Thursday, July 21, 2011


     I leave tomorrow!!!
In a matter of hours (less then a day) I'll be in Vietnam, exploring, beauty, exotic fruits, seeing Ani again...I'm more than stoked for this!

     Anyways, this evening I wandered over to an "all" vegan cafe to meet with some friends! About a month ago I saw this place when it was just opening and a revisit was in order. The place is called Muffino, considering the name you'd think there would be muffins...but what they call muffins are more or less flavored rice cakes.
     When I first went, there wasn't very much in the baked goods section, but this time, they've expanded their flavor options and drinks!
the "muffins" (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     They now have peanut, chocolate, green tea, apple spice, and black sesame. They also have tiny bite size brownies, almond crisps, nut chunks and, actual carrot muffins!
from left to right: carrot cake muffins, almond crisps, nut chunks, and brownies! (photo taken by VeganBeats)
      They also have a bunch of drink options!!
Blueberry "juice"~blueberries and soy milk (photo taken b VeganBeats)
     The blueberry juice was said to have the "most fruits I've ever had in a drink!!"
persimmon juice!! (photo taken by VeganBeats)
      I planned on getting a massive americano...and I did and...yum! Ice cold and hit the spot!!
photo taken by VeganBeats
pat bingsu!! (photo taken by VeganBeats)
photo taken by VeganBeats
     These aren't the traditional muffins us foreign kids are used to...they really are rice cakes. So, honestly not up my alley. This is flavored and cute deok (떡), but I think the drink options are worth it! So if you like that chewy texture "Muffino" is a must stop.

How to Get there:
Seoul Station University, line 2.
Get out exit 2 and walk straight for about 2-3 minutes,
Pass the Mister Donuts on your right and
it will be on your left side on the second floor (above Otsal)


Anyways...I'll be wandering the lands of Vietnam soon...(I'm too excited for fruit!)

See y'all soon!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lettuce Dried-basil pesto!

     When I think of Vermont, one thing seems to simmer at the top of my mind. It's not the home brews or the local goods (though they are in a broader aspect VERMONT!)  pesto comes to mind. I used to work at an organic market and we had aisles and rows filled with so many different types of pesto. Some local, some straight from Italy, home made, etc..pricey as hell but popular! I never indulged on it and though the smells teased me, I never really ate it. I love LOVE basil but oils I tend to stray from...However...this food processor of mine just makes me want to experiment!
     I don't have ANY fresh basil, and wanted to see if I could do something with the giant jar of dried basil I have. I also have no pine nuts, but a decent amount of walnuts, raw cashews, and raw almonds. And again, thanks to the generous lunch ladies, I had a lot of lettuce!

Lettuce Dried-Basil Pesto!
heavenly scents! (photo taken by VeganBeats)
What you need:
**Food processor OR blender!
~1/2 cup of walnuts (or nut mix...walnuts are great!)
~3/4 cup olive oil
~1 T dried basil
~3/4-1 t sea salt
~1/2 t black pepper
~1 T nutritional yeast
~3 cloves of garlic (I LOVE garlic)
~generous handful of lettuce greens (try arugula for zing!)

What to do:
1. put nuts, salt, pepper, garlic, nutrional yeast, and dried basil in food processor.
2. add the greens.
3. pour the olive oil over everything and give a whirl (the oil after everything for some reason makes it easier to disperse everything easier)

Even without fresh basil this came out great, and helped me use up the abundance of veggies I have going on. Seriously, Hamlet, 고구마 and I are having some freezer is getting stocked!

I had this over some "cabbage" spaghetti and pan fried oyster mushrooms...^^*!~
yummy plants...and fungus! (photo taken by VeganBeats)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cashew Walnut Cream Ricotta and Dissected "Lasagna"

     Raise your hand if you like lasagna?!

     This past year I was the first time I wasn't home for Thanksgiving, I usually make a bunch of vegan noms, all the fix-ins, desserts, sides, the shebang...there's a turkey but..that's that's the only thing my hands aren't in (literally). So instead of the traditional dinner (you know, cranberry sauce, stuffing, yams, sweet peas, baby onions, etc etc etc) my family opted with lasagna. (scooby doo hmmmmmwwhhh!!)
     I can't say I ever was a lasagna fan, I rarely if ever had a craving for it, sure I ate it but... I remember it being a special treat for the men of my house! My mom always made it veggie (huzzuh) but..even in my veggie days, dairy and cheese barely tickled my taste buds. The biggest memory I have about the lasagna adventure was the ricotta. That creamy chunky cheese that gives lasagna that weight and dare I say-tantalizing smell. I haven't had it in years, not even a replica so a while back, when at Kia and Sean's I had a taste of a vegan version and...well, my blending adventure began.
     Kia gave me a recipe and I've slightly tweaked it, mostly due to not having all the ingredients but now I've make a version I really like. It's nutty, shouldn't be eaten all in one sitting, but delicious none the less!

Behold, Cashew walnut cream Ricotta!!

not pretty but yummy^^*!~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     I have seriously been doing some damage with the food processor my 이모 gave me, so very grateful but this may very well be the end of me!
Cashew Walnut Cream Ricotta
What you need:
**food processor OR blender
~1/4 cup raw cashews (soaked in water for about half an hour and drained)
~1/3 cup raw walnuts
~1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
~2 T olive oil
~2-3 cloves minced garlic
~1 pound of firm tofu **drain all the water, as dry as you can get it!!
~1.5 t dried basil
~1/2 t Italian seasoning
~1.5 t salt
~1.5 t fresh ground pepper

What to do:
1. drain the tofu, try to get rid of all excess oil
2. In the food processor add the oil, nuts, lemon juice, and garlic...whip it up for a tad just to mix it up!
3. Add the tofu and seasonings and give it a whirl!!
4. Put the whole mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes or longer so it sets

     Today I decided to make myself a random dissected "Lasagna"
Because I'm leaving soon, I have a bunch of random veggies (curtousey of the super generous lunch ladies at my school!!) that my kids (Hamlet and 고구마) can't get through. I have an abundance of cabbage, corn (yech), and mushrooms (Oops Costco!) I decided to throw myself a small dinner party and...well this is my dissected deal!

Dissected "Lasagna"
What you need:
**This is essentially as much as you want, depending on how many you serve!!
~Cashew walnut cream ricotta
~mushrooms or seitan/tempeh 
~1-2 T for frying (I used an olive and sesame oil blend)
~1/4-1/3 c red wine
~veggies...Lots of them!
~1 cup water
~balsamic vinegar^^*!~

What to do:
~pan fry the mushrooms (seitan/tempeh) for 2-3 minutes on med-med high heat
~add the wine and let it simmer!!
~take the mushrooms off the pan and set on the plate and add one cup of water to the pan
~add the veggies (I did cabbage here) and either blanch or boil, up to you!
~layer up these veggies on the plate and drizzle a load of balsamic...
~don't forget the ricotta
**I know this is essentially a steamed salad but heyaaaa
all veggie kill-free dissected "lasagna" (photo taken b VeganBeats)
     I've had an issue with noodles for a while, so I used the massive amount of cabbage as a "pasta" sub, I steamed a bunch of it then let it drain for a while and cool down. I also blanched the obscene amount of other veggies (yellow carrots, baby carrots, broccoli) I had and layered them over the cabbage, The corn was more or less thrown in for color and because..can't waste it right?!
     The oyster mushrooms were pan fried in a sesame and olive oil blend with a wine redux. I also had some tomatoes that were on their way to tomatoe tombs-town so I sprinkled them with seasalt and cracked pepper and sliced some of my dying hot a raw spicey marinara deal. Plated it all layered and such, plopped some of that 'ricotta' on there and drizzled a generous amount of reduced balsamic...loads of fiber, vinegar, nutrients, and was brilliant after...
ooo colors ^^*!~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Honest Loving Hut

     Sunday afternoon I met up with Kia for a cellary exchange and dinner! I've heard raves about the Loving Hut in Itaewon (Honest) and I actually tried it out. The place is cute and...clean. I felt like I was entering a garden craft ranch straight out of a Martha Steward or Country Living magazine!
     Kia and I weren't very hungry so we split the supreme burger and fries (I think somewhere around 14,500W). The place was essentially empty and really quiet, always appreciated on Sundays. It was humid, warm, and...a busy day.
     When supreme burger came out, I was more than impressed. I'm not a burger girl, never really have been, but this was wonderfully plated. Clean large white dishes, delicately spread veggies, lots of different greens, eyes were feasting!
the supreme burger! (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     It was more than enough and I feel well worth the price,'s damn difficult to eat. The patty was tofu and some sort of bean and the salsa sauce spreading was great, hell the bread was even great, not too heavy, light, airy...but the burger didn't stay solid. The patty broke eaily, the sauce spilt all over my hands...I felt like a toddler. The pesto was flavor packed, dense, I kind of wish it was a bit saucier. The pumpkin was good, but a tad undercooked...and the potatoes...I wish they had a bit more crunch to them. I liked everything, but...some slight changes would make this plate measure up well next to how beautifully it was plated.
     Kia and I eyed the dessert menu and had our hearts set on bingsu (빙수) a traditional and common Korean summer dessert/snack composed of crushed ice, frozen 떡, fruits, and sometimes ice cream...they were out )O: But we went with the rasberry chocolate ice-cream cake!!
rasberry chocolate ice-cream cake! (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     They do look like swirly boobs...but this was wonderful! The cake was moist and the chocolate hinted with a teasing bitter, which paired very well with the rasberries! The weather was so hot, I was afraid of having melted ice-cream!

All in all, Honest is worth checking out. The ambiance of the place is peaceful, pleasant, and comforting. Next time though...I'm hoping for 빙수!!

How to get there:
Itaewon Station, Line 6, Exit 1.
Walk straight for about five minutes and turn right into the alleyway before "ABC mart." Walk up the hill for about 100 yards and Honest will be on your left on the second floor!!

This is the Honest blog!!

Vegan Whip Cream and...IPA!!

     Man it's been a while! Internet is working towards some sort of manipulated "order" and my life plans are...getting slightly more solid. But only slightly.
     A legit vacation is quicly approaching and I have plans set~ Vietnam~~
My vacation prior to this was at school numero uno and I didn't get very much notice so I spent a lot of it kicking it at home and...honeslty sleeping. This time, I'm going somewhere else in Asia and meeting up with a good buddy!
     Plans are fuzzy, shooting more towards adventure. Motorbikes, exploring, beaching it, laughing, fruit, loving...bliss!

Anyways...since last post, I've been everywhere, checking out shows, trying new restos, eating too much fruit, sweating new are still loading up (comp issues still....) But here are two sneak peaks.....
fruits and vegan whip cream!!! (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     Went to a buffet (Loving Hut chain) in Gangnam and they had vegan whip cream...not one for sweets and fats but..hell....had to.

     Also this past weekend FINALLY checked out the raved about 'Craftworks Taphouse & Bistro' near Noksapyeong station. The beer is brewed there, and...I heard rumors of an IPA.  I met up with Kia and Sean (it;s been ages) and caught up over more than a couple beers and had quite an adventure getting to them. (Missed the bus, traffic jam prevented the right drop off, wandered an extra mile...oy oy) but it was worth it.
     Upon landing, I already knew what to get and anxiously waited for this hoppy lovely beverage to touch my lips and...flood my mind with memories and taste buds with joy.
IPA!! (photo taken by VeganBeats)

and YUM!
     BQ crew back home...wish we were together knocking these back again....cyclono anyone?
     Finding good quality beer is easy trade here. I never drink beer here, not because I hate it, but because when it comes to beer, I've been a tad spoiled. Vermont has local breweries, brown ales, IPA's, home brewing, Hite and Cass just don;t do it for me. What I'd do for a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale....le sigh

Anyways, back to it. This weekend was filled with two beautiful and wonderful Seouls, Kia and Sean. Loads of love to them for...always being so kind, generous, genuine, and fun!!

Until next time... more pics and more updates!!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

computer issues

The reason behind why all the resto pics and updating has been an issue...will get on it pronto!!!

promises and positivity*!~

expectations, our own...

     This week, as every week goes, as everyday goes has been shaking around like a rattlesnake's tail. I've been really positive then quickly bitter and sour. Like those flavor changing gums, my outlook (though remains hopeful and genuine) is intensely effected by the dissapointing and relieving actions of others. Disapointment is something I must hone in on, because it is something that forever will occur. And in so seems so much more "vibrant" in comparison to those highlighting oxygen-rich moments. Disappointments tend to be much more common.
     I only say this because...that's life. Accept that you will be disappointed, and embrace it. Fighting it is a waste of energy and emotion. Also understand that the disapointment you feel is all on YOU, sure that person, that individuals may in fact be a royal d-bag but you are your parts, you are your emotions. And expecting others to rise to your expectations is again all yours.
     I used to get really upset with people when "they" disappointed me, I used to rip on vent about and I do still vent but with a better understanding that my dissapointment is actually in myself. I held that individual to a different standard and was wrong about them, leading to myself feeling foolish, embarassed, stupid, etc. As self-centered as it sounds, there is truth in saying that all things lead to you, to the "I" the "me." There's nothing wrong with that...the one person you must focus on first is yourself. If you aren't on good terms or tolerant terms with the self, chances of being genuinely cool with others risks a lower percentage.
     I am regularly wrong about people, not in all the same sense, some on minor shines, major marks, all sorts of differentiating levels. Assuming geniuinity in all is in fact...foolish and naive. As much as I would love to believe that all people are genuine, the more you study and observe others, the more you notice just how..."lost" so many people are. Not essentially fake, but through manipulated definitions, yes, they're fake, in genuine, liars. I don't want to throw those names out so quickly and easily, that would be a judegmental and simple minded part to name call so quickly. I'll give people a chance, but...not much of one. I am confident that I read people well, so when I am wrong, in any sense, it bums me out. A sweltering silent whispering self-doubt...
     The reason why my parts are so effected by other's actions is because...I feel I must at an even greater extent protect myself. I want to be open and comfortable with others...but something gets crooked. A red flag waves violently in my mind and I must back away.
     It's like having a crush, from afar. This person externally seems brilliant, a slew of positive traits and idealisms float around your mind when you think of them. But once you get to know them, slowly (or quickly) those traits get torn away. Not because they're bad, or awful, but becuase the realisms prove your dreamy thoughts to be incorrect. This happens at work, school, gatherings, it, it's there.
     Going in on something with no expectations is best, nearly impossible, but ideal. There, in that place, the mind and emotions are un-molded clay. You adapt and learn what a person is all about prior to creating this mental idealized version of them. They are human versus gods.
     People and organisms aside, this idealism and expectation tends to over-flavor all sorts of establishments. Cafes, beverages, restaraunts, music, etc.

This is becoming a tangent, a continuous banter of how all in all...our expectations alone cause us disappointment, it is all completely exclusively our own. People don't disappoint us, our expectations of people...that leads to our disappointment.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The life we have...."I hate my life" and could anyone....

     Allowing life to happen and accepting the every changing surroundings is a new found zen and peace of being that accomplishing is difficult to achieve. I find myself growing closer to achieving this. Where I was in my growth a year ago was shaky, quicksand lined with jagged rocks and wound in creases of lava. I was settled in a dark, dreary, period of utter confusion and unbearable sensitivity and fear. I needed, craved consistency, and realized that the "consistency" I was surviving with was purely disheartening, fearful, angry, and petrifying. I was balancing myself on broken stilts and bruised arms. I don't think that this was negative, not ideal but...necessary and is more than forgivable. Considering the past, I'm saddened and proud of how far I have traveled.
     I think of this zen in reflection of last night. This weekend really, so much joy has been experienced and so much gratitude built. I hear all too often "I hate my life." or see that "fml" posted on people's away messages, twitter and facebook accounts, etc. Why? Most of these are stated in response to a "small" situation, something so...trivial that I can't gather my thoughts to comprehend how that experience, predicament, or frustration would or could cause you to "hate" your life. I know often this isn't said in the severity that I am explaining it to...or believing it to be partially angers and saddens me to hear/read such things.
     I don't want to compare life experiences, to each individual, our emotional sores, physical ailments, mental troubles, what have you..they are all justified and important...but we, most of us have so much to love in our lives. We're living, we're experiencing, we're learning. The negatives are much easier to hone in on...the red house amongst a neighborhood filled with white houses. The one pimple on your nose, that tiny scuff on your shoes...etc. Concentrating and focusing on that 'mark' creates a dissociation from all else surrounding. I am someone who is also guilty of this, I am by no means perfect but I am growing to see the wonders of life with a big heart versus a frown or steaming head.
     This weekend began with...eagerness and curiosity. Friday night I worked on an article for hours only to have my computer crash. I had no time to assess and relax, just instant response...I started crying. By the time I did calm down and breathed a bit, I had already rewrote most of the article in my mind, then calmly searched through my emails, folders, to find an early draft, and instead of getting angry, this malfunction gave me to opportunity to write a better article. And to release some stress. I ended up staying in on a Friday night (O_o) and doing something I love doing, so structured accidental me time. I cleared my head for a walk, found new inspirations...and listened to music. One of the many things I adore is being anonymous in an environment. To be faceless in a crowd and ignored...the ability to observe and study people in their environment. Psychology aside...people will always intrigue me.
     Saturday I woke up very early, went for a fun run and allowed my skin to marinate in the dewy air. Maybe not the cleanest but I felt sprite, fresh, and content. Eating the sunrays I met with some friends in Insadong. Sarah of SeoulintheCity and Linus were filming their travel show pilot and were kind enough to let me tag along and help! Not only did I get to witness such a brilliant project being put into action, I got to learn more AND be in Insadong. This led to being on the sidelines, and being part of a mission, a creation. Making something is...inspiring, impressive, astounding. You're making something, you're creating something that will influence others, leave a're making a statement. Witnessing that creation honor really. A full day of filming was fun, and tiring..and deserved. Everyone involved was so different and their coming together was motivating. We all went out to eat and shared in down time. I felt like a child, a new kid, soaking in their school on the first day. Everyone, I mean everyone involved, and who I have been meeting lately has so much ambition and talent. They're all doing brilliant, dreamy things...things I've talked about and after spending time with them..I am motivated, inspired, and driven...positive!
     After parting ways I took a nap, a well-rested, body-scanning peace-filled slumber. I'm sure the beer helped, but it was the first sleep I've had where...there was no trouble, fear, or disturbances. I woke up with energy and curiosity about the night to come. The club was in the stars...and I met with Jaxs and Patricia dressed in a "secretary" themed ensemble. My friends are stunning really...I wish they only knew.
     Anyways...we go, bump into some more of those inspiring people and enter a club that's too packed for comfort and...not a great vibe. We left to a convenience store to get some more affordable beverages (another americano for this one) and it started to rain. We found a gorgeous trellis and simply engaged in conversations, soaked in music. I found myself being overwhelmed with so much love for these women, I could care less about the club and dancing, I was perfectly content doing whatever, friend love! We go back, it's still packed and we make the sudden decision to go to Gold Bar in Sincheon. We grab a cab, have the sweetest cab driver and within minutes we're now somehow at a 24 hours McDonalds. While inside, an old friend, from my gym was there. Small world, and chance meeting...more perk.
     Gold bar 3 was next and upon entering, two buddies I haven't seen in a while greeted me with hugs and genuine smiles. So much positivity and...I couldn't help but smile. I haven't been to Gold in far too long, and was first introduced to it WAY back in November and every time I've gone, I've had a wonderful time. The crowd is great, the place is chill, pool table, good drinks, darts...comfort. Catching up with those buddies was great and I met a woman that used to work at EDLS!! Back when it was AWESOME...and we resonated about our students...and more love more love.
     Jaxs and I ended up parting off to get coffee and just...kick it. Somehow, she paid for a glass of wine and we ended up with a bottle. (O_o) We spent a couple hours just..getting in our time. I feel like this week I've been missing out on her sister, my love! We ended up coming back to my place, drinking more wine on my rooftop and watching Detroit Rock City...Best friends for nearly a decade and...there are only two people in the world that I am so close to. I have love for many people, and of course love the family that has been with me through everything...these two people....mean more than the world to me....more than words could ever describe, and more than feelings can express.
      This morning started with well...afternoon, Jaxs and I listened to music, played with Hamlet and 고구마 ate apples, chatted, laughed....

In closing...It's now Sunday and I've got nothing but appreciation for life. Plans didn't work out, things weren't perfect, shit hits the happens. Embrace it, it's art, creation, and there is so much we have...I have. I see what I have overcome...and am so thankful that I am here now to experience all that I am a part of, feel, touch, see, hear....

FML....yea, FML is one to cherish. It's the only one (in theory) I have, and I will make and put more effort into living it everyday.


Friday, July 1, 2011

The weeks points...

      The past couple days have been bursting with life, massive puddles of rain, great shows, beautiful people. vegan noms worth mentioning. I guzzle down coffee (literally guzzling, like a car...) and write and go.
     I apologize for being kind

Here's a bullet list of this weeks glory:
*crossed into iphone world
*umbrella broke on the way to school~>excuse to splash in puddles all the way to work ^^*!~
*ran in the rain re-listening to the new Arcade Fire album
*got more than 4 hours of sleep for 2 days this week!!
*discovered a new spot (wine cafe/recycled interior..etc etc etc)^^*!~
*guys at New Wave Coffee gave me a coffee for service (so much gratitude)
*Danny Cho and Big Phony at Platoon on Wednesday
*meeting some wonderful fellow Korean Americans
*found a new secret spot bar~hot totties (the only drink besides straight whiskey that I moderate)
*article about vegan noms for cnngo published!!
*caught up with a buddy and Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia...they're all happening!!!

This weekend has nothing but wonder ahead....I collect silver linings like I pound americanos....

enough procrastination~~back to my article...

"'7 Restaurants for the Seoul Herbivore" in

Remember a while ago when us vegan ladies did the bakesale for Japan...we all met with a journalist for and Mipa over at AliensDayOut and myself are in it!!! Chyea....^^*!~

Check it out ^^*!~