviewed on KTV!

The flavours and ideas (crackers and dip is a new concept to Koreans, let alone flavours like korma hummus, cookie dough, blackbean and hazelnut and chili choc dips. Most were not wanting to dip the sample cracker, however were more than happy milling about munching on the ‘free’ samples) would be more appreciated at a food market targeted to people interested in more organic, alternative varieties of food, like the Seoul Marche festival coming up in mid-October which, if all goes well, I will be having a stall there too!

There are also some other possible collaborations with cafes around the place in the works, however until then, if you want to get your hands on anything, email me at wholeistic@mail.com and I’d be more than happy to send anything out.

Seriously considering getting an online shop up and running, but a few creases to iron out first, and still at 29, I do not own an iron. I still use my GHD to not only straighten my hair, but straighten my clothes too….sometimes whilst I’m actually wearing them…..old habits die hard yeah.

The market stall

L-R: Crackers: Almond, fig + rosemary (my favourite!), whole*istic crackers (quinoa, brown rice, polenta, mixed seeds and spices), brown rice, quinoa + olive. Other flavours were almond + black sesame seed and almond, maple + cinnamon.


L-R: whole*istic balls: Peanut cookie, date, cashew + goji, Apricot, almond + coconut, carrot cake, hazelnut chocolate.

a new sensation: dip and crackers

Cookie Dough dip.

Korma Hummus

Blackbean + hazelnut dip.

Almost raw (roasted almonds and hazelnuts) vegan and gluten free tangy blueberry cheesecake.
Dang it’s good!

Vegan, gluten, flour, egg, dairy free ‘locked and loaded’ cookies.

Chili Chocolate, goji and walnut cookies.

Sweet sesame bars.

Written by ayearinpatissiere

September 24, 2012 at 18:47