Posts Tagged ‘Kim Chee’

A Sunny Start to the New Year

Ever since we completed our move to Goshen, Indiana this past November, I’ve felt the urge to hunker down, read fairy tales, plan a permaculture garden, and settle into our local community. With private sessions, social events, unpacking, homemade dinners twice per week with David’s parents, and the occasional long winter’s nap, I’ve felt happy and busy, but I recently realized to my surprise that I had not left little Goshen … at all … since we got here on November 16! David, by contrast, has flown many international trips for work, whereas I’ve just energy-traveled to do international sessions by phone. Two days ago, we took a little excursion to Mishawaka (a South Bend suburb) so that David could get his car serviced. While there, we decided to see what the town had to offer. I kept laughing about our adventure from the shire to “the big city.”

David checked out Happy Cow for vegan or vegetarian friendly restaurants and health food stores. As a pre-shopping measure, we stopped for some raw food yummies at Apple Valley Natural Foods. Um … score! They offered an entirely different selection of Gone Nuts raw food snacks than we’ve found anywhere else. They also introduced us to some amazing raw/sprouted trail mix (sorry, I forget which one, since we snarfed it so fast!), and to Alive & Radiant Organic Veggie Krunch, “Sweet Onion.” Wow. These are officially my new favorite raw crunchy topper for soups, salads or straight out of the bag.

We swung by the mall so David could explore some new things at the Apple Store, while I hoped the Barnes & Noble might just possibly have a difficult to procure book I wanted. Now. When I approached the Customer Service desk, a long line greeted me, but an employee just happened to walk by as I took my place in line. For some reason, he singled me out and asked if he could help me find anything. Imagine his surprise when the book I requested just happened to be located right next to the book he had “finally decided to buy earlier this week. I know exactly where to find it!” I also found the perfect birthday gift for someone I normally have trouble figuring out what to get. Perfect on several levels, and with a sense of humor to boot. 😉

About this time, the sun made a welcome appearance, turning our various errands into a little joyride. Northern Indiana’s quite cloudy, but with the sun and the new fallen snow, everything turned glittery. We stopped at the Goodwill Store, where I continued what has turned into quite the manifestation feat. In one week and for less than $100, I have now procured pretty much every clothing item I ever wished I could own, some of these dating back to 1997. Ever have something in mind, know you want it, but just never seem to find it in your size or the right style or for less than $400? Well, apparently, this was payout week for all the fashions formerly found only in my head. I’ve got sweaters, boots, shirts and skirts, and a coat, just like I pictured them, but instead of finding these at a place like Anthropologie or Anne Klein, I got them for next to nothing. Another score.

By the time we finished at Goodwill, we felt ready for lunch at a preselected Korean restaurant described at Happy Cow:

Sunny’s Kim Chee Garden Patio

512 South Spring Street
Mishawaka, Indiana 46544

574-255-5274

“Serves meat, veg options available. Charming Korean restaurant in downtown Mishawaka that specializes in healthy, veg-friendly Korean food. Owner Sunny makes everything herself, often using seasonal ingredients. Most items on the menu can be made vegan. Half of their menu has items that have no oil in them. No MSG used. Has outdoor seating. Wheelchair accessible. Accepts credit cards.”

HOURS:

Wed-Thur: 11am-2pm & 5pm-10pm

Friday-Sat: 11am-10pm

I had been craving authentic Korean food for about two years and especially during the past week, so when David found Sunny’s on Happy Cow, I told him he could “just stop right there.”

Our meal and experience exceeded our expectations. Sunny greeted us, waited on us and made our food to order. When I inquired about a mysterious pickled yellow root veggie I had eaten in college, she knew exactly what I meant and brought us a free sample. When she learned how much I had been craving kim chee, she brought her own “winter kim chee” out on a little plate for us to share, in addition to all the food we’d ordered. Everything was fabulous, gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan, just as advertised. Since we came very late in the lunch cycle, we got to chat with Sunny and watch her beautiful granddaughters play while their mom was at work. Such a fun time … it was like eating in this woman’s home. She makes everything to order, and she’s so friendly you feel like you’ve known her for years. It turns out that she has had some friends of David’s parents as customers for 21 years, so a small world it is, indeed.

I’ll share some photos below, and those of you on Facebook can check out Sunny’s Korean Restaurant on Facebook. She also teaches cooking classes and caters events. In my life, I have eaten a lot of Korean food. My college boyfriend was Korean, and his mom made really tasty food. Combine that with trips to Korean restaurants and the occasional “mandatory” trip with Mama Kim to the Korean Baptist Church, which was followed by a giant buffet of homemade Korean goodies, and I feel like I’ve sampled my fair share of Korean food. Sunny’s was awesome. I don’t normally use that word about food, but it just was. Awesome. I can’t stop telling David how “awesome” our meal was. We will find reasons to go to Mishawaka, just so we can eat at Sunny’s. We left with a quart of winter kim chee … a quart which has already turned into a pint. If you find yourself in Northern Indiana, or en route somewhere else through Northern Indiana, and you like Korean food, Sunny’s is worth the stop.

Sunny's Cucumber Kim Chee

Sunny’s Cucumber Kim Chee

Sunny's Spinach (lightly braised)

Sunny’s Spinach (lightly braised)

Sunny's Bi Bim Bob (made vegetarian)

Sunny’s Bi Bim Bob (made vegetarian)

Sunny's Chop Chae (made vegan ... this dish has sweet potato noodles and a delicate sweet/spicy taste and texture)

Sunny’s Chop Chae (made vegan … this dish has sweet potato noodles and a delicate sweet/spicy taste and texture)

Sunny's Winter Kim Chee

Sunny’s Winter Kim Chee

A very happy Laura Bruno with a stash of Winter Kim Chee in the bag

A very happy Laura Bruno with a stash of Winter Kim Chee in the bag

Thanks to David for the photos, and thanks to Sunny for the yum! We have been raving ever since. 🙂

Kombucha, Kefir and Kickapoo Kimchi! Oh, My!

Just a day in the (extremely probiotic) life:

Nessalla Kombucha --Seasonal

I love our local and homemade options for friendly gut health! For those who don’t know, kombucha is a fermented beverage made from tea, sugar and a special “SCOBY” culture that creates friendly bacteria and symbiotic yeast. For details on health benefits, you can click right here. I don’t drink it often, but when I do, I love supporting Madison’s very own kombucha brewer, Nessala. Today’s flavor? Seasonal Hibiscus-St. John’s Wort-Siberian Ginseng. You can also make your own ‘booch with their handy dandy starter kits. I’ve not braved kombucha making yet, although I do have an unactivated SCOBY back from my Sedona 2007 days. I’ve heard stories about the SCOBY’s taking over, but our friend, Sue, feeds her chickens the leftovers and they seem to thrive on it!

Seed starters, fermenting kefir and soaked and dehydrated buckwheat groats.

Kefir is another fermented beverage and currently one of my favorites. According to the local-ish Moonwise Herbs, who prepared our gorgeous Wild Edibles Gourmet Dinner last year:

“Kefir is a refreshing probiotic cultured-milk beverage, which is believed to originate in the Northern Caucasus Mountains many centuries ago. Kefir has a uniform thick creamy consistency, a slightly sour refreshing taste, with a mild aroma of fresh yeast. Kefir also has a slight naturally carbonated effervescent ‘zest.’

“Kefir’s tart and refreshing flavor is similar to a drinking-style yogurt, but it contains beneficial yeast as well as friendly ‘probiotic’ bacteria found in yogurt. The naturally occurring bacteria and yeast in kefir combine symbiotically to give superior health benefits when consumed regularly. It is loaded with valuable vitamins and minerals and contains easily digestible complete proteins.

“Kefir can be made from any type of milk, cow, goat or sheep. Non-dairy beverages can also be cultured with the grains. We have cultured coconut nectar, homemade juice from the berries in our yard-one of my favorites is cultured currant juice as well as lemonade and fresh fruit.”

As you know, I provide information only on this blog, so I can’t make any “real” health claims except from personal experience. That said, kefir rocks! At various times in my life, I’ve had coconut milk kefir, coconut water kefir, raw milk kefir, and it all makes me feel good! I first learned of coconut milk kefir from my friend/former neighbor, Cecilia, who used Body Ecology Starters with fresh coconut meat/water blends. She even had some success with a bottled version of flash pasteurized coconut milk. Kefir “grains” add so many enzymes and digestive aids that, while fresh is best, you really can’t go wrong with kefir — provided it’s homemade. The commercial brands filled with guar gum are quite another story, at least in my experience! Rumble, rumble, if you know what I mean. When I drink homemade kefir, my body hums. I’ve also heard enough testimonials from people with formerly autistic children to know there’s something powerful in that fermentation.

If you want a superfood version of Breyer’s Peaches ‘n Cream ice cream, try frozen organic peaches blended with milk/coconut milk/nutmylk kefir and a splash of vanilla stevia. Wow.

Fully "ready" kefir and kimchi from fizziology.

And the kimchi! I just can’t say enough good things about our local fizzeology fermented veggies. Sure, we could make our own and sometimes do. David has a “Perfect Pickler,” which truly does make perfect pickles and no-stink-up-the-kitchen kraut. But we met fizzeology’s Mike Bieser at a health expo where I spoke last year. He puts burdock root in his kimchi! Enough said. I love, love, love burdock! Can’t get enough. I also love the other flavors, especially ones with a Mexican flare. When you can find fermented foods this good and this local, and you’re this lazy, it just feels right to go support your local co-op, which now stocks Mike’s tasty, healthy treats. I particularly like Kickapoo Kimchi on avocados or wrapped in nori sheets for fast, satisfying snacks.

Between b-vitamins, enzymes, bio-available protein, adrenal nourishment, and friendly flora, you just can’t beat fermented foods! “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” I doubt Virginia Woolf meant kombucha, kefir and kimchi, but that’s probably cuz she hadn’t tried them. 😉