Pumpkin Soup


My aunty lives in a country side after she and her husband retired. They now have a huge block of land full of organic fruits and vegetables that she is busy looking after. Thanks to her, all our family gets to eat fresh foods delivered to the door. She not only has a farmer’s hat but also is a great cook! She just has these magic hands that make all fresh produce turn out to be great dishes. Before I came back to Perth, she packed me a couple of bottles of freshly squeezed sesame oil, dehydrated pumpkin powder and concentrated plum tea. I always worry about losing the food items at the customs though it was fine this time. Hooray!

I made a pumpkin soup for lunch today using dehydrated pumpkin powder. My aunt harvested pumpkins, sliced them, dehydrated in the full autumn sun, and pounded to the powders – Yes! a long process, but it really boosts all the goodness in the pumpkins. These magic powders have full of packed nutrients; an antioxidant beta-carotene that fights against cancer, a provitamin for vit A, that is good for your eyes,  vit C for immune system and skin, a great source of fibre, potassium and zinc. I love using pumpkin in my cooking since it is so versatile. Great for soup, roasted pumpkin salad, stuffed pumpkin, stir-fry, etc.

I put two heap tablespoons of pumpkin powder, vegetable stock and handful of pine nuts in the small pot. Boil for about 5-10 mins in medium heat until it is cooked, then blended with a stick blender until you get an ideal smooth consistency. I like mine to have a bit of chunky bits and spicy, so blended about half way and added some cayenne pepper. It was so warmly and filling!

Summer Salads


I recently bought a veggie spiraliser on-line, which is great for making “pasta” (zucchini pasta here). I decided to use it today and felt like making lots of salads, so went down to the local market to get some fruits and veggies. Getting close to Christmas (nothing opens over holiday here..boo hoo!) everyone is mad shopping to stock up all the foods they need for a few days. I just realised all morning is gone shopping, making salads and cleaning up the mess that I created in the kitchen. I wish I could concentrate on reading and studying as much as I do on cooking 🙂

Anyhow after spending hours in the kitchen, I ended up making about four different salads for the weekend, which are zucchini pasta salad (photo above), roasted beetroot and pumpkin salad, potato and green bean salad, and lastly watermelon and cucumber salad with cottage cheese (photo below). I like keeping it simple. So dressing for all salads pretty much consists of apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, mustard seeds, pepper, and extra-virgin olive oil. Simple dressing like this not only has low calories but also doesn’t ruin the original taste and vibrant colours of the veggies. Just the way I like it!

I might take some of these down to the park on the weekend for a little picnic since the weather is so great here, only about 30 degrees. Despite a good weather, I’m dying to have winter Christmas with lots of snow! Ah..homesick again. I hope everyone has a safe, healthy and happy holiday.


Braised pork with rice and crunch salad + coconut bread


I’m not a big fan of eating meat (pork here) though I try to incorporate a variety of protein in my cooking for Daniel.
I cooked braised pork shoulder in Asian barbeque sauce. It just fell apart when I tried to pick it up with tongs after being cooked in the oven for about 3 hours. You know that is a good sign as well as a nice smell around the house 🙂
For the salad, I mixed grated carrots, beetroot, red cabbage, bean sprouts, coriander and parsley.
So crunchy and refreshing – goes well with hearty meat dish like that.

Pork is considered as quite fatty meat, though depending on what cut you buy and how you cook, you can eat them healthy.
Pork is high in vital nutrients such as phosphorus, selenium, zinc, potassium and copper. Vitamin B1 found in pork helps the growth and repair of muscles and nerve tissue. Riboflavin for skin health, vitamin B6 for metabolism, iron for energy, zinc for immune system, protein for building muscles. So if you choose unprocessed lean cuts and trim most visible fat, it is good for overall health.

I also baked a coconut bread which turned out to be so moist inside and crusty outside. I’ve become a huge fan of coconut after studying nutrient.
Well..I was scared of having any fats in my diet. I used to have everything non-fat or diet products just because “fat” sounded so bad and fattening to me.
It turned out I was totally wrong. You need GOOD fats, not BAD fats in your diet. Coconut is one of the good ones. Yes, it has a high saturated fat content (about 92% of the fatty acids). But you need good quality saturated fatty acids for the health of your bones, protecting your liver and heart.

Coconut stabilises your blood sugar, lowers cholesterol, hydrates you. Also lauric acid found in coconut oil has strong antifungal and antimicrobial properties.
It is extremely stable in heat, which means, unlike other types of oils, it doesn’t get oxidation and release free-radicals (causing cancer) while cooking. On top of all that, it can be used for pretty much everything e.g. cooking, baking, moisturiser for your skin and hair, etc. So I always keep a jar of coconut oil next to my stove for cooking and also under the basin to use on my skin after shower.
It smells amazing when you bake with coconut flour or flakes. It tastes good and fills you up because of its high fat content and dietary fibre.
So try to use more coconut products – coconut water, coconut oil, coconut flour, coconut flakes, coconut butter, coconut cream, never ending…….


Beetroot salad


Beetroot is one of the yummy vegetables that I tried for the first time in Australia. I think you can find them in the markets in Korea nowadays though it is unusual vegetables still.
I only tried canned pickled beetroot for the first time >.< well..I didn’t know much about it anyway.
It was nice though texture was mushy, very sweet and sour, thanks to canned food, full of preservatives.
Then I recently started using beetroot more in my cooking since I discovered all the good things about this amazing little friend.
Beetroot is rich in calcium, iron, vitamin A and C, a good source of fiber, manganese and potassium.
The rich purplish red colour is betacyanin, a strong antioxidant and anti-cancer agent.
It helps to beat high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, anaemia, fatigue and constipation.
Sounds good to me:)

You can eat raw like me by grating and putting in salads or make home-made pickles (don’t buy canned pickles! please) or roast in the oven with a drizzle of balsamic.
Since it is scorching 38 degrees here today, I didn’t even go close to the oven or stove today.
Cold salad is a way to go!
For this awesome red salad, I mixed orzo, carrots, beetroot, celery, zucchini and mint leaves.
Season with good quality herb salt and pepper.
Drizzle olive oil and lemon vinegar. Sprinkle sunflower seeds and sliced dried figs.
I made this to take to my friend’s son’s birthday picnic party tomorrow. Hopefully everyone enjoys it!
My mum sent me a couple of photos of snowing in Korea. It is a festive season soon, Christmas..New year..
I miss Winter Christmas..wearing a thick coat, scarf, beanie and gloves..walking around streets full of beautiful lights and Christmas trees..having hearty warm winter foods..
That’s how Christmas should be to me, not in 40 degrees heat 🙁



Sushi (well..a.k.a Kimbap in Korea) used to be a special meal for me when I grew up.
We had a picnic day in Spring and Autumn twice a year when I was at school. Sushi was a must dish that everyone brought in their lunch box and compared whose tastes and looks better. I liked that excitement the night before, waiting for a picnic day, sometimes sleepless night with a big smile on my little face. Mum used to get up really early and made noises in the kitchen to make my lunch box when I was still sleeping in bed. Then I wake up and walk to the kitchen. The kitchen bench is a full of colourful ingredients like a rainbow. Spinach, carrot, pickled radish, ham, cheese, eggs, some herbs, etc. My family ends up having mum’s sushi for breakfast, lunch and dinner that day. She made the prettiest sushi in the world and it, of course, tasted delicious! Ah..nostalgia..my childhood food 🙂

I know sushi has become a big trend of healthy take-away food. To me, though, western sushi has so much rice and no flavour compared to Korean sushi. And did I mention it is a bit pricy for a small roll of sushi >.<
I normally make one myself home because it is so easy and fun to make. If you haven’t done it before, it may look a little intimidating task but trust me on this! You just need to practice a couple of times until you get the hang of it. Always the first one is the ugliest, exactly like when you make pancakes. I used two cups of sushi rice and some vegetables to make two big rolls. A bit of chilli sauce to spice it up as well. I find it helps to have the sharpest knife you’ve got at home in runny water before you slice them up so that rice doesn’t stick to your knife and ruin your beautiful sushi. Writing this post…I think myself I really should call this Kimbap, not sushi!!!!