Tomyam Pork

I created this new dish for dinner yesterday!  Tomyam pork is so easy to cook and so yummy that you would think I am not revealing all the steps and ingredients.  Once you have all the ingredients, this dish is a total child’s play. Even Drama Queen can whip this out on her own.  She did help me in the kitchen – with chopping two big onions.  And after watching how I cooked this dish, I think she can cook this dish on her own in future.

Ingredients:
1.  1 packet of Way tomyam sauce or any tomyam paste. You could even prepare the paste from scratch with raw ingredients if you have the time.
2. 2 big onions, chopped
3. Cooking oil
4. Sugar and salt to taste
5. Ladies fingers, pineapple cubes, long beans, brinjal, potatoes or any veggie of your choice

Directions:
1. Marinate the pork slices with some pepper, salt and corn flour (optional) for a few hours.
2. Brown the chopped onions.
3. Brown the pork slices.
4. Add in the tomyam paste.
5. Saute for a few minutes and add water.
6. Add about 1 teaspoon of brown sugar (optional).
7. Let simmer for about 15 minutes.
8. Add in the vegetables and simmer for another 10 minutes.
9. Dish out and serve with hot rice or blanched vermicelli

I cooked an extra portion for the next day’s lunch (today’s lunch) and blanched some vermicelli to go with the tomyam pork.  Also boiled some hard-boiled eggs to go with the vermicelli.  The girls loved this lip-smacking and piquant dish. The tomyam sauce from Way is just right for us, which is very aromatic and most importantly, not too spicy and is preservative and MSG-free.

Also on the dining table yesterday was grilled Teriyaki saba fish.  We bought the saba fish from Isetan on Saturday.

Directions – grill saba fish with sea salt and pepper – 15 minutes on each side at 160C.  Drizzle some Teriyaki sauce on the flesh side of the fish 10 minutes before it’s done grilling in the oven.

 

Compilation Of Easy & Healthy Home-Cooked Dinner

I realized that I have not cooked Chicken Adobo for 3 years when I referred back to my old blog post for the recipe!  Since it is pretty easy to prep and I have ran out of idea on what to dish out, we had Chicken Adobo early this week.

Chicken Adobo is a popular dish in the Philippine cuisine that involves meat, seafood, or vegetables marinated in vinegar, soy sauce and garlic, which is browned in oil, and simmered in the marinade. The chicken is then grilled briefly in the oven.  I added a handful of bay leaves into the simmer sauce for a more flavorful lift.

Below – braised pork belly with garlic, onions, carrots, potatoes and hard-boiled eggs in soy sauce. This is the Chinese equivalent of stew… my creation 😀

Below – sauteed Shimeiji and Maitake mushrooms with minced garlic and organic shoyu.

Below – sauteed organic cabbage with carrots; grilled sesame chicken drumsticks and boneless chicken thighs marinated with aromatic five-spice powder and garlic powder.

 

On busy or lazy days, grilled chicken is always my ‘trump card’ for this dish always gets the thumbs up from the girls. I could have the chicken marinated in any of the myriad flavors using only robust and healthy herbs and spices and the outcome is always pleasurable for everyone. It is so easy to prep and is a very forgiving dish. It can be a total child’s play too – just get your kids to help with marinating the chicken with whatever seasoning and spices that they like and a few hours later, pop it into the oven. While the oven does its job, you can sit back and relax and check your Facebook updates. I normally hang the fresh laundry while the chicken is grilling in the oven or stir fry the vegetables.

Below – sauteed spinach with minced garlic; braised soft baby pork ribs with homemade preserved sour plum (an aunt from Taiwan made this for us), organic miso, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, onions and sour plum sauce.  Braised for 1.5 hours in high flame and I had a very delightful and succulent almost fall-off the bone ribs, which the kids noshed down in a jiffy.

Below – sweet and peppery soft pork slices. Pork slices were marinated for several hours with white pepper, garlic powder, organic brown sugar, corn flour and soy sauce. Pan fry the pork slices until they turn golden brown, then add water and 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce and simmer until sauce thickens and reduces to your desired consistency. This will pair well with rice and vermicelli.

I cooked enough to give some to the girls’ grandaunt and kept some for  next day’s lunch, which I ate with some blanched vermicelli.

 

These are the dishes that busy working mums or dads can prep in under 1.5 hours.  Oil splatter is minimal too.

Lately I have been trying out new dishes and I have been very pleased with the outcome. I cooked Mee Siam (Tomyam noodles) for the first time two days ago and it was a success. Even the persnickety and critical foodie hubs gave his seal of approval. I shall write a new blog post on my Mee Siam next. Stay tuned…

Kids Friendly Avocado Mushroom Pasta

It’s been a while since I last cooked mushroom pasta.  I am not a fan at all of anything creamy with milk / whipped cream cooked into a savoury dish. So is the big girl.  Only Drama Queen likes creamy pastas, especially Carbonara.

This time, I decided to be a tad adventurous and added avocado into the pasta sauce. And we all fell in love.  I just love the pretty hue of pastel green from the avocado and pistachios in the sauce.

Our very green and healthy dinner, bursting with phytochemicals…

I used 2 whole avocados. Thankfully the avos were perfect with no dreaded bruise inside.  Don’t you just LOVE the beautiful green and yellow color of the avocado? I love it!!

Pulse the avocado, a handful of pistachios with about half cup of fresh milk for a few seconds. I prefer a little texture from the pistachio nuts, thus I didn’t pulse till smooth.

 

Add the avocado pistachio puree to the pasta just before serving. Or you can add it to the pasta sauce in the pot to heat it up a little if you prefer warm.

Directions for pasta sauce:
1. Saute chopped garlic and onions
2. Add chicken breast (optional). I omitted meat as we have had quite a bit of meat already over lunch.
3. Add in fresh Portobello mushrooms. I used 2 punnets.
4. When the mushrooms have withered and browned, add whipping cream and cheese. I also added some julienned carrots.
5. Add cracked black pepper and salt to taste.
6. You can add chicken broth too if you have some on hand. I didn’t.
7. Pour the sauce onto the cooked pasta and mix well.
8. Pour avocado + pistachio puree over and serve while still hot.

Vegetables of the day was stir-fried organic French beans with Daylily bulbs, julienned carrots, garlic and onions.

 

 

Final Exams Are Over!

FINALLY the day that all the exams for year 2016 are over and done with is here today. For all 3 girls. Can you feel my relief? Can you? 😀 😀

If you are a parent with school-going kids, I am sure you’ll feel me deeply.

I have not planned out what to do with the girls yet as they still have 1 more month of school to attend before the 1-month school holiday starts. But tomorrow we will be attending a food and fun fair at our church. The girls have been looking forward to attend this fun fair for months.

For me, I have nothing much to look forward to except to catch up on my sleep this weekend.  And it is just about the right time for me to do my yearly medical screening again.  Much as I hate going to the hospital to have blood works (hate the fasting!) and scans done, these can be life-saving.  Don’t scrimp on medical screenings and investing in some good supplements. These are the little things which may seem insignificant to you now and  you may not see the immediate benefits yet. Or you may say that you do not have the budget for them. Not  until  you are dealt with a  shocking diagnosis by which time regretting is the one thing that will corrode you. I wish this will never happen to anyone. I have a customer whose mother skipped just 1 year of not having a medical screening done.  The following year when she went for her medical screening, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had less than a year to live.  She was only in her early sixties.

Have a good and relaxing weekend world! 🙂

Yesterday’s dinner…

Sauteed okra with organic ‘milk white’ vegetable (lai park), big onions, tomatoes, shredded kafir lime leaves and Baba’s rendang curry powder.  The ‘milk white’ veggie is added into this dish coz some fussy pot hates okra.  This kid literally pukes each time I force okra down her throat, I kid you not!

Baked garoupa fish breaded with wholewheat bread crumbs.  If you have kids who dislike eating fish, try baking breaded fish. The bread crumbs lend a very crispy texture and aroma to the fish. My kids who are not great fans of the fish love fish cooked in this style.

Exercise And Eating Clean

Before I share what I cooked again, I’d like to share with you some of my many accounts in my Journey To Fitness.  Just in case my posts on food and nothing-to-shout-about dishes bore you to brink of death 😀

All food and no exercise spells trouble for your body and I kid you not. Exercise is good for your heart, mind, body and soul.  You may not feel the difference now if you are still in your 20s or 30s. But once you have hit forty and lead a sedentary lifestyle, you’d most likely begin to notice the differences in your body.

People who do regular activity have a lower risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some cancers. Research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress,depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Given the overwhelming evidence, it seems obvious that we should all be physically active. It’s essential if you want to live a healthy and fulfilling life into old age.  I want to be able to still run around and travel the world even when I am 84 years old or 90 years old.  There’s this 84-year old grandmother at my condo who is fitter than I!  She wakes up at 5am everyday and works out for several hours at the pool area, practising her sword and fan tai chi movements, brisk walking  and does body stretching. She then sits at the gazebo  by the pool and chats with her peers until 10ish am each day. She gives me so much inspiration whenever I chat up with her or simply just by looking at how spirited and sprightly she works out each day, with so much energy bursting in her.

At the same pool area too each morning is a 78 year old grandma who moved in 2 months ago.  She walks with the support of a walking stick and an Indon helper.  She looks like she is into her 90s.  When I chatted up with her, I found out that both her kidneys were removed. She can only eat plain vegetables and nothing else as she is not undergoing dialysis. She is currently consuming Chinese medication.

So the conclusion is eat well, eat clean and exercise regularly and you could be like the 84-year old healthy grandma.  Put crap into your body and you will suffer in your later years. No joke. Love your body for you only have one.

 It’s medically proven that people who do regular physical activity have:
  • up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
  • up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes
  • up to a 50% lower risk of colon cancer
  • up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer
  • a 30% lower risk of early death
  • up to an 83% lower risk of osteoarthritis
  • up to a 68% lower risk of hip fracture
  • a 30% lower risk of falls (among older adults)
  • up to a 30% lower risk of depression
  • up to a 30% lower risk of dementia

If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented!

This weather this morning was one of gloomy, breezy, chilly and a dark sky with a looming thunderstorm.  I wasn’t in the mood to swim in such compromising weather but with a determination as strong as steel, I went ahead.  The moment I went into the water, my body froze. The key to combat the chilly water and strong wind is to quickly dip your body inside the water and start swimming immediately, as fast as you possibly can, to generate heat in your body.  My body would normally be warmed up within 5 laps of swim on a cool morning but today, it took me over 13 laps to finally feel warmth. It didn’t help that it was extra windy today. *shiver!!*

I was the only person swimming this morning, which makes the pool looks oddly gigantic and creepy. Have you ever tried swimming alone at 6:30 in the morning under the threatening dark skies with no one else in the pool except you? Add the strong howling winds and chilly water and you’ll feel like you are in one of the scenes from Nightmare On Elm Street.  This morning, I felt and saw the currents of the pool water each time the strong wind blew and howled.   I soldiered on and after 30 minutes, I managed to complete 28 laps continuously, complete with body stretches and aqua cycling. It poured just after I completed my 28 laps.

It is hard to explain to you the awesome feelings one gets after exercising. If you haven’t started on an exercise regimen yet, why not try it today?  Yes today! It can be as simple as climbing up and down the stairs in your house or walk up the stairs to your unit if you live in a condo.  I used to jog outside the house at 5am with a baton in my hand and another round of running at 7pm when I returned from work.  Rain or shine, I would exercise, even if it meant running whilst holding an umbrella. I was and still am that determined and no one can break my will power.

Getting regular exercise aside, eating clean is just as important. Whether you are a carb-cutter, carb-loader, paleo warrior, or intermittent faster, your golden rule of clean eating should be to include as much fresh produce in your daily diet as possible.

Ok, enough said and I am stepping down from the soap box 😀

Here’s one of my home-cooked dinners last week  – baked Halibut steak from Greenland.  It was the first time hubs bought this fish and the meat was very smooth and creamy.

I baked the fish in two different styles – two pieces were lightly seasoned with sea salt and black pepper and another piece coated with wholemeal bread crumbs.

Verdict – the breaded one won.  And my conclusion is to bread the fish each time I bake fish in future.

Baked Portobello mushrooms with garlic.

Stir-fried organic cabbage with shredded carrot, garlic, onions and eggs.

 

I got a thumbs up from my most persnickety and critical daughter over dinner that night 😀

 

Monday Dinner – 10 Oct 2016

Dishes on Mondays are normally kept simple and sweat-free. I keep them simple as I know I will most likely be bogged down with work after the weekend and Monday Blues.

Today’s dinner consists of grilled chicken and grilled salmon head.

I cranked up the oven and in went the 2 trays of meat. While I let the oven do its job, I sauteed the veggie.  Once the chicken and fish head were ready, I popped in another tray consisting of strip almonds. Almonds and seeds are my go-to snacks to quell hunger pangs.

Salmon head was seasoned with a few pinches of sea salt and ground black pepper…

 

Grilled chicken thighs were seasoned with 5-spice powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, black pepper, shoyu and at the last 15 minutes in the oven, drizzled with organic honey.

Note : honey / soy sauce or any sauces containing sugar should only be basted on the meat towards the last 15-20 minutes in the oven, otherwise the meat tends to get burnt easily. Burnt meat is carcinogenic.

 

Sauteed organic pea sprouts with garlic.

 

Our Sunday – 9 Oct 2016

Today is the eve of the big princess’ final exam whereas next Sunday will be Drama Queen and Cass’ turn. The heat of the exam fever is burning in the house!

Hubs was still in Ipoh for a gathering with his former classmates, leaving just us girls at home on a Sunday. Just before we left the house, Alycia told me that she’d prefer to stay home to do revision… last minute one that is, which is just so typical of my cool as cucumber eldest, who is on the brink of teenage-hood.  In less than 2 months, she’ll be officially a teenager. I can’t believe I am a mother to a soon-to-be teenager!! Boy, I feel old!

After I sent my car for a wash, we had brekkie at the Indian restaurant.

Nasi lemak is for Drama Queen, who can really stomach sizzling hot food.

My favorite tosai rawa was not available today so I settle for tosai telur. Check out someone with an impatient hand pinching on my tosai coz she said she was so hungry she was going to die!

Roti telur for Cass.

And murtabak ayam (which was seriously delish!) takeout for the big princess.

For dinner, the big princess said she wanted to stay home to revise. So I cleared the fridge and freezer and cooked these:

Meat-less fried rice with lots and lots of garlic, big onions, grated sweet potato, kafir lime leaves, coriander leaves, sweet corn kernel, baby peas, shoyu and pepper.

Pork bolognese penne pasta (cooked last week) reheated. And sauteed organic lettuce with garlic.

The coming week will be a stressful week for the big princess.  I feel stressed out looking at what she has to study.  Her Cambridge Math in English is stressing me out big time. I know it is stressing her out too as she has been asking me very frequently for help. Sometimes I am unable to help her coz I never studied what she is studying now during my time and we studied our Matematik in BM.  Good thing is, the big girl seems to be taking it with a pinch of salt.  The 3 girls have inherited their daddy’s happy go lucky attitude.  Next year, the hubs will feel the stress as Alycia’s high school will be increasing the fees.

If you know of anyone who can come to our place to provide private tutelage to Alycia in Cambridge Math in English, please do send me an email at shireenyong@gmail.com.

 

Curry Minced Pork And Baked Garoupa With Wholemeal Bread Crumbs

Here’s the home-cooked dinner dished out with lotsa love from me for the girls yesterday 🙂

Kids-friendly curry minced pork with potatoes, tomatoes, coriander, onions and lots of curry leaves and kafir lime leaves.  It is kids-friendly as the spiciness level is very mild. And it is free from bones. Pork used is Berkcious pork, free from antibiotics and growth hormones.

Drama Queen helped to cook the rice and saute the vegetables with garlic.  She threw in a handful of curry leaves (from the pot of curry leaves plant in our balcony) into the rice for added aroma.

Baked garoupa fish cutlets breaded with wholemeal bread.  This is the first time I breaded fish for baking and it turned out stunningly delish and CRISPY!  The aromatic toasted bread crumbs paired really well with the fish. It tastes like deep fried fish and chips from some glitzy cafes 🙂

 

Ingredients For Curry Minced Pork

  1. Minced Pork
  2. Tomatoes, cubed – I used 2 medium sized tomatoes
  3. Onions – I used 2 large onions
  4. Big handful of coriander leaves
  5. Big handful of kafir lime leaves
  6. Big handful of curry leaves
  7. Potatoes, cubed – I used 2 large ones
  8. Santan or fresh milk. I used about 1/4 cup of fresh milk, just to thicken up the sauce.
  9. Mak Nyonya Chicken Curry Paste – I used about 4-5 tablespoons.  You can add more if you prefer it to be spicier. This dish is tailored to suit Cass who cannot take foods that are too spicy as spicy food will irritate her bladder.

MAK NYONYA-Chicken Curry Sauce

Optional items – stalks of serai (lemon grass), star anise, galangal, etc.

Directions For Curry Minced Pork With Potatoes 

  1. Brown the onions with the minced pork. When the pork turns brown and dried up, add in the curry paste.
  2. Add in the tomatoes, potatoes and all the leaves.
  3. Add water and let simmer until the potatoes soften.
  4. Season with sea salt.
  5. Add in the fresh milk or santan
  6. Plate up and decorate with coriander leaves

Ingredients For Baked Garoupa Cutlets

  1. Garoupa fish cutlets.
  2. 2 slices wholemeal bread. When you have leftover bread in the fridge, do not discard them. Freeze them for breadcrumbs to bread your meat!
  3. Coriander powder
  4. Turmeric powder
  5. Seasalt
  6. Cooking oil

Directions For Baked Garoupa Cutlets

  1. Marinate fish with coriander powder, turmeric powder and cooking oil.
  2. Sprinkle some salt on the fish
  3. Whizz the wholemeal bread slices in the blender until crumbly.
  4. Coat the fish cutlets on both sides with the bread crumbs. Press the bread crumbs tightly onto the fish so that they stick to the fish.
  5. Bake at 150C for 15 minutes on each side. Be sure to check from time to time to ensure that the crumbs do not get burnt.

Below – Drama Queen saved a portion of the curry minced pork and curry leaves rice for her to Bento box it to school the next day.

 

Today’s lunch was cheat Coney Dog, using the leftover curry minced pork + potato on wholemeal hotdog buns. YUMS!!!

 

 

Busy Busy Monday – 26 Sept 2016

Yesterday I have been SO BUSY that I forgot I was over exhausted!

The past one week has been really really hectic for me. Applications for purchase of Izumio and Super Lutein have been high as the promotion for 1 free product ends on 30 Sept 2016 and many people are submitting their applications at the eleventh hour. My online store business has been pretty busy too.

I haven’t been getting sufficient sleep since a week ago. After the week-long school holiday, I have been having a hard time waking up at 4:45 a.m. again. With barely 5 hours of sleep each day, I am a mummified mummy with puffy eye bags and dark rings round my eyes 🙁

Yesterday morning, I woke up with a slight throb on my head due to lack of sleep. I told myself that I would just skip exercise for the day and instead hop back onto bed after sending the girls off to their transporters. But the determined fitness freak inside me screamed out to me to just get onto the walking tracks. And so I did, for half an hour. But as I walked, I could feel my heavy eyes drooping. I was dozing off on the walking tracks, in the pre-dawn darkness. Have you ever felt so frazzled and sleep deprived that you actually dozed off while walking or driving? I had many times. I know it is dang dangerous to snooze off for even a few seconds while driving. I did not even have the energy to run and I soldiered on for half an hour of brisk walking yesterday and this morning.

Back home, I just wanted to plonk my weary body onto the bed. But I downed a packet of Izumio hydrogen water. And what do I know? After my shower, I worked in front of my computer until 6pm! Non-stop, except for leaving my desk to prepare lunch for Cass and for toilet breaks. I was so busy that I had totally forgotten that my body was exhausted. I even skipped my usual daily 20-minute power nap. In the evening, I downed another packet of Izumio. I really needed extra packets of Izumio yesterday to give me the energy as I was totally zonked out. Izumio really rocks!! How can I ever function without my most trusted Izumio? My life as a work-from-home-mum is REALLY TOUGH and hectic. I find that it’s way more stressful that having a full-time job at the office. And I CANNOT afford to fall sick. Thankfully I have my Izumio to keep me mentally and physically strong.

Breakfast yesterday was something light and plain which I could eat whilst seated working in front of the computer and filling out forms simultaneously.  Yup, mothers are really good in multi-tasking 😀

Today I am feeling a tad lightheaded from having my eyes glued to the computer screen on top of filling out so many forms for the past 2 days, with no break to rest.

Yesterday’s breakkie – Vanilla cocoa hazelnut granola with organic multi puffs (puffed buckwheat, sorghum and brown rice), organic sunflower seeds crackers and dried cranberries. I didn’t have the appetite to eat anything more than this.

 

Yesterday’s dinner was  pork chop loin with onion sauce and  blanched veggie. Cooking was done pretty late again. Thank God for Drama Queen who helped me to cook the rice, wash the vegetables and fry the onions sauce when she got  home from school at 4pm.

Today is yet another super busy day and I still haven’t got the chance to take my power nap to recharge my batteries coz I’ll have to leave the house in a bit to get some errands done. I’ve already delayed doing them for days and I can’t procrastinate anymore.

 

Breakfast And Lunch On A Busy Wednesday – 21 Sept 2016

Today has been a very, very hectic day. It doesn’t help that my Aunt Flow is visiting. And she’s been really bothersome today with a heavy flow. Another thing that’s bothering me is this big zit right smack in the middle of my right cheek!! And it looks SO prominent on my pale colored skin. Dang the PMS hormones! Today the zit has shrunk a little after I applied Izumio on it, along with Melaleuca oil. Yesterday it was sorely sitting on my cheek screaming out to everyone for attention! For someone who hardly gets zits, the sight of it on my cheek is really disturbing.  Did I also tell you that Izumio works very well with controlling  period pain? Just a packet yesterday along with a massage on my abdomen with peppermint essential oil and the nagging cramp in my uterus slowly dissipated.

Since I felt a tad bloated and lacking in appetite this morning, I ate something really light – a piece of organic buckwheat seaweed cracker…

 

 

Also had a small bowl of buckwheat puffs with toasted almond slices, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.

Lunch was wat tarn meehoon with squid + minced pork + Chinese cabbage  + yau mark veggie + egg sauce.  The sauce was cooked last night, for dinner with organic pumpkin yee mee.  Today, I blanched some meehoon and yau mark veggie and that’s lunch for Cass and me.