Japchae (Korean glass noodles)

We had some traditional japchae on Korean New Years last week, which are stir fried glass noodles and vegetables. They were awesome warm, the garlickyness was amazing, and equally delicious cold the next day!  My aunt had made them, but there are some great recipes out there. This one contained carrots, mushrooms, fish cakes (the pink circle things), beef, onions, and spinach. I approximated a recipe below, you can easily make it vegan by leaving out the beef and fishcakes and subbing with tofu!

Japchae

  • 1/2 pound dried Korean sweet potato noodles
  • 1/4 pound beef sliced diagonally into thin strips
  • 1 large fishcake, sliced into rounds (you can find this frozen in most asian food stores)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 stalks green onions, cut diagonally into 1″ lengths
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms shittake mushrooms, thinly sliced (if dried, rehydrate first)
  • 1/2 lb spinach, washed well and drained
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • salt to taste

Cook the noodles for 5 minutes in a large pot of water. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water so as not to overcook. Drain again and toss with 1 tsp of the sesame oil. Cut into manageable lengths (they will be very long) :) Set aside.

In separate bowl, mix soy sauce & sugar together. Add the cooking oil in a large skillet or wok on high heat. When the cooking oil is hot stir fry the onions and carrots and cook until just softened. Add the green onions, spinach and mushrooms, salt a little and fry 30 seconds, remove from wok and set aside. Add some more cooking oil, add the beef and fishcakes with the garlic, until browned.Then add the soy sauce, sugar and the noodles. Fry 2-3 minutes until the noodles are cooked through. Add in the vegetables, and turn off heat, add the sesame seeds and the remaining 1 1/2 tsp of sesame oil and toss to coat. Serve warm or cold :)

Cows and Butter…

This is one of my absolute favorite combinations right now! I mix the Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter and a wedge of Laughing Cow Light Original Swiss up one-to-one and use it as a dip for apple slices, on toasted bread, as a topping on oatmeal…it is divine! I’ll have more food posts soon, I’ve got a bunch of other foods to share, I don’t just eat dessert!

Vegan Chocolate Muffins

Since I spent most of yesterday celebrating the Korean New Year, and not so much celebrating Valentines Day, I decided I wanted to make something chocolate to make up for my lack of romance…:)

I’ve made this classic vegan chocolate cake recipe many times, it always turns out moist and delicious. I kept them simple this time and made tiny mini muffins, so that if I ate a few I wouldn’t feel too guilty!  I used Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder, which could be why they turned out almost black! They also work great with any kind of mix-ins, or of course frosting, but I was too lazy.

Vegan Chocolate Muffins

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour + 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup  sugar
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 and spray mini-muffin pan with non-stick spray. Sift together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine milk and vinegar and let it curdle for a few minutes, then add in the rest of the wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until blended. Pour batter into a mini-muffin pan and bake for about 10 minutes (make sure to watch, since they are so small they cook fast!) Makes about 24 mini-muffins. I entered the stats into a calorie analyzer and they are about 70 calories per muffin!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

chocolate banana bread

I made this bread a while back after I saw the recipe on Joy the Baker’s website (Love her site!) and I am wishing I could have some right now! It is especially delicious warm out of the oven, with the chocolate chips still all melty! Chocolate and banana are definitely a favorite combo of mine and a great way to use some old bananas! I made about 3 mini-loafs, since I like to eat one, give one to family or friends, and store one in the freezer, but it can also be made into a giant loaf. I made a few substitutions to fool myself into thinking it is actually good for you as well…

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

original recipe from Joy the Baker

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour)
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used Earth Balance)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (I used almond milk w/ some lemon juice)
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used 1/2 cup plain chocolate chips)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350F.  Spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder/soda, and salt. In a separate bowl beat the butter on medium until soft, and add sugars, beat until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, reduce mixer speed to low and add mashed bananas. Add in the dry ingredients in stages, mixing just until moist. Add in the milk until incorporated, then stir in the chocolate chips. Scrape into the loaf pan.

Bake for 3o minutes (I used less time for 3 small loaves).  Cover the bread loosely with a foil tend to keep the top from getting too dark, and continue to bake for another 40-45 minutes (total baking time is between 70 and 75 minutes), or until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean.  Try to control yourself while they cool for at least 20 minutes before unmolding the loaves and letting cool (yeah right…)

Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Blondies

I started off my baking year with these delicious pumpkin blondies. I used to make regular blondies with some regularity, and decided to spice them up a little with some frozen pumpkin I had leftover from the holidays. I tweaked the original a little, including  replacing 1/2 the flour with whole-wheat,  using Earth Balance instead of butter,  brown sugar instead of regular sugar, and adding in walnuts. The recipe also called for creaming the butter and sugar, but when I used to make blondies I always melted the two together on the stove in a large saucepan and then just added into that pot to make less mess (I am so lazy!). They came out delicious, like soft pumpkin chocolate chip cookies in a bar! They were perfectly cooked after only 25 minutes. I couldn’t stop picking at them all night!

(ready for baking)

(all done!)

Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Blondies

adapted from Martha Stewart

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Earth Balance
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with non-stick spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, pie spice, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  2. Heat the margarine and brown sugar over medium heat on the stove, stir until melted together. Cool slightly (so as not to cook the egg!), stir in egg and vanilla until combined. Stir in pumpkin puree, mix well. Add in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in 1/2 the chocolate chips and walnuts.
  3. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Sprinkle the top with the other 1/2 of the chocolate chips. Bake until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes (Note: mine only took 25 minutes!). Try to let cool completely in pan before eating!

Happy 2010!

Happy New Year/Decade! I am definitely feeling good about 2010, maybe its just a little bit of optimism in my often pessimistic personality. I have set up a few goals for this little space here as well as for myself, 10 goals for 2010…

1. Blog at least weekly- (I would really like to try and post something semi-regularly)

2. Take more photos- I got a 50mm f/1.8 lens for my camera and want to develop my skillz…

3. Apply to a masters in nutrition program- I finished most of my prereqs, just one more class to go, plus GRE’s. I am committing myself to a new career path after 5 years working in science labs.

4. Run a 1/2 marathon- Yeah, I only ran a 5K last year, it was my first “race”, usually I stick to the treadmill. I really want to try the Seattle Rock’n’Roll 1/2 this summer.

5. Eat more of a variety- I tend to eat the same thing everyday. No, I’m not exaggerating, I really do. And it doesn’t ever bother me. But I would like to challenge my tastebuds a little more.

6. Spend more time with/make new friends- I tend to be introverted. This year I want to bust out of my shell!

7. Watch less tv. Read more.

8. Travel outside of Washington. I really want to do this, I’m not getting any younger.

9. Go to a music festival, try yoga

10. **** – one that I’ll keep to myself for now. You know, that whole if you tell someone it won’t come true thing. If it does I’ll let you know next year :)

Here’s to my new goals for 2010!

Aflac Iron Girl 5K

Woohoo, I completed my first 5K run! So excited! I set my first PR of 23:48, and placed pretty high in my age group. It was a perfect day at Greenlake, sunny and cool. I woke up around 6am, and got there a little before 7 am for an 8am start time.  I lined up around the 8 min/mile flag and warmed up. It was the first time I’d ever run around Greenlake so I wasn’t sure while running how much farther I had to go, but when I heard the announcer I kicked it into high gear! I finished strong, never walked and had the best time! I even met up with an old friend from high school and got a sweet pink technical running shirt. Thanks to Aflac for such a great event!

Welcome…

I’ve decided to make the move from blogger to wordpress, hopefully I can keep up with posting. I hope to share some good recipes I come across, as well as keep you updated on my training for a 5-10K this year, and maybe a half marathon. After lurking on so many blogs, and drooling over all the lovely food, I wanted to get involved and try it out for myself…

National Run Day

Sorry, I’m still trying to get into the blogging thing, I seriously do want to, but ultimately end up just surfing others…:)

It’s a gorgeous day in seattle today, with highs in the 80′s! And it’s National Run Day!

From Running Day.org:
National Running Day is a national initiative whereby many of the major organizations within the running industry are joining forces in an unprecedented unified effort to nationally and locally promote running as a healthy, easy, and accessible form of exercise. The inaugural National Running Day will be Wednesday, June 3

I will probably have to run in a gym, I’m not yet used to this hot weather, and my knee is still not quite right, but I will try to get in a good 6 miles today. Hope wherever you are you can do the same!

Chicken Kebabs

kebabs

(Sorry for the blurry pic!)

I’m back! For Memorial Day weekend, of course we had to grill, despite some of the foul weather we had. It was sunny on Friday, so we threw together some quick chicken kebabs. I marinated the chicken for a few hours, then added in some zucchini, cherry tomatoes, button mushrooms, onions and green peppers. We usually skewer some pineapple as well, but we didn’t have any on hand. We also sometimes use sliced flank steak with a different soy ginger marinade, maybe I’ll post eventually. Hope everyone else has a chance to do some grilling this weekend! Chicken Kebabs (makes 20-30 skewers) 2 zucchini, chopped 1 medium onion, chopped 20 cherry tomatoes 20 whole mushrooms, cleaned 2 green peppers, chopped 3-4 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces Marinade 1/4 cup olive oil 1 tsp salt 2 tsp pepper 2 tsp minced garlic 2 tsp balsamic vinegar 2 tsp fresh rosmary Coat chicken with marinade, cover and refrigerate for ~1-2 hours. Cut vegetables to about 1 inch size, the zucchini will take the longest so dont make too large. Coat vegetables before skewering with a little olive oil, salt and pepper (or you can make extra marinade and coat the vegetables right before grilling-don’t wait too long or the salt will draw out the water from the vegetables) . Skewer chicken and vegetables leaving some room between items so the chicken can cook quickly, grill until the chicken is fully cooked and your vegetables are soft. Make sure and turn occasionally to avoid burning! ( I know, i’m sure you can figure out how to cook kebabs).

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.