Fish Miso Rice Bowl

When I accidentally forget to eat or get too busy to grab something healthy, I’m one of those people who don’t eat until I get home. I prefer home-cooked flavoursome meal over store-bought take-away foods. So yes, when I eat after missing a meal I look like I starved for days. Not a good look and question mark for “appreciating my body”. Anyways that’s just me. What kind of eater are you? Routine eater who sticks to 3 meals a day? Busy bee who eats one big meal a day or snacker who eats continuously? I fall into the last one – never like a big meal that makes me sluggish and enjoy snacking between meals or when I can.

Rice bowls are perfect for a ready-to-go meal for me. It is a simple nourishing honest food. Growing up in South Korea a staple food was a bowl of rice, soup and side dishes almost everyday on the table. Rice is a good source of energy and kind of makes other ingredients shine. Since I’m on the quest for flavour combinations and textures, I like to mix with beans and grains such as black beans, quinoa, adzuki beans, millet, mung beans, etc. Brown rice unlike, white rice, is unrefined, rich in thiamin, calcium and magnesium and high in fibre. Oh it is also delicious! Let’s share a love for rice bowls, shall we? x
miso rice bowlIngredients (for two)

2 cups of a mix of brown rice, mung beans and adzuki beans (but you can use any kind of grains here)
1 tbsp of miso paste
2 cups of water or vegetable stock
1 large carrot, chopped
1 stalk of spring onion, chopped
1 cup of bean sprouts
1 barramundi fillet
pickled ginger
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp of toasted sesame seeds
1 tbsp of sesame oil

Soak rice and beans preferably overnight. Rinse and drain. Mix miso paste and 2 cups of water or vegetable stock in a pot. Add rice and beans in a pot and bring it up to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 20 minutes or until liquid is all absorbed. Turn off the heat and set aside for 5-10 minutes with a lid on. Steam chopped carrot and barramundi fillet until cooked. To assemble, spoon miso rice in a bowl and serve fish and vegetables on top. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle sesame seeds and drizzle sesame oil on top.

J’aime Paris

RougeWhat a magical city – Paris! I just loved strolling around the romantic streets, indulging myself in beautiful French wine and food which was more than enough to satisfy my demanding taste buds. I didn’t quite get Paris syndrome after holiday (Yes, it is real. It is a transient psychological disorder encountered by some individuals visiting or vacationing in Paris or elsewhere in Western Europe), though I do miss this place so much.arcadeNotredamestreetsThis is what I like about Paris – the romantic streets, bridges, chic Parisian style (red lipstick, scarf around the neck, no-makeup-makeup and cigarette), full of history and modern at the same time, creamy colour buildings, gorgeous boulangeries every other streets, the art of pastry… pantheonwineAfter a long walk, about 25km pretty much non-stop, we were absolutely exhausted by the late afternoon and were already heading to the hotel without even realising it. As a result and me wanting to have a nice shower, wrap myself in bathrobe and have my feet up, we spent that evening on the bed with French wine and nibbles which were picked up at the Mono Prix next door. Red wine, lots of cheese, crackers, black olives, nuts – what else do you need? I must admit it was surprisingly a memorable and comforting dining experience 🙂meVery last meal in Paris was escargots and grilled goat cheese on toast for entree. Main was divine – Provence style braised squid with quinoa and duck breast with honey and raspberry sauce. We were wowed by presentation and then seduced by the flavour.16What an incredible holiday in France. It was sad to leave when I was just getting close to perfecting “Bonjour” and “Merci”. I hope we will meet again

Broccoli Couscous Salad

broccoli couscous saladSummer is slowly setting in in Melbourne. Yes! summer salads are always welcome. I used wholemeal couscous in this salad but you can use millet or quinoa for gluten free option. Try to include whole grains in your salads because they help to stabilise your blood sugar level and contain more fibre and protein. Crunchy broccoli, buttery green peas, nutty toasted almonds, sweet and sour cranberries. What not to love? You can definitely make a big batch for a crowd or work lunch next day. Enjoy x

Ingredients (serves 2)

1 cup wholemeal couscous
1 cup boiling water
1 head of broccoli
1/2 cup of green peas
1/2 tsp of paprika
juice and zest from 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
dried cranberries and roasted almonds

Add 1 cup of hot water into couscous in a bowl, add olive oil, cover and set aside for 5-10 minutes. In the mean time, roughly chop and steam broccoli and peas. Fluff the couscous from the top using a fork, add paprika, lemon zest and juice and season with salt and pepper. Add cooked broccoli, peas, roughly chopped cranberries and almonds into a bowl and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl. Add another drizzle of olive oil to serve.

Raw Nut Butter Vanilla Slice

Here I am in my gym clothes, sitting in front of laptop after my morning workout. I was excited to write about the healthy exercise regime today and had to sit here as soon as I got home. First of all, I will start with my story. I wasn’t keen to any exercises or sports until mid-20s. I’m not sure about now, but when I was growing up in South Korea, all we had to do as a student was to study at school, after-school study and home and again repeat every single day. I did a bit of swimming and gym now and then, otherwise I wasn’t familiar with any exercises. When I moved to Australia about 9 years ago, one of the requirements to get into the physio course was a bronze medallion from Royal Life Saving Australia. I, of course, couldn’t swim as good as other fit Australians and failed one of the prac exams where I had to continuously swim 400m with 4 different swim styles. It was crazy I felt like I couldn’t even rescue myself in the deep swimming pool. I had a month of practice until I could take the test again. I made myself to the local swimming pool 6 days a week and swam for 1-1 1/2 hrs for a month. Yes, intense! Then thank GOD, I was able to pass. That was probably a wake-up call for me that I need to continue on a regular exercise to keep myself fit. Swimming, walking around the park, was all okay but not that exciting. Then I started Pilates in 2009 to become a clinical Pilates instructor. I fell in love with it! I found my favorite exercise that I can enjoy and stick to it for a long term (well, for the rest of my life). There are so many benefits of Pilates – improving your posture, developing strong core and back muscles, a good combination of cardio and strengthening, sculpting the whole body with long and lean yet strong muscles, enhancing your flexibility, coordination and balance, improving breathing techniques, body awareness and focus, and lastly it is so much fun. I always finish my exercise with Pilates. My routine looks like this, for example.

  • Pre-workout: I eat a piece of fruit or power ball with tea or coffee at least 30 minutes before exercise.
  • 10 minutes of cardio: brisk walk, cycling, rowing machine or cross-trainer to warm up my body and get my heart rate up.
  • 40 minutes of weight training: I like using theraband, dumbbells and kettlebells for upper body, body weights for core and legs. A variety of weight training every day so that I don’t get bored.
  • 10 minutes of Pilates: core strengthening and stretching to cool down.
  • Post-workout: Water, lots of it. Another piece of fruit or power ball within 30 minutes, then proper meal with a combination of carbs, protein and veggies such as a nourishing bowl later on.
  • There is no right or wrong here. Find what works for you and keeps you going.
  • Have an exercise buddy or join the group sessions if you need more support and motivation.
  • Have variety in your workout and incorporate weight training.
  • Let yourself recover x1-2 a week. It don’t mean you can be a couch potato. It is an active resting such as walking your dog, strolling around town with your friends or partner, gentle yoga or Pilates at home.
  • Eat well to recharge your body.
  • Be consistent. It is not just a new year’s resolution to be healthy and fit. It has to be your lifestyle!
  • Have fun 🙂 After all you gotta feel happy, destressed and energised.

This recipe is great for a snack between meals or post-workout snack. It is quick and easy to make and nourishes you with a plenty of protein and good fat. Enjoy x

Raw vanilla sliceIngredients (6 squares)

1 large banana
1 cup nut butter
1 cup coconut oil
1 tbsp raw honey
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
a pinch of Himalayan salt

Mesh ripe banana with a fork in a large bowl. Melt coconut oil, honey and nut butter in a pot over low heat. It takes only a couple of minutes. Then pour the mixture into a bowl and mix with banana. Add vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Transfer into a silicon mold or a container lined with a baking paper. Spread evenly with a spatula and chill in the freezer until it firms up. Slice into squares, serve immediately. Store the leftover in the freezer.

Chai-Infused Carrot Cake Porridge

carrot cake porridgeI love a bag of humble carrots in my fridge. They are always ready-to-go when I cook salads, stir-fry, casserole, roast, cake and yes! porridge. Flavour combination is so good here. Cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and chai, all my favorites. I can have a bowl of this any time of the day. You could use quinoa, buckwheat or oats instead of millet. Feel free to sprinkle any superfoods on top like chia seeds, maca powder and bee pollen. It is perfect breakfast x

Ingredients (serves 2)

1 carrot, grated
1 cup of millet, soaked overnight
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp raw honey or maple syrup
1 cup of chai tea
1 cup of almond milk
a pinch of salt
a handful of nuts and dried fruits

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes until thickened. Stir often. Ladle into a bowl and top with nuts and dried fruits. I like to dust more cinnamon powder and drizzle more honey or maple syrup to serve.