So now that I’m back in Sunny Southern California, I’m absolutely loving all the fresh familiar foods that I had missed while I was away! If there’s one thing that just might keep me from ever leaving the country again, it may be the wonderful diet I’m able to sustain with California’s finest ingredients!
Just one of the benefits, think of the endless possibilities for all my green smoothies!
California has so much yummy goodness that I’ve taken for granted for so long! You can play with any kind of diet: Organic, Paleo, Raw, Vegan, Dairy-Free, you name it and California can sustain YOU! With Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and all the Farmer’s Markets, Californians are so spoiled! I mean, I basically have a love affair with Trader Joe’s, I probably see Joe more than I see my own friends!
And so I count my blessings, and today I have 10. I give you the countdown:
My Top 10 Foods I’ll never take for granted again….
10. Affordable nuts Once upon a time, the only raw nuts I could afford were almonds or peanuts! The funny thing is, those almonds in Korea were imported from California. I’m loving the affordable variety: cashews, pistachios, walnuts, sunflower seeds! YUM!
9. Quinoa My mom actually mailed me my supply of quinoa, now I can buy it for super cheap! It’s supposed to be one of the most protein dense whole grains you can have, a super food that’s NOWHERE to be found in the whole country of Korea (I’m pretty sure)!
8. Hummus Once in Korea I tried making hummus once in a blender with canned garbanzo beans, but it really just wasn’t the same. Now, I can have hummus of many flavors: spicy hummus, cilantro jalapeno hummus, edamame hummus, the possibilities are endless!
7. Dairy-free ice cream If you plan to go dairy-free in Korea, you can say good-bye to dairy free frozen desserts unless you’re making your own. Don’t knock it till you try it! I can have ice creams now that are based with coconut milk, almond milk, and it totally hits the spot.
6. Guacamole Can you believe that avocados in Seoul cost about 6,000won EACH?? That’s just a little less than $6USD. Guacamole was a rare delicacy in Asia. Thank goodness you can get California avocados for like 4 for a $1 on a good day.
5. Fresh salad Yes, I was able to order fresh salads in Seoul, mostly in places like Craftworks in Itaewon. But it was never the same. When I first arrived back on American soil, the first thing I did for myself after a good night’s sleep was a trip to the grocery store to pick up my favorite ingredients for a personalized salad: crispy romaine, cherry tomatoes, celery, avocado, carrots, sun-dried tomatoes, and apples.
4. Whole Grain Bread So happy to say good-bye to the land of white bread! Usually I could only get my hands on unfamiliar sliced breads like rice bread, milk bread, sesame bread, etc. Maybe sometimes you could find some Wheat Bread from Tours le Jours and even at that it’s not even 100% whole grain. So grateful for healthy sustainable breads! My favorite now is Sprouted Grain!
3. Nut Milks Yes, I made my own almond milk for my smoothies in Korea, but how nice is now to have choices when it comes to my alternative milks!
2. Soft fresh baked cookies It’s been a year of disappointment, buying cookies only to bite down on what felt like a crunchy dry biscuit. I don’t know what Korea had against soft cookies, and I wasn’t the only one to complain!
aaaaaaand making it to #1:
1. California Red Wine Red, red wiiiiiine! Stay close to meeeeee! Oh yes, California Wine has been dearly missed! Korea offered a selection only affordable in South American varietals… yes it sufficed, and a class of Carmenere or Malbec hit the spot after the long day of culture shock. But still, I fantasized of California wine for many nights! My heart will always stay true to the California varietals. It’s cheap. And it’s fruity.
And there you have it folks. Reunited, and my tummy feels so good!