Dear NYC

time squareNY1One of my besties lives in NYC. She moved out to NY a few years back to become a physio and seek for a better lifestyle. The move to a foreign country must have been hard as I’ve done it 10 years ago and I totally understand what she has been going through. Well I would love to be with her as a companion when she needs me though NY is so far far far away from Australia. Thankfully she met a great guy who takes a good care of her and they are happily married. I visited her last May spring time over there and enjoyed wandering through the very heart of the city, enjoying some cheesy sightseeing, exploring little streets and devouring delicious foods. One of the things I miss most is, of course without doubt, New York bagels. You cannot beat fluffy dark pumpernickel bagel smothered with a thick generous amount of cream cheese accompanied by a black coffee. We accidentally found this awesome place called Zucker. If you happen to visit NYC, please check out this place. It is so ridiculously good. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I visit my dear friend and NYC again next year. So I’m making a open sandwich, great for breakfast or lunch. Easy to assemble though flavour combination works so well – pumpernickel, goat cheese, beetroot and balsamic. Delicious! This is how I treat myself to beat post-NYC blues 🙂 Please look for my previous post if you are wondering how to make bagels at home here.
chevreonpumpernickleIngredients (single serve)

1 pumpernickel slice
50g goat cheese
1/2 beetroot
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
a drizzle of balsamic glaze
pepper to taste
green salad to serve

Grate beetroot and mix with balsamic vinegar. Set aside. To assemble, place pumpernickel slice on a plate, spread goat cheese and top with beetroot. Drizzle balsamic glaze and season with pepper. Serve with green salad on the side.

Watermelon Chia Juice

watermelon chiaI don’t know if I can call this recipe. Sometimes there are recipes or the things I make that are too simple and ordinary to share. I still post here anyway just to give you an idea what you can do with chia seeds. Chia seeds are a well known nutritional bunch – less calories, more fibre, loaded with antioxidants, high in omega-3 fatty acids, great vegan protein source. You can use for baking, making puddings, jam and smoothies. Awesome awesome ingredient you need to stock up in your house!

Summer definitely brings an abundance of beautiful sweet fruits. When I grew up in Korea, the way I know it is nearly summer is by finding mountains of little watermelons at the markets. Mum used to make a yummy fruit punch with watermelon and melon balls – my after-school treat. Oh I miss it so much! I don’t understand why kids need sugary cordial or artificial juice these days. This healthy drink truly takes me back to my childhood, full of a summer vibe in it. Refreshing watermelon, bright pink colour and energising chia. I think it would be a mighty fine addition to your Christmas table or in your little picnic box.


2 cups of diced watermelon
1 tbsp of chia seeds
lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp of maple syrup or raw honey
a pinch of sea salt
1 cup of sparkling or soda water

Put all ingredients except sparkling water in a blender and blitz until all combined. Chill in the fridge and add sparkling or soda water before serving. You can replace it with coconut water if you are not a fan of carbonated drink.

GF Vanilla Crepe Cake

vanilla crepe cakeWhile the not-too-sweet breakfast muffins make me happy waking up hungry in the morning, I crave for something rich and decedent once in a while. This crepe cake is not only gluten-free and dairy-free, great if you have food sensitivities, but also deliciously light in texture by using brown rice flour. I insist healthy version doesn’t mean it sacrifices the flavour. A hint of cinnamon, saltiness and sweetness from salted caramel is heavenly. So I call this the glory of sweet breakfast cake 🙂 The cake is better to be pre-made and chilled in the fridge before serving, though you can also serve warm straight away. Just roll them up or fold twice like you would serve crepes. You can also see my other crepe recipes here and here.

Ingredients (makes one serve as picture shown)

1 egg
100g brown rice flour
1 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
2/3 cup almond milk
a pinch of sea salt
coconut oil for making crepes
salted caramel for filling
cinnamon powder for dusting

Lightly beat egg with a whisk and then add all other ingredients. Set aside for 10-20 minutes. Mixture should be fairly runny. Add a bit of almond milk if too thick. Heat a crepe pan or non-stick frying pan over low-medium heat. Add a dollop of coconut oil into a pan and ladle a crepe batter into the middle of the pan. Swirl the pan in a circular motion to spread the batter thin and evenly. It should take only a minute each side to cook. Repeat with the rest of the batter. I spread salted caramel between the layers and built the cake on a serving plate. (I used a jar of salted caramel that I bought from the farmer’s markets). Place in fridge for a couple of hours to set.vanilla crepe cake1


Goji Turmeric Chia Smoothie

gojiturmericchiaI know everyone says that, but how is it already December? I can smell the summer just around the corner. We are still in this weird half spring and half summer zone and here in Melbourne is pretty bad with pollen, which gives me a sore swollen throat and nasty sneezes when I’m out and about, which is really annoying me >.< This wonderful smoothie is immune boosting, hydrating, energizing, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. Curcumin in turmeric is a magic ingredient fighting against inflammation and bacteria and helps to ease hay fever, asthma, bronchitis and other seasonal allergies. So if you are an allergy sufferer like me, try this drink every morning and stay healthy x


30g dried goji berries
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp honey or any sweetener of your choice
a pinch of sea salt
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 cup of coconut water

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until all combined. Adjust sweetener depending on your taste. Serve chilled.

One Year of Blogging

rice cakeI woke up this morning thinking ‘I started this blog today last year’. Wow! one year of blogging. Thank you for visiting and reading my humble recipes and posts. Your visits, comments and feedback are so valuable and encouraging to me. I’m so grateful that this blog gave me an opportunity to cook healthy food, experiment new ingredients and recipes and share with you after all. My inner Koreaness kicked in when I was thinking of what to make for a special day, one year anniversary of blogging. You cannot go pass a cake on a special occasion, right? So to make the occasion, I decided to make Korean adzuki bean rice cake. As a child growing up in Korea, this festive cake was always on the table for big national holidays, birthdays and many family gatherings. I even remember I had to deliver plates of this cake to our new neighbors and say hello to them when my family moved into new house or apartment. That said, I’m not sure if they do that anymore since we live such a busy life these days. You don’t even know who lives next door and sadly don’t care much. Traditionally, it is a steamed cake with layers of glutenous white rice and adzuki bean filling. Naturally gluten-free and vegan. I’m making my own twist on the traditional recipe by adding coconut milk in the rice layer, cinnamon and cacao in the bean layer, but the spirit of the cake is still the same. Celebrating 🙂 To everyone who has followed me on this blogging journey, thank you xrice cake1