This months recipe redux
theme is all about the May 'Brunch Season'. If you really want to impress your brunch guests, why not take them to the tropics? These two layered tropical smoothie shooters are not only easy on the eyes, they also taste like a little sip of the sun!
Recipe (Makes 6 shots) Mango smoothie:
Kiwi-Avocado lime smoothie:
- 1/2 cup of frozen mango or 1 cup fresh mango
- 2/3 cup low fat milk
- 1 avocado
- 2 kiwis
- 1 tsp of lime juice
- 1/4 cup low fat coconut milk or almond milk
- 1 tbsp honey
- 4 ice cubes
1. First make the mango smoothie by putting all of the ingredients in a blender and set aside the smoothie in a jug with an easy to pour spout!
2. Rinse the blender.
3. Place all of the ingredients for the kiwi-avocado lime smoothie in the blender and blend until smooth.
4. Pour the ingredients in shot glasses. Mix and match the smoothie layers! Enjoy!
You will feel like you are laying on the beach underneath the warm sun after sipping on this smoothie. I am personally not the biggest smoothie fan because I find they can be overwhelmingly sweet. What I love about this recipe, is the ability for the neutral balance of avocado to calm the candied taste of a ripe mango. The coconut milk soothes over any tart taste from the kiwi.
Overall Recipe Rating: 4/5 Kiwis
Looking for more amazing brunch recipes? Check out the healthy creations from my fellow bloggers below:
Minestrone soup is my favourite soup of all time. I love the chunky variety of vegetables and the tomato based broth. Every time I feel a cold coming on, I make a big batch of minestrone soup because I know it offers of a variety of nutrients.
Unlike many minestrone soups which have a thick tomato based broth, this recipe had a broth that tasted less like tomatoes and more like a blend of vegetables. It was like a watered down version minestrone, but it still had the same great flavour. Simply, nourishing. The vegetables were still firm after being cooked for 35 minutes, so if you prefer yours on the soft, keep them on for another ten minutes. Click here
for the recipe!
And this is how Nutrition Meets Life . . .
Half a cup of zucchini has about 20 calories. Yes, you read that correctly, 20 calories. Zucchini also contains calcium, Vitamins A & C, magnesium and zinc. I know you have heard it before, but eat your vegetables!!! The secret to getting the most nutrients and fibre out of zucchini is to leave the skin on. If you peel it off, say goodbye to the good nutrients I just listed above.
Overall Recipe Rating: 4/5 Kiwis
Hard Rock Cafe Sentosa Singapore
26 Sentosa Gateway
#01-209 to 214 The Forum
To be honest with you, I've always thought Hardrock Cafe was overrated. Don't get me wrong, I love the funky ambiance of the restaurants, but Hardrock Cafe relies too heavily on their funky decor and doesn't focus enough on their food. Specifically, the nachos at Hardrock Cafe are stuck in the 80s. I mean common, not serving guacamole with nachos? That's just absurd.
The nacho plate that we ordered was $20.00 (SGD)
. So right away, you'd think we'd be getting the works: guacamole, re-fried beans, olives, and even a few spices and herbs like cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper or parsley. What we got was a tiny sprinkling of tomatoes, a tiny bit of chopped green onion,CheeZ Whiz,
jalapeno peppers, and beans on the side. What bothered me the most about these nachos was the sour cream.
It was served in a perfectly polite round circle, looking like it came from an ice cream scoop. Nachos are meant to be messy and out of place, so the sour cream stuck out like someone wearing flip flops in a winter storm. To bring these nachos to life, I highly recommend Hardrock Cafe does the following: 1. Triples the quantity of each topping
. More tomatoes, more onions, more beans! 2. Keeps them messy:
No more sour 'ice cream scoop' cream. It doesn't work. 3. Offers at least 4 more toppings:
Olives, at least 4 types of cheese, freshly chopped white onions, guacamole, salsa, and chicken or beef. 4. Adds herbs and spices:
Bring on the cayenne pepper, parsley, and cumin! 5. Lose the Chez Whiz.
What's your favourite topping to put on nachos? Comment below!
Nacho rating: 1/5 Kiwis
Beans are cheap, nutritious, and can be quite tasty with the right recipe. This healthy bean trio salad keeps well in the fridge for days, and can be eaten as a side dish or a snack. So enough with the flatulence jokes, ok?
For some, beans can be boring when eaten on their own. But with the right combination of ingredients, I assure you, beans taste fabulous! In this recipe I use a balance of sweet and savory sauces and herbs. Specifically, the honey, Dijon mustard, onion and garlic powder in this recipe work together to create a flavour similar to that of a sweet onion vinaigrette. The celery and red pepper add a crunchy texture to the salad, helping to mask any mushy texture that may have come from the beans. Recipe:
And this is how Nutrition Meets Life . . . Beans are an underrated "super food".
- 3 stalks of celery
- 3 green onions
- 1 red pepper
- 1 can kidney beans
- 1 can of chick peas
- 1 can of black beans
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 2 Tbsp vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Pinch of pepper
- Pinch of garlic powder
- Pinch of onion Powder
They are low in fat, contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, and have plenty of fibre and protein to help keep you feel fuller for a longer period of time. Consuming beans has also been linked to weight management and a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. If you are worried about the gaseous effects of beans, here are 3 things you can do: 1. Regardless if you are buying canned beans or you cook them from fresh, soak them.
Soak them good. I'm not talking for a few hours, I'm talking for at least 24 hours. Once you soak them in water, rinse them off, and then you are good to go! This should help reduce the gas. 2. Be smart about eating beans.
Knowing that beans can make you pass gas, should indicate that you probably shouldn't consume a giant portion of them in one sitting. You should gradually build your way up to consuming more fibre. 3. Bean Tablets:
There are some products on the market that can help to break down the components of beans that produce gas. This could also be a great option, especially if you are not in the comforts of your own home.
Can't get enough of beans? Click here for a healthy bean dip recipe!
Overall recipe rating:
Xiang Guo Li La
No. 14 Smith Street
Xiang Guo Li La is a restaurant located in the middle of Singapore's Chinatown district. It's a convenient location for tourists walking by who want to try the 'local' cuisine and who need to be in an air conditioned environment. Xiang Guo Li La offers predominantly Chinese dishes, but there are a few Western dishes available for those who don't like Chinese cuisine.
The restaurant has white brick walls covered in random pieces of art, white tables, and white chairs. I felt as though I was eating a hot dog with a white t-shirt on, I didn't want to spill anything. The servers were friendly, they answered all of our questions about the surrounding areas, but they didn't go out of the their way to make us feel welcome to Singapore.
I ordered the Black pepper beef noodles ($7.80) which came with thick chunks of red onion, and capsicum (red and green). It was soaked in a very peppery sauce that made me want to sneeze and cough at the same time. I attempted to use the sides of the bowl to get some of the sauce off the noodles, but it was hopeless. For a dish with the word "beef" in it, you wouldn't expect that I could need to go hunting to get a piece. There were a total of two thin, pathetic,and fatty pieces of beef in the bowl. I wasn't happy with this purchase as I felt I was scammed.
We also ordered the Dry Fried Potato Chips ($10.80). There were dry alright. The fries were as hollow and empty as if you were to cut open a toilet paper roll. It made me wonder where they put the rest of the potato. For crunchy fry lovers, this batch of fries would be perfect for you. Despite the fries themselves, I did love the concept of this dish. The fries were covered with pieces of dried chili and chopped spring onions with a generous amount of paprika. The fries had some kick in terms of heat, but overall they were disappointing.
Finally we tried the sweet and sour pork ($15.80). This dish was significantly overpriced to what you could get at a local hawker centre, and they still made us pay an extra dollar for white rice on the side! The nerve. The dish itself came with deep fried pieces of pork, chunks of green and red capsicum and sweet onions, all covered in a sweet and sour (I didn't taste the sour bit) sauce. This was the best meal at our table, but that doesn't say much.
I have a pet peeve when places take advantage of their tourists. On our table, there were wet towels. We used them thinking they were free, but on the bill we were charged an additional 30 cents for each wet towel used. Yes, I know it's just 30 cents, but its the principal behind leaving them on the table, knowing we would most likely use them (we are in a restaurant after all). Oh, and did I mention the drinks cost as much as an entire meal would in a hawker centre? The lemon juice itself was $4.00 SGD. I could get two meals for that down the street!
This restaurant is a tourist trap. It really doesn't represent the local cuisine at all. Although the staff are friendly, I highly recommend going to the end of Smith street and eating at the outdoor hawker centre. This is what the food in Singapore is really like.
Overall Rating: 1.5/5 kiwis
My MEH (Meat Eating Husband) buys chocolate protein by ten pound bags. I couldn't think of a better way to spend my Friday night than to play around in the kitchen with protein. This is my FIRST attempt at protein 'crepes', and I must say, they turned out pretty dam good.
Recipe (Makes 4-5 crepes):
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (I used atta flour)
- 2 scoops of whey protein powder
- 2 Tbsp Cocoa
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup skim milk
- 2 heaping Tbsp Greek Yogurt
1. Mix all of the dry ingredients together and then combine the wet ingredients.
2. On medium-high heat, spray large frying pan with cooking oil.
3. Place one scoop of the batter in the centre of the frying pan and then spread the batter out by holding the handle and moving the pan around.
4. Cook the batter on one side for 3-4 minutes on until you see air bubbles. Then, flip the crepe on the other side and cook for another two minutes. Enjoy! The Taste:
It felt like I was eating a chocolate spongecake, but flattened and more dense. Because I used atta flour,
the pancakes has a similar consistency to that of a thin flat bread and were not as thin as a crepe.
For a more intense chocolate flavour, I recommend eating the crepes cold. I made a large batch and ate them on the run when I missed my alarm clock. They are perfect for on the go!
And this is how Nutrition Meets Life . . .
I have been trying to make my own crepes
for weeks now because I noticed the frozen chapatis I had been purchasing from the grocery store contain a lot of ingredients I cannot pronounce on the nutrition label (a classic sign to try and make my own!). For these crepes, I used 100% whole wheat atta flour. Atta flour is a flour that is finely milled, so it is used to make chapatis, phulkas, rotis, parathas, and other flat breads.
Regardless of the whole grain flour you like to use, scientific research is telling us to eat as many whole grains as we can.
The health benefits of choosing whole grains over refined grains (such as white bread, white rice, etc) are vast. Whole grains have been linked to reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers. Beyond this, whole grains aid in supporting digestive health (enough said about that one!). To find out more about the benefits of whole grains click here. Overall recipe rating
: 3/5 Kiwis
The White Rabbit
39C Harding Road
The White Rabbit
is one of Singapore's best fine-dining restaurants. I had family visiting me all the way from Thompson, Canada
(this is near the end of the earth). I figured if they could come all this way to see me, they deserve a little fine dining! In a restored chapel, the White Rabbit offers food that tastes so good, you want to personally thank the chef for your meal. When dining at White Rabbit you can expect: romantically dimmed overhead lighting, large blue stain glass windows which cover the entire sides of walls, and staff so friendly you feel you are leaving your best friends house after a nice meal. White Rabbit has it all. Our Food:
We ordered the Cod ($38.00 SGD)
which was beautifully plated in the centre of dish over top of fava beans and chorizo. Circling the cod was a sauce vierge; finely chopped tomatoes, basil, lemon juice with a generous splash of oil.
The vegetarian at the table ordered a Salad Printemps ($18 SGD) and a truffled mac and cheese ($16 SGD). Mixed in with the mesclun leaves were asparagus, fresh mango, and firm avocado. Delightful. The mac and cheese brought me as much pleasure as eating chocolate fondue. It was creamy and filled my mouth with variety of cheese flavours, two of which I could identify: gruyere and asiago cheese. The truffle oil paired so nicely with the thinly sliced mushrooms that were mixed in with the cheesy pasta. This dish will haunt me until I can have it again.
I ordered the Cape Grim Grass-Fed Australian Striploin ($38 SGD) that also came with truffle sauce and just enough greens to make me feel good about myself. I also ordered a side of grilled asparagus ($12.00) which were on the al dente side and covered in a Tbsp of a oil; just the way I like them. My MEH (Meat Eating Husband) was so proud of me. I don't know what came over me, but I had to eat the entire piece of meat. Maybe because it was effortless to cut, like a knife cuts through a slab of butter at room temperature. The meat had no visible fat, and it was not overly seasoned; just a dash of salt and pepper.
Compared to the $2.00 meals you can get at the hawker centres
in Singapore, White Rabbit would be considered a meal you would only have if the world was ending. But, I'm not opposed to paying a higher price to get exquisite plating, quality ingredients, impeccable service, and an ambiance fit for a the Pope himself! Restaurant Rating:
A light, zesty, and crunchy salad making for the perfect healthy dinner. A classy meal.
I just love this meal. It has all of the elements of a summer pasta salad; crunchy vegetables, can be served hot or cold, and an element of citrus. What I like about this recipe is it's not drenched in a thick sauce rather, it utilizes the juices from the citrus fruit and a small amount of oil and honey to lightly coat the pasta noodles. You can expect to feel refreshed after eating this meal, as if you were in Mexico eating salsa.
Recipe (Makes 4):
4 oz of Rice Noodles
1 green onion
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 cup cooked shrimp
2 carrots (sliced on a diagonal)
2 cucumbers (sliced on a diagonal)
1 mango (sliced)
4 Tbsp orange juice (freshly squeezed)
3 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp honey
1 Tbsp ginger (grated)
1. Make rice noodles according to package instructions.
2. In a bowl combine 1 tbsp sesame oil, honey, and orange juice. Set aside.
3. Add 2 Tbsp sesame oil to a frying pan on medium heat. Add in chopped garlic and ginger and cook for about 1 minute. Add in green onions and carrots. Cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Add in cooked shrimp, rice noodles, and sauce (made in step 2). Stir well. Cook for about 2 minutes.
5. Transfer ingredients to a large bowl and in cucumbers.
6. Drizzle with more sesame oil (optional) and enjoy!
And this is how Nutrition Meets Life . . .
All pasta dishes don't have to be covered in a thick sauce. In fact, some Alfredo sauces can add a significant amount of calories to a meal. I highly recommend making your own tomato sauce at home. You can blend in a variety of vegetables, so the anti-veggie eaters won't complain too much. If you are buying tomato sauce, look for products that are lower in sodium (should be around 30% Daily value (DV) on the nutrition label). You also can make lighter sauces by using ingredients like lemon, pesto, garlic, and my favourite, olive oil based. Click here for 8 examples of rich yet light pasta sauces.
Overall Rating: 3.5/5 Kiwis
This month's recipe redux
theme: The cupcake conundrum.
We were asked if we were over the cupcake trend and I am so over it. Yes, cupcakes are cute, I cannot deny that. But I think its time for a new mini dessert trend, one that doesn't involve too much work and can be just as eye catching as a cupcake. My prediction for the new trend: Truffles.
These truffles take less than 10 minutes to make and are as gooey and moist as taking a bite into a ball of cookie dough.
No Trouble Truffles Recipe (Makes 14 truffles):
5 ingredients to roll the truffles in when you are finished (optional):
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup Medjool dates, pitted (about 6-8 dates)
- 1 1/2 Tbsps of cocoa powder
- Splash of vanilla extract (optional)
1. Leftover ground nuts - pistachios can look very nice and add a bright colour!
2. Ground flax
3. Shredded coconut
5. Cocoa Powder Directions:
1. Grind the nuts in a blender until they look like flour.
2. Add in dates and grind until it forms a thick ball.
3. Add the vanilla and cacao powder. Mix until the truffle appears to look like a dark chocolate truffle.
4. Roll the mixture into bite sized balls and cover with toppings (optional) Recipe rating
: 4.5/5 Kiwis
So who's shuffling with me? Check out how my fellow foodie's mini dessert recipes below (if you still are a cupcake lover, there are options for you as well, don't worry!)
Looking for a soup that's easy to make, nutritious and divine? If the answer to that question is yes, then you have come to the right bog!
If I had to describe this is soup in one word it would be "homey". The chunky carrots, dense lentils and large shredded pieces of chicken bring a comforting thickness to this soup. The coconut milk and apple added a touch of sweet, but it was the carrots that provided a perfumed scent, reminding me of the kind served at Thanksgiving that have been roasted for hours. Taming the sweetness, the flavour from the garam masala is pleasantly noticeable, giving the soup an international taste. If you don't like ginger, don't worry, you can barely taste it in this soup, so leave it in for the extra health benefits! Click here for the Recipe
. I did not make any changes to this recipe, because I thought it was perfect as is! I have listed the ingredients and directions below for your convenience: Ingredients (Serves 4-5):
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 golden delicious apple, peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks of celery , chopped
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 tablespoon garam masala, divided
- 1 1/2 inches piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup light coconut milk
- 1 cup red lentil, rinsed in cold water
- 2 cups packed skinless cooked chicken, cut into 1/4 inch pieces (from a large rotisserie chicken)
1. Heat the vegetable oil in a fairly large pan, over high heat. Once hot, reduce the heat to about medium. Add 1 t garam masala and cook for about 1 minute. Then add the carrots, onion, apple and celery and cook, while stirring a bit, until the mixture has softened up, approximately 8 minutes.
2. Add the chicken stock, coconut milk, ginger and 1 t of the garam masala to the pan. Add the rinsed lentils and bring the soup to a boil (on high heat), then reduce the heat to low and simmer it for approximately 20 to 25 minutes. You just want to get the lentils nice and tender.
3. Add the chicken and the remaining 1 t garam masala to the soup and let it return it to a boil again. Serve. Optional to sprinkle the cilantro over the top of each bowl of soup. Source: Recipe and directions!
And this is how Nutrition Meets Life . . .
Trying new spices is a great way to stir up a new soup or create a new meal. I started using Garam Masala after living in the Middle East, and now it is one of my favourite ingredients to use in soups and curries. Garam masala is a blend of aromatic spices such as coriander, cumin, nutmeg, cloves, black pepper, cassia leaf, cassia (similar to cinnamon but a bit more intense and woodier), anistar, fennel seeds, dry ginger, caraway, and triphala. Each garam masala you buy will have different spices, so take note of the brand you like. Garam masala brings a bitter sweet aroma to dishes, similar to how a clove smells. Interested using this spice?
5 ways to Garam Masala:
1. Use it to flavour some vegetables in a side dish (such as green beans or cauliflower)
2. Make some spicy nuts
3. Making apple or kale chips? Use garam masala as a seasoning!
4. Add some spice into your cakes and cookies when baking.
5. Sprinkle some over your popcorn
Overall recipe rating: 4/5 Kiwis