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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.


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