Kimchi is a fermented Korean delicacy that is traditionally made from a variety of vegetables and spices. This tangy superfood often contains cabbage, chili peppers, garlic, onions, and radishes. There are many variations of kimchi but one thing you can count on is its health benefits.
Kimchi is a nutrient packed, high fiber, low calorie dish. It has an impressive range of vitamins and is rich in essential amino acids and minerals. Along with some powerful antioxidants, kimchi is probably best known for the probiotics it offers in the form of lactobacillus bacteria. This lactobacillus bacteria is necessary for our digestive health to maintain a healthy state of intestinal flora which promotes good digestion. The fermentation of kimchi not only creates this healthy bacteria, but it also gives it a phenomenal flavor. Because one of the main ingredients in kimchi is cabbage, you can imagine how cleansing and detoxifying it is. Kimchi is also good for lowering cholesterol, building your immune system, aiding in weight loss, and has anti-aging properties.
As far as where to get kimchi, your local health food store likely carries a few brands. I found one made here in Oregon that I really enjoy. It is made with high quality, fresh ingredients and top notch flavor. Of course you can always ferment your own and for that, browse online where you will find numerous recipes that are easy to follow.
So now that you know a little bit about why kimchi is so popular, I want to share with you a simple way my family enjoys it. This easy meal is a great option because there are several ways to customize it so that everyone is happy. By sticking to the kimchi and avocado, it's an easy vegan meal. To bump up the protein, add some beans. For meat eaters, add some chicken or beef. Of course if cheese is on your dietary list, add it in! Use whatever tortilla option works for you. We like to use either organic corn tortillas or paleo tortillas. The recipe is linked below. One of our favorite condiments to pile on these tasty quesadillas is roasted red pepper cashew cream. Is that ever good!
1 cup kimchi
1 tsp grass-fed butter or coconut oil (plus a tad more for tortillas)
4 corn tortillas (for paleo use this recipe)
1 avocado, mashed
1 tsp lemon juice
Other possible options:
1 cup black beans (vegan)
1 cup shredded chicken or beef (paleo)
1 cup shredded jack or mild cheddar cheese
fresh cilantro, finely chopped
fresh shredded cabbage
Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Cream
1. In a cast iron skillet or pan choice, melt the butter or coconut oil over medium-high heat. Drain the kimchi and add it to the pan in a single layer. Cook the kimchi for about 5-7 minutes, giving it a stir halfway through.
2. While your kimchi is cooking, peel the avocado and place the flesh in a small bowl. Drizzle the avocado with lemon juice and use a fork to mash the avocado to desired texture.
3. Lightly bush the tortillas with butter or oil.
4. Remove the kimchi from the pan and set aside in a small bowl. Using the same pan, place one tortilla in the pan, arrange half of the kimchi on the tortilla. If you are adding beans, meat, or cheese, place those on the kimchi. Place the other tortilla on top and cook the quesadilla until golden brown (that should only take a couple of minutes). Carefilly flip the quesadilla over and cook the other side until golden brown.
5. Remove the quesadilla from the pan, open up the quesadilla, and spread half of the mashed avocado inside, and close it back up. Repeat with the remaining quesadilla. Sprinkle them with some fresh cilantro, add any desired toppings, slice, and enjoy! Serves 2.