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spicy garaetteok (Korean rice cakes) al pesto

Spicy garaetteok al pesto is something that randomly came to my mind. For the past couple of days, I’ve been obsessed with the Korean dish Tteokbokki. I’m simply obsessed with the chewy consistency of rice cakes. If you don’t know about Tteokbokki, it’s a dish that’s made of long, cylinder-shaped rice cakes (garaetteok) stir-fried in a spicy sauce like gochujang for example. I could watch Maangchi make them all day.

What’s so good about this dish?

The chewy consistency reminds me of gnocchi. And if you fry it ever so slightly, it has a crispy texture on the outside and soft, chewy texture on the inside. Pesto itself is delicious and paired with the garaetteok (rice cakes) is like having a gluten-free version of gnocchi, in a way.

spicy garaetteok al pesto
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Tipile (Tabbouleh)

I was raised calling this salad “tipile”. If you were also raised by Dominican parents, you also know this salad as ‘tipile’. It’s usually made with bulgur wheat but I use quinoa instead because my stomach finds bulgur vulgar.

How is the Dominican version different from the traditional Lebanese salad? There’s much more parsley and hardly ever any mint. If you’re interested in learning more about this salad, the fantastic blog Dominican Cooking has much more info.

What you’ll need: 🔪

  • 2 cups of cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup diced tomato 
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/4 diced shallots in 1/4 cup of lemon juice 
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil 
  • salt and pepper to taste (about 1 tablespoon each)

Method: 🍅🥬

In a large bowl add the quinoa, tomato, and cucumber and mix it up. Add the herbs followed by the shallots. Mix some more. Add olive oil, salt, and pepper, and taste. Enjoy! Interested in more vegetarian recipes? Here are a few.

Tomato Pizza Galette

I love galettes. They’re such a great way to practice making dough. If you’re looking for a sweet galette recipe, you can find a Peach & Fig galette recipe here. I love savory galettes because this tomato galette evokes the flavor of pizza, so it’s a pizza galette.

The flaky pastry and the juicy, cheesy tomato mixture is just delicious. If you’re looking to work on your pastry skills, galettes give you a free rein because it doesn’t have to fit in a specific pan. All you need is a flat surface and the will to do it. 

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Buffalo cauliflower—feta, zaatar, yogurt dipping sauce

I never really cared for buffalo sauce until I moved back to the US. Enter these buffalo cauliflower bites.

I’ve always liked wings and I love tangy, tart, acidic flavors. I add lime to my lime Topo Chico or my grapefruit lacroix. I used to eat limes as a kid as they are. So when I was oddly craving buffalo anything I just surrendered to the craving and made it.

Here it is.

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How I Use Cooking & Baking as a Mindful Meditation Tool in 2 Steps

Cooking and baking connect all of the senses, you just have to notice how it happens. They offer us an opportunity for us to coach the mind to be present. If you learn how to cook mindfully, cooking can be a tool of mindful meditation.

I’ve practiced mindful meditation consistently for the better part of 5 years. I’ve also done several mediation immersions. One, a 1-week meditation immersion guided by Madonna McManus, who holds a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology and Experimental Therapeutics and several other meditation immersions through apps like Waking Up, HeadSpace, and Calm, in addition to daily asanas.

A little background on mindful meditation

According to Wikipedia, mindfulness is the psychological process of purposely bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment without judgment which one develops through the practice of meditation.

Some of the benefits of mindful meditation

Mindful meditation is proven to improve focus, reduce stress and irritability, and creates neuroplasticity (the creation of neuropathways in the brain).

For me, the biggest benefit of mindful meditation is the creation of Neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to “rewire” or “reorganize” itself by forming new neural connections. Neuroplasticity allows the neurons in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment. If you’re interested in research linking mindful meditation to neuroplasticity, here are some links.

Chopping vegetables can be a form of mindful meditation.
Activities that involve using your hands help with reducing anxiety.

How I use cooking & baking as a mindful meditation tool

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