Monday, October 29, 2012

Happy Halloween!~

Hope everyone everywhere has had or is having a Wonderful Halloween!
photo taken by VeganBeats~
     Do you know who I am?
photo taken by My Seoul Photography and Writing 
If you do not....please watch this...
photo taken by VeganBeats~
The Forest Spirit gives life and takes life away. Life and death are his alone

You should just watch all of Hayao Miyazaki's stuff...brilliance~

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Introducing Gamja and Mandu~

     On the 19th I kicked it into 26 with loads of fun sticks, clever licks, and jams nothing short of esoteric~ I'm now in the upper 20's and entering the 26-50% mark of the "ideal" 100-year life! My birthday was full of lightness right from the start! It began brilliantly, and came to a close with an embraced and loving ease~
    I'll write more about it's overwhelmingly positive experience soon, I just wanted to introduce to all of you, and the internet world~ the VeganBeats family has gotten two more!
     I introduce Gamja (Korean for potato)and Mandu (Korean dumpling!)~
Gamja on the left and Mandu on the right~ photo taken by VeganBeats
     They're still teeny little pups and starting to grow a bit more adjusted to their new home...holy hell are they beautiful little pups~
morning snuggling, Gamja int he back and Mandu up in your face! photo taken by VeganBeats
     Hamlet is having a hard time adjusting to the new girls, she's already quite defensive and aggravated that she is having to share time and seems a bit more needy~ There were chatterings and a bit of fighting...they'll grow on her...sometime~
The VeganBeats' ladies, Mandu, Hamlet, and Gamja~ photo taken by VeganBeats

Friday, October 19, 2012

VeganMofo "itches"

     Catching up on some stuff I've missed throwing on this page of mine~
These are some "itch'n'the'kitchs" from the beginning of October~
SUPER protein packed stir fry, SUPER Protein, Fabulous fiber, Delectable~ photo taken by VeganBeats
the breakfast I'm excited to eat, apples, cinnamon, walnuts, pecans, dried cranberries and cherries All downed with a GIANT coffee~ photo taken by VeganBeats
Super green wrap, kale/broccoli/zucchini/gosari cutlets (gluten free), avocado spiced spread, dijion mustard, cucumbers...nom nom nom~ photo taken by VeganBeats
Vegan "tuna" sando (inspired by AliensDayOut)~ photo taken by VeganBeats
a messy open-faced sando on whole wheat baguette. Slivered zucchini, garlic green hummus, dijon mustard, thick tomato garlic onion sauce chalk full of kale, cabbage, tofu, nutritional yeast, and spinach...Oh and there's a tofu cashew nut basil cheese...sando preggo~ photo taken by VeganBeats
Yikes~ O_o#

Happy VeganMofo kids~

Birthday post is coming because VeganBeats its sprinting into the upper 20's now (aigo!) And I'm sprinting with smiles~

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cheesy Coconut Zuke Noods with Kale love

      A hard night of drinking usually leads to unhealthy cravings, in Korea, people go for ddeokboki, twegeum (various battered and fried foods), or ramyeon. Being a super extra picky vegan, I steer clear of Asia's crucial staples-rice and noodles. But a while back I was craving the texture and slurpiness of noodles and ramyeon, so I made a super dressed up and healthy version~ free of noodles! A gluten-free 100% vegan ramyeon! While making it, I figured why not go for the gold and make it stupid rich and "cheezy."
     For the "noodles" I spiraled a bunch of zucchini, the only way to eat a spaghetti is if it's zuke~ For the sauce/soup, I made an extra garlicky, noochy, and cayenne spiced mix. I used coconut milk and added spinach, seaweed, and kale...along with a generous fist-full of nooch and black pepper and cayenne.
     It was packed with flavor and was almost guilt-free, if it hadn't been for the fact that coconut milk is rich! I also tend to tie any cheese flavoring with pure fat...happy belly, guilty mind...but still sinfully delicious~
     Why didn't I try this out years ago?
slobber~ photo taken by VeganBeats

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Al Matto~

      More back-posts (I've got quite a handful) and memory stirring~ a big complaint I hear about how Korea does some food is pizza. I can't really personally speak for za because I've never really ate a lot of it. I just wasn't in the pie-cult. I know there are cheap 5,000원 pies available, Mr. Pizza, Pizza Hut, Pizza Etang, etc...but the chain of responses or feedback I get is "It's not real pizza."
     There was some hype of a new pizza joint in the HBC that had a beautiful array of ingredients, a real brick pizza oven, pasta and spaghetti done right, and I'm open to check it out, and when meeting with Melissa way back~ I was on board. The only thing...not a pizza kid. None the less, we were grabbing noms at Al Matto.
      The first thing we started with were the drinks. It was a horrid humid day and the sweat was collecting on everyone...and everything. I went with a mango margarita and Melissa went with the blackberry/currant/blueberry (aigh, it's been a while). The restaurant wasn't packed but it was rather understaffed. Two guys manned the place and everything, from water to getting orders taken took a sweet amount of time. But...when we did get the drinks, things rode a slightly more patient boat.
drinks~ photo taken by VeganBeats
     For food, there are a few vegan options, you can get a pizza sans cheese, and there are salads, but I wanted something super filling. I got a veggie wrap, with no bell peppers, and nearly twenty minutes after, I got a toasted pita filled with balsamic kissed caramelized onions, mushrooms, eggplant, and garlic. The dish was served with a small side salad dressed in sweet balsamic and some peppery french fries. Melissa and I threw in generous doses of hot sauce and struggled to not spill the sandwich/pita wrap all over the place. It was good, but nothing to really write home about. Saute some veggies, throw in garlic and balsamic and you've got the twin, fro a fraction of the cost. It was satisfying but not inventive, and wet. I don't eat bread often, but when I do, I don't want soggy.
photo taken by VeganBeats
     If you're with friends and feeling for a pizza, this place may be better. The sandwiches aren't that special, the salad was light and tasty but teeny, the fries were great but...I'd rather get more salad. Anyways~

How to Get There:
Noksapyeong station, walk out exit 2 and continue walking straight. When you get to the kimchi pots continue on straight and walk up Haebongchon (The HBC) for about 10 minutes, Al Matto is a little farther up the street and across from Jacoby's. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Silverlinings in a bit of fog~

      The past couple weeks have been a bit sodden with sadness, my shoulders are slightly more hunched over, and my chest has been a bit heavier. There are so many things that I should focus on, the silverlinings are worth far more than the building account of disappointment but it's ironic how much more of an impact the gray skies make than the crunchy Autumn leaves.
     I've been trying to keep my chin up and eyes smiling, but the drive to keep things forward have been blurry. The lamp of lightness is blinking and needs to be changed, but I'm short a few bucks and either apathetic or too tired and angry to pump up the effort. I've been marinating in the disappointment, lacking the will to throw my fists up.
     It reminds me of 'survival mode' in Dead or Alive (the video game!), you'd beat one person and while you're building your health, another opponent jumps in the ring throwing fists and swinging legs. You never build up your health without getting beat up a bit.
      I've been learning and discovering mountains of heartbreak, spurred by my family here...I miss my 할아버지 so much. I miss my family stateside and Binger. My best friend is getting married and there are all of these celebrations happening for this big change and event in her life, and I'm not sharing in them~ I so wish I was. I've been trying for over seven months now to get some stuff done, and meetings and phone calls, texts, and messages are ignored, false promises are made...I'm getting ignored/avoided. (Now doesn't that stir up middle school parts?) I've been getting greater disheartened, quicker to sadness, and embracing~ running into the arms of assumed (and so far correct) inevitable disappointment.
     I am still loving my silverlinings, and aware of the glories in my life I have, and the cornucopia of opportunity and freedom I have...but doesn't mean frustrations are therefor null and void.
     I want this rut to come to a close, it's been effecting so many outlets of me, my life, and my daily activities. I'm just venting, throwing my blackened/emo thoughts into the Internet abyss.

Silverlinings (reasons to be in the present)

  • Hamlet and 고구마
  • five sketch pads
  • 4 tattoo projects
  • a cupboard full of tea...and coffee
  • yoga
  • stateside family
  • so many memories with my 할아버지 that instantly bring warmth into my heart and/or smiles
  • Halloween is soon
  • Autumn is nearly here
  • New job where I have over 140 hours of "me" time
I know it's VeganMofo, there should be food...well, my whining "food for thought" will do...

Tomorrow will be better...

Monday, October 8, 2012

My Silverlining~

      One of my favorite things to do is snuggle up with a loved one, chatting away in a space of genuine love and content~ I'm not super happy or smiling in Korea, I'm still getting fired up and aggravated. I have a lot of silverlinings but, let's not fool ourselves, reality is undeniable. The facts line up but...I've got myself a sweet girl that has been the brightest of lights in Seoul!
    Also, she hasn't popped up here in a she is~
one morning~ photo taken by VeganBeats
     No matter how upset, angry, saddened, disheartened, etc that I may be~ she's got me smiling~

Sunday, October 7, 2012

El Greco

     Mediterranean food, falafels, chickpeas, sangrias?! GET in my belly!!
     In Noksapyeong there's a great little Greek place that has loads of vegan friendly plates, and body snuggling drinks~
     I doubt I'm the only one, but every so often  I crave Greek dishes, anything. Maybe it's Athena sending me "smart" meal deals. 
     A while back, (prior to Philippines) Scotty Soul and I trucked over to Kyungridan and got an early dinner at El Grecos. The seating is limited, the place is a hole in the wall but it's pretty local. First though...they have sangria, both white and red. So we got both and shared over these sweet delicious little drinks. For food though...what can a vegan's heart beat for?
sangria~ photo taken by VeganBeats
     The falafel plate obviously! This plate comes with five falafel balls, hummus, tabouli salad (heavy with parsley!!!), fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, a small salad with red and green leaf lettuce, and some red onion~ there is a tzatziki sauce, but I asked for none of it. And the pita bread is from Baker's Table!
     The plate was filling, the falafels fresh and beany, and when it comes to Baker's Table, there is no wrong doing. I'll go again...and the drinks won't be forgotten~
Falafel plate~ photo taken by VeganBeats
How to Get There?
Noksapyeong station, walk out exit 2 and walk straight. Go through the underground tunnel and walk out of the left staircase. Walk to the corner, cross the street (you'll be on Noxa's side, facing it) and take a right. Walk until you pass by a BBQ place and take that'll see the cute El Greco's!

Nom up~

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Tofu Scram for Brekkie~

      HEYA MOFO muthas~ >_<
I'm going to pat myself a tad on the back for keeping up with this "challenge", I know it's only been a few days but...I'm doing it!!
     A classic breakfast jam is scrambled eggs. I remember as kid being overwhelmingly stoked when I first learned how to make these fluffy eggs! My brother and I would go nuts and make them as intricate or colorful as possible. They were a base for any and everything we were craving, like a kitchen sink scramble. Considering this nifty lifestyle of mine, I haven't had scrambled eggs on over a decade (!!!) but a classic and go to Sunday morning hangover healer is scrambled tofu! Similar to the scrambled eggs I'd smother in ketchup as a child, but this time cruelty-free, healthier, high in fiber and protein, and dare I say, more versatile?!
     Scrambled tofu only needs a few basic ingredients, pepper (why, because it's great), turmeric (color and extra noms), and tofu. If you want an "eggy" flavor, black salt is the secret ingredient. I throw in loads of veggies to add extra nutrition and a bit of more visual pleasure.
     The one pictured is chalk full of zukes, tomatoes, teeny chunks of kale, red pepper (attempting to grow a tolerance for this), avocado(!!!), and veggie bacon crumbles. I threw in cayenne pepper, sriracha, some white pepper, and a kiss of curry.

What you need:
  1. tofu (as much as you want really, a block will feed two people, if you're super hungover...don't share)
  2. 1-2 teaspoons turmeric (more if you like it)
  3. 1 teaspoon of black salt (again, adjustable)
  4. whatever veggies you're craving
  5. 1-2 Tablespoons of olive/coconut/sesame oil (want an Asian kick, sesame that jam!)
What to do:
  1. heat up a medium-large skillet with the oil on medium high
  2. Smash that tofu (pat it dry) with your hands and throw it in the steamy pan
  3. add in the spices and mix, let it brown a bit
  4. **If you're adding veggies, throw them in with the tofu of even a bit before to soften them up
  5. dish it up, and smother in whatever sauces you fancy, or just consume
a bowl of hangover-healer...tofu scramble~ photo taken by VeganBeats

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sundried Tomato Walnut Pesto Pasta~

Happy MoFo kids~ 
     Considering everything that's going on, I want to keep myself a bit busy and doing some Mofo jams feels like it'd be one very good, productive, busy thing to do!!
     A while back, (I know, another backpost) I made a massive pesto pasta salad and instead of using the usual vinegar or mayonnaise-based dressing I made a sun-dried tomato walnut pesto sauce. I threw in loads of veggies too, although they look rather lost in the pictures. To go with the carb-crazy dish, I made a whole wheat and walnut garlic bread~
     As my 'itchinthekitch' adventures always go, measuring and planning out what I'm doing doesn't happen often. For the pesto I threw in a bunch of sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, loads of garlic, some flax seeds, black pepper, nutritional yeast, and some red-chili pepper. The pasta was whole wheat, and the veggies I used were onions, zucchini, carrots, kale, greens, and some eggplant. I stir-fried all of them in a little bit of oil, just to soften them up and add a bit more color to the red pesto/orangey feel to this dish.
     It was filling, there's no doubt about that...and I had loads to last me for a whole week...thankfully, ScottySoul helped me!!

      Happy Mofo Veggies~

Monday, October 1, 2012

Goodbye Harabagi~

     The stench of vomit, rotting food, and soggy cigarettes would linger in the air and slowly seep into our car  as we drove into Boston. I remember clenching my tiny fists over my nose so hard that when my family got to my grandparent's apartment, my nose was a tightly folded red ball. Alex, my parents, and myself would carry bags of clothes and food into a red-bricked apartment and enter into a golden-marble hall where an old elevator would creak down. Bumbling into it we would ride up until my brother and I would scramble out and slam our fists against my Halmuni and Harabagi's small two room apartment. My Halmuni would swing the door opens just as her tiny arms (usually hung with rubber gloves) would take us both in. My Harabagi wouldn't be there, he'd come in just after we all took off our shoes, holding two gallons of milk. He's have  wide-toothed grin, an ascot cap, yellow-tinted prescription glasses, and a tweed jacket.
     "Saranghai...I (aaah-I) Love (Lo-vuh) You!" 
     He'd pour us glasses of milk and give us each a giant bear hug, one so tight that I would be afraid to suffocate. He was always smiling silently, every so often booming "I love you" and patting/slapping us on the back.
     My Harabagi has had a fair share of adventures, he was hit by a car (and lived to tell the tale!), he's lived in Boston, Michigan, Seoul, and apartments that ranged from gorgeous to awful...but no matter where he was, he filled it with love. He and my Halmuni were such a team, both old and tired from the obstacles they faced, but the greatest grandparents you could ask for. There to give you a snuggle, a hug, to teach you how to cook, to jump on the bed with you, to play tag...they only knew love.

     Today, he died. The strongest man I know passed, horribly in pain too. He has been unconscious for two months, opening his eyes very rarely; mustering all his strength to open his eyes just to see his family.
     I just got this news, I will share more stories...

For now...thank you, for being such a brilliant man. Thanks for loving me...thank you for all the life you gave all of us~
way back in the day~ photo taken by Mamabeats

Razz'Bitten Coffee Cake

     It's October first, the official kick off day of Vegan MOFO!! October being a damned Brilliant month anyways also is all about Vegan celebrating! Hopefully this time around, I'll do a much better job of posting some drool-worthy vegan noms, itches in the kitch, gastronomical spoilings, mind-opening situations, etc...Vegan shares! So let's start this eh?
      Several months ago I got to thinking about home, my neighborhood, and the comforts of my old suburbia. My neighbor used to always whip up coffee cake and I could smell the sweet cinnamon lingering in the air, in our u-turn shaped corner, and it singled calming mornings, and dew dropped grass. I don't remember ever eating it, but this aroma was a consistent smile-birther!
     I got to oven playing and made my own fun version of a coffee cake. I threw in a lot of cinnamon, extra dark chocolate chips, coconut sugar, and ginger. The crumble topping was loaded with extra fine shredded coconut, pecans, walnuts, almonds, organic oats, maple syrup, and coconut oil!The smell that seeped slowly and seductively out of the oven left me licking my lips, and I'm not very much of a dessert gal!
     I'm not very fond of a monochromatic plate (unless it's all green) so I whipped up a sweet and cold cream-like sauce to add some balance. I wanted something tart to work with the chocolate/cinnamon coffee cake. I used a frozen banana, frozen strawberries, almonds, vanilla, maple syrup, and a kiss of coconut milk~ I blended that all up, it turned into a slightly more runny sorbet and poured it on top of the cake. Then a cute ginger slice stretched out on the dish....glory~
yumm~ photo taken by VeganBeats
     The problem...can't call upon a recipe because I blind-sighted this...though I will attempt this again~

Happy Mofo VeganBeaters~~