Category: Vegan / Veggie Friendly

Root

I like to consider myself a healthy eater, (seriously lol). I believe in the ying-yang approach, super healthy followed by super unhealthy to create balance in an otherwise unstable world. Now while I spend most of my time looking for Seoul’s more fattening fair, and reserve the healthy stuff for home I do enjoy a nutritious and delicious meal out and about once in a while. For the past few months I have read dozens of good reviews for Root in Hannam-dong, so after putting on some serious weight due to sheer laziness on my part, I figured it was about time I got back on the wagon and gave salads another try.

The cafe is located at the Hannam end of Itaewon, an area I often fail to visit, but hosts a whole load of cute and quirky places. The restaurant is located just off the main drag on the second floor.  The place is very white, light and airy, and makes you feel virtuous just walking into it. It also has a mix of indoor and outdoor seating which is a real rarity in this city. I’m sure come summer this place will be a packed to the rafters with sun worshippers try to get their beach bodies in shape.

The menu is located up at the counter where you will need to order your food, and has a mix of salads, sandwiches and Korean inspired dishes. After much humming and hawing I decided to order the Avocado Toast (8,500), since both of my dining companions had ordered salads. I really liked this dish a lot, I mean avocado and poached eggs is always a winner, and it came served on a lovely thick slice of toast. The bacon added a nice saltiness, and the cherry tomatoes a little acidic zing. My only complaint is that I wish the portion was double the size, but if you are a light eater this is ideal. Slap a mimosa on the side and you’ve got brunch, although as Root doesn’t serve alcohol you will have to bring your own!

As well as my Avocado toast I thought I would treat myself to a smoothie. They have two on the menu and I went for Orange, Banana, and Greek Yogurt (6,500). This was really disappointing, first the way it was served was just quite sad. They make an extra effort to put their water in biodegradable cups then serve their rather expensive smoothies in cheap plastic cups. The whole thing was utterly tasteless too, I was so uninspired I could barely bring myself to take a photo of it. Be sure to give it a miss.

One of my dining companions went for the Green Bowl (12,500). A mix of chicken, kale, romaine, avocado, cherry tomato, Parmesan cheese, Parmesan chips, and Caesar dressing. Honestly this was alright, but nothing to write home about, it was a nice enough salad, with a good ratio of ingredients but it didn’t really have me longing for more. The dressing was a bit wishy-washy too, I like my Ceasar dressing to really sing to my taste buds.

My other gal pal about town ordered the Red Bowl (13,000) which consists of chicken, brown rice, romaine, avocado, corn, black bean, salsa, sour cream, mozzarella and cilantro chipotle dressing. This was definitely my favorite of the two. A little bit more flavour from the dressing but again not a salad I would go out of my way for. She also ordered a bowl of soup on the side, which looked good, and she seemed to enjoy.

Overall I’m not really sure if Root lived up to its hype. I’m certainly happy to see more of this style of restaurant opening in our neighbourhood, though I don’t think the salads here were as good as the ones at nearby What A Salad.  I did however enjoy my dish, and I’d be happy to give a few of their sandwiches a try. I’d certainly be open to eating here again if i was making an extra effort to be healthy.

Root is located at 2F 741-19, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Hangangjin Station (line 6) and come out of exit 1. Walk straight along this road, then take the second right. Walk straight along this road and you will see Root on the second floor in the right hand corner above Bistro Al Li. For more information you can call them on 02-797-9505. They are open everyday except Tuesday from 11:30-9pm with a break between 3:30 and 5pm on weekdays.

Sprout

As you may know I have been trying to be a little more health conscious lately, although that didn’t seem to stop me stuffing my face with pizza and cheeseburgers while guzzling Moscow Mules like they were going out of fashion last weekend. To balance my somewhat dubious diet I try to eat as cleanly as possible from Monday to Friday. So when Sprout, a vegan and completely additive free homemade meal service offered to provide me with a weeks worth of free meals I was only too happy to oblige them in their offer.

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Huggers

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Right now in the foodie world  it seems as though burgers are the new black. Nary a day goes by without me getting another recommendation for Seoul’s latest best burger. On my burger quest I’ve tried more than my fair share, but I’d yet to have never had a vegan burger in Seoul. So when I saw there was a new vegan joint in town, I figured it was worth a try, especially since I have been trying to be a little bit healthier lately. (more…)

Sambazon Acai Bowls

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It’s not often that fortune smiles upon me and I find exactly what I’m looking for, but very occasionally it does. I was mincing around Sinsa last week trying to while away an hour before a meeting and was desperate for something to eat. However I’ve been trying to be a bit healthier lately so I was trying to resist the delicious bagels I’d just picked up for TFB at Pick A Bagel. As luck would have it, my meeting was located opposite this wonderful smoothie bowl joint and I managed to fill myself up while still eating clean.

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The acai bowls are incredibly beautiful and almost look like a work of art. I’ve started making my own smoothie bowls ever since I came back from Bali, but never dreamed there would be anywhere in Seoul selling them, and I’ve since found out they have a branch in Itaewon too.

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The bowls come in thee sizes, handy, regular and large. I opted for the regular (7,500). The bowl was made up of an acai smoothie on the bottom which was deliciously moreish and made up of lots of lovely things like cacoa nibs. Then the bowl is topped with all of those beautiful fruits like banana, dragon fruit, blueberries, pineapple, kiwi, coconut and grapes. The mix of fruits were lovely and tasty and incredibly filing, I wouldn’t hesitate to come back. It’s the perfect meal for those who are trying to eat healthy.

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Sambazon Acai Bowls is located at 59, Nonhyeon-ro 161-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Apgujeong Station (line 3) and come out of exit 5. Walk straight and take the 5th road on the right, the one before the main Garosugil Street. Walk straight along this road, Sambazon Acai Bowls is located just up ahead on the left hand side. For more information you can call them on 02-516-3686 or check out their facebook page.

 

Sprout

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Of all the food I write about, I’d say that a good 80% of it is pretty unhealthy. While it may seem that I live a wildly unhealthy lifestyle filled with cheesecakes and pizza, it’s not the whole picture. Despite the name of my blog I do tend to eat quite healthily two thirds of the time, and this is what has allowed me to maintain a 100lb weightloss. I love my fruit and vegetables and enjoy a green smoothie or juice most mornings and follow it up with a healthy salad for lunch. I snack on plenty of fresh fruit and nuts throughout the day, however when a burger is offered my way I eat it, I never deprive myself of something I want for dinner and somehow that works for me. (more…)

Homemade Pickles

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Until recently the joy of a good pickled cucumber eluded me. I just never quite understood their allure until I went to New York and had the cream of the crop pickle wise at the famed Katz Deli, and I’ve not looked back since. In England we pickle our our onions and our eggs, but cucumbers not much. While in Korea a side of pickles come with just about every food imaginable, but the complaints generally sway towards being way too sweet or way to spicy. Like a man, a good pickle can be hard to find. So since it’s cucumber season and all I thought I’d throw my hand at making some up myself and if I do say so myself I reckon I did pretty darn good for a first try. I ordered my pickling spices from iHerb, they have a decent selection so I’d advise ordering from there they also come in 1 pound bags so you may wish to share with your friends. After that it was easy as pie, I boiled my brine, cut my cucumbers, popped them in the fridge then went off to Busan. 48 hours later I returned to some darn tangy tasty pickles. I was heavy handed with my spices but I think that worked for the best, though in an ideal world my fresh dill plant would have been a bit more hearty so I wouldn’t have had to supplement it with the dry stuff.  I shall definitely be doing some experimenting with different vegetables, herbs and spices in the near future, I knew I hoarded all those jars for a reason! (more…)

Cucumber & Ricotta Salad

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For the past few months I’ve been getting a bit pudgy round the middle, clearly having a job which involves me working in close vicinity of my fridge is not paying off. Now this wouldn’t usually bother me except none of my clothes fit and summer is fast approaching meaning my wobbly thighs will be on full display. I’ve decided to try and get back on track by eating raw till 4 again and doing a bit of exercise.  If that doesn’t pan out I’ll just buy new clothes, but I figure it’s worth a try at least. (more…)

Spring Gardening

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Spring is here and the lovey sunny weather has really sprung me into action into planting up my herb garden all ready for summer. Every year I plant a few seeds so I can enjoy fantastic fresh herbs in my salads, dips, and cocktails. This year I have planted cilantro, dill, basil, mint, and oregano. I also bought myself a mint and basil plant over in the flower market in Gyeongridan to get things started and all the rest are sown from seeds I got from Daiso. They have such an array of gardening stuff and it’s all dirt cheap so why not give it a try. You might be surprised at how well things like basil and mint grow here, and the benefits of having your own fresh herbs on hand are priceless.

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Sprout – Healthy Whole Food Service

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Eating good healthy foods is something I have become very passionate about since I lost a substantial amount of weight last year. It’s not something I do 24-7, as I still enjoy fried foods far too much for that to ever happen, but I try to eat as wholesomely as possible for at least two meals a day which seems to balance out those times I get carried away and eat a whole pizza, cheesecake, or bucket of chicken. Since turning 30 I have certainly become more thoughtful about trying to give my body the nutrients it needs in able to function properly. As I have mentioned before I try to follow a raw till 4 diet or make meals using 1 ingredient healthy foods at least until dinner time, unless of course I’m hungover then all bets are off.

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Japanese Style Silken Tofu

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Every since eating at Lost Heaven in Beijing, I have been absolutely obsessed with silken tofu. I just can’t get enough of that creamy jello textured tofu goodness. Topped with soy sauce, garlic, chilli and green onions, it’s heaven on a plate. For years I had turned my nose up at this joyous delight preferring to have a firmer squeezed style tofu which has a more similar texture to meat. But the silken tofu is so much more lustrous and since it doesn’t even need cooking it’s the quickest and easiest meal to make ever. It’s also crazy healthy and cheap to make. It tastes great with eggplants and mushrooms too, but you can top it with anything you like. (more…)