Super Simple Kimchi Recipe – It Practically Makes Itself!

Following on from last weeks tips for great gut health, I’m going to show you how I make my own simple and tasty kimchi.

Fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut are fantastic for the gut because of the rich source of probiotics and digestive enzymes they contain. Ideally, a little would be eaten every day, but a few times a week is good.

My kimchi is riDICulously easy, and though I’m sure kimchi purists would have something to say about it, it is yummy, healthy, vegan, and doesn’t take too much time or effort out of your busy day.

You will need:

-1 mason jar, here’s a pic of mine:-IMG_3292

-1 napa cabbage (Chinese leaf)

-salt

-1 long pointed red pepper

-3 big cloves or 6 small cloves garlic

-1/4 onion

-1 knob of ginger, around 3 cm (1 in) thick

-4/6 spring onions, sliced width-wise

-1 small mild to medium red chilli (optional)

The amounts of garlic, onion, ginger; and spring onions can all be adapted to taste. Try it this way first, then you can always make it to suit your own taste next time if desired.

 

What you do:

Wash the outer leaves of the cabbage (if not organic), and pat dry. Put the cabbage horizontally in front of you and chop the root end off (you can compost this or feed it to the rabbit!)

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Then slice it, with each slice around 4-5 cm (2 in) thick.

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Then take a handful of the chopped cabbage, and lay it over the bottom of a cake mixing bowl or pyrex dish and sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon of salt all over it.

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Then take another handful of the chopped cabbage, layer it on top of the first, and sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon of salt over that layer. Repeat until there is no more cabbage left.

Put the lid on (or cover with a plate) and stick it somewhere darkish, and room temperature or cool, for eight hours.

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Wait eight hours….tum ti tum….la la la….

…go get your salty cabbage! You will see that during this time, the cabbage has absorbed the salt, shrunk down into the bowl, and there will be lots of salty liquid at the bottom of the bowl. This is good.

Blitz the red pepper, ginger, garlic, onion, and chilli (if you’re using it) in a blender until it looks like a smoothie.

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Pour this over the cabbage. Put the sliced spring onions on top.

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Mix it all together – salad tongs are really helpful for this, but you can use a fork or spoon.

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When all the cabbage is nicely coated in the red mixture, and the spring onions are spread throughout, it’s time to put it in the jar (again, salad tongs make this easy, but use whatever).

You can keep pushing the cabbage down in the jar, to make room for it all. Get as much in as you can, and make sure there is enough liquid in there. When you’ve filled the jar to the top, push the cabbage down once more, and the liquid should just come over the top of the veg.

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Seal the jar. It’s advisable, while the kimchi is fermenting and doing its thang, that you keep it in a bowl like this…

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….Because it can get a bit frisky and leak out the top.

Store it in the same place you stored the salted cabbage.

Wait 48 hours….la di da di dum….

Done that? Yay! Now you can open your kimchi and sample it.

Please note: At first it may taste quite mild, and as the days/weeks go by it will get stronger. I prefer it strong, but you may be different! It lasts in the fridge for weeks, but at some point it will get too strong to eat. 3-4 weeks is probably a good life for your jar of kimchi – if it lasts that long!

You can eat it solo as a quick snack, in a sandwich, or on toast. You can make a kimchi stew with it, but my FAVOURITE way to enjoy kimchi is this: Warm a wholewheat pitta pocket in a toaster, then cut it open one side and put a scraping of Pure, Earthbalance (or any vegan spread) inside it, along with some sliced, cold, leftover vegan sausages. I particularly favour Vbites sage and marjoram sausages. Cover the sausage with kimchi, close pocket and devour. This.Snack.Will.Change.Your.Life.

Vegan On A Plane? Synch, Just Get Snack-Packin’!

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Vegan and flying long distance over the holidays? Celebrating somewhere abroad or jetting off for some sun?

How does a vegan optimise the in-flight meal experience, and avoid landing feeling hungry and cranky?

The first thing you should know is that plane food of any description is no great shizz, so you don’t need to feel bad that you are not well-catered for – NOBODY is. ‘That meal I had last night on the plane was the best meal I’ve ever had,’ said NO-ONE EVER.

Once you’ve booked your flight, go to the airline website where you should have the option to select your seat, and any special meals. The code to select to ensure a vegan meal is usually VGML. Depending on the airline, other options you might have to select are ‘vegetarian non-dairy,’ or ‘pure vegetarian.’

The benefit of a special meal is that you nearly always get served first, before the omni masses, so you can sit and munch smugly, listening to their bellies rumble! The downside is that sometimes they don’t have the vegan meal you ordered, and you really need to be prepared for this – it’s happened to me more than once!

If your vegan meal HAS been forgotten, you can ask if there are any Asian meals left (or they could be marked as Hindu). These are usually a curry, or a dahl, and are normally vegan.

Otherwise, make sure you have a good supply of fallback food (though you’ll probably end up eating it anyway – airplane meals aren’t that substantial).

Good snacks to take (remember, there are some foods that won’t get past security) are home-made sandwiches – just eat them sooner rather than later if they are made with perishable goods. Humous, tomato, rocket and spring onion sandwiches in wholewheat pitta (pitta is good because it holds the contents well) are fabulous; or peanut butter, tomato and spring onion, with a splash of soy sauce is another quick and easy choice.

Wholewheat breadsticks, and sachets of dried vegan organic leek and potato soup (you can find these at Whole Foods or other health stores), or sachets of miso soup are good for an easy hot food option. The flight attendants can give you a cup of hot water, and you can just pour a sachet of the powdered soup in and mix.

If you are pushed for space, good old nuts and dried fruit will satisfy an empty stomach. Vegan nut and cereal bars are compact and travel well, so if you don’t get to them on the flight there, you’ll have them for the way back.

Assuming you get your meal as ordered, don’t forget to check the little sachets and things that come with your VGML meal – some airlines are not too hot on the finer details. While the main dish will definitely be vegan, the spread for the bread, or the dressing for a salad, may not be.

What to expect from the meal? Weeelll, it’s kind of hit and miss, but DO remember – the omnis are NOT having a better time than you.

And, there are random surprises. On a flight last year I was thrilled by a tasty quinoa and black bean salad, and several times on overnight long-haul flights I’ve woken up to a delicious whole grain vegan cookie for breakfast!

I’ve never come across soy milk being offered for tea and coffee. It’s a good idea to always ask if they carry it EVEN THOUGH YOU KNOW THEY DON’T. Why? Because, the more people that ask, the more the message gets out there that the market is changing, and soon enough they will HAVE to carry it, it’ll be so mainstream. Crafty, huh?

Bottom line, travel prepared! Everybody should take lots of snacks on longer flights, so it really isn’t extra work for vegans.

Happy travels, where ever you may be going. I’m totally jealous!

Any cool ideas for vegan plane-friendly snacks I haven’t mentioned? Please share in the comments.

Killer Snacks, Part 1: Avocado Toast

Hungry? Need a killer snack? Something quick but classy? That’s nutritious, tasty and satisfying, despite it only taking five minutes (or less!) to throw together?

Well then, do this. You’ll not be sorry.

You will need:

– A slice (or two) of good quality whole wheat, spelt, or gluten-free bread

– One nice, ripe Hass avocado

– Soy sauce, or salt

And here are the (oh so complicated!) instructions:

– Toast bread

– De-stone avocado, scoop out inside of avocado and put it in a bowl

– Mush up the avocado in the bowl

– Plonk (yes, it is a technical term, shutup) avocado onto the toast.

– Add drops of soy sauce, or sprinkle salt all over for flavour.

You now have Avocado Toast. And you’re welcome.

If you want to get fancy, you can add chopped spring onions, ground black pepper, lemon juice, chilli sauce, sesame seeds. Anything really.

Here’s mine. And no. I don’t share.

 

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