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Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

I was going to blog about the great, delicious crab-mushroom cakes I made the other day, but then this happened.  My good friend Shirley from Gluten free easily talked about her banana Kaluha coconut cake, complete with picture and everything.

Well, I felt this incredible pull tugging on me and sure enough before I knew it I was back in the kitchen.  I had to smile to myself. Dr. Tae Yun Kim always reminds us that we need to be flexible, and not just physically.  When your environment changes, when the situation changes,Dr. Tae Yun Kim says, we have to change according to the situation.

Dr. Dr. Tae Yun Kim illustrated this with a story: one of her students had planned a cruise to the Bahamas for a long time, and was all packed and ready and beyond excited.  However, the day she was about to travel to the port of departure, a hurricane was forming and there were already travel warnings going out.  Rather than cancel, she still went ahead, because she had already paid for the cruise and didn’t want to just cancel.  Within a day or two of the cruise, the hurricane manifested in all it’s nastiness, and not only did the travelers have to get off the ship in a hurry, they were also stuck for almost a week at a hurricane stricken island, with minimal food, water and worries about the storm.  Not an ideal vacation!

While granted, my situation wasn’t nearly that drastic, I still didn’t mind changing direction, and went ahead to make this delicious looking cake.  I mean, it was a good excuse to make that cake, right?

Fresh out of the oven…..

Here is the original recipe, go check it out!

I could already taste the cake, while I was mixing the ingredients together.  What aroma!  What smooth batter!  I did make a minor change  – I used double the amount, so I could bake it in my bundt pan, and I substituted – for the double recipe – 2 cups almond flour, and for the rest used Shirley’s gluten-free flour mix.

When I reached for the coconut, to add that to the batter, I couldn’t believe it.  None there!  Impossible!  I knew I had 3 bags!  Someone, who for the sake of peace in the household will remain unnamed, had thrown it out because “a mouse had gotten into each bag.”  Hmmmmm.

Once again I thought if a very fitting quote from Dr. Kim – don’t carve in your emotions – instead, let them flow away like water, and get rid of all negative feelings!

Ok, but what to put in the batter instead?  In checking out the pantry, I saw a nice jar of Nutella sitting there, and without much thought started to spoon in gobs of Nutella into the batter, which now looked a little too thin, and I added another 3/4 cup or so of almond flour.  and about one cup of Nutella total.

I put that into the bundt pan and baked this experiment at 350 for about 45 – 50 minutes.

The result was out of this world!  As in, so good it was unbelievable.

And this brought back to mind another gem ofv Dr. Tae Yun Kim’s sayings (quote from “The Silent Master”)

“Clinging to a good picture you have created possibly keeps you from expanding into an even greater good.  Clinging to a disagreeable picture keeps you there!  So, don’t hold on to either as though it is the final story.  You don’t hate, resent, fight, or quarrel with an undesirable situation, and you don’t overly love or cling to a desirable situation.  Detachment means you are always ready, open, and willing to experience change.  That is how you develop.”

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By this time, you probably have had your fill of zucchini and tomatoes.  Gardens and markets alike are full with the freshest of produce, and just yesterday a dear fellow Jung Suwon warrior brought me some more homegrown zucchini and tomatoes.

Of course I am always grateful for homegrown veggies, however, you need a lot of creativity to keep coming up with new ways of cooking and serving them .   I just so happened to pick up Dr. Tae Yun Kim‘s book “The First Element” and find this little gem:

“Remember, when you wish to create or manifest any aspect of your life, you do not have to invent anything.  All you have to do is open your awareness wider and wider, and your infinite capabilities and richness will become more and more visible.  Jung Suwon doesn’t teach you something new.  It teaches what you already have – what you can open to as you become more aware.”

Using this creativity, I really wanted to make something incredibly delicious, yet easy to put together, and very healthy – and good-looking too.

Here is the result:

If you want to try it, here are the very easy instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 350.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and grease the foil.

Cut up a one-foot long zucchini (that’s what I had, you can use smaller ones too, for appetizers.) into rounds, not too thick

Cut a pre-packaged tube of Polenta (or make your own if you prefer) into slices, again, not too thick.

Now cut up tomatoes, and let the fun begin!

Lay out the zucchini rounds on the foil, brush with some olive oil, and put in oven for about 15 minutes.

Cover the zucchini slices with the polenta slices and then with the tomato slices.  Drizzle with olive oil and garlic, and add salt and pepper and bake until heated through and vegetables are cooked.

If you can have dairy, it’s very tasty with some cheese melted in.

Of course, from here, do as Dr. Tae YunKim  suggests, and let your creativity flow – you can add herbs to your liking, you could try different cheeses, or even add some pastrami.

Have fun with this recipe!

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We have had some pretty hot days here in Northern California.  Not my favorite time of year – I love it in the high 60s – low 70s during the summer and below that in the winter 🙂

At any rate, heat or not, hungry Jung Suwon warriors want to still eat, to replenish the energy they spent working out and training hard.  So, feeding them “cool” foods benefits the cook and the warrior!

Dr. Tae Yun Kim advises her Jung Suwon warriors to eat as close to nature as possible, when possible, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, organically grown, and if you eat eggs and meat, get the eggs from free ranging, organically fed chickens, and only purchase organic, grass fed beef – if possible.  You really can taste and feel the difference!

Here are some visually appealing, great tasting, totally organic and gluten free meals and snacks:

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It’s been very busy here, and temperatures have been climbing.  I am more of a cool weather person, so coming up with nourishing and healthy, satisfying food that doesn’t make me melt away into a puddle, has been a challenge.

Dr. Tae Yun Kim shared a very old, traditional Korean recipe with me.  It’s one of her very favorite summer foods and I love it.  This is also very light, and won’t weigh your stomach down, so it’s ideal both before and after a heavy-duty workout in the heat.

Once you have the ingredients, the rest is very very easy to make.  I start making the acorn “jelly” in the morning, when cooking is still ok, and then it’s all set and cool come lunch and dinner.  I also boil the eggs, at that time, and have them ready.

So, here is how you make Korean mook, or acorn jelly, according to Dr. Tae Yun Kim.  The description is long, but it is really a very simple and quick process.  Trust me, if you can make pudding, you can do this!  He can do, she can do, why not me!

This is what you start out with:

This acorn starch.  If you are gluten-free, make sure there are no glutenous additions in the flour – acorns themselves do not contain gluten.

You will need:

5 cups water

1 cup acorn starch

a few drops of sesame oil

a sprinkle of salt
Bring 4 cups of water to a gentle boil.  Meanwhile mix the acorn starch with the remaining cup of water,

and slowly add, while constantly stirring, to the boiling water.

Stir vigorously the entire time it’s cooking.  Boil until the bubbles look like this:

quickly add a sprinkle of salt and a couple drops of sesame oil and make sure it’s all mixed in well.

Then pour into a pan, and smooth out top:

Time to let it cool off – this might take several hours in the refrigerator, until it is solid, and chilled through.

Then cut into strips, like this:

Then, cut a pickling cucumber, or any cucumber, into thin strips, and put onto the jelly:

You can get creative now and add things, like thin strips of beef, cut up, hard-boiled egg, cut up tomatoes, even strawberries or thin melon slices, small young lettuce leaves, watercress, cut up kim chi – it’ll all taste fantastic!

Now, take some raw seaweed, a sheet that hasn’t been toasted yet, and toast, like this (if you don’t have any, it’s fine to serve without, just adds more authenticity)

Crumble the seaweed and put over the acorn jelly.

Serve with some of this sauce:

And some chilled kim chi juice, and a bowl of ice water.

To eat, mix with the sauce ice, and kim chi juice, to your taste.

Dr. Tae Yun Kim told me that after the war, in her teen years, she would get this as a very special treat, once in a very long while, and she still enjoys this simple, healthy treat now.

I love this a lot, especially on a hot summer day, and if you are lucky enough to live near a Korean store or restaurant, you might be able to find ready made acorn jelly, and all you have to do is to add the sauce!

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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).

Dr. 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 and training 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 Dr. Tae Yun Kim reminds us, whatever you can see in your mind, you can also do! The power of visualization!

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We always have choices, as Dr. Tae Yun Kim likes to point out.

“The power is in you, it is your personal choice what you do in your life!”

It’s just that sometimes those choices aren’t quite what we want!  Yet in the end, they might be just what we need!

For example, last week we were having a fancy dinner party at Jung Suwon, and usually we have a beautiful “edible arrangement on the dessert table, the center piece.  You know edible arrangements, right?  The fruit all cut up fancy, on a stick, and some of it dipped in chocolate?  The one that looks like a beautiful bouquet?

Well, the guests were already coming in, when with a big “ugh”, it was discovered that the edible arrangement hadn’t been ordered and it was too late now!

What kind of choice was that?

Well, I could have, of course, just given up and said we just don’t have an edible arrangement today.  Or, I could make something else, to make up for it.  Or, I could try to make the arrangement myself!

Once again, my Jung Suwon training came in very handy, in giving me the confidence to try something completely new to me.   Dr. Tae Yun Kim said it so well in one of her books,

“We need to learn to take charge of what we manifest by taking charge of our thinking.  Can you see that you can be your own worst enemy?  Why?  Because you are the one who monitors what you think.  Who thinks your thoughts better than you?  Others can suggest thoughts to you, but you are the one who accepts or rejects what you entertain in your mind.

Instead, be your own best friend!  We can achieve freedom from limitation of any sort!  You don’t have to accept anything except your freedom, your gift from the universe to create whatever you desire!”

Armed with this wisdom, I dashed to the store and loaded up on all sorts of fruits and grabbed some chocolate dip, got some craft sticks (actually my first batch was BBQ skewers) and a couple of heads of lettuce.

Back in the kitchen, at first I made a huge big mess and people around me started to give me the “you poor thing!” look.  I mean, look at this!

It does look kinda hopeless, right?

But I kept thinking, I can do this!  Why not?

HE CAN DO, SHE CAN DO, WHY NOT ME! is what we hear every day at Jung Suwon, to encourage us to do what we are capable of doing.

So I kept cutting up fruit, putting it on skewers, putting the skewers into the lettuce halves, dipped fruit and then, as a final touch, put roses in between the skewers, onto the lettuce to make it extra pretty.

So, tada, here it is!

 

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Don’t go by the picture please and trust me on this.  Ok?  This is really really good!

I was going to insert an appropriate quote from Dr. Tae Yun Kim, something to the effect of “don’t be fooled by your 5 senses” but then I read the end of her book, “The Silent Master,” and it is simply beautiful, and I wanted to share it with you, so bear with me please.

“We live in a wonderful time called now.  In this moment, everything true about you is waiting to be recognized and expressed.  Everything in the past is gone. Tomorrow will never come.  There is always only now.  You can take charge, take action, and create freedom for yourself.

Right here and right now let’s start celebrating!  Freedom is real.  Freedom is possible.  You have power, truth, beauty, and potential within you alway waiting to be discovered, always waiting to be expressed.  Brighter and more precious than diamonds, warm as the spring sun and beautiful like spirals of galaxies sprinkled over this vast universe, your Silent Master awaits your return, so that together you will come forth as one radiant being in charge of your destiny.  What is stopping you?  What is holding you back?  You are free to be free!  Spread your wings!  Fly and be free!”

So, now, back to making an awesome chicken salad!  We had some very hot days last week, and cooking wasn’t on my mind.  Yet, with a summer-time Jung Suwon potluck in the backyard, something had to be done!  This was one of those dishes that came together simply using what I already had at home.  Luckily that included an organic, roasted chicken, from Whole Foods!  I quickly boiled about 6 – 7 eggs and chilled them.

I started by taking all the meat off the chicken and chopping it (several of our Jung Suwon warriors have to watch their cholesterol, so I didn’t use the skin.)  into bite size pieces.  NORMAL bite sized pieces please, not hulk, and not ant sized either!

After that, I chopped up the eggs, again, not too fine and not too huge, and add to the chicken.  Chop some celery (washed and peeled) maybe a handful, and add, and also add a handful of chopped tomatoes (firm ones, and take out the liquidy part.)  Chop some olives fine, and add, as well as a good handful of green onions, both white and green parts, chopped finely.  Add some marinated artichoke hearts, chopped into small pieces, a total of a good handful ( 😉 ), and a handful of marinated mushrooms, also cut into pieces.

Now, gently mix it all together, and add gluten-free, organic, olive oil based mayonnaise, just enough to make it moist.  Add salt (I use Himalayan salt) and garlic pepper to taste, and let sit in refrigerator for a couple of hours, to let the flavors do their thing.

Of course, there are hundreds or even thousands of ways how to make a chicken salad.  This one just happens to be my current favorite.  With  Dr. Tae Yun Kim’s own words, “it is your life, and your world!  Don’t let anyone stand in your way!”

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This has been a most abundant cherry year!  The trees went crazy, the birds were kept out with bird nets , and as a result, buckets of cherries keep coming into the kitchen!

In addition to tasting great, did you know all their incredible health benefits?  Dr. Tae Yun Kim points out that cherries contain very powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, which makes them ideal for heart health and to fight against arthritis.  They also contain natural melatonin which regulates your sleep cycles.  In addition, they help regulate your blood sugar, which is a great benefit for people with diabetes.  Cherries contain a lot of fiber and therefore help proper digestion.  And the list goes on…and at only 87 cal/cup they are a great snack for Jung Suwon warriors after class – energizing, healthy, but without putting on the weight you just lost in class 😉

Here is a great recipe for healthy, individual serving, cherry cheesecakes:

I saw this recipe in the magazine from America’s Test Kitchen “Best Summer Desserts” on page 58.  (I tried to find this online so I could link to it, but wasn’t able to.)

However, I made a few changes to make it healthy enough for a Jung Suwon warrior dessert, make it gluten-free, and most of all, incorporate some of those cherries!  This was also approved by Dr. Tae Yun Kim, for health and taste!

For the cheesecakes, line 2 12-cup muffin pans with a paper liner. In a blender or food processor, put 3 large eggs, a couple of tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 cup coconut milk, and some coconut sugar.  How much sugar depends how sweet you like it.  You’ll most likely not need more than 1/4 cup.  Blend this at high-speed and then add, a little at a time, 8 oz softened cream cheese.  Beat until very smooth.  And yes, it’s ok to use low-fat cream cheese, which is what I did.

At Jung Suwon, we like to keep our desserts as light as possible (of course there ARE exceptions to this) and so the crust is optional.  If you do want one, just crumble any kind of gluten-free cookie into the bottom of the liners, or if the cookies are the right size and thin, plunk one down into the liner.

Next, pour the cheesecake batter into the liners, about 1/2 – 3/4 full.

Bake at 325 until firm, about 10 – 15 minutes.  Let cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the cherry topping.

Pit a LOT of cherries, and put them into a pot.

While you pit the cherries, it’s a good time to listen to Dr. Tae Yun Kim’s audio books, or the Jung Suwon terminology CD.  Or sing, if you want.  Cook over medium heat, adding water if not enough juice in pot.  Add a sprinkling of coconut sugar, or any other kind of sugar if you prefer.  Taste and add more sugar if needed.

Mix some cornstarch (or tapioca starch, or even potato starch or rice flour) with some water, and slowly pour, while stirring, into the cherry mixture.  Let boil for a few minutes, stirring constantly.  It should be thicker but still pourable and not like pudding.

Once cooled, spoon on top of the cheesecakes, and serve!

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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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Today is a sort of guest post from a wonderful Korean lady that came and cooked for Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim a couple of days ago.  This was really great, after a hard Jung Suwon workout nourishing food is always wonderful to have!   I had the pleasure to watch her prepare this soup, and it looked like a special art form to me!

She was certainly applying Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim’s teachings while she was cooking – to focus with love and care on the food you are making, and to only think beautiful, positive thoughts about how much this food will bring health and happiness to the person receiving it!

First, to make the broth, boil water with crushed garlic and roughly cut yellow onions.  Add small dried fish (you can get those at most Oriental markets) and some anchovy sauce (it is naturally gluten-free.)  Let this boil gently for about 20 minutes, being careful to not let it boil down too much.

Meanwhile, cut carrots, green onions, zucchini if you have them, into matchstick size pieces and saute separately in olive or sesame oil.

Beat a couple of eggs, fry gently and cut into thin strips when they are done.

Boil the noodles, being careful not to overcook.

If you are gluten-free, be careful as to what noodles you use.  If noodles come in packages like this:

without any label, don’t use them!  These might taste good and look fantastic, but without any description and documentation, you will have no idea what is in them!  And yes, these were the noodles this lady had brought.  Luckily she didn’t cook the noodles in the soup, but in a separate pot, so all was well.

I like to use brown rice noodles and my family enjoys those as well.

Now you can start assembling this delicious soup:

Into each bowl, put one serving of noodles, then arrange the sautéed veggies and eggs beautifully on top.  Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim emphasizes how important it is for the food to look good, it needs to have eye appeal, like in the picture:

Gently add the soup (only the liquid part) and top with some crumbled seaweed.

Now, after a prayer of thanks, open mouth, insert spoon………

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