I am definitely an animal lover. I am the kind of person that will help a lost dog find its owner, cry over roadkill, and talk about cats for hours on end. I am also vegan and although initially this decision was not based on my love for animals, I now think it’s an important factor.
It took me many years to decide that I was ready for a cat because I wanted to be responsible and take that animal’s life very seriously. I did everything right… I rescued it from a shelter. I play with it every day. I feed it only the best cat food recommended by the vet. Heck, that cat eats more organic and healthier food than I do most days.
I love my cat… even though he is extremely needy. So needy that he cries. Constantly. He cries when he’s alone, he cries when I’m home, and he cries all through the night. I have not had a full night’s sleep since bringing him home. But I still love him. Clearly, too much.
The funny thing is that when I first got him, I was so excited. I was so happy to have a pet to call my own and I thought that spending quality time with him would make me feel more content and present in my life.
Well, let me tell you, there is nothing that will make you feel more present than walking in the door after an extremely long day at work only to discover that your little pet has vomited on every single surface in your apartment. That is a zen moment right there.
But, being the amazing animal lover that you are you immediately check the cat and call the vet after, of course, accidentally stepping in vomit. Your vet then informs you that this is only the latest incident in your cat’s needy behavior because being away from you causes stress, which causes excessive grooming, which causes hairballs, which (yes, you guessed it) causes vomiting.
So, you suck it up. You clean up the vomit. You wash your hands. You play with your cat. And then you go out to your garden.
Ah, the garden. It’s such a happy place. A place to get away from it all, to relax, to feel connected to the earth, and to take in a deep breath of… um, what is that smell?
You have got to be kidding me.
Ah, the garden. It’s such a happy place for the neighbor’s cats. A place for them to get away from it all, to relax, and to feel connected to the earth by digging up your seedlings and taking a giant… ahem. I’ll leave that to the imagination.
So, that was my day. How was yours?
I’m sure after that lovely story all you want to think about right now is food. And especially, food from my garden. But, let’s continue. Maybe I can take both of our minds off of it by talking about kimchee.
Kimchee is a traditional Korean dish made by fermenting vegetables and adding gochu garu (spicy red pepper flakes). One of these days I will get around to posting a tutorial on how to make your own kimchee. Until then, if you’re buying it from the store just double check that it doesn’t contain any fish sauce (assuming that you are desiring an entirely vegan/vegetarian dish). If you haven’t tried kimchee before, expect some spice, a little tang, and lots of deliciousness.
Kimchee fried rice is so flavorful, yet, quick and easy to make that you will wonder why you haven’t been making this all week. Plus, the only labor involved after dicing is standing over the stove and stirring. Super easy. You can substitute any vegetables you desire so feel free to be creative. This is great for any weeknight dinner and you can make it a complete meal by serving it with tempeh, tofu, or beans. It’s the perfect meal to ease your hunger pains and take your mind off of your crazy day.
Kimchee Fried Rice
Inspired by Orangette
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium carrot, diced
3 green onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1 bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup broccoli florets, diced
1/2 cup sugar peas, diced
1 1/2 cups rice, cooked and cooled
1/2 cup kimchee
1 Tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Add the olive oil to a frying pan over medium heat. Add the carrot and saute in the oil for about 3 minutes. Next, add the onions, garlic and ginger and saute for about 1 minute. Then add the bell pepper, broccoli, and sugar peas and saute for about 2 – 3 minutes. Add the rice, kimchee, and soy sauce and saute for 3 – 5 minutes. Add any freshly ground black pepper to taste and serve hot.