84 posts categorized "Bento Love"

May 01, 2013

Peppermint Water Recipe

Wanted to pass along a great tip that I learned from a friend, on how to make Peppermint Water—great when you need a boost while working out or a boost late in the afternoon when you're fading out.

Peppermint Water
- 16-22 ounces of water in a bottle*
- Small bottle of peppermint essential oil (I got mine from Mother's Market)

Now Essential OilsWHAT YOU DO
- Put one drop of peppermint oil into your water bottle filled with water. (One drop is really all you need. It goes a LONG way.)
- Close the water bottle and give it a nice shake so the oil gets nicely mixed.
- Enjoy!

Life Factory Water Bottle
*My water bottle is by Life Factory. It's made of pure glass, which makes water taste the best. The bottle comes with a  cradled by  a silicone sleeve, so that even if the bottle gets knocked around a bit, it will prevent breakage. I have a 22-ounce flip cap version with a little flip top that can open and close ... great for the gym. But the top also unscrews completely ... great for when I'm crazy thirsty. I try to drink 3 of these a day ... not always with the peppermint oil. That's just when I need a pick-me-up.
Jenny DohTo water.
To life.

EDIT IN: Research regarding peppermint oil shows that it is a safe to consume at recommended dosages (adults .2 to .4 mL three times a day and children .1 to .2 mL three times a day) but that it can have negative effects due to potential toxicity that can occur at higher/excessive doses. Here's an article that explains.

April 29, 2013

Perfectly Paleo :: Baked Sweet Potatoes Recipe

Nothin' better than baked sweet potatoes. And the best part: they're Paleo! Not rocket science but here's how I make em.


  • 4-6 small or medium sweet potatoes*
  • Sharp kitchen knife
  • Baking pan
  • Butter**
  • Black pepper
  • Himalayan salt

 *Sweet potatoes are the ones with the lighter skin and yellowish flesh when cooked. Yams are the ones with darker skin and orangeish flesh when cooked. Either kind will work. I personally prefer sweet potatos. In Korea, you call them Go-Gu-Ma.

**Technically, butter is not Paleo. But butter is one of those things that is up for debate amongst many Paleo-enthusiasts and accepted by many as a modification in moderation. It's a modification that I personally embrace.


  • Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Make criss-cross slits on the sweet potatoes with a sharp knife. You can also poke holes in them with a fork but that's harder to do.
  • Place the sweet potatoes into a baking pan. I can usually fit 4 to 6 and sometimes even 7 sweet potatoes. 
  • That's it! Don't do anything else to the sweet potatoes. Don't put sauces on them or anything else. Just put them in the oven for 1 hour to bake. I have found whether I put in 4 or 7 sweet potatoes, the results are always the same.

Paleo Sweet Potatoes

  • Once you take them out of the oven, cut them down the center and put a little bit of butter. It'll melt pretty fast.
  • Add fresh ground black pepper and himalayan salt.

Paleo Sweet Potatoes

  • Smoosh it all together and enjoy. Skin and all.

Paleo Sweet Potatoes
Usually I'll have an extra one or two leftover baked sweet potatoes for the next day, which is a great thing. I keep them in the fridge and then heat them up for a lunch or a snack and they taste just as good.

Happy Paleo. :)

April 28, 2013

Perfect Paleo Pancakes

I'm not sure who exactly invented this recipe for Paleo pancakes but it's abundantly out there in the universe. One of my Paleo friends pointed it out to me ... and I decided to try it out this morning. :)


1 Banana
1 Egg
2 Tablespoons of almond butter (My favorite almond butter is by Artisana. It's pricey but to me, it's worth it. I get it at my local Mother's Market. There are other almond butters that are really good too but I do have to say that I've probably tasted them all and this Artisana brand is head and shoulders above the rest in terms of consistency and taste ... even tastier than the kind that you grind right then and there with a grinding machine.)
Paleo Pancakes
Smoosh everything together in a bowl. And quiet your doubt that will wonder: "Will this really make anything that looks and tastes like a pancake?" Because you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Jenny Doh
Heat a pan with EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and put a dollop of the batter and cook it just like you would a regular pancake.
Paleo PancakesYou'll be able to make 3 small pancakes.
Top it with real maple syrup and enjoy. (Be careful about the maple syrup. There's a lot of syrup out there that is made of sugar and corn syrup and other icky stuff. Get the kind that is straight out of a tree with nothing added.)
Paleo Pancakes

Other Toppings and Add-Ins I can't wait to try:

  • Walnuts
  • Blueberries
  • Coconut flour
  • Apples
  • Cinnamon

October 26, 2012

Soaked Raw Almonds with Honey + Cinnamon Recipe

Have you heard about soaking raw almonds in water?

Jenny Doh

I recently learned about it from a raw food enthusiast friend of mine who told me that if you take raw almonds and soak them in water over night, they will become super plump and fun to eat. (Not that almonds aren't fun to eat non-soaked ... but I thought this was a cool new way to enjoy one of my favorite nuts.)

raw almonds
After soaking them in a glass over night, all you need to do is rinse them out in fresh water the morning after. Once rinsed, you can see how the almonds are all plumped up, with the outer membranes looking super alive.

raw almonds

I decided to douse my plump almonds with honey and cinnamon and then literally gobbled them up. So, so good. My friend says that if you continue the process of soaking and rinsing for several days, the almonds will actually sprout and that they are super good to eat when sprouted as well.

raw almonds with cinnamon and honey

Perhaps I'll one day be able to wait until they sprout but for now, I can't seem to get past the first day of soaking them and then eating them all up. 

EDIT :: This is technically a germination process so it's smart to keep the soaking almonds in a cool dark place like the refridgerator to inhibit bacteria growth. The more it germinates, the easier it becomes to digest and the more it sprouts, the fewer calories and more nutrients the almonds will have. 

October 05, 2012

Bento Love :: Oatmeal + Nectarine + Sunflowerseed Butter Recipe

Thought I'd share with you what I've been eating lately. Not just for breakfast, but frequently for lunch.

oatmeal recipe
I prepare oatmeal with lots of water. So if the box says 1 cup of water to .5 cup of oatmeal, I do something closer to 1.5 cups of water and .5 cup of oatmeal. And then I put slices of nectarine into the pot and let that cook and simmer with the oatmeal. And then finally, to thicken it all up, I put about a tablespoon of Sunflowerseed Butter into the pot and let that simmer and thicken everything. (You can use peanut butter or almond butter or cashew butter instead if you prefer. I love them all.) Sunflowerseed butter is a good option for folks who have allergies to nuts.

Then I put it it into a bowl, add some skim milk ... and it's SO SO good.

Oatmeal recipe
Happy bento. :)

September 18, 2012

Jelly Jars + Rice Cake with Apricot & Flax & Banana Recipe

I love Bonne Maman preserves ... not just because they're delicious but because I love the beautiful jelly jars that they come in, where "Bonne Maman" is embossed on the glass. They are wide-mouthed, sturdy, and easy to clean ...

Bonne Maman
... and perfect to use as drinking jars or storage jars long after the preserves are gone. My favorite of their assortment is the Apricot Preserves. Mmmm ... so good.

Jelly Jars
One of the jars is where I store my flax seeds. Do you know about them? These seeds are teeny tiny but packed with so many nutrients including Omega-3s, all the B vitamins and fiber.
flax seeds
But to gain the benefits of the nutrients, you need to grind them up. Here's what they look like after about 10 seconds in a coffee grinder. About 3 Tablespoons is what I try to incorporate into my diet every day to get all the nutrients. Flax comes in this goden color and also a darker color. I get mine from Mother's Market, in their bulk food aisle.

A few things to remember if you're gonna add flax into your diet:

  • Don't grind too much at a time. It'll go bad. Just grind a bit at a time. If you grind more than you can use in one meal, seal it in a container and put it in your refridgerator. A week's worth is good.
  • The non-ground seeds don't need to be refridgerated but I do like to keep it in a cool, dry place.
  • Don't over-do it. It's got lots of fiber. About 3Tablespoons a day is good. Drink extra water to help it digest.
  • It'll fill you up. In my experience, the feeling of full gets even more so when ground flax is added so keep that in mind. You may not need as much food to feel full when you use flax in your diet. (That's a good thing!)

It doesn't have a taste, really. It's sort of a non-event. I just love it because it's a natural way to enhance the nutritional value in what I eat ... in smoothies, yogurt, soups ...
ground flax seeds... and my favorite thing these days ...

I spread a bit of cashew butter (you could use peanut butter or almond butter but I highly recommend cashew butter) onto a brown rice rice cake, followed by a spoonful of Apricot prserves, and then sprinkled with ground flax seeds ...

rice cake recipethen topped with sliced bananas.

Coupled with a glass of skim milk in a cute little jelly jar and you have the perfect breakfast or lunch or post-workout snack.

perfect snackHappy Bento. :)

September 13, 2012

Richard Avedon's Canary

As much as I enjoy my coffee and my occasional Scotch, my family and friends know about my true go-to beverage of choice ... which is hot water with lemon.

Drinking hot water is something I grew up with in Korea. Lots of Koreans drink it, without anything added to it, except an occasional touch of honey. Adding lemon to my hot water became something I did in America ... I do like the way the juice of the lemon affects the water's taste but more than that, I like the way the lemon wedge beautifies the mug or the glass that the water comes in.

I also love drinking it because I'm always cold and it warms me up ... and it's just so clean, cleansing, uncomplicated, and available to all.
canary Richard AvedonEven the staff at my local hangouts like Chapter One, and Lola Gaspar start bringing me my hot water with lemon without my even having to ask for it. I love it when that happens.

So one day, when I was having lunch with some artists and I ordered my usual hot water with lemon, my friend Sue told me that hot water with lemon had been the go-to beverage of choice for the late and legendary American photographer, Richard Avedon, and that Avedon even coined a name for this beverage and called it a Canary.

Perfect, right?

richard avedon canarySo I've been following Avedon's lead and now whenever I go to wherever I go and am asked what I'd like to drink, I say "I'd like a Canary please." My answer usually leads to a great convo with the server that includes a bit about Korea, a bit about America, a bit about Avedon, a bit about art ... and then the delivery of the most perfect beverage that is always chic and always free-of-charge.

So the next time you're in the mood for hot water with lemon, do what I do and what Avedon did ... and ask for a Canary.

(Or a canary with honey if you're feeling fancy.)


August 28, 2012

Bento Love :: Perfect Peanut Butter Moo'd Recipe

My bento love has been less about boxes lately ... and more about homemade Peanut Butter Moo'd smoothies. Let me explain.

peanut butter moo'd recipe
So you're either a person who knows about the fabulous Peanut Butter Moo'd smoothies at Jamba Juice or you're not. I happen to be a person who not only knows about them but adores them. I've been known to drink one for lunch on many a days. But recently, with a brand new totally awesome Vitamix 5200 entering our household, I have been experimenting to come up with a recipe that is the perfect combination to make the perfect homemade version. So after much trial and error, I'm happy to give you my recipe.

Peanut butter moo'd recipe

Perfect Peanut Butter Moo'd

Ingredients Needed
1 cup of Unsweetened Chocolate Almond Milk
1 dollop of Nonfat Greek-style Plain Yogurt
1 heaping Tablespoon of honey
1 heaping Tablespoon of peanut butter (freshly ground (at places like Mother's Market) if possible)
1 tall glass of ice
1 banana

Place the first four ingredients into the Vitamix and blend on high/speed 7, for 10 seconds. Add ice and blend on high/speed 7, for 10 seconds. Add banana and blend on high/speed 5, for 7 seconds. (The reason I blend in 3 stages is because it helps all the flavored ingredients get nicely blended but keeps the ice a bit textured and icey and also the banana a bit on the chunky side, which I like. If you prefer all of it to be completely pulverized (I mean blended), put it all in at one time and blend it on high for 20 or so seconds.)

peanut butter moo'd recipe
The Vitamix 5200 is expensive. But our family consists of 4 people who all love smooties. And given that each of us have at least 1 smoothie every day, that's about $20 per day that we are saving by not going to Jamba Juice. So for us, we paid for our Vitamix after about 4 weeks of owning it and are now saving money because we use it every day. Best investment EVER.

NOTE: Even if you don't have a Vitamix, you can use this recipe with other blenders that are out there. It just might take a little while longer to get the ice crushed.

Vitamix 5200

Happy Bento. :)

May 21, 2012

Bento Love :: Oatmeal with Banana and Honey

In my bento today ... and for the past several days ... oatmeal with banana and honey.

IMG_3275Fills me up with energy and everything good. All for pennies.

The more I think about what I eat the more I realize that if a person does not shop for and prepare the food they eat, they will likely eat bad things and waste a whole lot of money doing it.

Happy bento. :)

February 16, 2012

Bento Love :: Irish Oatmeal + Fresh Blueberries

Bento Love
In my bento today is Irish oatmeal and blueberries.
"For lunch?"
Yup. For lunch. For breakfast. For an afternoon snack ... I'm crazy about this combo lately.

Bento Love
My tip is that as soon as the oats have cooked, drop in a handful of fresh blueberries and put the lid on the pot and let it sit for a minute or two.

Once you transfer it into your bowl, the berries will have gotten all plumpy and bursty ... with the sweet juices getting all into the oatmeal. 

Bento Love
It's like having a blueberry muffin except it's good for you. About 200 calories for this bowl that will tide me over until dinner. Hmm ... wonder what The Mister has in store for dinner tonight.

Happy bento. :)

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