whole*istic

Trying to live a holistic life in an unholistic world

Posts Tagged ‘Organic

Hiromiso

with 5 comments

My friend Hiromi, is pretty amazing.

Not only is she tri-lingual; English, Korean and Japanese, but she is an amazing cook at 카페 수카라 cafe suッkara- recognising the subtleties and depths of flavours. She also extends these skills to drinks, creating strong, yet delicately spiced beverages such as apple cider and a mulled wine I cannot resist everytime I visit 카페 수카라 cafe suッkara. Hiromi even extends her knowledge to makeoli fermentation, although she tells me she can never wait long enough for it to develop a more deeper flavour before drinking it. A girl who speaks my language!

And as if all this wasn’t enough she even makes her own Miso, and it is without a doubt the best I have ever tasted and challenges all my previous experiences of Miso. These days, nobody is making their own Miso anymore and it is worrying to think that whole generations are becoming accustomed to a heavily processed Miso taste laden with artificial flavours, colourings, MSG and excessive salt. On a recent trip back to her native Japan, Hiromi even made Miso with her mum, teaching her the process for the first time! A similar movement is happening here in Korea, very few people make kimchi these days, however hopefully with the growing resurgence for slow food, this will revert back.

The texture is rugged and chunky and the colour a rich golden brown. The flavour is fresh yet still has enough fermented pungency to create many levels of flavours. It is not too salty to mask the true flavour of the fermented soybeans and it goes without saying, not a hint or even a possibility of any MSG.

So far I’ve used it as (obviously) Miso Soup with wakame and enoki mushrooms, mixed it into a salad dressing, used it in a creamy raw mushroom sesame soup and mixed with brown rice to make nori rolls. It’s so good I think you could even use it as a miso butter/spread, or in place of hummus with vegetable crudites.

Miso Sesame Dressing for a simple salad
Serves: 2

(The dressing is rich and flavourful, so ideal for a green salad)

Ingredients:
(Really approximate as I just added a bit of this and that to my liking, do the same depending on whether you like it more sweet, salty or umami)

2 tbsp Hiromiso
4 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp apple vinegar (mine is double strength – I use for cleaning!)

Method:

Shake, stir, blend it all together.

As it was such a small amount I just mixed it around, bigger quantities a blender would achieve a better consistency.

Miso Sesame Dressing

Raw Mushroom Soup

Yum!

Thank-you Hiromi for giving me this wonderful gift and for supporting and helping me so much since I’ve met you 😀

Advertisements

Written by ayearinpatissiere

November 19, 2012 at 16:12

All apologies

leave a comment »

Many, many apologies.

It has been far too long between posts.

Life became crazy busy, things kicked off for whole*istic faster and bigger than ever expected. Collaborations with Cafe Suッkara and High Street Market, stalls at the Marche Festival , quitting old jobs, starting new jobs……phew.

What a crazy couple of months it has been.

But I’m not complaining, it has all been an unbelievable ride. A sleepless ride. A test of strength, determination, integrity and self-belief. And it’s only the beginning….

A slideshow of what’s been happening, more in depth accounts soon…….so much to write about, so little time.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Written by ayearinpatissiere

November 19, 2012 at 15:39

Cafe Able: Serosugil, Sinsa-Dong, Gangnam-Gu 서올시 강남구 신사동

with one comment

Meandering around Garosugil this week, see post here, I discovered a newish cafe that has become my favourite southside hangout.

Not to sound all wanky and cliched and stuff, (these disclaimers always mean something wanky and cliched will follow) but the universe has a funny ‘ole habit of pulling you in the direction you need to be. Or meeting people who share common interests. Or realising that living life by the magic 8 ball app is probably quite foolish.

Though life may throw some curve balls and some straight out air swings, I’ve found that everything in life, positive or seemingly negative, leads you to where you have to be. I’m always where I need to be.

And on this bright, crisp Autumn arvo, I was led here.

Cafe Able, Sinsa-Dong, Gangnam-Gu.
Down the right hand side streets of Garosugil

They are part of the emerging ‘slow food’ movement in Seoul.
Apparently they have their own rooftop farm, however I couldn’t go up to see on this day, or I needed a Korean friend to help me with the language barrier.

They also had a workshop area for cooking classes, craft workshops

They also sell delicious treats, pickled products

Beautiful, eco inspired cafe with good spatial design with different areas.
Communal spaces for bigger groups, workshops, intimate areas for private occassions or a vibrant, social area for a quick bite or long lunch.

Jumping on the oh-so-trendy-but pretty mason jar trend, the menu was a selection of fresh, energising juices and coffee’s; light meals such as beautifully executed salads, sandwiches and soups served on individual wooden bread boards.

Refreshingly tart and delicious.
Green Vitamin; kiwi, orange & celery.

How to get there: Get yourself to Garosugil, Sinsa-Dong. Line 3 (orange) Sinsa – Exit 8.

From exit 8 end, walk all the way down the end, Forever 21 end.

As you see Starbucks on the left, take the the right hand street, before Starbucks. Follow to next intersection and turn left. Cafe Able is on the left hand side, near the corner.

Address: 2F, 547-6 Sinsa-Dong 서올시 강남구 신사동 547-6 2F *Don’t rely on google maps – It will send you to the wrong place.

Phone: 010-6219-7264

Written by ayearinpatissiere

October 5, 2012 at 06:46

Roasted carrot and ginger soup

with 2 comments

Autumn is upon us.

The air is crisper.

The days are shorter.

The nights are darker.

And our bodies are craving warm, nourishing food to get us ready for the long, harsh, Korean winter.

Soup’s a no-brainer.

Take simple ingredients. Play around with different flavour combinations. Roast vegetables to bring out the richness and full body of the flavours. Add in spices for a punchy flavour. Thicken with beans and nuts. Thin out with different stocks and nut milks.

Don’t overthink it.

Just blend it.

Carrots are often overlooked as a simple vegetable. They are common and familiar and we often associate them with bad childhood memories of being overcooked, as squidgey squares in a frozen vegetable mix or a crimped circle as part of Edgell’s tinned peas and carrots mix.

A root vegetable, carrots are extremely high in Vitamin A, which is digested in the body via beta-carotene. However, raw is not always the best, as only 3% of beta-carotene in carrots are absorbed by the body. When cooked, and combined with cooking oil, this is raised to nearly 40% beta-carotene consumption. Vitamin A, also known as retinol, helps your eyes retain their ability to adjust to changes in light and maintains necessary moisture levels of your eyes. Hence why my mum always told me to eat my carrots so I could see in the dark!

Carrots are also high in Vitamin K which aids in clotting of the blood and contributes to bone strength and proper functioning of the kidneys. There are also good levels of Vitamin C which helps build up immune strength and aids in iron absorption.

Whilst I enjoy the crunch of raw carrots in a salad or in a Vietnamese rice paper roll, the sweetness and rich flavour created by roasting carrots is far superior. When combined with a liberal dash of coconut oil, salt and garlic, this humble vegetable becomes tres chic.

Carrots are easy to grow. They are apparently good garden friends with tomatoes, boosting their production. If left to flower, like any Umbelliferae (celery, coriander, dill, parsley etc) they will also attract predatory wasps which kill many garden pests.

Ginger, ginger, ginger. Not to be confused with gingervitis.

Ginger really deserves a post to itself. Part of the Zingiberaceae family which also includes turmeric, cardamom, and galangal, the ginger plant produces beautiful white and pink flowers.

The edible root is popular in many countries around the world for its medicinal and nutritional properties. In South Korea it is used in teas; 생강차 Saenggangcha, finely minced ginger is added to kimchi right before fermentation and fresh slices of ginger are the ubiquitous accompaniment to fresh, grilled eel 장어 Jang-Oh.

Grilled eel 장어 Jang-Oh with sliced ginger

Ginger is well known for its uses to alleviate symptoms of nausea and assist immunity with cold and flu. However it also contains moderate levels of protein, calcium, magnesium, Omega 3’s and 6’s iron and 18 other amino acids. Although most of these levels are nothing to write home about, what makes ginger unique is that all these nutrients are found within each little slice of ginger.

So, anyway, off the ginger soapbox. Here’s the recipe.

Roasted carrot and ginger soup.

Ingredients:
(Serves 4 – entrée)

2 large carrots
2 small / 1 large bulb ginger
1/4 cup roasted garlic
(I always have a steady supply of roasted garlic in my fridge, if you don’t roast with carrots and ginger)

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp each salt and pepper

1 1/2 cups blackbeans (or 1 tin, rinsed and drained)
The blackbeans add a richness and thickness to the soup, but do not interfere with the strong carrot and ginger flavours.

additional 1 tbsp pepper, 1 tsp salt
pinch cayenne powder
1 tbsp maca powder (optional – I try and add this superfood in anywhere)

1 cup water – give or take a bit depending on consistency you like

Method:

1. Wash and peel carrots. Cut into small pieces. Wash and peel ginger. Slice thinly. Add garlic if roasting.
Place on greaseproof paper and sprinkle on ginger powder, salt and pepper. Pour on coconut oil and shake about, toss about to cover.

2. Put in oven at 170°C for around 30-40 minutes or until very soft and colour changes to a deep orange.

3. Cool for 15 minutes.
Add to food processor/blender carrot, ginger, garlic and 1/2 cup water.
Pulse until pureed.
Remove from blender, set aside.

4. Add blackbeans and 1/2 cup water to blender.
Blend, blend, blend until beans are very smooth.

5. In large, heatproof container, add carrot mix, additional salt and pepper, cayenne powder, maca powder and blackbean mix.
Using moulinex/stick blender, throughly blend to combine.

Enjoy!

Written by ayearinpatissiere

October 2, 2012 at 17:59

카페 수카라 Cafe Suッkara & 파절이 Pajeori

leave a comment »

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)

Written by ayearinpatissiere

October 2, 2012 at 15:44

Keen, yah? For Quinoa?

leave a comment »

Quinoa.

/ˈkēnwä/

Keeeeeeeeen waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

Say what?

I always thought it was pronounced, “Kwin-o-a”

Kind of like “Hermes” was Hermees instead of Emez. Or “Givenchy” was Givenchee instead of Shee-von-shee.

Parlez-vous.

But I’m from ‘Straya mate. We have a collective word for all of you, youse. Whad d’youse wanna ‘av for lunch ‘ey? Vegemite sanga’s?”

Anyway, apparently it’s keen-wah. And it’s delicious. And it’s healthy as. And if you buy the Rainbow quinoa, or mix the yellow, red and black varieties you can get a bright and festive mix! But what makes this humble little grain the ‘Supergrain of the Andes’?

Well, my friends, scientifically speaking, Chenopodium quinoa is a seed, most closely related to the beets, spinach and tumbleweed family.

It’s a psuedocereal, looking all grain-like and stuff, wanna be hanging out with the couscous, burghul and polenta’s. Quinoa is like that ridiculously smart, beautiful, perfect student who everyone wants to be like. In Korea, where competition is fierce there is a slang term ‘umchinah’ 엄친아 (son) or umchinttal (daughter) which directly translates to “mother’s friend’s son” and refers to that holier-than-thou-person you’ve never met but already hate because your mum pratts on about them all the bloody time. They can do no wrong, even their crap is gold-plated. And unfortunately, you are always compared to them “Why can’t you be like my friend’s son? He studied at Seoul National University and did post-grad at Stamford. Now he’s a dentist and drives a BMW 7 series. What have you done?”

But ah, anyway, back to quinoa. Unlike it’s wheat companions, quinoa is gluten free. However it’s high mineral and protein levels is what really makes it the “Supergrain of the Andes.” Take a look at the comparison with couscous below or here:

Quinoa vs Couscous overall nutritional info

Quinoa vs Couscous Mineral Content comparison

Quinoa is the clear winner.

Let’s not mention that it is high in proteins and delivers all of the essential 9 amino acids with especially high levels of Lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. These amino acids are generally found in animal products, making quinoa essential for vegetarian/vegan diets to ensure adequate protein intake. For example, an egg has approximately 5-6 grams of protein, 100grams chicken breast has 20grams protein. A typical serving of quinoa is about 1 cup, which is roughly 200grams, so a serving of quinoa has 8grams of protein. Not too shabby if you add in some beans, nuts, seeds and tofu.

As you can see from the tables above, quinoa is also high in fibre, magnesium and iron when compared with other grains.

Quinoa is also versatile, being able to be eaten sweet with yogurt, nuts and berries for breakfast or dessert, flattened and baked into crackers, rolled and grilled into burger patties or pressed and sweetened into energy bars.

Anyway, on this lovely Saturday afternoon, I decided to make a festive salad for my lovely friends.

Quinoa whole*istic crunch salad

Ingredients

2 cups organic quinoa
1 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder

1/2 cup roasted garlic cloves
1 1/2 cups roasted capsicums

2 cobs corn (I used Korean purple corn cobs)
1 tbsp coconut oil

Crunch:
1/2 cup chopped cashews
2 tbsp sesame seeds unhulled
2 tbsp black sesame seeds/chia seeds/poppy seeds
1/2 cup pepita seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds

Method

1. Rinse quinoa. Add 3 cups of water and salt and bring to boil. Once it reaches boil, turn down heat to low, simmer for about 10-12 minutes, or until all water is absorbed and it fluffs up.
See beautiful video here if unsure how to cook quinoa.

2. Take quinoa off heat. Fold through onion powder. Stand and let cool.      
Rinsed, uncooked quinoa.
Cooked quinoa.

3. Take corn off cob. Rinse.
Purple Korean corn cobs. Chewy. Delicious.

4. Add corn and coconut oil to frypan and cook until corn begins to brown.
Amazing flavour. Amazing aroma. Reminds me of this Vietnamese street food, Bap Xao Tom Bo.

5. Add in chopped roast garlic, capsicum and corn and mix by hand.

  


Sure sign you’re turning Korean: You mix things by hand with a plastic glove – and use scissors in the kitchen.

6. To make crunch: toast all ingredients except sesame and poppy seeds. Add these quick cooking seeds last, they only need about 1 minute.
Sprinkle over salad and mix through when ready to eat.

I also served this salad with a tangy dressing, that was so versatile and loved by one of my guests that he added it to everything we ate! Flattered.

Tangy, *slutty dressing (*Easy as and goes with anything)
Can easily be made vegan, I only had plain yogurt on hand, and determined to work with what I had in my flat. Just substitute for almond yogurt/soy yogurt/silken tofu

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

1 cup soaked, organic cashews
2x 85g tub yogurt*
*(whilst I usually buy plain yogurt with 5g natural sugar, I only had yoplait ‘plain’ yogurt which has a whopping 12g sugar, 7g added. I would suggest adding a tbsp maple syrup/honey if using good, plain yogurt)

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 lemon – juiced
1/2 tsp salt


Method

1. Add all ingredients into blender/food processor. Blend the crap outta it until smooth. Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours or until it thickens.


Blend, blend, blend. Will get much smoother than this.

2. Eat.

Too easy right? Told you it was a slutty dressing.

Written by ayearinpatissiere

September 29, 2012 at 19:03

To market, to market……

leave a comment »

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