Sunday, 7 December 2014

Atishooo! Coming down with a cold?

I have a feeling this is also delicious as a drink for general health maintenance



Ema's herbs suggests - Just through 1 tablespoon of each ingredient & 1 whole lemon and slow-cook for 1-2hrs. Swallow a tablespoon to relieve symptoms or add to your favourite tea drink.

Keeps for two weeks in the fridge and a dry,clean spoon to avoid bacteria contamination.

Btw, ACV = Apple cider vinegar

https://www.facebook.com/emasherbs/photos/a.10150699352974385.402468.170206809384/10152589561219385/?type=1&comment_id=10152592700194385&notif_t=comment_mention


Sunday, 30 November 2014

Egg Muffins

My angels have a quirky way of helping me.

I realised for a long time that to eat 'cleaner' & healthier, i needed to cook my own food. BUT i was addicted to the YUMMY sugar, calorie-laden and processed food that is sumptious & abundant in Malaysia.

But for the past month i hv been cooking and eating more self-cooked food and starting to enjoy it. WHY the change? Mom became intolerant to outside food - her delicate tummy was giving her problems, so i hd to cook for her less spicy, less oily & less sugary meals.

At first, i would do that for her and still go out to get my food 'fix'. And on day i was watching Marion's Thailand and she showed how easy to make 'som tum' (green papaya spicy salad) and 'laab het' (assorted mushroom salad) and introduced the 'boat noodle'

That got me excited now i'm back to creating recipes that i will eat inspired by Marion and whatever ingredients i currently hv in my larder & fridge. It's a practical approach since fresh foods dont keep well. So menu of the day is dictated by what veg n ingredients needs to be eaten first!

Here's wonderfully simple recipe shared by Deserve Better Fitness on Facebook that is easy to make, uses fresh ingredients/ leftovers and can be freezed,



Batter is beaten eggs and a little milk only.

EGG MUFFINS
Ingredients
Spring onion as required
Chopped tomatoes as required
Onion as required
Cheese as required
Green chillies
Fresh coriander
You can add chicken or other lean meats, spinach, ricotta cheese, bell peppers, and lots more as per your taste.
Eggs 6 beaten with 2 tbsp milk, black pepper to taste

Instructions
-Preheat oven at 200C
-Grease your muffin tin
-Add vegetables of your choice along with cheese (if you choose), pour beaten egg mixture on it.
-Place muffin pan on the center rack of a preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until muffins are light brown, puffy, and the eggs are set.
-Let muffins cool for a few minutes before removing from the muffin pan or cups. Loosen gently with knife if they seem to be sticking. Eat immediately or let cool completely and store in plastic bag in refrigerator or freezer. The Egg Muffins can be reheated in the microwave.




Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Read the label!

Reading a box nutrition label is difficult to most of us.  Manufacturers were compelled by law to state the following but we where never properly taught to understand it, which befits the purpose, anyway.  

I found this very useful article in Health.com and i hope they dont mind me re-posting it here mainly as a reference & reminder for myself & all my fren : 

food-label-fats   Fats  If most of the fat content comes from healthy unsaturated fat, you're probably good to go. If the fat is mainly saturated and/or the product has any trans fat, put it back on the shelf. Trans fat has been shown to increase levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol while decreasing levels of "good" HDL cholesterol—a double health whammy.  

Don't be fooled by a label that lists 0 grams (g) trans fat. Because of a labeling loophole, a product can contain up to 0.5g trans fat per serving and say it has none. Check the ingredient list: If it includes partially hydrogenated oil, then there is trans fat in there. Shortening is another source of trans fat.

food-label-sodium     Sodium   Excess sodium can raise blood pressure, which increases heart disease risk, and it may be a sign of a more highly processed (read: not so good for you) food, Kaufman says.

We set the cutoff for the HealthMust-Eat List at 805 milligrams (mg) per serving—about a third of the recommended daily limit for sodium (2,300 mg).

food-label-fiber  Fiber  Look for at least 3g per serving in any product that contains grains, including bread, crackers, pasta and even some soups.

food-label-serving-size  Serving size  The amounts shown on the label refer to a single serving. If you tend to eat more than the listed serving size in a single sitting, do the math to get the right numbers.

food-label-calories  Calorie count  For many people, this is the first and most important stop on the label. But a higher-calorie food might be worth eating if it also contains lots of nutrients.

food-label-sugars   Sugars  This number doesn't distinguish between naturally occurring sugars (like lactose in milk or fructose in fruit) and added sugar (like high-fructose corn syrup or brown rice syrup). A better move: Look at the ingredients for sources of added sugar (see next slide). 

Look for the words sugar, as in palm sugar or invert sugar; sweetener, as in corn sweetener; or syrup, as inbrown rice syrup or malt syrup. Also watch for words ending in ose, like fructose or glucose.

food-label-first-sugar   Added sugar  If sugar is one of the first two ingredients, don't bring it home. Ingredients are ordered by volume, so the higher up on the list an ingredient is, the more of it a product contains. This is an easy way to spot foods that include a lot of added sugar. (Naturally occurring sugar won't be listed here.)

But this method isn't foolproof. "Sometimes, manufacturers split up sugar into dextrose, high-fructose corn syrup, cane crystals and so on, so none of them are the first ingredient, even though if you added them up, they would be," explains Walter Willett, MD. "You might consider avoiding any product if there is sugar in more than one form."

food-label-vitamins  Vitamins and minerals  The Daily Value (DV) is the amount of each nutrient that's considered sufficient for most healthy adults. A food that contains anywhere from 10 percent to 19 percent of the DV is considered a good source of a nutrient.

food-label-grains  Whole grains  To ID heart-healthy and fiber-rich whole grains, look for the word whole before the name of any grain, as in whole wheat. Popcorn, oatmeal and quinoa are also considered whole grains. If you see the word enriched before a grain, it's a sign that the grain has been refined, meaning it has been stripped of the germ and bran, which pack most of the grain's nutrients including fiber.

16 Most Misleading Food LabelsTerms like “fat free” or “all natural” are often slapped on a food item that may not be healthy at all. Check out our list of the 16 most common—and most misleading phrases—manufacturers use on food.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Cool Food Truck!

 
Like something right out of the Mad Max movie, this is Maximus-Minimus with its 'urban assault hog' vehicle serving Maximus pork sandwich which has a spicy sauce and Minimus pork sandwich which has a sweet-sour sauce.

It is served with a vinegrette based salad of also two flavours - Maximus salad served with Minimus sandwich and Minimus salad served with Maximus. ..A kinda Ying-Yang balance of flavours.

For more punishment, you can order a sandwich with extra Hurt! - a spicy powder.. :Hurt me!

There's also a grilled chicken sandwich..

I saw this on Eat It, from AFC (Asian Food Channel) 

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Onions - which one to use?

Did u know?

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Cauliflower Mash

Do you like cauliflower?  Most of us dont know what to do with it!

Well, here's one way. Make it into a mash. The author of this recipe says it's like mash potato, but much, much healthier!  Do try it out
Cauliflower Mash
Serves 2
Ingredients
  • 1 head organic cauliflower, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil (depending on desired consistency)
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • Sea salt and pepper
Directions
  1. In a large pot, steam cauliflower over medium heat for 15-20, until a knife easily slices through cauliflower.
  2. Add cauliflower to food processor.
  3. Add olive oil, almond milk, and spices.
  4. Process until smooth. (may need to add additional olive oil/almond milk until you get desired texture.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Houseplant cupcakes

Saw this at Treehugger's FB post
How cute is this???
Alana Jones-Mann, baker & DIY maker's cactus cupcakes has been re-blogged in many sites. And here I'm doing it again. Just got to let people view her INGENUITY not only in her idea of making cactus-like toppings but also her whole composition of natural paper cups, rock-like base and the green frosting piped so ingeniously!

And guess what? She also is has a step-by-step tutorial how to do this!! THANKS, ALANA for sharing.

Just one of the steps in her tutorial!
SO... go visit her website : http://alanajonesmann.com/2013/04/diy-house-plant-cupcakes/

Saturday, 18 January 2014

For char siew lovers..

Ever heard of  Bu jian tian" char siew?  According to blogger, ieatishootipost.sg, this means char siew (Chinese barbeque) made with pork from the part of the pig that 'never sees the sun'!

What's that?...
Tender, juicy, fatty & meaty char siew
 http://ieatishootipost.sg/2009/01/fatty-cheongs-char-siew-to-get-good.html


Saturday, 28 December 2013

Moroccan Tagine - Vegan

I chanced upon this recipe and thot it would be a great to try this out although i dont have the traditional tagine pot.

It also it reminds me of the Moroccan restaurant i visited while on holiday in Penang. It was just next to our hotel. I had the chicken version but enjoyed the gravy the most. So looking forward to trying this vegan version :

Here's the ingredient list for my shopping cart : 

Moroccan Root Vegetable Tagine
2 cinnamon sticks
1 1/2 tsp cloves
3 tbsp coriander seeds
olive oil
1 tbsp ground turmeric
1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
3 1/2 ounces ginger, grated 
1 red chili, seeded and chopped
6 garlic cloves, crushed
cans tomatoes, chopped
1 sweet potato, halved and sliced
2 fennel bulbs, cut into batons
1 celeriac root, cut into batons
1/2 bunch spinach
handful of cilantro, chopped
4-5 dates, chopped
1/4 preserved lemon peel, chopped

(will have to substitute the fennel buls and celeriac root with other vegs cos its very expensive over here

Al-Medina Moroccan Restaurant in Penang

Ever seen the Tajine (or sometimes spelt Tagine)? A form of cooking pot / method using a cone shape claypot. Recently i had the pleasure of visiting Al-Medina Moroccan Restaurant (next to Copthorne Orchid Hotel), Tanjung Bungah, Penang. (+6011-1640 0470) and chatted with Abel, its managing director.

It's a lovely place. I was taken on a tour of the restaurant..
The tajine pots
You have a choice of seating styles / dining areas.
'Wakaf 'style seating

Verandah seating

or under the garden cabana

or indoors where u get to view  Abel's collection 
of tajine and art & crafts (acquired during his travels to various countries)

 

The man, himself.. Abel. Thank you for your hospitality!
And Mom loved his pouffs. 



 As mom & i have just had our dinner across the road (didnt see this place until on our way back!), but i still wanted to try the tajine, so i packed the chicken tajine set back to the hotel for our late supper treat!
Chicken Tajine with carrot, potato and bitter gourd veggies, served with Tajine bread

See how succulent is the chicken and the root veggies just the right tenderness

Now comes the bread..

to soak up the gravy!

Yummy! 
The chicken and veggies are stewed in the claypot from 1-2hrs til its tender. 

A must try when u r in Penang and want to try something different.. There's lamb, hummus, kebabs too.. opened for breakfast & thru out the day...


Wanted to return for the Hummus & Minced Lamb and flat bread, but alas..mom was tired out the following day after a visit to New World Park 
and so we had room service :(

Friday, 20 December 2013

Monday, 16 December 2013

No bake apple pie!

This i love for two reasons ;
1)  No bake
2)  No processed sugar

I'm keeping these recipes for days i will hv chance to try these out :

Raw Spiced Apple Pie The pie has a lovely crunch to it with the sweet flavor of cinnamon added in. Sometimes I'll make up mini cup versions which is great for parties and snacks!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Strawberry Chocolate cupcake (Vegan)

This is one recipe i am hoping to try out soon, after i get my "affairs in order"... Maybe for this Xmas? as thank-you gifts? The best is that NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED in this cupcake. This is vegan!

So before the recipe disappears, i hope Jamie Heimbuch will not mind me posting this recipe and her delicious photos of the cup-cakes here :

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Artisan breads - making the perfect loaf

Topping the loaves with rolled oats, bran, flax, sunflower, white and black sesame seeds.I just love those wholemeal, multi-grained breads. I've tried so many commercial types which i suspect do not use enuff of the real, good stuff!

So it's refreshing to read of bakers in Malaysia starting to make & sell artisan bread. One was in Jln Ipoh, KL...wee bit too far for me, and to day in The Star (14 Nov, Business section) is one nearer to home - Artisan Touch!

They even have an online ordering service by CookieJar
They also run bread classes

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Chillie sauce - not from the bottle

The main ingredients
I found this out by mistake. Mom was blending a small amount of some ginger, red chillies & garlic together. But as with most blenders, they need some liquid to help stir the ingredients around when blending or else u get uneven sized bits. So mom added some water, a bit too much - so much so that when she poured it out, it looked too diluted to be the 'san yong choi' sauce for Hainanese Chicken rice.

Being the inventive mom that she is, she asked me to add some cornflour and cook it... Then it looked just like the chillie sauce u pour from the bottle!

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Wonderbag -- a no electricity needed slow-cooker

http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-product-design/wonderbag-electricity-free-slow-cooker.html
"Because it works by using a little fuel to bring foods to a boil before putting the hot pot in the bag, Collins notes that the Wonderbag greatly reduces the use of additional energy and frees up women's precious time. This means women can cook delicious, hot meals while saving energy and money for their families and spend more hours looking after children, learning or earning their own income..."

Check it out!
...
CP:  Reminds me a tip my roommate gave me when we were renting rooms and no access to the kitchen accept to boil water. She would put a handful of  barley grains into the thermo flask and pour in hot boiling water. Then she will close the lid and let it sit for a few hours. Then in the evening we get a 'cooling' barley water to drink, just like as if it has been boiling in the pot the whole day (when mom used to make).

I guess, when u live away from home, one has to improvise :)

Friday, 25 October 2013

Focaccia to bake

This focaccia looks so yummy.. Think i'll try my hand at this again. I have not been baking for a long time.

Time to rekindle the baker in me!

Saturday, 12 October 2013

A week of experimental cooking

I must confess - my creation of a new recipe is usually influenced by what i have in hand / in the fridge. However, for my Green & Clean - Project CrazeeFit, i also want to create flavourful meals that don't require any bottled sauces (chilly, tomato or oyster sauce) or dashes of Ajinomoto (MSG).

GREEN = refers to meals composed mainly of veggies, nuts, herb, tubers, roots, beans but may contain seafood & some meat (but in smaller proportion).

CLEAN = as mentioned above, meals with minimum processed foods, flavours derived from spices, herbs, salt & pepper, using fresh (instead of canned) ingredients, minimum dairy products, less oil used (only Peanut oil & EVOO), cooking methods - raw, steam, blanched and light stir frying and greens from my own garden.

HOPE / VISION / MISSION -  ambitiously trying to re-do traditional Malaysian food (which is rather un-healthy), fusion food - taking the best ideas from different culinary cultures and getting people to accept this as staples or at least get people to think or rather re-think they cooking methods / choices.

Oh..also i dont measure the ingredients, just using commonsense & experimentation. Cooking time also is dependent on observation & sniffing!! LOL..I can imagine those throwing up their hands and saying that's CRAZEE!!  

Besides being short of time (lazy, too) and also wanting people who follow my recipe ideas to OBSERVE and GET INVOLVED in their own cooking process. When there's no measurement, one is forced to look, think and judge for themselves and not follow blindly and thus INSPIRE CREATIVITY!  

Wasnt that how granny used to do it?

Disclaimers aside,..let's GET COOKING !

SATURDAY'S MEAL -  SPAGHETTI  ULAM

More Clean Meal ideas (to come)
SUNDAY'S MEAL
Sup Ikan (Fish head soup)
MONDAY'S MEAL
Soba Telur Asin & Asparagus
TUEDAY'S MEAL
Steamed Chicken Breast & Asparagus with Toast & Lurpak salted butter
WEDNESDAY'S MEAL
Steamed Broccoli, Salsa & leftover mamak's Tandoori & Naan
THURSDAY'S MEAL
Broccoli & Butterhead, whole grain mustard on toast with Maasdammer cheese and more Salsa
WHY THE SUDDEN INTEREST in eating healthier?  http://crazeefit.blogspot.com/2013/10/infiniti-fitness-beyond-to-rescue.html

Spaghetti Ulam

SPAGHETTI ULAM
Shopping list :
  • Spaghetti
  • Bunga Kantan (edible Ginger flower)
  • Serai (lemongrass - use only the bottom fragrant purplish parts)
  • Daun Kaduk (Piper sarmentosum similar but not betel/sirih leaf)
  • Kerisik (grate coconut, slowly & constantly stir-fried in a pan with no added oil until brown & aromatic. Then pound in a stone mortar. Cool and store in fridge)
  • Onions or shallots (small onions) - sliced thinly
  • Lime  or Limau kasturi (calimansi)
  • Black pepper (ground)
  • Salt / Braggs Liquid Amino
  • Chilli padi (small yet very spicy version) or spicy sambal / sambal belacan
  • Carrots (cut in large chunks)
Boost protein intake (if you are working out at the gym) :  
- Add boiled beans (Green Love Mixed beans) or steamed chicken (breast, keel with no skin)

Going green & clean!

KALE & PISTACHIO PESTO SPAGHETTI
Looking for healthier food intake, GOING GREEN & CLEAN is my tag line for the days ahead in my quest for getting fit again after a disasterous 2 years of un-mindful eating. (as usual - due to overload on stressful projects & emotional yo-yo).

I wanna come CLEAN in many ways.  I'm starting with FOOD INTAKE (notice-i'm not gonna use the emotion-loaded word - DIET).

So here's are some great tips on EATING PASTA WITHOUT TOO MUCH CALORIC INTAKE and veggie recipes (full with flavour from green veg, beans, herbs, nuts) to try.

Keeping Calories in Check. Remember that it’s easy to go overboard on calories when dining on pasta. One cup of cooked spaghetti has approximately 220 calories. Pile 3 or 4 cups on your dinner plate (not unheard of) are we’re talking 660 to 880 calories without any sauces or add-ins. To keep calories in check, cut down on pasta portions and bulk up with loads of veggies and herbs.

Boosting the fiber can also help make your dish more filling. Swap enriched white pasta for whole-grain varieties like whole wheat, quinoa or spelt. Add hunger-fighting protein with beans, lentils or edamame.

Be careful not to overload on cheese as it can push the envelope on calories, fat, cholesterol and sodium. A small amount of a flavorful cheese goes a long way.