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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Almond French Beans

Almond is considered one of the free food with low calories and health benefits such as reducing the risk of heart attack and lowering "bad" cholesterol. 
This recipe makes 6 servings.

CALORIES: 78 calories for 3/4 cups

500 grams of french beans or one packet.
Half red pepper, sliced thinly
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (you make use canned button mushroom)
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted.
1 teaspoon of soy sauce

  1. Placed almonds in the toaster and toast for about 3-4 minutes until crunchy. Slice the almond after well toasted. 
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil and saute the onion until slightly translucent and able to smell it. Add red pepper and mushrooms and saute for 3 minutes. Add french beans and saute until red pepper, mushrooms and french bean are cooked and slightly tender. 
  3. Add soy sauce and pepper to taste and mix the toasted almonds in.  
  • You may boil the french beans and let it simmer for 4-7 minutes instead.
  • Be careful not to saute the french beans for too long as it gets overcook easily. 
  • Recipe adapted from Vikki Peck under "The Comfort Food Diet" but I made slight changes.  

Sweet and Sour Pork

Craving for some sweet and sour dishes? It may be tedious but definitely worth it. 
This recipe makes about 3-4 servings

    225 grams pork tenderloin (cut into bite size pieces)
    1/2 green bell pepper (about 2 oz. and cut into pieces)
    1/2 red bell pepper (about 2 oz. and cut into pieces)
    2 stalks scallions (only the white part, cut into 2 inch length)
    1 piece fresh/canned pineapple ring (cut into small pieces)
    1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
    Oil for frying
    1 teaspoon soy sauce
    1/2 teaspoon corn flour
    1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
    1/2 cup water
    1/4 all-purpose flour
    1/8 corn starch
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 egg
    1 teaspoon cooking oil
    1 small pinch of salt
Sweet and Sour Sauce:
    1 1/2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
    1 teaspoon plum sauce
    1/8 teaspoon Chinese rice vinegar (transparent in color)
    1/2 teaspoon Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
    1 teaspoon oyster sauce
    1 teaspoon corn starch
    1 teaspoon sugar
    2 tablespoons water
  1. Cut the pork tenderloin into pieces and marinate with the ingredients for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Mix the sweet and sour sauce ingredients well and set aside.
  3. Strain the dry ingredients of the frying batter and then add in the egg, water, and cooking oil to form a thick batter.
  4. When the pork is well-marinated, transfer the pork pieces into the batter and make sure they are well coated. In a deep skillet, add in the cooking oil enough for deep-frying. Once the oil is hot, deep fry the pork pieces until they turn golden brown. Dish out and drain on paper towels.
  5. Heat up a wok and add in some cooking oil. Add in the chopped garlic and stir fry until light brown, then follow by the bell peppers and pineapple pieces. Stir fry until you smell the peppery aroma from the peppers and then add in the sweet and sour sauce. As soon as the sauce thickens, transfer the pork into the wok and stir well with the sauce. Add in the chopped scallions, do a few quick stirs, dish out and serve hot with steamed white rice.
  • If you are running out of time, use Woh Hup Sweet and Sour Sauce instead. I used about half a bottle for this dish.
  • You can substitute pork with chicken or fish. I used pork fillet so as to give it a soft and tender texture, almost like fish. Alternatively, you may tenderise the pork first. 
  • To achieve crispy pork batter, place them on wire racks and let the oil drip down. Alternatively, place it in the oven until ready to serve, then mix it with the sauce. Do not stack like the picture below as it will cause the batter to fall flat. 
Recipe adapted from RASAMalaysia Did not make any changes as it was too good! :) 


Chicken Caesar Pasta Toss

Looking for a recipe for two? Try this no-hassle and fuss free recipe that is healthy and tasty! 
This recipe makes 2 servings.

CALORIES: 1 cup equals 350 calories approx. 

   5 cups of water
   3/4 cup of uncooked spiral pasta (or pasta of your own choice)
   1/2 cup fresh asparagus (cut to 1 inch pieces)
   1/2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1 inch pieces)
   1 large tomatoes,chopped
   3 tablespoons of reduced-fat Caesar dressing
   2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan Cheese
   1 green onions, chopped (optional)
   1/2 teaspoons olive oil (optional) 

  1. Bring water to boil, add a pinch of salt and add pasta. Cook for 6 minutes until al dente or longer if you prefer it to be softer. Drain pasta under cold running water. You may scoop out the pasta and reuse the boiled water for the asparagus. Cook asparagus for 5-6 minutes until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, saute chicken in oil for 3 minutes, until no longer pink. Then, add tomatoes and saute until tomatoes are slightly soft and bright looking. Remover from the heat.
  3. Add chicken, tomatoes, asparagus and pasta in a large bowl. Toss it with Caesar dressing and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and green onions (if desired). 
     Recipe adapted from Joy Bilbey from "The Comfort Food Diet" book under lunches.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Pan Fried Salmon with Broccoli

The healthy dinner that is so simple to cook and takes less than 30 minutes
This recipe makes 4 servings

CALORIES: 78 for 3/4 cup of broccoli & 292 for 200g salmon.

    200g Salmon
    Vegetable Oil
    Dried dill leaf tips or fresh ones.

  1. Heat the pan on medium and slightly coat it with oil.
  2. Pan fried salmon for 2 minutes on each side.
  3. Drizzle dill leaf tips over salmon or enjoy it with dill mustard sauce.
    1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
    1 teaspoon butter,melted
    1 tablespoon rice vinegar
    1 teaspoon brown sugar
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

  1. Boil broccoli for 3-4 minutes or until tender and drain. Add salt into the boiling water if desired. 
  2. Combine the remaining ingredients; drizzle over broccoli and gently toss to coat. 
  • Add less vinegar if you prefer it not to be so sour.
    Recipe for Broccoli adapted from "The Comfort Food Diet" book under side dishes.


Blueberry Pancakes with Blueberry Jam

Light and fluffy yet healthy and delicious
This recipe makes about 18 pancakes of 11cm diameter

CALORIES: 84 per 10cm diameter

    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
    1 large egg (1.5 singapore size eggs)
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cool
    3/4 low fat milk
    1/2 cup non fat plain yogurt (140g packet yogurt)
    3/4 cup blueberries
    Vegetable Oil 

  1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, then add sugar
  2. In a mixing bowl, add milk and yogurt and whisk it evenly. Then, add just the egg white and whisk until smooth.
  3. In a small bowl, slightly whisk the egg yolk then add butter and whisk until smooth. (you may use a fork).
  4. Pour yolk and butter (step 3)  into the milk mixture (step 2) and whisk until smooth.
  5. Add blueberries to flour mixture and toss together. 
  6. Pour wet to dry ingredients and gently mix until just combined. 
  7. Heat nonstick pan over low side of medium. Pour or brush a layer of oil.
  8. Once cooked, sprinkle with more fresh blueberries, blueberry jam, maple syrup or whip cream.
  • To avoid overcooking the pancakes, flip the pancakes if bubbles appear on the surface. 
  • Always cook in under low heat to avoid getting crispy pancakes.
  • Use wild blueberries instead but if you are on budget, use the big berries and cut it into half. The big berries will actually hinder the cooking process of your pancake batter and you will not have a nice even golden brown colour. 
  • For an even healthier recipe, use half cup all-purpose flour with half cup wheat flour.
  • To store: the batter should only be refrigerated for 24 hours. Any longer and the air will run out, giving it a flat and heavy pancake. Nonetheless, you can cook it and store it for about 3 days. 

Mrs Field Inspired Chocolate Chips Cookies

Chocolate chips cookies that are crispy around the edges and soft inside.
This recipe makes about two dozen cookies.

CALORIES: 196 per cookie

    1 cup (3/4 of 250g) softened butter
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 cup packed brown sugar
    2 eggs
    2 teaspoons vanilla essence
    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    3/4 teaspoon salt (or just 2 pinch of salt)
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 1/2 twelve-ounce bags semisweet chocolate chips (about 3/4 of the bag)

  1. Preheat the oven at about 175 Degree Celsius or No. 6.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cut butter into smaller cubes and use K beater to cream the butter to slightly smooth. Add both brown and white sugars, mix it and then add eggs and vanilla essence. Mix it all together for a good 3-5 mins under medium speed.
  3. In another bowl, sift flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Add the dry mixture in bit by bit (split it to 3 portions). If batter is still slightly wet, add more flour.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Place golf ball-sized dough portions 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Some people prefer to use the ice cream scoop as it gives a neat and nice shape.This should give you about an 8-9cm length cookies. 
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes. 
  • When mixing wet ingredients, always use a spatula to scrape the sides to get an even mix.
  • Sift flour, salt, baking powder and making soda all at the same time and try to spread them evenly when adding in.
  • Add ingredients bit by bit to get a smooth consistency.
  • When adding chocolate chips, you can just add directly to mixing bowl and K beat it a little. 
  • I use a 1 tablespoon measuring spoon and estimate it to a golf-ball size as it is half the size of a golf ball. 
  • If unsure if cookies are bakes, use a toothpick to poke the area without chocolate chips. If it comes out dry, it's done. Let it bake longer if you prefer a more crispy cookie. 
  • To save time, I bake 2 batches together by placing one tray at the bottom and then shift it to the middle slot once the first one is done. I find that by doing so, your cookies taste really nice and soft in the middle yet crispy on the side. 
Recipe adapted from Todd's recipe but I made slight changes here and there.



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