Ropa Vieja

Ropa Vieja

Hello Everyone! So if you read last week’s post, you’ll know that tonight is part 1 of the actual recipe that I’ll be sharing tomorrow night. I’ve decided to split it up just for easy future reference, i.e. if you’re just looking for a mouth-watering Ropa Vieja recipe without it being in an Eggs Benny, then this is it! I first came across this dish during my university years in Australia. It wasn’t even the main highlight of the dish, rather a small side to go with the Colombian-style Arepas that was  my absolute favourite brunch dish then *drools just thinking about how much I miss having it in my tummy* It was a little place that Jialing had stumbled upon when she took the wrong bus to uni and got off at a stop that was just opposite Cafe con Leche.

Ropa Vieja is actually a Spanish term that directly translates to “old clothes” as the shredded beef and vegetables that are the main components of the dish resemble a heap of colorful rags. Though the dish dates back to the Middle Ages of Spanish Sephardi, it was then taken to Cuba where the Cubans made it their own. Ropa Vieja is now one of Cuba’s most popular and beloved dishes; in fact, so popular in fact that it is one of the country’s designated national dishes! It is also popular in other areas or parts of the Caribbean such as Puerto Rico and Panama.

The traditional method of braising the meat is in water. However, for this recipe, I am going to release all those flavourful beef juices directly into the sauce together with carrots, celery, bay leaves, onion, and garlic to get all the flavours of a stock going at the same time. This infuses the sauce with some umami-flavour qualities and natural sweetness from the vegetables, making everything of braising by this method super rich and mouth-watering. Do check out the original recipe by Kimberly from The Daring Gourmet.

Ropa Vieja Ingredients

Ignore the avocado, black beans, and the egg in the shot above, that’s for the Eggs Benedict recipe to follow tomorrow!

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 4 HOURS 30 MINS | SERVES 8-10

INGREDIENTS

  • 1kg tender beef chuck
  • 1 cup beef broth*
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine**
  • 4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 can (16oz) chopped tomatoes with sliced olives
  • 1 brown onion, halved and sliced thinly
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 1 large celery stalk, sliced
  • 1 medium-sized red, yellow, and green capsicum
  • 1 heaped tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp baby capers, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Chopped spring onion, to garnish

*Or 1 beef bouillon cube dissolved in 1 cup of hot water

**The first time I made this dish, I omitted the dry white wine only because I didn’t have any on my pantry shelf at that moment. For those who are living in, or know about Brunei, it’s not as easy as popping over to the shops to buy a bottle. Anyway, I found that the flavours weren’t really brought out as much as when I attempted this dish for a second time with the wine. It felt flat like that pop or zing was missing from it.

METHOD

  1. Pat the beef dry and rub all over with the dried herbs, spices, and seasoning -dried oregano, chilli powder, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, smoked paprika, sea salt and ground black pepper.
  2. Heat about a tablespoon in a slight large Dutch oven over high heat. Once it is very hot and starts to smoke a bit, add the beef and brown generously on all sides. Once done, transfer the beef to a plate. Do not discard the drippings and blackened bits in the pot. They are key to the flavour!
  3. Turn the heat down to medium, then add the minced garlic and cook until slight golden and fragrant. Follow with the sliced onion, cooking until softened before adding the sliced carrots and celery, and the chopped chipotle peppers. Cook for about 15 minutes until caramalised. Deglaze the pot the the dry white wine and bring it to a rapid boil, scraping up the browned bits at the bottom of the pot.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, and bay leaves. Leave to simmer for about 5 minutes.
  5. Return the beef and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat down to low, then cover and simmer for 3-4 hours or until the beef is fork tender and falls apart easily.
  6. While the beef is slowly simmering away, you can move onto roasting your capsicums. Turn a stovetop burner to its highest setting and place the capsicum directly on the flame. Use a pair of tongs to turn them over until the skin has completely blackened. Put the capsicum in a heat-proof mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap. The skin will loosen as it steams, and once it has cooled down a bit, you can easily remove the skin with your fingers under running water. Slice thinly.
  7. Once the beef is done, discard the celery, carrots, and bay leaves. Remove the beef from the sauce, transfer to a plate and shred. Return the shredded beef to the pot and stir in the roasted capsicum and baby capers. Season with salt and pepper to taste and leave uncovered to simmer until the sauce has thickened, about a further 15-20 minutes.
  8. Serve the beef in a large serving dish and enjoy! Best served with steamed rice and black beans on the side.

Ropa Vieja

Ropa Vieja

As per Kimberly, for a variation on traditional beef you can also use pork or chicken, bone-in/skin-on for the most flavour, or boneless breast or thighs. I might try this recipe out with succulent pork shoulders next time *already drooling*.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Bacon Eggs Benedict

Bacon Eggs Benedict

Hello Everyone and welcome to an all new theme for the month of May on Amcarmen’s Kitchen! For the month of May, I will be sharing recipes and renditions of a classic go-to foolproof Eggs Benedict! The thing I love about a good ol’ Eggs Benedict dish is its versatility – if you like pork, then go for a Beer-braised Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict accompanied with a Sriracha hollandaise sauce *drools* Or maybe you prefer beef, chicken, lamb, or seafood? The options are endless! You can even take a vegetarian spin to this and go meatless if you prefer. Get creative with the classic hollandaise sauce that makes an Eggs Benedict what it is. Fuse cuisines and cultures.

All this will be covered on the blog this month so do stay tuned on how you can tackle the endless possibilities to make your Eggs Benny experience one to remember! Tonight, I will be starting off with a classic with a slight twist, and as the month progresses, we’ll delve deep into creative fusions that have been inspired from my café adventures back when I was still studying in Australia.

Bacon Eggs Benedict

Now forgive me if I’m giving out false information as I am relying on the world of Wikipedia here. I guess my teachers from high school and uni haven’t taught me well enough to not source from wiki *cheek grin* but anyway, though there seemed to be conflicting recounts on the exact origins of the Eggs Benedict, this one in particular speaks out to me:

Lemuel Benedict, a retired Wall Street stock broker, said that he had wandered into the Waldorf Hotel in 1894 and, hoping to find a cure for his morning hangover, ordered “buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon, and a hooker of hollandaise”. Oscar Tschirky, the maître d’hôtel, was so impressed with the dish that he put it on the breakfast and luncheon menus but substituted ham for the bacon and a toasted English muffin for the toast — “Talk of the Town”. The New Yorker. December 19, 1942.

Therefore, you could safely say (I guess) that the original main ingredients found in a classic Eggs Benedict dish are eggs, bacon, hollandaise sauce, and an English muffin – popularised by Oscar Tschirky. Okay well, when I said that it speaks out to me, I don’t mean in a sense that I’ve ever been hungover, but that this is what I imagined a morning-after hangover meal would be.

Bacon Eggs Benedict Ingredients

Before we dive in, there’s a slight twist to the classic recipe that I will be sharing with you guys tonight – and the twist is basically just a few extra ingredients to bulk it up and add some zing and tang to it. Tanginess from the balsamic reduction and a slight zing from the chimichurri sauce!

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 25 MINS | SERVES 3

INGREDIENTS

For the eggs benedict

  • 6 slices of streaky bacon
  • 3 English muffins, halved, slightly toasted, and butter
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • 1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, and smashed*
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • Chilli flakes, to top

*Squeeze a touch of lemon or lime juice to prevent it from browning

For the hollandaise sauce

  • 3 large free range eggs, yolks separated
  • 175g unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste

For the chimichurri sauce (by Karina from Cafe Delites)

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 red bird’s eye chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Ground salt and black pepper, to taste

For the balsamic reduction

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

So I know that there are a heck load more ingredients mentioned in the list above than what is shown in the shot – apologies! If you want a classic Bacon Eggs Benny without the fancy schmancy reductions and sauces, then feel free to omit. They’re really just optional for an extra boost of flavours to an already flavoursome dish.

METHOD

  1. Chimichurri Sauce: Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes to release all of the flavours into the oil before using, but I think that the longer it sits, the better it tastes, so prepare this first before everything else to ensure this!
  2. Bacon and Tomatoes: Heat a medium size non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the bacon  strips and cook for about 3-4 minutes per side. Place on a dish lined with paper towels to drain the excess oils. Next add the tomatoes and fry in the bacon fat for about 3-4 minutes per side as well. Set aside in an oven to keep warm before serving.
  3. Balsamic Reduction: Next, pour the 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the vinegar to a boil, then turn down the heat down so that the boil reduces to a simmer. Stir occasionally and allow to simmer until the vinegar has reduced by at least half (for a thinner reduction) or more (for a more syrup-like consistency). If you have impatient tendencies like me when it comes to food, do not increase the heat at this point! Your reduction may burn and you will be left with a stiff, hardened mess.
  4. Hollandaise Sauce: While the balsamic reduction is underway and slowly simmering, start on the Hollandaise sauce. Place a heatproof bowl over a medium saucepan that is quarter-filled with water. Make sure that the bowl should fit snugly into the pan without touching the water (lift the bowl to check and remove some water if it does). Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to very low so the water is barely simmering (there should be almost no movement at all). It is important that the water is barely simmering while making the sauce – if it is too hot, the egg yolks will cook too much and the sauce will curdle.
  5. Place the egg yolks and the 2 tablespoons of water in the heatproof bowl and place over the pan. Whisk the mixture constantly for 3 minutes or until it is thick and pale, has doubled in volume and a ribbon trail forms when the whisk is lifted.
  6. Add the butter a cube at a time, whisking constantly and adding another cube when the previous one is incorporated completely (about 10 minutes to add it all in). If butter is added too quickly, it won’t mix easily with the egg yolks or the sauce may lose volume. At the same time, it is important that the butter is at room temperature and added a cube at a time, so that it doesn’t take too long to be incorporated – if the sauce cooks for too long, it can curdle.
  7. Remove the bowl from the pan and place on a heatproof surface. The cooked sauce should have the consistency of very lightly whisked thickened cream. Whisk in the lemon juice, fresh thyme leaves, and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Poached Eggs: Bring small saucepan of water to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low-medium – the water should be just simmering. Add in the vinegar and stir. Crack one egg into a small bowl and quickly, but gently pour it into the water. Repeat with the other egg. A really soft poached egg should take around 2 minutes, but if you want it a bit more firm, it will take about 4 minutes. To check if they’re cooked right, carefully remove the egg from the pan with a slotted spoon and give the yolk a gentle push (you can tell just by your instincts if it is under or over – or perfect)!
  9. Assembly: Spread the smashed avocado on the toasted and buttered English muffin half and top with the crispy bacon strips, tomato slice, and then the poached egg. Top a generous amount of the hollandaise sauce and sprinkle with a bit of chilli flakes to pack a slight kick. Finally, drizzle with the balsamic reduction and chimichurri sauce around the plate. Serve and enjoy!

Bacon Eggs Benedict

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Golden Turmeric Chai Smoothie Bowl

Golden Turmeric Chai Smoothie Bowl

Hello Everyone! It’s been a quiet and boring week to be honest, and I having a serious holiday withdrawal syndrome. I miss the lush greenery of Temburong, crystal clear waters, physical activities, and the sun piercing through your skin – giving you a tan that you’re proud to wear for the next couple of months because it reminds you of the fun times you had. But in all honesty, I just miss going on weekly adventures; a new hike trail every weekend to rejuvenate from the work week. It doesn’t even need to be a holiday, just a 2-day weekend where one of them can be spent going out and exploring, and the other to do chores, cook up a storm for Amcarmen’s Kitchen, and basically recover from the working week. Back in Australia, this was easy to do because there were plenty of trails to explore. Here in Brunei, not so much – and not much of great views too, and the fact that I only have a 1-day weekend.

All that aside, I have a bit of a unique smoothie bowl to share with you guys tonight; and I say unique because I’ve never thought of using these flavours (and spices) in a smoothie before. I mean, besides using spicy chai tea leaves and cinnamon in my Spicy Chai & Banana Cinnamon Smoothie from a while back, that’s pretty much the extent of me using spices in my smoothies.

The link to the original recipe can be found over on My Life Cookbook by Denise. She drew inspiration from ‘Golden Milk’ which, for those of you who don’t know, is basically a combination of turmeric, coconut milk (or oil), and black pepper. This Golden Turmeric Chai Smoothie Bowl is an aromatic, flavour-popping combination of golden milk and chai tea – perfect for an immune system boost if you’re feeling a bit under the weather, but also a quick, easy, and healthy breakfast to go!

Golden Turmeric Chai Smoothie Bowl Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME  | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

For the smoothie mixture

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 large bananas
  • 1-2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 1/2 tsp cardamon, ground
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg, grated

Toppings

  • Chia Seeds – contains omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, antioxidants, iron, and calcium
  • Goji Berries – excellent source of antioxidants and nutrients that help boost the immune system and protect the body from high levels of inflammation
  • Raspberriesgood source of vitamin C, E, K, manganese, dietary fibre, copper pantothenic acid, biotin, magnesium, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, and potassium
  • Desiccated Coconut

METHOD

  1. Blend the bananas, coconut milk, honey, ginger, and spices altogether until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and top with the raspberries, chia seeds, goji berries, and desiccated coconut. Enjoy for breakfast or an immune-boosting afternoon snack!

Golden Turmeric Chai Smoothie Bowl

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Avocado & Spinach Smoothie Bowl

Avocado & Spinach Smoothie Bowl

Hello Everyone! So yesterday my friend, who is visiting from New Zealand, and I went on a day-trip adventure to the pristine rainforest district of Brunei. We took a 45-minute boat ride from the city centre to the small town of Bangar in Temburong where we then travelled about 20 minutes by car to the Freme Rainforest Lodge where we had some local delights for our morning tea before setting off again on a 45-minute longboat ride to the Ulu National Park.

We climbed almost a thousand steps to get to the forest floor of the canopy walk, and then scaled a total of about 60m to the highest tower above the tallest trees of the luscious green rainforest. Even with multiple layers of sunblock, we were red from the scorching sun and we definitely worked our calves and derrières as we felt our legs shake when climbing back down to head to the mini waterfall for a nice cooling dip. The water was refreshingly blue but had fishes that weren’t afraid to nibble on you. They were the fish spa kind of fishes that really just wanted to nibble on your dead skin, but the fishes were much bigger that the little ones that you find at fish spas, so their bite was a little more scary.

Ulu Temburong National Park Adventures

After we cooled down, we headed back out on a longboat to the starting point of our kayak ride. On the way back down the crystal clear waters we spotted two freshwater crocodiles by the riverbanks – and apparently that didn’t seem to make us second guess our kayak ride back to the lodge. After our relaxing (or should I say, workout for our arms), kayak down the river, we got changed into dry clothes and had our late lunch. We were supposed to go zip-lining after but because it started to pour, we weren’t allowed to. Such a bummer though because apparently it hadn’t rained in Temburong for the past week, and it decided to as we were about to do our final activity before heading back to the main city. All-in-all it was a fun-filled day of nature and adventure – things that we both enjoy.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this little adventure for everyone before I dive right into tonight’s recipe for a lovely green smoothie bowl to match our little nature adventure from yesterday. You can switch out the low-fat milk to almond milk or coconut water, and the honey for agave nectar or maple syrup for a vegan alternative.

Avocado & Spinach Smoothie Bowl Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME  | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

For the smoothie mixture

  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 small avocado
  • 1 tbsp honey

Toppings

  • Bananas – loaded with essential vitamins and minerals such as potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, folate, niacin, riboflavin, and B6
  • Chia Seeds – contains omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, antioxidants, iron, and calcium
  • Goji Berries – excellent source of antioxidants and nutrients that help boost the immune system and protect the body from high levels of inflammation
  • Granolacontains vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients, including, but not limited to, dietary fibres, sodium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, vitamin C & E, niacin, iron, and thiamin
  • Kiwis – loaded with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins A, B6, B12, E, and potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium
  • Raspberriesgood source of vitamin C, E, K, manganese, dietary fibre, copper pantothenic acid, biotin, magnesium, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, and potassium

METHOD

  1. Blend the spinach, milk, banana, avocado, and honey until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and top with the raspberries, kiwi slices, chia seeds, granola, goji berries, and banana slices. Enjoy for breakfast or a power-boosting afternoon snack!

Avocado & Spinach Smoothie Bowl

As I have mentioned in last week’s post, whipping up a smoothie bowl is a great opportunity to get creative and top them with whatever you have lying around in your pantry and/or fridge. Top them with your favourite fruits, seeds, nuts, and grains!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Breakfast Muffins: Avocado & Blueberry

Breakfast Muffins: Avocado & Blueberry

Hello Everyone! I hope you guys had a good Easter weekend! Even though we don’t get a long Easter weekend here in Brunei, I did still manage to enjoy my Easter Sunday day off. I can’t believe that there’s only less than 2 weeks of April left and that May is just around the corner! Time sure flies by when you’re (not) having fun at work. Haha! I know I’ve mentioned this in previous posts about how everything is just becoming routinely for me and it’s actually becoming quite depressing. I’m in need for a little excitement in my life. I think my thoughts have been heard because I’m flying off tomorrow night for a little staycation in the Philippines! The company I’m working at is sending me and three other colleagues to the Philippines for a little work/play adventure, attending events and meetings on behalf of the company, and of course what’s a trip to the Philippines without a little summer fun in the sun? I mean, it’s pretty much our tagline – It’s More Fun In The Philippines!

Breakfast Muffins: Avocado & Blueberry

On this note, I definitely won’t be uploading a post next week because I’ll be away from Thursday to Monday night. Since my Sunday, and the public holiday on Monday is taken up for this trip, I won’t have my dish prepared for a post. So this will be my last Avocado recipe for the month of April that I will be sharing with you guys! In fact, after I’ve posted this, I’ve got to get a head start on my packing because I still have to be at the office tomorrow up until 2 hours before my flight – what the heck right? Also, I was only told on Monday that I’d be flying off, and everything was only firmly confirmed yesterday afternoon. As usual, before we dive into tonight’s recipe, please check the original recipe out by Ali from Gimme Some Oven.

Breakfast Muffins: Avocado & Blueberry Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 25-30 MINS | SERVES 16 MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS

For the avocado and blueberry muffins

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup plain fat-free yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 1 punnet (125g) fresh blueberries
  • 1 ripe avocado, halved, peeled, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the streusel topping

  • 30g unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp raw sugar
  • 2 tbsp white granulated sugar

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 190C (375F or gas mark 5). Line a 12-hole muffin pan with paper cases and set aside. Now since this recipes makes about 16 muffins, you can line another 6-hole muffin pan (if available), or if you only have one muffin pan, then bake in batches if needed.
  2. For the streusel topping, add all the ingredients in a small bowl until combined and crumbly. Set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, add the plain flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon (optional) and stir together to combine. Set aside.
  4. In a separate large mixing bowl, add the roughly chopped avocado and using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar in and beat until well blended. Follow with the yoghurt and pure vanilla extract, beating again until just combined.
  5. Add half of the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and beat until just combined. Add in the other half of the flour mixture and beat until well combined.
  6. Gently fold the blueberries in using a rubber spatula, then spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling them about 2/3 of the way. Sprinkle with the streusel topping and place in the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted to the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
  7. Set aside to cool in the muffin pan for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool down completely. Serve for breakfast or afternoon tea and enjoy!

Breakfast Muffins: Avocado & Blueberry

Muffins taste best on the same day, though they may be stored covered tightly at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Now, I know I have a couple of friends and colleagues who don’t particularly like the taste of avocado; don’t ask me why because I think that they’re just plain weird for not liking avocado (hehe!), but give them one of these beautiful green muffins and they’ll probably be hooked on it. The avocado flavour in these muffins are not overpowering or predominant, but there is a slight hint of it in each bite you take. These muffins are a classic twist to a classic blueberry muffin and are light, moist, and al the more healthy for you because of the avocado in place of all the other oils you’d otherwise use when making muffins. Top them off with a crumbly streusel to give it an “extra muffin-y sweetness” as Ali says.

Breakfast Muffins: Avocado & Blueberry

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

No-bake Avocado Lime Cheesecake

No-bake Avocado Lime Cheesecake

Hello Everyone! Today is a very special day, and for two reasons too! Today is special because God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal live (John 3:16 ESV). A very Happy Easter to all who celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Besides today being Easter Sunday, today is also special because Amcarmen’s Kitchen turns 3! On this day 3 years ago I was sitting in my room, quite possibly still in my pyjamas at that time, blankly starting at my list of assignments to complete before the end of the Easter mid-semester break on my second-last semester of my degree. Knowing that I had so much to do in so little given time, I thought the only right thing to do at that moment was to take a nap and hopefully, magically, all my assignments would have been completed by the time I woke up from my nap… Well, that wasn’t what happened, but instead I decided to spontaneously delve into the world of WordPress, and *poof!* Kitchen Headquarters was born. Yes, Amcarmen’s Kitchen was previously known as Kitchen Headquarters in 2014 for a good year and a half before I did a whole rebranding in mid-2015.

As it has been for the past 2 years, I decided to make, not bake, a cake for Amcarmen’s Kitchen, and basically for my family and I to enjoy on behalf of my blog haha. I decided to try something new, while of course still sticking to the theme of using avocado in all my recipes for the month of April. Before we dive into today’s recipe, please do check the original by Sheilla on Chef Sheilla.

No-bake Avocado Lime Cheesecake Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | SETTING TIME 2 HOURS | SERVES 8-10

INGREDIENTS

For the avocado lime cheesecake mixture

  • 250g cream cheese, softened
  • 50g unsalted butter, melted
  • 300ml crème fraîche
  • 1 large avocado, mashed
  • 1 sachet (7g) clear gelatin or agar-agar powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Juice and zest of 2 limes
  • 1 cup ground digestive cookies
  • 1 lime, for garnishing

METHOD

  1. Combine the ground digestive cookies and melted butter in a medium-sized bowl and mix until moist crumbs form. Press the crumb mixture onto the bottom of a 10″ springform pan that has been lined with parchment paper. Chill in the freezer for about 10 minutes to set.
  2. Take 100ml of the crème fraîche and combine it with the gelatin or agar-agar powder in a small saucepan. Stir for about 2 minutes until all the gelatin granules has dissolved. Turn the heat to medium and bring to a boil, stirring for a few minutes until the gelatin has completely melted. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Set aside.
  3. Add the mashed avocado, cream cheese, sugar, the remaining 200ml of crème fraîche, lime juice, and lime zest to a large mixing bowl and using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, mix everything together until smooth and well-combined. Pour in the gelatin-cream mixture and continue to mix until creamy and smooth in texture.
  4. Pour the avocado lime cheesecake mixture into the prepared springform pan and smoothen the top. Chill in the freezer for at least two hours for it to set.
  5. Release the cheesecake from the springform pan and serve right away! Garnish the top with some lime slices and zest. Enjoy!

No-bake Avocado Lime Cheesecake

The taste: amazing! The flavour of the avocado definitely shone through, and the hint of tangy flavour from the lime made the whole dessert refreshing in taste. The texture… Well let’s just say that it is supposed to be creamy and smooth, mine wasn’t as smooth as it could be. It has nothing to do with the original recipe; I think that I may have slipped up somewhere along the way. The obvious was probably that I was on the verge of over whipping the cheesecake mixture that the fresh cream started forming little clumps – I stopped before it severely over whipped. Also, I probably didn’t add enough gelatin to the cheesecake mixture so it didn’t quite set right. I only added half of the sachet in even though the original said ‘1 sachet’ – in my defense I didn’t know if Sheilla’s 1 sachet was the same quantity-wise as my 1 sachet. Oh well, I’ve adjusted the quantity of the gelatin in this recipe so hopefully the one listed above works!

Before I end tonight’s post, I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank first and foremost, my Mom who taught me how to cook. I also thank my other family members and friends who encouraged me to start up my blog because if it weren’t for them, Amcarmen’s Kitchen wouldn’t be here today, and I probably wouldn’t have continued pursuing my passion for cooking at home. Let’s face it, when I cook, I cook for my blog, and my family just so happens to be around to eat it after haha! Finally, to those who think I am just wasting my time on this, or assume that I work in a restaurant as a waitress because I didn’t actually go to culinary school to be able to work in a commercial/professional kitchen, take your negativity elsewhere. I have a degree in Design and I am working in the country’s leading Advertising Agency as a Creative Design and Events Management Executive, as well as a Copywriter. Thank you very much.

No-bake Avocado Lime Cheesecake

No-bake Avocado Lime Cheesecake

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Avocado Egg Rolls with Parsley Dipping Sauce

Avocado Egg Rolls with Parsley Dipping Sauce

​Hello Everyone!​ The week has been quiet. Well quiet in a sense that other than the routinely eat work eat sleep repeat, nothing really exciting has happened this past week. Well, it was like that until the past few days happened. I’m not going to do into the details, but all I can say is that I’ve only been back for just over a month since my trip to Australia and New Zealand, and I’m already wanting to get away again, maybe to the UK? Or somewhere closer like South Korea or Japan? Maybe somewhere warmer like Peru or South Africa? I don’t know. Actually, ICELAND! Yes that’s right. Iceland is a must sooner or later.

Anyway, tonight’s recipe is a simple one that I came across on Pinterest one day as I was browsing for new and exciting recipes. This one stood out for two reasons, the first is obvious, avocado in an egg roll?! Now this is something different and tasty as I love both avocados and egg rolls. The second would be the fact that they are Cheesecake Factory Avocado Egg Rolls. Okay, I’ve never been to Cheesecake Factory before but I’ve heard a lot about it from various forms of media and it seemed like a pretty famous place to eat at. Maybe one day when I do get the chance to travel the States again, I’ll definitely pop by and see what the hype is all about. Before I delve into the recipe, please be sure to check the original out by Chung-Ah over on DAMN delicious.

Avocado Egg Rolls with Parsley Dipping Sauce

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 5 MINS | SERVES 6-8 ROLLS

INGREDIENTS

For the avocado eggs rolls

  • 8 spring or egg roll wrappers
  • 2-3 avocados, halved, peeled and deseeded
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • 1 small-sized red onion, diced
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Juice of one lime
  • Parsley leaves, roughly chopped (enough for about 2 tbsp)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

For the parsley dipping sauce

  • 3/4 cup parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup fat-free yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Juice of one lime

METHOD

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the parsley dipping sauce in a medium-sized bowl and mix to combine, adjusting the salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  2. In another medium sized bowl, gently mash the avocado flesh using a fork. Add the diced tomatoes, red onion, parsley, lime juice, salt and pepper, to taste, to the mashed avocado and gently toss to combine.
  3. Working one at a time, place the avocado mixture in the center of each wrapper. Bring the bottom edge of the wrapper tightly over the filling, folding in the sides. Continue rolling until the top of the wrapper is reached. Repeat with remaining wrappers and avocado mixture.
  4. Heat vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium-high. Working in batches, add the egg rolls to the pan and fry until evenly golden brown and crispy, about 2-3 minutes altogether. Once golden, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  5. Serve immediately with cilantro dipping sauce.

Avocado Egg Rolls with Parsley Dipping Sauce

Avocado Egg Rolls with Parsley Dipping Sauce

Side note: It was supposed to be a cilantro dipping sauce, but since I can’t stand the taste of cilantro, I substituted it out for parsley instead. But if you’re not like me, then you can definitely go ahead and put the cilantro back in! Also, when I buy spring/egg roll wrappers from the store, they usually come in a pack of 40 wrappers, so what my Mom did with the remaining 32 wrappers was make them into lumping shanghai!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Smashed Avo Toast (9 ways)

Hello Everyone! Finally I am back on track with my posts and the theme for the month of April is Avocado! All you need is about half a medium-sized avocado everyday as it provides 1% of the calcium, 5% of the magnesium, and 10% of the potassium that you need daily. Avocados are a good source of potassium, which can help lower blood pressure, and in addition, the dark green flesh just under an avocado’s brittle skin contains large amounts of disease-fighting compounds. Though avocados are proven to help lower blood pressure and an abundance of health benefits, we have to be weary of how much we intake daily as they are also high in calories.

Tonight, I will be sharing 9 different ways you can start your mornings with a smile on your face with 9 different smashed avocado toasts! Of course, don’t limit yourselves to just these 9 recipes; I encourage you to get creative with your smashed avo toasts and share your creations with me on Instagram using the hashtag #amcarmenskitchen

1. Five Pepper Smoked Salmon with Red Onions, Capers & Chilli Flakes

Five Pepper Smoked Salmon with Red Onions, Capers & Chilli Flakes

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME  | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices multigrain brown bread
  • 1/2 avocado, smashed
  • 1 small red onion, cut into rings
  • 2 tsp capers
  • Smoked salmon slices with five peppers

METHOD

  1. Lightly toast bread in a toaster for about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Spread a generous amount of the smashed avocado onto the toast and top with smoked salmon, red onion rings, and capers. Sprinkle with a touch of chilli flakes for an added kick (optional).
  3. Enjoy!

2. Medley of Grape Tomato Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction

Medley of Grape Tomato Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME 5 MINS | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices multigrain brown bread
  • 1/2 avocado, smashed
  • 1 punnet (250g) grape tomato medley, halved
  • 4 cherry bocconcini cheese, sliced
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Olive Oil
  • Sweet basil leaves

METHOD

  1. Combine the grape tomatoes, bocconcini slices, and sweet basil leaves in a small bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with a touch of ground sea salt and black pepper to taste. Set aside and leave to macerate.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the balsamic vinegar in a small non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer, continuously stirring to check on the consistency of the glaze, until the vinegar reduces to a thick sauce, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool down for a bit.
  3. Lightly toast bread in a toaster for about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Spread a generous amount of the smashed avocado onto the toast, top with the tomato cappers salad, and drizzle the balsamic reduction over the salad.
  5. Enjoy!

3. Sliced Banana & Pumpkin Seeds drizzled with Honey

Sliced Banana & Pumpkin Seeds drizzled with Honey

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME  | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices multigrain brown bread
  • 1/2 avocado, smashed
  • 1 large banana, sliced
  • Honey
  • Pumpkin seeds

METHOD

  1. Lightly toast bread in a toaster for about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Spread a generous amount of the smashed avocado onto the toast, top with banana slices and pumpkin seeds, and drizzle with honey.
  3. Enjoy!

4. Soft-boiled Egg with Chilli Flakes & Parsley

Soft-boiled Egg with Chilli Flakes & Parsley

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME 6 MINS | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices multigrain brown bread
  • 1/2 avocado, smashed
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • Chilli Flakes
  • Parsley, roughly chopped

METHOD

  1. Bring a small pot of water to a rolling boil. Once boiling, reduce the water to a rapid simmer before gently lowering the eggs one by one into the pot. Cook for 5 minutes for a runny yolk, or 7 minutes for a barely set yolk. Once done, remove from the heat and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Once cool, peel the shell off and slice.
  2. Lightly toast bread in a toaster for about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Spread a generous amount of the smashed avocado onto the toast, top with the sliced eggs, and sprinkle with a touch of chilli flakes, and parsley.
  4. Enjoy!

5. Sliced Strawberries & Crumbled Goat’s Cheese with Balsamic Reduction and Peppermint Leaves

Sliced Strawberries & Crumbled Goat's Cheese with Balsamic Reduction and Peppermint Leaves

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME 5 MINS | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices multigrain brown bread
  • 1/2 avocado, smashed
  • 4 large strawberries, sliced
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Goat’s cheese, crumbled

METHOD

  1. Heat the balsamic vinegar in a small non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer, continuously stirring to check on the consistency of the glaze, until the vinegar reduces to a thick sauce, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool down for a bit.
  2. Lightly toast bread in a toaster for about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Spread a generous amount of the smashed avocado onto the toast, top with the sliced strawberries, crumbled goat’s cheese, and drizzle the balsamic reduction over the strawberries.
  4. Enjoy!

6. Sautéd Brown & Shimeji Mushrooms topped with Fried Enoki & Parsley

Sautéd Brown & Shimeji Mushrooms topped with Fried Enoki & Parsley

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME 8 MINS | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices multigrain brown bread
  • 1/2 avocado, smashed
  • 4 large brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 bunch (100g) shimeji mushrooms
  • 1/2 bunch (50g) enoki mushrooms
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Knob of unsalted butter
  • Olive oil
  • Parsley, roughly chopped

METHOD

  1. Melt the unsalted butter in a small frying pan over medium-high heat and add about a teaspoon of olive oil.
  2. Sauté the minced garlic until golden brown and fragrant, about 30 to 45 seconds. Add in the sliced brown mushrooms and shimeji mushrooms and cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes.  Season with pinch of ground sea salt and black pepper. Once tender, remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, heat about 3 tbsp of olive oil over high heat until slightly smoking. Add the enoki mushrooms in and fry until golden brown in colour, about 2-3 minutes. Once done, transfer to a small plate lined with a paper towel. Set aside.
  4. Lightly toast bread in a toaster for about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Spread a generous amount of the smashed avocado onto the toast and top with the sautéd garlic mushrooms and the fried enoki mushrooms. Garnish with a touch of ground black pepper and parsley.
  6. Enjoy!

7. Diced Mango with Chilli Powder & Peppermint

Diced Mango with Chilli Powder & Peppermint

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME  | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices multigrain brown bread
  • 1/2 avocado, smashed
  • 1 small mango, diced
  • Chilli powder
  • Peppermint leaves

METHOD

  1. Lightly toast bread in a toaster for about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Spread a generous amount of the smashed avocado onto the toast and top with the diced mangoes, chilli powder, and peppermint leaves.
  3. Enjoy!

8. Roasted Chickpeas & Parsley

Roasted Chickpeas & Parsley

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME 10 MINS | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices multigrain brown bread
  • 1/2 avocado, smashed
  • 1 can (200g) chickpeas, drained
  • 2 tsp ground smoked paprika
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil
  • Parsley, roughly chopped

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200C (400F or gas mark 6). Line a baking tray with aluminium foil. Set aside.
  2. Add the drained chickpeas in a small bowl together with the ground smoked paprika, sea salt, black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss to coat.
  3. Spread the chickpeas onto the prepared baking tray and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes. Once done, remove from the oven.
  4. Lightly toast bread in a toaster for about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Spread a generous amount of the smashed avocado onto the toast and top with the roasted chickpeas and parsley.
  6. Enjoy!

9. Chorizo Sausage & Sweet Corn

Chorizo Sausage & Sweet Corn

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME 4-6 MINS | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices multigrain brown bread
  • 1/2 avocado, smashed
  • 1 chorizo sausage, sliced
  • 1 can (200g) sweet corn kernels, drained
  • Olive oil

METHOD

  1. Heat olive oil in a small frying pan over medium-high. Pan-fry the chorizo slices until browned, about 2-3 minutes per side. Once done, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. Set aside.
  2. Bring a small pot of water to a rolling boil and blanch the sweet corn kernels for about a minute or two. Drain and set aside to cool down for a bit.
  3. Lightly toast bread in a toaster for about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Spread a generous amount of the smashed avocado onto the toast, top with the pan-fried chorizo sausages and sweet corn kernels, and drizzle with a bit of the chorizo oil (optional).
  5. Enjoy!

Just a little side note before I end tonight’s post, I spent the whole day amending quite possibly the same artwork because their comments/amendments were all on an installation basis. Such completely waste of time which then prevented me from actually completing the work I had set to do today because I had to keep going back and forth to the same bloody artwork.

​BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Health Tip: High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Hello Everyone! I am back on Amcarmen’s Kitchen for the year and I would just like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a belated Happy New Year and a Happy Chinese New Year to all my Chinese Family, Friends, and Followers! May the Year of the Golden Rooster bring you and your family your family Happiness that comes from within, the best of Luck to keep you pushing, and Peace in all days of this New Year. Gong Xi Fa Cai! 恭喜發財!

Now, before I move on to this evening’s post, I just want to clarify to those who haven’t read or been following my blog last month – I did mention that I would be taking a break from Amcarmen’s Kitchen due to the fact that I had a hectic schedule for the past few weeks, preventing me from having the energy to be in the kitchen on my only day off for the month of January. When the New Year kicked in, I had been staying a little later in the office every night to expedite the completion of the many design collaterals needed for the 19th Consumer Fair that happened just last week from the 18th to the 22nd of January 2017. Right after the Consumer Fair, we had family friends visiting us for 5 days, and then I had a Car Launching Event to manager alongside another colleague just 2 days ago. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since the start of the year and I still haven’t been able to have a good rest as the inevitable post-Consumer Fair virus decided to kick in. I am currently, and slowly recovering from a blocked nose, an itchy throat, and a migraine as I am writing this post. Thank goodness for the long weekend ahead, otherwise I wouldn’t be seeing myself recovering for the next week or so.

Now, all that aside, let’s get onto tonight’s post! Tonight will be something different, but it will serve as the ultimate guideline for the year to come. As you can see from the title, the main focus of this post is to target High Blood Pressure, or also known as, Hypertension. In my recent trip to the Philippines, back in the middle of 2016, I underwent a health check as part of my requirement to process my employment permit to work in Brunei. It was then that I found that I suffer from high blood pressure. I admit that when I found out about this, I was feeling a little bit depressed; and whilst I was still in the Philippines back then awaiting for the approval of my employment visa, I sat down and started researching on hypertension and what foods to eat/avoid to help regulate blood pressure levels. Ever since I found out about my blood pressure levels being exceedingly high, I have also made changes to the food I eat, and have tried to become more active in my lifestyle habits.

High Blood Pressure, or Hypertension, is a serious health problem, where over time it causes blood vessel damage that can lead to heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, and other health problems. Hypertension is sometimes known as the silent killer because there are no real symptoms to detect whether or not you are prone High Blood Pressure. If you don’t get your blood pressure checked regularly, hypertension could go unnoticed, and untreated, for years.

Your diet plays a big role in whether you have high or normal blood pressure. Dietary recommendations for lowering blood pressure include reducing your intake of fat, sodium, and alcohol. It is also suggested that you eat more foods that are rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium. In general, you should eat more high-fibre, low-sodium, low-fat protein sources, whole grains, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Here are 20 foods & drinks that you should include in your daily diet to help prevent, lower, or control your high blood pressure naturally without the need for medication:

1. Avocado – All you need is about half a medium-sized avocado everyday as it provides 1% of the calcium, 5% of the magnesium, and 10% of the potassium that you need daily. The dark green flesh just under an avocado’s brittle skin contains large amounts of disease-fighting compounds.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Avocados


2. Bananas – Slice a banana into your breakfast cereal or oatmeal, or take one to work everyday for a quick, easy, and inexpensive snack. One medium-sized banana provides 1% of the calcium, 8% of the magnesium, and 12% of the potassium you need daily.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Bananas


3. Beets – People with High Blood Pressure saw significant improvements from drinking beetroot juice. The nitrates found in the juice brought down one’s high blood pressure within just 24 hours. If you’re not too keen on drinking beetroot juice, you can easily roast or steam the whole root and add it to a green-packed salad, stir-fry, or stews.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Beets


4. Berries – Blueberries especially, are rich in natural compounds where when consumed, is known to prevent hypertension and reduce high blood pressure. Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are easy to add to your diet; put them in your cereal every morning or keep some in the freezer for a quick and healthy dessert.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Berries


5. Broccoli – This cruciferous vegetable is a famous source of cancer-fighting nutrients. One cup of cooked broccoli provides 6% of the calcium, 8% of the magnesium, and 14% of the potassium you need everyday.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Broccoli


6. Celery – To lower mild cases of high blood pressure, one would eat about a cup of chopped celery daily. You should begin to see results after only a week or two. Celery contains a chemical that smoothes the muscles lining blood vessels, which increases vessel diameter and allows for easier blood flow at lower pressures.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Celery


7. Fat-free Plain Yogurt – Cool and creamy, yogurt is a star ingredient in mineral-rich breakfasts, sauces and salad dressings, and even in entrée dishes. You can control the fat and nutrient content by making your own yogurt at home for your high blood pressure diet. Here’s a recipe to making your own yogurt at home.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Fat-free Plain Yoghurt


8. Hibiscus Tea – Hibiscus tea has been a traditional remedy for high blood pressure and one that must be used continuously to maintain its positive results. Look specifically for tea made from Hibiscus sabdariffa. It is generally made from the flowers and fruit of the plant.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Hibiscus Tea


9. Kiwi – Kiwis contain more vitamin C than a same-size serving of orange slices. One kiwifruit provides 2% of the calcium, 7% of the magnesium, and 9% of the potassium you need every day.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Kiwis


10. Leafy Greens – Leafy greens such as romaine lettuce, arugula (rocket), kale, turnip greens, collard greens, and spinach are high in potassium. This allows your kidneys to get rid of more sodium through your urine, which lowers your blood pressure. Stray away from canned vegetables though as they contain high amounts of sodium; instead, opt for frozen vegetables as they contain as many nutrients as fresh vegetables and are easy to store.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Leafy Greens


11. Oatmeal – Oatmeal for your breakfast is a great way to charge up for the day. It is high-fibre, low-fat, and low-sodium, which is essentially just what you need to help lower your blood pressure. On its own, oatmeal can be bland; however, you should refrain from adding too much sugar. Instead, add fresh or frozen berries (see point 4) to sweeten it up, and maybe just a touch of honey.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Oatmeal


12. Peaches & Nectarines – Frozen unsweetened peach slices are a great alternative to fresh peaches and nectarines on a high blood pressure diet. Just defrost ahead of time or, for smoothies, simply toss in the blender. One medium peach or nectarine provides 1% of the calcium, 3% of the magnesium, and 8% of the potassium you need every day.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Peaches & Nectarines


13. Pomegranate Juice – The pomegranate has been revered as the “fruit of life.” One of its remarkable powers is to improve cardiovascular health. If you drink pomegranate juice to naturally lower your blood pressure, be sure your juice has no added sugars.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Pomegranate Juice


14. Pork Tenderloin – Meat lover’s can now rejoice! You’re probably wondering how pork even made it onto this list, well just 85 grams (3 oz) of pork tenderloin provide 6% of the magnesium and 15% of the potassium you need every day. This lean cut provides plenty of meaty flavour and satisfaction without the overload of saturated fat found in fattier types of beef and pork.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Pork Tenderloin


15. Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes – Potatoes and sweet potatoes are high in potassium and magnesium, two minerals that can help to lower your blood pressure. One medium sweet potato with the skin provides 4% of the calcium, 8% of the magnesium (7% without the skin), and 15% of the potassium (10% without the skin) you need every day. Bake several sweet potatoes at one time so you’ll have a ready supply for quick smoothies and other recipes.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes


16. Quinoa – This high-protein whole grain has a mild yet nutty flavour, contains a variety of health-protecting nutrients along with an impressive amount of magnesium, and cooks in less than half the time it takes to make brown rice. A half-cup of cooked quinoa provides 1.5% of the calcium, 15% of the magnesium, and 4.5% of the potassium you need every day. Quinoa is gluten free, making it a great option if you’re gluten intolerant or have celiac disease. The most widely available quinoa is a golden beige color, but red and black varieties are also available and worth a try for your high blood pressure diet.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Quinoa


17. Red Capsicum – One cup of raw red capsicum provides 1% of the calcium, 4% of the magnesium, and 9% of the potassium you need every day.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Red Capsicum


18. Skim Milk – Skim milk is an excellent source of calcium and is low in fat. These are both important elements of a diet for lowering blood pressure. Swap out your higher-fat milk for skim milk. If you’re not a fan of milk altogether, then eat more low-fat or nonfat yoghurt. Just make sure to avoid yoghurt that is high in sugar.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Skim Milk


19. Tilapia – This mild white fish is available year-round in supermarkets and fish stores, fresh or as frozen fillets. You can roast it, bake it, and sauté it, flavor it with a variety of seasonings, and even top it with mineral-rich kiwi-avocado salsa (see points 1 and 9). Just 133 grams (4 oz) of tilapia provides 8% of the magnesium and 8% of the potassium you need every day.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Tilapia


20. White Beans – And last but not least, you can use this comfort food in side dishes, soups, and entrées. As a meatless source of protein, it’s a great choice for vegetarians. One cup of white beans provides 13% of the calcium, 30% of the magnesium, and 24% of the potassium you need every day.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): White Beans

Of course there are other factors that help control, lower, or prevent high blood pressure such as exercising regularly and keeping an eye on your waistline, but I won’t be going into too much detail on those aspects. Just always remember that eating foods that are rich in minerals is better than taking supplements.

So yes, earlier above I made mention that this list will serve as the ultimate guideline to the monthly themes on Amcarmen’s Kitchen – each month I will pick a certain food to cook with from the list above and dish up meals highlighting the chosen ingredient. For example, I have chosen to focus on Bananas for the month of February. Stay tuned as Amcarmen’s Kitchen will be back with some exciting recipes starting this Wednesday!

Cheers!

*Note: All imagery used in this blog post do not belong to me, they have been sourced from Google Images and Freepik. Likewise, information gathered for this post has been sourced from Dr. David Williams, Eating Well, Health Line & Prevention.

– Ally xx

Chocomolé Smoothie

Chocomolé Smoothie

Hello Everyone! It’s week 3 of deliciously healthy smoothies to kickstart your mornings, boost your afternoons, or fuel your post-gym workouts. Well, tonight’s smoothie is a little less healthy in comparison to the two that I’ve posted since the month started – and I say this just because I’m using full cream milk in the recipe. I’ve opted for the light yoghurt though if that makes any difference! *cheeky grin* Anyway, this recipe was inspired by a smoothie that I had probably over a year ago or two now back when I was brunching my way through Sydney with friends. I had this smoothie (or something similarly along the lines of this smoothie) at a café called Rustic Pearl. When I saw this on their menu, the reaction ew came to mind followed with mixed emotions. Nonetheless, I decided to be adventurous and instead of going with a conventional banana and cinnamon smoothie, I ordered the Chocomolé (Chocolate & Guacamole) – may I just add what a creative name to call the smoothie! This was the best decision that I made that day. The smoothie was an absolute yum!

Anyway, don’t forget to check out the original recipe over on Texanerin Baking. There are options for vegan, diary-free, and paleo as well, where you can basically switch out the Greek yoghurt with coconut milk yoghurt, and completely omit the use of full cream milk as well or replace it with coconut milk. Though it was delicious for me, it might not be to everyone’s liking for I think my Mom didn’t like it when I made this batch a couple of weeks ago for the first time haha.

Chocomolé Smoothie Ingredients

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium cold banana
  • 1/2 cold avocado flesh (about 85 grams would suffice)
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (or coconut milk yogurt for vegan, dairy-free, paleo
  • 2-4 tbsp milk, optional (omit for vegan, dairy-free, paleo or use coconut milk)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

METHOD

  1. Blend everything together in a blender until it’s very creamy. Add more milk until it is to the desired thickness or your liking.
  2. Top with some banana slices and some roughly chopped dark chocolate. Serve immediately or keep covered in the refrigerator for up to one day.

Chocomolé Smoothie

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com