Sunday, October 30, 2011

Seoul Zombie Walk 2011

     As the air chilled our spines and the winds gently hissed in our ears
it was time to fright, to set off thousands of fears...

     Seen throughout Seoul were dozens of very sick individuals. They were presumed merely delusional until a group of innocent bystanders were brutally attacked and savagly disemboweled.
     When medics arrived on the scene to their shock the victims rose up and attacked the medical team. Leaving no survivors. As hours passed the community of attackers grew and more innocents fell victim to this un-dead epidemic.

This is a Seoul-wide Warning, please remain inside and do not leave the premises until further notified. These individuals are both highly dangerous and contagious. This epidemic occurred last year...Until further notice, here are images caught throughout this Seoul Zombie Walk.
seemingly placid (photo taken by VeganBeats)
seeking out prey (photo taken by VeganBeats)
they have taken over the metro (photo taken by VeganBeats)
hungry (photo taken by veganBeats)

weapons will NOT protect you (photo taken by VeganBeats)
they WILL woo you (photo taken by VeganBeats)
food, now (photo taken by VeganBeats)
A newly made un-dead (photo take by VeganBeats)
warning (photo taken by VeganBeats)
some carry swords (photo taken by VeganBeats)
they will not stop (photo taken by VeganBeats)
Please be careful...no matter how kind they look or sorry you may feel for them you must protect yourself and your family....
final screen shot (photo taken by VeganBeats)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Suitcase full of surprises

     This past week I turned the quarter mark and reached a lifespan of 1/4th a century. I can knock in the biggest coin in terms of the dollar (forget the half, I'm talking illegitimate everyday seen coins kid)!
     Earlier than that, my family sent over a suitcase FULL of too many sweet vegan noms and goods...Aiiii!!
jeezum! (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     Craisins, organic peanut butter, dried mangoes, dried blueberries, almonds, walnuts, pecans, apricots, etc, and tea. Along with this I got two very sweet cards sending words of love and support and...I'm so completely grateful.

Thanks family!!
Hamlet and some Valerian root tea for mom! (photo taken by VeganBeats)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Iskiate (chia seeds)

     Four months ago I mentioned a book that made me want to run through fields and reminds me to get moving~ whenever I can. And I really should be, it gets my endorphins pumping and my energy lifted. Anyways in 'Born to Run' the Tarahumara  eat loads of chia seeds and this little thing provides them with loads of energy. This inspired me to load my closet up with chia seeds and in efforts to up my tea consumption and lower my caffeine coffee cravings, I've been replacing my drained state of being with inskiate as opposed to delicious acidic liquid. Inskiate is also chia fresca and thanks to avid fans everywhere, I was able to find a recipe. I've changed it up a bit...
photo taken by VeganBeats
     Chia seeds are packed full of fiber, provide iron, calcium, Thiamin, and a whole range of vitamin B! Also get this, the fat from the seeds are omega-3s, the oils found in fish and cod-liver! The protein in the seeds are complete, similar to ones found in animal protein. So we don't have to mix up a variety of protein to get all those protein points filled!

I've been drinking this pre-workouts, pre-work, etc...and feeling pumped!!

yum!

What you need:
*1-2 T chia seeds
*8 ounces of water
*1tsp-3tsp lime juice
*sweetener


What to do:
1. add the water to the chia seeds and let sit for 5 minutes. The mixture will start to gel up.
2. add the lime juice and mix up
3. add sweetened to taste....take it on the go!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

the 100th day birthday (백일)

     There are several birthday celebrations that are highly valued in Korean culture, like America, certain ages mark big milestones in your life. There's your sweet 16, the legal 18, the drinking 21 and the hilling 50. My newborn cousin just had his "100 day celebration" (백일)  this past Sunday and it really brought me back to when my brother had his. It was first time meeting my new cousin and he is precious. As over-used that word is towards any infant...he was a really good baby (I mean how bad can they get?)

     Classic dished in Korea for any birthday are 미역국 (miyeok guk), also known as seaweed soup. It is usually prepared with fish broth but my family is far too kind and whipped me up a vegan one AND organized a massive vegan spread...

Who's a lucky lady?~
the spread (just some of it) photo taken by VeganBeats
김치 whaaaaa (photo taken by VeganBeats)
콩나물반찬!! (photo taken by VeganBeats)
버섯반찬 (photo taken by VeganBeats)
오이김치반찬 (photo taken by VeganBeats)
I forget the name of this but...divine! (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     Is it ever really a party is there isn't any 떡 around?
cute! (photo taken by VeganBeats)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Vegan Dubu-Beoseot Jeongol 두부버섯전골 (Mushroom Tofu Hotpot, serves 4-6)

My recipe as featured in NEHmagazine


Vegan Dubu-Beoseot Jeongol 두부버섯전골 (Mushroom Tofu Hotpot, serves 4-6)

     Jeongal is a type of elaborate stew in Korean cuisine. It is similar to jjigaes except that jeongol is composed of several different main ingredients, versus one. It is a very healthy type of stew, mixing flavors, varieties of nutritious greens and several textures. It was once considered a food of the court (due to the richness and variety) even though it was once made in soldier’s hats. This dish is full of flavor, and is more than satisfying. This dish is great to work with because you can throw in anything in your fridge. Jeongal is served with rice and other banchan.
photo taken by VeganBeats
Ingredients:
*1 (420g) package of firm tofu, sliced
*3 fresh king oyster mushrooms sliced thinly (the long way)
*1 pack of enoki mushrooms (torn into smaller chunks)
*1 large onion sliced thinly
*1 cup soy bean sprouts
*2 scallions (chopped diagonally)
*some water
*sea salt (to taste)

Broth base:
*1 Tbsp soy sauce
*½ tsp kelp powder
*1-2 Tbsp red pepper powder (start with 1Tbsp, to adjust the spice level)
*½ Tbsp sugar
*2 Tbsp sesame oil

Directions:
1. Slice all of the vegetables and drain the tofu.
2. Cut the tofu into slices and place the tofu pieces on the bottom of a pot.
3. Layer the slices onions, mushrooms, and bean sprouts over the tofu.
4. In a separate pot, mix all of the broth base ingredients and simmer on very low heat for ten minutes.
5. Add the cooked broth base to the main pot, and then add enough water to cover all of
the vegetables.
6. Bring everything to a boil and then bring it down to a simmer for 20 minutes. (If the liquid boils down too much, add more water.)
7. Add the chopped scallions to the soup and add salt to taste. Serve this with rice!

Buchu banchan sengchae (chive banchan) 부추승재반찬 (serves 3-4 as banchan)

my recipe as featured in NEHmagazine
Buchu banchan sengchae (chive banchan) 부추승재반찬 (serves 3-4 as banchan)

     Sengchae is a type of food preperation that refers to raw vegertables in a sour and spicey sauce. The raw factor means that the ingredients are full of all of their nutrients so that they are much more healthy versus boiled down foods. Buchu (chives) are inexpensive and full of Vitamins A, B, C, calcium, and iron. On top of that, chives have a detoxing effect, naturally cleansing the body. They naturally provide the body with energy and essential nutrients. This dish is served well with rice and other banchans.



Ingredients:
*2 cups of chives
*1-2 tsp minced garlic (feel free to adjust for your own taste)
*1/8-1/4 tsp minced ginger (feel free to adjust for your own taste)
*1-2 tsp soy sauce
*1/2-1 tsp red pepper powder
*A little bit of sesame oil
*Sprinkle of sesame seeds (for garnish)

Directions:
1. Clean and cut the chives into 2-3 inch lengths
2. Add the minced garlic, minced ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, and red pepper powder. (feel free to
add more red pepper if you want more spice)
3. Mix well and garnish with sesame seeds.
-Serve with rice and other banchan.

Kong namul banchan (soybean sprout banchan) 콩나물 (serves 3-4 as banchan)

my recipe as featured in NEHmagazine 


Kong namul banchan (soybean sprout banchan) 콩나물 (serves 3-4 as banchan)

     Kong Namul is a popular banchan that is both easy and quick to make. It is rather popular and a necessary part of any bibimbap. It requires very little seasoning, allowing the true flavor of the soybean sprouts to shine. It is high in fiber and protein along with low calorie. For a quick and easy meal, try serving this with rice, some kimchi and sesame oil.

photo taken by VeganBeats
Ingredients:
*4 cups of soybean sprouts
*2 chopped scallions
*3 Tbsp sesame oil
*sea salt (to taste)
*black pepper (to taste)
*red pepper powder (optional)
*sesame seeds

Directions:
1. Steam soybeans for 15 minutes, they will appear clear in color. Put them in a bowl until they cool down.
2. Add the red pepper, salt and pepper to taste.
3. Add the sesame oil and mix with your hands.
4. Garnish with sesame seeds.

If you want a quick and delicious meal serve with rice and kimchi along with some sesame oil!

Boseong Green Tea Fields: Where Green Beauty Roams

My short article and photo spread in the October NEH issue:
photo taken by VeganBeats
     An escape from the coffee-rushed streets of Seoul and into the soothing embrace of Boseong’s green tea fields, a child-like wonder washes over you. Accounting for nearly 40 percent of the green tea produced in Korea, the farms that coat Boseong’s slopes and grace the hills are part of an exotic scenery that leaves you uttering “This is in Korea?”
     Boseong is in Jeollanum-do, (located just five hours south of Seoul). Just 15 minutes from the bus terminal you can arrive at the Daehan Dawon “green tea” farm theme park. A gurgling stream and massive mossy green cedars guide you to the rolling hills of tea bushes. A sweet scent wraps around you in overwhelming relaxation as its stunning presence enthralls you.
     About 5.8 million tea plants grow in 1.7m² of space, while the entire farming area spreads to over 5 million m². Green tea first grew wildly in the forest during the Chosun dynasty and considering the rich soil, warm temperature, and generous amounts of rain, the plants prospered.
     Spotted all over Boseong, there are luxurious fields, beautiful emerald blankets miraculously snuggling up along the mountains and angled lands. Boseong is everything ‘green tea’ from the people to the food. You can easily sip on some of the freshest and youngest tea, while soaking in the scenery and spooning in some green tea bibimbap. Enjoy the fields any time of the year, though it’s most impressive during the late summer and spring. Even on rainy days, the Boseong green tea fields will blow you away.
photo taken by VeganBeats
photo taken by VeganBeats
photo taken by VeganBeats

Friday, October 14, 2011

Vatos Urban Tacos: Eat, Drink, Chill, and Get Ready for Real Tacos

My article on Vatos Urban Tacos has just been published in the October issue of NEH:

credit


     I’ve always wanted to be a Los Angelino, there’s this idealistic sun-streaked beauty that I attach to it, along with wheat grass shots and hard surfer bodies.
      I’ve yet to be there, and a have hell of a lot to learn, but from all the LA kids I’ve met, I’ve learned that nothing beats real Mexican food. Coming from Vermont (and Massachusetts) the closest I’ve come to it are the organic local beans simmered in GMO-free vegan taco seasoning, or Taco Bell. I want to taste it,
I’ve heard so much gusto and passion spilling from the saliva of those groaning LosAngelinos that I’m craving it vicariously through them. Mexican food is, essentially non-existent around these parts. I mean real Mexican food. Korea provides an uneducated attempt at the cuisine, not to hate, but Korea does Korea’s food great; the best, but in other food attempts, hit the books and board them planes.
     In a matter of weeks, Kenneth Park is opening Vatos Urban Tacos, a real taco joint, packed with fusion Korean flare. Keeping true to is core, this Los Angelino know what he is doing. His genuine love and passion for bringing quality to the food is infectuous.
     Beyond charming and well read, Kenneth gives off that perfect LA vibe. -chill, humble, articulate, and full of knowledge.
     “I find a lot of pleasure through pleasing people through food and drink. I really really love to dine, and I love to eat, and I love to cook. Just...when you crave something so much and you can’t get it, and it’s not available to you, you kind of go crazy.”
     Kenneth grew up eating the best Mexican and Latin foods. LA markets ingredients such as fresh tortillas, spiced beans, fresh cilantro, and local avacados. He also grew up to “Blood In, Blood Out,” the Chingu for the Mexican and Latino community. That movie inspired the name for Vatos Urban Tacos.
     “[Blood In, Blood Out] has that solid infinity. ‘vatos vatos vatos, forever’ vatos means like ‘hey homie’ kind of means chyeak ye amongst friends. I thought the name was comedic, my LA crew thought it was silly. I did some focus groups, and we were in between names. It was Tacorea or Vatos. Tacorea sounds too
much like lotteria, has a cheap connotation to it. I said, ‘Vatos’ and they (the focus group) were like ‘Vatos so good’ and I said do you know what it means? Doesn’t matter, we like.’ I was really humbled by the naming because from western standards they (Korean food chains) have a lot of names that don’t
make sense“
     This is Kenneth’s first restaurant, but not his first business project. Prior to Seoul, he tackled a family business.
     “My dad is like a mad Korean scientist. He invented these gold training products and I always disregard his ideas but sometimes I think one will do all right. I made him a deal. I’d write him a business plan and if we’d enter it into the Boston-wide business collegiate competitions. If we won, we’d start the business,
and we ended up winning. We won on the graduate level. We did that for four years, we did an infomercial, we had gold sponsors, the whole shebang.”
     The stress of business and family involvement led to Kenneth coming Seoul-side and after doing the hagwon deal for over a year, he realized it wasn’t for him. Food was something he had always wanted to do.
     “Mexican food and Californians, Angelinos in general, we have such a close tight with Mexican food. And the great thing about Mexican food is that the flavor profiles are similar with Korean profiles. The palates are harmonious with one another. Koreans love Mexican food, and Mexicans love Korean food. The
spiciness, the marinades, the rice.”
     Vatos Urban Tacos will bring a fusion-feel to Mexican fare. There will be a new concept of tacos and food. It may not be authentic, like loads of tapas and tamales, but there is a focus on tacos. Vatos will be serving up an Insanata Baha Fish Taco, a play on kimchi salsa, a real pork belly samgyupsal taco,
classic carne asadas, and lots more. A couple dishes that are sure to please any omnivore will be the Mexican meatball (dished up with a chipotle and adobo sauce) and the pork belly kimchi french fries.
     “It’s going to be french fries topped with chopped braised pork and sauteed kimchi on top. It’ll be our take on chili cheese fries, Korean stye.” 
     And for us vegan kids, there’s rumor of some vegan friendly tacos in the works!
     There will also be some classic drinks, real big margaritas, that Kenneth assures me are “really really good.” One of their signature drinks involves a margarita with a beer bottle in it. So as you drink it, the beer drains (look out for the Dos Mariotos!)
     Hearing more about Vatos, my mind started traveling elsewhere, to avocados and kimchi salsa. Many ingredients can be purchased somewhere in Korea but for the special ingredients, Kenneth is importing thosehimself. The food will all be made to order too, guaranteed freshness! But the most exciting part of Vatos may very well be the fresh tortillas. Nearly all of the tortillas here in Korea are frozen, not fresh, and with that a different texture and flavor is released. Kenneth wants to provide fresh, quality, and great food.
Vatos Urban Tacos will be located in a new street in Itaewon, (the alley right behind Outback) and Kenneth hopes it will become a focal point. He wants to put this street on the map. In the middle of this month, make sure to kick it at Vatos Urban Tacos, a real taco bar, that’s urban and chill, free of the sombreros and
mariachi music. Vatos Urban Tacos is a must for when you’re craving quality tacos.
     “More than anything, we want to provide good food and good times. Our slogan is ‘eat, chill, and drink’. Like, that’s an LA thing, it’s all we want people to do”.

Chyeak ye.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Korean dates (대치)

     One of my favorite things about traveling has to be the fruit. I love spoiling both my body and taste buds with unique and funky produce...and it's much more special when it's personal to a country. Korea has some stuff, nothing I'm too pumped about. We've got persimmons, grande apples, the Jeju clementines, Asian pears, and small yellow melons. Thanks to VT, I'm an apple snob and the fact that there is a ton of variety that used to be easily available to me...I barely drop the cash on these. Persimmons are great but can easily be overdone...(for me) and Asian pears and those melons just aren't bursting with as much flavor as I place the exotic fruits I've met throughout my life.

But...for a small and short time...there are these!
Yum! photo taken by VeganBeats
     Look familiar?
They're usually dried and floating around in teas and for you omnivorous folk, they're in 삼계탕. These are Korean jujubes, also known as daechi (대치). They are great fresh! They have a pit inside so you pop them in, spit out the seed and let your body feel the benefits! The wood that these little fruits come from are actually used to make the body of the traditional musical instrument, the 태평소 (taepyeongso).

Oh and another fun fact...apparently the smell of the plants makes people fall in love~

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ashoka Indian Restuarant

     This past weekend I met up with some friends for an early lunch at Ashoka Indian Restaurant. We stumbled upon buffet time to an empty and sweet smelling place overlooking the main street of Itaewon. The space was really open and allowed the soft sunlight to blanket all of the artwork and plants decorating the room.
the buffet lounge (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     When explaining my dietary "limitation" (cough) the staff was super kind and walked me through the buffet line telling me all of the ingredients in every single vegetarian option. They were very patient too, when I double-checked on ghee issues. Everyone else I was wish is omnivorous, so there wasn't much of an issue for them.
     We were all served water and breads, naan is never vegan but I got some roti to share with the crew. It was flat...really flat. I feel like it may have been frozen and reheated.
roti! (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     My appetite wasn't raging (홍대 막걸리) but I wanted variety..a filled plate none the less. I got iceberg (I don't care nutritionally naked it is, I LOVE it), some chickpea salad, diced cucumber onion and tomato salad, carrot and eggplant curry (sorry I didn't write down the names), a small dosa, and some spinach curry. The chickpea salad was delicious, fresh, flavorful, and healthy. The cucumber deal was refreshing as well...the curries weren't spectacular. But that's expected with any buffet...
plate (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     Maybe this makes me a snob, but Indian food is best when made to order. Freshness is key, freshness offers pure honest flavor. I love Indian cuisine, but often it feels too heavy. I feel like if I ever went to India~ I'd be the gas queen. (sorri kids, but let's accept beany truths)
     The bill came out pretty pricey, and considering I dropped 20,000W for the plate...I guess I should have gotten more. But I wasn't super hungry... I'll come back, but next time, I'll make some space in this tummy of mine, and probably opt out on buffet and order something fresh.
pretty tables (photo taken by VeganBeats)
Directions:
Itaewon station (line 6) go out exit 1. It it on the 3rd floor of the Hamilton Hotel.
Hours: 11am-11pm, Buffet is Friday-Sunday. (lunch buffet(23,000W): 12-3pm and dinner buffet (29,000W): 6-10:30pm)
Phone #: 02-792-0117
Website

Monday, October 10, 2011

Craig Mitchell & Motor City

     My crew back home (VT) is undeniably talented. I've been blessed to be surrounded by artists of all sorts.
Check out and support Craig Mitchell & Motor City. My buddies are working on raising funds to make an EP happen~ Check them out and help them out!!

Kickstarter page
Facebook page


Brilliance must be supported!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Hongdae taps~

     This past Monday while in 홍대 there are always a slew of creators trying to pitch something, practice, show their talents...
     I love seeing artists do their thing!~

And this guy was very skilled with his feet!
video
    creators inspire me to also get on it!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thai Orchid

     This past Monday I enjoyed my day off with some funky friends and a Thai dinner! Kia and Sean (the infamous) have lived all over the world and are two absolutly wonderful people...and I've been fortunate enough to share many noms with them! They have always mentioned Thai food with the slightest hint of drool dribbling out of their mouths and I was able to experience the glory at Thai Orchid....
     I was super hungry when we got there, but not to the point of ordering too much to even look at. We all shared a soup, salad, curry, and dessert. (Funny how some people get all that just for themselves)~ it was all together beyond filling and delicious.
     We started with the Som Tom J (10,000W)...
Som Tom J  (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     This was a Thai salad full of mushrooms, shredded cucumber and carrots, cashew nuts, and was garnished with cherry tomato halves. The salad was bedded on top of two napa cabbage leaves and was swimming in a spicy and edgey tomatoe based hot sauce...it was delicious, refreshing, fresh, and the sauce left you wanting more.
     The curry we got was the Pad Pak Med Mamuanng J (11,000W). This had a good assortment of veggies, baby corn, peppers, cabbage, carrots, cashews, tofu and 묵(muk)!
Pad Pak Med Mamuanng J (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     The textures all balanced well, crunchy veggies, snappy peppers, soft crisp tofu and warm muk. The portion wasn't huge but the flavor was! I really liked the addition of muk. I've never had it warm but there's something about acorn.
     The soup we got was the Tom Yam Pake J (12,000W). This was amazing. Lemon grass and real galangal! Tons of veggies, steamy spicy coconut broth and lots of flavor. It was hot, it was a sexy kind of heat. One that simmers in your throat a little bit, urging you to get in another spoonful. I couldn't get enough of this broth...creamy coconut milk and heat...yes please!
Tom Yam Pake J (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     The desert we got was the Khao Neow mamuang (7,000W) meaning mango and sticky rice. From ever Thailand visitor I've ever met, their body sinks with the thought of this dish..sinks in that "ugh, I miss it so" type of way. I finally experienced it and...ughhh...just get it...GET IT.
Khao Neow mamuang (photo taken by VeganBeats
     The decision of whether I must visit Thailand has been nailed in. I think I will become the fattest person in Thailand when I go, what are sweatpants made for right? (I joke...I can't.)

I highly recommend experiencing the food at Thai Orchid. It's fresh, flavorful, a little pricy but...hey, it's quality.

How to get there:
Itaewon station (line 6) walk out exit 3 and walk straight for about 5 minutes, it's located on your right on the 3rd floor.
Phone #: 02-795-9338
email: arurot@hotmail.com

Miss Representation

I am looking forward to updating my intelligence on this subject...

This is worth watching

Miss Representation 8 min. Trailer 8/23/11 from Miss Representation on Vimeo.

Facebook page

Official Website

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Dill pickle and Garlic cilantro Hummus~~

Ugh~ there's something else I miss so much about the states (VT)...fresh organic herbs and hummus!
Thankfully there's good ol'reliable Foreign Food mart and this woman here grabbed some dill and cilantro...and had herself a small protein rich party~~ (minds out of the gutter kids)

Dill pickle hummus (photo taken by VeganBeats)
What you need:
*can of chickpeas
*3 cloves of garlic (or MORE!!)
*half a bunch of dill
*1-2 T olive oil
*some pickles and a T of pickle juice (have a packet of pizza pickles?)

What to do:
blender...throw everything in...whirl whirl whirl

garlic cilantro hummus (photo taken by VeganBeats)
What you need:
*can of chickpeas
*3 cloves of garlic (again...or MORE!)
*a bunch of cilantro (this is all up to your taste really)
*1-2 T olive oil

What to do:
*Got a blender...you know the drill


I know this isn't complicated...I've been loving this blender/food processor I've got....


Monday, October 3, 2011

Vegan MoFo

Oops~~

This month is Vegan mofo!!! Hoping to post something wonderful everyday...may be lots of boring veggie shots...I mean... YUMMY VEGGIES!!

떡볶이 Ddukboek-ki

     Inspired by all the street stalls all over Korea...I whipped up some of this a WHILE ago...떡볶이..More kitchen playing....
     I always see kids and adults alike shoveling this stuff in. I've never been a fan or have ever craved it (even in those horrid 소주nights) but...It is Korean...so here goes.
떡볶이
photo taken by VeganBeats
Not a very good quality photo but hey, it tasted good.
What you need:
*떡(rice cakes)
*sugar
*거추장 (hot pepper paste)
*carrots (optional)
*cabbage (optional)
*onions (optional)
*4 cups of water

What to do:
1. in a pan pour in the water and boil over medium heat.
2. Add whatever sliced up veggies you want to add (carrots and cabbage are ESSENTIAL*!~)
3. Add the rice cakes to the water and a ratio of 1 TB of sugar for every 5 TB of hot pepper paste.
4. Keep the mixture boiling over medium and stir until it boils down and the rice cakes look shiny and glazed.
~You can keep adding water and let it boil down, but the rice cakes will get really swollen. I like mine saucey, hence the soup looking picture above ^^*~


Next up is 김치버금밥 (kimchi fried rice)...(maybe...)

deal, 밥 doesn't love me...and same in return. I just can't digest or consume this stuff like everyone around me.

A day in Chuncheon (춘천)

     Sunday morning I woke to the chilly air and hinting sunlight with a full day set ahead of me. My 이모 and 이모부 were taking me with them to 춘천 (Chuncheon), a place outside of Seoul, way out West with loads of mountains and bearing a famous title for its 닭갈비 (dak galbi), chicken galbi.
     I met with them at the crack of dawn (while all the drunk kids were venturing home) and within a 1 hour and 20 minutes train ride, we were in the chilly hills and mountains of 춘천. We took a ferry to an island where there were temples. And while snacking on tea and apples our eyes were teased with what was to come.
awaiting (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     I thought we'd be alone at this hour, but we were only three of the hundreds of people eager to get their legs moving!
piling into the boat (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     As soon as we landed we decided to grab some eats (and fuel) before our hike...luckily there were vegan options!!!
all that 김치 (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     The red kimchi I'm not sure if it was vegan, but the 물 김치 and 된장김치 were vegan...and yummy! The 반찬 was also good, I liked the mountain roots the best. So packed with flavor and hinting on slimy...trust this isn't a bad thing!
various 반찬 (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     I got my FAVORITE food...도토리묵 if I could, I'd eat this only...all the time. It's hard to come by or find often..and throughout Korea it's made differently. This mountain side one was full of tangy lettuce leaves, 김 (seaweed), crushed sesame seeds, perilla (sesame) leaves and of course, 묵 (acorn). The sauce was thicker and clung onto the ingredient...cucumber is usually in this dish...and well, I never can get enough cuke!
도토리묵 (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     Walking up the mountain, there were tons of stands selling 전 and 튀김(fried goods). I'm glad I don't have a major temptation for fried foods...this cleanse man. The fried stuff was actually of some roots that are rumored to provide the body with some serious health benefits.
fried roots~ healthy (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     I loved this hike to the temple, we wandered into all sorts of lovely things!
waterfallin (photo taken by VeganBeats)
old temple being renovated (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     Closing in on the temple I started hearing scratching records and bumping amps. What?! Apparently, the monks like to shake their hips too!
Buddha beats (photo taken by VeganBeats)
temple crew (photo taken by VeganBeats)
giving out 막국수 (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     춘천, I guess is pretty famous 막국수 (spicy buckwheat noodles) and the monks were handing out plates of these for everyone visiting today. The line wrapped around all sorts of temples...looked like everyone was enjoying it!
nom nom nom (photo taken by VeganBeats)

     The temple was lovely, and even thought there were loads of people, I felt relaxed, happy...calm even. Getting out of Seoul~ needed. Here's some shots (a better camera is arriving...)
shy lights (photo taken by VeganBeats)
cute kids (photo taken by VeganBeats)
a little color (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     Coming back down, my eyes focused on the greenery...I am missing VERMONT so much. Seoul, I love you, but get some more trees. This girl wants to climb something besides subway stairs!
we climbed that kid (photo taken by VeganBeats)
our boat (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     The boat ride back was nice...I want to swim!
swim swim swim (photo taken by VeganBeats)
photo taken by VeganBeats
     That chicken stuff...how my family got me to wait for over an hour to sit inside one of these restaurants... The streets were packed, the homes were packed, the restaurants were packed...this isn't a vegan friendly location. Close your eyes...
the street sign (photo taken by VeganBeats)
the line outside (photo taken by VeganBeats)
닭갈비 (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     Seeing all that raw stuff (not talking yummy veggies) laying naked on the iron pan got me sick...my family promised to eat everything...no wasting or disrespecting omnivorous folk!
     I nibbled on lettuce and water while observing the crowded place around me.
packed (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     After stuffing guts and growing tired...we walked back to the subway, fell asleep on the train...and now I'm home. 

It's been a great day...thanks to Seoul...I got a little bit of soul back in me.