Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bummers with a little Yummers

So, just a quick blurb to tell about my possible absence for the next little bit. I am going to try my best to make it to 20 posts this month and to keep up with awesome mofoing madness but I just found out hindering news. I was supposed to be heading back home to Canada at the end of November with every intention to return in January, but in the last couple of days everything has changed. I will not be returning and the date to leave has been moved up to early November. I won't get into the details of why, but I will say it was a matter of principle. I am sad about this of course and I am going to miss all of the wonderful people that I have grown to adore but am certain we will keep in touch and carry on a lasting friendship even with distance. Everything happens for a reason though. I have no idea where the winds will take me but I am very excited to find out. Anywho, what all this means is I have a whole lot to do and people to see before I go and I have to jam it all into a short time. Wish me luck and I apologize again in advance if I do not get around to seeing all your lovely posts. You all rock to and I am happy to be a part of this vegan blogging community.

On a more happier note, here is a little picture of a yummy leftover thanksgiving sammich (the pictures from that and the rest of my birthday fun are coming, they are just on a friends camera so I need to get them from her).

P.S. I will be doing what is in your vegan freezer as well, probably this weekend. Thanks for the tag Becks (P.S. in the ps: check out her site because it's rocking).

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sur to the Vey time!

So, a lovely survey from the lovely veganview.
1. Choose between locally grown or organic, which do you usually choose?
I'd say local first since I just finished having a conversation about the amount of gasoline that goes into transporting food.  Local organic though, I think takes the cake.
2. Favorite way to prepare potatoes:
I like em all, but if I have to pick I would go with mashed.  You can build houses.

3. Do you press your tofu before preparing/cooking it (if you eat soy)?
Um, almost never, but I consider it.

4. Name your favorite recipe that is a tradition in your family:
Hmm...Grandma's Apple Cake and there are too many that my mom makes to list.

5. Any food allergies?
Luckily no.

6. When you want to go to a fancy dinner, where do you go?
Since going vegan and moving to Korea shortly there after, I will need more time once home to establish that.

7. When you have a cold, what do you crave?
If I am craving food at all, I most certainly want comfort food.  (Breads, pasta, soup etc.)

8. What kind of water do you drink? (Filtered, spring, tap, etc.)
Filtered or bottled.

9. Name a flavor of soda you'd love to see:
Pina Coloda, I have tried pineapple so why not throw coconut in there too.  Diet though, not a fan of sugar pop.

10. If the recipes you ate as a child were compiled into a cookbook, what would the title be?
Mom's Home Cooking.....Like I mentioned above she made a lot of awesome food and still does.

11. If you were allowed to grow one food that can't grow in your climate, what would it be?
Coconut or Cacao.

12. Favorite type of mushroom?
I love all mushrooms, but I have been without portobello here and it hurts.

13. Most frustrating part of your kitchen?
NO OVEN (*sobs in corner*).

14. Last food you burned? lentil soup from last night....will post with the option to burn or not.

15. Usual response to a veg*n's favorite question, "But where do you get your protein?":
Tofu, soy anything, dark leafies, beans, legumes, nuts, etc.  Followed by, you'd be surprised with how much protein is found in non meat sources.

16. If you were baking your own birthday cake today, what flavor would it be?
Mmmm, can I trade it in for pumpkin pie or apple crisp?  But, if not I think I would make a carrot cake loaded with nuts and pineapple and coconut.  Ooooo, or ice cream cake, i just thought of that one...yup, ice cream cake it is.

17. Favorite brand of chocolate chips?
Do not have a brand in mind, I am just happy if it is milkless.

18. You have $200 of your tax return reserved for Williams Sonoma- What do you buy?
After quickly peeking at the site, I would have to say a kitchen aid blender.  I need a good blender.

19. Do you plan your menus in advance? Any tips to share?
Sometimes, when I want to make a certain something.  No tips really, just a lot of internet searches for what I am thinking and a grocery list.

20. You have 3 minutes before you have to leave the house and you're starving- What do you eat?
Open fridge or cupboards and grab what catches my eye (e.g. fruit, nuts, cold left overs, slice of bread).

21. If Martha Stewart, Paula Deen, and Rachel Ray got into a fight, who would win?
I am so bad with T.V. thingies.  (*Insert my friends making fun of my pop culture knowledge*)

22. If you eat oatmeal, what do you add to it before serving?
Cinnamon, dried or fresh fruit, coconut and some form of sweetener.  My favorite for a while, when I still had a stash of oatmeal, was banana, coconut and some sugar topped with soy milk.  (I cannot buy oatmeal in my city and must stalk up when I go to a big city foreign food mart).

23. If you got to travel to one country and learn all the traditional dishes there, where would you go (ignore commitments in your current place of residence)?
I would say vietnam because I love vietnamese food and I really want to go to Hanoi.  But if a situation like this were to arise, I would like to go somewhere I had little knowledge of to learn completely new things.

24. Favorite late night snack?
Depends how hungry I am, but usually popcorn.

25. Favorite springtime food?
Spring rolls :)
26. Favorite food-related magazine?
Any Veg one I can get my hands on right now.

27. Which do you prefer: shoyu, tamari, conventional soy sauce, or Bragg's Aminos?
Mmm, tamari.  I have yet to try Bragg's though.

28. What vegetable or fruit do you dislike the most?
For some reason cooked green peppers do not make my taste buds happy, but if they are cooked in something it is fine.  Oh, and grapefruit, but i keep trying it to see if my taste buds have changed.

29. Name a holiday food you look forward to all year long:
Ooo, soy nog or tofurkey or pumpkin pie.  Just holiday meals make me happy.

30. If you could convert anyone to veganism with your magic wand, who would you convert?
Family or future life partner.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Green Shop

This is the awesome health food shop in my town that sells what I desire.  Vegan breads and veggie meat, plus all other kinds of goodness.  The sign above reads Cho Rock Ga Gee, which translates to Green Shop or Market.
Here is one shot looking in.  You can see the lovely variety.  Tons of organic food and the ladies who own the shop (a mother and daughter) know my dietary restraints and are always suggesting things or showing me new products.  They even helped me when I decided to detox and couldn't eat anything with additives and all that.  It is fun with the language barrier but we manage.  The daughter always goes online to translate Korean to English.
I had to include this shot.  The lady is the owner (mother) of the store.  They are beyond sweet, I cannot get over it.  I will miss them when I leave.
Here is a box of vegan bread.  Freakin delicious.  They recently got bagels in that I have been enjoying too.
And  a small variety of their veggie meat selection.  The only downside is that quite a few contain milk.  I'd say it is about half and half.  But the milkless kinds rock.  Recently they brought in soy jerky.  It is very, very addictive and I had to limit myself to only buying it once a week for I eat it way too quickly.

This shop also sells an environmentally friendly beauty products and a lot of local produce.  i don't know how I got so lucky to have this place just down the road from me.

Be well everyone :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Birthday Love...

(Warning:  This post contains mush and not of the edible variety)

Sorry for my absence but I have been enjoying the weekend filled with birthday love.
I have had the most wonderful weekend surrounded by beautiful people and and all kinds of happiness. 

To start out on Friday, my work, knowing my wacky vegan ways, bought me this lovely cake featured in this post.  (On a side note, Koreans are not very familiar with vegetarianism/veganism, so I often get looked at like I have a third eye).  The cake is made up entirely of deok, which is korean rice cake (glutinous rice powder mixed with a variety of different ingredients and then steamed to perfection).  The separate pieces come apart and you eat it like that, rather than in slices.  It was very delicious and the remains are waiting for me in my freezer for whenever I want another nibble. 

Friday night I was surprised by my awesome friends who had a little roof top gathering for me complete with, vegan food, candles and wine.  I took pictures and will post them soon.  They got me all kinds of goodies, one of note for this blog is a juicer.  I am quite excited to give it a whirl.  

Saturday, I had lunch with two of my friends and then went to a near by city for a latern festival and shopping.  Came back to my city and went to a friends bar and got to watch live music.  It was very refreshing.  Live music is not as popular in Korea as it is back home.  I think this was the second time I saw a band play at a bar since I have been here.

Sunday, was my actual birthday and it was also fantabulous.  For my birthday dinner we had a vegan Canadian Thanksgiving.  We had a beautiful assortment of food, which I will also post very soon.  I ended my evening with a four way chat with my brothers and my mom.  It was a family gathering via typing and I loved it.  It has been almost a year since I have seen them and I miss them like crazy.

To sum it all up, I shared good times with amazing people and felt so much love in one weekend that I am sure to be glowing for weeks.  

Thank you to all those people who made my weekend and birthday fantastic, including those of you who sent me happy words or thoughts from around the globe.  I am lucky to have you and hope to be able to make you feel as special as you made me feel.  

I love you all.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mock Tuna Salad

I have been craving tuna salad for a while now.  I was going to buy it, but then found random recipes here and there, and pulled what I like from each of them to come up with my own recipe. Here is how she goes:

Mock Tuna Salad


1 c. Soaked almonds 
1c. Soaked sunflower seeds
2 tbsp. Tamari or soy sauce


1 c. Cashews
2 tbsp. Apple cider vinegar or to taste
1/4 Lemon, everything but the peel and seeds
1 Minced clove of garlic
1/2 tsp. Salt

Add Ins

1/2 Chopped onion
2 Chopped small celery stalks
2-3 Chopped small dill pickles
1 tbsp. Capers
Fresh Cracked Pepper

Soak almonds and sunflower seeds for 4 to 8 hours.  Pulse in a blender with tamari until it looks like dryish tuna.  I did the almonds and sunflower seeds separately and then combined them in a bowl.

Mix all the ingredients together for the mayo except the water.  Add water in a tablespoon at a time until desired consistency.  The mayo tastes much better when it gets to sit in the fridge for a couple of hours before use.  If you do not want to use this nut mayo recipe you can use this mayo I have posted with my mock chicken salad, or any vegan mayo you desire.

Combine 'tuna' and 'mayo' with choice of add ins and eat, eat, eat.  I like in on bread with lettuce, on rice cakes (as seen in the pics) or in a mock tuna roll.  I will be posting pictures of that sometime in the future.  Yet, if you want to try it out sooner, just grab some nori and line it with lettuce (can use rice), lay the tuna salad on the lettuce and roll like veggie sushi.  The way i like to make mine is by cutting the nori into four smaller squares, adding lettuce and roll into little cones.  This is great for party appetizers and the flavor is more fishy due to the nori.

Mmmm, I just remembered my momski used to make macaroni tuna salad.  I am going to have to try that the next time I whip this up.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Spicy Thai Eggplant

(Sorry for the over exposure.)

So, here I am to post again.  I realized that today is my 11 month living in Korea.  I would have liked to commemorate this with a lovely Korean dish, but with this news just dawning on me I present instead Spicy Thai Eggplant.  I found the recipe here.  And hey, the eggplant is straight from a Korean garden and the basil was Korean born right here in my apartment.  Maybe I should change the name to Spicy Korean Eggplant (*zing snap*).

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Somethin to Warm Yar Belleh!

This is my version of what I like to call Chili Cholent.  I am not going to post the recipe because it is the cholent from v-con with a few slight changes. 
Slight Changes

Tarragon ~  Dried basil, oregano and rosemary
Caraway seeds ~ Cumin seeds
Lentils ~ White beans
Potatoes ~ Sweet potatoes
Lima beans ~ Corn
Toss in about three pickled hot peppers and you're set.

This was delicious and warmed me up.  The perfect fall food and is great for the sniffles.  I recommend eating it whilst wrapped in a blanket and reading a book.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Super Simple Tomato Salad

So, since I am sickly I figured simple would work best.

Super Simple Tomato Salad

2 c. Chopped cherry tomatoes
1/2 Finely chopped onion
1 Minced clove of garlic
4 tbsp. Chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients and let the flavors mingle for awhile before serving.  Feel free to add a bit of extra virgin olive oil and red wine or balsamic vinegar.  (I was keeping it simple but I know that add in would rock).

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Vegan Mofo Survey and a Picture....

I went to Busan this past weekend and had a great time with friends, including an awesome art exhibit that i can hopefully post about on a slight tangent in the near future.  Well anywho, that tis my excuse for not posting sooner.

For my love of pictures I present this fine layout.  I, at first thought giant garlic, second guessed myself and sent the image to my mom for help and she thinks onion.  Any ideas to throw at me?  It is out drying if that helps.  Probably is onion though, moms have that tendency to be right.  Here is Mom's opinion (she wanted me to be clear about opinion because she is not an expert) and I am sold: "I believe that is a picture of alot of onions, not garlic.  The skin looks like onion and if it is garlic, korea grows some huge garlic.  They pulled the onions out the the ground and looks like they washed the dirt away and put on the cement to dry the moisture (if you put them away wet they will rot).  People put this kind of vegetable away for the winter in root cellars and such,but if they are wet they won't last."

But now for a little mofo survey, inspired by Sanja's Coconut and Raspberry blog, who got it from Liz at Food Snobbery is My Hobbery (great name).

Here it goes:

1. Name a song that involves food in some way.
Sugar Pie Honey Bunch by the Temptations

2. What criteria do you use when choosing a new cookbook to buy?
I like books that people recommend to me.

3. What did you eat today?
Breakfast: Bagel with jam and a soy black tea latte in Busan before heading home.
Snack: Orange and Almonds
Dinner: Went to the Tofu House shown on this post.
and have been drinking tons of tea to battle the beginning of a cold.

4. Name a vegan food that you know exists but you have never tried.
Haha (see this list)

5. The Food Network just called and needs you to start your new show tomorrow. What will the title of the show be?
Um, I am sick and lacking further creativity so for now i will say the name of my blog.

6. Favorite hot sauce or other spicy condiment?
tabasco or cayenne or red pepper flakes....I like am all really.

7. How old were you when you became vegetarian/vegan?
Vegetarian at 15 and vegan at 22.

8. Favorite vegan cheeze?
I have only really tried tofutti.  Will try others when back in Canada though :)

9. Cutest baby animal?

10. Favorite type of jam/jelly/marmalade/preserves?
Tough call, raspberry I think.

11. Do you take any vitamins/supplements?
Sure do.  At the moment it is natural factors hi potency multi, but i switch it up and am happy to take recommendations.

12. What food/dish most embodies the Fall season?
Pumpkin pie and anything in a large bubbly pot.

13. What food would you have a hard time living without?
That is a hard one.  Is it cheating if I say fruit and vegetables.

14. Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?
Tea, especially loose leaf.  (Chai and thai are tops on the list).

15. It's 10PM and you're starving. What do you eat?
Depends on my mood.  Popcorn perhaps.

16. If you have an animal companion, what is his/her favorite food?
Not sure what my kitties current favorite food's are, since they are living with my parents while I am overseas (thanks mom and dad).  But Shandar used to like olives and Kharma enjoys licking EVERYTHING, especially plastic bags. My pets are strange :).  And my puppy, who is technically my parents dog, just loves food period, except cauliflower unless coated with dressing first. 

17. Worst injury you've gotten in the kitchen?
Hm, I guess the burn on my back from the crockpot when I was younger.  Mom was making something and I hopped up on the counter to sit and leaned against in.  Just a smallish burn but I still have the scar.

18. When you have a food-related question, who do you call?
As displayed above it's my mommers.  But I do check the web, so I don't have to harass her with all my questions.

19. Summer is ending- What food will you miss most?
I think pat bean soo since It noticeably leaves when cold comes.

20. What snacks do you keep in your purse/backpack/desk at work?
Usually fruit.

21. Favorite soup to make on a rainy day?
Vegetable medley or tomato.

22. What's your favorite combination of fresh vegetable and/or fruit juices?
Do salads count?  I make what my friend coined as an "everything" salad.  You take whichever veg, fruit (dry and fresh) nuts, noodles or rice on hand and combine to make a killer salad.

23. Favorite brand of root beer?
Dad's Rootbeer, I think wins.  Now I want a rootbeer float.

24. Make up your own question!
Best natural cold remedy?  My sweet friend's grandfathers elixir: Hot OJ with as much ginger as you can handle.
(Would love to hear others too).

Sending out happiness too all.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Another Reason to Love October....

Oh, how I love October.  

Not only is it fall, with the pretty changing leaves and comfy sweaters, but also, my birthday month, Canadian thanksgiving and Halloween.  Having it also be vegan food month is like drowning a sundae in chocolate sauce, oh so awesome.  

So, I have decided to participate in VeganMoFo from the ppk and will at least post 20 posts this month.  They may not all be fancy like but I will do what I can and try to squeeze a few last images out of my dying camera.

I have still been doing tons of cooking and newly found microwave baking (since I am do what you can).  I have recently purchased v-con (finally~I know...thanks ppk) and am loving the crap out of it.  

Speaking of books, on a non-vegan tangent, Stephanie Meyers Twilight series is fantastic.  I am half way through it and am slightly addicted.  You can check it out here at the authors website.  It may or may not have inspired my Halloween costume this year ~ Vampire madness.  Did I mention I love Halloween?

Okay, my net keeps cutting out, so I must post this before it cuts out for good.

But first a little picture.

(Kimchi pots on a mountain)

Cheers to Vegan Month of Food.