Bibimbap is a traditional Korean one pot meal. It is easy to make for vegetarians and is gluten free

Bibimbap is easy - rice and veg!

Bibimbap, a traditional Korean one pot meal is a winner for vegetarians who also do not eat gluten. Vegetables, rice, and gochujang (red chili paste) make up the heart of this dish. Eggs, tofu and meat are added as desired. The key flavours are sesame oil, soy sauce and red chilli paste that is common to many Asian rice dishes. You can make it as mild or as fiery as desired. Unique to bibimbap is the extremely hot dish it is served in and the runny fried egg that is mixed into the beautiful arrangement of colourful and tasty cooked or pickled vegetables. Vegans can have tofu.

Dish up a portion of cooked white rice in a hot bowl with sesame oil. Lightly mix a few blobs of red chilli sauce into the rice. Place vegetable pickles or servings of cooked vegetables on top of the rice, leaving space in the middle for an under cooked fried egg. Bring it to the table and mix everything together in the hot bowl before dishing it onto the plate. 

Choose your favourite toppings from: stir fried spinach carrot pickle, cucumber slices, kimchi, cooked fermented beans (doenjang) or cubes of tofu for instance.Here are some simple instructions. 

Lunch at Soju, a small Korean family restaurant in Sea point 

In the slideshow we share our celebration of Mom’s 96 birthday – Korean Style. My sister’s husband had returned from a business trip to Korea and was blown away by their food. Not only the food, but their friendliness, their  love of life, hard work, beer, rice wine and foody fellowship. A simple family run outfit, Soju does not accommodate a rowdy BBQ with loud music as do other Korean restaurants. The family sang happy birthday to Mom and carried on with their accounting, sewing and to Mom's delight, Bible study at their family table next to the kitchen.This lifestyle is typical of Asian people and we were made to feel like guests in their intimate space. People have said in reviews that the decor is not very upmarket. No, it is peaceful, homely and warm.

The food came from the heart and was truly what I would call healthy and happy. All the dishes are prepared by the family, including the pickles and the essential kimchi that is a fiery version of sauerkraut. They went out of their way to accommodate the vegetarians in the group and not a crumb of gluten was had.  

Soju is a clear, colourless distilled Korean beverage similar to rice wine with a 16.8% to 53% alcohol content. John demonstrated the drinking etiquette he had been taught by the Koreans. First he mixed our soju with beer and down it went - strange. Then he showed us how to pour it into the special little glasses with either one or two hands, depending on the recipient’s age and family status. They too, responded with one or two hands. Nobody cared after a few glasses and it was a great accompaniment to the delicious dishes that kept on arriving. First came the rice and seaweed rolls with 6 little bowls of pickles. The rice cakes turned out to be lumps of chewy glutinous rice in a red but spicy sauce.

The bibimbap was the highlight of the meal and the heat of the stone hotpot was alarming! I love hot food at the best of times but nearly got singed by the bowl. As John said, one can eat and eat this kind of food and there’s no heartburn, indigestion or bloating. Truly moreish and we will be back one day. Meanwhile, it is worth adding a bowl of bibimpap to your repertoire as it is vegetarian and gluten (although not glutton) free. Take a look at their menu of typical Korean dishes. google: Soju in Sea Point. Take a look at their menu: Soju in Sea Point. 

Other easy Korean snack dishes include:

Kimbap, rice in a seaweed wrap, similar to a sushi (macci) roll. 

Sushi rice made for Japanese-style sushi rolls is suitable to use, but season it with sesame oil and salt instead of using rice vinegar and sugar. Kimbap can sometimes include meat and fish but or a vegan version is easy enough to make.

Japache, Korean sweet potato noodles

Japchae can be made without meat, with tofu as a substitute. The chewy sweet potato noodles paired with mushrooms, carrots, and other vegetables make a perfect side dish or main course

Joomuk-bap, Seasoned Rice Balls

Literally translated as “fist rice,” includes sticky rice with delicate spices and chopped vegetables with sesame seeds. Yum!

Pyogobusut-tangsoo (Sweet and Sour Shiitake Mushroom)

Similar to Chinese cuisine, pyogobusut-tangsoo is savory, sweet, sour, crunchy, and rich—it basically covers all the taste sensations.


Use these 13 easy Korean recipes that are vegan friendly




Korean food is healthy, sociable, slimming and it promotes longevity

Korean food is very slimming!

The "vegbutglutenfree" style of eating is well suited to Korean food because so many of the dishes are easy to adapt to fussy foodies who generally have a hard time when eating out. Rice is the common denominator and one can choose a few small inexpensive dishes to accompany it. If a Korean BBQ is available or a taple top hotpot then it is really easy and relaxing. All you do is select the morsels from the array of dishes and cook them yourself! 

Their dishes include a lot of fermented foods you can make at home yourself. These are low in calories and easy to digest. Large quantities of vegetables are served with the rice and very little bread is ever seen. Even desserts are predominantly made of rice. Seaweed is also abuntantly used and cultivated in Korea. Ironically the kelp that washes onto our South african shores is only used for fertilizers and kelp tablets. 

How to select and prepare food for picky eaters

Our Vietnam cruise - perfect every time! Asian   food is very accomodating. Wheat and bread   are not in their traditional diet. Alternatives to meat are tofu, tempe and eggs. No cheese.

Restaurants: even one or two items on the menu should suit everybody. But do they? it is best to check th menu online beforehand. Addis in Cape town,  for instance, is very accomodating and prices are affordable. 

Kitchen resources: many popular pantry items may cause irritation or inflammation, depending on your personal constitution. How can I help you?

Blood type diet: don't give up, link up for free to  the blood type colour charts, including the secretor/non secretor options. Do you suspect you have trigger foods? this may explain why.

Wheat avoidance: with guidelines from personal experience (I am blood type O) plus options for gluten free and lists of alternatives - with blood type guidance.

No meat, no bloodshed: some of us choose not to eat flesh, but love milk, cheese or eggs, so recipes will include them. Vegan and lactose intolerant options will also be listed.

I will continuously update links and resources for vegetarians vegans, special needs, allergies and avoids. Please suggest  eating venues and comment blow.

Here are some easy ways to make the changes. Watch a relaxing slideshow 



Watermelon - no sugar required for juices and ice lollies

Watermelon suits all blood types and is rich n amino acids. Best eaten on its own for best results. Enjoy!

Glorious food from unusual sources

I'm a nuisance - I don't eat meat or wheat

Vegetarians eat vegetables - like this!

Posh restaurants seldom bother to cater  for vegans let alone gluten allergies!

Why do I have to change things round, add other stuff and compromise? Wheat - for instance, is in just about every snobbish item on the menu that doesn't contain meat. "No meat, no wheat" I repeat and finally settle for some fried Camembert and a salad. After kicking up a fuss and warding off the insults and humiliation from the family I am expected to eat what is plonked in front of me. It cost R185 - a round of iffy cheese dunked in wheat batter and fried in old dead body fishy oil. Whiff, yuk. The long awaited mayonnaise was a smear of rancid goo on the side of the hapless salad - a wilted bouquet of rocket with a pansy. I hate rocket  and it does not suit my blood type. What is wrong with lettuce, tomatoes, Feta cheese, cucumber and olives? Not everybody serves my haven of safety, a Geek salad. Boring but sustaining and hard to mess up. 

I know what you are thinking. Ungrateful bitch. How about the high tea, for R175 that offered a tower of dainty wheaty delicacies? Bread,cake, pastry and loads of sugar. Salmon and biltong anybody? Er no thanks. I spotted a few stray olives and a tiny tomato. I picked the grated cheese off a scone and scooped out the custard from a  tiny tart. Oops, they must have used cake flour to thicken it and I started to itch and burn. Scratch scratch up and down the arms. Then the legs, the face. It was time to leave before I began to itch in places that can't be scratched in public.

I am a blood type fundie and wrote  a book, to provide recipes to help friends and family cater for people who don't eat the way their guests do. Blood type O is a meat eater but not a wheat eater. But then I became a vegetarian! We have free choice and I became a hunter gatherer of recipes and hangouts that could cater for people who love vegetables, eggs and cheese.

This website aims to inspire people with similar social afflictions  

Now you know why I sometimes bring my own food and eat it on the way home or worst of all, suffer the long term consequences of eating wheat. Bloating, weight gain of at least a kilogram and my throat closes up for a few days. Trying to be polite is not worth going through all that!   I have friends and relatives who are gluten intolerant and so my collection of recipes began to grow. I always provide blood type guidelines, substitutes and vegan options as well. Now it is time to come out of the kitchen closet and load up this wonderful website with gorgeous grub. Food as medicine and I will share my slow, traditional food preparation techniques with you. We begin with a selection of  fermented foods we can enjoy.

Fresh sourdough bread in Asia - for Jimmy, it suits him. Oh how I wish I could eat wheat. Pickles are what the doctor ordered, here they are served at every meal, including breakfast.

Online shopping for vegan "cheese"

Resources and online products for vegans

Vegans who can't live without cheese and those who are lactose intolerant can now order cheese substitutes that look and taste like the real thing. The PLANT BASED LIFE website is a boon to vegans as well as gluten/lactose intolerant individuals who struggle to find substitutes. The website also provides lifestyle, health and community resources to help people to relate to living exclusively from plants. This facility makes life easier for busy people and their vegan pets. Product categories include pet food, cheese, gluten free products, super foods and wholefoods. A number of basic recipes are provided to get you started on your plant based lifestyle. Dave Asher, the creator of PLANT BASED LIFE makes you feel at home and welcomes input and feedback from his customers.  

How do lectins make us sick?

Lectins are present in all foods, even healthy     ones, but they affect people in different ways.  It has a lot to do with your blood type.

A 2018 overview of the lectins that lurk in the healthiest of foods 

by Health Researcher Sue Visser

The “Blood Type Diet” is based on how our blood cells react with lectins in foods. According to Dr Petr D’Adamo, author of the Eat Right Diet, first published in 1998, “ignoring your blood type and how its lectins interact with the ones found in the food you consume is a recipe for disaster.” Recently lectins have come back into focus as instigators of all that ails us and some health Gurus are advising us to stop eating anything that contains lectins! Dr Mercola, for instance only tells half the story, assuming lectins only come from plants? 

But the truth is that many different types of lectins are present in both plant and animal foods in varied amounts. We do not need to cut out all of the food groups or items that he and other food gurus list, because that would leave out most of our regular health foods. Even the Banting or ketogenic diets contain lectins that could harm certain people, depending on their blood type. 

Not all blood types have a bad reaction to the same lectins so it is a case of:

“Jack sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean. So between them both you see; they licked the platter clean.” 

What is a lectin? Lectins are anti-nutrients, chemical particles that bind to cell membranes and cause cells to stick to each other or to other substances and some of them are very harmful. They can also cause blood coagulation and upset your circulation. Plants and animals produce all kinds of lectins to prevent being eaten. The food we consume often contains harmful or disruptive lectins. Sprouted red kidney beans for instance, produce toxic lectins to stop the baby plants from being attacked by insects or foraging animals. Ricin is a lectin that is present in the castor oil bean seed and husk, but not the oil. Any animal that consumes the whole seed will die within minutes. 

An informative 2017 article on the Superfoodly website provides a comprehensive study of lectins, but also fails to tell people that lectins are blood type specific.

Ideally, only the food with lectins that affect our blood type need to be considered. (Follow this link for more details about  blood type , lectins and scretors.) Eliminating all food, both from plants and animals that contain lectins is not really the best strategy. That is why the original Blood Type diet can help you to simplify this dilemma. Your secretor status is determined by a separate gene to the one that affects your blood type. Blood type antigens that are present in blood, bodily fluids, digestive products, mucous and saliva will only affect the secretors (Se) – just over 80% of us. The non-secretor variant group (se) only has antigens that are present in the blood. Saliva tests can be done to determine if you have antigens in your saliva (secretor) or not (non-secretor). 

The IgG and IgA blood tests used for food allergies only tell part of the lectin story because for blood type ABO secretors, saliva tests are also necessary. The IgG & IgA general food panel is a useful test in assessing food tolerance. It is more efficient than using a process of trial and error to eliminate offending foods and provides a detailed report of the reactions. It is useful to determine specific allergies an individual may have, especially to gluten. Rye may suit certain blood types for example, but not if the person is intolerant to gluten or has Celiac disease. 

Dr D’Adamo’s updated studies on the behaviour of lectins that are blood type specific confirms that different blood types react to different foods. The current lectin scare needs to be put into perspective. Bread and tomatoes don’t suit everybody - neither do kidney beans and aubergines. Some people thrive on them, so why should everybody listen to the avoid-all alarmists? “Understanding the source of the lectin and the chemistry of the person consuming it is at the centre of eating right for your blood type.” (Dr Peter D’Adamo)  

Prior to DNA testing, blood and saliva tests were used in forensic studies to identify people. ABO blood grouping is still useful for the initial stages of crime investigation or to identify human specimens. Semen, for instance will indicate the secretor status of its owner. The absorption-inhibition method that was developed in 1923 in Italy by Vitorio Sieacusa is still being used to determine the secretor status. In recent studies using the same method they found 83% of the subjects to be secretors of which 83.8% were females and 81% were male. Secretors are genetically more robust, they say.

There is an easier way:

HEALTHY HAPPY EATING for all blood types

The simplest way to begin is thus to check out the colour coded blood type lists I provide free of charge from our website at Nature Fresh. There are 8 lists: A, B, O, AB secretors and their 4 non-secretor variants. They are based on the original observations of Dr D’Adamo and serve as a general guideline. You can also consult his website for specific, up to date information. My full colour book is also a useful tool and provides recipes, ideas and a lot of natural health protocols: HEALTHY HAPPY EATING for all blood types by Sue Visser. It can be ordered online. 

Following these blood type food and lifestyle recommendations for a month or two will help you to discover what your trigger foods are. I also provide a free beginner's guide to blood type eating that lists food that is generally agreeable for all blood types. This makes entertaining easier!  A personalised, really agreeable diet will reduce your inflammation load, help you to lose weight and make you feel more energetic and simply fantastic!


You will be able to understand why blood type O-secretor can eat as many chickpeas as they like but lentils cause gas and bloating, unless they are sprouted. Sprouting breaks down many of the plant-based lectins in dried peas and beans but cooking does not. Fermenting them is also going to reduce lectin levels and makes soya products safer and more beneficial to consume. We don’t all have to cut out wheat as blood type A-secretor thrives on wheat products. For the rest of us, there is a direct link to inflammation that causes weight gain, indigestion, bowel disorders and so on. 

Fermentation is one of the beast ways to reduce the lectin load, so you will find the article beslow very helpful. They are linked to resources and recipes to get you going. For instance, try making sourdough.



Home baked sourdough for rye bread and pizza

Same dough for a pizza

Microwave the loaf for 7 minutes then grill the top

pre-cook dough for pizza

Flatbread in hot oven or microwave each for 1 - 2 mins

Fermented foods to enjoy throughout the day

Sauerkraut in the jar and kimchi in the bowl come from cabbage and other veetables. Miso paste and soy sauce come from soya beans. All are suitable for vegans

Are you  worried about pesticides?

“In a study about one of Korea's infamous cultured foods, it was evidently observed that the probiotic strains found in Kimchi are able to completely degrade several kinds of organophosphorous pesticides within nine days of fermentation. In this study, they noted that various strains of lactic acid bacteria use these chemicals as one of their food sources.” 

People who embrace old fashioned, slow farm-style cooking and eating uphold the art of pickling, brewing and culturing food. This enhances flavours, makes fibrous food more digestible and provides a steady stream of potent probiotics, especially lactobacillus. We can easily maintain these gut friendly bacteria without needing supplements by eating regular helpings of traditionally fermented foods  every day. 

Examples of fermented food: 

Sauerkraut, kimchi, yoghurt, amasi, kefir, cottage cheese, all popular cheeses, olives, pickles like gherkins, tobasco sauce, soy sauce, tamari, natto, miso, sour bread, kombucha, beer, wine and pickled lemons. Learn how to make a few of them with my basic guidelines. Making your own kimchi is a good way to begin as it introduces lactic acid - a by product of anaerobic fermentation, giving it a sour taste, without adding vinegar. Try out these ideas and soon you will get the hang of it. Practice and patience makes the perfect pickle! Some may sound strange, but are worth knowing about.

Our gut health affects our immune system, digestion, our emotions, energy levels and our brain function. So a sound mind in a healthy body with a healthy gut really does depend on the consumption of bacteria, fungus, mould and slime! They come from delicious fermented foods we can easily make and take ourselves and are good for anxiety, they say

Bake fermented Rye bread and pizza dough with this recipe I have perfected.





Fermented foods from diferent cultures around the world

A variety of fermented choose from. Add them to your meals

Fermented milk products

Enhance commercial yoghurt and other fermented products with probiotic supplements


How to Enjoy Fermented Milk Products like yoghurt, amasi, ricotta and cheese

We can add probiotic supplements to yoghurt. Mix in the contents of a few of your capsules or crush up some tablets. Set them free! Although there is no lactose (milk sugar) present, some people still need to be wary of fermented dairy products because of the casein content. To make your own cottage cheese, mix one or two cups of amasi (fermented, clotted milk) with half a teaspoon of natural salt. Pour this into a sieve that has been lined with a finely woven cloth. Allow the water to drip out for a few hours until the desired consistency and transfer it to a closable container. You can flavour this cottage cheese with caraway seeds if you like. Use the brine to add to stews, soups and curries or use it for baking. Here is my guide to getting the most out of amasi, our locally fermented milk.

A mixture of cottage cheese and ground-up flaxseeds can be used as a spread. The Budwig diet for treating cancer makes use of this combination. You can add Marmite as well for even more benefit and it tastes is rich in glutamate, that's why it tastes so great. Fermentation releases this natural flavour, also known as MSG! For a harder cheese: Fold over the sides of the cloth. Wrap it up in paper towel and then a dish towel. Keep a heavy weight, like a brick on top of it to for a few hours. This produces a smaller lump of solid, creamy white cheese, similar to the Indian pannier or Middle Eastern Labneh It is great with cooked spinach or curries. Keep the chunks of cheese in the discarded brine. (The same idea as Feta.) Here is a link to my detailed guide for Amasi at Infobarrel.

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