Best thing about this season is that fresh fruits and vegetables are abundant. I couldn’t believe how sweet and tender it was when I bit into a raw asparagus. Asparagus taste so good whatever method you choose to cook either char-grilled, blanched or pan-fried, but I’m going for raw today because it tastes so divine and sweet as it is. So I decided to make this super simple chopped salad to make most out of beautiful vegetables. It is tossed up with authentic Korean dressing, which is tangy, sweet and salty – full of flavour. This dressing goes really well over tofu or fish. I added a bit of cayenne pepper for a kick to my taste but leave it out if you wish. Enjoy x
Ingredients (serves 4)
1 cup of chopped cos lettuce
1 cup of green beans, blanched and chopped
1 bunch of asparagus, sliced
1 sprig of green spring onion, finely chopped
1 cup of bamboo shoot, sliced
1/4 of yellow capsicum, sliced
1/4 of red capsicum, sliced
2 tbsp of green olives, finely chopped
2 tbsp of toasted sesame seeds
Korean Oriental Dressing
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp minced garlic
a dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
ground pepper to taste
Wash and chop all vegetables. Place in a large mixing bowl. For dressing, whisk all dressing ingredients in a bowl or a jar with lid. Taste and adjust seasoning. Pour dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle toasted sesame seeds for garnish.
I hope everyone is enjoying a beautiful autumn weather in Australia. I’m sure some of you are more engaged in exercises and sports as the weather allows us at the moment. I’m going to briefly write about changes in my exercise regime and healthy eating in this post. I know it is so confusing when someone tells you this works this doesn’t and so on. So I will keep it as a part of my story here. I really enjoy going to the gym everyday and do Pilates and stretches at home. I’ve done that for years hoping to keep my body in good shape and health. However, I had trouble putting on muscles and toning up as much as I wanted to. I then took some advice from a gym junkie, my brother, and changed my exercise program and diet, which I can totally see the difference in my body and strength. My weight hasn’t changed at all (it’s just numbers!!!!), but I feel so much stronger when doing daily activities such as carrying grocery bags. So here is what I do to tone up.
– 30 minutes pre-workout, I drink a cup of coffee or a glass of water and have some snacks e.g. a handful of dried fruits
– I start with a light cardio workout as warm-up and cool-down about 10 minutes each.
– Focus on weight training. Work on different muscle groups on different days. For example, I train the muscles that you use to pull (back muscles and biceps) one day, the opposing muscles (chest muscles and triceps) next day, legs following day
– Use a variety of exercises to train same muscle groups. For example, I do chest press, inclined bench press, cable across and push ups for chest muscles. 10-15 reps x 4-5 sets, 30-20 sec rest in between.
– Focus on technique e.g. eccentric control and breathing.
– Eat well after workout. This is what I didn’t do before, but you need to fuel up your body to facilitate muscle repair and recovery. Have plenty of water, carbs and protein within 30min to 1 hr.
– Rest and listen to my body. Really important! your body needs to rest. I do Pilates, yoga and light cardio on rest days.
– Sleep well. Adequate sleep releases growth hormone that is essential for muscle building.
Okay, enough on my story. This gluten-free wholesome healthy loaf is so easy to make and delicious. Cinnamon-y, coconut-y and chocolatey. It is my ready-to-go meal as breakfast and snack. Oh it is even better with a spoonful of nut butter or goat cheese on top (yes! protein boost). Happy baking x
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tbsp raw honey
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tbsp cacao powder
1 tsp vanilla powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
50g chopped walnuts
50g goji berries
a pinch of salt
Lightly beat eggs in a mixing bowl and add in almond milk, raw honey and melted coconut oil. Then add other ingredients and stir to combine. Transfer the mixture into a prepared loaf tin and bake in preheated oven (180) for about 30 minutes or until cooked. Let it cool before serve.
Friday to Sunday is a big cook-up day for me. On Friday, my duty is cleaning up the fridge, using up all leftovers and making big salads for the weekend. Then after a trip to the markets on Saturday or Sunday, I roll up my sleeves to prepare for the following week. It has become a bit of routine for me and I’m not complaining. All you need is some time in the kitchen and planning, which I think makes your life a lot easier and healthier, of course.
Since I’m enamored by Asian flavours, Korean in particular, I tend to pair miso with anything I can get my hands on. It is so flavourful, salty and nutty. I used one tablespoon when cooking grains and another to smear on the eggplant before it went in a frying pan. As well as miso paste, this salad recipe has all my favorites – eggplant, beet greens and grains. It is super simple and quick to put together, yet satisfying and tasty. I didn’t add any salt here because miso paste and feta cheese already contains quite a bit of sodium in them. So just add ground pepper if you need and brighten up with a squeeze of lemon. A big bowl of this salad in the middle of table is very much a sharing dish. It will go well with steamed fish or chicken. Yummy x
Ingredients (serves 4)
1 small eggplant
200g of dried grains (I used soaked chickpeas and lentils)
1 bunch of beet greens
2 tbsp miso paste
1 tbsp olive oil
a squeeze of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp sesame seeds
pepper to taste
30g feta cheese
Drain and rinse soaked grains. Cover with cold water in a pot, add 1 tbsp of miso paste and mix well, bring it up to a boil and simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes or until grains are cooked. Cut the eggplant into discs and spread miso paste thinly on both sides. Heat a nonstick flying pan over medium heat, add olive oil and eggplants. Cook for 2-3 minutes each side until caramelised outside and cooked through. To assemble the salad, add cooked grains, eggplants and chopped beet greens in a bowl. Drizzle sesame oil, squeeze lemon juice, sprinkle sesame seeds and add pepper to taste. Gently toss to combine and transfer to a serving plate. Sprinkle crumbled feta cheese on top and more sesame seeds for garnish. Serve warm or room temperature.
This is one of my favorite summer salads. Well, coleslaw was not my thing when I tried for the first time at KFC. I know KFC! I was young still at school. My friends used to get a burger, chips, buttery biscuits and coke. I got myself a tub of coleslaw that threw me away badly thanks to thick creamy mayo. Because of post-KFC-trauma and a fear of eating anything in mayo, I never really liked coleslaw for a while. Having said that, I’ve had some beautiful slaws in Asian restaurants. Quickly pickled or lightly dressed coleslaw is just the way I like it.
This gut-friendly salad has bright rainbow colours, crunchy raw vegetables (full of enzymes!), refreshing thai flavours, super simple to make and great for a fridge cleaning day. Make a big batch and use leftovers for rice paper rolls, sandwich filling or healthy tacos. To make substantial, you can add tofu, chicken, white fish or prawns on the side.
1/2 red capsicum
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 cup chopped kale leaves
1 cup of bean sprouts
1 baby radish
1 bunch of coriander
1 tbsp peanut butter (other nut butter works fine if allergy is an issue)
juice of one lime
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp minced lemongrass
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp coconut sugar
salt and pepper to taste
Put all dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk well. Pour over the salad mixture and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl.