I adore a nourishing bowl that is vegetable centric and also full of flavour. This bowl happens to be one of my favorites and on my menu almost every week. When I build a vegetarian or vegan meal either salads or stews, I always combine grains, legumes and vegetables to make it filling and satisfying because a bowl of veggies is just not enough and nutritionally unbalanced. Herbs and spices are a must to kick up the flavour. My favorites are cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, cumin, fennel seeds, za’atar, parsley and coriander. For a texture, you can change your cooking method – raw, grilling, steaming, braising, roasting, stir-frying, etc. Another way is to sprinkle some toasted nuts on top. It makes a meal more appealing and ,of course, adds healthy fat into your diet.
This bowl has nutty chickpeas, salty black olives, colourful vegetables, warm spices and herbs braised in rich tomato sauce. It is an ultimate hearty meal, though it could be nice and refreshing in summer with a slice of toasted bread, too. Enjoy x
Ingredients (serves 2)
1 cup of soaked chickpeas
1/2 white onion
1/2 cup broccoli
1/2 cup cauliflower
8-10 pitted black olives
1 bunch of parsley
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1-2 cups of water or vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
Cover soaked chickpeas with water in a pot and boil over medium heat for 20 minutes until cooked. Drain and set aside. Add coconut oil into a skillet over medium heat. When oil is melted, add chopped vegetables except parsley and spices. Stir with a wooden spoon until vegetables are tender and coated with all spices. Season with salt and pepper. Add cooked chickpeas along with water or stock into a skillet. You can add less or more water depending on how thick you want your stew to be. Bring it up to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until veggies are cooked for your liking. Stir in chopped parsley before serving. Ladle into a bowl and serve warm as either main or sides.
I’m so emotionally attached to peaches in two different ways. It’s a funny story to share, but Koreans take it pretty seriously when it comes to ‘conception dreams’, which means the dreams that you have while pregnant can be interpreted as the gender or future of the baby. Dreams are commonly about fruits, animals or plants. In my mum’s dream when she was pregnant with me, she was walking over the bridge and lots of peaches were floating along the stream. She was trying to pick one that turned out to be a big, pink and beautifully ripe peach. Then she woke up happy next day. Peach dream normally means a baby girl that is ME 🙂 Another story is that it reminds me our family’s summer holidays. I don’t know if it’s because of that conception dream my mum had, but I absolutely adore peaches in summer. My favorite way of eating it? Wash the fruit and eat as a whole. I know it gets pretty messy especially when you bite into ripe juicy ones.
I’m usually not a fan of adding sweet fruits into the salads. I made an exception though today just because peaches are so good this time of the year and I want to make most out of it. This salad is so refreshing and goes well with chicken, fish or tofu. Ripe sweet peaches, creamy chickpeas, fresh spinach and zucchini, salty feta cheese dressed with a simple dressing. Yum! Try it before peach season finishes x
Ingredients (serves 2)
1 peach, sliced
1/2 cup baby zucchini, thinly sliced
1 cup of cooked chickpeas
1 cup of baby spinach leaves
30g crumbled feta
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix all dressing ingredients in a small bowl or jar with a lid. Taste and adjust seasoning. Pour over the salad and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle crumbled feta cheese.
Best thing about this season is that fresh fruits and vegetables are abundant. I couldn’t believe how sweet and tender it was when I bit into a raw asparagus. Asparagus taste so good whatever method you choose to cook either char-grilled, blanched or pan-fried, but I’m going for raw today because it tastes so divine and sweet as it is. So I decided to make this super simple chopped salad to make most out of beautiful vegetables. It is tossed up with authentic Korean dressing, which is tangy, sweet and salty – full of flavour. This dressing goes really well over tofu or fish. I added a bit of cayenne pepper for a kick to my taste but leave it out if you wish. Enjoy x
Ingredients (serves 4)
1 cup of chopped cos lettuce
1 cup of green beans, blanched and chopped
1 bunch of asparagus, sliced
1 sprig of green spring onion, finely chopped
1 cup of bamboo shoot, sliced
1/4 of yellow capsicum, sliced
1/4 of red capsicum, sliced
2 tbsp of green olives, finely chopped
2 tbsp of toasted sesame seeds
Korean Oriental Dressing
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp minced garlic
a dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
ground pepper to taste
Wash and chop all vegetables. Place in a large mixing bowl. For dressing, whisk all dressing ingredients in a bowl or a jar with lid. Taste and adjust seasoning. Pour dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle toasted sesame seeds for garnish.
I hope everyone is enjoying a beautiful autumn weather in Australia. I’m sure some of you are more engaged in exercises and sports as the weather allows us at the moment. I’m going to briefly write about changes in my exercise regime and healthy eating in this post. I know it is so confusing when someone tells you this works this doesn’t and so on. So I will keep it as a part of my story here. I really enjoy going to the gym everyday and do Pilates and stretches at home. I’ve done that for years hoping to keep my body in good shape and health. However, I had trouble putting on muscles and toning up as much as I wanted to. I then took some advice from a gym junkie, my brother, and changed my exercise program and diet, which I can totally see the difference in my body and strength. My weight hasn’t changed at all (it’s just numbers!!!!), but I feel so much stronger when doing daily activities such as carrying grocery bags. So here is what I do to tone up.
– 30 minutes pre-workout, I drink a cup of coffee or a glass of water and have some snacks e.g. a handful of dried fruits
– I start with a light cardio workout as warm-up and cool-down about 10 minutes each.
– Focus on weight training. Work on different muscle groups on different days. For example, I train the muscles that you use to pull (back muscles and biceps) one day, the opposing muscles (chest muscles and triceps) next day, legs following day
– Use a variety of exercises to train same muscle groups. For example, I do chest press, inclined bench press, cable across and push ups for chest muscles. 10-15 reps x 4-5 sets, 30-20 sec rest in between.
– Focus on technique e.g. eccentric control and breathing.
– Eat well after workout. This is what I didn’t do before, but you need to fuel up your body to facilitate muscle repair and recovery. Have plenty of water, carbs and protein within 30min to 1 hr.
– Rest and listen to my body. Really important! your body needs to rest. I do Pilates, yoga and light cardio on rest days.
– Sleep well. Adequate sleep releases growth hormone that is essential for muscle building.
Okay, enough on my story. This gluten-free wholesome healthy loaf is so easy to make and delicious. Cinnamon-y, coconut-y and chocolatey. It is my ready-to-go meal as breakfast and snack. Oh it is even better with a spoonful of nut butter or goat cheese on top (yes! protein boost). Happy baking x
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tbsp raw honey
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tbsp cacao powder
1 tsp vanilla powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
50g chopped walnuts
50g goji berries
a pinch of salt
Lightly beat eggs in a mixing bowl and add in almond milk, raw honey and melted coconut oil. Then add other ingredients and stir to combine. Transfer the mixture into a prepared loaf tin and bake in preheated oven (180) for about 30 minutes or until cooked. Let it cool before serve.