Kimchi Beef Stir Fry

Holy crap! Tonight after work I had to go out and buy a replacement charger for my Surface tablet. Are they made out of gold or something? I was not expecting to pay 89 dollars for the dumb thing. However, since about 90 percent of what I do in my spare time, including this blog, is computer related I bought it anyway

It is a good thing I have a lot of quick, easy and relatively cheap meals planned for the next couple of weeks.

Kimichi Beef Stir Fry

From I Heart Umami

16 oz Napa cabbage kimchi

1/2 lb ground beef

1 TBS olive oil

2 large cloves, minced

3 scallions, chopped, white and green parts seperated

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

3 TBS kimchi juice, or to taste

salt and pepper, to taste

sprinkle of sesame seeds, for garnish

Use a strainer to drain the kimchi over a small bowl. Use a spoon to press as much juice out of the kimchi as possible. Set the juice and drained kimchi aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil. Saute the kimchi for 1 minute. Spread the ground beef over the kimchi. Add 1 tsp toasted sesame oil over the beef and cook until cooked through. Add saved kimchi juice and salt and pepper, to tasted. If desired, garnish with the green parts of the scallion, additional toasted sesame oil and sesame seeds before serving.

Korean Style Stir Fry Sauce

One of the things I love about my home town is there a lot of ethnic grocery stores in the area. There are several Asian markets, a European market, an African market, an Indian market, a Balkan market and probably even more I don’t know about as I know about most of the markets by word of mouth or through one of my explore the city walks.

I love spending time walking up and down the aisles, looking at stuff and picking new stuff to try. Sometimes, I get lucky and find an absolute treasure like this Tea Masala, that makes a Masala tea exactly like the one I love at my favorite ethnic restaurant, the Himalayan Yak. Other times, I don’t get so lucky and bring home Durian flavored cookies. If you never heard of Durian, it is a fruit that supposedly tastes delicious but smells like something rotting. It is bad and I just had cookies. I can’t imagine what a whole fruit smells like. But by far, I have had more positive shopping experiences at ethnic markets then bad ones. Trying new things is always a chance no matter where you shop.

My current favorite ingredient that I bought at the Asian market is Gochujang, a Korean hot pepper paste. This ingredient was way outside my culinary comfort zone because I am a hot spice wimp. The first time I used Gochujang in a recipe I was expecting it to blow the top of my head off like a scotch bonnet pepper. Instead, it has a pleasant heat and earthiness that I really like.

I found the recipe for this simple stir fry sauce by googling easy stir fry sauces. I was so excited to try it Because I love a good stir fry sauce and it did not disappoint. I don’t know how authentic my vegetable choices were to Korean food, I used Bok Choi, green beans and white mushrooms, but it was delicious.

A Few Tips For Shopping At An ethnic market:

  1. Be respectful. You are going to see things in ethnic markets you don’t see in your average grocery store. The words yuck, ick, or that’s disgusting should never leave your mouth. Just move on to the next thing or leave the store. This shouldn’t even need to be said but after watching two people throw an absolute fit because they couldn’t find “American” food in an Asian market I guess it does.
  2. Google and Google translate are your friends. You won’t know what a lot of the items are on the shelves, although some will be very familiar. Google products to find out what they are. Snap a picture of the ingredients or directions if they are in another language and run them through Google translate to see whats what.
  3. Step outside your culinary comfort zone and try something new. Some of my favorite things to cook with like Furrikake, Gochujang and Kimchi, have all become my favorites because I just picked them up and tried them. I had no idea what to do with them at first. I just googled the item for recipes, picked one and tried it. It has lead to many really enjoyable meals.

Korean Style Stir Fry Sauce

2 1/2 TBS Gochujang (Korean hot chili paste)

1 1/2 tsp soy sauce

1 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 1/2 tsp sugar

1 1/2 tsp rice wine vinegar

1 tsp Gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)

In small bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well

Hoisin Pork Stir Fry (Whole 30)


These pictures aren’t of Hoisin Pork  Stir Fry.  These are pictures of just a few of the 47 cockatiels that were surrendered to The Center for Avian Adoption, Rescue and Education, CAARE, on Saturday morning.  The original call said the people had about 30 Cockatiels to surrender from a single home so it was quite a surprise when the final count  was 47.  CAARE is a small rescue but there was no question they would take all of the birds.  No bird is ever denied a place.

On my lunch break my friend.  Steph, and I  went to see the birds so I could decide if I could possibly take a couple when they are ready to be fostered.  I was allowed to go back and see the birds.  It was a heart breaking to see the signs of neglect.  Many of the birds had poop on their feathers because they were so crowded they couldn’t avoid it.  More than a few of the birds had bald patches on their head and shoulders where their mates had plucked them and they couldn’t get away from it.  Two were plucked completely bald from the top of their heads to their shoulders.  I was talking to some of them though the cage bars, and I’ll admit it,crying, for the shit these beautiful birds went through, when one of the cockatiels reached through the bars and booped my nose, like she was saying don’t worry we will be okay.

When I was telling my friend, Audrey, about the situation, she asked how one person could get so many birds.  I told her that some people are animal hoarders but it is more likely these people had good intentions  but simply got in over their heads.  I speak from experience, when people find out you have birds, they will be all over you to take the birds they no longer want for whatever reason and it is very hard to  say no, especially  if  you know  the bird is in a bad situation.  I have had customers and coworkers give me birds.  I have had people leave birds on my door step.  My first cockatiel was flew into a quonset where my friend’s husband was working.  One of my first adoptions was a handicapped parakeet who was found in the trash bin behind a grocery store. If I took every bird that I was asked to, I would have cages from floor to ceiling in every one of my rooms. I don’t because I know the limits of what I can afford or have time to care for.

So many surrenders to people like me and to shelters across the country could be avoided if people would just do some basic homework.  If they did they would know  birds are loud.  Birds are noisy.  Birds are destructive.  Birds are messy.  Birds are not a cheap substitute for the dog your kids really want.  It takes a lot of time and patience to develop a relationship with a bird.  They are prey animals and you are a predator.  Birds don’t automatically love and trust humans.

Often when I tell people these things they think I am against people having birds of their own. I am not.  I am the proud owner of 6 Parakeets and 3 Cockatiels.  I know how amazing birds are.  What I am against is the uninformed impulse buying of a living, thinking, feeling being.  Birds deserve better than this, as do all animals.

The 47 birds that landed at CAARE are lucky.  They are going to finally get the care they need, both physically and emotionally.  CAARE will find as many as they can good homes in the area and find places that can find good homes for the rest.  Unfortunately, many other birds won’t be so lucky.

Hoisin Pork Stir Fry

From Well Fed 30 Minute Paleo Recipes Magazine

Velveting Sauce

2 TBS coconut aminos

1 TBS arrowroot powder

1 TBS unseasoned rice vinegar

3/4 tsp salt

Meat and Vegetables

1 1/2 lbs pork loin (I used thick cut pork chops)

2 medium red bell peppers, cut into 1/2 inch chunks

6 scallions, cut into 2 inch lengths


1 TBS coconut aminos

1 TBS almond butter

1 scallion, dark green part only

1 tsp toasted sesame oil,  if you only have plain sesame oil, it will do


1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp  grated fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, crushed

In a bowl, combine the velveting sauce ingredients; mix well.  Cut the pork into 1/4 inch thick slices.  Combine with the velveting sauce; mix well.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, cut all the  into similar sized pieces so they cook at the same rate; set a side.

In a small bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients, mix well and set aside.

Prep the ingredients under aromatics and set a side.  Have everything ready to go before you start cooking.  Everything cooks really fast you won’t have time to prep everything.

When you are ready to cook,  heat 1  tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the meat and  cook undisturbed 1-2 minutes.  Stir and cook  1-2 more minutes.  Transfer to a plate.

Add another tablespoon of  oil  and heat for a minute or so.  Add the vegetables and stir  fry until tender, 1 – 4 minutes, depending on the vegetables.

Push the vegetables aside.  Add the aromatics and stir fry them for about 15 seconds or so.  Combine the vegetables and aromatics.

Add the meat back to  the pan and combine with the vegetable mixture.  Add the sauce and toss to combine.  Stir fry  for about 11/2 minutes to reheat the meat. 

Michelle’s All Purpose Stir Fry Sauce (Whole 30)

Last weekend my friend, Steph, visited the Shady Hollow flea market on the way to a family function.  Every year there is a big booth of vintage pyrex near the front of the flea market.  I don’t usually shop there because I can usually find what I want a lot cheaper at the other places I look for pyrex. but this time I was looking  for a piece that I had only ever seen at the flea market.  I gave Steph some money, told her what I wanted and in what patterns.  Steph didn’t find what I was looking for but she did find some interesting pieces in one of  the patterns I wanted.

The pattern is the 1970 reissue of the Spring Blossom design.  I had never seen salt and pepper shakers or the sugar and cream dispensers before but the thing that really intrigued me was the all the pieces had their original lids and the lids, as well as the pieces themselves, were in excellent condition.  It isn’t common to find pyrex with their original lids.  The lids are too easy to break or damage beyond repair.  I told Steph if she could get all the pieces for $50 I would take them, if she couldn’t, I didn’t want any of them.  I really didn’t think she would be able to get them for the money I was willing to spend. I didn’t count on Steph’s dad bargaining for me.  Thanks, Roger.

Since I only buy pieces of Pyrex I will actually use, I will use the salt and pepper shakers  for some of the seasoning blends I make and use often. The cream and sugar dispensers will be used for salad dressing and sauces that I make all the time.

Speaking of sauces, this stir fry sauce is one of the best things I ever put in my mouth.  The only change I would make is the next time I use it I may thicken it up a little.

Michelle's All Purpose Stir Fry Sauce

adapted for Nom Nom Paleo Ready Or Not

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

1/2 cup coconut aminos

1 TBS rice vinegar

2 TBS fish sauce

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp ginger

1//2 tsp sesame oil

In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well.  Use over any vegetables you want to stir fry.  Keeps about 2 weeks.

Melissa’s Best Ever Stir Fry Sauce And A Break (Whole 30)


Hey Guys,   I have really been struggling with my blog since I finshed my Whole30.  Part of the reason is I haven’t quite figured out how to incorporate the changes I am making in my diet into my blog while remaining true to the original intent  of my blog.  The other part is I am spreading myself pretty thin lately.  I work a fulltime job as a cashier/cake decorator and a part time job that pays very well but eats up almost all of my weekends.  Most of my freetime durning the week is spent working on a project for a couple of my friends who want to do a Whole30 but who have never cooked much.  I am spending a lot of time putting together resources and quick and easy Whole30 compliant recipes for them and teaching them how cook the basics.  As I told my friend, Audrey a while back, something as got to give and it’s better it is your blog rather than your sanity.  For the rest of June and probably  some of July, I am going to take a little  break from blogging and focus on some of my other projects. I’ll be back in a few weeks and ready to blog like crazy.

Before I go, I want to leave you with one last recipe.  Just before I finished my Whole30, I found Melissa Joulwan’s blog, Well Fed, and her cookbooks, Well Fed, Well Fed 2 and Well Fed Weeknights.  I totally fell in love with them.   Melissa as a nice variety of recipes inspired by food from all over the world.  All her books include  the recipes for the sauces and spice blends used in her book.  I love being able to make spice blends because nothing is more frustrating to me, then finding a recipe I really want to try only to find  it needs a spice blend I don’t have and don’t have easy acess to.   The best part of Melissa’s cookbooks is that a lot of her recipes have variations so you can find a  recipe  for what you have on hand.

This stir fry sauce is one of my favorite recipes of Melissa’s. In addition to a using it as a wonderful stir fry sauce you could use it as an awesome dressing for a salad.

Melissa's Best Ever Stir Fry Sauce

recipe from Melissa Joulwan’s Well Fed Cookbook

1/2 tsp rice vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 TBS fresh orange juice

3 TBS coconut aminos ( sub tamari or light soy sauce)

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, garlic,  and 5 spice powder.  Mix  into a smooth paste.  Add the orange juice and stir well.   Add the coconut aminos and stir well again. Use as a sauce for about up to 8 ounces of meat and 4 cups of vegetables.