Vegan's Chronicles + [vegan product]

Finding comfort on a rainy day

As I type, there's a downpour of rain outside my window, and the weather forecast predicts nothing but rain for the rest of the week. I guess we just gotta embrace Korea's monsoon season along with all the frizzy hair, musky smells and grey clouds that come with it, and just take it as a sign that cooler temperatures are around the corner. Infact, I actually woke up this morning feeling slightly chilly! Could it be that summer is already coming to an end?

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Well, when the temps are on the cooler side, there's little more I crave than a comforting bowl of oatmeal. I've been playing around with my oatmeal toppings lately, throwing in whatever I have on hand. :)

Lotte Dept Store Vegan Products

For instance, I recently bought a package of 'McVitie's Ginger Nuts' biscuits from the Lotte Department Store (3,000 won), which just happens to be vegan. These are so yummy and gingery that I just had to throw one of them on top of my banana oatmeal for an additional spicy kick. I also tossed in a handful of the 'Organic Heritage Whole Grain' cereal I got at Costco last week. Here's a list of everything in my bowl:

Cooked oatmeal:
1/3 cup oats
1/2 mashed banana
1/4 cup soymilk
water
lots of cinnamon

Toppings:
1 Tbs flax meal
handful of Organic Heritage Whole Grain' cereal
drizzle of blackstrap molasses
1 Tbs chunky peanut butter
1 'Ginger Nuts' biscuit

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Everything looks very... brown... but don't let its monochromatic palate fool you. This is possibly one of my fave oatmeal combos yet. As the ginger biscuit gets soft from the hot oatmeal, it breaks down into smaller chunks and infuses every bite with sweet gingery mush. Talk about comfort in a bowl.

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After a few hours of working and concentration, my tummy started grumbling, so then I grabbed the last of my red bean 'pat' ice bars from the freezer for a quick snack before heading out for lunch. I'm gonna make more of these tomorrow.

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Cold foods can be comforting too, right? :)

Le Alaska @ Apku

For lunch, my sister and I went to Apgujung to try out a bakery cafe/restaurant called 'Le Alaska.' As soon as we walked in, we felt that this place was something special.

Le Alaska @ Apku
Le Alaska @ Apku
Le Alaska @ Apku
Le Alaska @ Apku
Le Alaska @ Apku

The smell of fresh bread, the friendly waitstaff, outdoor seating, and the beautiful interior lined with wooden panels and artworks just put a huge smile on my face.

Le Alaska @ Apku

I asked one of the workers which breads were vegan, and she kindly admitted that they pretty much all had something non-vegan in them, with the exception of their two ciabbatta breads (aka "Chewy Cita"). Although I would have liked to taste some of their other delectable breads, I was too busy diggin' the vibes there that I was hardly bothered.

Le Alaska @ Apku
Le Alaska @ Apku
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Le Alaska @ Apku

Thank goodness it's not real.

Another thing I liked about this place was their refreshingly simply menu-board, which only had about 5 different sandwich/entree options (in addition to their beverage menu). However, one thing that was glaringly missing from their menu was a vegetarian/vegan sandwich.

Le Alaska @ Apku

After asking the lady at the counter about my options, I ordered their 'Alaska salad' but without the usual add-ins of chickens and cheese, and also grabbed myself a loaf of ciabbatta bread which they sliced up and plated for me with some dijon mustard sauce.

Le Alaska @ Apku

The ciabbatta bread was wonderful and just as the label said, it was indeed 'chewy' and soft. It was especially good for soaking up the dressing at the bottom of my salad plate. As for the mustard sauce, I wasn't sure whether it was fully vegan (it was suspiciously creamy-looking), so I just left that on the side.

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Here's the spread of food on our table. My sister got a non-veg sandwich and a cafe latte. Even though they really need to expand their menu a little to include some veg options, I can still see myself returning to 'Le Alaska' for their ciabbatta bread and chill bakery-cafe ambiance. Check website or google map for directions.

Zoo Coffee @ Apku

After lunch, we walked around Apgujung for a little bit and then ended up at a zoo. Say what? A vegan going to a zoo?? Just kidding. It wasn't a real one- it was just 'Zoo Coffee,' a chain coffee shop decorated with stuffed toy animals.

Zoo Coffee @ Apku
Zoo Coffee @ Apku
Zoo Coffee @ Apku

I got a hot mug of americano coffee (4,000 won).

Zoo Coffee @ Apku

Rrraawr~ My sister left soon after to go down to Cheonan, so I kept myself busy doing work on my laptop in their quiet upstairs seating area.

Lotte Dept Store Vegan Products

After coffee, I returned home and got ready for a run. But before I headed out, I munched on these crunchy green apples with cinnamon on top...

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... and also this packaged ddeok that my new friend Janice gave me yesterday.

Dinner looked something like this:

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Sauteed tofu and veggies with a heated tortilla wrap that I got at Costco. The photo is actually from yesterday's lunch, but I repeated the meal again for today's dinner and couldn't be bothered to photograph the same thing. :)

So that wraps up today's rainy yet yummy food adventure. Other random thoughts on the ol' noodle:

  • Should I move? Bunny and I been living at my current studio apartment for over 3 years and we're ready for a change of scenery. Where to go?!
  • I wanna sign up for this Energizer night race! Should I do the 5k or 10k? Anyone else interested? :)
  • Should I get my own domain name for this blog? www.aliensdayout.com?
  • Should I visit Cali/Seattle/Portland this winter?