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jimbang-finished

With Christmas, New Year, Birthdays, Lunar New Year and Valentines, there have been lots of celebrations!  I love how Dr. Tae Yun Kim is passionate about celebrations:

“Celebrate every living breath as if it was your last breath,” she says.  I like that!

So in the spirit of celebrating every moment, I was excited to try out a suggestion that Dr. Kim had mentioned a while ago.  “Why not make the traditional Jim Bang healthier, by making the dough gluten-free and making the filling less sugary and add healthy nutrients.

I did one version of these buns last year, and they were good.  But they still needed to improve in the “health department.”

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Steaming buns – don’t you peek!  Wait 15 minutes! 

So this time, (actual recipe will be coming, promise!) I based the dough on almond flour, chestnut flour, amaranth flour, certified oat flour, sorghum flour and chia seed flour.  I know this sounds complicated, but when you need to live gluten-free AND are a diabetic, and want to live healthy, you start to do your research and learn from other bloggers, too.

To make the dough pliable and hold together, I added psyllium husks and xantham gum (I will have to measure things out next time, this time was purely experimental) and it was actually a nice workable dough.

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For the filling, you start by cooking the tiny red adzuki beans until soft, which is approximately an hour or so.  Keep some of the cooking liquid, and mash the beans, not too finely and not too moist.  Add organic pure cacao powder (definitely not Hershey’s cocoa mix), a little bit of honey or maple syrup, and cinnamon to taste.

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Now take a bit of the dough, put some gluten-free flour on your hand and gently flatten the dough, so you can put some of the filling and wrap it all up into a nice bun.

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As usual, Dr. Kim was right – these buns were divine!  Be brave and try to re-create right away, or wait for the recipe – the choice is yours!  (I would recommend you try anyway!  They are THAT good!)

 

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Dr. Tae Yun Kim always celebrates New Year in a very special way.  First, several days before, she starts by fasting and praying and purifying.  She takes this very seriously and encourages others to do the same.  It is a time of taking your own internal inventory and review the past year.  Did you reach your goals last year?  How about goals for the New Year?  She reminds us, “The power is in us, it is our personal choice what we do in our lives!”

Then, to celebrate on New Years Eve, Dr. Tae Yun Kim makes very special foods.  This year, for the first time ever, she invented a new recipe.

The actual recipe will be in her cook book, to be released in the near future.  For now, enjoy the pictures and the story!

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First, you need Korean sweet potatoes, easily found in Korean and general Asian stores.  They are a nutritional powerhouse, with large amounts of vitamins, minerals, fiber and even protein.  And although the name says “sweet” potato, they are actually helping maintain even blood sugar levels and are a very good food choice for diabetics.

By adding adzuki beans, the protein and fiber levels receive a major boost, and now you have an almost perfect food to break a fast, and to proved long-lasting energy.

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The end result isn’t this brown color though – the actual jook, or gruel/thick soup, is a cheery yellow color speckled with dark maroon jewels, that make your taste buds jump with joy!

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What did you have for New Years Eve dinner?  Did you have something nutritious and delicious, or did you just overload on junk food?

It’s a New Year!  Let’s start fresh and new!  And if you are as looking forward to this new cookbook as I am, a cook book that won’t be like any other you have ever seen, please leave a response and we’ll add you to the list!

 

 

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2016-01-19 - delicious dinner

It’s been a couple of years since I have come to this spot and shared some great food creations with you.  It’s not that there hasn’t been any new food in my life, but that wonderful life things have kept happening and there simply wasn’t any time to do any  writing to do these special meals justice.

But Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim has been coming up with a myriad of healthy and very tasty breakfast, lunch and dinner meals that just blow the mind. Maybe we can even talk her into putting it all together into a cook book!

Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim has a very unique cooking style as you might remember. She goes by Ki energy, and will put together whatever works best for the people she cooks.  The above dinner was a spur of the moment kind of dinner, naturally gluten free, and some of the most delicious and healthy creation ever.

Not only did it taste heavenly, it was also very healthy, full of protein, vitamins, fiber and all the good stuff.  There was lots of ginger and garlic in the sauce, and it was made creamy by the addition of ground yucca, another of Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim‘s additions.

Because this dish is naturally low in carbohydrates it is great for diabetics and those that want to reduce their carb intake.

I will get you the basic recipe tomorrow.  For now I just wanted to let you all know – this blog is alive and well and will supply you with great new recipes!

Thanks for sticking with me, I look forward to more happy bloggings!

 

 

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Before I get into this great topic – let me tell you that at the end of this post you will find a most delightful story by Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim, where the lowly humble cabbage plays a major role.  If you have time – please read it!

I am sure everyone has heard how healthy cabbage is.  It’s full of cancer fighting components, helps reduce cholesterol and is therefore good for heart health, is packed with antioxidants, has a lot of anti-inflammatory qualities, and is excellent for your digestive tract.

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Several cultures have propelled cabbage to their national foods, such as Kim Chi in Korea (a very nice spicy fermented cabbage) and of course Sauerkraut of the Germans.  They are both very very good and very very healthy.  Give them a try, if you haven’t!

Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim‘s favorite is to have either just plain Napa cabbage leaves, raw, and eat them with a spoon of brown rice and goju jang, a hot red pepper sauce.  Or steamed regular cabbage.

I love cabbage prepared in all kinds of ways and always like to come up with new and exciting ways to incorporate it into our food plan.

Yesterday, I started out, like I so often do, by sauteing chopped onions and chopped garlic in a little olive oil.

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Then, I added shredded cabbage .

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Just that, by itself, with a tiny bit of salt, was very very good.  But I wanted to combine it with some protein and make a meal out of it.  On consulting with my refrigerator, I saw organic, non-GMO tofu there, as well as eggs from the local farmers market.  I put half the block of tofu and an egg into the blender, and some parsley and gave it a whirl.

Then I combined the tofu mixture and the (slightly cooled off) cabbage mixture and put it in ramekins, which I then steamed.

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It didn’t take very long, about 10 minutes or less, to have it “set.”

It turned out really good, very subtle and gentle flavors, yet the cabbage still shining through.

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I understand many people nowadays don’t  eat any soy products, but still give this a try – just leave out the tofu and add another egg, or maybe substitute cheese if you can have dairy.

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Go ahead, dig in your spoon and enjoy, and if you like, you can add any sauce you want, although I myself prefer to just let the simple earthy flavors come through.

Now, to that cabbage story.

“Once there was a king who had grown very bored and disenchanted with life.  He went from one meaningless and stagnant day to another finding no satisfaction or pleasure in anything.  He had even lost his taste for food, and all his traditional exotic dishes no longer yielded the joys they once had.  He grew so tired and apathetic that he issued a proclamation that whoever could bring him a dish that truly pleased him would be richly rewarded.

The greatest cooks came from all over the world bringing their best dishes.  But the king didn’t like any of them.  Life continued to be one boring dish after another.

One day a poor farmer came to the palace.  “Your Majesty, I have the most incredible dish you have ever tasted.  On this earth there is no other that can match it, but this dish takes some special preparation, and in order for you to fully enjoy it, I must ask that you eat nothing else until it is ready, ” the farmer said.  The king, by now so bored with his life, was willing to take the chance.

So the farmer left to prepare his special dish.

The next day the farmer arrived empty-handed in the king’s hall.  The king asked, “Well, where is my food?”

“I am sorry your Majesty.  It will be ready soon, I promise, but you must still keep your bargain.”

The next day, the farmer returned again, empty-handed.  This time the king was furious.  “Where is my food?” he roared.

The farmer replied humbly, “Oh, Your Majesty, I am still preparing.”

“Still preparing?” the king fumed.  “I am starving, and you are still only preparing?”

“I assure you this is the most fabulous food you have ever tasted,” the farmer pleaded.  If you’ll only wait one more day, it will be ready.”

Although the king was very angry and hungry, he was also anxious to relieve his boredom.  “All right,” he agreed.  “One more day.”

The next day the king awoke very early, his whole body filled with anticipation.  He could think of nothing but the farmer’s mysterious dish.  When the time came near for the farmer to arrive, it was all he could do to contain his excitement.

Finally, from beyond his hall the king heard the light footsteps of the farmer.  He smelled the most divine of smells.  His whole body reverberated with incredible sensations of pleasure and delight.  The farmer came closer.  The king could feel his mouth salivating and his stomach grumbling as his entire attention focused on the farmer’s simple porcelain bowl and its precious cargo.

The farmer lifted the lid to expose one thick slice of cabbage, steamed perfectly.  It was the most simple of dishes, but at that moment, it was a precious as the world to the king.

The king bit into this pure, plain, and simple cabbage.  Nothing in his life had ever tasted so good.  His senses came alive as he felt once again the intense pleasure of taste, and smell, and texture.  The king was so overjoyed that he made the poor farmer a rich man.”

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2013-07-30 finished power drink

Sometimes I get really lucky.  It’s a great day when I get a phone call from my Martial Arts teacher, Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim.  It’s an especially great day when that call is about a new, healthy recipe to try out.

A couple of days ago, I got to try out her super secret – and now shared – recipe for a very healthy power drink.  You can either have this as a smoothie, or a more liquid drink.  If you prefer a smoothie, make sure your blueberries are frozen, and add some ice cubes.

Here is the original recipe, but feel free to experiment if you have any nut allergies.  The blueberries are there for a reason, as they are helping with antioxidants, fight Alzheimer’s, and do a host of other good things for your body.  But of course, you are welcome to experiment.

Start by assembling the nuts.  To save time, I have made up individual serving baggies that look something like this:

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In each bag, there are (approximately) 3 – 4 of each (except more of the pine nuts because they are so small):

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Put those in a blender, along with about a cup of blueberries, more or less.  I always use frozen ones.  Add honey according to your sweet tooth, and add enough water to make it your desired thickness.  If you want more of a meal replacement, use any milk instead of water – coconut milk is superb with this.

Blend really really well, and enjoy ice-cold.  If I have this for breakfast, I am not hungry for a long time!

And my quote for the day, by Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim, doesn’t really have to do with either nuts or berries or even food, but I happened upon it and loved it so much I wanted to share it with you:

“The whole purpose of change, the whole purpose of continuous cycles of yin and yang is to take you higher, to make you grow, to give you more of what will lead you to a truer expression of your Real Self.  Never be afraid of change.  All changes lead you into greater good.  That is the purpose of change and the purpose of life.”  (Seven Steps to Inner Power, page 51)

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Sometimes the most plain dishes can turn out to be culinary and artistic pleasures.  I got really lucky the past couple times it was my turn to make dessert (well, uhm, that’s pretty much any time we got pot luck at the office or at Jung Suwon).

Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim invited a lot of us over to her place for a July 4th BBQ bash.  It was a wonderful time, and we had a lot of fun at the BBQ, where Grandmaster Scott Salton cooked up a bunch of mean steaks and gave a good reason to call the hamburgers “flame broiled!”

So for July 4th, my dessert contribution for the great Jung Suwon BBQ had to be red, white, and blue.  I took a very simple cheese cake recipe and substituted honey for the sugar, and instead of a crust, or pre-baked cracker crust, I simply crumbled a gluten-free cookie (any flavor works fine) into the bottom of a cupcake liner, and filled the liners with the cheese cake batter.  Once baked and cooled, I put blueberries and raspberries on the top – there is your red, white and blue!

And for our surprise guests yesterday, I didn’t even bake anything – it was way too hot, and not much time either.  So I did something very similar to what I did for the July 4th BBQ:  individual dessert cups, with a thin cookie at the bottom, and some pudding, made with coconut milk (for our die-hard cheesecake loving guests I mixed in some already whipped, low-fat cream cheese), and added a simple raspberry on top.  Since this dessert didn’t firm up as much as I had thought it would, the beautiful flower shaped cupcake liners didn’t hold their shape, so I kept them in the metal muffin pan.  But how to serve that?  Here is what I came up with:

Because, as Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim reminds us, whatever you can see in your mind, you can also do! The power of visualization!

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I feel like I haven’t posted here in a very long time – it’s been really really busy in my life as a Jung Suwon warrior, and that’s the way I like it!  Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim says that keeping busy keeps us young in body, mind, and spirit, and I do feel that!

Even during the hot summer months it gets cool at night here in the Bay area, and so I like to make summery, yet warming dishes for dinner, that are also substantial enough to feed hungry Jung suwon warriors!

My mother’s stuffed cabbage rolls come to mind, and I just made them a couple of days ago.  It’s been hard to re-create her recipes, because she only took a little bit of this and some of that, and in addition, she never even knew what gluten-free was!  And of course I am always trying to incorporate Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim’s teachings into the way I cook, with the best ingredients and only the best of thoughts in my mind.

Great teacher that she is Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim has been encouraging me to be creative, and find new ways to make tasty food, that nourishes and heals and tastes good at the same time!  So, here we go:

To make this version of stuffed cabbage, I use Nappa cabbage, and carefully separate the leaves off the head, and then quickly put them into almost boiling water just long enough to make the leaves pliable, without breaking.  I used to try to just boil the whole head and then peel off the leaves, but that never worked for me.  Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim compares the cabbage to a fist: just like each finger, each leaf in itself, is weak and cannot survive on its own, but together with all the other leaves, it makes a strong head of cabbage (or, all the fingers together, make a strong fist!) !  Have you ever tried to break a full head of cabbage?  See?  In our case, it’s good that we can peel off each leaf!

For the sauce, if I have leftover spaghetti sauce, it’s perfect.  But if not, I make a quick tomato sauce from scratch, like this:

Saute, in olive oil, a chopped up onion, and some minced garlic, I would use a couple of table spoons, and add chopped fresh tomatoes.  I only use fresh tomatoes for my sauces, but I am sure canned would work well too.

I would also add some chopped mushrooms and parsley and saute for a bit and then add a little good quality red wine (I don’t ever use cooking wine, they add a bunch of stuff to it).  If the sauce is too thick at this point, I add some good quality all natural spaghetti sauce from a jar, or if I have some broth, I add that.

For the filling, I saute mushrooms, garlic and chopped onions and add some pre-cooked ground beef, and some cooked rice, add some chopped parsley and fresh marjoram, and loosely fill the cabbage leaves with this.  Put filling on one side of leaf, then roll up and put seam side on bottom and put in roasting pan.  When finished, put your tomato sauce over it, and finish in pre-heated oven (350) for 20 minutes to half hour.  If you like, you could sprinkle some cheese on it before serving!

Now, “dig it in!”  as Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim likes to say, after giving thanks to God for a most delicious meal!

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