Last month, this food blog turned two. This should be a time for celebration, but the truth is "The Resistance" has been kicking me in the face for the last couple of months. It says that I should stop with all of this nonsense because there are already so many food blogs. But now that I know that the negative demon in my head has been feeding on fear, I can turn this boat around. The question I have for myself though is what direction am I going to start rowing towards.
So to start in more positive waters, I'd like to write you a letter. A love letter, actually. Because you've given me all the feels and made Northwest Workshop into something I didn't even know could exist.
I've shown you a recipe for Kalbi before, but let me introduce you to a Whole30 approved version.
The biggest difference is switching out the soy sauce for coconut aminos and no sugar, which isn't needed because these aminos already have a sweetness to them.
Make a large batch when you're doing meal prep and for extra flavor points, grill them. Some might call that cheating because of course it'll taste amazing off the grill. To that I say a big fat "duh".
Even though I wrote about why I decided to go on Whole30, talking about my body is something I absolutely dread. Even to myself. Stupidly, I got to the point that I harmfully pushed myself to achieve success - whatever that means - to make up for the fact that I have a double chin.
The woman on the left of the photo was full of anxiety and preferred hiding at all times. The woman on the right is finally getting it together.
So I'm just going to lay it all out there and let you know about the weird and embarrassing things I have, or had, because I've had a lot of transformations. Plus I'm banking on the fact that you have some "odd" traits to you too.
When I hear someone call kimchi a salad, this is what I think of. Something fresh, lightly dressed, and can be whipped up in a few minutes. Not the beloved fermented Korean side dish that I sometimes eat like a main course.
No, this salad isn't a traditional dish, but the ingredients hit all the notes you're looking for in Korean cuisine. You also don't have to make a huge amount of dressing because a little goes a long way with the sesame oil and fish sauce. Grossed out by fish sauce? Just think of it as the anchovies in a caesar dressing: undetectably delicious.
I don't have a sweet tooth. I'm not a fan of bread-y foods. But give me some real home cooked Korean food and I'll immediately devour every last bit of it.
Sadly in the good ol' U.S. of A., healthy lifestyles usually don't include a lot of ethnic recipes. But then I thought "Hold the phone, I'm a food blogger, I'm Korean ( well half, but's good enough for me so deal with it), and I'm cooking Korean food during my Whole30! I should share it!"
I really hate talking about diets. My relationship with food, just like every other human being, is complicated. My size 2 self in high school was miserable. I wasn't eating and thought being skinny was THE answer. To what? I don't know. Fast forward to my solid size 14 self, and here I was again, miserable with my body. The crappy thing though was I thought I was eating how I was supposed to.
But my weight isn't even why I wanted to do the Whole30 program. Sure, seeing my friends on Facebook have amazing results helped but I've tried diets before. I've failed diets before. But again, I'm not talking about pounds. We all know that healthy comes in many sizes. What I'm talking about is deeper than appearances.
To my surprise, we're just a couple days shy of a year since we've poked around in my edible garden. If someone could stop pressing the fast forward button, that'd be great, thanks.
Since I'm a big believer of "grow what you actually eat", you'll see a lot of the same plants as last year. The biggest change would be our new raised bed we put in on the south side of our home. I've been able to grow veggies there, but it was a lot harder to manage when I was trying to follow the square foot gardening spacing.
Now that I have the new garden box packed with great nutrient dense soil, my plants are going bananas. See for yourself.
Sometimes I just can't. I've worked a full day retouching images in the dark. The bus was way too packed, which made an odd odor. And I forgot to eat breakfast, so I had an early lunch and now I'm starving for dinner. I think about takeout, or a burger. Or better yet! Order a pizza because I can use the app so I don't actually have to talk to someone.
Then my stomach reminds me that I need to put that phone down and march into the kitchen, because she feels queasy every time I go down this road. After a quick argument I agree - she's always right - and look for something quick and easy. That's usually when I use lots of spices, put everything on one tray, and pop the food in the oven so there's the least amount of fuss possible.
I'll cut to the chase. Grate your potatoes if you want crispy hash browns that cook all the way through. That's the secret.
Just like the biscuits we've made together that uses grated butter, this simple recipe - is it even a recipe if there are only 3 ingredients? - bows down to the grater that's usually an overlooked tool in the big ol' kitchen drawer.
I will say the best thing about these hash browns is the fact that it takes less time to make than cooking store-bought frozen potatoes. I've stood in front of the stove for too long, too many times, before I learned my lesson that frozen potatoes never get crispy. NEVER. At least for me anyways.
I definitely judge my food by "lit candle" worthiness.
Spending time in the kitchen making a meal is arguably a luxury. Take the luxury even further to sit down and enjoy the meal and you've crossed into blasphemy.
No judgement here, as I too have the spot on the couch that's carved out with the shape of my body. No matter how long you spend on a meal, we all have moments where you want to turn off your mind by allowing time spent in the rabbit hole that is YouTube. Being accompanied by homecooking is a pretty huge plus.
But sometimes, even if I'm by myself, I will light a few candles at the dinning table while patting myself on the back with a job well done.