Vegan month of food #2

A fine lunch: Maangchi’s courgette jeon (‘pancakes’) and tofu side dish no photo as I had ten minutes to eat it before running out the door!

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Vegan month of food #1: pumpkin porridge + roasted pumpkin seeds

Just for inspiration, I signed up for the Vegan Month of food (Vegan ‘MoFo’) event this month. The official guidelines suggest food blogging every weekday, but that is much too ambitious for a full-time working mother of a baby like I am. Que sera, sera!

First up: Aeri’s Kitchen Hobak juk / pumpkin porridge with rice balls, her Halloween special recipe. Don’t those rice balls lend themselves perfectly to becoming spooky floating eyeballs? The dish was meant to be made yesterday, but Madeline is sick so she kept us busy. Nevertheless, it’s just in time to start out Vegan Month of Food.

It would be even faster to microwave pumpkin quarters, but I baked a pumpkin cut in fours (not halves like Aeri did) with pumpkin seeds on the lower cookie sheet level. No aluminum foil, but a generous drizzle of olive oil over the cut pieces and, of course, over the seeds (plus salt sprinkled on the seeds). I’m cooking Maangchi’s soybean side dish / Kongjang using black soybeans and the slow cooker with just a little bit of water, to transfer later to a saucepan on the stove with the rest of the ingredients. Slower cooking methods are perfect for distracted parents. Speaking of that, Madeline got into something!

Vegan month of food logo

Homemade kimchi

You might not know this, but I’m a ‘kitchen Korean’: I just eat Korean food, minus some Scottish oats in the morning. I just made up that expression but it’s succinct, isn’t it?

Korean cuisine is all the more delicious because thanks to it, and in no small part the breastfeeding efforts of my little 6 month-old, I’m back to wearing my size 38 RTW trousers 🙂 I thought it would take months longer (9 months up, 9 months down) . Phew!

My first batch of napa cabbage kimchi turned out okay, but it needs work. Maangchi’s pictorial and YouTube recipe I took liberties with the recipe: cutting the cabbage to actually make Mak Kimchi (cut kimchi), stirring in the radish cubes since I made a half recipe for this first foray, and using 2 grated carrots instead of julienned radish because that’s what I had in the kitchen. The big problem though, in my opinion, is substituting soy sauce for fish saice to make it vegetarian. The sauce looks like ketchup colour instead of a proper bright red kimchi. Back to the cutting board when this batch is finished (2 litres or so from now!)

and I made Maangchi’s kimchi jeon for lunch, and it was respectable! My flipping skills need work though. It’s probably the consistency of the batter since I eyeballed the measurements–Madeline was interrupting constantly and I had to improvise. The jeon pancake was the shade of raw steak blood from the soy sauce experiment.

Any ideas on vegetarian substitutions for fish sauce in kimchi?

Thanks everyone!

So many nice people chimed in on post-partum depression, and even more sent me private emails to cheer me on. A friend IRL read it and said that just reading it helped her reflect on her life stress lately, as she is taking high-stakes exams for promotion. Thank you! Your words mean a lot 🙂 I’m feeling better. I got a new nursing top, a new haircut, and I finished my skirt. Nothing like a feeling of accomplishment and doing something out of the ordinary to boost your spirits. The skirt is a little longer than its predecessor because I left the edges unfinished, like Cidell did recently on a tee shirt destined for weekends (sorry I can’t find the exact post) Cidell’s blog. Do you know how nice it is to wear normal, non-maternity, non-nursing clothes? Niiiice. Plus it’s been ages since I wore a skirt because I was a bike commuter and, well, they don’t mix well together, LOL.

Do you know that my favourite cuisine is Korean? I found Maangchi. Eureka! This is one of my most favourite dishes in the world, which I haven’t eaten for years since I moved out of Korea. Just last night I made the first of the two tofu dishes here, and my gfs like it so much they asked for the recipe. My husband will eat the whole plate if I’m not quick. WHOA, hey? It’s incredibly good. How did I live without it! No wonder I got depressed 🙂 LOL Maangchi’s cookbooks are available as free downloads and she has an iPad app. Check her out. Also Aeri’s Kitchen for more Korean food-YouTube goodness. If you know of any more, please tell us! I just love Korean food to bits. Mmmm!

And I’ve lost 5lbs of pregnancy weight this month. A nifty little side effect of having the blues that can perk you up.