Vegan's Chronicles + [Vegan]

Oh my life!

My goodness, I'm a little embarrassed by my lack of blogging during Vegan MoFo! With so many things going on this time of the year, it's hard to keep up. So, in an attempt to get you guys caught up on everything I've been eating and doing, I shall drown you in a sea of hodgepodge-updates and photos.

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This past weekend, my parents came up to Seoul for a wedding and also to see my art at the cafe. For dinner, we went to this teeny tiny bori-bibimbab (barley rice) restaurant in my neighborhood that we've been to several times before.

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It's run solely by this one halmunee who likes to tell us stories about how she's been in the same neighborhood for the past 40 years, and how she's witnessed the city develop from nothing but farmland to concrete buildings. It's amazing that she's been able to hold onto her hole-in-the-wall restaurant for so long. Eating there is like being in your own dear halmunee's house in the countryside, with Korean TV blaring in the background, while your halmunee shuffles around in the kitchen putting together a delicious home-cooked meal. I love it.

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The bibimbab ingredients, pre-mix. yumyum.

And the great thing about her food is that she said that her jjigye is vegan! When we asked her, she was adamant about the fact that she does not contaminate her spicy dwenjang jjigye with any kind of animal broth or clams. She even said that doing so ruins the taste of her dwenjang! She apparently gets her doenjang directly from her sister who lives in the countryside and makes her own. Oh myy, and it is soo good- far superior to any store-bought version. You can see the dwenjang in the stone pot in the top right corner of the first picture.

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Everything mixed up with a little dwenjang sauce.

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You're supposed to use the steamed cabbage leaves to wrap some of the bibimbab with.

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Open wide!

Unfortunately, the halmunee isn't as strong as she used to be and says that she'll probably have to close shop very soon as it's getting harder for her to serve many customers. :( I really wish she could stay open forever, but I also want her to get the rest she deserves! Now that I know her soups are vegan, I know I'll be visiting her a lot more often.

Ok, so I know my food can't compete with the deliciousness of that bori-bibimbab, but here are some simple things I've been eating at home:

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This is some pan-fried tofu, onions, and enoki mushrooms, covered in what is basically just 'tteokbokki sauce' (gochujang, sugar, water, and a bit of sesame seed oil).

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A random salad of spinach, perilla leaves (hidden under everything else), red onions, green bell peppers, tofu, seaweed banchan, and drizzled with some gochujang-vinegar dressing.

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Dwenjang jjigye! I added some spinach to the soup right at the very end, just for a little greenery~

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Here's a tofu scramble made with oyster mushrooms, mashed tofu, green bell peppers, turmeric, black salt (for that eggy flava!), and red pepper flakes.

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And for today's mid-afternoon snack, I had some tofu-chocolate pudding, and a plate of kiwi, banana, and persimmon (dan-gam).

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For the tofu-chocolate pudding, I just blended the following:
1/4 block of tofu
1/2 cup soymilk
1/2 banana
1/2 Tbs flaxseeds (to thicken it)
1 tsp cocoa powder

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It's kinda more like a smoothie than a thick pudding, but that could be adjusted by the amount of soymilk added.

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I would like you to know that I've also been doing things other than just eating... . This weekend, some friends and I went to check out the National Geographic photo exhibition at the Seoul Arts Center. I'm not sure about my friends, but I absolutely loved the show. I was such a great reminder of just how amazing and wonderful this world is! Some of the photos brought tears to my eyes, and some just made me giggle out loud. Each photograph was like a work of art and I was totally inspired! I also really appreciated the message of environmentalism and preservation. Just imagining that future generations will not be able to witness some of these magnificent scenes was like a punch in the gut. The photos served as a powerful reminder of the urgency to protect nature and the precious animals that inhabit it. If you can, definitely check this show out, especially since it's only 10,000 won! Here's an article on it from the Korea Times.

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There was also this bizarre installation on the lower floor of the museum building. The kid cracks me up. "Look umma! Willies!"

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And last but not least, here's your daily Bunny photo fix. She's a happy camper these days.

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"put me down"

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Oh, and I finally bought a real vaccuum cleaner! Hallelujah! All these years, I've been using one of those cordless vaccum cleaners that was never very strong, and the rechargeable battery would always run out too fast, even for my little studio apartment. I was constantly breathing in Bunny-fuzz, but now I have the best plug-in vaccuum cleaner that sucks up everything in its path. It might even suck up Bunny herself if she gets in the way. haha, jk. It's so fun to see everything disappear into the nozzle. Victory is mine! I'll have to post a photo of my new toy soon. Yayy~~

Me oh my, that was a long post. I've almost caught up with my backlog of photos and can soon blog closer to real-time. Oh, and guess what! Tomorrow is my birthday!!! :) I shall be heading down to Cheonan to spend the day with my family, and then I'll be back in Seoul on the weekend to party it up with friends. To celebrate with you guys, my blog peeps, I plan on doing a giveaway of one of my 2011 calendars! So check in very soon to join in on the birthday fun.

Til next time (when I'm a year older), ta ta~!

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