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Celebrate Every Day!

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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. Tae Yun 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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Time for something other than soup or stew, am I right?  Or at least something to go with that stew or soup?  With Valentine’s so close (and a very healthy and breathtakingly good recipe coming soon) our thoughts turn to the sweeter things in life.

Talking about Valentine, I just love this quote from Dr. Tae Yun Kim, and it continues to inspire me.  It’s not only beautiful and poetic, but also very fundamental and true.

“You are who I dreamed of….

And so you came to be.

And you shall be with me beyond time.

I will never leave you,

and 

my love will follow you

as you follow my light,

just as the tail of the bird follows the wing.”

(The First Element, page 121)

So I got to thinking, with all the soups and stews I have been making – so popular in our family with this crazy rainy and snowy weather – what can I make that boosts our regular dinners into something special.  Should still be healthy, yet a real treat.

I already know that cornbread is very popular here, and cornbread muffins as well.  This recipe that Shirley came up with years ago is a well-tested and well-enjoyed taste experience.  You can get the recipe for that here.  I also know that often I get the ‘complaint’ or should we say, suggestion that the muffins are “empty” and couldn’t I put something in them.  Hmmmmm……Dr. Tae Yun Kim also is my ultimate not only Martial Arts teacher but also gives incredible encouragement to try different and new things.

berry-cornbread-3-editedHow about some berry filling?

I happened to have some blueberry cheesecake filling stashed – good thing nobody found it – and I used that.  It’s a very simple filling – just get blueberries, fresh or frozen ( and any other berries work great here as well, and I imagine pretty much any fruit filling) boil them with a little rose wine, or water if you don’t like wine, add as much sugar as you need but don’t make it too sweet – and thicken with a little corn or sweet rice starch that you have dissolved first in some water – this will prevent hard little pebbles in the sauce.  Let the fruit sauce cool.

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When you are ready, fill muffin cups, or bread pan, or both as I did 🙂 with a thin layer of cornbread mixture, then add a generous layer of fruit filling, and top with another thin layer of cornbread batter.  Bake as directed in Shirley’s recipe and enjoy, and bask in the compliments you are sure to receive!

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As much as we like soups, there comes a point in the dead of winter when you just do not want soup for a while.  When your inner self wants to rebel a little and make-believe it’s warm and sunny outside and you want some – gasp – cold noodles.

Dr. Tae Yun Kim takes this concept to a whole new level.  With her limitless creativity, intuition and Ki energy, she creates food that appeals to body, mind and spirit.

While you might say ramen is bad for you – Dr. Kim just smiles and makes food that not only tastes great but is also good for you. There are many healthy versions available nowadays.  And for us gluten-free folks – not to worry, you can make these with not only ramen noodles, but different kinds of rice noodles or sweet potato noodles.

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This culinary Masterpiece started out with the Korean pepper paste (yes, also available in gluten-free now), garlic, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, organic brown sugar or honey, chopped parsley and cilantro, grated or finely chopped Asian pears and Asian radishes, sesame seeds and a touch of sesame oil.  Dunk the cooked in drained noodles, and serve.  Add any cooked and cooled meat or chicken to this, and any chopped veggies and/or fruit.

Proportions are difficult to tell, because some like it sweeter and some like it hotter and some prefer more lemon juice than others.  Key is try until you love it!  🙂

Now go enjoy!

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Isn’t this a beauty?  It didn’t only look good – it tasted fabulous!  It’s one of those simple dishes that you might overlook because of its simplicity but trust me, it’s worth checking out.  And no matter how many casserole recipes you have, and have made – I suggest give this one a try anyway.  I promise you won’t be disappointed!  And don’t be deterred by my beautiful aluminum foil pan – this was for a friend that had surgery and needed to be transportable and disposable.

While I was putting this together,  thought about some things Dr. Tae Yun Kim has said that keeps sticking in my mind (and I love that it does.)

“Just as you put energy into your food when you grow it or prepare it, you also fill your environment with your energy.  A room full of people creates an energy field that can be positive or negative, depending on everyone’s intent.”  (The Silent Master, page 76)

Well, I certainly put a lot of love into this dish and to everyone around me!

To recreate it, start with either a nice steak, or if you need to watch your budget, you can use stew beef.

First, in a little oil of your choice, saute your meat of choice briefly, and add ground garlic and cut up onions.  Stir fry until just barely starting to get tender, then add other veggies of your choice.  Here is what I used:

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Add a couple of jars good quality tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce, and let it heat up.  Add some hot red pepper, I used some very spicy Korean red pepper powder, and it took this dish over the top!

While you are sauteing the meat, start boiling water for your pasta.  I love small shells, so that is what I used, but you can use maccaroni or whatever pasta you prefer.  If you are gluten-free, like me, make sure you get gluten free pasta and cook according to the directions on the package.

Cook pasta until it still has a good “bite” in the middle, drain and rinse briefly.  Preheat oven to 350.

In an oven proof casserole dish, put a layer of the meat-veggie sauce, then add a layer of pasta.  Put some grated cheese on top, or if you prefer, dot with spoonfuls of cream cheese with herbs.  Add the rest of the sauce, and put in the oven for about 20 minutes or completely heated through.  Just before done, you can sprinkle more grated cheese on top – serve right after the cheese has melted.  Good luck and Guten Appetit!  Or, with Dr. Tae Yun Kim‘s immortal encouraging words, “Dig it in!  Enjoy!”

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Dr. Tae Yun Kim has been very strong about treating food right and to not abuse it – this means not letting it sit in the refrigerator until it goes bad.  It means you only cook as much as you and those eating with you can eat.  It’s ok to have enough for next day’s lunch, but no out and out leftovers.  It means keeping the kitchen very clean too!

Dr. Kim also wants us to develop and use our creativity.  Sometimes that’s not as easy as it seems.  I mean, what do you do with too much yeast dough?  There is only so much bread I want to make and freeze, because if I make it, I will eat it, right?

First I want to acknowledge the source of my gluten-free yeast doughs.  Shirley of gluten-free Easily has these fantastic roundups, and one of my very favorite ones are her bread roundups.  Click here for one of them.

Since I usually make at least a double batch, sometimes I need another creative use for what might be too much.

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All the veggies and herbs came from Dr. Kim’s garden

Pizza is of course always a good choice and I cannot tell you how often I have used “Pizza dough” that started out as something entirely different.

I have also made peach or apple cinnamon buns and they are wonderful even made out of bread dough!

Lastly, if you don’t mind carefully rolling out whatever dough you have, go ahead and improvise an apple strudel, where the filling is peeled and chopped apples, with a generous dose of chopped walnuts, 1/2 cup sugar and a lot of cinnamon, also a couple of tablespoons of starch for every couple of cups of apples.  Let rise for 45 minutes to an hour and bake at 350 for about the same time – check frequently!

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Not the most beautiful, but certainly one of the best ones!

And there you have it!  Of course, bread sticks, bread sticks with cheese….and a lot more can be made as well!  Have fun, get creative and know there is no such thing as a failure!

 

 

Korean Style Pancakes

I am pretty sure that there are as many different Korean Pancake recipes as there are kinds of kimchi!  And they are all very delicious.

As usual, Dr. Tae Yun Kim takes it to another level altogether.  She starts out with the basic concept, and then goes on to “healthify” it as we like to call it.  She mixed up a basic pancake batter, where she combined a “home-grown” egg,  “a little water” and whisked until was all well combined, with some salt and garlic powder added.

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Then she added flour, enough to get the consistency of regular pancake batter.  If you are gluten-free, be sure to use xanthan gum or physllium powder with your gluten free flour to make the batter hold together.

Dr. Tae Yun Kim likes to kick the heat notch up a bit and adds some grated jalapeno to the batter, or finely chopped parsley.

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Then, this time, she added some carrots that had been pre-cooked just enough to be very firm but not crunchy any more.  She added sliced tofu, onions, and other veggies, along with sliced up kosher hot dogs.

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Then, after the batter started to barely turn solid, here comes another surprise:

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Dr. Tae Yun Kim added another thin layer of batter over the top.  After a quick and swift flipping over, the newly created art form looked like this:

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Doesn’t that make you want to run in the kitchen and make on of these RIGHT NOW???

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And even though there are no set amounts of ingredients for this savory pancake here on this blog yet, do go ahead and try – you really can’t go wrong!  And you will thank yourself you did!

 

 

 

 

 

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Isn’t this a beauty?  Even with New Years resolutions and goals to finally lose those 15 lbs you do need a little sweet now and then, right?  Especially when you got something healthy and gluten-free going.

Dr. Tae Yun Kim is not into having people deprive themselves, or never touch anything sweet ever again.  She knows that is not realistic for 99.999% of the population.  So Dr. Tae Yun Kim set out to create a cake that’s so delicious, yet at the same time very healthy for you.

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We talked about the health benefits of Seabuckthorn in my last post.  Once again, 1/4 cup of the flour was included into the batter.  The basic batter comes from my dear friend Shirley and you can see the recipe right here.

Usually, I double the recipe because, well, because there are plenty of eaters around that if I only made one batch it would disintegrate the minute it comes out of the oven, and I do need time to set up and take pictures.  So…..

Dr. Tae Yun Kim also likes to use the bounty of the land, and especially the healthy gifts mother nature provided.  So not only did blueberries get to jump into the batter, (a good 2 cups of fresh ones) but also about a cup of Madrone berries that had been soaked in Vodka for a couple of months.  Madrone berries have been used by Native Americans for centuries, to make use against stomach cramps and pains and to help with skin irritations of all sorts.  They provide vitamins and minerals in the winter when not much else in the cold, snowy woods is available.

To make this cake, double the recipe mentioned above, but instead of all gluten-free basic flour, use half almond flour and half the basic gluten free flour.  For the sugar we always use the raw organic turbinado sugar, and that is why the cake comes out a little darker.  Dr. Tae Yun Kim raises her own chickens, so no worries about the quality of the eggs.

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The berries were folded in at the very end, very carefully to not smash them.  If you don’t have any Madrone berries you can add some dried cranberries that you can soak in brandy or vodka or a couple of hours.

The result?  Deeeeee-licious!  Give it a try and see if you agree!