Korean-Style Green Chili Pepper Pickles

Korean-Style Green Chili Pepper Pickles

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Why I love Korean Food Best
If there’s one Asian cuisine I love, it would have to be Korean food.  Korean dishes have a distinct flavor and spice.

The variety of their side dishes is also great!  So many to choose from! Not only can you use the side dishes as appetizers, but you can also eat them alone or with a little rice.


 
One Exceptional Side Dish
My favorite side dish is probably Korean Style Green Chili Pepper Pickles, also known as Gochu Jangaiji. They are fermented and seasoned with vinegar and soy sauce.  After about a week of fermentation, they make…

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Beet Dandelion Pesto – Nutritious and Tasty Greens

Beet Dandelion Pesto – Nutritious and Tasty Greens

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What Inspired this Beet Dandelion Pesto Recipe?
Recently I shared with you my recipe for Dandelion Pesto, prepared primarily with dandelion greens.   My trusty Dandelion Pesto recipe inspired me to make this new Beet Dandelion Pesto.  Yesterday I purchased some lovely organic beets and needed a way to use the beet greens.

 
How to use Beet and Dandelion Greens
I often have high hopes for beet greens.  When I purchase beets, which is quite frequently, I try to select beets with lovely greens still attached.  Beet greens are very nutritious.  It would be such a sha…


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Vegan Tomato Sauce for All Occasions

Vegan Tomato Sauce for All Occasions

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A Versatile Vegan Tomato Sauce
I usually try to feature here recipes for tasty healthy versions of otherwise ordinary dishes.  Or recipes for extraordinary dishes that will wow your family and guests.

Most people already know how to make an Italian-style tomato sauce to use on pasta.  However, here is a tasty healthy version of a tomato sauce that can be used in many of your favorite dishes.  Several friends have asked me to share this recipe for Vegan Tomato Sauce, as it is as yummy as it is nourishing.


I often use this Vegan Tomato Sauce in my vegetarian lasagna as…

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Dandelion Pesto

Dandelion Pesto

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Why make Dandelion Pesto?
Dandelion pesto has brightened up many springtime dishes in past years.  In Belgium, I sometimes gathered the leaves of this wildflower from my backyard lawn to add to salads, soups and other dishes.

 
Dandelion greens grow wild
Picking dandelion greens are an annual tradition that marks the arrival of spring.  Although you can find dandelions all year long, the peak of their growth is during springtime.  Most dandelion greens go unnoticed, except to gardeners who get annoyed by the stubborn growth of this weed as it spreads across their…


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Tantalizing Tomatillo Jalapeño Jam

Tantalizing Tomatillo Jalapeño Jam

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How My Groceries Inspired this Tantalizing Tomatillo Jalapeño Jam
 
Shopping Late at Night
Last night on my way home around 1 am, I passed a Food 4 Less, a huge discount supermarket.  It’s not my ordinary place to shop, but I figured it was an ideal time to check it out.

I love how many supermarkets in Los Angeles stay open 24/7 so shoppers can stop in whenever they want.  I often go late at night to beat the crowds and enjoy the easier parking situation.  After midnight workers restock shelves while shoppers roam leisurely around the store looking for goods.  Pe…


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Wild Garlic Pesto

Wild Garlic Pesto

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Wild Garlic Pesto on Pasta is a Springtime Favorite
 
Memories Triggered by Wild Garlic
The sense of smell can trigger strong memories, no matter how faraway they may be.  Wild garlic, also known by many other names, such as ramps, spring onion, ramson, wild leek, bear’s garlic, and wood leek, is probably my most faithful olfactory trigger.  Wild garlic is not actually a variation of garlic, but rather a variation of leek.

At 16 years old I lived on a farm in Belgium as an exchange student.  Farm life was different in almost every way from my life in Los Angeles….


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Mornay Sauce

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What is a Mornay Sauce?
A Mornay sauce is essentially a bechamel sauce with a combination of cheese melted in.  Some know the bechamel sauce by its less elegant name of white sauce.  Bechamel sauce definitely sounds better, even if it’s basically only milk, flour and butter with a little salt, pepper and nutmeg.  That’s it!

Traditionalists add an egg yolk to give it more creamy consistency (and reduce the amount of flour used). Yet I don’t think it’s necessary.  I also often use olive oil instead of butter to improve its health benefits and make it vegan if I’m going tha…

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Preparing Pumpkin Puree

Preparing Pumpkin Puree

Roasting vs. Boiling when Preparing Pumpkin Puree
Since pumpkin in cans is almost impossible to find outside of the United States, I usually prepare pumpkin puree from fresh pumpkin.  If you follow this step, remember to leave the cooked pumpkin in a strainer over a bowl for about 30 minutes to eliminate the excess water.  But do not throw this liquid out as it is absolutely delicious to drink as is or to add it to smoothies, oatmeal, soup or any other dish.  I find this liquid to be my autumn gold as it is so refreshing.

Most cookbooks recommend roasting pumpkin in the oven to remove the …

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Pesto with Arugula, Basil and Fennel

Pesto with Arugula, Basil and Fennel

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How to use fresh herbs to create your own Pesto
Food always tastes better with the right condiments (pesto, rubs, and sauces) to enhance the flavors of your dish. When entertaining friends, keeping the main dish fairly simple while offering a selection of homemade condiments is a sure key to success. Everyone can choose how they want their dish. Your guests can make it as spicy, flavorful or simple as they wish.

Summertime is ideal for making pesto sauces with fresh herbs. For most people the term pesto refers only to a mixture made from pounding together basil, garlic,…


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Ginger Syrup Made at Home

Ginger Syrup Made at Home

What is the difference between ginger syrup and ginger beer?
Ginger syrup is made by cooking ginger with water and sugar until you obtain a syrupy consistency (see recipe below).  Meanwhile ginger beer is traditionally a fermented beverage created by mixing ginger syrup (once cooled) with a mother culture (ginger beer plant) and leaving this mixture to ferment for a few days.  The process for making ginger beer is very similar to the process for making other popular cultured and fermented drinks, such as Kombucha and water kefir.  Once you learn to make one, it will be easy for you to start m…

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Barbecue to celebrate Father’s Day

Barbecue to celebrate Father’s Day

What makes Barbecue perfect for Father’s Day?
For Mother’s Day I prepared 2 posts with brunch ideas (one tasty vegan and the other tasty non-vegan) to help you celebrate the special occasion.  Somehow brunch seemed to be the appropriate meal for recognizing mothers everywhere.  Let them put their feet up at the start of the day so they know it’s a day to relax.  We show our special affection for mothers by putting some flowers on the table or in a bouquet in the room.

For Father’s Day, however, the norms seem completely different.  The only ideas that come to my mind as “typical” Father’s …

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Pickled Ginger: Gari

Pickled Ginger:  Gari

Why is making your own pickled ginger more healthy?
Everyone has seen the thin pink ginger slices at a sushi restaurant. Bright glow-in-the-dark pink? This pickled ginger is called gari in Japanese and is usually eaten after sushi or sashimi to enhance the flavor and cleanse the palette. Ginger generally aids digestion, eases nausea and reduces inflammation.

What makes pickled ginger so pink? Most likely it’s artificial coloring (E124) added to the gari to make it look more attractive. Beet juice is more rarely also used to make the pickled ginger more pink.

Why bother making the ginger…


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Wasabi Paste Made in Minutes

Wasabi Paste Made in Minutes

What is wasabi?
Many think wasabi is a paste served on the side of a sushi dish, while it is in fact a rhizome, a mass of roots, like ginger and tumeric.

Wasabi Root

 

 
Why bother making your own Wasabi paste?
I used to think it was a waste of time to make your own wasabi paste. Tubes of wasabi paste are available in most supermarkets as well as Asian grocery shops. A common problem with tubes, however, is that they contain much more paste than you need for a single meal.  A crust therefore often forms in the tube, …


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Making Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

Making Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

Why bother making your own homemade cider vinegar?

As some may know, I love making my own red wine vinegar, kombucha, water kefir, sourdough starter, and other live-culture items. I often add cider vinegar to a liter of water to enjoy all the health benefits apple cider vinegar brings to us.

Apple cider vinegar has many known beneficial effects on our health. It’s been used for eons as a home remedy for all kinds of ailments. Some of the confirmed beneficial effects of apple cider vinegar include:
– slight weight loss over time: drinking 2 tablespoons of cider diluted in water one …


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Homemade Salsa Recipe

Homemade Salsa Recipe

What makes this Salsa Recipe one of my most popular recipes pinned on Pinterest last month?
There are literally hundreds of recipes for salsa on Pinterest (and far more on the Internet). This Homemade Salsa Recipe by Biddy Talk on Tumblr has however attracted hundreds of fellow pinners’ attention above the others as they selected it to share with their fellow pinners. The ingredients are fresh, easy to find for most people, and common for a pico de gallo salsa recipe. In fact, this recipe resembles the one I follow from The Dean & DeLuca Cookbook by David Rosengarten, Joel Dean and Giorgi…

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