My husband is participating in a weight loss competition at the office so I am trying to support him by making low-fat, low-gluten meals that contain as many nutrients as possible. We have been eating better for a while now but we were a week away from his final weigh in so it was crunch time and I needed inspiration. I just can’t do salad anymore. So while I was at my local Chapters buying a couple of mother’s day cards, I stumbled upon Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook entitled “It’s all Easy – Delicious weekday recipes for the super-busy home cook” “Hello!”, I thought, “That’s totally me!” This doesn’t sound like a healthy-eating cookbook by the title, but it is. Just know that if Gwyneth’s name is on the cookbook, then the recipes are good for you – its a given. This was the perfect thing to ensure my husband’s victory while at the same enabling my cookbook addiction.
I noticed the Bibimbap Salad recipe right away while leafing through. I love Bibimbap, a signature Korean dish which is usually served in a stone bowl, filled with rice, various cooked and raw vegetables, some meat or fish and topped with a poached egg, a little sauce and a couple of dashes of hot sauce. Its heavenly! Although this recipe is an approximation of the real thing, it contains the main elements. The dressing in this recipe is amazingly fresh and a little spicy – it definitely makes the dish.
This is what I have learned from lots of sporadic reading of health articles online, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laura Miller and several top 10 lists on Pinterest…
What are the key ingredients you need to eat on a regular basis?? Ginger, coconut oil, any leafy green, garlic, pineapple, sweet potato, tomatoes in any form and various whole grains.
What to avoid? Refined sugars and flours, fried foods, processed foods and animal fats. That pretty much sums it up. Oh, and reduce your dairy and red meat intake.
What will happen to you? It’ll improve gut health, boost your immunity, reduce weight and inflammation, lower cholesterol, stabilize sugar levels, increase energy and it’ll make you happier too – less mood swings! We could all use some o’ dat, so stock that fridge with the good stuff already!!
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped (about 1tbsp)
1 small garlic clove thinly sliced
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp of spicy red pepper paste such as Gochujan or I prefer Thai Red Curry Paste by Blue Dragon. Its creamier and does not even taste like curry in this quantity. Used it by mistake, preferred the flavour and now use it exclusively in this recipe.
1 tbsp + 1 tsp o toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp of rice vinegar
2 tbsp of tamari or soy sauce
2 tbsp of water
1 tsp of maple syrup
1/3 cup of Kimchi (Found at Tao or any major grocery chain with a large health food section. Its so good!)
1/4 cup of olive oil
salt, to taste
3 tbsp of toasted sesame oil
12 shiitakes, stemmed and sliced thin
1 cup of mung bean sprouts or regular bean sprouts
4 cups of lightly packed baby spinach
4 cups of cooked white, brown rice or quinoa
4 small or 2 large carrots, peeled and grated
4 poached or hard or soft boiled eggs
Furikake seasoning (recipe below)
To make the sauce blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender until smooth.
To make the bibimbap, heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of sesame oil , the shiitakes and a generous pinch of salt and cook for 2-3 minutes until soft.
Transfer mushrooms to a bowl. Add another tablespoon of sesame oil and and add the bean sprouts and a pinch of salt and sauté until just tender. Transfer those to a bowl, separate from the mushrooms. Add the final tablespoon of sesame oil and add the spinach, season with salt and cook until just wilted.
Divide rice among 4 bowl and arrange the grated carrots, shiitakes, sprouts, spinach, eggs and Kimchi on top. Garnish with Furikake and serve with sauce on the side.
Furikake Seasoning (So good, you’ll want to put it on everything!!)
2 large toasted Nori sheets or 4-5 of the smaller ones.
2 tbsp of toasted sesame seeds
2 tsp coconut sugar
1/2 tsp of toasted sesame oil
Pinch of salt
Use your fingers to crumble the nori into very small pieces into a bowl, then add the remaining ingredients and store at room temp in an airtight container for up to 3 days. (3 days? Yes. The nori becomes stale and papery after about 3 days)