It’s Been A Long Time, Hasn’t It?

Indeed!

The last time I made a post, I was so excited about sharing it with anyone who would appreciate what I had prepared. Even though the name of the dish was probably confusing to those who drifted this way, the photograph, in my opinion, looked good enough to pique anyone’s curiosity.

I usually take pictures of my food after I had finished making dinner for the night. So, as I sat eating dinner in front of my laptop, I’d choose the photograph I loved the best and begin the work of putting the dish into recipe form. Usually, I have at least three photographs ready for me to write a recipe and post. The part I hated doing the most was writing the recipe as well as figuring out what exactly did I want to say in the post.

At some point after I wrote my last post, a part of me could not for the life of me get a post written. Everyday I thought about writing a post especially after each vegan Korean meal I prepared for dinner. Yet, when I sat to write, not one thing came to mind. Not even the desire to write out the recipe of the meal I created. I believe a part of me began to not believe in what I was creating and this is all so personal, really dear to my heart.

I LOVE Korean food and her people, as well as learning her language and her culture. I have had this love for Korean food and her people for as long as I can remember. The only thing is that I didn’t know it all was Korean. I hate to say that for many years I thought it was all Japanese. I knew about Korea, yet the Korea I knew wanted to bomb us. I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t know there was a South Korea. Still, once I knew, I thought about the dishes I loved and how similar some of them were to some  Louisiana Cajun and Creole dishes. I truly believe that Korean ingredients and flavors work very well with Southern Cuisine – especially Louisiana Cuisine.

During my time away, I have been in deep contemplation of what my next step will be for BeyondNFinity. So now,  I have decided to take things slowly, believe in myself and see where the journey leads me. This should be interesting…

 

ChapaDragon (Homemade Chajangmyun w/Seaweed and Steamed Tofu)

The Simple Late Night Snack Becomes A Meal

I LOVE noodles almost as much as I LOVE rice with kimchi, some soup, greens, and some kim.  MMM, did I mention sushi and French cheesecake? I just love to eat really good food.

One really late night (early morning), a Korean program called THANK YOU was brought to my attention. The first time I watched it in Korean from beginning to end, understanding about eighty percent of it. I’m not fluent in Korean, yet I’m starting to really understand it more. The second time I watched it, there were subtitles which let me know that I had correctly interpreted eighty percent of the show.

During my late night viewing of THANK YOU, I became hungry and wanted a snack. Yet, I did not want to stop watching the show. One of the stars who goes by the stage name of G DRAGON, decided to prepare a meal for the other stars on the show. He was making a very popular dish in South Korea called CHAPAGURI. It is a cross between CHAPAGETTI and NEOGURI instant noodle dishes.

He began boiling noodles and chopping veggie seasonings like onions and chillies. I cringed as I watched him using the knife, I was afraid he’s cut himself. Once he drained most of the liquid, added the flavor packets, noodles, onions, and chillies; the dish looked quite appealing. Until the other stars mentioned that it was salty. Not his fault of course, instant anything tends to have lots of sodium for flavor and for preservation.

He also made a second dish called GYERANJJIM or steamed egg. The stars told him that it was not seasoned enough. Someone had the idea to mix the two together to basically create a new dish – CHAPADRAGON.

As I watched the stars eat, ideas on how to make the dish not be so salty, take great, and vegan! I stuck with making it as he did except I did not use the flavor packets and the steamed eggs became steamed tofu – DUBUJJIM. Which you can try the recipe for here.

ChapaDragon (Homemade Chajangmyun w/Seaweed Steamed Tofu)

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 med onion (1 cup), halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup black soybean paste
  • 2 heaping tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 heaping tablespoons minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon miyeok or wakame
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 red chile, diagonally thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 green chile, diagonally thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon gochujang (optional)
  • 8 ounce ramyun or ramen noodles
  • 1 quarter piece cucumber, julienne

Instructions

    Vegetable Flavorings
  1. Prep all vegetables.
  2. Set aside.
  3. Noodles
  4. Boil noodles according to package instructions in a saucepan with a pasta insert.
  5. Lift cooked noodles from liquid.
  6. Pour out liquid.
  7. Set noodles aside.
  8. Preparation
  9. Using the same saucepan, add onions.
  10. Stir constantly to keep onions from burning until onions brown slightly.
  11. Slowly add ice and continue stirring. *Be careful of steam.
  12. Add black soybean paste, garlic, ginger, miyeok or wakame. Stir.
  13. Add chilies and/or gochujang.* Stir.
  14. Add water to create a sauce.
  15. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  16. Add noodles, stir, remove from heat.
  17. Place in bowls. Top with cucumbers and chillies.
  18. Serve.

Notes

Depending upon how much heat you like, you can add the gochujang and the chillies. Or you can leave out the gochujang and use the chillies as garnish.

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Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Chestnut Sweet Red Bean Ginger Cookies

Fresh From the Oven and Ready for the Journey

“Vegan Gremlins – The Second Cousin to the Monster Cookie” from Happy to be a Table of Two

We were so excited to be receiving cookies!

First up was the “Vegan Gremlins  – The Second Cousin to the Monster Cookie” from Happy to be a Table of Two. The combination of chocolate, dried fruit, and oats, served with a cup of vegan nog and a Christmas movie and I was in heaven.

“Vegan Gingerbread Biscotti” from My Naturally Frugal Family

Second, came the “Vegan  Gingerbread Biscotti” from My Naturally Frugal Family. Oh boy, my ginger that I love so much was ever present. Those lovely treats with a hot cup of carob, really hit the spot.

“Pumpkin Pie Cookies and “Almond- Cardamom Cookies” from Bites and Bytes

Third, I received a choice of two cookies. A pumpkin pie cookie and an almond – cardamom cookie from Bites and Bytes. Both cookies had great flavors. The pumpkin pie cookies were moist, bursting with pumpkin and chocolate. While the almond – cardamom cookie was light yet held it’s own as a slight almond citrusy flavor with a hot cup Lady Grey tea.

Chestnut Sweet Red Bean Ginger Cookies

Once again, I’ve joined many Food Bloggers to flex my baking muscles to create a cookie recipe for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012.

Every year, I must have the wonderful spicy taste that ginger cookies bring. Yet, when I sat down to come up with the cookie my mind went blank as to how would I make a great ginger cookie. With a roasted chestnut cracked and primed for my mouth.  Slowly, I  took a bite  of the chestnut as I closed my eyes and savored the smooth creamy nut. A vision of sweet red bean paste in a sweet gingery bun called to me.  So, I set out to bring them to life in the form of a cookie to share in the cookie swap.

Chestnut Sweet Red Bean Ginger Cookies

Enjoy Happy Holidays!

Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Chestnut Sweet Red Bean Ginger Cookies

Ingredients

  • ½ cup brown sugar or Wholesome Sweetner Coconut Palm Sugar
  • ¼ cup chestnut paste
  • 1 ½ teaspoon egg replacer + 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 tablespoons raw blue agave
  • 2 tablespoons rice milk
  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup adzuki beans
  • ¼ cup agave
  • 3 ½ cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

    For Sweet Read Bean Paste:
  1. Place washed adzuki beans into a saucepan. Add agave, water, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 ½ hours to 2 hours. Once cooled place into blender or food processor and puree until smooth. If the mixture doesn’t taste sweet enough for you, add more agave to sweeten to your taste. Place into refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°.
  3. For Cookie Preparation:
  4. Beat together sugar and chestnut paste. Whisk together egg replacer and warm water until frothy, add to sugar chestnut mixture, along with agave and rice milk. Beat until smooth. Mix together flour, baking powder and soda, salt, ginger and cinnamon with a whisk. Beat together sugar chestnut mixture and flour mixture until blended. Place into refrigerator until firm.
  5. Using a tablespoon measuring spoon or melon baller to scoop out dough. Roll into balls. Put an indention into each dough ball with your thumb. Add ½ teaspoon of bean paste into the indention. Seal dough around the paste. Flatten cookie in your hand. Place on cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove cookies and place on wire rack to cool.
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Farewell Vegan Mofo: Smothered Cabbage and Tofu/Korean Radish and Green Beans

It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye

 

It has been such a blast doing Vegan Month of Food again this year! I love vegans, plant based eaters/supporters, animal loves and omnivores alike. I suppose I love everybody. What I desire is to show as people as I am able that being vegan isn’t cardboard and sawdust tasting. It is my desire to educate as many as I can, as well as remind as many as I can from all over the world of some of their veggie roots.

I have been deeply touched by those who reached out to me and humbled at how difficult this entire process of composing recipes considering that I don’t measure anything. I basically eyeball and dump how ever much I believe she go into the dish. With that being said, I offer two recipes that can be used as banchan or side dishes.

The first dish is simply Smothered Cabbage and Tofu.

 

 

 

I took from my Cajun roots and simply smothered cabbage with baked tofu that’s seasoned with onions, garlic, ginger, and black pepper. Smothering is basically cooking an ingredient in it’s juices. Cajuns tend to do a lot of smothering basically Koreans do the same thing in a faster amount of time simply because their cuts of meat are cut smaller as well as there’s high heat involved in stone pots.

The second dish is Korean Radish and Green Beans.

 

 

 

 

This is just a simple sauté of Korean radish and green beans seasoned with red bell peppers and gochujang. Both recipes also have been kissed by soy sauce or tamari and sesame oil.

 

 

Farewell Vegan Mofo: Smothered Cabbage and Tofu/Korean Radish and Green Beans

Ingredients

    Smothered Cabbage and Tofu
  • 1 package extra firm tofu, drained
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 small cabbage, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup onions, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-inch piece ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Korean Radish and Green Beans
  • 1 small Korean radish, peeled and thinly sliced into squares
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen green beans
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon gochujang (red pepper paste)
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Instructions

    Smothered Cabbage and Tofu
    Tofu
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Drain and rinse tofu. Slice tofu into 1/4-inch pieces then into squares.
  3. Place tofu onto a lightly oiled baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes. Flip halfway through the baking process. Set aside.
  5. Cabbage
  6. Heat pot to medium-high.
  7. Wash cabbage. Cut in half and cut out core. Cut into bite-size pieces.
  8. Place cabbage into the pot with water, onions, garlic, ginger and black pepper.
  9. Cook until cabbage becomes limp or about 15 minutes.
  10. Add soy sauce or tamari, sesame oil, and tofu. Cook 5 minutes more.
  11. Serve.
  12. Korean Radish and Green Beans
  13. Wash, peel and slice Korean radish 1/4-inch square pieces.
  14. Place radish into pot with water, green beans, gochujang, and diced red pepper.
  15. Sauté for 10 minutes.
  16. Add soy sauce or tamari and sesame oil continue to cook for 5 more minutes.
  17. Serve.
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