Falling into peer pressure – Whole 30

My science brain doesn’t get why this restrictive diet works…   It may be because that exclusion diets, ones that exclude basic sugar and simple carbs make taking in excessive amounts of calories hard. You get tired of chewing before you can blow your calories away.

Reasons to get on the train..

Taking out sugar, fried foods, basic carbs, and cooking more at home is only good for me.

Staying away from dairy helps my skin and I’m a lactard…

My sister is doing it and it’ll be fun….

I am vain and would like to stay looking cute, ya feel me.

And so I shall take a ride on the Whole 30 train… toot toot!


My friends have told me it can get really expensive to eat Whole 30, which make me sad because my food budget is low this month.  Life is expensive people…  well if the food gets to expensive I guess I’ll just stop eating, that’s cheap… no food = $0 hahaha oh for the sake of vanity…. I kid I kid.

Here is the challenge stay within the Whole 30 guidelines (Except I’m going to eat tofu because my liver isn’t the best and I’m not a huge fan of chicken, and if tofu stays all soy stays.. but I will only eat non-GMO soy… if possible.  I don’t like all the pesticides they spray on those beans…  the geek in me acknowledges that the technology is super cool, but plants should die in the presence of poison.  Cool technology but that should not have been implemented on our Earth).

Sorry, back to the main program.

Stick to the Whole 30 guidelines (with a soy exception) and try to do it as frugally as possible. post pictures and recipes!!

And yes, also.. hello again.. it’s been a minute. yay.




a dash of confessionals – meet the garbage bowl.

2015, what a ride already!! We are well established in March how did we get here?  This is the first evening in a long time I get to sit and process.  I could bore you with all the details, but who really wants to know about boring details.

Friends why are we so awkward in front of those we want to impress?  Maybe I just want to impress, lame, I’m lame I get it.  Being relatively new to an area and social group makes me do weird things…  in an effort to be well liked, to be known, to catch the eye of someone.  Oh the later, smh..le sigh.

When are you the best version of yourself?  Who are you the best version with? Who are you?! If who you are or how you are changes in light of who you are around, how are you sure you know? Do you just pick your favorite you or take an average?  Is reflecting differently around others truly authentic? Should our desire to be authentic always?

New situations, new people are not my forte, more like my piano.  – Nerd!  Nervousness takes over.  Ironically, often I over share in hopes that we will be comfortable with one another faster, but it comes off as self-involved and pretentious. booooo

To be known, authentically by others, I think this is the closest, realest definition of community I can come up with.  Who is your community?

This sounds like a Xanga post.  I loved Xanga, EMO EMO EMO… I should just have Dashboard Confessionals embedded in the background with blinking hearts on my wallpaper.  haha

Anyway lets move on to the food.  Garbage bowls maybe the most common thing I eat at home.  Buddha bowls are super healthy (adheres to Buddhist traditions) and skews Asian but garbage bowls are those random dinners that are consumed more out of need than want.

Tonight’s is left over Jigae that I put over leftover otomoyaki. When they were fresh, both dishes were brilliant! The stew was velvety with in your face miso flavor and spice from the jalapenos.  The otonomoyaki was great! Roasty flavor from the nagaimo layered with peppers, carrots, and cabbage with a thin layer of egg.  Pillowy and delicious.  Now, it’s all mush in a bowl.  Mush mush mush, tasty mush.  Would I serve this to you if you came over, no, but its Monday dinner.

Bean Sprouts Make You Pretty – Eat Them

EW, Chicago, it finally happened. snow. slush. yuck.

Why are there so many wives tales? Who made them? Why do they exist? Are they based on facts? Anyway, Korean moms say that eating bean sprout soup will make you a good singer because they look like musical notes.  Sometimes, I imagine the little sprouts confidently hanging as musical notes on a score.  My mom used to say all sorts of things to encourage us to eat well. The only ones that we found convincing were the ones that pertained to our vanity.  Vanity… it gets the best of most girls… vanity… who are we kidding it often gets the best of everyone…

So, I’ll just say it, bean sprout soup will make your skin glow and better looking overall, so eat it.  It’ll also probably help with the remnants of that hang over you are nursing from the holidays… and it’s pretty low in calories, although high in sodium…


Sidenote:  Kimchi recipe coming soon, I am experimenting on the size and cut of the kimchi, oh and sugar free versions.  Interesting fact, post fermentation, the kimchi was sweeter, like the fermentation process enhanced the sweetness of the kimchi overall… weird/cool, right! Fermentation is so interesting… those little bacterial burps make alcohol, probiotics, pickles, yogurt… flavor development in coffee/tea so cool… just saying…

This soup is the easiest, maybe that’s why we had it on the regular growing up.

IngredientsSAMSUNG CSC
1 bag (16 oz.) of soy bean sprouts (washed thoroughly)
¼ cup dried Pollock, shredded and cut into inch long pieces
3 green onions, cut about an inch long
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
Lots of water

Place your bean sprouts and dried fish into a large heavy bottomed pot
Put enough water just to cover the bean sprouts
Place the lid on and let it come to a rolling boil on high for about 15 minutes
Add green onion, chopped garlic and salt to taste
Serve with rice

Egg – Some people like adding an egg to the soup as it is boiling.  Beat an egg and add it to the soup while it’s boiling and it will produce those egg drop soup like ribbons.  I’d suggest doing that prior to the garlic and green onions so you don’t get chunky ribbons. The trick to silky eggy ribbons is the boil, make sure it’s really boiling and slowly pour the beaten egg in a sweeping motion across your pot.

Tofu – for added protein, you can add some tofu, I ran out of rice today so I actually added cold tofu to my bowl of hot soup, it cooled the soup down to a good temp and provided a little extra protein, double double…

Gearing up for the New Year!

We are on the heels of 2015 and I wonder, what does this coming year have in store for us? For all my readers and loved ones out there, I hope only the best!

Resolutions, what are you resolving?   What is in your life? Have you chosen to take a better look at your financial decisions? Diet and exercise? Be less crazy? Identify your crazy and stop it? Whatever you’ve resolved to do, go head with your bad self!

Here’s a healthy way to start the year!

Hwe Dup Bap

Dup baps are awesome, take a bowl of steamy rice and “dup puh” – cover it with good things.  Koreans do it with various meats: grilled chicken, beef, cuttlefish and in our case raw fish.

The premise is simple, take a lot of veggies and a little sashimi grade fish, throw it on top of rice and cover it with hot sauce, mix and eat.

This is probably one of my favorite dishes.

RECIPE (for 2-3 servings)
1/2 cup Carrot, thinly sliced
4-breakfast raddish, thinly sliced
½ cup Red Cabbage, thinly sliced
1 cup Red Leaf Lettuce (or romaine, green leaf, anything relatively mild)
6 Perilla leaf, thinly sliced
¼ Cucumber, gutted and thinly sliced
½ Avocado, diced
|½ cup Japanese seaweed salad  (wakame salad)
2-3 oz assorted sashimi grade fish, cut into small cubes

The prep work is a little time consuming, a lot of chopping.  I usually chop more veggies than I need, I can usually find a way to use the rest of them, for instance, I’m going to blend the rest of them in my morning smoothie.

The trick to really crunchy veggies is soaking them in cold water for at least 20 minutes.  I promise it’s worth it.

Assembly is the easy part, remember ladies and gents we eat with our eyes, so make it pretty!  A sushi chef once told me that 3D is the way to be, so plot a  scoop of rice on the bottom of a deep bowl, arrange the veggies, put the fish in the center of the bowl and leave the sauce for the side.

Whoops, the sauce!
Mix all the following ingredients together for the sauce
¼ cup  gochujang (hot pepper paste)
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons sesame seed oil (sounds like a lot but it’s a lot of sauce)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Random thought, radishes are beautiful!




A little freezer burn never hurt anyone…


The problem with the holidays is that there are these huge meals and events that are wonderful and grand…  and then there are nights like tonight, an extra uneventful night. It’s cold and I’m jonesing for a big bowl of instant noodles, alas, my wonderful sister ate the last one on her visit here.

So I iron-chefed my fridge, today’s secret ingredient, slightly freezer burned mandoo.  Fukusan, what will we do? If you were too Iron-Chef your fridge what would you make?

I made a quick anchovy broth, tossed in some rice cakes (also slightly freezer burned), the mandoos, some cabbage for some roughage and tada, dinner!

The wonderful thing about Korean food is that most things go well with kimchi.  Thankfully, kimchi covers many a sin… kind of like Jesus but not so life changing.. see the Christmas tie in?  Thank you Jesus for being my everything, for all other things food salvation related, thanks kimchi.

To the Recipe:

The Broth
4 cups water
4 large dried anchovies de-gutted
4 pieces of dashima
2 teaspoon naturally brewed soy sauce
6 slightly freezer burned mandoo (dumplings)
A handful slightly freezer burned rice cakes
1/2 cup roughly choppped cabbage

First place the frozen rice cakes in a bowl with water to thaw and rehydrate (my cabbage was a little limp so I had it in with the rice cakes) (hey, this isn’t my most prized dish, it’s just Monday dinner) .

Steep the broth for around 10 minutes, then add the soy

Remove all the things of the sea, you should have a clear broth.

When the broth is back to a rolling boil add in the frozen mandoo and rice cakes.

Bring it back to a boil (the frozen stuff will make the temperature drop so wait to add the cabbage).

Bring it back to a boil and add in an beaten egg.

TADA dinner.



There is an old Korean wives tale that if you make ugly mandoos you will make ugly babies.. sorry future babies, but I mean you’re 50% of your dad too… I’m just saying..

Degutting anchovies is best done on a humid day so that the fishes are a little flexible or you can just man handle it like I did…

Merry Christmas everyone!

Throwback Tuesdays – Drinky Suspicions

Today, they sent us home at 4:30 because of the snow.  To celebrate I bought a few limes on the way home to make some Blueberry Mojitos.  It’s like tasting a bit of summer in the dead center of this snowy, slushy, slightly drawn out winter. 

Drinky – Blueberry Mojitos
Brown Sugar simple syrup (50% brown sugar/50% hot water)
Light Rum
Lots of fresh lime juice
Lime Zest
Oh and club soda

I see pictures from home and realized that things have moved on, of course things have changed, but a small insecure part of me feels like I’ve been replaced. I think we come to a point where we realize that we are replaceable.  It’s true. Life moves on, people are forgotten, new people come around… can someone give me another drink?

Speaking of being replaced, today I made a pesto and replaced the pine nuts for walnuts.

I had basil, so, I took the opportunity to make pesto at home.  I mashed garlic, salt, basil, and a handful of walnuts (we always have them around, they are common) together and created a paste.  And you know what? Pine nuts are better.  They are smoother, richer and create a more refined and delicate flavor. Yea, you hear that! Pine nuts are classy; we’re nicer, and awesome and prettier too!   Lol ridiculous.  I’m ridiculous.

But the walnuts were good.  They have those tough skins so when you chop them fine you get a rougher consistency, I may try it again with roasted walnuts.  Overall the pasta was pretty good.  I have some left; I’ll have to experiment with other flavors.

Friday is tomorrow, this makes me happy.

What a day, what a week!

I feel like I’ve been running 100 MPH all week, anyone else feel me on this?

A friend and I went to the Korean grocery store this past Sunday.  I always buy too much!  I get excited about all the things I want to try making, forgetting that now I live on my lonesome, whoops…!  I’ll just have to have friends over!

Anyway, today was the first day I got to come home and prepare dinner.  All week I’ve been thinking about what I would do with this Ssamjang butter.  A few friends and I went to Mott St this weekend and they were generous enough to give us a little ssamjang butter to take home.  It’s savory, has a hefty dose of funk from the dwengjang,  I think the fat from the butter clings to your mouth and keeps the flavor longer…. Mmmm delicious… fat…

So, here’s what I did… I chopped up a bunch of stuff (red leaf lettuce, daikon shoots, perilla leaf, Asian pear)  and piled them on top of some picked moo radish.  Put a little dab of the special butter and topped the whole thing with a little brisket that had been sautéed with a little salt and pepper.  The meat was hot so it melted the bit of butter into a flavorful mess.  Not going to lie, it was mighty tasty… I may or may not be patting myself on the back at this very moment.

Here are some pictures mainly to make you jelly….