Saturday, December 17, 2016

Vegan Kimchi

Kimchi is a Korean staple of fermented and spicy cabbage that is as varied in recipe as potato salad in the US. Regional differences and individual taste preferences from special oyster variety to vegan which doesn't use any animal products. I happen to enjoy the vegan version the most, particularly more fermented kind. With a couple of grocery store versions available but at nearly $6 a 16 oz jar I decided to start making my own. The following recipe is a hybrid of several I've tried in the last year and inspired by Maangchi on YouTube.


  • 4 lb of Napa Cabbage
  • 1/2 cup course sea salt (I used Korean Sea Salt)
  • 2 tablespoons Sweet Rice Flour (can be substituted with AP flour)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup Tamari (vegan soy sauce)
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups julienned carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups julienned Korean radish or daikon
  • 1/2 cup garlic chives
  • 1/2 cup scallions

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff

First I have to say, this is a Chameleon type of dish in that it can be custom tailored to your particular tastes and dietary requirements. Vegan - check, just follow the recipe below, Vegetarian and eat dairy, swap soy with milk and nutritional yeast with cheese, Carnivore - add beef or chicken. I would recommend making it at least once as instructed and then experiment with swap outs (included in parenthesis below).

Recipe: Mushroom Stroganoff 

1 1/2 cups wide noodle (egg or eggless as your preference)
1 1/2 cups of water
1/2 cup plant milk (I use soy, swap with bovine milk if not vegan)
3 tablespoons Nutritional Yeast (1/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt)
1 tablespoon mushroom powder
1/2 cup mushrooms (in the photo above I used leftovers of roasted porcini)
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Salt & Black pepper to taste

In a sauce pan combine all ingredients above (reserve a bit of parsley for plating), bring to a boil, lower heat to simmer and stir occasionally for 6-8 minutes. Turn off and let sit for 2-3 minutes to thicken the sauce. This recipe is a no drain easy lunch or side dish for dinner.

Mushroom powder is available online but can be rather costly, I make my own when I either get a good deal on fresh mushrooms and dehydrate them overnight and then process into powder or purchase dry mushrooms and create the powder from them. Ideally, the broken and less attractive mushrooms are perfect for this pantry item. 

I'd love to hear if you make this what you think, tag me on social media so I can see your tasty meal!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Planner Meetup - Western MA

I spent a wonderful afternoon yesterday with new planner friends in Massachusetts where we shared our favorite planners and supplies. I brought along my adorable Supaclip (40, the smaller size) with a sneak peek at the Emoji refills (shown in the image below).

Those little froning faces are perfect to clip together your bills...that is the pile my husband is allergic to so he'll be forewarned not to touch it,

I promised to share links to some of the products we talked about so what you'll find below are direct Amazon PRIME links for Supaclip starter set, Refills, Adjustable Diary Punch and Desktop Pencil Sharpener, for all those Adult Coloring enthusiasts out there.
 Empire Imports A5 Paper Ream

In case you are looking for a 6-hole punch for A5 size planner, I have a video on how to make that work with minimal effort (I did all the math for you, lol).

The following are some snapshots from the Planner Meetup
A very talented lady, @jesseniascreations made that black & white planner band that was in our swag bag, matching my Erin Condren Life Planner perfectly

Planner Pile Up - well represented by assorted companies - Erin Condren, Happy Planner, Webster's Pages, Michael's Planner, Filofax and several others that I can't recall.

The swag bag was brimming with stickers, clips, washi, planner band and even an adorable mini bottle of essential oil in lavender,

I am so happy to have been able to attend the event, meet so many like minded planner enthusiasts and look forward to the next one.

Where to find me online:

Monday, June 6, 2016

Easy Homegrown Sprouts

These lovely, crispy and peppery sprouts are a favorite in this house on sandwiches and in salads. After a quick search they can be made at home in 3-5 days. I purchased all the supplies on Amazon (except Ball Mason jars that I already had on hand) and wanted to share the easy and cool process with you.

Soak overnight in a wide mouth mason jar
Rinse and drain at least twice daily (morning and evening) or three times like I did to expedite the growth process

Love seeing something grow and so quickly. It certainly satisfies the nearly instant gratification.

These are wonderful, so refreshing with a little bite and will last for the week of salads and sandwiches. Make sure to store them after rinsing off the hulls and storing them in a air tight container. To get the most water removed, I used a salad spinner and lined the bottom of the container with paper towel to wick away any excess moisture. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Veggie Curry for Meatless Monday

Another option for Meatless Monday - Veggie Curry, we are serving it with Black Bean Spaghetti but it's also delicious over rice
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped yellow squash
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1 1/2 cup cauliflour 
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspons Sambal
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, use with juice
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 lemon

The video below shows the simple steps for this one pot meal.


Sunday, March 6, 2016

Multi-Seed Bread Maker Load Recipe

I have been in search of a loaf of bread I can make at home for hubby's sandwiches that's just a little better for you than but still tasted amazing. After some trial and errors, the following recipe has been celebrated by everyone in the house. As a bonus this recipe is vegan, no dairy or eggs. Flour, water, salt, yeast and SEEDS! Simple and delicious! 

Before I start, this is the bread maker I am currently using - Cuisinart CBK-100, available on Amazon Prime under $90. It's easy to use and has proven to be a workhorse with some weeks producing several loafs a week (both for us and to share with family).
  Recipe - 2 lb Loaf Size
  • 1 1/2 cup room temp water, not hot
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 cups of unbleached bread flour (King Arthur Flour is my fave)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons flax seeds
  • 2 tablespoons roasted golden flax seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup toasted unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
Place all ingredients in order above into your bread maker mixing/backing bowl. If your bread maker has an 'add to' setting where you can drop in additional ingredients you can add all the seeds at that step. I've tried both and find it easier to add everything at once. Bake on White Bread setting typically between 3.5 to 4 hours for mix, knead, proof/rise and bake.  Our preference for crust (3 choices available on my bread maker) at Dark which makes the thickest crust available. My machine has an audio notice (6 beeps) when the mixing is done so the blade can be removed. I simply pull up the kneaded bread, pull off the blade and reshape the bread to replace into the bread maker. An end of bake signal prompts immediate removal of the bread pan, once able to be handled with protection, take the bread out and place on cooling rack. The longer you leave the bread in the pan, the less crispiness to the crust due to condensation.

I use organic seeds and store them in glass upcycled jars (from Marzetti salad dressing) in a handy basket that can be pulled out from the pantry with one grab. Simplifying tasks in the kitchen will lead to greater and easier use.
A closer look at all the seedy goodness inside the loaf, don't slice open till completely cooled to ensure even slices that don't rip or crumble. You can use a long serrated knife or an electric knife. To avoid a tirade of profanities when hubby makes his sandwiches, I slice a few at a time off the load for him and store the entire thing in a zip lock bag, pushing out as much air as possible. Since there are no preservatives in this bread, it's really only at it's optimum flavor and freshness for several days.

My favorite application for the bread is Avocado toast with cherry tomatoes, a must try if you have not already.
As mentioned earlier, the bread is preservatives free so after several days if there are any leftovers, I dice them up, pop them in a bag and freeze them. Great to pull out as needed to make croutons, savory bread pudding or homemade stuffing. No waste so every bit is utilized.