All posts filed under: kitchen

Guacamole, My Way

In my hometown of Kuching in Sarawak, avocados are incredibly pricey. So pricey that it’s predominantly consumed only by an elite few. We eat it raw, and, typically, as a garnish. Up until the last two years, maybe three, I’ve never been a fan of avocados. I thought they were squishy and I have a thing against foods without texture. So when my trainer told me to incorporate avocados into my diet, my tummy flinched. After prolonged, very extensive online research, I was somewhat convinced to give avocados a go. I mean, they supposedly serve up 20 different vitamins (that’s a lot); they’re an excellent source of healthy fats (taking 1/4 before bed will keep your body full until the morning which means it won’t start eating into muscles you’re working so hard to build); they’re loaded with anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties (these help keep cholesterol levels and heart disease in check); and since 1/4 only contains around 80 calories with 7 grams of fat (and minimal saturated fat), those seven grams are wholly for …

Quinoa-Crusted Egg White Veggie Bake

In my quest to start eating clean food, I wanted to cook something that would make use of leftover egg whites (made Cinnamon French Toast as breakfast for Eve earlier in the day) while incorporating as much veggies as possible. After hunting around the internet for ideas, I finally settled on these Quinoa-Crusted Egg White Veggie Bake thingies.   INGREDIENTS 3 Egg Whites (organic, free range, lightly beaten) 2 Cups Sauteed Greens (I used Spanish Onions, Celery, Carrots, Cremini Mushrooms, Tomatoes) Quinoa (uncooked) Coconut Oil (extra virgin, organic) Spices to taste (I used gluten free organic Tamari and pepper) Chopped Chives (garnish)   DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Brush insides of ramekins with Coconut Oil. Using a small teaspoon at a time, drizzle a generous layer of the uncooked Quinoa. This becomes your crust. Set aside. Sauté the chopped onions for about a minute then add everything else. Season with a touch of Tamari sauce. Continue sautéing until cooked. Divide portions equally into the ramekins (I managed to fill 4 small, 1 large). Pour …

Grateful Eats

With the onset of Turkey day, my consumption of Prilosec and/or Alka Seltzer tends to be on the upswing. I’m given to understand it happens to most, and to the best, of us during this time of the year. While that does nothing to placate the inner workings of my gastrointestinal system, it does make for some form of consolation. So what, you might ask, is my culinary strategy to surviving Thanksgiving 2014? This is when I go along the less is more route meaning let there be variety and a conservative hand when serving portions upon my plate. Here’s what’s on the menu tomorrow. The gastronomical orgy commences with cornbread stuffing and gravy (made way ahead cos that’s how we roll). A ménage à trois of pies is always sexy. This year, the line-up is comprised of Apple, Pumpkin and, making its debut appearance, Sweet Spud. Mac n Cheese makes an appearance every last Thursday of November because Eve is a huge fan. And she’s scary when her tummy rumbles. Happily adding to the calorie …

Pumpkin Pillow Cookies

This is, in my books, the best time of the year to indulge in baking and baked treats. Wait, I err. Second best time of the year, by just a smidge, next to Christmas.  When deathly masks and skeletal structures make way for pine cones, mistletoe, and glitter.  Loads of glitter.  And tinsel.  With explosions of cracker red everywhere. When temperatures drop and carols (albeit, at times, so mashed up in the name of “remix” that I cringe) reclaim airtime.  That time of the year when fragrant whiffs of Mace and Nutmeg permeate the air, right alongside Cinnamon and, insert big happy smile here, Pumpkin. In order for you to fully appreciate my ardent love for that ribbed cultivar of the squash, you must first recall that hailing from Borneo, the only pumpkins we had were those on jackets of storybooks, cooking magazine covers and the telly. Growing up, we would voraciously devour tales of jack-o-lanterns; of the ill-fated Ichabod Crane and shattered pumpkins; of fairy godmothers and mistreated beautiful young women. That’s all we …

Easy-Peasy Steamed Kale Salad

I was in a rush to fix lunch.  I recalled seeing this recipe somewhere.  I gave it a go from memory. INGREDIENTS 1 bundle steamed Kale, cut in bunches (microwaved on high, for 2 minutes. Increase the time if you prefer your Kale softer) 1/2 Honeycrisp apple (sliced thinly) Shredded Cheese to your liking (I used Raspberry BellaVitano from Sartori but any sharp cheddar should work) 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar 1 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp Dijon mustard 1/4  tsp sugar 1/4 tsp pepper Pinch of salt   DIRECTIONS Combine vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, sugar, pepper and salt in a large bowl.  Mix with a whisk.  Add Kale and apple.  Toss.  Top with cheese.  Serve.  Took me all of 10 minutes, including steaming time.  I’d probably have finished sooner had I not stopped to take pictures.  Serves 1. Adapted from MyRecipes.com, with thanks.

Banana Walnut Bread

  Here’s one we’ve all encountered – bananas ripening before our very eyes. Right? Don’t you hate it when that happens? Yes and no. Yes because no one enjoys fending off microscopic fruit bugs doing the nasty with this yellow Parthenocarpic. No because that means Banana Bread is en route. Did you know that Bananas are technically berries? I digress. So, yeah, I love it when bananas ripen at the speed of light because that’s when I get to make Banana Walnut Bread. I prefer chopped Walnuts in mine but really, you can incorporate just about any nut lying around in the kitchen.  Husbands and children exempted, ‘kay? BANANA WALNUT BREAD Yields 2 8×4′ loaves Prep time is around 10 minutes Cook time 35 to 40 minutes Total 50 minutes   INGREDIENTS 2 cups flour (I use King Arthur’s European Style Flour so the crust gets a little crunchy even as the inside remains soft and moist) 1 1/2 tsp baking soda Pinch of salt 4-6 medium ripe bananas, mashed (we eat a lot of …

Ginger Nutmeg Biscotti

Even before I met my Southern Italian man, I’ve been madly in love with Biscotti. There’s something about biting into its hard exterior and then being met with a soft, crumbly inner which makes me happy. Oh so happy. Feeling all cocky, I first tried making my own Biscotti about three years ago and failed dismally. The rolls bent my knife when I tried slicing into them for the second bake. And when I finally managed to cut a slice without it crumbling to bits before my very eyes, it sent me into a fit of hacking coughs. Yes, it was that dry. We’ve been through the ringer, Biscotti and I, and I’m proud to say that the Italian dessert no longer has me beat 🙂 try this Ginger Nutmeg Biscotti recipe (is it not perfect for Fall?) and let me know if your adventures with Biscotti were as dramatic as mine. MIX A 2 cups cake flour (I use King Arthur’s Queen Guinevere Flour, you could substitute with the Perfect Pastry Flour or Swan) …