really random posts about food, eating well and healthy, my life, chocolates and dramas!

Archive for November, 2009

82: Today…

Pasta for our lunch.

I made juice with the blender with 1 green apple and 1 orange. And it was mixed with my daily Colon Guard health supplement (a powder mixture of green barley, psyllium, apple pectin, lactobacillus complex, slippery elm bark and alfafa). It was so good:)

I made a bowl of unsweetened red bean soup (yesterday was green/mung bean).

I used the leftover red beans to make red bean paste (or anko).

I made some red bean pancakes for the family.

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81: Mung Bean Drink

The weather this afternoon was really hot, the sun was blazing and shining crazily into the living room. I was getting a little tired while studying in the living room and decided to make myself a mung bean/green bean drink.

Mung beans are really good for you. The Chinese believe that mung beans help cleanse and detox and is good for your digestive system. It is low in fat and rich in protein and fibre which aids in the lowering of one’s blood cholesterol level. The high fibre in green bean yields complex carbohydrate which improves digestion and helps to stabilize the blood sugar level in our body.

For a cup of mung bean drink, simply boil an adequate amount of mung beans in an adequate amount of water until the beans are soft. For me, 2-3 cups of water (with all the evaporation when boiling) to make 1 cup of mung bean drink is sufficient. Add a little sugar if required. It’s best not to include any though. And if there’s pandan leaves at home, the drink will be definitely be more fragrant when you immerse the leaves in while boiling the beans.

I read somewhere that boiling the beans actually destroys the enzymes in the beans (and most of the nutrition) and it is better to drink the mung beans raw. What I read is that this person immersed the raw mung beans overnight and removed them the morning after. I’m not sure about this method of preparation since I’ve been eating my mung beans boiled and soft since young. Hmmmmm.


80: Colours!

I’m back and I’m feeling a teeny bit better now! With 2 papers down and 2 more to go, there’s more reasons to rejoice. And to include some vibrancy into my life, today’s post will be a colourful one.

I think I have mentioned earlier about those old school butter cream cakes that traditional cake shops/bakeries/confectioneries sell. Mummy bought a box of butter cream cakes from the market just this morning and they look so gorgeous, in their bright colours.

If I had to choose, I would definitely pick this cake slice out of them all. I like those alternating strips of red and orange jelly/cream (?). And the cake is green (I am obsessed with all things green).

And this was another of the cake slices decorated with a cherry/strawberry/apple (I think it’s a strawberry). Pretty in pink.

But the HUGE problem is that I’m cutting down on my sugars (refined sugars, sweet desserts, chocolates, sweets, biscuits, cakes, cookies, ice cream etc) so I’ll have to give this cake a go this time round. It’ll find a better owner (a better tummy). Haha:)


79: Down

I’ve been feeling quite down over the past few days. Presence of an unwanted “stranger” in my life. The exams are starting tomorrow and I’m still doing okay. I’ve been studying.

But I don’t wish to step foot into school tomorrow. I’m school-phobic. Alright, exams will be over on the 28th.

And the only way to go from being “down” is to go “up”. I will continue smiling through everything, I promise. I will persevere on.

I’m reminded of Anna Nalick’s Breathe lyrics.

Cause you can’t jump the track, we’re like cars on a cable,
And life’s like an hourglass, glued to the table.
No one can find the rewind button, boys,
So cradle your head in your hands,
And breathe… just breathe,
Oh breathe, just breathe

There’s a light at each end of this tunnel,
You shout ’cause you’re just as far in as you’ll ever be out
And these mistakes you’ve made, you’ll just make them again
If you only try turning around.


78: Meringues and Dumplings

I attempted something which most novice bakers are afraid to try. I made some meringue cookies.I think it’s weird when I have not tried ‘real’ meringue cookies before and here I am trying to make some.

It was an awfully simple recipe. But there is just so much you need to know in order to make the perfect meringue cookies. The three main ingredients in my meringue cookies are egg white, sugar and raisins (you can leave this out or replace it with chocolate chips, nuts etc). This is my first experience at baking meringue cookies and it did not turn out as perfect as it should be. But it was a good first time experience.

They are a little too brown, due to the caramelization of the sugar. I think I baked them for a tiny bit too long. I followed the recipe here and baked them at 105 degree Celsius for 90 minutes. Hmm, I should probably reduce the baking time the next time round though I am not sure if it’ll help. Plus, I thought it was too sweet! I read somewhere that for every egg white used, use 50gm of sugar. The recipe I used called for egg whites: sugar in the ratio 1:2. My egg white weighed around 40gm and so I should use 80gm of sugar. But I took a risk and added in 50gm of sugar instead as I was afraid it will be too sweet. But that 5ogm of sugar was still too sweet! I learnt that you will need the sugar and egg whites in the right proportion as it might actually affect the outcome of the meringue cookies. I haven’t actually tasted one prior to this so I don’t exactly know how a good meringue tastes like. But I supposed meringues are meant to be sweet. Wikipedia mentions that meringues are “very light and airy and extremely sweet”. Hmm, so what should I do now?

But the meringue cookies were a pleasant surprise (other than it being too sweet)! They were very light, airy and crisp. The exterior of the cookies was crisp and the interior was light and chewy. It was like “eating air”. After all, you whip the egg whites into a creamy white foam 4 times its inital volume to introduce all the air into the meringue mixture.

And to end off, this was my lunch today. Store-bought Nyonya Glutinous Rice Dumpling. I had no choice since Mummy bought it yesterday for my lunch today. I used to like this when I was younger. But they are just too filling (with the glutinous rice)!


77: Thursday

Just another typical thursday, 4 more days to the start of the exams.

I had this for lunch today – a meal out of a disposable lunch box. Vegetarian bee hoon. Not exactly a healthy choice but it was nice. The usual vegetarian bee hoon is all brown and greasy. This is different! It reminded me of the vegetarian bee hoon I used to eat when I was much younger. I think they boil their bee hoon (and not fry them). It comes with a packet of gravy that you drench over the bee hoon. It’s good in that it is not very greasy and the gravy is not very starchy. The taste was adequate (not salty since my tongue is really sensitive to salt). Most of the ingredients that came with it were fried (yes, no choice) and they consisted of mainly tofu/tauhu/beancurd or beancurd skin. There were some french beans too. On the overall, it is one of the better vegetarian bee hoon around.

Breakfast was walnut and raisin cake from Ng Kim Lee confectionery. It’s my first time trying this cake and I’m really glad I bought it. The layers kind of reminded me of the red bean and pumpkin ddeok (Korean rice cake) that I adore! I like it:)

The cake is also non-greasy. When I think of walnut cake, Bengawan Solo’s greasy walnut/butter cake comes to my mind. But this cake is non-greasy! And if you inspect closely, there is a layer of cream cheese between the layers! Or I thought so because it doesn’t taste like whipped cream or buttercream to me. And more like the cream cheese frosting on top of carrot cakes. It was yum. The walnuts are adequate, the raisins are plump and the cake is not sweet at all.


76: I’m a Survivor

This was my lunch today. Not cooked by me, but by Mummy. Stir-fried bee tai bak (this was how I pronounced since I was young. But I understand that there are many variations. Mee Tai Mak? Mee Tai Bak? Am not sure which is the correct version) with prawns, pork, chye sim, shredded carrots and egg. Hmm, and there’s meat this time round since I’ve been going vegetarian the past few days. I had 3 stir-fried meals for lunch 3 days in a row. I think I need some good old non-greasy food next (that that means some steaming and boiling).

I’m feeling exceptionally low today. The age-old chronic problem is back to haunt me again. I know that I did something to aggravate it. I was all fine then. It’s making me all gloomy again, just like the overcast sky and the rain this afternoon. I’ve survived through many ordeals. I’m sure I’ll survive through this one again. Alhough I’m not pretty sure what the outcome will be, I will stay strong. I believe that time will heal all “wounds”.

And I shall not wallow in self-pity over my trivial issue.

LIFE IS SO UNPREDICTABLE.

You never really know what comes next. I just learnt that a professor from my school has passed away yesterday evening. It was really sudden. He just collapsed while exercising at the school’s gym. Even after emergency medical resuscitation, he did not make it. I was not taught by him but I felt really really sad even after hearing about the news. Plus, he is really young (30, 40 plus?). He is survived by his wife and 2 children. I’m really hoping that his family will stay strong.

News like these just make me so sad. Plus all the hooha over the Mayan 2012 phenomenon and the movie based on it (2012). What would I do if I have just 24 hours of my life to go and how would I spend it? I have not given a thought to this question before.

I will want to spend it with my family and all my loved ones and to tell them that I love them. I think as Asians, we don’t go around telling our loved ones how much we love them. But maybe it is time to do (before we really do regret it).


75: A Fresh Take

Lunch was rather interesting today. It was a mix of different random ingredients that was available in the kitchen, “rojak”-style.

There was some leftover dangmyeon (Korean cellophane/glass noodles made of sweet potato starch). So I decided on another vegetarian lunch, my own “rojak”-style japchae (Korean stir-fried dangmyeon). I love eating dangmyeon cause the noodles are so chewy and springy (unlike those Chinese mung bean cellophane noodle). Japchae is hence, one of my favourite korean dishes. For good and cheap japchae, do frequent Kim Dae Mun Korean Cuisine (located at the food court of Concorde Hotel). You can get a plate of yummy and good japchae with lots of vegetables and meat for S$4.50.

For my “rojak”-style japchae, I added shredded pumpkins, japanese cucumbers and french beans. Topped with some sliced cheese. It’s definitely a rather interesting and refreshing take on the korean japchae. Haha 🙂 And I enjoyed it.

First, boil/blanch the shredded pumpkins, julienned cucumbers and chopped french beans. Remove, drain, mix with some sesame oil, soy sauce and top with a lot of toasted sesame seeds. Boil the dangmyeon as instructed for around 10 minutes. Remove. Dissolve some sugar (a pinch?) into some soy sauce. Add a little olive oil to the pan, stir fry the dangmyeon, add the sugar-soy mixture, and continue to stir fry. Add in the vegetables and continue to mix/stir fry for a tiny while. SERVE with sliced cheese and a huge dose of toasted sesame seeds!

And for now, hot green tea in a green cup.


74: Atypical Dinner

For me, a typical dinner = steamed multi-grain brown and red unpolished rice with 2-3 dishes and soup. Today, Mummy decided to go “western” for dinner. It’s not really authentic but rather, the “Singapore-style” western food (with an added Singapore/Asian touch to it, like those you can easily get at food courts and hawker centres).

I helped with the marinate of the chicken since Mummy was working the whole of today at her part-time invigilation job. The chicken marinate was really simple. Light soy sauce, oyster sauce, black/white pepper and maple syrup (or honey).

And to put it all together. The chicken chop, with steamed corn, baked beans, sliced tomato and blanched asparagus.

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The baked beans was the Heinz No Salt version and it tasted quite different from the usual version (it was quite bland). I read from somewhere many years ago that a standard can of baked beans may contain salt, equivalent to around 50% of the daily recommended sodium intake for an adult. That’s way too much! So now, I’ll either go for the Reduced or No salt version.

Still, canned food ain’t too healthy. But the HUGE PROBLEM is that I LOVE BAKED BEANS! I love those cans and cans of baked beans. Baked beans are one of my favourite foods (my comfort food). I remember that when I was younger, I would mix the baked beans with steamed white rice until homogenous and devour them in large spoonfuls. And I could easily finish my plate of rice with great ease. The combination of baked beans with white rice is just so simple, so delicious and so heavenly. I still do so now, with the steamed multi-grain brown and red unpolished rice should we decide to open a can of baked beans for dinner.

Oh, and this is Gardenia’s Fruit & Nut loaf  from the Gardenia vending machine downstairs. It’s for breakfast tomorrow! Currently, they are having a promotion. This loaf was retailing at S$4.20 but to celebrate the upcoming Christmas holiday and to mark World Kindness Day, they are having a special promotion at S$3.30. When I bought the loaf, the smell of the loaf was so enticing. There was the sweet smell of apricots (my favourite!). The loaf contains apricots, raisins, walnuts and sunflower seeds. The apricot and raisin bits are all so plump and juicy! I resisted the temptation to snack on a slice. So I’m looking forward to breakfast tomorrow. Haha simple little things just make me happy.

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Alrights, it’s off to bed now. And it’ll be another day of studying tomorrow! Goodnight:)


73: Chickpeas, Cookies and Cha Soba

Triple Cs.

Daddy steamed chickpeas on Saturday and I was happily eating them off the bowl.

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I love this picture of the chickpeas that I took with my mobile phone camera! Pretty yellow chickpeas 🙂

Chickpeas (also known as Garbanzos beans) are a good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, as are most other beans. In addition to lowering cholesterol,  their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia. Plus, chickpeas are a good source of folic acid and protein, high in mineral content, good source of calcium and low in fat (of which most of fats are polyunsaturated).  (Source: WHFoods)

Still, I believe you cannot eat too much of these. Eat everything in moderation, ya?

You know, when I frequented the supermarket near my place just the other day, I was surprised to see them stock up on so many Christmas goodies. There were really unique, imported chocolates, cookies and cakes from the US and Europe with really gorgeous packagings. I was wondering then that “Isn’t it too early for Christmas?”. Reality did not strike me until a week later when I realised that we’re just a month away from Christmas. I realised I’ve been living my days without knowing what day/date it is today. It’s the exam syndrome. But I do know the 4 important dates for my 4 different papers.

This was a tin of butter cookies my parents bought from the supermarket yesterday for us to munch on, should we need some food while studying. The tin is so pretty and adorable! I love Paddington Bear:)

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Here are the butter cookies! When I opened the tin, some cookies were already shattered.

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Today’s lunch was cha soba. I got tired of eating cha soba with the cold soba dipping sauce. So I decided to stir fry my cha soba today. And yes, it’s vegetarian again (means no meat).

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I stir fried cha soba with baby onions and shredded pumpkin, with some pan fried egg tofu topped with an egg omelette. Hmm, everything seems fried right? But I’ve tried my best to make it as healthy as possible by minimising the amount of oil used and using extra virgin olive oil (EVOO).

Cook the cha soba as directed. Slice the onion and shred the pumpkin. Fry the egg omelette and cut into strips. Shallow fry the egg tofu (sliced into 6-7 slices) with minimal EVOO until lightly browned on both sides. Heat a little EVVO and sesame oil into the pan, add the sliced onions and shredded pumpkin slices and stir-fry for a while (until the aromatic smell of onions and pumpkin fills the whole kitchen. Haha:). Add in the cooked cha soba, add in seasonings as desired ( for me, a little light soy sauce, white/black pepper). Stir fry for a little while. SERVE!

Soba is good for you. It contains buckwheat, read WHFoods. According to Wikipedia, soba scores higher than pasta or bread in terms of essential amino acids (otherwise known as dietary amino acids and your body cannot synthesize them endogeneously). Soba contains a type of polysaccharide that is easily digested and assimilated. Soba noodles also contain rutin, an antioxidant, one of the flavonoids, and choline. Rutin helps to prevent high blood pressure so it reduces risk of heart disease.  Soba also contains many water-soluble vitamins like thiamine/Vitamin B1 (about twice that of polished rice) and riboflavin/Vitamin B2.

And to end off, a cup of nice hot green tea in a green cup. Haha 🙂

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