Capturing Your Essence: Dubu Kimchee

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The past few weeks I’ve been seriously missing Asia. The landscape, the people, the inability to understand the conversations going on around me, the 24-hour markets, the endless hours wandering the streets exploring, the freedom

Recalling how healthy and energetic I felt, actually preferring Asian food at times (oh, and getting sick of it plenty, too…kimchi and I had a love/hate relationship), I looked up the nearest Asian market in Oxnard and proceeded to stock up.

A wise friend and Naturopath commented that subconsciously, I’m beginning to channel the essence of myself that I happened to find in Asia. The free spirited me.

A cartful of tofu (Korea calls it ‘dubu’), kimchi, gochujang (Korean Chili Paste), and ‘gim’ (seasoned seaweed), I came home and made a Dubu Kimchi meal on the stove.  How? Sautee kimchee and tofu, add some sesame oil, soy sauce, and sesame seeds, add in some gim, and you have yourself a healthy meal of fermented vegetables and quality vegetarian protein.  Yum!

Also in the cart from East Asia? Dried Black Fungi (aka Anti-Cancer MEDICINE in Chinese Medical Wisdom) and dried wakame (a type of seaweed, good for the female system) to add to soups, and an enormous tub of Miso. I didn’t stop at Korean goodies, either. Capturing my essence, of course, I foraged flavors of Thailand and India (a land I’ve yet to explore, but have a feeling I will find some of my future ‘essence’), as well. Panang Curry Paste, Coconut Milk, Curry Powder, Tumeric…warming spices that  which Mother Ayurveda would highly approve. Next blog!

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Veg Veg Lots of Veg!


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Now, I’m by no means vegan, but 99% of my meals end up vegan- by -default. What can I say…I love the veg!

In Ayurvedic Medicine, also known as the Ancient Indian Medicinal side of Yoga, Winter is a time to focus on root vegetables and warming spices to stay in physical and mental balance (to learn about your specific constitutional type and foods/lifestyle tips, check out http://www.yogajournal.com/health/2630 to find out if your Vata, Pitta, or Kapha AKA Wind, Fire, or Earth).

Chilly temperatures in Ventura County this December leave this Vata-Pitta craving warm, winter vegetables like squash (Turban Squash eaten above), steamed kale, and sweet potatoes, topped with EVOO by Bragg’s, and Trader Joe’s Sea Salt and African Smoke Seasoning.

Yum!

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Ladies and gentleman, the Turban Squash! I believe this was about $2 at Trader Joe’s…it’s huge and can feed a family of 4 or more. High in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and fiber. Plus, the Turban Squash looks so festive that my roommate had me buy a second one just for holiday decoration.

What does your bod crave in the Winter?

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Lemon Ginger H2O

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Mmmmm…lemon ginger-y goodness. Refreshing and detoxifying (although it’s good enough to add a dash of libation if it’s party time 🙂

Blend fresh ginger in a hand blender *
I do this once a week and keep a Tupperware full of fresh ground ginger in the fridge.

Add fresh lemon juice and ginger to water.

Sweeten with sweetener of your choice. *I prefer stevia for it’s zero effect on blood sugar, plus it doesn’t cause tooth decay. But any natural sweetener will do!

Shake or stir, and enjoy.

Kidney Detox Smoothie

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Lanikai Community Garden Bounty

Bottoms up to clean kidneys and no undereye circles!

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Parsley, Lemon, Ginger for kidneys, Lilikoi for fun, Kale for protein, enzymes, and it’s phyto-greengoodness, papaya seeds for digestion, H2O, ice

Mmmmm…Kabocha

fall is in the air.  which means PUMPKIN cravings for me.  i will eat this stuff out of the can (ya libby’s for making unsweetened, pure pumpkin).  i love it so much.  fiber, vitamin A, versatile…mmm.

luckily, tonight i didn’t have to resort to a can…but fresh, fresh amazingness.  

tonight busted out the plug-in stove top (it was hidden in my closet) to make my first cooked meal in months.  seriously, since March.  That’s 5 months if anyone’s counting.

picked up a baby pumpkin at the produce stand across the streamed, steamed that sucker, and mashed it up–skin, seeds, and all it’s goodness–with some fresh nigari dubu and flax seeds.  the flesh is so full of bright orange vitamin A goodness that it almost hurts to look at.  

Kabocha Squash…yep I went on a google hunt for this baby.

protein, fiber, omega 3’s.  

although i’ve been eating a big percentage of my diet as raw as can be all spring and summer long, in Ayurveda, it is recommended to begin eating hearty winter squash such as (cooked) pumpkin as the weather shifts from warm to cool.  

it was a nice mushy, warm dinner (did i mention i went to the dentist earlier? no? well i did.  mush, mush) and it will make the perfect lunch for tomorrow’s yoga saturday…maybe pack some sliced cucumbers and eat it like a dip.  

 excellent friday night in.  

Home Cookin’, Korean-Style

Let me just start by saying I adore Asian food. The parents took me to the sushi bar at the ripe ole’ age of six, and Western food just never tasted good again. Give me Japanese, Korean, or Thai any day over pizza, burgers, spagetti, and tacos. 

 During college, I used to drive a half hour to the Asian market just to get some of these ingredients to eat at home. Now they are available in alleyways all over Korea for radically insanely cheap prices.

Even though eating out in Korea is extremely cheap, it’s even cheaper to eat at home if you get the right ingredients. Plus, in Korea, eating usually is a social thing, and if you are in a meditative mood, well, sometimes home cooking is good for the “Seoul”.

The Kitchen…

yes, this explains why most of the food is raw and uncooked in the following pictures. I avoid turning on this hotplate…

The creations…

 Dotorimuk + Nigari Dubu (tofu) + sesame oil + soybean paste + green onions

Dotorimuk is a jelly made from acorn starch. It’s low in calories, high in protein and several vitamins and minerals. 

Mung Bean Jelly…same idea as Dotorimuk, but made from mungbeans…


Homemade yogurt by Elisa! 

After being on antibiotics for two weeks, it was important to get the good bacteria going again my system.  Korean yogurt tends to be loaded with tons of sugar, so I made my own lower-sugar option by adding store-bought yogurt (for it’s cultures) to milk. 

How to make homemade yogurt:

1.Dump 1 cup of yogurt and 1 carton of milk into tupperware.

2. Fill sink up with hot water. Cover tupperware and allow to sit overnight.

3. Voila, fresh plain yogurt in the morning. Refrigerate and enjoy!

Afterschool snacks! Dried squid and xylitol sweetened gum.