Thursday, April 26, 2012

Vegan Za and Crock Pottin' Curry~

     This oven may become an eventual death sentence, there so many things I can now do...it's like I've been racing dolphins and I just got given gills~ the world is at my fingertips! There's the natural grilling, roasting, and dehydrating...but I've been starting on my omnivore goal list...or veganfying jam~
     Challenge in Korea numero uno~ vegan za~ Deep in my freezer I found some follow your heart cheddar cheese so I got this super packed, kissed with veggies, herby za on top of a homemade Italian herb whole wheat dough~ check it!!
das Vegan za~ photo taken by VeganBeats
     So what's on this crazy thing?! Spinach, cheddar "cheese", cherry tomatoes, onions, garlic, zukes, and smokey tofu~ the sauce was made from scratch with some vino, fat tomatoes, and lots of Italian spices...verdict...filling, stacked, and sleep inducing.
     I need to perfect the crust, it's a bit too thick, too heavy, and very pillowy. More like a fluffy French bread crust versus a crunchy, floppy one...will master some day~
     I also have some access to a crock pot, so I did some crock pottin' and whipped up a beany, high protein, rich curry! I threw in peas, chickpeas, broad beans, red beans, lentils, zukes, spinach, carrots, and pumpkin~ heavy on garlic, turmeric, cumin, and spice~
photo taken by VeganBeats~
     My apartment smells great...I can only live with these warm noms for a few more days (or weeks) until Summer rolls through~
     In terms of recipes...I never really measure (>_<#) but I'll make another attempt and post that jam up!)

팥빙수, ready for V?!~

Monday, April 23, 2012

Oven playing~

     I have an oven! I can now play baker whenever I want, roast things, and hell~ I can dehydrate things!! It's been maybe a week and I've already roasted some zukes, made some cookies, and baked a few cakes for my buddy Brian~
the cake~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     The cake was a mash up of nearly everything, chocolate chips, mangoes, cashews, peanuts, coconut, almonds, and cranberries! The frosting was a coco-peanut butter butter cream. I made a bunch more cakes that only differed in that they were coconut-oat chocolate chocolate chip with a peanut butter coconut butter cream frosting.
    I also made some dark chocolate protein bars...!!
very VERY rich~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     It was raw dark cocoa, almond butter, peanut butter, cashews, cranberries, and coconut! I think I may have threw in a load of flax too...

Maybe I'll finally learn how to bake up a dense studded-bread~

Friday, April 20, 2012

Cherry Blossoms at Yeouido Park~

     Any Korean inhabitants are pretty aware with the "Cherry Blossom" obsession here, it's a festival almost. People crowd Yoeuido, Jamsil, parks, etc to cling hands with their loved ones, skip with their families, coo, and soak in all of the dainty pink and white flowers that embrace this land~ When the slightest wind breezes through the branches, thousands of petals sprinkle through the sky, almost snowing.
     In all the time I've been here, I have neglected the Cherry Blossoms. For no reason in particular, besides not understanding the big deal. It's beautiful, it truly is, but the idea of crunching and squeezing through so many people harbors my motivation to wander amongst the branches.
     I finally did it, my buddy and I had a camera adventure~

     Korea is a couple country, if you have a partner~ it's like you won the Superbowl, and you rock that ring until you lose! I hate to say it, but when you do have a partner you do everything together, nearly broadcasting "I'm NOT single." The Cherry Blossoms are a major couple "festival." So...I got lots of cute couple pictures~
waiting to meet his partner~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)
photo taken by VeganBeats
cascading blossoms~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)
photo taken by VeganBeats
photo taken by VeganBeats
intimate~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)
tender~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)
beautiful woman, scowling partner~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)
love~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)
sending love to her girlfriends~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)
photo taken by VeganBeats~
photo taken by VeganBeats
     Seeing all these lovey couples and families was warming, and sweet~ I'm not bitter (jeezum I hope it doesn't sound that way)! It felt like these couples were genuinely enjoying one another and brimming with all sorts of romance~ much better than the wining hisses that you here right! So...hell yea on them Cherry blossoms^^*!~ 

How to get to Yeouido Park?
Go to Yeoinaru station on line 5 and get out at exit 2~

Happy Romancing, loving, and galavanting~

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Oncoming Wilderbeasts~

     Monday began sloppy, crazy, dissociated, incoherent-  Melissa introduced My Drunk Kitchen to me and since then, I'm just a little bit hooked. Sunday evening I kicked it with my crew and whilst showcasing and sharing this youtube gem, I decided that wine for dinner was a GREAT idea. It was, at the time. I had a blast, attacked my twitter and kakao, almost bought plane tickets, scheduled some new art "appointments", but...woke up still beyond inebriation. I had a small window of feeling pretty sober, just fuzzy, but alcohol digestion got me stupid hammered until two in the afternoon. Though...my drunk motivated me to be pretty damned productive. I snuggled with my girl, finished a book, studied French AND Korean, ran five miles, did an hour of yoga, and then~ finally got sober. While walking home I kakaod my lady:
"I feel like Mufasa walking against oncoming wilderbeasts."
     I recall walking forward, able to see then a rush of blur hit me and maneuvering around everyone seemed impossible. And anyone in Korea can resonate with how people here tend to organize themselves...I was feeling way way lost and so confused. I stumbled home and fell into bed where I put all my energy into trying to see straight. I downed water, ate something~ instant vomit...still groggy but naturally a bit clearer..I grabbed Hamlet and snuggled while stopping the spins and diving into my book(s).
Hamlet~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     Time passed and everything was still spinning so in a stubborn and determined state of mind, I tried to do whatever I could to hit Sober city. First, I hit the books...I've been working on my Korean skills for a while, and am now revisiting the world of French. 
study study study~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     I got through a couple sections of Korean and a chapter of French until I started rolling into my books. Run time~ I threw on the essential running gear and tried to throw in my LMFAO but...it was too loud. Running silent was the only option...five miles in, and I was still a tripped up trotter. I shin-splinted home and got to downward doggin' yoga. An hour later, it was approaching two and I was slightly better. I had work in a bit, so this was another opportune time to go trek around, sweat or burn off more wine. 
     Sober city was reached right before my tutoring gig...ugh~
     After two hours of tutoring, I went on a two hour walk, grabbed pics of cherry blossoms and wandered my way to Noksapyeong~
Cherry Blossoms~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     Where of course, Standing Coffee was visited and a large iced Americano was knocked back. I had dinner plans made with the wonderful Kia and Sean and was already eager to spend some time with great people, pups, and a cleared mind!
Powerful ladies stop for Standing Coffee~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     Kia and Sean are...ugh too amazing! They have improved Seoul and Korea in so many ways~ I haven't seen them in a while and dinner dating is and was perfect! Kia whipped up another wonderful meal, but for starters....we had a wine cocktail~ I was going to swear off but...pureed mangoes, raspberries and white wine...?!?!
mango puree, waiting for that there vino~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     Result, divine! Fresh, cooling, very summery, and something I will be making and craving again! This is what a Summer drink should be! 
...and now them razzies~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     For the main course, Kia made a lentil salad full of fresh basil, lemon juice, olive oil, cucumbers, carrots, and tomatoes! This was another great Summer salad, super healthy, full of flavor, and refreshing!
lentil salad~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     Kia also made butter-bean cutlets, which we paired with all sorts of fixin's to birth a sandwich. Mine I loaded up with hummus, lettuce, tomatoes, the cutlet (of course) and both mustard and ketchup~ Drinks, salad, pups, beautiful people...Sober city is a nice place!
that there is a sando~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     Kia and Sean have also taken in another foster pup (who thinks she's a cat)! Too cute eh!
derpy cat-pup~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)

Res2go Teriyaki Grill

     Last night Jaxs and I had the pleasure of dining at Res2go in Noksapyeong, an "American Style Teriyaki" restaurant that though boasting with all sorts of meats and seafood does have some vegetarian and vegan friendly plates. Res2go has several locations, check out their facebook page to find them! There are three listed vegetarian friendly plates and only one vegan plate, but if you state that you're vegan, the staff is both knowledgeable and accommodating.
     I've never been to Res2go but I have passed it several times, a wee bit curious each round. The interior of the space is very laid back, a classier fast-food type of joint. The area is clean while comfortable, and the entire menu is reasonably priced. I was prepared to throw some Korean around to explain my concerns but the staff speaks rather good English! When I mentioned the whole vegan deal, the staff pointed out what dishes could be tweaked and were already vegan, the tofu (두부) dish for 7,900 원 and the stir fried vegetables (볶음야채) for 8,900 원. Another additional vegetarian dish is the yakisoba vegetable (야키소바) but the noodles are made with eggs. )O:
     We started off our meal with a massive salad. This was so good, there were cherry tomatoes, sliced radishes, radicchio, sprouts, baby greens, and iceberg lettuce dressed with a teriyaki-based dressing/sauce that was prepared from scratch! The sauce really made this salad, perfectly balanced with a hint of garlic.
beautiful colorful salad~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     Next we shared a 두부 dish, the tofu was fried and served with two balls of rice and some steamed cabbage and broccoli. Two sauces were set on the table for diners to use freely, a spicy red sauce and a teriyaki sauce. I really liked this concept because we could season and drench our meal as generously or sparingly as we preferred. The tofu was simple, pure, and crunchy. The textural difference worked with the sauces, the teriyaki stuck well to the rippled tofu skins while the red sauce clung to the crunchy bits. Deciding which sauce I preferred was the only challenge, both were great though!
두부: 7,900 원~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     The stir-fried vegetable dish was prepared specially vegan. The sauce that it is usually prepared with apparently has some sort of animal product so we got a pretty simple fry up. I wish the dish had more color, it was very straight-forward, but I believe this restaurant is meant to be a fast-food type of place so expecting something ornate and intricate is a bit silly. This dish is another one that paired well with the sauces we were given. I'm not sure what the original sauce base is but this was rather satisfying. 
볶음야채: 8,900 원~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     Res2go teriyaki grill is a comfortable, low-key, and satisfying place to eat. For vegans or vegetarians wanting more than just tofu and veggies, you may want to go elsewhere. But if you want something affordable (everything is around 7-10,000 원!) and generous in portion, Res2go is a good place to make a pit stop. Everything is filling, and option of sauce amount is great. As much as I love sauces and dips, too much can ruin a dish; being able to work with your preference is something I wish more restaurants would do. 
     Jaxs and I didn't touch the rice and still left pleasantly full. It's comfortable, quick, filling, and wallet-friendly. 
     Will I be hitting this place up again?
                                                               for sure~
photo taken by VeganBeats
Directions:
Noksapyeong station exit 2 (녹사평역 2번) on line 6, walk straight and cross the street through the underground tunnel. Make sure to exit out of the right side and walk past Standing coffee, Res2go Teriyaki grill will be on your left side!

Address: 
Yongsan-gu, Itaewon 2-dong, 559 Seoul
Phone#: 02-749-9297

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Taco Amigo

     Last week, after Easter brunchin' a few of us checked out Rico Amigo, a Mexican/taco spot that's been on my radar for awhile. The owner, a super kind guy know, KNOWS what vegan is and is beyond accommodating. Kia and Sean, along with other veg-heads have told me, for nearly two years now, to check this place out; I'm very glad we did.
     The place is small and bustling with people to the point where lines form- all the time. It's always a good sign if people are willing to wait for food and the space is always packed with smiling diners. We were the waiting crew and while our orders were taken outside, the staff moved some tables and chairs around to make some room for all of us. (thanks!) I got a lot of great suggestions and went with the vegan chimichanga. But first...a pitcher of "margarita." ...
glug glug glug~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     We went with a lime pitcher (25,000원) and though it was strong, it was more of a slushie with tequila than a margarita, and not very lime-y.
photo taken by VeganBeats
     Jaxs got the veggie nacho and it was loaded with ingredients! I love seeing dishes that have variety and color...feed the eyes then the stomach. 
Jaxs' nachos! (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     My vegan chimichanga (I think 11,000 원) was tightly packed with lots of veggies. It came smothered in guacamole and jalapenos, still hot, crunchy, and smelling all sorts of divine. 
photo taken by VeganBeats
     I was pleasantly surprised and taste-bud spoiled when crunching into this monster of goodness. When I mean generously filled with veggies...I mean Christmas morning spoiled. Look at this!
loaded~ photo taken by VeganBeats
     I was filled to the brim before finishing the plate, but it was one of those "this is so good, how do I stop" situations. I now totally understand why so many people pack into this place, and why all my vegan buddies have recommended it. 
     If you want a loaded and generously filled vegan burrito, chimichanga, taco~ check this joint out. It's decently priced, everything is made fresh, and it's more than filling~

Directions:
Itaewon station exit 4 (이태원역 4번) walk towards Gecko's and walk straight (where IBK bank will be on your Right side, on the corner). Taco Amigo is very close to the bus stop. 


Lenny Kravitz Seoul 2012: Video

Here are the two short videos of Lenny Kravitz in Seoul that I gathered, as promised~
video
The next video is while he decided to "see everyone" and I messed the shot up because...well we were intertwined~ ㅎㅎㅎㅎ
video

Monday, April 16, 2012

Some vegan eats~

     Oh right...this is a vegan blog~ Here are some eats from the past couple weeks...
loaded 김치김밥~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)
반찬~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)
마파두부~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)
extremely disappointing hummus from Rocky Mountain....do NOT get~ (photo taken by VeganBeats)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lenny Kravitz Seoul 2012

     Way back, when I was a mere middle school kid, I wasn't allowed to watch any MTV. All of my peers would wander into school spitting things about Road Rules, TRL, etc...I was always oblivious. I'm music-savvy and can carry my own, even when I was a kid. But MTV isn't about music, hasn't been since it first came out. When everyone chats MTV...they're spitting shit, I don't, and never knew that much about "shit" (unless well...uhhhh) On top of the "no crap tv" rule, we didn't, and have never had cable. The moments when my brother and I were exposed to cable tv, was the five minutes before our piano lessons at our teacher's house and the times we visited our Nana and Papa. Somehow, through some stream of glory and very suddenly, our home tv got VH1. VH1 was quality, music non-stop, pop up video, top twenty rock singles, music videos, VH1 artist spotlights, etc. My brother and I would soak in every video and I felt connected~ I could relate with my peers.
     There were some artists that made a genuine connection for me, some of them are may be embarrassing- preferences folks, and I was a middle school kid. Who were these/are these bands...Sugar Ray, Goo goo dolls, Santana, Fastball, Tal Bachman, Red Hot Chili Peppers, etc. There was one singer though, that was rebellious, risky, sexy, aesthetically drawing. Every time this artist was on the screen, my eyes were glued, studying the video, the lyrics, the attitude...he was empowering and full of love.

     And I saw him on Friday...and he held my hand! The "Best Male Rock Vocal Performer" Lenny Kravitz... I won free tickets to the show, and went with some pretty great guys! He put on a brilliant performance, was full of love, and provided a genuinely magical evening. The videos I took aren't uploading (ergh dropbox) but here are some shots I got of this rocker~ (I'll upload the videos soon!)
photo taken by VeganBeats
photo taken by VeganBeats
so happy! (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     Phil was wanting "Again" to be played, we were yelling it out so many times and Lenny played it! He looked at us and stated:
     "I didn't plan on playing that, but okay!..." Ugh~ so good!
photo taken by VeganBeats
     This was Lenny's first time in Seoul and his honest appreciation for being here was clear. He's been preforming for nearly 25 years and seems to still LOVE what he's doing. He got the audience involved, urging everyone to come forward, closer to the stage...the bodyguards were not feeling that. But after a little bit of time, he decided to "see all of us" and walked throughout the entire stadium....he got close to both Phil and I and when I reached my hand towards him, he clutched onto my hand! UGH~ 13 year old...phbbt present day me is still overwhelmed by this!
amongst his fans! (photo taken by VeganBeats)
     He ended the show with "Let Love Rule", a perfect way to bid us farewell. I wish this show could have been shared with everyone, it was a great great show...all of us were in a bit of a dream-like state...I want to bask in this for a while.
photo taken by VeganBeats
...I held Lenny Kravitz's hand....

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Easter, Friends, and Photographs~

     This is a tad belated but "better late than never" right?
Easter was about a week ago and it crept up on me...
     I had NO idea Easter was happening until my friends set up an "Easter brunch" and I got an invite...even after pouring over food blogs and foodie news, the connection didn't happen. Peeps were scrolling through all my damned news feeds and somehow Easter didn't show up on my radar.
     Oops~ (Catholic school...guess I didn't take the core from it, eh?)

     Sunday morning, I met up with a bunch of friends at Big Rock in Gangnam. For vegans and vegetarians there were several options, much more so for the vegetarian folk. What does a veganbeater stuff their face with? Iceberg lettuce, vegetable spring rolls, tator tots (ughghg liger....I'm sorry thighs), couscous, and coffee~ I neglected to take pictures, don't really have a worthy excuse so...skipping over this.

     After brunch we wandered to the Han and enjoyed the wind, wine, drinks, company... and laughter. My Easter's, back home, many years ago~ involved my nana hiding loads of chocolate eggs all over her house while my brother and I exchanged challenging looks...who will be swifter, faster, and efficient~ who can hold more eggs?
     As soon as Vegan hit my life, my Easter's became less exciting and competitive. The chocolate competition essentially died...while Alex got chocolate bunnies, cadbury eggs, and peeps, I got hummus and carrots...you may think this isn't an equal trade.

I agree...it's not~ hummus and carrots are better!

     Anyways....this post is more or less and excuse to post the photographs I gathered of my beautiful friends~ I want to get better...must learn photography~~
the belt~ photo taken by VeganBeats
the approach~ photo taken by VeganBeats
peace~ photo taken by VeganBeats
concentrated unassuming beauty~ photo taken by VeganBeats
light~ photo taken by VeganBeats
suave~ photo taken by VeganBeats
pose~ photo taken by VeganBeats
shaded stunner~ photo taken by VeganBeats
adorable~ photo taken by VeganBeats
love~ photo taken by VeganBeats
o'really~ photo taken by VeganBeats
     Nearly half of the photographs I took I was unhappy with...I need to improve and need to learn. 

I am also more than open to feedback...actually, I want feedback!

After getting chilled by the Han, a few of us tried out a restaurant...review to come soon!