Ultra Lazy Healthy Meat And Broccoli Pasta Bake

Busy moms and dads, you’ll thank me for posting this recipe. It’s an ultra easy and fast healthy pasta to dish out not only for your little ones but for the adults too. This is a complete meal that takes under half an hour to prep, made in ONE baking dish, there’s no need to crank up the stove, no oil splatter and it’s absolutely yummy. It’s 100% healthy with no crap, cooked only using fresh and mostly organic ingredients. I used organic broccoli, organic pasta, organic chicken (for broth) and organic pork.

Just plonk flour, UNCOOKED pasta (YES, you read me right! RAW pasta), raw meat, vegetables, milk, butter and chicken broth into the baking dish, give it a quick stir, then pop it into the oven. Pull it out partway through cooking, stir through cheese, then finish baking. Easy peasy.  After I had cooked this and left it in the oven, I quickly drove to the pasar malam to grab some fruits before the skies turned dark, came home and dug into this pasta with my lovelies.

As this recipe requires chicken broth and we don’t use instant broth at home, I made a quick chicken broth using 2 pieces of organic Kee Song chicken (ribs + breast meat), 2 carrots and 1 large onion. Only took 45 minutes to cook this soup and it’s so tasty!  You can skip this step if you do not have the time. Just get instant chicken broth from the supermarket.

I first tried to use a Le Creuset baking dish but it was too small.  I quickly summoned Drama Queen to help me look for a bigger baking dish and she managed to fish out a stainless steel baking tray from some hidden corner. It was so messy to have to transfer the raw ingredients from the Le Creusent to the stainless steel tray  What the FISH!!

Instead of using chicken fillet as per the recipe, I used minced pork. I marinated the pork with soy sauce, dried thyme, pepper, and 1 big chopped Bombay onion.

For the pasta, I use organic mini fusilli.

This is how it looks just before it’s popped into the oven:

I thought that the portion was too big but it was so delish that my 3 piranhas managed to finish over 3/4 of it. I saved the remaining portion for lunch two days later.

You can get the recipe here.  Nagi is my current favorite food blogger and she writes awesome recipes.  I tweaked her recipe a little; for eg. I used thyme to marinate the meat instead of rosemary. She used chicken fillet while I used minced pork.  I had no plain flour at home and substituted it with corn flour 😀  It turned out beautifully too.  Happy trying!

P/S: as I didn’t want to waste the cooked carrots and onions in the chicken broth, I dumped them into the dish and baked them together.  Waste not, want not 😉

Wednesday Lunch – 5 July 2017

I had lunch today all alone.  It’s CoCo day in school for Drama Queen and Cass; Alycia only got back at 4pm and the mil had just flown off to Hawaii.  I hadn’t planned what to eat for lunch and the thought of take out food from the regular stalls did not appeal to me at all.

After getting some groceries from 99 Speedmart, I walked across to the roadside Indian stall to see what they have to offer. I always notice many patrons tucking into the food, under the hot sun, shielded only by a piece of plastic cover above.  Such an unassuming stall yet could attract such a crowd. The food must be good and cheap.

I took a piece of mackerel fish curry and a piece of chicken curry. That’s enough for me for I have a very small tummy with modest appetite.  Back home, I sliced up a cool kyuri and ate the curry that I bought with it together with some jackfruit.


My RM7 lunch – the fish and chicken curry cost RM4, cool kyuri RM1 and jackfruit is about RM2.  Light and easy. Low in carbs and high in protein. Definitely my kind of lunch.

Jackfruit, known as the jack of all fruits is a rich source of vitamin, minerals, phytonutrients, carbohydrate, electrolytes, fiber, fat and protein. This fruit has no cholesterol or saturated fats.

Cheddar Cheese On Toast

Today’s lunch for Drama Queen and Cass was takeout Mee Siam from our favorite cafe.  Cass was super hungry today.  When she alighted from the school van, she grumbled “mum, I am SO hungry. My stomach is SO pain and growling. I am going to die from hunger!”  The moment she got into the house, she rummaged through the fridge for lunch. She saw the packet of Mee Siam in the fridge, took it out and devoured it like a feral dog. She was supposed to share the packet of Mee Siam with me but she scoffed it down within minutes, still in her dirty school uniform, stinky socks and with ruffled messy hair all over.

After she was done with her packet of Mee Siam, Cass said that she was still very, very hungry! OMG, what’s with her appetite?!  She must be going through a growth spurt now.  “But you have already eaten my share of Mee Siam. There is nothing else to eat. Do you want cheese on toast?” I asked her. There was a twinkle in her eyes. That’s her favorite, why not!

So I hurriedly popped a slice of wholemeal cranberry bread into the toaster, along with a slice of cheddar cheese and sliced tomatoes.  This open toast is very much in the same mold as pizza bread.   The bread is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. The soft and chewy  melted cheddar cheese is SWOON!  Something as simple as a slice of crispy toast with hot tomatoes and chewy cheddar can really warm the cockles of this little girl’s heart 💓💓

 

Home-Cooked Food For School

Drama Queen likes bringing home cooked food to school. This year, she has to stay back in school every day for UPSR exam preparation classes. When there are extra dishes and rice from dinner, she will keep them in the fridge. The next morning, she will wake up 5 minutes earlier to reheat the food to bring to school. When she’s in the mood, she will cook something up in the evening, for school the next day.

Below is the turmeric fried rice that she cooked on her own without any help form us adults.  The ground turmeric oil is from the turmeric chicken that we had for dinner. As there was quite a bit of ground turmeric and shallot oil left on the platter, she used the oil to fry some rice, along with some chopped carrots, long beans and 2 eggs.  The fried rice was not only aromatic and yummy, it’s very healthy too.  The fried rice was enough for her and Cass to bring to school.

Amazing Healthy Snacks From Amazin’ Graze

I received my much-awaited goodies from Amazin’ Graze a few days ago. They are two flavors of granola (salted gula Melaka and hazelnut blackforest), zesty maple glazed nut mix and a bottle of ABC (almond, brazil nut, cashew) butter. All are droolicious! 😋👍

When our girls got home from school, they darted straight into the kitchen to forage for food (as usual!). Their sharp eyes spotted something new at the counter top. After getting permission from me, they ripped open the packet of salted gula melaka granola and oh my, they almost finished the packet of addictive granola.  For once, they fell in love with granola. They are not fans of oats and granola but they love Amazin’s granola!   What makes Amazin’ Graze’s range of granola stand out from other imported brands of granola is that the granola is very fresh, super crunchy (swoon!), nutty and ADDICTIVE!

Below – The salted gula Melaka granola has just the right tinge of saltiness, sweetness and every single piece of oat, cluster and nut inside is oh so crunchy!

I like the granola eaten on its own to get the best out of its crunchiness. This morning I sprinkled some crunchy granola clusters on my chilled overnight organic oats, threw in some crunchy zesty maple glazed assorted nuts and fresh Korean strawberries.  This baby has all the tastes and textures in a cup – from sweet to salty, milky, nutty, zesty, crunchy and fruity.  So yummy, refreshing and filled me up until lunch.

Amazin’ Graze’s crunchy granola clusters are baked fresh daily and packed with superfoods. Each flavour is uniquely delicious and nutritious!  Price is priced reasonably between RM18.90 – RM29.90  for a 250g pack.  There is also a gluten-free range priced at RM22.90 for a 250g pack.

Amazin’ Graze’s ABC butter is another amazing healthy product. Toasty almonds, creamy cashews and earthy brazil nuts team up in this rich and delicious nut butter medley. Stone-ground and natural with no added salt, sugar, or oil, this butter is healthy and harmonious in flavour and nutrition. Use it as a spread, to add creaminess to cereals, as a dip for fruits and vegetables…or just eat it on its own!

Check out Amazin’ Graze’s other amazing nutty butters at their website.

Here’s my creation with Amazin’ Graze’s ABC butter…

ABC butter on crackers topped with crunchy zesty  maple glazed assorted nuts and juicy sweet Korean strawberry, yums!

Our girls are already bugging me to place an order for more granola and nuts from Amazin’ Graze. Snacking on granola and nuts is way healthier than biscuits, ice-creams and cakes.  I don’t mind stocking up our pantry with healthy snacks for our three perpetually hungry piranhas (that’s what the hubs calls them) 😆

To order these amazing healthy snacks, all you need to do is hop over to register online at https://www.amazingraze.co/register/ and receive RM10 off your first online purchase!

Shipping for Amazin’ Graze’s products are RM6 across the whole of Malaysia. You can earn free shipping for delivery to major cities for orders above RM50.

You’ll be truly amazed with Amazin’ Graze’s range of healthy snacks when you are shopping at their website. Happy grazing 🙂

Savory Oats

I have never really fancied eating oats, though I eat it pretty often, for health sake.  I have genetic high cholesterol and oats are one of the most readily available and affordable foods that can help to bring down bad cholesterol level.   Thankfully Cass likes eating oats. While her two sisters have toasts for breakfast every morning, she’s happy with a cup of hot sugar-free cocoa drink with fresh milk and organic oats.

This reminds me that I must fix an appointment with my doctor to check my cholesterol reading again!  What I HATE about getting cholesterol levels checked is the darn fasting for over 10 hours. That’s my number 1 turn off. I don’t understand why most doctors never come into their clinic on time!!

Note to self: must stop procrastinating!

Today I had organic rolled oats with vegetarian crispy floss for breakkie.  I like to experiment combining a variety of foods to break the monotony of having food prepared the same way over and over again. And this combo is for keeps. I love it!  The lightly salted and crispy vegetarian floss with seaweed and sesame seeds add a lot of flavors and texture to the otherwise dull and tasteless oats. I love food that is crispy and this combo sure beats the boredom of eating oats hands down!

 

Nature Quest’s vegetarian crispy floss can be purchased from organic shops, Cosway outlets and selected supermarkets. I got mine from the organic foods section of De Market.

I add the crispy floss to spice up porridge, as filling for sandwiches and tossed onto fried rice, noodles, salads and  yoghurt.  Crispy Floss can also be used as one of the ingredients for sushi.

French Toast Sticks & Bites Cooked By Kids

Today is another day of Deepavali holiday for the girls. I just found out from Alycia in the car this morning that her holiday ends today while Cass and Drama Queen have another day of holiday tomorrow. WTF?!! I thought I was going to have another day of sleeping in tomorrow morning, but my holiday officially ends today too *boo hoo hoo hoo*

We had Indian food again today (all of us except for Drama Queen who preferred to stay home since she has to abstain from spicy and heaty food).

I didn’t know what to takeout for Drama Queen. Everything sold outside is oily and has MSG, which is a big NO NO for someone recovering from inflamed tonsilitis. So I got back empty-handed and told Drama Queen that I was going to prepare French Toast Sticks and Bites for her since we’ve got so much bread left in the fridge.  I got her to help in the preparation.  But Cass and the Big Princess wanted to play masak-masak in the kitchen too, so it was a bit of havoc in the kitchen with too many hands. But the girls had fun with their masak-masak which churned out really delish French Toast.  It was so delish that the girls could not get enough of it and they finished off the entire loaf of bread for French Toast!  One loaf  has 13 slices of bread! 😀

Dust some vanilla powder or cinnamon powder on the sticks just before serving…

And drizzle maple syrup over…

Alycia cut her bread into cubes and heart shape and I could even saute the bread on the pan.  Bite-size French Toast seems to taste better as they are crispier and easier to pop into the mouth.

I thought that Cass and Alycia were already pretty stuffed from tosei rawa and chicken Murtabak with curry fish but they stuffed in several slices of French Toasts when they got back.  If anyone can gobble down several slices of these even after a heavy meal, these French Toast Sticks and Bites must be dang good!

 

Our Merdeka Day Holiday – 31 Aug 2016

We had brunch with the girls’ grand aunt and visiting grand uncle from New Zealand at Han Room today.

As we were alighting from the car at the car park of Gardens Mall, I had a major heart attack.  Alycia who was in the midst of getting down from the car, missed a step and fell onto the car park floor with a loud thud!  Hubs’ car is an MPV and the passenger seat is much higher than a regular sedan car.   Thankfully her fall was cushioned off by my thigh and she didn’t fall onto a hard tar road. The both of us were in shock. She was too shell shocked to even tell me if she had hurt her body but my thigh hurt as a result of her body hitting me before she fell flat onto the floor. Thank God there was no bruise or graze, except that she turned pale white from the shock of the fall.  ** PHEW, sweats!! **

The main purpose of going to the Gardens Mall today was to get myself a new swimsuit but I didn’t find one that I really like, though I had tried on a few at the Speedo and Arena shops.  When we were at Robinsons, I saw a few sexy maxie swimsuits which I really like but the big girl kept bugging me to hurry up as she wanted to go home to study for a test tomorrow. Plus the queue at the fitting room was a long one, so we left.  That’s why I hate shopping with the girls on a public holiday. I’ll have  better peace of mind shopping on my own on a school-going day when the girls are in school. This gives me an excuse to go retail therapy again next week 😀

For dinner, we scrapped our plan of eating out as the big girl wasn’t in the mood to eat out on the eve of her History and Chinese composition test.  So we cleared our fridge and walloped all the leftover food.

I reheated the kafir lime leaves fried rice that I cooked for dinner yesterday and blanched some ladies fingers. I also blanched some vermicelli to go with the leftover chicken curry that the girls’ grand aunt gave us yesterday.  Drama Queen helped to cut avocado, cucumbers and capsicums.

The crisp and sweet raw capsicums tasted really good with a drizzle of Uncle Jeff’s Berenberg Creamy Parmesan Caesar dressing.   Hubs bought this salad dressing for his Arugula Rocket salad, which he eats in the morning for breakfast along with hard boiled eggs.

Berenberg Family Farm is an Aussie brand and they have a tasty range of dressing sauces, jams and condiments.

 

 

Breakfast – 10 August 2016

Avocados are back in season and we are having them everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner! 😀

From RM15 for an avo just about 1.5 months ago, the price has now dropped to RM5 each for New Zealand avos.  I stock up on our avos twice a week. I buy green, hard and unripened ones and they ripen really quickly when I place them together with other fruits like bananas and oranges in room temperature.  If only avos are more affordable here, we could then eat them all year round. When we were in New Zealand two Decembers ago, avos were sold cheaply everywhere. At the weekend farmers’ market, avos were sold at NZ$1 each and I remember buying a big bag full of them, only to have them all polished off in just a few days.

Since we have a few ripen avos today, the girls had avo on toast this morning.  Alycia mashed up the avo and spread them like butter on her crispy wholewheat toast while Drama Queen had thinly sliced avo on her toast.  Cass had avo wedges minus the toast.

Also known as an alligator pear or butter fruit, the versatile avocado is the only fruit that provides a substantial amount of healthy Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA). Avocados are a naturally nutrient-dense food and contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals.  Avocados do not contain any cholesterol or sodium, and are low in saturated fat.

Avocados are good for your heart, help to lower your cholesterol and are loaded with fiber.  The fat in avocados can help you absorb nutrients from plant foods while the power antioxidants in avocados help to protect your eyes.  Avocados may help prevent cancer too, just to name a few.

As for moi, I had half an avo, a blood red orange, a slice of wholewheat toast with dad’s homemade pandan kaya and chia seeds, a handful of coconut coated almonds and boiled curried chick peas. And not forgetting my Izumio hydrogen water to give me all the energy I need for another busy day while detoxifying my body.

 

 

Fruits & Veggies

I ensure that the girls get their daily dose of fresh fruits and vegetables everyday.  They have either fruit smoothie or fresh whole fruit everyday.  Yesterday I made them apple + orange + pineapple + chia seeds smoothie.  Today is papaya + sliced red capsicum.   Alycia has no issues eating capsicums. She grazes veggies (both raw and cooked) like a goat.  Drama Queen used to be averse to capsicums but after drumming into her head the benefits of capsicums, she is starting to like them.

As for the littlest one, she still abhors the taste of capsicums. But it’s just a matter of time before her taste bud is trained to accept them, just like her 2 sisters!

Goodie box for the girls to munch on upon their return from school today 🙂