Homemade Hummus

Hummus is one of the ultimate quick lunch or dinners for summer.  It’s cool and refreshing and surprisingly easy to make your own.  Here’s how you do it:

From Iherb: chickpeas, cumin, tahini paste

From the regular supermarket: salt, olive oil, fresh garlic, lemon juice (freshly squeezed is best).

Soak the chickpeas overnight and then bring to a boil.  Cover and let cool.  They should be cooked, but if not, bring to a boil one more time.

Then, mix up everything in the blender, going easy on the spices until you do your first taste test. Adjust ingredients to taste.

Serve with bread, crackers or fresh veggies like cucumber and carrots.

Tips:

1. If it’s difficult to blend, add some more olive oil or lemon juice.  DO NOT under any circumstance add milk or any other such crazy thing.

2. You need to add LOTS of lemon juice and salt.  This is how to make it extra delicious.

3. Make sure your chickpeas are cooked well so it’s smooth.

4. You can keep it in the fridge for 4 or 5 days.  I wouldn’t freeze it though.

5. People love homemade hummus but it’s hard to get in Korea.  You’ll be the most popular girl or boy at the party if you bring some.

 

 

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6 Foods to Avoid Adding to your Smoothie

I’m a huge fan of Green Smoothies and eat them probably 14/15 days for breakfast.  I ran across this excellent article the other day about 6 foods to avoid adding to smoothies and I wholeheartedly agree with its advice.

The article mentions that dried greens are not terrible, but fresh ones are better.  I usually depend on my organic box for greens, but some weeks are a little light and I run out towards the end of the week.  If it is, this is my go-to dried green powder, which I order on Iherb: Greens Plus Organic Superfood.

Lunch at work: fried rice

Whenever I cook rice, I’ll always make some extra so I can use it to make some fried rice.  Fried rice is best made with rice that’s a day or two old, so some pre-planning is required!  Then, it’s perfect to take in your work lunch for the next couple of days.  Healthy, delicious and frugal and it’s just as good cold as hot.  Here’s how you do it:

1. Fry up whatever veggies you have in some oil.  I used garlic, onion, and carrot for this one.

2. Move veggies to the side of the wok and add an egg or two.  Add some salt and pepper.  Stir it around until it’s well-cooked.  If you don’t cook it enough, your rice will get soggy.

3. Add your day-old rice and mix it all up.  Add your sauce of: soy sauce, sugar, salt and pepper.  Let the rice heat through.

4. Top with optional ingredients: cilantro (in this case), tomato, or green onion.

Fried Rice

Green Smoothie (or, how to use Mallow)

The organic box from Wwoof CSA seems to love including “mallow,” which is a traditional Korean green that is used in Dwenjang Chigae  (fermented soybean soup) usually.  But, for me who rarely cooks up a chigae at home, it’s not so easy to use.  However, I’ve discovered a fabulous new application that I’m reasonably sure no Korean has ever tried: Green Smoothie!  Mallow has basically a neutral flavor, so it’s kind of perfect.  I’ve been putting 1/2 of the big bag in a single smoothie and have no ill-effects to report in stomach pain, or taste.  Here are the ingredient’s from today’s smoothie:

From the organic box/ regular supermarket: Mallow/ Banana/ Cucumber/ Strawberries/ Blueberries (for best results, make sure they’re all frozen).

From Iherb: Almond Milk, Pumpkin Seeds, Oatmeal.

The best way to use Mallow

The best way to use Mallow

Organic Omelete

This week in the organic box, I got a few things that were perfect to make an omelet with.  It’s really easy and takes about 10 minutes.

Fry up some: onion/ green pepper/zucchini/ mushrooms.  Season with some salt/pepper/garlic powder or real garlic.  Set aside.

Beat some eggs with salt/pepper/basil.  Of course, get all your spices from Iherb! (they have free shipping until the end of April).

Then pour the eggs out into a well-oiled pan over low-heat.  Use your lifter to move the uncooked egg to the bottom of the pan.  When it’s almost cooked, put your vegetables on top and fold over carefully.

Add some fresh tomatoes on top.  Delicious!

organic omelette

organic omelette

Coffee at Home

You’ll find that coffee in the coffee shops here in Korea is generally quite expensive as compared to North America, especially at the big chains.  You can get cheap coffee at places like McDonalds or Lotteria, but it usually won’t come with things that you think are obvious, such as milk or sugar!  It’s usually just easier to make it yourself at home.  To do that, just get yourself  a coffee maker on Gmarket  for around 25 000 Won and it’s easy enough to find coffee filters at any of the supermarkets.  It’s quite easy to register on Gmarket and shipping is often free but  you’ll need some basic Korean language skills to do this though.

Next step is to head over to the most fabulous Iherb and get yourself some organic and ethical fair-trade coffee.  My 2 favorites are: The Breakfast Blend and The Rainforest Blend.  You can buy both of them ground, or not but in my opinion, it’s way better to grind the beans yourself.  You can buy a good quality, but cheap grinder at Costco, or check around on Gmarket.

Stone-Crop Salad

Stonecrop saladKoreans are all about foraging in the forest for random roots and herbs and other assorted things, which I’m always impressed by.  If I actually knew what I was looking for, I’d be out there with them too.  One of my favorite meals is when I go hiking and then eating some San-Chae (mountain vegetable) Bibimbap, complete with the 30 or so side-dishes or deliciousness.

Anyway, continuing along with the theme of random Korean vegetables, this one is “stone-crop,” which came in my Wwoof CSA organic box a few weeks ago.  Whenever I get the random greens in the box, I usually just mix them in my green smoothies in the morning, but this one’s taste was too strong and a bit bitter to do that.  I truly had no idea what to do with it, but thankfully found this recipe for stone crop salad online, which I loosely followed.  It was quite delicious and I would actually consider buying some stone-crop at the store!

Most of the stuff was from the regular Grocery store or the organic box, except for the following Iherb stuff: Fresh Ground Black Pepper, and Organic Apple Cider Vinegar.