Organic Yee Mein

Leave a comment

My girls are so in love with yee mein.   Yee Mein is a kind of noodles made from wheat flour and eggs and deep fried. One of the ingredients in it is ASH. And I have no freaking idea what ash is but it sure does not sound too healthy to be eating ash.  Also, I am dubious on the kind of oil the manufacturers used to deep fry the noodles. Imagine RM3.50 for a packet of about 6 noodles, that’s a steal. Now, can things that cheap and mass-produced be healthy? I don’t think so. Much as my girls love to eat yee mein, I try to limit their consumption of this noodles.

I was so excited when I saw organic yee mein sold at an organic shop at my neighborhood.  I bought a packet and cooked it for dinner several nights ago.

 photo organicyeemee10Apr2014_zps1e2ae556.jpg

The noodles were blanched for less than a minute in a pot of hot water, to ‘cleanse’ it first before eating.   We personally prefer to eat the noodles as it is, without blanching it.  We love the super crispy texture of the noodles but I feel that it is healthier to blanch the noodles in hot water before serving them to young kids. Abuden, this has to come from a health freak mommy :D

I whipped up some minced pork sauce with Shimeji mushrooms and meat balls for the noodles and made an extra portion of the pork sauce to be cooked with our tofu dish the next day :)

 

 

 

 

  (Views counter installed wef 20 Nov 2013. No. of times viewed = 27)

Mushroom, Sweet Corn & Chicken Pasta

6 Thoughts

This was our dinner last night…

Fresh portobello mushroom pasta with chicken fillet, fresh sweet corn kernels, garlic and whipping cream topped with cheddar cheese.   I used a mixture of ribbon and spiral pasta to make the dish look more interesting. After all, it was  a kiddo dish. Shapes, sweet corn, cream and cheese, these are things most kids will heart and yes, my kids heart this pasta dish with all their heart. Every single pasta was walloped and every drop of cheesy and creamy sauce was licked clean :D

mushroom sweetcorn pasta 1

 

There was also a stir-fried organic baby pea sprouts with garlic.  Looks yummeh ya?  It sure was super yummeh. I kept a portion for lunch today. I should have cooked more and keep some in the freezer, to be reheated on days when we don’t get our water supply.  Yes, our area is finally hit by the water rationing despite it raining almost everyday for the past few days! WTF!

mushroom sweetcorn pasta 3

 

  (Views counter installed wef 20 Nov 2013. No. of times viewed = 313)

Yummy Rice Cooker Chicken Rice

8 Thoughts

Two days after Maid M resumed working for me, the lump in her neck began to nag her with pain again. Today, she sent me a text message informing me that she has to stop work and that she will only resume work again after her surgery. The last time she took a break from working part-time for me, she took a half-year break. Thankfully at that time, I found another wonderful part-time maid, but she never came back to me after she went back to Indonesia for her holiday. This time round, I guess I will be left with an even more cruel fate. I can sense that my back-up part-time maid does not wish to continue working. But I am not about to panic just yet. When life throws lemons at you, catch them to make lemonade!

So what if I am maidless?  I can cook 3-4 times a week and  eat out on the rest of the days.  Hubster who is super anal about how his clothes are ironed will have to send his clothes to the laundrette for professional ironing. He has no problem with this.  The rest of the chores, I will find a way to settle them myself with the help of the girls, whether they like it or not. When there is a domestic crisis, everyone has to pull together and pitch in.

So yesterday, I dished up something really easy-peasy yet yummy to the max! It was my first time cooking chicken rice in a rice cooker and it turned out so well! I could not believe how something so easy and fast to prepare could taste so good. My girls were pouring out praises on the chicken rice, which tasted better than Nam Heong chicken rice ^^

In the morning, I marinated the chicken with some sea salt, ginger wine, sesame oil and garlic + onion oil.

Put uncooked rice in rice pot and add water like you would to cook rice.  There is no need to increase or decrease the water.  Then, add in the marinated chicken into the rice pot.  Add in more fried garlic and onion together with the oil.  The fried garlic and onion oil will impart flavor and an oily texture to the rice, just like those oily rice from chicken rice stalls.

Rice pot chicken rice 1

This is how the chicken rice looks like in the pot after it’s cooked.

Rice pot chicken rice 2

 

Dish it out and serve with cool cucumbers and a veggie of your choice.  We had stir-fried cabbage.

I used low GI Basmati rice to cook this chicken rice, so that I could chomp some down without the fat guilt :D

Rice pot chicken rice 3

 

The unfinished portion was kept in a glass lock and lock container to be frozen and reheated for lunch next week.

Rice pot chicken rice 4

This one-pot meal is so going to be repeated in days and weeks to come until the MIL returns.  I am so glad I finally tried out this dish after procrastinating for months since last year.

 

 

 

  (Views counter installed wef 20 Nov 2013. No. of times viewed = 556)

Meal In A Jiffy – Braised Chicken Thigh

Leave a comment

The first new dish that I cooked for 2014 is my own version of ‘loh kai pei’ (braised chicken thighs).  This is SO easy to prepare and the taste was top notch, according to my monsters :)

Here’s what I used, based on what I could find in my fridge.  The chicken need not be marinated.

INGREDIENTS (for 4 whole chicken thighs) :

1) Soy sauce.

2) 1 whole bulb of garlic

3)  Star Anise and some tiny dried twigs. I found this in a bottle that my MIL kept the Star Anise. I used about 4-5 tablespoons

4) About 1-2 tablespoons of oyster sauce

5) About 1-2 teaspoons of dark soy sauce

6) About 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (you can omit this if you do not like a tinge of sour and tarty taste)

7) Agave nectar – about 1/4 cup

8) Brown sugar – about 1 tablespoon

9) Filtered water

10) Black pepper – ground and unground

11) White pepper

12) About 1/2 cup of ginger wine.  I remember my MIL uses rose wine but I could not find it, thus I replaced it with ginger wine.

 

Loh Kai 7 Jan 2014

 

METHOD:

I did not use any measurement cup or spoon – as usual, everything was done in a rush as I had to get this dish done before I went out to fetch Alycia and Sherilyn back from the tuition centre.  Preparation time, including washing chicken and peeling garlic is about 40 minutes.  About half-way through simmering the chicken, I tasted the sauce. You can adjust the taste to your liking by adding more of whatever sauces or spices that you fancy or add water if it is a tad salty.  My sauce is mild in saltiness and sweetness – just right for kiddos :)

Add all the sauces into the pot of water, which was enough to cover the 4 chicken thighs.  When it boils, add in the chicken thighs.

Let the sauces simmer with the chicken thighs in high flame for about 20 minutes, then lower flame to medium and let it simmer for another 10 minutes.

While the chicken are simmering in the pot, I quickly did some work on the computer while enjoying the aromatic smell of 5 Star Anise and garlic mixed with soy sauce wafting in the house, which made my tummy growl :D

After 30 minutes, I turned off the flame and went out to fetch Alycia and Sherilyn back from the tuition centre.

Remember the Chicken Adobo that I cooked the other day? My girls loved that to bits.  I asked them which they liked more – Chicken Adobo or mummy’s braised chicken and the answer was “BOTH also nice” and then they voted Mummy’s Braised Chicken first and Chicken Adobo second :D

I have kept the remaining sauce in a pot in the fridge and am going to make another round of Mummy’s Braised Chicken on Friday. This dish is just perfect for busy days :)

 

 

  (Views counter installed wef 20 Nov 2013. No. of times viewed = 1314)

Bak Kut Teh For Dinner

Leave a comment

Bak Kut Teh is one of the easiest and fastest one-pot meal to dish up for your family. When I am feeling a tad lazy to cook dinner, I will prepare Bak Kut Teh. I will throw in some hard boiled eggs, fresh Enoki mushrooms, dried Shitake mushrooms, garlic, fried soy bean sheet (foo choke) and Chinese cabbage into the pot.

This is our Bak Kut Teh dinner on 3 Dec, 2013, served alongside chilled organic tofu with dried meat floss, soba sauce and spring onions.

Bak kut teh 2

 

My pot of Bak Kut Teh is cooked with reduced soy sauce, reduced salt, reduced dark soy sauce and of course MSG-free and does not cause an aftermath of insatiable thirst.  I do love Bak Kut Teh sold outside, especially the very tasty and salty broth but I hate the aftermath of having to gulp down cups of water.

This big pot of Bak Kut Teh was enough for my brood of 3 and me for dinner and lunch the next day.

Bak kut teh 1

 

  (Views counter installed wef 20 Nov 2013. No. of times viewed = 655)

Oven Grilled Pork Chop

2 Thoughts

Here is another sweat-free and oil splatter-free delish meat dish that I prepared for dinner yesterday.  I never knew that my oven can do so much to help me with cooking so many mess-free delish meals for my kids.

My oven-grilled pork chop tasted very much like ‘char siew’ as I added agave nectar which made the meat sweet.
Pork chop2

I had wanted to keep 2 pieces for the girls’ lunch today but the girls walloped everything from the plate! Yep, it was that tasty :D

So I guess I will have to think of something else for the girls’ lunch today!

 

  (Views counter installed wef 20 Nov 2013. No. of times viewed = 1209)

Chicken Adobo And Homemade Mashed Potato

4 Thoughts

I made Chicken Adobo and mashed potatoes (at the request of the girls) for dinner tonight.

It was my first time cooking Chicken Adobo, which is a Filipino dish. I saw this recipe in Nami’s Just One Cookbook the other night and since I had all the ingredients plus it was super easy to cook plus I love Apple Cider Vinegar, I emailed the recipe to my own inbox so that I will remember to cook it tonight!  Nami is my favorite Japanese recipe blogger. She is a Japanese American and she writes fantastic Japanese recipes with detailed step-by-step instructions and photos.

I adapted Nami’s recipe by reducing the soy sauce and apple cider vinegar and I added Agave Nectar, to suit my kids’ taste buds.

chick adobo 1
Ingredients:
4 chicken thighs with bone and skin. I used 3 boneless thighs with skin and one thigh with bone and skin. That was all I had in my freezer today.

SAUCE:
200ml soy sauce
1.5 cups water
200ml apple cider vinegar – I use Bragg’s and have been drinking this for over a decade
1 bulb of garlic, sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
About 1/4 cup of Agave Nectar

 

Instructions:
Rinse the chicken with water and pat dry with paper towel. Combine all the ingredients for Sauce in a large pot (I used my free pot from Melaleuca). Make sure the pot is big enough so the chicken will not overlap each other.

Bring the sauce to a boil on medium high heat.

Add the chicken and reduce the heat to medium low. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.

Flip the chicken once half way through.

In her recipe, Nami used the broiler to grill the chicken. As our broiler is at hubs’ shop, I used the oven.

Heat up oven and transfer the chicken into the oven. I placed the chicken on an oven tray lined with aluminum foil. I used a kitchen paper and dabbed some oil on it and rubbed it on the aluminum foil, so that the chicken will not stick to the foil.

Grill the chicken for 3-4 minutes on each side. Keep an eye on the chicken so it does not burn.

Meanwhile turn up the stove to high and reduce the sauce until it thickens (Be careful not to burn) – I skipped this step. Read below why I skipped it.

Serve the chicken on a plate and keep the extra sauce in a small bowl. Brush/pour the sauce right before you serve.

I kept the cooled down sauce in a pot and kept it in the fridge. With the left-over sauce, I am going to make another round of Chicken Adobo next week as the kids LOVED this AMAZING dish!

The chicken thighs sizzling in the pot of soy sauce, apple cider vinegar and garlic slices.  The aroma from the pot was HEAVENLY!  The kids just couldn’t help running into the kitchen to inhale the aroma and to check out the chicken.

chick adobo 1- in pot

Here they are, enjoying their delish Filipino Chicken Adobo with homemade mashed potato.  Cass and Alycia helped to make the mashed potato.  My mashed potato is  another appetizer that is very easy to prepare.  All you need are potatoes, fresh milk, pepper and salt.  Mash up the potatoes, mix everything together and enjoy!

chick adobo 2

Here is another very easy to prepare dish – free from oil splatter and using just a few ingredients.  You can make more sauce and store it in the refrigerator so that you can  easily prepare this dish again  on days when you are running busy. Happy trying! :)

 

  (Views counter installed wef 20 Nov 2013. No. of times viewed = 1698)

Grilled Agave Nectar Soy Sauce Chicken Drummets

10 Thoughts

This is another super easy to whip up dish that is really lip-smacking, which I’ll bet kids and adults will love – grilled honey soy sauce chicken drummets.  In my case, I replaced honey with agave nectar.  Agave nectar is a healthier alternative to sugar and honey. It has lower calories, lower GI and has medicinal properties.  I use agave nectar in my cooking and even use it as a bread spread or pancake dip.  It tastes like maltose and maple syrup.

 

honey agave soy chick

 

All you need are:

1) Chicken drummets – I only had 7 in the freezer, thus this recipe is for 7 mini drummets
2) 1/4 cup honey or agave nectar
3) 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce.  I only use about 2 tablespoons as this is meant to be a kids’ dish.
4) About 2-3 teaspoons of pepper. I girls love the taste of pepper, so I used more.
5) Sliced garlic (optional)

Method:
After washing the chicken drummets, pat dry with kitchen towel.
Pour honey or agave nectar, soy sauce and pepper onto chicken drummets and mix well. You can keep the chicken drummets in a ziplock bag in the fridge. I did not use a ziplock bag but marinated the drummets in a stainless steel mixing bowl.
Place marinated drummets in fridge for a few hours or even overnight.
Place drummets on a tray lined with baking paper or aluminum foil. The part with thicker skin should face up so that it gets a nice grilled/brown color.
Pre-heat oven at 160 degrees Celsius and grill for 20 minutes or until the drummets skin turn into a nice golden color with a little tinge of burnt on the skin.
If you wish to have garlic, toss in the garlic on top of the drummets about 10 minutes before you turn off the heat.

The drummets tasted exactly like barbequed chicken and my girls gave me a 10/10 rating and A++ for this super-easy and sweat-free dish!   They are already bugging me to cook this dish again and I’ll have to get to the supermarket to get a few punnets of drummets. This time, I’ll make double or triple recipe :D

 

 

  (Views counter installed wef 20 Nov 2013. No. of times viewed = 2076)

Homemade Japanese Potato Salad

2 Thoughts

The girls had been bugging me to make Japanese potato salad since months ago. I had been putting it off until their exams were over. Actually it ain’t  very difficult or very messy  to make potato salad. It is just time consuming since there are lots of peeling, cutting, boiling, mashing and mixing involved. Thankfully I have an earnest helper who volunteered to help me out :)

 photo potatosalad2_zps9c606858.jpg

The ingredients needed are:
3 hard boiled eggs
7-8 small red onions cut thinly
5 huge potatoes – boiled and mashed. You may want to leave some unmashed for texture
1 carrot – chopped into small pieces, placed in a bowl with a little water and placed in the microwave oven for about 1 minute to half cook them. You can have it raw but I prefer to half cook it so that my fussy eaters will not complain of hardness.
Japanese mayonaise to taste
Sea salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
1 or 2 cucumbers, cut into small pieces.

 photo potatosalad1_zps2da8859d.jpg

 

Mix all the ingredients in a big bowl. I divided the ingredients into 2 bowls to better manage the mixing part.  1 bowl was for immediate consumption and the other bowl wrapped in cling wrap and placed in the fridge for consumption the next day.
 photo potatosalad3_zps3889905f.jpg

I also grilled 2 slices of salmon fish with lots of chopped garlic, seasoned with pepper, Lea & Perrin sauce, dried Italian herbs and sea salt.

This potato salad goes well with crackers or even bread, if you are not in the mood to eat rice.   While it is very yummy and can be very addictive, it ain’t the ideal meal for weight watchers and diabetics as potatoes are very high in carbs.  I tried really hard to stop myself from taking the 2nd and 3rd helping but what the heck, a moment of neglect does not mean a lifetime of regret if this is not taken daily.  My dinner these days are really light, consisting of lots of veggie, soup and a quarter fistful amount of meat. I cook for the kids, not for myself actually.

The girls enjoyed their dinner tremendously and begged me to prepare both dishes again!  YUMS!!

 photo potatosalad4_zps71deea1e.jpg
  (Views counter installed wef 20 Nov 2013. No. of times viewed = 552)

Oven-Grilled Onion Chicken Chop

4 Thoughts

Here’s another oven-grilled meat dish that I whipped up for the girls. My most critical and persnickety daughter said “mummy, I’ll give you an A+++ for this dish!” That sure was a very motivational remark to make me dish up more delish oven-grilled meat dish for them :D

Picture below shows the chicken before the 25-minute grill in the oven.

 photo chickchopb4grill_zpsb9e30311.jpg

The big onions over the meat effused such natural sweetness to the meat that for a moment, we all thought that the meat was honey glazed.  I did not marinate the chicken with any sugar or honey.  The boneless chicken meat was marinated with Lea & Perrin sauce, oil, black pepper and mixed herbs.  I also tossed in lots of chopped garlic over the meat before grilling.  Because of the juice from the chicken which gave moisture, the garlic and big onions were not burnt at all.

The oven-grilled onion chicken, which tasted very much like barbequed chicken, super yummy!
 photo chickchop7nov_zpsd4f43ec8.jpg
And there was also a stir-fried veggie dish with fish paste and meat balls, naturally seasoned with lots of chopped garlic and onions – my 2 favorite natural flavor enhancer.
 photo chickchop7-2_zpscadc66c1.jpg
  (Views counter installed wef 20 Nov 2013. No. of times viewed = 1271)