Spice up your weekend with Korean Dukbokki

Dinner, Korean, Lunch, Recipes

Welcome to a Korean cooking tutorial – Dukbokki, the snack food or in this case, a full meal.

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“Duk” is a Korean food where rice is cooked, then pounded into a glutinous mound and cut into different shapes. In Duk Bok Ki, thin and long rice cakes are used, where in our new year’s soup Duk guk we use sliced rice cakes.

There are brown and white duk varieties available in Vancouver – but found in London only one type in the white rice was available. Choose one you’d like to use and go for it.

Cook time
~20 minutes

Ingredients
1 bag of duk
3-4 tablespoons of gochujang (Korean pepper paste)
250g mushrooms
1 large onion
1 zucchini
2 cups of water
250g cuttlefish (or other type of seafood, optional)
Package of fish cakes (optional)

Method

1. Saute the onion with a bit of coconut oil or oil base on medium heat. At the same time, soak the duk (rice cakes) in cold water and set aside.

2. Mix in the cut up cuttlefish and sauté with the onion.

3. Take 3-4 tablespoons of gochujang, and mix in to the sauté. Saute vigorously, and add in about 2 cups of water. Put the heat on high.

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4. After the water comes to a boil, add in all chopped veggies (mushrooms, zucchini). Add in fish cakes.

5. After all ingredients are mixed together, drain and rinse the duk, and mix in with the other ingredients, stirring gently to ensure mixing amongst the other ingredients.(The reason we do the rice cakes last is because they cook quickly and otherwise they congeal and get too soft for good texture).

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6. You’re done! Enjoy your spicy dukbokki.

Msfitz’s “Mungcake” – a vegan and gluten free savoury pancake

Dairy free, Korean, Recipes, Snacks, Vegetarian

The Mung Bean

Mung beans are very nutritious. They are an excellent source of protein and dietary fiber, and also contain vitamins A, C and E, folacin, phosphorous, magnesium, iron and calcium.  They are also easier to digest and quicker to cook than most other legumes so great if you have difficulty digesting beans to eat these instead.

Other health benefits of mung beans include:

  • Cleansing and detoxifying – mung beans are known as a cleansing legume especially when soaked and / or sprouted
  • Improving digestion – the fiber improves bowel function and cleanses your intestines
  • Reduced cholesterol, risk of coronary disease, high blood pressure – eating legumes have a strong correlation with healthy cholesterol levels

Would you like to try a recipe incorporating this delicious legume?

Making yourself a Mungcake 

1. Mix 1 cup brown rice and 2 cups mung beans, and soak in water overnight. (To save time, if you have other items you’re soaking, do them all at once!) Soaking makes the ingredients easier to digest since we will not really “cook” them.

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2. Drain and rinse the brown rice and mung beans a few times, then blend in a food processor. I use my Vitamix blender, which works fantastically. Add a little bit of water (~0.5 cup to 1 cup) depending on how well the blend is being created.

3. Heat a non-stick frying pan at medium. Put a spoonful of the rice / bean batter and spread it out to be flat.

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4. When the mixture is getting formed, flip over.

 

Here’s your finished product. What is really tasty is adding things that you love, like chopped veggies, etc to this mixture. I added toasted sesame seeds I made before. Enjoy and let me know what you think!

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Easy blueberry raspberry bran muffins

Recipes, Snacks

These super easy, hearty wheat bran muffins are a special treat at my father in law’s! I’ve modified them to be lactose-free.

They freeze really well, so could be made in batches and taken in to work throughout your busy week.

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Ingredients

2 cups whole wheat or all purpose flour
2 cups bran
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 cups brown sugar
1.5 tsp salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 flax eggs
1 cup soy milk
1 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup cranberries
1 cup blueberries

Instructions
1. Mix all dry ingredients

2. Blend in all the wet ingredients

3. Add the berries

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4.Place into muffin tins and bake at 375 F for about 20-25 minutes. Voila!

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Celebrate St.Paddy’s Day with a Vegan Stout Cupcake

Recipes, Snacks

It is one thing to have an excessive amount of anything, especially alcohol – but special occasions every once in awhile are always welcome for celebration.

I think this is justifying some things… but did you know stout beer actually contains antioxidants and iron? Plus it has fewer calories than other types of beer, like lagers.

Try out this Chocolate Stout Cupcake to commemorate your St.Paddy’s Day!

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Chocolate Stout Cupcake

Cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable butter
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 flax eggs (1 tablespoon ground flax to 3 tablespoons of water)
2/3 cup soy yogurt
1 cup stout beer (such as Guinness)

Chocolate Stout Frosting
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
4 tbsp stout beer (or soy milk*)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Put in your cupcake liners in your cupcake tray.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
3. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt vegetable butter. Add cocoa powder and whisk until smooth.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, vegetable oil and flax eggs. Add cocoa-butter mixture and whisk until well-incorporated.
5. Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the yogurt and stout beer (beer may foam; keep stirring it in!). Stir in remaining flour mixture, stirring only until no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
6. Pour into your cupcake liners and spread into an even layer.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean.
8. Allow cake to cool completely then top with your stout frosting.

9. For the frosting – beat all ingredients together until well combined, adding more confectioners’ sugar if necessary to thicken frosting to a smooth, spreadable consistency. After spreading the frosting on, put a dash of cocoa on top too if you’d like. You’re ready to celebrate!

Happy St.Paddy’s Day!

Brewskidaddle

Delicious hearty miso stew

Korean, Recipes

There’s still a nip in the air… try out an easy to make, hearty miso stew this spring! This “Miso Stew” is a Korean recipe, a heartier version of the lighter miso soup you may have tried in Japanese restaurants.

Hearty Miso Stew

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1. Cut up vegetables you like (I threw in chopped peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, etc.)

2. Put all of the cut up vegetables, along with a couple of seaweed kelp pieces to thicken the broth – all in a pot. Fill up the pot with water up to the top level of the vegetables.

3. Bring the water to a boil, and add in about two tablespoons of miso paste. You could buy miso paste in asian grocery stores –  it looks brown and squishy (things you don’t normally consider as something good, but it is!).

4. Mix in the paste with the boiling water with a spoon, and add in chopped tofu. Let it simmer off high heat for 10-15 minutes. Have with a bowl of wild rice on the side. Enjoy!

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Brown rice kimbap or “Korean sushi”

Dinner, Korean, Lunch, Recipes, Snacks

Ever been in a food coma? When your body ingests (1) too much food and (2) foods high on the glycemic index, your body releases insulin, triggering a chain reaction of chemicals including melatonin that make you very sleepy… mid day!

Combat such a situation with homemade kimbap made with brown rice – essentially for us Koreans this is a picnic or snack food, and very much resembles sushi. It’s sort of like a “Korean Sushi”. Try out something new this weekend!

Brown rice kimbap or “Korean Sushi”

The below makes about 12 rolls of kimbap. Each ingredient that goes in to the dish takes a bit of time to make, so I generally make a lot, and freeze the ingredients for use later on. I would set aside about 2-3 hours to make the separate ingredients and roll the kimbap.

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Ingredients

  • Bamboo rolling mat
  • White vinegar
  • 6 cups uncooked rice (1/3 white sticky rice, 1/3 brown sweet rice, 1/3 black wild rice)
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Sesame oil
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 7-8 carrots
  • Dozen eggs
  • Pickled Korean radish (bright yellow)
  • Your choice of protein (I used imitation crab meat, but you could use flaked tuna, etc…)
  • Flat seaweed

Instructions

1. Make your individual ingredients.

  • Carrots – Wash, then chop up the carrots into small pieces. Sautee in a non-stick frying pan with no oil for about 10-15 minutes on medium heat, until they are soft.
  • Cucumbers – De-seed the cucumbers, and cut them into thin, length-wise strips. You can keep the seeds, but they don’t go in the kimbap (they will make them very soggy, something you probably don’t want).
  • Eggs – Beat 6 eggs at a time in a bowl, and pour in a non-stick frying pan. When it’s quite formed, flip it over, making sure it’s cooked all the way through. Cut into thin strips after they’ve cooled a bit.
  • Rice – Take 3-4 cups of the cooked rice in a large bowl, and add in 2-3 tablespoons of white vinegar.  Mix in a tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds.

2. Create your workstation – lay out all of the ingredients on a table.

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3. Take about 1-1.5 cups of rice with a spoon, and carefully spread it throughout the seaweed. Arrange all of the ingredients close to the base of the roll, leaving a bit of rice protruding where you will start rolling.

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4. Begin rolling, pressing down firmly! About halfway through rolling, you could do the remainder with your hands, then reinforce the kimbap with the bamboo roll at the end.

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5. With a thin brush (or you could use your hands too though this gets messy), apply a thin layer of sesame oil to the rolls. It will taste delicious, and prevent them from sticking to each other and breaking. This step is optional.

6. Repeat, repeat, repeat until your ingredients are gone.

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Try it out, let me know how it goes! If you have variations / recommendations please send them through!

Easy to-go breakfast for the week

Breakfast, Recipes

Happy Thursday, misfits!

It’s almost the end of the work week and with the weekend coming in, there’s more time to try out new recipes! Try out this one, which is a breakfast item that freezes really well and is easily packaged in cling wrap or foil. 

No Fuss Pea & Potato Breakfast Frittata

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Ingredients

  • Frozen peas
  • 6-7 eggs (free range is best)
  • 6-7 fingerling potatoes

Instructions:

1. Thinly slice the potatoes and boil in water for ~10 minutes.

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2. Pre-heat the oven to 350F. While this is happening, crack the eggs into a bowl and mix!

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3. Mix in the remaining ingredients. I’ve added some smoked fish in here too just because I had some leftover – you could really substitute any vegetable or protein you’d like.

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4. Pour the ingredients into a dishpan. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes.

 

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5. Cut into pieces and enjoy!

 

 

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Part 4 – Healthy Recipe #4 for your busy week

Dairy free, Recipes, Snacks, Vegetarian

Welcome to part 4 of healthy, cost-conscious, portable recipe series. Here’s another delicious, healthy snack to munch on – also great for post-workout snacking! If you are allergic to peanuts, try another type of nut butter such as cashew, almond, etc!

PB Granola Oat Bar 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, ground
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1/4cup pumpkin seeds (or other toppings you enjoy, I sometimes also top with dark chocolate)
  • 1/4 cup raisins

Instructions

1. Set the oven to 325F.

2. Lightly oil an 8×8 pan with oil (pick your type), making sure you get all of the sides too.

3. In a microwave safe bowl, add honey, coconut oil and peanut butter. Microwave for 30-50 seconds, stir until mixture gets runny and peanut butter completely melted in. Mix in vanilla extract to the wet ingredients.

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4. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients including the oats, cinnamon and raisins.

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5. Pour the wet mixture in with the dry, and mix together.

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6. Pour mixture into prepared pan and press down with a spatula or other apparatus you see fit, and bake in the oven for 20 -25 minutes until lightly brown.

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7. The finished result should look like this! Once you take the bars out of the oven, press down again and let it cool.

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8. Cut the oat bars into 16 slices and enjoy! Each bar is approximately 150 calories.

Part 3 – Healthy recipe #3 for your work week

Recipes, Snacks, Vegetarian

Welcome to part 3 of healthy, cost-conscious, portable recipes to try out. This week, here’s a delicious, healthy snack to munch on.

Salt & Vinegar Chickpeas

Ingredients

  • Chickpeas (2.5 cups canned or 1 cup dry)
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil

Instructions

1. If the chickpeas are unsoaked, take the dry chickpeas and soak for 8 hours.

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2. Boil the chickpeas with 1/2 cup of white vinegar until chickpeas are soft (10-15 minutes). To accelerate the process, I’ve used a pressure cooker instead.

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3. Strain the chickpeas.

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4. Mix the olive oil, remaining white vinegar and salt together in a bowl.

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5. Spread the chickpeas on a cookie sheet, and pour the mixture over them. Bake in the oven at 350F for 20 minutes. You may hear some of the chickpeas “pop”, these will be crisp!

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Here’s the finished result! Take them in little ziploc or snack bags. These are high in protein, low in fat and will tide your hunger pangs over.

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Part 2 – Healthy recipe #2 for your work week

Dinner, Lunch, Nutrition & Well-being, Recipes

As I mentioned in my last post, welcome to part 2 of healthy, cost-conscious, portable recipes to try out!

Spicy vegetarian chili

Vegetarian chili with homemade goat yogurt

Prep Time: ~15 minutes (or soak the beans 8 hours in advance if you don’t like to use canned beans)
Cook Time: ~10 minutes (+30 minutes on a timer)
Total Time: ~1 hour

For ingredients, you could really add any type of beans you like, as well as other veggies you love! Or, realistically you could input veggies you have left over in your fridge – it’s a great way to use them up while getting a highly varied, better tasting chili.

Ingredients:
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño or red chili pepper, seeded, minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded, diced
2 tbsp chipotle chili powder (or more for spicier chili)
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 cup tomato sauce
4 cups water
1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained
1 (15-oz) can chickpeas, drained
1 (15-oz) can red kidney beans, drained
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
6 oz pepper Jack cheese, shredded

Preparation:
1. Add the olive oil and onions to a pot, and place over medium heat. Saute the onions until they are translucent.

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2. Add the garlic, jalapeño, red bell pepper, oregano, chipotle, cumin, and chili powder. Cook stirring for 3 minutes.

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3. Add the tomato sauce, or make your own! If you have a blender, it’s very easy to do. I took 6-7 tomatoes, and mixed it with the 4 cups of water in my Vitamix blender. You could use a food processor as well, it will work just as well!

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4. Add in the remaining ingredients (water, if you didn’t make your own tomato paste), beans and veggies you like.

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5. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and at this stage, set a timer for 30 minutes while your chili stews and you go enjoy doing something else.

6. Serve in bowls with your desired toppings. Chives, goat yogurt, or shredded cheese are all great options!