whole*istic

Trying to live a holistic life in an unholistic world

Posts Tagged ‘vegan

Vinyasa. Meditation. Repeat.

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So, I’ve been sticking to this Kitchari cleanse for 3 full days now (I realise how ridiculously short that sounds, but I’m pretty in tune with my body) and to be completely honest, I don’t feel that great.

ImageMy Kitchari

I generally don’t eat rice (shock! horror! How can a Korean girl not eat rice?) or any other starchy carbohydrates like pasta, bread, flour based foods or even high protein carbs like beans or even superdeluxe quinoa due to feeling pretty sloth-like, bloated and unsatiated. So, to switch suddenly to a diet that is based on a foundation of beans and rice, I have to tell ‘ya, I did have my reservations, (hence the weeks of research) yet the positive, holier than thou, second coming, pillars of enlightenment results people spoke of lured me in.

And I guess this is why nutrition is such a personal thing. I’m not saying that Kitchari is not a healthy, nourishing food. Indeed it is, it has to be. A meal consisting of basmati rice, mung beans, vegetables and spices, on paper, seems to be a perfect, harmonious blend of proteins, carbohydrates, fat (from coconut oil or ghee) and minerals. It is also deliciously tasty and aromatic and by changing the variety of vegetables or even bean, it is never boring.

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My 2nd Kitchari – see I gave it a chance.

It wasn’t eating it that has been the issue, I do enjoy foods like this, an Indian style risotto if you will (cooking methods are quite similar, however, flavours couldn’t be at more polar opposites) It’s just the lethargic, heavy feeling I’ve had since I started eating it on Saturday, adhering to it fully on Sunday.

Through my interest in nutrition and fitness and twenty years spent dancing and obsessing over every muscle group and fat cell, I’ve learnt what works for my body, in terms of physique, digestion and feeling clear, focused and energised in my mind and spirit.

It’s nothing that I’ve learnt in one book. It’s not following one particular lifestyle or nutritional plan. Geez, it’s not even from one specific country!

I’m not going to lie; that would be more unwhole*istic than purporting to be this ethereal raw food, vegan that, well, basically I am not.

I  seem to crave a lot of protein; animal protein in fact.  Eggs, oedeng**, seafood, pork (I’m essentially Korean – it’s not my fault), lamb. (I grew up in Australia where BBQ was dinner 3 times of the week, salad optional)
** I know oedeng is like the hideous 2nd cousin of the hotdog, a mish mash of fish whatever’s, starch and MSG and probably a fair few artificial somethings and what-nots, but again, it’s in my blood. I love ’em….. O.O

I love fruits and vegetables.

I don’t eat meat/animal products every day, or even every second day. But, I do eat them. And, I do crave and enjoy them. Just as I crave vegan or raw food aswell.

I’ve seen all the documentaries, I support the cause, I feel the exact same rage and emotions you do at the intolerable cruelty to animals on every brutal level from factory farming, fish farms, ocean depleting net fishing and inhumane slaughtering to the heinous and unnecessary fur farms, animal testing that yields no worthy results. I won’t visit the circus, zoo’s or aquariums because I believe those environments are distressing, cruel and make a mockery of the animals, depriving them of their most basic rights.

In an ideal world, well in my ideal of an ideal world, I don’t necessarily think that humans would be herbivores. I just think our modern world, our need for instant gratification, greed and gluttony, changed the ways of farming and agriculture so inherently, that we no longer even recognise or identify what is on our plates from where it was sourced/created.

In Australia it is easier for me to make more ethical choices regarding the food I eat as there is a greater awareness of organic, ethical farming; for both produce and animals. In Korea, whilst I can recognise organic produce, I very rarely will buy meat/seafood as I have absolutely no idea where it’s coming from, it’s a stab in the dark (horrible unethical pun) to guess what part of the animal it is aswell. And when the pork/fish/seafood is that cheap, I always wonder what on earth happened for that meat to become that cheap, I don’t even want to know.

They say, ignorance is bliss. But I believe, knowledge is power. The power to make well informed decisions, to stand by your beliefs or at least have the understanding of why you feel strongly about certain issues.

Which is why I fight a battle, feel pangs of guilt (that obviously do not outweigh my pangs of hunger) whenever I make a choice to eat meat, yet something rationalises it in my head. Snippets of ignorance, shunning thoughts of the torture, isolation, despair and downright, miserable, cruddy life the animal spent alive (not living, just barely alive) and endured to end up on my fork. I hesitate for a moment, also thinking of the hormones, disease and adrenaine I am ingesting, but these are dismissed as I flick back into the current moment, the senses evoked with smells, sounds of enjoyment from my dining partners, the sight of dishes that bring me great culinary delight and moral disdain, such as sashimi, eggs florentine, a steaming tagine of sweet morrocan lamb topped with a thick, plain yogurt, a freshly grilled seafood platter of prawns, scallops and snapper stuffed with lemon, garlic, chilli, coriander and italian parsley or the wonders of Vietnamese cuisine with their fresh produce and salty, spicy, sweet and sour flavours offset by meagre, yet adequate portions of meat and seafood.

And it’s these dishes, these are my weakness that make me question my ethics and viewpoints, However, these dishes are also unique to various cultures and so deeply ingrained in tradition and history, around long before the advent of factory farming or the gross misuse of animals and greed for their flesh began. They are traditionally celebratory dishes, to be consumed at momentous moments in life, where the life and death of the animal was revered and appreciated. Not bought at a generic corner franchised establishment as some quick and easy meal of convenience.

Anyway….. the Vinyasa has been amazing, grounding and a welcome change from what I would usually do, a perfect way to start and finish the day. I have been using some videos off youtube which allow me to practice from home, although I am not sure my technique is on point…..

I like this one for morning and this one in the evening.

As well as the Vinyasa, the meditation I’ve been practicing is from an app called Relax and Rest available on both android and all i-apps-things-whatever you call that family of ipods, iphones, ipads, macbooks you-know-what-i-mean! No matter what time of day, state of mood (from stressed, anxious, tired but can’t settle to dealing with a snoring boyfriend who smells like a beer) it always sends me off on a dreamy path of sleep, when nothing but alcohol or sedatives worked in the past.

And anyway, so that’s my long-winded review of Kitchari, with a side order of ethics, rants and opinions. It tastes great, amazing in fact, but makes me feel like, well….this…..

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Have you any experiences with Kitchari? Do certain grains, rice legumes or flours make you feel like this? (I don’t think I have a gluten intolerance though) Do you wage your own moral war with yourself with regards to the eating of animals? Do you find it difficult to practice veganism? Do you think it is hypocritical of me to have a blog or specialise in vegan food when I myself don’t eat 100% vegan?

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Porchetta: A brilliant sandwich spot for a vegan!

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I’m serious. I’ve had THE best vegan sandwich of my life here. And I’ve sampled them around the world, Australia, England, Sweden, Laos, Spain to name a few.

I’d been craving a sandwich for a few weeks, yet for reasons of time and a slightly OCD’ish manner of not settling for sub-par food, the craving had remained unfulfilled. However, to be perfectly honest, after finishing up a particularly stressful Sunday of work, when a co-worker suggested ‘Porchetta’ for dinner, I was less than impressed. Mmmmm, sure I thought, I’ll just have the porchetta sandwich, minus the porchetta.

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Oh…..how I was wrong….flip the menu, order number 10, hold the cheese, choose the sambal dipping sauce and wash it all down with a Hitachinonest Espresso Stout (whilst I love this beer – odd choice, they should’ve had at least an ubiquitous Peroni?)

Who would’ve ever thought that the most fulfilling, perfectly grilled fresh vegetables tossed in a light olive oil and herb dressing sandwich would come from Korea, and more specifically, a sandwicherie that specialises in Italian Porchetta – which my fellow dining partners told me was also the best porchetta they’ve had.

This new generation of Korean entrepre-restrauneurs (yeah I’m making words up here – but you get it yeah, in fact – you love it, oh yeah!) are well travelled and don’t do things by halves. If they want to open a boulangerie, they’ve been to Paris, learnt from the artisans themselves, and bought the french flour back to prove it (Alaska in Garosugil uses only French flour). If they want to open a pizzeria, they go to Naples, learn the craft to form a pizza straight out of Italy that isn’t comletely covered in yellow cheese and contains fresh red sauce and real basil (Blacksmith Pizza, Jongno – not the chain that is everywhere, but the small, kitscho restaurant aptly named because he is an actual blacksmith)

And if they want to open a Porchetta Sandwicherie – I’m guessing they’ve travelled to Italy, or at least have an understanding of what makes up a great sandwich.

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Essentials to a great sandwich

1. The bread. It’s a deal breaker.
Should be soft, yet chewy. Hold the crusty baguettes for balsamic and olive oil dipping parties.
Filling to bread should not be in even ratios – think apple pie.
Filling to bread; 2:1.

I would’ve preferred wholemeal, but as this was a pillow of goodness, I’m not complaining.

2. Fillings. It’s a ball breaker.
You can’t polish a turd. No matter how good the bread is, it won’t camouflage poor quality fillings or weird combinations (although I do love crisps and vegemite – but I’m not selling it)
They need to be fresh, abundant and proportionate. You don’t want to be tasting all onion wondering where your damn semi dried tomato went too, considering that’s what jacked the price up to ₩8,500.

Several times I stopped to just examine the fillings of the sandwich, I was amazed at the variety and freshness of the fillings, roasted eggplant, zucchini, pumpkin, potato, mushroom, fresh tomato – wow.

3. The spread.
Needs to be tasteful and moist.
With a plethora of condiments, fancy butters, jams, relishes, mustards and mayo’s out there, we’ve come a long way from humble margarine beginnings.
The spread needs to be tasted, but not overpowering. Complementary yet not competing with the fillings.

A light basil pesto was used which led to a discussion of “How good is this basil pesto!”

4. The drip.
Like any good burger, a hot sandwich needs to have some guts and it should be messy, juices running down your hand as you eat it.
I don’t know why exactly, a testament to its freshness perhaps?

5. And now apparently, a dipping sauce.
I was just going to write, I’m not one to dip….but thinking back to my childhood I’ve fond memories of Le Snak, Dunkaroos, Yim Yam’s (who doesn’t remember the disappointment when you found out the dipping chocolate wasn’t the length of the sticks?) but dipping a whole sandwich?
What the?
And somehow, with all the different flavours of the vegetables and the basil pesto, the sambal dipping sauce, more sweet than hot – kind of like red capsicum than red chilli, went amazingly well.

The lowdown:
Jumbo Grilled Vegetable sandwich ₩8,500
Ask them to hold the cheese to make it vegan
I highly suggest the sambal dipping sauce.

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Where:
Noksapyeong.
Take Subway Line 6 to Noksapyeong Station, exit 2. Walk straight for 500 metres take the underpass to the other side of the street. Take the street right from Noxa and it’s on the left hand side about three doors down (hmmm, maybe 5 but I just wanted to remind you all about that mediocre 90’s soft rock band)

https://www.facebook.com/Porchettapage

Written by ayearinpatissiere

December 11, 2012 at 12:00

Summer’s over but semi-dried tomatoes are here forever

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The taste of the Mediterranean – homemade here in Korea, for 1/4 of the shop price

Although the leaves are yellowing, the air is more crisp and the time spent frolicking in the sun (who has the time to frolic? But the idea, or word is lovely) is becoming shorter, I’ve found a way to savour the taste forever!

Like everything exotic and non-korean in Korea, avocados, watermelon, baby spinach to name a few, the price is excruciating, unbelievable, ridiculous. Semi-dried/sun-dried tomatoes are no exception. ₩9,000 on special? ₩13,000 – ₩20,000 for a small jar?

Sure, I’ve nothing better to spend my money on than eating.

Back home I’m used to picking up a couple of hundred grams for $3 – $5, of varying dried-ness, immersed in different oils or vinegar’s, with different herbs and accompaniments, full fat, fat-free. Pro-choice tomatoes, oh yeah!

So, figuring it’s just tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, spices, sun and time, I thought, I could make my own. Except, ah, the long hot summer days are over here – thank my sweat-free brow – so what to do, what to do….

Oven-dried tomatoes! Looooooong, sloooooooow dehydrated tomatoes result in the sweetest tomatoes with a soft inside, encased by a not-too-hard, ever so slightly chewy and dried out shell. Dehydrating them with a dash of olive oil that has been infused with Himalayan rock salt, pepper, garlic and herbs, enhances each flavour, bringing out the sweetness of the tomatoes.

I used cherry tomatoes here, because that’s what the ajumma was selling near my flat that day

Although I don’t label myself with a food label anymore such as vegetarian, carnivore, vegan, raw foodist; I eat 80% vegan and raw as much as possible (although since preparing samples and market prep for whole*istic snacks and desserts, my diet has changed to 80% DESSERTS! HELP!!)  and meat/fish if my body truly is craving it or someone has been so nice as to cook for me.

I found that it has been easier to make more conscious decisions this way, without placing limitations and expectations on myself and removing the ‘banned food’ list – which actually makes me want them even more.

Bu,t I digress.

A dehydrator is just as vital to a raw foodist as the holier-than-thou blender, the VitaMix – which you cannot get in Korea! Here I was ready to part with my ₩600,00 on a blender, but it’s not even possible. (Post to follow on what I did actually get)*be warned – it will be a rant, as after having acquired the most powerful, expensive blender in Korea, it DIED on me within 24 hours, 2 batches of energy noshies, 1 pie crust and halfway through a ‘cheese’cake…breathe in, breathe out….I am floating on al lily pad down a….one day, it lasted one day!!!! …..down a clear, tranquil blue stream….. But as I’d just received a new large, 4 rack oven, I had been reading that food prepared at 48°C or less, can technically be considered ‘raw’.

Which isn’t very hot at all. I’m sure the Bikram yoga room has been hotter than that before.

So anyway, if you’ve got an oven that can function at 48°C, lots of fresh tomatoes (it’s too time consuming to just do a punnet), and lots and lots of time for these babies to dehydrate – read on my friend, read on……

All you need is love! And time, and a big ass oven.

Oven-semi-dried tomatoes

Ingredients:

1 kg tomatoes (I used cherry tomatoes)
1/2 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt (this is more ‘salty’ than salt, so use less at first – then to taste)
1 tsp black pepper – 5 grinds?
1 tsp mixed herbs (I used a mix of basil and Italian parsley)

*Add all spices/seasonings to taste. I LOVE garlic so my recipes are heavy on the garlic, taste as you go, to your liking. Add anything you like. Just remember, the dehydrating will bring out the flavours more.

Method:

1. Combine all ingredients, except tomatoes, in a screw top glass jar.
Shake it, shake it like a polaroid picture.

2. Wash tomatoes. Cut in half. If using cherry/grape tomatoes place on greaseproof paper lined baking tray, cut side up.
If using larger tomatoes, scoop seeds out (can add to a smoothie, dip, pesto, sauce, eat, whatever – just don’t waste it)

3. Drizzle some of the oil over the tomatoes.
I used about one tablespoon per line of tomatoes.
There should be about 1/4 cup of oil, more or less, remaining for you to sit the tomatoes in after dehydrating, or to use as a dressing. Beautiful!

4. Place in oven at 45°C.
For 2 large trays of cherry tomatoes, they took 5 hours and were fully dried.
4 hours would create a more juicy, semi semi dried tomato.

Will keep in a sealed jar, covered in the remaining oil for a month? 2 months? Although, I don’t think they’ll last that long….

Cherry tomatoes: 2 hours in

Ta-da!! The finished product – 5 hours on


Drizzle garlic olive oil. Whiz into a pesto or dip. Top a salad.
Eat. Straight up.

I blended mine into a basil, sunflower seed pesto and served atop fresh squash, black sesame tofu (I’ve never liked tofu until moving to Korea – its baffling me -)

Looks like a raw, vegan nachos???

For 2 large trays of Roma tomatoes, well, they’ve been in for 3 hours last night, sat overnight, and we’re up to hour number 2 as we speak.

They’re getting close, but still very juicy

Written by ayearinpatissiere

October 17, 2012 at 02:35

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)

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

Keen, yah? For Quinoa?

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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……

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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