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IMG_2869 Elderberry flowersYes, you read that right.  There are desserts you can enjoy with a clear conscience.

Dr. Tae Yun Kim encourages everyone to eat healthy, organic diets for a long and healthy life.  That does include an occasional dessert, especial one that is known to promote good health!

Dr. Tae Yun Kim, when she grew up, never knew what we now call desserts, nor did she know modern medicine.  People were grateful that they had food to eat, any food, and when people got sick, they used traditional medicines, supplied by nature, and Elderberry was one of those medicines, used for the flu, colds, coughs and other minor illnesses, just like is was and is in America and Europe.  Nowadays we know it may also be able to balance your blood glucose, and is a mild diuretic and mild laxative.

But did you know that the Elderberry flowers are just as good for you?  You can use them in many different ways, such as making syrup or ferment them into a drink, or simply dry the flowers and make them into tea; but here is my most favorite way, as my mom made for us in Austria:

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Pick any light batter, a nice pancake or waffle batter, and dunk the flowers in – let drip just slightly and put into hot oil, fry on both sides lightly, quickly pat off oil, and enjoy!

Can you taste the light, fruity flavor?  Feel free to either use powered sugar, powdered stevia, or even a little maple syrup.  IMG_2902 bochna holla

Go ahead and give it a try.  However, use care and be 100% sure you have the right plant!

And as an additional bonus, here is a quote from Dr. Tae Yun Kim‘s new book, “Seven Steps to Inner Power – how to break through to awesome!”:

While people and events can shape you, for better or for worse, you do have power over those influences, more power than you realize.  It doesn’t matter how bad your current circumstances may seem.  what I have discovered throughout my life is that how I dealt with circumstances was much more important than the circumstances themselves or the environment in which I was raised. 

(page 7)

Even though I have had the great luck and opportunity to train under Dr. Tae Yun Kim for over 30 years now, and even though I have learned a lot about Korean food, there are some things that still intimidate me.  For example, making really good Deng Jang Chigae (fermented soybean paste soup)  and the many different kinds of ban chan.  Ban chan are wonderful little side dishes that liven up your rice and make a simple meal into an explosion of flavors.

Dr. Tae Yun Kim is a most excellent and very creative cook, Korean cuisine and way beyond.  She can make the most exquisite meals imaginable, yet her personal favorite are very simple, country-style dishes.

So I finally decided to conquer my fear of making ban chan and started with something relatively simple.  This particular one happens to be one of Dr. Tae Yun Kim‘s favorite ones and is made out of the long, skinny kind of eggplants, this kind:

Japanese egg plantsBy JVRKPRASAD – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=67744202

Turns out, this is really simple to make.  How simple?  Goodness, you cut the eggplant into small finger size stripes, marinate them in a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, a tiny amount of sugar, ground garlic, ground ginger and a touch of lemon juice; and after about 15 minutes you saute it until the eggplant is soft.

And, tada!  That’s it!

Ban chan

And when you mix all sorts of ban chan into your rice and add some hot sauce, you end up with this heavenly dish called bibim bap, and when it’s served in a stone pot it’ll be dul se bap.  Either way, it’s delicious!

Bibim bap

And not only is it delicious, but also very healthy!  And the good thing is, that these kinds of dishes do not require strict recipes, but allow for a lot of creativity.

And as a bonus, here is a quote from Dr. Tae Yun Kim‘s new book, “Seven Steps to Inner Power, how to break through to awesome!” I just happened to read this one today and I thought you might like it as much as I did.

“You can determine each day, then, to get to know yourself a little better and get to know what’s true for you – and have fun doing it.  You can live with a sense of excitement, wonder, and gratitude.  Nobody is going to charge you more taxes for being happy.  Appreciate every day you are given as an occasion to learn to love – to love who you are, to love others, to connect with your authentic self.  You have an opportunity each day to fall in love with the real you, to get to know who you are – your body, your hands, your feet, your eyes, your heart, your entire being – inside and out.”

cold noodles

It’s spring again, and according to the temperatures, almost summer!  Dr. Tae Yun Kim is very much in tune with the seasons and loves to create different dishes for different seasons.  In this first picture, is a new version of traditional Korean cold noodles; it is new because it has very untraditional, yet incredibly healthy new ingredients.  New recipe coming up!

When she is not busy on her new book tour, Dr. Tae Yun Kim loves to work in her garden, growing many of the ingredients for her special dishes.

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Here you see a bed of sook, or mugwort as it is called in the USA.  It is a very healthy herb, helps to cleanse the blood and is a great spring food; but you can dry it and make it into powder and tea.

And here is Dr. Tae Yun Kim‘s version of sook fried in batter – incredibly delicious and healthy!  What a win!  And it’s so simple!  Just whip up a simple savory batter, dip the cleaned sook into it and fry briefly, until the batter is cooked through.

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And if you have missed the big news, Dr. Tae Yun Kim just published her new book, an all new version of “Seven Steps to Inner Power – how to break through to awesome!”  You’ll definitely want to read this one, and if you live in Southern California, you can still catch her on her book tour.

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When I grew up in a small town in Austria, food seemed to be very regimented.  I grew up thinking you could only eat spinach with fried potatoes and eggs, since it’s the only way I ever had it.  Or you had to eat roasted chicken with rice, but never with potatoes or noodles.

Dr. Tae Yun Kim set me free on all this limited thinking.  She explained that food needs to not only be healthy, made of organic, fresh ingredients, and be tasty, but also needs to look inviting.  And there should be a good variety and not always the same old thing.

So, although we love soup a lot, by now we are temporarily “souped out” and ready for bright spring dishes.

So here is Dr. Tae Yun Kim‘s recommendation to beat the winter soup blues.  These stuffed peppers are very simple, yet very healthy and appealing.

You start by washing the peppers and cutting off the top, like in the picture.  Dry the inside well and set them in a well oiled, oven safe pan.  Set the oven to 350 degrees.

For the basic filling, mix cooked (brown) rice, pre-boiled ground beef, eggs, (I get good results with 1 egg per pound of ground beef) finely chopped parsley, cilantro, yellow and green onions, mushrooms, salt and pepper.

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For added nutrition, Dr. Tae Yun Kim adds hemp seeds, a good handful of it, and chia seeds.  If you like it hot, add either finely chopped jalapenos, or hot red pepper.  Mix very well and stuff the peppers.  Put back the “lid”, and add tomato sauce into the baking pans.  I like to keep the sauce very spicy and chunky; make sure it comes up 3/4 the height of the bell peppers.

Bake for about half hour, and enjoy!

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One of my favorite things to do is gather wild vegetables and herbs – and use them.  This time of year offers abundant wild vegetables, and what to me and so many other people looks like just another weed, to Dr. Tae Yun Kim they are very precious foods.  When I am lucky enough to get to accompany her on a wild herb picking adventure, she talks about how when she was little, those herbs saved her life.  If you follow my blog you might remember that when she grew up, she was rejected and abused and eventually abandoned just because she was a girl – and during the time of having to fend for herself she relied on those wild herbs.  Later on, when Dr. Kim was training under a Buddhist monk in the Martial Arts, he passed onto her an amazing treasure of knowledge, not just what you can eat, but how to use all manner of herbs for healing all kinds of conditions.

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In the above basked you can see some herbs that are easily available in most places, such as young dandelion, shepherds purse, purslane and more.  This particular basket includes a few green onions that had gone astray and grown way outside the actual vegetable garden.

In addition to the great taste, wild herbs also help detox your body after winter.

To use them in soup, soak these herbs well in apple cider vinegar for about 10 minutes, change the water, and repeat.  Then chop them up into big pieces, including the roots if you can, and boil until barely tender.

For the soup base, you really can you use any broth you like.  Chicken soup is a great one as is beef.  The most traditional way to eat the herbs is boil them briefly in “bean paste soup” or Deng Jang chigae as it is called in Korean.

Let’s go outside and gather some herbs!  Just be sure you know which ones are edible.

 

 

 

Pizza magic

It’s been a very busy week in Dr. Tae Yun Kim‘s kitchen and that is exactly why I haven’t had a chance to write much yet – there was a lot happening!  See?

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Here you can see her latest creation – pizza pockets!  But not just any pizza pockets – these are 100% gluten free.  They are also a health food.  The dough was a dream to work with – it took a long time to figure out a good and healthy way to make gluten free yeast dough and  Dr. Kim came up with the secret magical ingredient – yucca root!

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But that is only one of the healthy ingredients, there are also hemp seeds, almond flour, yucca flour, ground chia seeds, ground flax seeds in there.  See what a nutritional powerhouse this is?  Dr. Kim is really starting to share her vast knowledge of Eastern healing foods and medicine and I would have never expected so much nutrition in pizza pockets of all things!  🙂

For the filling, things were a little simpler.  Just make your favorite spaghetti sauce and keep it on the dry side.  Spice it up with whatever strikes your fancy; we like jalapeno peppers, or red pepper, and lots of herbs, sometimes olives and add some meat, I had small meatballs and cut up gluten free hot dogs in there too.

The dough is fairly easy to roll out, just make sure you put a lot of (gluten-free) flour on a wooden board and start rolling, flipping dough over frequently to prevent sticking.

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To put it all together, roll out a piece of dough and cut a round, I used an upside down soup bowl as “cookie cutter” and it worked great.  Put some grated cheese, then add a big spoon of thick, chunky tomato sauce and top with a little more grated cheese.  The cheese acts to bind the sauce and will keep it all together nicely.  Gather the edges and form a roll/bun/turnover type thing, pinching edges together the best you can.  It’s ok if the dough breaks here and there, the outcome will be just as delicious.

Bake this at 350 (375 works too) for about half an hour.  Don’t blame me if everyone in the household gathers to wait for these goodies to come out of the oven – they smell absolutely divine!

I am still working on making this a “repeatable” and fool proof recipe, with the proper measurements and everything that a recipe requires.  I am a newbie at developing recipes that are repeatable, and will share in another post how I happened to figure out how to go about that entirely scientific process.

Turkey Soup

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On a rainy/snowy/rainy day like today, soup for dinner is a must!  Want to see what today looked like?

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Turkey soup is very popular in our family and while I am positive that pretty much every family has a perfectly good recipe for turkey soup, this one is worthy of trying.

It just so happens that it is one of the many versions of soup that Dr. Tae Yun Kim has created.  It is easy to prepare, outstandingly delicious and happens to pair perfectly with her brand new gluten-free bread recipe.  The fresh herbs really make this superb!

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Don’t worry – not these girls!  Those are quite safe.  Those are wild turkeys roaming the area.  They get to live on Dr. Tae Yun Kim‘s property freely and nobody bothers them.

To make the soup, here is what you need

Ingredients:

2 whole turkey wings

about 1/8 c raw minced garlic, or more if you can handle it 😉

Himalayan salt to taste

black pepper to taste

1/2 medium yellow onion, cut into small strips

2 stalks celery, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces

1 medium size carrot, cut into bite siz slices

1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 small zucchini, thinly sliced

3 stalks broccolini, cut into bite size pieces

4-5 stalks of asparagus, cut into pieces

2-3 sprigs of fresh Thyme

1 large sprig of fresh Rosemary

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1/2 cup chopped green onions

Before you get started with the actual soup, you’ll need to pre-boil the turkey, as Dr. Tae Yun Kim recommends, to get rid of as many impurities as possible.  To do this, cover the turkey wings with water, add 3Tbs Kosher salt and some crushed garlic and let come to a boil – boil until the foam stops bubbling up.  This probably will take about 10 – 15 minutes.  Drain, rinse, rinse your pot well and fill with about a quart of water.Cut the turkey wings into sections, and add to pot, season with salt and pepper.

Let it come to a boil, and cook for about 15 -20 minutes; then add the onions, herbs, carrots and celery, let boil for 5 minutes, and add rest of vegetables, adding the parsley and green onions just before serving.  You can serve this with any kinds of (gluten-free) noodles and/or bread.  It is most delicious with this particular bread! The blend of herbs and mushrooms and all the other flavors really makes this soup special.  Go ahead and give it a try!

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