Vegan's Chronicles + [vegan product]

Weekend eats & snackage

What a rainy week it's been so far~ I'm not sure whether it's the gloomy weather or other things on my mind, but I haven't been keeping up with blogging as much as I'd like... . and now I'm soooo behind! Ah! I have a buttload of food photos to share, so let's not dilly-dally, shall we? :)

On Sunday, I made a spontaneous trip to Cheonan. Even though it was Parents' Day, I wasn't originally planning on going down, but then I had the sudden urge to get out of the city, spend time with my parents and eat my umma's home cooking. So I bought a bouquet of carnations (traditionally given on parents' day), and called my parents letting them know I was on my way. hehe. I remember when I was studying in the US and I always felt jealous that other college kids could always go home for holidays and such, and now I realize that that's me! The tables have turned and now I'm the one who has the luxury of going home on a whim, while all you expats have to deal with homesickness and miss out on family gatherings... I feel you. But at least we have facebook and skype now, rah? :)

Well, as always, I had some tasty food while home.

cheonan food

This meal had sooo much greenery! Chive salad, steamed broccoli, romaine lettuce for wrapping rice, and another salad composed of a variety of greens from my mom's garden.

cheonan food

Dwenjang Jjige, ofcourse.

cheonan food

Another fantastic meal. Curried veggies, gamja jorim (potatoes in reduced sticky sweet soy sauce), lettuce, salty seaweed banchan, and dwenjang jjigye.

cheonan food

Curried veggies.

cheonan food

Gamja Jorim. Can you believe that these potatoes were actually grown by my mom on her indoor veranda? Yup! Pretty amazing. They were soooo soft on the inside, and the skin was deliciously chewy and flavorful.

cheonan food

Here are two more of my mom's potatoes, just boiled. They were delicious with just a little salt.

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Taking a cue from the other ajumas in the apartment complex, my mom has also started a teeny real outdoor veggie garden on a small patch of unused land just outside the apartment fence. It's funny how no land is wasted here. It's smaller than a queen sized bed, but my mom has turned it into an organic farm. Some of the things she's planted there are a variety of lettuce greens, red peppers, and kabocha squash. Too funny.

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While plucking some wild mountain greens (who am I?), I found this little guy. He was so cute!

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Herro~~

So that covers some of the food eaten in Cheonan (not the snail though). And now here are some things I've been eating here in Seoul. Nothing special, just some daily eats:

lunch

Today's lunch was made up of many different veggies and side dishes. In addition to some rice & beans, I had sauteed mungbean sprout & zucchini, blanched broccoli, a sea vegetable banchan, a non-spicy green pepper, and a mixed green salad.

lunch

Mm, brown rice and beans! I feel so healthy... .

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Here's another very simple meal, organized on my cafeteria-style tray. Brown rice, leafy green salad, mungbean sprout banchan, raw carrots, and ssamjang (red bean paste).

I've also had some tasty snacks along the way:

twilight bar

Here's the Twilight chocolate bar that I got from Natalie. It was soooo good, like a vegan Mars bar.

candied almonds

Other snackage also included a lot of candied almonds which I made myself! These came out surprisingly well and it was really hard to stop myself from eating the entire batch in one sitting! I loved the added crunchiness of the hardened brown rice syrup coating. :) Here's a basic recipe:

{ Roasted Candied Almonds }

2 cups raw almonds
1 Tbs non dairy butter, softened
3 Tbs brown rice syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 300F. Lay the almonds out on a cookie sheet and roast in the oven for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix all the other ingredients in a large bowl. Once the almonds are heated through and slightly browned, remove from the oven and carefully add them to the butter-syrup mixture in the bowl. The heat from the almonds will melt and thin out the butter and syrup. Mix well, making sure that all the almonds are well-coated. Spread them back out onto the cookie sheet in an even layer. Return to the oven for about 7-10 minutes, keeping an eye on them to prevent them from over-baking (if you hear the almonds crackling, they're done). If you like, you can give them a quick mixing halfway, but I found it to be unnecessary. Remove from oven and let cool before enjoying, otherwise the almonds will be a bit soft (and might burn your tongue!).

cookies

And last but not least, today I mailed out a cookie order from someone in the US, who wanted to send a vegan birthday gift to their relative here in Korea. :) This package includes Mexican hot chocolate snickerdoodles, soft lemon cookies, and a few lemon poppyseed cookies. By the way, I'm no longer taking orders for thin mints, as the chocolate tends to get a bit melty in the summer heat while being shipped... but if you would like to support me and this blog by submitting an order for some other cookies, please email me and we can work something out! :)

Ok~ that's all for now! Hope that made up for the long pause! :)