Does anyone else like Kimchi and Korean food as much as I do? To be honest, I think it might be my obsession with Eat Your Kimchi and their FAPFAP (Food Adventure Program for Awesome People) videos – they are Simon and Martina, two Canadians that live in South Korea and have many K-Pop related videos but their food videos I how I found and fell in love with them. Their videos inspired me to try Korean food a couple of years ago and now, if I have the opportunity to eat Korean, I will always take it – it’s delicious!
Anyway, there is a fabulous Korean restaurant in West End with a lovely owner who gave us marshmallows on skewers to toast in the mini fire pit at the table (so cute). It’s called Hong Depot, and this recipe is an ode to their delicious Kimchi pancake.
While this is more of an omelette than a pancake – it is grain free – it is very tasty and quick to prepare.
Kimchi is a traditional Korean fermented vegetable product, similar to sauerkraut, but with chilli added. If I don’t have access to Kimchi, I substitute it for sauerkraut and a bit of chilli for a similar effect. Because Kimchi is fermented, it contains probiotics (or good bacteria) that can improve the function of your gut, improving the digestion and absorption of nutrients, and your immune system, by outnumbering and counteracting harmful microbes (this is a large portion of your immune system). As it contains chilli, it has a warming effect which can boost your circulation and in those who don’t eat chilli often, your metabolism.
Kimchi Pumpkin Pancake
1/2tsp coconut oil
1/2tsp sesame oil
1/2 brown onion
1/4 cup Kimchi /sauerkraut w 1/2tsp chilli
3 egg, beaten
Make a cut down the middle of your onion half and slice thinly. Slice your pumpkin thinly, leaving the skin on.
In a small, deep frypan (15cm diameter) heat both oils on a medium-high heat. When hot, add the pumpkin and onion and fry until softened, but not brown.
Temporarily remove the pan from the head then, add the Kimchi/sauerkraut and chilli and stir through the onions and pumpkin. Add the egg mixture and stir vegetables through evenly. Return to the heat and cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the stove and place under the grill until golden brown and when shaken it does not wobble.
Use a spatula to gently loosen underneath the pancake. Place a plate upside-down on top of your frypan and gently flip to serve.
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ve probably noticed that I really really (REALLY) love tea. I love a hot cup of earl grey on a cold and slow morning, I love a bubbly and naturally sweet iced tea in the summer time, I love collecting new flavours and I even bathe in the stuff! But the thing I love most about tea is discovering the medicinal properties of the different herbs – meaning that you can drink specific teas to help your body do its thing!
From time to time, I’d like to explore with you these medicinal properties (goodness knows I need another reason to drink more tea, don’t I?) in my Tea Fiend series. Just remember, if you are going to explore these options, best to opt for organic tea (I’d be happy to give you a guide to my favourite brands within this series – just ask!), and don’t be afraid to try a pre-made blend (it will only taste better that way) or even experiment in blending stand-alone herbs that you like (you never know what you will come up with).
Ginger Tea (Zingiber officinale)
Ginger is a gorgeous herb to drink in tea form – it’s got a sweetness and heat to it that can be matched easily with a variety of other teas, but on its own, it has fantastic medicinal properties.
For starters, the natural heat within ginger makes it a perfect natural winter warmer! If you get cold hands and toes, ginger is a fantastic herbal tea to drink throughout the day as it gets the blood flowing to really warm you from your head to your toes. This action of stimulating the blood flow can also stimulate the blood flow to your organs, such as those in your digestive system, to stimulate their function. The organs need an adequate blood supply in order to function properly, so stimulating the blood flow in your body can optimise the delivery of nutrients and removal of wastes to better the performance of your organs.
Ginger also benefits the digestive system by reducing nausea, (a safe and effective treatment for nausea in pregnancy) and motion sickness, and can reduce bloating by aiding the breakdown of food due to active digestive enzymes within the ginger. Drink some ginger tea in anticipation of motion sickness if it’s something you know you’re prone to, or as symptoms arise. If you’ve over eaten or haven’t properly chewed your food, or regularly feel bloated just below your rib cage (your stomach area), sipping ginger tea may be a beneficial remedy for you. It also stimulates digestive secretions required to breakdown food and as such has been shown to reduce reflux, flatulence and colic, as well as stimulate the appetite. To stimulate your appetite, brew yourself a cup 30 minutes before meals to gently get your digestive juices flowing, not only will you have an appetite, but you will be more able to breakdown and absorb those all-important nutrients I keep bangin on about!
Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory food, meaning that it can be used to reduce the pain associated with common ailments, like period pain, headache, muscle pain and migraine. These conditions are associated with an overproduction of pro-inflammatory chemicals called prostaglandins, which over-stimulate the natural inflammatory processes within the body, causing unnecessary damage to nearby tissues, and pain. Sipping on a brew with ginger in it throughout the day, may be of benefit.
[While ginger tea is a helpful tool for such conditions, an anti-inflammatory diet will have a more potent effect ('Ask Mira' at email@example.com or www.facebook.com/MirandasWellness if you'd like more info)]
The anti-inflammatory effect of ginger is also helpful during cold and flu, while the immune-boosting effects of ginger can help your body to fight off infections.
How to Brew
Infuse 4-6 fresh slices of ginger, or 3-9g dried ginger root in boiling water for 30 minutes and sip throughout the day. Best not to consume more than these amounts in one day.
Brew a pot of 4-6 slices ginger with 1/4-1/2 cup fresh peppermint (or 3-9g dried ginger/6-12g dried peppermint), as both herbs are great for nausea. ***If prone to reflux however, leave out the peppermint as it will exacerbate symptoms***
When feeling bloated after a meal or experiencing flatulence, a brew of 4-6 slices ginger and 1-2tsp chamomile can help the digestion of your food and to relieve the discomfort of bloating and flatulence
Brew a ginger and turmeric chai tea, such as this gorgeous one from Reece Carter Naturopathy for relief within 30 minutes
For cold & flu:
Ginger slices, lemon slices, a sprig or two of thyme and a teaspoon of the strongest manuka honey you can buy (the bigger the number, the stronger it is) is a strong brew to boost your immune system and help to kill off microbes that are making you sick in the first place. The stronger the better for this tea, and best if sipped throughout the day. It may not be the most pleasant tea you’ve brewed, but it will definitely pack the punch you are after.
Thanks to Lyndal Martin from Life Loves Me Naturopathy, who was my resident herb-nerd for this piece.
Like most of my recipes, this beauty came about when a show I was watching gave me cravings (Rick Stein’s India and The Moaning of Life were the culprits this time) so I made do with whatever I happened to have at home to quench said cravings. By the time I came up with this gem I fell in love with myself all over again, as I usually do when I accomplish this sort of thing. I wrote down the ingredients and recreated the incredible curry for a family dinner with my housemates last week, and it went down a real treat!
Honestly, I just threw together whatever spices I could think of that I knew went into some sort of curry, added some vegies and legumes for protein and fibre. It’s also a mild curry, so it’s perfect for kids, and completely vegan and gluten free. It’s packed with nutrients that will make you feel like you are being very good to your body (because you are!) and meat-eating boys have so far been entirely stoked with this as a meal.
I love this served with fluffy brown rice, pappadums, mango chutney and hummus (or yoghurt) and the recipe makes so much that I fed 7 people with enough for at least 2 serves of leftovers, so yes, definitely a FEAST!
3-4 pods cardamom, crushed slightly (I just squish these with my fingers)
1 x cinnamon stick
1tbl fennel seeds
1tbl coriander seeds
1tbl mustard seeds
1tbl caraway seeds
1tbl rice bran oil/coconut oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2cm fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 x onion or bunch of spring onion, diced
1 x capsicum diced
1 x carrot diced
Large handful of mushrooms cubed
1tsp Himalayan rock salt/Murray pink salt
1/3 cup water
1 x punnet cherry tomatoes
1-2 x potato, cubed with skin left on
1/4 x pumpkin cubed with skin left on
3 x cans red kidney beans thoroughly rinsed
(Also add in some cauliflower, beans, zucchini, celery, broccoli, any veg you have handy really to bulk it out and give you extra nutrients. I change it each time I make it depending on what I have available and it always tastes amazing)
To serve: Brown rice, pappadums/roti/naan, hummus/yoghurt/raita, mango chutney
In a large, deep frypan (that has a lid) on a high heat, chuck in all dry spices and heat until fragrant (you may add chilli if you like, but it’s not necessary).
Add the oil, garlic, ginger, onion, carrot, capsicum, mushrooms and salt and cook, stirring, until soft (add celery in here too). Add water and remaining ingredients and cover. Bring to a boil and simmer until all the vegetables are cooked through. You may need to add more water to help the veggies cook, so if so, do that.
You may also need to take off the lid and let some of the fluid evaporate for a while, but otherwise, your curry is ready to go. And trust me when I say you can easily feed 8-10 people with this recipe!
****NOTE: TWO METHODS FOR LOVELY AND FLUFFY BROWN RICE****
Soak for 24 hours in salted cold water before rinsing and boiling
In a medium to large saucepan, add your rice, 1tsp salt and just over double the amount of water to rice. Boil until all fluid is essentially gone. Fill with water again and continue to boil until all the water is gone.