Healthy Homecooked Dinner With Black Rice

Our wholesome, hearty and healthy dinner last night…

Black rice (mixed with a handful of low GI Basmati rice), sauteed leek flower with garlic, pan-fried salmon fish and Sanbeiji chicken fillet (3-Cup Chicken) (cooked with ginger, wine, sesame oil, garlic and basil leaves).

Check out the beautiful purplish, blackish hue of the black rice – so exotic, beautiful and impressive!

 

 

What Is Black Rice?

It has been said that this highly treasured ancient grain was once eaten exclusively by the Emperors of China. It’s also known as “Forbidden Rice” and “Longevity Rice”.

I bought a pack of Mewah black rice from the supermarket to try and yesterday was the first time we cooked it. Thankfully, the girls were pretty receptive and had zilch fretting and fussing.

 

Taste wise – the Mewah black rice is absolutely delicious, has a nutty flavor and the taste and texture remind me of black glutinous rice. Mewah black rice is gluten-free.

Benefits of Black Rice

  • High content of Anthocyanin antioxidant
  • Low Glycemic Index for stable, longer lasting energy level
  • Rich in Potassium, Phosphorus and Magnesium
  • Daily source of Vitamin, Fiber and Protein
  • Delicious roasted nutty taste and soft texture
  • Beautiful deep purple (Anthocyanin) for striking presence

Mewah black rice can also be served as dessert.  The cooked black rice can be paired deliciously with cold soy bean milk, or palm sugar (gula melaka) or coconut milk.

 

What’s For Dinner Tonight?

Guess what we had for dinner tonight?

It’s a homey dinner but the price is that of a fine dine dinner at a 5-star restaurant.

Yes beef steak… but not the regular beef.  Look carefully at the marbled appearance…

It’s Kobe beef, all the way from Hong Kong!  The MIL hand carried the Kobe beef back from Hong Kong yesterday!  The pictures (taken on hubs’ Samsung mobile phone) do not justify the actual stuff.

 

What is Kobe beef?

Cows that drink beer, are massaged with rice wine and listen to classical music! For meat lovers, Kobe beef is considered the epitome of fine dining. And at a few hundred bucks a pop you’d want it to be!

To retain maximum flavor, Kobe beef should not be cooked further than medium-rare. In fact, the fat in Kobe beef has a lower melting point than that of other beef so if cooked for too long at too high a heat, it simply melts away. And it is this feeling, of the meat melting in the mouth, that really makes Kobe beef an outstanding culinary experience.

Its prized value must also be credited to the mysterious rearing techniques said to aid the meat’s delectable flavor and texture.

Melt-in-the-mouth Kobe beef — so yummy, though the only seasoning used were a few dashes of pepper!  Second to none that we’d tasted thus far.  Remember my earlier post on the tough shoe leather beef steak that I’d cooked? Now I know why.  Hubs bought the wrong kind of steak. We need steak with marbled effect to get tender and juicy steaks.

A big thank you to my dear SIL for the yummy Kobe beef!  :)

 

Living Skills Training For Kids

One of the activities for Sherilyn during this school holiday is living skills training :)

She may be pretty clumsy, impulsive (she drives me nuts with her impulsiveness) and accident-prone, but when it comes to cooking, I can see that she is trying really hard NOT to be what she is 😀

As she flipped the cabbage with a spatula yesterday evening, I stood next to her telling her… “be GENTLE, DON’T FLIP the cabbage too fast, don’t flip any cabbage out of the wok please, SLOWLY, don’t let the garlic get burnt, don’t get too near the stove, make sure your clothes are not near the stove and fire, lower down the flame, NOT TOO MUCH SALT PLEASE …”    LOL!!

I think our neighbors must have even heard me yelling out the instructions every evening and must be wondering if the fierce lady  is talking to her new Pinoy maid.  Thank goodness, they won’t know that it’s from our unit. That’s one of the advantages of staying in a condo, hehehe.

I also grilled a pomfret fish with fish curry powder, turmeric powder, soy sauce, black pepper, garlic and onions and a drizzle of palm sugar.

 

 

Grilled Chicken With Japanese Potato Salad

Remember my post dated 10 May 2015 where I wrote about our Mother’s Day dinner at Kozaku-Ai Modern Teppanyaki Kitchen? I told my girls that I would try to dish out the fried chicken with Japanese potato salad dish for them soon. And I did! It sure was a big hit with the girls!

My creation — grilled chicken with Japanese potato salad…

vs.

the Japanese restaurant’s version…

Cass helped to make the potato salad…

Japanese potato salad using Just One Cookbook’s recipe, which I adapted a little.   Composition – I used washed potatoes, carrot, sweet corn kernels, cucumber, 2 hardboiled eggs, Japanese mayonaise, spring onions, pepper and salt. You can even add onions but I was time-pressed to peel onions, so omitted it but replaced onions with spring onions.

 

Mine is way healthier than the Japanese restaurant’s as mine was grilled vs. deep fried.

I used boneless chicken thighs — marinated with soy sauce, coriander powder, garlic powder, pepper and palm sugar (gula melaka) syrup.

Chicken was grilled in oven setting of 180C for 10-15 minutes on each side.

 

This dish is definitely for keeps if you have young kids.  It can be eaten without rice as the potato salad is pretty filling. You can cook a bigger portion to last you  2-3 meals. It did last us 3 meals and Sherilyn even brought some to school for recess the next day :)

 

Frying Fish – Successful Attempt!

Who hates frying fish? I.hate.frying.fish!

I hate the oil splatters on my skin. You can never miss at least a drop or two of hot oil splatters on your skin when you slide the fish into the wok unless you wear gloves and a full body protective suit.  Once, the oil splattered onto my eye lid and lips, bugger!! And never once had I been successful in frying a fish without getting the fish skin stuck onto the wok and some meat detached from the bone. I hate serving fish that looks like half of it has been eaten by a cat!

Last week, I gave fish-frying one last try!   I patted dry the fish with kitchen towels before sliding it into the wok (this step is crucial to ensure minimal splish splash of oil and for a crispy outcome).

The moment the fish touched the hot oil, the splish-splash of oil jumped out of the wok. With one hand holding the fish and another hand holding the wok lid to shield myself (LOL!), I quickly closed the wok with the transparent lid.  This time, my fish turned out PERFECT!  I was SO pleased with my little achievement and proud to show the girls that their mummy can finally dish out a perfectly fried fish with skin and meat intact!  And the fins were crispy too! 😀

 

 

I can only deduce that a good non-stick wok is key to getting nicely fried fish.  And I am glad that my new non-stick wok comes with a transparent lid with a steam hole – just perfect for me to peep at the fish whilst it’s being fried inside. It’s kind of therapeutic to see your fish sizzling nicely inside without getting any smoke and oil splatter outside 😀

So yes, the fish was perfect this time — I would rate it 9/10! 😀

I did not marinate the fish but stuffed some cut kafir lime leaves inside the flesh through the diagonal lines that I cut on the fish. After the fish was fried and removed from the wok, I fried a handful of kafir lime leaves. The leaves turned out super crispy and aromatic – like eating chips!  With the remaining oil left  in the wok, I drizzled some soy sauce in the wok of oil and let it heat up for a minute. Then poured the sauce onto the fish and serve!

Our dinner of fried fish and Nasi Briyani (bought for dinner yesterday but was not eaten as we had dinner at an aunt’s house).

 

 

Home-cooked Meals For Recess

This is an almost nightly affair for the drama queen.  Before she eats her dinner, she would ask me if there is enough food for her to bring to school for recess the next day.  If yes, she would quickly keep some in a stainless steel container with cover.  The next morning, I would wake her up 5 minutes earlier and she would put the container of food into the wok to heat up. She’s pretty hands-on in the kitchen :)

Sometimes I will heat up the food in the microwave oven for a minute.

I cooked this with egg plant dish with minced meat, tomatoes and fermented soy beans (‘taucheong’) sometime last week. Yes, another one-pot dish.  You can even throw in some beans to add more fiber into this dish.  Just this dish alone is good enough if you have no time to dish out a 3-dish dinner. And it’s so appetizing and yummy!

I also made a quick soup using chicken ribs, dried mushrooms, radish and cabbage with salmon balls (yeah yeah, salmon balls are junk and I was duped into buying them ok!)

And this portion is for Miss Drama Queen’s recess the next morning.

A warm home-cooked bento box for recess – anytime better than sausages, nuggets, fish balls and cold nasi lemak from the school canteen! Have I told you that the food sold at the girls’ canteen REALLY sucks?  I shudder just thinking of them. Poor kids.

 

 

Grilled Aromatic Lemon Grass Chicken Thighs

Here’s another sweat-free dinner I whipped up last night — grilled lemon grass chicken and blanched organic siew bok choy. I love my oven, it’s better than an air-fryer (as it’s huge vs the air-fryer) and I can save so much time by replacing deep-frying and pan-frying with grilling in the oven. And my persnickety girls love anything that’s grilled and crispy.

 

Cheat tip: if you want to impress someone with some sculptured food to decorate your dishes,  try chopping off the stem of the bok choy.  The stem looks exactly like a sculptured rose — so pretty, so green and so therapeutic to the eyes!  But remember to keep the baby that’s hidden in the middle of each bok choy – that’s the tastiest and most tender part of the veggie!  I even fooled my foodie hubs as he thought that I sculptured the flower, ha ha ha!

The boneless chicken thighs were marinated with copious amounts of ground lemon grass powder, coriander seeds powder, garlic salt, pepper, soy sauce, turmeric powder and palm sugar syrup (gula melaka).  I stuff these ingredients underneath the chicken skin and let to rest in the fridge for at least 7 hours.  OCD me always wear  disposable plastic gloves when I need to rub / stuff these ingredients evenly onto every piece of chicken 😀

Cut some fresh lemon grass and stuff them neatly underneath the skin just before grilling in the oven.

Grill for 15 minutes on each side at 180C or until skin turns golden brown.

This grilled lemon grass chicken tastes like chicken sate and it’s way healthier than sate.  Sate (grilled on coals) is not a healthy choice as  burnt meat is carcinogenic (potential to cause cancer). So if you can, stay away from BBQ meats and if you have to indulge in them, trim off the burnt parts.

Happy trying! :)

 

Down With Flu – Super Lutein To The Rescue

I have been down with the sniffles for the past two days (see, month of May is really jinx!), no thanks to the girl who brought back the woeful virus from school and spread it to everyone!

Yesterday I felt so bushed and lackluster that I popped 6 caps of Super Lutein (double my usual dosage) and voila, today I am feeling so much better! Nose not runny and no more sneezing anymore and I could even brisk-walk 5 laps and walked up the stairs to the 5th floor of my unit this morning!

So what’s the best food for someone who is down with a flu?

For dinner yesterday, I was craving for something soupy so I made a big pot of prawn and anchovies soup with a whole head of organic cabbage, tomatoes, fish balls (bought from our day trip to Sekinchan on Sunday) and tofu fish cake, to go with meehoon.  Yes, another 1-pot dish!

The soup is cooked by lightly frying the prawn heads (I used 8 big prawn heads), chopped garlic and 2 handfuls of anchovies with a little oil and let to simmer for an hour.  The aroma of the soup can send you to food heaven, literally!

Tip: For busy mothers, you can prepare a large pot of soup and store them in separate containers in the freezer for future use.  The soup can be used for noodles or you can just add veggies and meat into the soup to make it a one-pot dish on busy nights.


For more reading on Izumio and Super Lutein, please click on the following link:

Izumio Hydrogen Water and Super Lutein

Izumio and Incontinence

 Super Lutein

Day 18 On Izumio For Incontinence

Symptoms of A Body Detox

Day 20 On Izumio Hydrogen Water For Incontinence

IZUMIO – Antioxidant Hydrogen Water

Hydrogen Water Facts

Super Lutein Goodness

Lunch – 5 May 2015

These days, I am back to preparing home-cooked meals twice a day – for lunch and dinner. Everyday, I waste a little time thinking of what to take-away for lunch. I am sick of eating char siew and roast chicken rice and noodles are crap, I mean carbs. Economy rice dishes (chap fan) are too oily (and God knows what oil they use!) and I don’t trust that the vendor washes the vegetables.  So the best is to cook my own meal. On most days, I cook extra for dinner so that I have enough for lunch the next day.  Only Cass comes home to eat lunch.

This was Cass’ lunch yesterday — a fried egg, pan-fried homemade dumplings, cherry tomatoes, blueberries and smoothie of the day (orange + pineapple + apple).

Simple, wholesome and almost sweat-free to dish out — anytime better than outside food :)

 

Mushroom Pasta and Grilled Chicken For Lunch

Lunch for Cass on one of the school days last week…

Mushroom pasta, grilled turmeric and kafir lime leaves chicken drumstick, hardboiled free-range chicken egg and half a cob of sweet corn.  Smoothie of the day and her Izumio hydrogen water.

This Martha Stewart mushroom pasta recipe calls for white wine to prepare the mushroom sauce but I only have red wine at home.  So I substituted white wine with Stone’s ginger wine!  And I did not have enough whipping cream for the sauce, so I used fresh milk and cheese as substitute.  Taste was still robust (I also used lots of garlic) and the girls truly enjoyed their pasta.  Some mushroom pasta recipes include a raw egg on top of the noodles but I’ll definitely skip raw eggs for kids. So I made hard-boiled eggs.

The girls have requested for mushroom pasta for dinner again and I am going to dish this out again on Thursday.  It’s easy peasy to prepare and I like it that I can prepare extra for several meals. This is absolutely the to-cook-meal for busy mothers :)