Fermented foods, and a quick weeknight dinner

Hi everyone!  I wanted to pop in and share a delicious and super-quick weeknight dinner, inspired by some great local Kimchi that I spotted at a market during my trip to Burlington.  Although my 10-day whole foods cleanse is officially over, I’m keeping some of the healthy habits in place… including lots of leafy greens!

If you’ve never had Kimchi, think spicy sauerkraut, which is an under-statement of its deliciousness.  Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish made by fermenting cabbage with garlic, chile, salt and spices.  Because it’s fermented, kimchi is loaded with healthy probiotics (like yogurt) which are needed to properly digest and assimilate nutrients.  Kimchi is also a good source of fiber, and vitamins A and C.  You can find kimchi at your local health food store, but most regular grocery stores carry it too… check the refrigerated section near the tofu.

Kimchi Salad

  • 3-4 cups mixed greens
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 2-3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 smallish beet, peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 cup Kimchi
  • handful almonds, chopped
  • Dressing: whisk together 2 Tbs rice wine vinegar, 1 Tbs tamari (or soy sauce), 2 Tbs olive oil, 1Tbs peanut butter

This recipe makes enough for two.  I’m sure you all don’t need directions for assembling salad… just pile all the goodies on a plate, top with almonds and drizzle with dressing.  😉

As I was prepping, I called to Jonathan, “do you want shredded beets on your salad?”  I was shocked that he said yes… I almost didn’t ask because he usually doesn’t like beets.  In fact, he never likes them, I was joking when I asked.  WELL, Jonathan declared this the tastiest salad EVER and suggested we have it again… every night… forever.  It’s that good!!

kimchi salad2

I know what you’re thinking…. hey, what else is going on in that picture??  Well, it’s a little homemade miso soup.  🙂  This refreshing salad pairs beautifully with a warming and mild miso soup, especially in the winter!  I recently started experimenting with miso paste, which is another fermented food, packed with health benefits!  Miso has an alkalyzing effect on the body and strengthens the immune system.  It has even been touted to have anti-aging affects, and who doesn’t want that?  Miso paste can be found at your local health food store or Asian market.  If you do not have, or do not like, miso, this simple soup totally works with vegetable stock.

Mushroom Miso Soup

  • 5-6 mushrooms, very thinly sliced, about 1 cup
  • 2-3 scallions, chopped, include white and green parts
  • few thin slices of red pepper
  • 3-4 Tbs miso paste

Add mushrooms, scallions and red pepper to 4 cups water and bring to a boil.  Simmer 10-15 mins.  Immediately before serving, mix the miso paste with a few tablespoons of the broth to dissolve and then add the mixture back to the soup.  Don’t boil the broth with the miso because you can overcook the healthy enzymes.  Serves 2.

(If you aren’t using miso, just replace the water with veggie stock… I bet a mushroom stock would be awesome here!)

Experiment with the amount of miso you like… you can always add a little, then add a bit more.  There are also many varieties of miso paste… if you are new to miso, you may enjoy one of the lighter flavors like white miso paste.

Happy Wednesday everyone!!  Jonathan and I are heading to an anniversary party tonight… AND we’re bringing quinoa-stuffed mushrooms!!  I love ‘sneaking’ healthy foods to unsuspecting ‘normal’ people… I hope they are a hit!  Wish me luck  😉

xox,  Kristen

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