Warm Lentil Salad

warm lentil salad
Here is a perfect heart-warming salad. I make a lot of salads throughout the year, but this one is on top of my list when I get cravings for something hearty and flavoursome. I can make a big batch and happily eat every single day. Roasting vegetables is so easy and healthy way of cooking. All you need to do is wash, chop, dress and place vegetables in the oven. My favorites are roasted carrots, pumpkin, parsnip, beetroot and cauliflower. The oven does all the hard work for you so that you can enjoy a glass of wine while dinner is getting ready. Caramelised sweet vegetables smell and taste amazing. This salad is not only a great accompaniment to a roast or grilled meat but also is good enough for main on its own. Feel free to double up the recipe for a work lunch or potluck party.

Ingredients (serves 2)

a bunch of baby carrots
1 cup of diced pumpkin
1 cup of French lentils, soaked at least 1 hour
water or stock to cook lentils
1 cup of salad leaves
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Himalayan salt and pepper to taste
50g blue cheese
a drizzle of olive oil to serve

Mix melted coconut oil, cumin, thyme and cayenne pepper in a large bowl. Put baby carrots and diced pumpkin into a bowl and toss well. Transfer veggies to a baking dish and place in the preheated (180) oven for 20 minutes or until cooked. In the meantime, wash and drain soaked lentils. Cover with water or stock and bring it up to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until lentils are cooked for your liking. Take it off the heat and drain. Place roasted carrots and pumpkin and cooked lentils in a large bowl together with salad leaves. Toss to combine and add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle a good quality of olive oil and crumble blue cheese on top. Serve warm.
warm lentil salad1

Chicken Soup


A warm bowl of chicken soup is perfect when there is a chill in the air. Not only is it a yummy hearty dish but also a healer that boosts your immune system. Vitamin B, calcium, magnesium and zinc from stock made with chicken bones, anti-inflammatory ginger and garlic, anti-bacterial and anti-viral rosemary and nutritious vegetables in one bowl. Ultra-cleansing!

When I was sick as a child, my mum used to make me a rice porridge just like all other Koreans do because you don’t have much appetite when feeling ill and tend to crave for a simple and bland meal. I couldn’t understand why Westerners eat chicken soup instead of porridge when you catch a cold or feel sick until I actually tried it. Nutrition tick! flavour tick! feeling better tick! Amazing!

My craving has changed to a bowl of chicken soup when feeling cold now (in fact, I can have it all year around). I prefer my chicken soup to be clear and clean taste so I took the skin and fatty bits off and washed well before putting in a pot. You need to boil at least for an hour so that the stock is full of flavour and the meat falls off the bone easily. I hope everyone stays away from cold as chilly season is approaching 🙂
Ingredients (serves 4-6)

1 small chicken
2 cup of brown rice and black eyed peas (soaked overnight)
1 carrot
1 cup of chopped cabbage
1 cup of green peas
1/2 brown onion
1 large garlic
1 knob of ginger
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of rosemary
1 tbsp of peppercorns
1 small chili
rice noodles (optional)
salt to taste
coriander for garnish

Wash the chicken and remove skin and fatty bits. Place in a stock pot along with chopped onion, garlic, ginger, bay leaf, rosemary, chili and peppercorns. Cover with cold water. Bring it up to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer over low heat for an hour. Take the chicken out and pull the meat off bones. Discard bay leaf, add the meat, rice noodles and chopped vegetables into the pot. Simmer for another 15-20 minutes until veges are cooked. Adjust seasoning, ladle into bowls and garnish with coriander.

Parsley Coriander Pesto

Parsley is one of the herbs I fell in love as I started cooking. When I was a child, I thought it was just a garnish on the side and not edible. I was totally wrong! It is so vibrant and delicious. Not only is the oil and aroma incredible but also it is packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Of course, fresh ones are superior in flavour and nutrition compared to the dried form. For storage, you need to wrap them in dampen paper towel and place in a plastic bag inside the fresh section of fridge. You can make salads, salsa verde, quiche, pasta, pesto, etc. So versatile, right?

This pesto is a little different to traditional pesto recipes that use basil, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts and olive oil. I added coriander leaves for more herby fragrance, tahini for creaminess and crunchy walnuts. You can use this pesto for pasta, gnocchi, marinade for fish, chicken or steak, spread on bread and dressing for roasted vegetables.


1 cup of parley leaves
1 cup of coriander leaves
1 heap tbsp of tahini
handful of roasted walnuts (roast natural walnuts in dry pan)
1/4 cup of olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp of minced garlic
1/2 tsp of minced ginger
salt and pepper

Rinse and roughly chop parley and coriander leaves. Place them and other ingredients in a food processor. Blend all and transfer to a sanitised jar.

For my lunch, I mixed this pesto and green peas and served on a slice of sourdough with a dollop of cottage cheese.


Zucchini Slice

I never get sick of baked zucchini slice. It is in fact what my regular breakfast, snack and lunch looks like. Even if the base is pretty much same, I can be creative and change the toppings and fillings depending on what I feel like to have or what I have in the fridge. I can happily have it at any time of the day either served warm or cold. It lasts well in the fridge for up to a week so you can make on the weekend and take it to work lunches. You can serve a little green salad on the side or even top with smoked salmon, sliced chicken breast or whatever protein you like.

zucchini slice

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 small zucchini grated
1 small carrot grated
1 small brown onion sliced fine
1 cup of Parmesan cheese grated
1 cup of cooked lentils
1 cup of wholemeal flour
3 eggs
50g feta cheese
1/2 tsp of chili flake
salt and pepper to taste

Heat coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the zucchini, carrot and onion, season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes until lightly golden. Place in a large bowl with cooked lentils, lightly beaten eggs, flour, grated cheese and chili flake. Mix to combine and spoon the mixture into a baking dish lined with baking paper. Top with crumbled feta cheese on top and bake in the preheated oven (180) for 35-40 minutes until golden and cooked. Allow to cool before slicing.

Antipasto Quinoa Salad

antipasto saladI’m so excited about this fabulous salad rich with herbs and vegetables, some cooked and some raw, and all intense with the saltiness and flavours of summertime. This quinoa salad takes on Mediterranean flavours and and ties them together with a simple dressing. It is fresh and light yet has bold, strong and hearty taste from the tapenade. It is also a breeze to make and looks as pretty as picture because of colourful vegetables I used. Quinoa is such a great vehicle for flavours and becomes magical when combined with other ingredients like fruits, veggies, herbs and nuts. Here, refreshing parsley, soft and mellow pumpkin and zucchini, crunchy beans, nutty quinoa are all balanced well with the antipasto flavour. It is the perfect thing to bring to a picnic or potluck as it can be made ahead of time and served at room temperature or straight out of the fridge. Just a reminder, once tossed with the dressing, the quinoa will soak up and go a little soggy. So do not overcook quinoa and add dressing a couple of hours before serving. Enjoy x

antipasto salad1
Ingredients (serves 4)

2 cups of cooked tricoloured quinoa
1 cup of chopped parsley
10 black olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup of sun-dried tomato strips
1 tbsp coconut oil to cook veggies
1/2 cup of chopped zucchini
1/2 cup of chopped butternut pumpkin
handful of yellow beans
2 tbsp of green olive tapenade
1 tbsp e.v.o.o
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp raw honey
salt and pepper to taste

Heat coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add chopped zucchini, pumpkin and beans into a pan, season with salt and peppr and cook for 5-10 minutes until cooked. While veggies are cooked, make a dressing by mixing tapenade, e.v.o.o, vinegar and honey in a bowl. Whisk to combine and set aside. Take cooked veggies off the heat, cool it down and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add cooked quinoa, chopped parsley, olives, sun-dried tomatoes into a bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Check seasoning and transfer to a serving plate.