Pizza Bites, 2014

Turns out, I have been kneading my dough wrong this whole time. I have accidentally been beating it up, thinking I was “kneading.”

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Then, I discovered this video tutorial from The Kitchn: how to love your dough (i.e. how to knead properly)

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It was a completely different experience. The dough was soft, but not as sticky as I thought it’d be. It felt…alive?

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Was it life changing? Close. I ended up making the most incredible batch of pizza bites. Then, I did it again the week after. (Recipe for Pizza Bites by Annie Eats)

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I want to recreate every dough recipe I have ever tried.

Every. Single. One.

After Holidays (and More) Reset

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My eating habits these past few months has just royally ruined me. It started with over indulging during the holidays: eating when socializing, eating with my family, and no exercise. Soon, meals that used to fill me up don’t feel enough so I keep eating and end up uncomfortably full. Meal after meal, day after day, that uncomfortable fullness is suddenly what I crave.

Three months later and I still haven’t fallen back into my habit/routine so I’m trying to find a way to ease back into it. I don’t want to a cheat day because I don’t want to always look forward to that day. It’s also where the downhill slide happens. I get a taste of the decadent stuff and I can’t stop! I just tell myself that tomorrow, tomorrow I’ll do better. I think I have to go cold turkey back into the good habit.

It has also been a struggle getting back to my regular workouts. After being dumped, I was able to channel anger into running, which is funny because I always thought that was a myth. (Using anger to run? PSH – I would just get angrier having to run!) I found myself jogging since it was free and convenient. As I ran, my mind would wander and one of the things that kept coming up was the end of my 3 year relationship. I’d find myself reliving happy times, where things went wrong, what could I have done better… Then I’d look up and I was done with my run! Oh, I just outdid my last mile time! The same thing was happening when I ran on the treadmill — I felt like a juggernaut.

I’m not angry anymore. It doesn’t feel like I have the same fire when I run now. I feel like my 30 minute runs have been harder to get through and as I struggle, I see women and old men running next to me with speeds 6.5-7.0 so I think I’ve found my new drive: I want to run longer, and faster.

With these new plans nailed down, hopefully it can get back into the swing of things.

Oh! I also want to read a bunch of books, balance my social/work life, and write more. HAHAHAHA!

But seriously, I think this is my resolutions post three months too late.

Did you know mashed cauliflower is delicious?

After eating rice and carbs all holiday season, I needed a substitute to cope. I has no idea it was going to be mashed cauliflower! After steaming florets and processing (with roasted garlic, if you’re feeling up to it), it thickens up and has the consistency of mashed potatoes! It was close to life changing.

I paired it with some sautéed kale and a lean, round steak for lunch at work. I won prettiest lunch that day (in my head).

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Rice bowl: kale, chorizo, and egg

I made this rice bowl months ago and now I don’t remember if it was for breakfast or lunch. The fact that it has chorizo and eggs makes me feel like I could have eaten this for breakfast…

This majestic bowl is filled with brown rice and is topped with chorizo, sautéed kale, and a sunny side up egg. Added homemade kimchi as an after thought

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YUM! I mixed it all together so I could get a bite of all the toppings (⌒▽⌒)

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Hopefully I can get back to posting again. I’ve missed cooking and posting!

A quick breakfast and lunch: Quinoa Breakfast Bars & Cold Soba Noodles with Pork

After a week of indulgence (I had at least 4 burgers in a week), I’m ready to calm down. What I’ve learned is that I can have indulgent days, which can evolve to free for all week and then… I get over it. I don’t beat myself up over it anymore. I used to. I used to get really upset and end up continuing the free for all and then I end up in a deeper hole. So this week, I ended it with the mother of all meat experiences — KBBQ.

I regret nothing.

But to help myself get back on track, I have to plan my meals. I love weekend cooking for the upcoming week so for an easy grab and go breakfast, I made Quinoa Breakfast Bars.

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It’s the first time I made them so I can’t wait to see if they fill me up as it is packed with protein and fiber! A close up?

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It’s filled with oats, whole wheat flour, peanut butter, an egg, almonds, and chia seeds! It also has a banana and honey for sweetness so it has a lot of potential. A lot of fiber-y goodness special.

One of the meals that will definitely make it in rotation for eating better is the beauty below — cold soba noodles with pork! I whipped up this dish before running to the gym and, no joke, it took me 15 minutes. How do I know? Because I had to run out the door.

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It was amazing. Tender pork, fresh veggies, tons of flavor! The dipping sauce was made of tahini/sesame paste mixed with kaeshi, which is a concentrated soy sauce dipping sauce that accompany soba noodles.

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All I did was start a pot of water. As I waited for it to boil, I chopped some kimchi, sliced a cucumber, and sliced and soaked some red onions. When the water was at a rolling boil, I dropped in the noodles and cooked for a few minutes. When they were al dente, I turned off the stove and scooped the noodles out with a strainer because I still needed the boiling water. I dropped three slices of pork into the hot water and rinsed my soba noodles in cold water. I checked on my pork slices to make sure they were no longer pink and transferred to a paper towel (so they weren’t soggy anymore). After everything cooled slightly, I put the noodles in a bowl, topped with cucumbers, kimchi, red onions, and pork.

BAM. Longest part was waiting for the water to boil.

There was way too much noodles so next time, I’ll just use half of the bundle. But look at that bowl. That was for LUNCH! I had it and I was jealous of myself!

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I LOVE FRESH SPRING ROLLS!

I love rice paper rolls for making vegetarian spring rolls! I know I’ve said it before (the avocado makes spring rolls taste unbelievable!) but I have an addiction. It’s one of my favorite ways to eat leftover vegetables. Not to mention easy!

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One time I cooked a batch of quinoa as the protein. Another time, I had to use up my alfalfa sprouts, arugula, and garbanzo curry.

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A delicious and filling lunch or dinner! Can’t stop, won’t stop!

I made f-ing kimchi! Green Cabbage and Onion Kimchi

I feel like a rockstar -- homemade f-ing kimchi

I feel like a rockstar — homemade f-ing kimchi

When I look up how to make my own kimchi, I always end up on food blogs with long entries about groups of women making xx pounds of kimchi together for multiple hours. Needless to say, I would get intimidated and accept that I will never be able to make kimchi at home. I’ll never have a jar of kimchi I could proudly say, “I made that. From scratch. That’s right, I GREW THE CABBAGE.”

JK, plants hate me and I finally made kimchi.

Cabbage Kimchi

Ziploc hand glove = no stains (fingers crossed)

It all started with a craving for okonomiyaki, which has green cabbage as the main ingredient. But when I buy green cabbage, I always end up with at least half of it wasting away in the crisper (until I want another batch of okonomiyaki).

I always google for ways to use up leftover ingredients and I stumbled upon a green cabbage kimchi recipe. It was the shortest, easiest kimchi recipe I have ever seen that didn’t require napa cabbage. I was pretty stoked to make something new ( ^∇^)

Regular green cabbage kimchi ready for storing

Green cabbage kimchi ready for storing

It was insanely easy. The majority of the recipe was waiting, like salting the cabbage and letting it “ferment.” Then I halved the recipe, since two jars of green cabbage is way too much for one person in a month and I had a side of kimchi with almost everything, starting with the below: chicken bulgogi TACOS, OMG.

Homemade kimchi and chicken bulgogi lunch

Homemade kimchi and chicken bulgogi lunch

The chicken bulgogi marinade is from the wonderful Chow Divine! I took her bulgogi marinade and swapped the rib-eye to chicken thigh and pan fried it with some onion. Eat with corn tortilla, kimchi, and avocado? ( ʘ‿ʘ )

Green Cabbage & Onion Kimchi
(from Korean Bapsang)
Fills 2 jars

  • 2.5 lbs green cabbage
  • 3 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes)
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp grated ginger

Cut the cabbage into quarters and remove the core from each quarter. Cut each quarter into bite sized squares. Rinse and drain the cabbage.

In a large bowl, sprinkle the salt over the cabbage and mix, making sure it’s all covered in salt. Leave for about 2 hours and rinse and drain after. In another bowl, mix gochugaru with the fish sauce, garlic, and ginger along with 1/2 cup of water. Let sit for 10-20 minutes.

Add the scallions and gochugaru mix to the salted cabbage. Using a kitchen glove (or Ziploc bag), mix everything until the cabbage pieces are well coated. Store in an air tight jar and leave out in room temperature for a day to ripen then refrigerate after. Will keep for 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.