whole*istic

Trying to live a holistic life in an unholistic world

Posts Tagged ‘recipes

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.

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Written by ayearinpatissiere

September 24, 2012 at 18:47

Meet Ricotta, I’m sure you’ve never met….

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Like anything in life; gin, men, beef, to name a few, there’s the usual, the standard, the ordinary and then there’s top shelf.

I’ve never been a Ricotta connoisseur. Back home in Australia we are blessed with a myriad of cheeses; both imported and locally grown soft, oozy Brie, Camembert and stinky Livarot to hard Parmigiano Reggiano and aged, bitey Cheddar. And who can resist fried Haloumi wedged between lamb or simply dressed with a splash of lemon or the nutty, velvety texture of a sweet Emmental. Then we have a range of Feta cheese ranging from hard, crumbly and salty Greek Feta to creamy Danish Feta.

But Ricotta. It was always a hard, dried out cake-shaped catastrophe in the deli section of the supermarket or a watery mess in the pre-packaged section. Never was it a thick, rich, creamy luxury that demanded to be spread on a crispbread or the highlight of a salad.

I understand this is slightly different, Ricotta Salata, but with this is the general understanding of Ricotta Cheese in Australia.

And then I moved to South Korea, where dairy products run second to soy-based products, I’m guessing due to the high incidence of lactose intolerance. However, locally produced Korean cheese is predominantly produced as ‘Pizza Cheese’ which can be described as a fluorescent yellow, greasy, plasticy atrocity. Consequently, a decent, quality imported cheese ranges anywhere from ₩10,000 to ₩34,000. I’m not sure why, but imported food products have ludicrous taxes and markups here. Don’t even get me started on fruit. That’s a whole other post.

But, I digress.

Due to an intense craving for Feta cheese, albeit refusing to pay ₩10,000 for a mid-range quality cheese, I scoured the internet and stumbled across easy recipes for soft, white cheeses. Mainly Ricotta.

And, then, I found the Aston Martin of Ricotta. This Ricotta changed my life.

So, one Friday night, on the eve of a friend’s Saturday shindig, I decided to play cheese-god and forgo all social credibility to stay home and make cheese. And it is probably one of the best Friday night decisions I have made..

Never again will I even consider buying Ricotta, when it is so amazingly simple and quick to produce a batch with only 4 ingredients. Recipe adapted from here at Smitten Kitchen, via Salvatore Brooklyn. Be sure to check out this beautiful video as well from Salvatore Brooklyn to appreciate the entire process.

Photo’s of my cheese production will follow, both times I never considered I would end up blogging about my fucking cheese endeavours, hence no actual cheese making photos.

Stay-at-home-Friday-Night Ricotta

Ingredients (for 2 cups of Ricotta)
12 cups milk (I used skim 1.5%)
500ml cream
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup lemon juice (I used 3 lemons)

(You can halve or even quarter quantities, however once you’ve tasted it, you’ll also be trying to make as much of it as you can)

Method
1. Place milk, cream and salt in a large saucepan. Can fill very close to top as it will not boil and expand.
2. With a thermometer, heat milk to 88°C. This breaks down the proteins and whey in the milk.
3. Immediately take off heat and pour in lemon juice. Stir very gently twice.
4. Let stand for 10minutes and resist all urges to stir or poke around and see what’s happening! A thick layer of white curds should have formed on the top.
5. Gently pour curds and whey into a large, deep bowl lined with cheesecloth (alternatively I use a white t-shirt but stockings are ok too, just make sure they are light or neutral coloured, I used teal tights once with yogurt which produced an interesting coloured whey – yogurt was fine) I use a very large glass jar with the t-shirt secured over the opening with some rubber bands.
6. Let strain for 3-4 hours until you have a thick ball of beautiful Ricotta!

I realise photos are essential for the first-time cheese maker and will upload when I make some next, scheduled for the next 3 weeks.

I don’t eat bread, however spread this on my homemade gluten-free crackers (recipe to follow), vegetables, drop spoonfuls onto salad, eat as dessert with a handful of blueberries and almonds or use in hazelnut chocolate spread. I may or may not have indulged in it by the (tea)spoonful aswell. Hey, I live alone alright.

Written by ayearinpatissiere

August 3, 2012 at 14:42

I can’t believe it’s not Nutella…..well, that’s ambitious, but it’s amazing nonetheless.

with 3 comments

I do not deprive myself of any particular foods, rather practice theoretically try restraint and moderation combined with certain self imposed exiles, like limiting sugar, refined carbs (I once ate 60 mainly egg whites in a week) or not wasting calories on substandard food. All of which gets thrown out the window once intoxicated.

I do not however, purchase a majority of processed food. I agree wholeheartedly with Michael Pollen (author of the life changing book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”) that if it comes in a box, can or jar, it should probably stay there.

My processed food exceptions are the highest of high quality dark chocolate, yogurt (for reasons I will soon explain, it became too difficult to continue making my own) and a bitey, sharp wedge of parmesan.

But that does not quiet the noise in my head from wanting, craving, desiring shitty excuses for food. It does, however, inspire me to experiment and create my own healthy options.

Nutella.
Holy shit.
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The smooth, creamy, rich taste of hazelnuts and chocolate. It’s like the inside of a Ferrero Rocher ball, (because they’re owned by the same company) but best of all the label states it’s nutritious. Look at all that milk and cocoa!

After a recent trip to the supermarket, I decided I needed some of this nutty chocolate crack, however a quick scan of the nutritional info left me disgusted. I knew it wasn’t a super food choice, but the levels of sugar and fat (palm oil) was just appalling. Even moreso, as those Ferrero fuckers market it as a nutrionally sound, healthy spread for children. And apparently I’m not the only one pissed off, see here.

imageLook at all that sugar! 21 grams per two tablespoons. That’s apparently the weight of your soul, which you’ll need to sell if you ever ingest this sugar/oil loaded bomb again.

Anyway, make way for healthy “Nutella.” A decadent, rich, velvety spread that has the real taste of roasted hazelnuts combined with the bitterness of dark chocolate. The sweetness comes from my own homemade Ricotta.

The best thing about this nutella, is that you can make it as bitter, sweet (use a less intense chocolate, 75-85%) chunky, smooth, creamy and nutty as you desire.

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Super easy, 4 ingredients, not saying it tastes just like Nutella, but it sure as hell satisfied my craving. But I’m also a bit of a freak like that and prefer things that aren’t so sweet and taste ‘real’

Not-Nutella

Ingredients
1 cup organic roasted hazelnuts (either bought organic, or if not, soaked and roasted yourself)
1 cup ricotta (recipe here. I cannot comment on how generic store bought ricotta would fare)
30 – 50grams 99% dark chocolate
milk

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What to do
1. In a blender, pulse hazelnuts until you have a wet, hazelnut butter. You could stop right here and enjoy this on a multitude of things, apples, crackers, a spoon, your finger.

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2. Melt chocolate, as it’s such a small amount I couldn’t be assed double saucepanning it and instead used the microwave. As I’m living in a country where I can’t find sugar free chocolate that doesn’t involve taking out a bank loan, I used 99% cacao. (*I’ve since discovered iherb.com and have Ghiradelli, organic cacao butter/raw powder and sugar-free chocolate on its way!) I love dark chocolate, the more cocoa the better, but even for me this is so dense and bitter I can only eat one square at a time. This is a good thing actually.

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3. Add hazelnut butter, ricotta and chocolate to blender. Pulse until mixture is combined. for a chunky, thick and drier butter, stop here.

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4. For a smoother butter, keep on pulsing the crap outta it. It will more than likely begin to separate, so add a tablespoon or two of milk to emulsify. Any milk. Skim, full fat, no fat, soy, almond, whatever it is that gets you to sleep at night. Pulse pulse pulse until it is all blended and smooth.
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5. Give half to a friend. Even though its healthy, it’s still calorie dense, and if you’re anything like me, I could devour this baby in one sitting.

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Written by ayearinpatissiere

August 3, 2012 at 04:47