Tag Archives: recipes

Kimchi with Sautéed Cabbage

Sautéed Cabbage with Kimchi
Kimchi with Sautéed Cabbage

Kimchi, that spicy, smelly, fermented vegetable dish the Koreans adore and eat with every meal, is oh-so-healthy and delicious — if you’ve acquired a taste for it.

According to the Journal of Medicinal Food (2014), the health promoting properties of kimchi are: “anticancer, antiobesity, anticonstipation, colorectal health promotion, probiotic properties, cholesterol reduction, fibrolytic effect, antioxidative and antiaging properties, brain health promotion, immune promotion, and skin health promotion.”

Kimchi is a great source of probiotics (live, healthful bacteria). And the lively bacteria in kimchi continue to do good work in your digestive system. On the other hand, the probiotics in many supplements may not be alive.  In addition, kimchi, especially if you make it yourself, is a lot less expensive than probiotic supplements.

Never tasted kimchi? No problem! Here’s a recipe for kimchi newbies that mixes pungent store-bought kimchi with slightly sweet sautéed cabbage.

Note: This recipe does not include measurements. Just mix it up however you like! If you’re a kimchi novice, start with less kimchi. If you love kimchi, use more.

Avocado oil
Fresh ginger, diced
Cabbage (green), cut into long ribbons about 1/3 inch wide
Store-bought kimchi, cut into small pieces
Red onions, diced
Fresh cilantro, chopped


Heat a large heavy sauté pan over medium high heat, and when somewhat hot, add avocado oil to cover the bottom of the pan. When the oil is hot (starts to shimmer), add the diced ginger and sauté for about 10 seconds. Then add the sliced cabbage and stir constantly for 1 – 2 minutes, or until the cabbage is lightly wilted. Remove from heat.

Assemble the dish:

  • Put the sautéed cabbage on a plate.
  • Top with kimchi.
  • Pour a little of the liquid from the jar of kimchi over the kimchi. (Note: When you pour off this liquid, be sure there’s still enough liquid in the jar to keep the kimchi covered/submerged. This keeps the good bacteria in a relatively anaerobic environment so they can do their work, and in doing so they keep the kimchi from spoiling.)
  • Scatter diced red onions and fresh cilantro on top.
  • Serve as a first course  or side dish.


Cook with kimchi?

The Koreans do, but traditionally they use kimchi that they no longer consider good enough to eat. Note: Heating (or freezing) any probiotic-rich food kills most of the probiotics.

How long can I store kimchi? 

This Kimchi Q & A from Sintogourmet.com answers many questions, including how long you can store kimchi.

And what about mold that you may sometimes find on top of the kimchi in a jar  that’s been stored for a while? Some say you can skim off the mold and eat the kimchi below.  I could not find an authoritative source about mold and kimchi, but I can’t see why this information about surface mold on sauerkraut, from Wild Fermentation (Sandor Katz’s website), would not be applicable.

Safety note: If the mold is not just on the surface, throw your kimchi away! And if the kimchi smells bad (not the usual smell), don’t taste it, throw it away. And make a fresh batch!

How to open a jar of kimchi

The first kimchi I bought at the store, went into the garbage disposal. I thought it was not safe to eat because it bubbled over when I opened it. Later I learned that the good-for-you bacteria (probiotics) in kimchi produce gas, and sometimes when you open the jar, especially for the first time or after a long time, the gas in the kimchi causes the liquid to bubble over or release a fine spray.

To keep the kimchi liquid from spilling  over onto the kitchen counter or spraying into your face:

  • Put a plate under the jar of kimchi so that if it bubbles over, the liquid goes onto the plate, not the counter.
  • Place a paper towel over the lid when lifting the lid for the first time so that the spray, if any, will hit the paper towel and not your face.

Make kimchi at home! It’s easy!


Avocado oil – Avocado oil is high in healthy monounsaturated fat, the same healthy fat that’s in olive oil. But unlike olive oil, avocado oil has a smoke point of 500 degrees F so you can use it for high heat cooking, such as sautéing — without destroying the oil and creating nasty by-products like trans fats and peroxides.

Ginger – Ginger has many health benefits, including aiding digestion and reducing bloating and gas. So when eating a “gassy vegetable” like cabbage, you may want to include ginger in the meal! To learn about the health benefits of ginger, check out Herb of the Month: Ginger on Dr. Oz’s blog.

Red onionsTo get the most anti-cancer fighting properties from onions, choose small yellow or red ones and eat them raw or just slightly cooked. And if they are too pungent to eat raw, here’s a trick to reduce their bite: Put the onions in a container and add water to cover the onions. Put the lid on the container and then shake it for about 20 seconds. Drain out the water. The remaining onions will be more mild. Unfortunately, this process will rinse off some of the nutritional value (from the sulfur).


I can’t wait to make two batches of kimchi — Maangchi’s Cubed Radish Kimchi and Mother In Law’s Nappa Cabbage Kimchi — and you are invited to join me! So if you are in the Reston area and want to come over to make of a batch kimchi, send me an email at monamifood@gmail.com.

Enjoy and be healthy!


Spinach and Feta Omelet Muffins – plain and simple or stuffed into red peppers

omelet muffin in pimento peppers
Spinach and Feta Omelet Muffins Stuffed into Sweet Red Peppers

A few weeks ago, at the Farmer’s Market in Great Falls, Virginia, I enjoyed a delicious spinach and feta omelet muffin. Finding a low-carb healthy muffin was an unexpected delight. Kudos to Plain and Simple for making omelet muffins available for sale — instead of just the usual bread and baked goods!

Back home in my kitchen, I tried to create a recipe for a spinach and feta omelet muffin. In the end, I came up with two recipes. Both are delicious, healthy, and very easy to make!

We’ve enjoyed the plain and simple version (different from the one made by the company Plain and Simple) for breakfast every day this week! And yesterday, right after I took a new batch out of the oven, I knocked on my neighbors’ doors and invited them to a “pop up party” at our house where I served fresh Spinach and Feta Omelet Muffins cut into quarters and speared with toothpicks (a quick and simple appetizer.)

It’s easy to see why everyone loved these little gems! They’re delicious and nutritious — with plenty of protein and fat to make you feel satisfied and not hungry for a good while. They’re great when you need a hand-held, grab-and-go breakfast or snack – just pair with a berry smoothie (recipe in upcoming post), and you’re all set!

spincah feta egg muffinsSPINACH AND FETA OMELET MUFFINS
– makes 12 muffins


extra virgin olive oil (for greasing pan)
8 eggs
6 ounces frozen chopped spinach
6 ounces feta cheese
1 tablespoon grass-fed butter
1/4 teaspoon turmeric (for health benefits of turmeric, see Why Turmeric and Black Pepper)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Grease 2, 6-cup silicone muffin pans (or metal muffin pans) with olive oil. If using silicone muffin pans, place the greased pans on a metal baking pan (for stability in moving from counter to oven). Set aside.

Place all remaining ingredients into a blender and blend until small flecks of spinach remain.  Pour the egg mixture into the muffin cups so that each cup is about 3/4 full.

Place baking sheet on top rack of pre-heated oven and bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. If the center of each muffin is firm, it’s ready; if not, heat a little longer. Remove from oven. When cool, remove muffins from pan and store in refrigerator. Reheat in microwave.

Spinach and Feta Omelet Muffins - just cooked!
Spinach and Feta Omelet Muffins – just cooked!


Ingredients for stuffed peppers: I used fresh pimento peppers but they have a short season. When they’re not in season, just use the bottoms of small red bell peppers. Slice each pepper so that you end up with a 2 – 3 inch tall bottom to fill. Note: I have discovered that the red pepper dilutes the flavor of the filling. So add a 1/2 teaspoon or so of salt to the filling or top each stuffed pepper with crumbled feta during the last few minutes of baking. Since feta cheeses vary in how salty they are, you may need to play around with the recipe a bit to get it just right for you.

pimiento peppers

Directions for stuffed peppers: Preheat the oven. Place the pepper bottoms (peppers with tops and cores removed) on a baking sheet.Pour the liquid mixture into the peppers. Place baking sheet with filled peppers on top rack of pre-heated oven, and bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.



    • Eggs – I often buy eggs at the farmer’s market from farmers whose chickens roam around and forage for food. At the supermarket, I follow my personal shopping guideline: Choose that do not contain EPA and DHA. Why? Because eggs get their EPA and DHA from the fish meal that the chickens eat — and who knows what fish end up in the fish meal and how fresh that meal is! Besides, the amount of EPA and DHA in the eggs is minuscule compared to what our bodies need. To learn more about eggs in general, check out IncredibleEgg.org,  an industry-sponsored site with good information and lots of recipes.


Enjoy and be healthy!

FOOD FIND: Mini Bell Peppers and Jimmy Nardello Peppers

jimmy nardelis and yummis

This picture perfect bowl of peppers was a big hit when I brought it to an appetizer potluck.

The red peppers are sweet and succulent Jimmy Nardello Peppers, affectionately called “Jimmy’s.” You can cook Jimmy’s just about any way you like, but mostly we just munch on them raw and whole (minus the seeds) or enjoy them chopped in salad.

The orange peppers are sweet mini bell peppers, also known as “yummies,” according to the farmer who sold them to me.  We eat yummies raw too.  They are also great roasted, grilled, marinated, sautéed, or stuffed.

For the best recipes with Jimmy’s and yummies that I could find on the web, click on my PINTEREST board: Sweet Peppers.

Enjoy and be healthy!