My Favourite Healthy Foods

DSC_2814-2Since moving to Korea, I’ve had to build a pantry totally from scratch! I’ve also had to learn how to feed myself in a foreign country, since some of my favourite foods aren’t available in grocery stores here. This has been a great experience for a lot of reasons.

First, it’s showed me that I am capable of eating well wherever I am in the world, so long as I have a few basic staple foods. It’s also taught me new skills, like how to make dried beans from scratch! Invaluable knowledge to take back to Canada with me, for sure. And of course it’s also forced me to re-evaluate what my staple foods really are! If I want specialty health foods like quinoa and flax seeds, I have to order them online through iHerb, which means I have to be mindful and consider what I actually need and am going to use.

Processed with VSCOcam with c2 presetTurns out, I really don’t need anything special to eat happily and healthfully. As appealing as ordering from iHerb is (it’s like being a kid in a very healthy candy store), most of the time my staples are easily found, even in Korea. Below is the list of the usual suspects in my kitchen – no real surprises here, folks!

Peanut butter: My current favourite is Earth Balance’s Natural Creamy Peanut Butter with Flaxseed. Another favourite is Maranatha’s No-Stir. Only within the last year have I started liking crunchy peanut butter, but I still won’t usually buy it myself.

DSC_2103Avocados: These are hard to find in Korea, but they do sell bags of 5 at Costco, so that’s a treat. Sometimes they have them at my grocery store for the low, low price of $3.50 a pop, and usually when they do I just go for it. Treat yoself, right?

Sweet potatoes: Happily, I think almost every culture on earth eats sweet potatoes so these are everywhere here. They’re a slightly different variety from what we have back home – they’re yellower, sweeter and smaller.

DSC_2645Spinach: Leafy green love. I will never again take for granted the amazing convenience of pre-washed organic spinach. Here it comes still dirty and attached to its stems, which is kind of refreshing but a little more work.

Garlic: In Korea, garlic is sold pre-peeled which is so great. I love the convenience of having the cloves ready to go! Plus I pay about $1.50 for 30+ cloves.

DSC_2804Eggs: It was easy to continue my 30 Days to Vegan diet in Canada, but much harder in a country where the word vegetarian is often not even comprehended. That being said, the only animal product I’ve really re-introduced is eggs since cheese is incredibly scarce and expensive here and soy milk is very cheap. Who knows what my eating habits will look like when I get home, but for now I’m happy to eat eggs a few times a week.

Bananas: Of course. Always and forever. Mainly I put them in my smoothies or use them to make banana ice cream, my new favourite thing.

Almonds & cashews: My two favourite kinds of nuts. I mostly just eat these raw, as a snack.

DSC_0463Tofu & tempeh: No tempeh in Korea, but there’s lots of tofu. I find tempeh has a nicer, heartier texture, but both products are kind of magical. I love panfrying tofu until it’s nice and crispy and then glazing it with some kind of sauce. BBQ sauce if I’m getting my way.

Chickpeas: I have to order these on iHerb, dried. Unfortunately I can’t just pop open a can of them! I’m getting a new bag in a few days and I can’t wait to make some hummus.


This week on the podcast, Laura and I discuss this exact subject. We’re talking about our top staple foods for building a healthy pantry. Most of mine are listed above, but the episode is also full of interesting tips about freezing food and lots of ideas for how to use healthy ingredients in your meals. You can find the show over at our blog here or by subscribing to us on iTunes!

PS. If you want to get $10 off your first iHerb order, you can use my code LWW752.

White Bean Garlic Dip and Homemade Tortillas

GPG TortillasI’m over at Guinea Pigging Green today with the recipe for a delicious white bean garlic dip I threw together last week. It wound up being so yummy I just had to share it! No doubt it can be improved upon (my tiny Korean kitchen, while growing, is still not completely stocked) but it was the perfect addition to some light, fresh veggie wraps.

The same day, I made tortillas by hand for the first time. At the risk of sounding like a complete and total loser: it was so much fun! Not only did I feel like a domestic goddess extraordinaire, but the tortillas were so tasty and came out perfectly. I was following a recipe from Oh She Glows (all of her recipes are always awesome) using regular flour instead of the spelt flour she recommends.

You would have laughed to see me – I was covered from head to toe in flour, rolling out tortillas using my water bottle then whipping around to drop them into my little frying pan, doing a little dance back and forth the whole time. But it was fun. So far, my 24 before 24 list has been feeding me well – literally and figuratively!

Check out the recipe (and some other ideas for what to put in these tortillas) here!

Vegan Peanut Butter Cups

20140415-152642.jpgI’m over at Guinea Pigging Green today sharing a recipe for homemade, raw, and vegan peanut butter cups! I’ve already eaten four from the batch today, so it’s lucky they’re rather small.

These peanut butter cups are pillowy, naturally sweetened, nutty, and delicious. They’re a great little sweet treat and miraculously I was able to make them in my tiny Korean apartment without a real mixing bowl (I used a shallow bowl I got when I bought strawberries off the street), or a muffin tin (I used an empty plastic egg carton), or an oven (they’re raw)!

It felt good to mix ingredients up in a bowl, to use strong cinnamon, and to take food photos in a new space with new light. Baking while photographing the process is one of my favourite things to do but I always seem to forget how much I love it until I’m doing it again. Today I was reminded that I can always make good things happen for myself, even in a small space in a foreign country. It comforts me to think that as long as I have peanut butter and a wooden spoon, I can feel like I’m home. 

Check out the recipe here!

Amsterdam, Netherlands

I absolutely loved Amsterdam. It’s such an infamous place that before I arrived I had heard all sorts of different things about it – both good and bad. But for me, apart from a very cold, wet first night and a mediocre hostel, it was all good.

Amsterdam is such a beautiful city. It’s so wonderful – just all green and lush, canals everywhere, old buildings, adorable little cafés (the regular kind and the smoking kind) and restaurants and boutiques everywhere. I got the feeling that I could have stayed for months (or years!) and still not have explored all of the lovely spots the city had to offer. I could have spent days wandering around the Vondepark and many nights exploring the Red Light District. Amsterdam is a city with a lot of history and politics and I found it all incredibly fascinating. Plus, it’s beautiful: it was amazing to just sit on a bench under some trees and watch the world go by.

I was only there for a few days before heading off to London to finish up my adventure, but I loved the time I had. I was staying right near the Museumplein (where the I Amsterdam sign lives!) which was perfect to access the tram transportation to downtown and right next to the Vondepark (a big beautiful park in the middle of Amsterdam). Like I said, my first night was cold and rainy, but I still ventured out to near the Flower Market (bought some beautiful tulip bulbs for the gardening ladies in my family) and ate a huge falafel from Maoz (a chain I discovered I loved in Barcelona) before coming back to my hostel for a cherry beer (sounds disgusting, ISN’T.) and heading to bed to dry out my wet clothes and shoes – yuck. The next day I did a walking tour (awesome, as always) and learned more about the city. I spent the day with two girls I met on the tour, eating french fries (Amsterdam has some of the best fries I’ve ever had!), walking around, and visiting the Anne Frank House. It’s quite an incredible experience, seeing the rooms Anne Frank and her family lived in, and imagining their situation. I found it very powerful.

That evening, we took a guided tour of the Red Light District. Our tour guide was incredibly knowledgable: his first job in Amsterdam was as an errand boy for the sex workers and has since befriended and interviewed many of them – his name is Mark and he’s amazing. He took us through the area (surprisingly family-friendly, not seedy or dirty in the slightest) and explained the laws, the policies, the breakdown of how the industry works, and told personal stories as well. I couldn’t recommend the tour more highly. Additionally, Mark is a great resource for all things Amsterdam and recommended an outdoor street market the next day where I spent a few hours wandering around and had the most delicious apple cake I’ve ever had. That evening, I met up with a lovely couple I’d met on the night train from San Sebastian to Lisbon (crazy!! but amazing) and it was like meeting up with old friends. We wandered the Vondepark, had drinks, had dinner, strolled along the canals and had a wonderful time. It was the perfect way to end my time in Amsterdam. The next morning I was off to meet family in London!


  • Winkel 43: the best apple cake, possibly in the world. It’s right next to the big Saturday market so it’s the perfect place to start or end your market day. It’s packed full of families and couples and friends, and it has a wonderful atmosphere.
  • Sandemann’s Red Light District Tour: totally respectful, informative and interesting. Ask for Mark! (His website also has a ton of great suggestions for things to do in Amsterdam).
  • Vleminckx: delicious fries with about a hundred options for sauce/toppings. Amazing.
  • Noordemarkt: the wonderful Saturday market!