Meet Alex Caspero
Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.
Ever tried Kimchi?
Of course you probably haven’t! Unless you enjoy Korean food or are excited to try new things, this ingredient might be completely foreign to you. Let’s be honest, fermented cabbage doesn’t usually scream “delicious” if you haven’t tried it before.
This is one of those ‘you just have to trust me’ kinda dishes. Kimchi is typically made with cabbage and daikon radish, but I’ve seen some varieties include a lot of other vegetables as well. Whatever. It doesn’t really matter that much which one you go with, but try to find a napa cabbage based variety for this dish.
If you want to impress your friends and family. (“Who me? Fermenting cabbage on a school night? You don’t do the same?”) You can follow the tons of homemade Kimchi recipes available online. If you want to leave the fermenting to the pros, head to your local Whole Foods or Asian Market for a jar of it.
I don’t think we eat enough fermented foods and am hoping you will join me in changing that. Why are they so important? Here’s the deal. Everyone has microflora (bacteria) in our intestine which is key to keeping us healthy and to help fight off the “bad” bacteria. Fermented foods help to keep the “good” bacteria thriving and our microflora balanced. This is especially true for those who take antibiotics, their job is to kill the bacteria in your body, regardless of whether it is “good” or “bad.”
1 cup napa-cabbage Kimchi (homemade or prepared)
3 cups of leftover cooked rice (brownie points for brown rice)
1/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced
8 oz. firm tofu, crumbled or chopped into small pieces
3 tbsp. butter (I like Earth Balance brand)
1 tbsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. Sirarcha
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 sweet onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp. soy sauce
In a large saute or wok, heat the butter over medium high heat . Add the kimchi and fry for 1-2 minutes, add the onion and garlic and saute 5 minutes more. Add the tofu and saute 2-3 more minutes. Add the rice, soy sauce, Sirarcha, scallions and cook until heated through.
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