Avocado & Shiitake Rice Paper Rolls

Avocado & Shiitake Rice Paper Rolls

Hello Everyone! I feel like keeping this short one tonight – only because I really don’t have much to say about the dish itself, nor do I have a back story like I did last week about it. Yet again, I have to say that this isn’t one of the prettiest dishes I’ve put up – to be honest, I didn’t really put much thought in how I could have presented this dish. I really had to up the saturation when editing the photographs because it just looked so dead in terms of colour, and of course, composition.

Avocado & Shiitake Rice Paper Rolls

Despite that, this is an easy to make and perfectly healthy snack if you only plan on eating 1 roll, a light dinner if eating 2, and a hefty lunch if you’re planning on eating 4 or more of these! Don’t be deceived like I was – I thought 3 rolls wasn’t going to fill me up for dinner – how wrong I was! I was already struggling towards the end of my second roll!

They’re perfect for a delectable spring or summer dish, with crispy, crunchy, creamy textures and bright, bold flavours. I mean, despite the rain we’ve been having lately, we’ve also seen some beautiful sunny days. Before we head on over to the recipe for tonight, please do check out the original recipe that I adapted from Kristina on Spabettie.

Avocado & Shiitake Rice Paper Rolls Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 10 MINS | MAKES 12 ROLLS

INGREDIENTS

For the rice paper rolls

  • Half pack (125g) cooked rice noodles, drizzled with sesame oil
  • 12 rice paper wrappers
  • 12 large dried shiitake mushroom slices, rehydrated
  • 1 large ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and sliced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, sliced into matchsticks and blanched
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • Bunch of spring onion, cut into matchsticks and blanched

For the spicy peanut sauce (Recipe adapted from Food in a Minute)

  • 1 small garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp chilli powder

METHOD

  1. Spicy Peanut Sauce: Heat a dash of cooking oil (about a tablespoon) in a small saucepan. On low heat, add the minced garlic and sauté until golden in colour and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Then, add the minced onion to the pan and cook for a further 30 to 45 seconds, until slightly softened. Be careful as to not brown/burn the garlic.
  2. Add the peanut butter, roasted peanuts, chilli powder, and water to the pan and stir until smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Rice Paper Rolls: Have two large plates ready, one filled with water and the other for filling/rolling your rice paper rolls. Ensure all your ingredient fillings are also prepared and ready for rolling!
  4. Place a wrapper into the plate with water, flipping so that both sides of the wrapper is soaked. Remove from the water while still firm and place on the other plate and begin to build up your roll.

Tip: Do not over soak the rice paper sheet as it will soften as it sits. This is so that it will not soften to the point that it sticks to the surface of the plate or rips when handling.

Avocado & Shiitake Rice Paper Rolls

  1. Place 2-3 slices of avocado and red bell pepper matchsticks in the middle of the rice paper, with 1-2 slices of shiitake mushroom (depending on its size), and a handful of sesame rice noodles. Top with a tablespoon of the spicy peanut sauce, pinch of crushed roasted peanuts, and a spring onion matchstick.
  2. Roll like a burrito by folding the short sides over, then turning and folding one long side over. Roll, tuck, roll, tuck, until completely enclosed. Repeat for the remaining rice paper sheets – should make at least 12 rolls.
  3. Serve immediately with a side of spicy peanut sauce for dipping. Enjoy!

Avocado & Shiitake Rice Paper Rolls

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Raspberry & Passionfruit Smoothie Bowl

Raspberry & Passionfruit Smoothie Bowl

Hello Everyone! It’s the last of my Smoothie Bowl series for the past two months! I hope that everyone that has been following have enjoyed a burst of colourful and healthy breakfast smoothies in a different limelight. As I have always said in, if not all, then most of my posts from the past two months is that you can cater to your favourite flavour combinations for these smoothie bowls. You can also get creative in the toppings and enjoy decorating them for a vivid start to your mornings. They’re easy to whip up for those busy weekdays as well as for those chill weekends.

From all the smoothies bowls I’ve whipped up and experimented with, I would say that my most favourite one would have to be the Avocado & Spinach Smoothie Bowl in terms of taste. In terms of colour, hands down to the ever so vibrant Pitaya & Pineapple Smoothie Bowl, and I would have to say that tonight’s recipe beats the rest in terms of presentation. Let me know in the comments below what your favourites are based on the three categories that I mentioned: Taste, Colour, and Presentation.

Also, a special shoutout to my Mama who turned 58 yesterday! May God continue to shower you with love, happiness, and health for the many more years to come. I didn’t have time to bake her a cake – so we got a deconstructed Pineapple Tart for her yesterday at the restaurant we celebrated at last night. I literally came back from the Philippines on Sunday night, which, those of you who know me or have read somewhere on this blog, that Sunday is my only day off from my work week and the only time I can cook or bake. But don’t worry guys! I’ll make it up to her for Mother’s Day next weekend, plus that deconstructed Pineapple Tart was TO. DIE. FOR. If my Mom hadn’t stopped me, I would’ve gladly ordered another plate just for myself.

Mama's 58th Birthday

Just to note, I know that whenever it’s a new month on the blog, I always start a new theme – but because my scheduling got a bit messed up last month, I still have one more Smoothie Bowl recipe to share with everyone instead of leaving it in my archive of ‘recipes I haven’t posted yet because it doesn’t fit the theme’. Next week I’ll be back with a new Breakfast theme for Amcarmen’s Kitchen so stay tuned!

Moving on, you may find something off in the ingredients shot below. If you haven’t/didn’t read my post last week Tuesday, I mentioned that my jar of peanut butter went missing for that recipe when I was photographing the ingredients for it and ended up in this recipe instead *cheeky grin* but I had only noticed it when I went through the photos a couple of day later after shooting and making the two smoothie bowls on that same day. I was too lazy to set it all up again just for the right photo, so bear with me on this – my mind tends to float from time to time. I know it’s not that big of a deal, but sometimes things like these tickle my mild acquaintance to OCD.

Raspberry & Passionfruit Smoothie Bowl Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME  | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

For the smoothie mixture

  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 large banana
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Toppings

  • Granola – contains 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
  • Passionfruitrich in antioxidants, flavonoids, vitamin A & C, riboflavin, niacin, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, fiber, and protein
  • Raspberrygood source of vitamin C, E, K, manganese, dietary fibre, copper pantothenic acid, biotin, magnesium, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, and potassium
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Desiccated Coconut

METHOD

  1. Blend the raspberries, banana, milk, yoghurt, and chia seeds until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and top with passionfruit pulp, sliced kiwis, granola, roughly chopped dark chocolate, desiccated coconut, and crushed raspberries and granola. Enjoy!

Raspberry & Passionfruit Smoothie Bowl

And that wraps up Breakfast Smoothie Bowls on Amcarmen’s Kitchen. Here’s an image that a edited together for a recap on what I’ve covered. Head on over to the recipes tab above under ‘Western’ to find the links to all of the yummilicious bowls. Stay tuned for a whole new theme on the blog in a couple of days (hopefully)!

8 Brekkie Smoothie Bowls

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Dark Chocolate, PB & Banana Smoothie Bowl

Dark Chocolate, PB & Banana Smoothie Bowl

Hello Everyone! First off, apologies as I did say in my last post that I’d get this up within the week where I posted about Amcarmen’s Kitchen turning 4 last week! (Unnecessary) things got in the way which was why I wasn’t able to get this up. So to make up for that, since after this post I still have one more Smoothie Bowl recipe to share with all of you, I’ll ATTEMPT to get that up for you before May rolls in. Bare in mind that I will be flying off once again tomorrow, hence also why this post is going up on a Tuesday instead of my usual Wednesday post schedule, so my attempt may already be void at this point *cheeky grin* but for you guys, I will try my best to.

Moving on, here is tonight’s recipe for a devilishly delicious Dark Chocolate, PB, and Banana Smoothie Bowl! So incase you guys haven’t been following my Instagram pages, I got back from a 5-day business trip to Hong Kong two Sundays ago. I’ve italicised ‘business’ because well, though yes it was for business, it was also sort of a mini-vacation. It was my first time to travel to Hong Kong as well so I made sure that I made the most out of the trip, outside of business hours that is. Though it was a fun trip, both on the business and vacation side to it, I was super exhausted and sleep deprived from the trip when I got back. It’s not that I was out partying every single night until the wee hours of dawn, but rather my roommate/colleague basically kept me up all night. She snores like a helicopter continuously hovering over me and talks in her sleep. I’m a very sensitive sleeper and this for me was just… Pure torture. I probably collectively only slept 8-10 hours during that 5 day trip, and the hard part was, I couldn’t even take naps in between because she snores in her naps too. I’m definitely requesting for separate rooms if I ever have to travel with her again. At least I’ll be travelling by myself to the Philippines tomorrow so I won’t have to worry about a snore fest for the upcoming 5 days (thank God).

Rant over. So Dark Chocolate, PB, and Banana? In a smoothie bowl? For breakfast? Don’t mind if I do! Classic flavour combinations for those who prefer to start their mornings off on a sweet note. Now you may notice that in the ingredients shot below that the jar of peanut butter is missing… So here’s what happened, that day I was making two different smoothie bowls for a Sunday afternoon snack, therefore I took two ingredient shots that day. The jar of peanut butter found it’s way into the other shot (which by the way doesn’t need peanut butter) and I only realised it after I was going through the photographs I took a few days later – silly me! Oh well, so ignore the jar of peanut butter in the next recipe post!

Dark Chocolate, PB & Banana Smoothie Bowl Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME  | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

For the smoothie mixture

  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • 60g dark chocolate*
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder

*I used Whittaker’s Marlborough Sea Salt and Caramel Brittle Chocolate for this recipe – super yum with that hint of salt and sweet caramel.

Toppings

  • Bananas – loaded with essential vitamins and minerals such as potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, folate, niacin, riboflavin, and B6
  • Granola – contains 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
  • Coco Pops
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Desiccated Coconut

METHOD

  1. Add the milk, peanut butter, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, yoghurt, and banana to a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and top with sliced bananas, coco pops, desiccated coconut, roughly chopped dark chocolate, and granola. Enjoy as quick and easy breakfast or a filling afternoon snack to get rid of that midday schlump!

Dark Chocolate, PB & Banana Smoothie Bowl

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Tropical Mango & Pineapple Smoothie Bowl

Tropical Mango & Pineapple Smoothie Bowl

Hello Everyone! So I’m getting this post up a day early only because I won’t be in the country tomorrow and I won’t be travelling with my laptop to be able to get this up for you guys. I’ll be gone for a few days and will be back in Brunei on Sunday evening. I won’t give out where I’ll be heading to just yet, but you’ll be able to see lots and LOTS of food photos (I hope) over on my Instagram page to figure out where I’ll be over the next few days.

Anyway, I’ve got another smoothie bowl recipe to share with everyone and this is by far my favourite one. Why? One word. Tropical. Being born and raised in the tropics, I’ve grown to love pineapples, passionfruit, and most importantly, mangoes. I remember being asked a question back when I was still in university – if you were stuck on an island, and there was only one type of food that you could have, what would it be and why? Without hesitation I answered mangoes. Why? Just because. Actually, now I can’t remember if I’ve already told this story before on the blog. If I have, apologies, but I guess to those who haven’t heard/read this before – here you go!

Tropical Mango & Pineapple Smoothie Bowl Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME  | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

For the smoothie mixture

  • 1 large mango, diced (save some to top after)
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 cup pineapple, diced
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Toppings

  • Chia Seedscontains 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
  • Kiwis – loaded with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins A, B6, B12, E, and potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium
  • Mango contains vitamin A, B6, C & K, protein, folate, potassium, copper, calcium, and iron to the diet as well as antioxidants such as zeaxanthin and beta-carotene
  • Passionfruitrich in antioxidants, flavonoids, vitamin A & C, riboflavin, niacin, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, fiber, and protein
  • Desiccated Coconut

METHOD

  1. Blend the mango, pineapple, banana, milk, yoghurt, and chia seeds until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and top with diced mangoes, diced kiwis, passionfruit pulp, chia seeds, goji berries, and desiccated coconut. Enjoy!

Tropical Mango & Pineapple Smoothie Bowl

Remember, you are not limited to the choice of toppings mentioned above. Use whatever you have lying around so that you don’t have to go and spend extra money on the things that you don’t have. Get creative and customise to your favourite fruits!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Pitaya Smoothie Bowl

Pitaya Smoothie Bowl

Hello Everyone! I know I usually call for a new theme on the blog every month, but for the month of April I will still be continuing on with psychedelic smoothie bowls. There were just so many different options that I could not just leave out – especially with tonight’s vibrant Pitaya Smoothie Bowl!

So I don’t really have much to say to be honest – no current updates on my life that are out of the ordinary or significant I guess. Nothing exciting. I can be introverted at times. Okay I think probably 90% of the time just because I’d rather go home straight after work and do nothing rather than go out and socialise with people. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I identify myself as an introverted extrovert.

However, when I’m in the mood for an adventure, then I go ALL OUT. It has to be my kind of adventure though. You know, the blue skies, the greenery, the scorching sun piercing through your skin, making you a shade or three darker. That’s my kind of adventure. Sadly there isn’t enough of it in Brunei to keep my one day weekend busy. Anyway, enough of my tangents and on with tonight’s recipe!

Pitaya Smoothie Bowl Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME  | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

For the smoothie mixture

  • 1 large red pitaya (dragonfruit)
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 cup chopped pineapple
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk

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
  • Granola – contains 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
  • Pineappleexcellent source of vitamin C and manganese; also a very good source of copper and a good source of vitamin B1, vitamin B6, dietary fibre, folate, and pantothenic acid

METHOD

  1. Add the red pitaya, banana, pineapple, and milk to a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and top with chopped pineapple, sliced bananas, chia seeds, goji berries, sliced kiwis, and granola. Enjoy!

Pitaya Smoothie Bowl

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

Salade Niçoise du Saumon Fumé

Salade Niçoise du Saumon Fumé

Hello Everyone! Man am I completely beat! Straight after work, I headed to the gym with my sister and my colleague Audry for an intense 2-hour Body Combat Session called “Combat Cancer” in conjunction with World Cancer Day. I can feel my leg muscles getting sore so I probably won’t be able to walk properly tomorrow morning. Also, can I just say that I have never sweated and smelled so much after that session. In addition, I completely forgot to bring makeup remover so I imagined eyeliner running down my face from the sweat. To my surprise, my makeup was still on point! Anyway, that aside, I’m glad that I had the time to write this post yesterday afternoon (it was a public holiday yesterday which meant no work! Most importantly, it was Brunei’s 32nd National Day).

So, it’s the last of our Healthy Eating journey for the month of February – of course the journey doesn’t completely end here as you should always be eating healthy! What I meant is that it’s the end of this theme for the blog. I will continue to share healthier recipes throughout the upcoming months in my blog, but focusing on other areas other than salads. Next month I will be sharing healthy smoothie recipes with you all; the last time I shared smoothies on my blog was back in October last year when I had Breakfast/Brunch Month on the blog. Hope y’all are excited for that!

Anyway, I came across this recipe – well more like I saw a photo of this dish on Instagram and was instantly drawn to the beautiful colours from the greens and tricolour potatoes. I scrolled down to look at what the dish was a non-traditional Niçoise Salad. I didn’t follow a particular recipe for this dish, but instead I looked at the photo and pulled out the obvious ingredients that I could see. I then search for a dressing to go with the dish and voilà – Salade Niçoise du Saumon Fumé non-traditionnel (Non-traditional Niçoise Salad with Smoked Salmon):

Salade Niçoise du Saumon Fumé

It is non-traditional because Salade Niçoise is typically composed of a salad of tomatoes, tuna (cooked or canned), hard-boiled eggs, Niçoise olives, and anchovies, dressed with a vinaigrette. It is served variously on a plate, platter, or in a bowl, with or without a bed of lettuce. The salad may include raw red peppers, shallots, artichoke hearts, and other seasonal raw vegetables, but according to many sources, excludes cooked vegetables, such as green beans and potatoes, which are commonly served in variations of Salade Niçoise around the world. So, yes, this version of Salade Niçoise that I will be sharing tonight is definitely not a traditional one as you can tell – but it will definitely knock your socks off! I really like this salad, and the dressing/vinaigrette that I made to go with it. Hope you enjoy it too! Feel free to add other veggies to it as you wish… You know, whatever floats your boat kind of thing 🙂

Salade Niçoise du Saumon Fumé

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 15-20 MINS | SERVES 5-6

INGREDIENTS

For the salad

  • 250g green beans, ends trimmed
  • 250g mixed salad leaves, washed and drained
  • 220g smoked salmon*
  • 100g kalamata olives, sliced
  • 3 large free range eggs, soft or hard boiled**
  • Potato varieties such as chat, sweet potatoes, and purple sweet potatoes (or a range of heirloom potatoes), peeled and cut into chunks

For the dressing

  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small red onion, minced
  • Pinch of ground black pepper

*Plain smoked salmon is fine, or you ca mix it up a bit and get herbed smoked salmon or with five peppers which is the one I used for this recipe.

**Bring a small saucepan of room temperature water together with the eggs up to a boil. Once boiling, the the heat off and let it sit for five minutes is perfect for a runny yolk (or cook as long as seven minutes for a more firmly set, but still spoonable, yolk). For hard boiled eggs, cover and let it sit for 8-10 minutes off the heat.

METHOD

  1. Firstly, combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a medium-sized jar. Cover and shake well to combine the ingredients. Set aside. Tip: you can make the dressing in advance by a day or a few hours before serving to ensure that all the flavours infuse together. Keeps well in the fridge for up to a week if you have any leftovers. You can also add more olive oil and red wine vinegar throughout the week if you need more dressing.
  2. Toss the potatoes in a little bit of ground salt and black pepper. Then place in a steamer and steam for about 10-15 minutes, or until tender but still a bit firm. Once done, remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Blanch the green beans in boiling water for about 5-6 minutes. Once done, transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. This ensures that you’ll have nice and crisp green beans in your salad.
  4. Plate up accordingly and pour over the dressing. Share and enjoy with family and friends!

Salade Niçoise du Saumon Fumé

Salade Niçoise du Saumon Fumé

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Quinoa, Avocado, & Grapefruit Salad with Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken

Quinoa, Avocado, & Grapefruit Salad with Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken

Hello Everyone! Hope everyone had a good weekend! I’m finally feeling better than I did last week, but my voice is still a bit husky. I can’t hit the high notes to a song whenever I’m performing in the shower, so I know I’ve still got a bit more of getting better to do. Other than that, things have been pretty chill at work – but I know it’s going to be hectic soon! There are two event coming up within the next 3 months, so I pray that I will have enough strength to persevere through! Over the weekend, my very first Uni friend from COFA (or now known as UNSWAD) visited me here in Brunei! It was so surreal as I never thought that we would meet… in Brunei! He is currently working on a project in KL and he had a free weekend to spare to come over for a visit! We toured him around a few places in Brunei, and we also caught up on work life, love life, and just anything else in general. I cannot believe that it had been exactly a year since we last saw each other in Sydney! It was definitely a great weekend.

Anyway! It’s week 3 of healthy eating month and I’ve got another quinoa recipe to share with you guys. As you already know, or not if you haven’t been following my blog on a week to week basis, quinoa (pronounced as KEEN-wah) is very beneficial to our health. It is incredibly nutritious as its fibre content is much higher than most grains. It is also very high in protein, containing the essential amino acids that we need . Quinoa contains a great amount of minerals – minerals that we other do not get enough of, especially magnesium, potassium, and zinc. If you would like to read up more on the health benefits of quinoa, click here. Pair it with some heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acid avocados, grapefruit and orange segments, and you’ve got yourself a salad that is packed with minerals and vitamins such as: calcium, copper, fibre, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, protein, zinc, and vitamins A, B5,B6, C, E, and K, and the list goes on.

Quinoa, Avocado, & Grapefruit Salad with Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS* | COOKING TIME 40 MINS | SERVES 5-6

*Plus 4-5 hours waiting time to marinate the chicken.

INGREDIENTS

For the Salad

  • 100g feta cheese
  • 2 cups chicken stock*
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 grapefruit, segmented
  • 1 orange, segmented
  • 1 packet (250g) rocket leaves

For the lemon & thyme roast whole chicken legs

  • 500g whole chicken legs, washed and cleaned
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3 springs of fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • Juice of 1 lemon

*You can make you own stock by boiling chicken carcasses for about half an hour, together with whole black peppercorns, bay leaves, and salt. Or you can use the store bought ones, again, whatever tickles your fancy.

METHOD

  1. Combine all the roast whole chicken leg ingredients in a large baking dish. Leave to marinate for about 4-5 hours. Preheat oven to 190C. Sprinkle the chicken legs with paprika and place the baking dish in the oven and roast chicken for about 40 minutes or until done.
  2. Bring the quinoa and chicken stock to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Once boiling, reduce heat down to low, cover, and then simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Once done, fluff with a fork and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the sliced avocado, feta cheese together with the herbed olive oil, grapefruit, orange, and rocket leaves into the large mixing bowl together with the quinoa. Give it a good toss until well combined.
  4. Transfer to a serving dish together with a piece of lemon and thyme roast chicken leg.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Quinoa, Avocado, & Grapefruit Salad with Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken

Quinoa, Avocado, & Grapefruit Salad with Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Avocado, Chickpea, & Roasted Capsicum Salad

Avocado, Chickpea, & Roasted Capsicum Salad

Hello Everyone! I hope everyone has had a relaxing CNY long weekend unlike me – well, it was relaxing as I stayed home all day on Sunday doing nothing, but it was also because I was sick over the long weekend *sad face*. I think I got sick from fatigue which resulted in a painful dry cough, a very high temperature, and muscle aches especially in my back, shoulders, and thigh regions. I’m feeling a little bit better with thanks to the long weekend as I get to rest up for 3 days after a straight 13 days of working from an average of 8am-11pm. Yes you read that right, I’m officially employed! I actually started working in late October in Brunei’s leading Advertising Agency known as D’Sunlit Sdn. Bhd. as a Graphic Designer for the Marketing Team. I was under a 3-month probation contract, and last Friday I was able to sign a permanent contract! Oh and the 13 days of straight working, that was because I was involved in an event known as the 17th Consumer Fair. I worked from Monday-Sunday two weeks ago, and last week I worked Monday-Saturday (yes no rest in between for working on that Sunday). So I guess that’s where my fatigue came from. I was actually already starting to feel under the weather last Thursday, but it only came into full effect on Saturday morning. I guess it didn’t quite help as well that I was surrounded by sick colleagues, and a sick mom and sister at home too. My sister got sick first, then me, and lastly my mom. I today in the office, I learnt that I may have made a few other colleagues sick too. How am I ever going to recover?!

Anyway, let’s move on to the recipe shall we? It’s week two of healthy eating, and I’ve got a yummy salad for you that you can pair up with any kind of meat be it beef, chicken, or lamb – whatever tickles your fancy that is! If you’re like me, and you can’t go without meat in your diet, then whip up your favourite roast chicken to go with your salad – we roasted some whole chicken legs with my Mom’s secret and special BBQ marinade. Otherwise, you can keep the dish vegetarian or vegan friendly. We all know that avocados are loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids known as oleic acid. Oleic acid has been linked to reduced inflammation and has been shown to have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer. Not only does it contain this fatty acid, it also contains minerals and vitamins such as: fibre, folate, potassium, and vitamins B5,B6, C, E, and K.

Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, belong to the legume family, which includes a variety of beans, peanuts, soybeans and lentils. Opting for legumes over foods high in saturated fat might lower your risk of heart disease. Chickpeas also offer specific health benefits, and consuming them regularly boosts your intake of a few key nutrients such as: protein, fibre, manganese, and folate. The mineral manganese helps support bone development and wound healing and also helps carry out chemical reactions important to your metabolism. Folate, or vitamin B-9, aids in new cell growth and brain cell communication and protects against genetic mutations that contribute to cancer development.

Avocado, Chickpea, & Roasted Capsicum Salad Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 10 MINS | SERVES 5-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
  • 2 brown onions, peeled and quartered
  • 1 can (400g) chickpeas in water, drained
  • 1 packet (250g) mixed salad greens
  • 1 packet (150g) semi-dried tomatoes, halved, oil reserved
  • 1 yellow capsicum
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Ground salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Olive Oil

METHOD

  1. Rub the yellow capsicum with a little bit of oil and place directly on open flame of gas stove. Rotate occasionally so that the capsicum blisters and chars on all sides. Once done, set aside to cool down. Peel the skin off and cut into strips once it has cooled down enough to handle. Add to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Blanch the chickpeas in boiling water for about 5 minutes. Drain and add to the large mixing bowl together with the roast capsicum strips.
  3. Heat olive oil in a small frying pan over medium-high. Add the onions and cook until soft and caramelised. Once done, transfer to the large mixing bowl.
  4. Add the semi-dried tomatoes together with its herbed oil, mixed salad greens, and balsamic vinegar. Season with a touch of ground salt and black pepper and give it a good toss until well coated. Transfer to a serving dish and top with the sliced avocados.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Avocado, Chickpea, & Roasted Capsicum Salad

Avocado, Chickpea, & Roasted Capsicum Salad with Roast BBQ Chicken

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Quinoa, Green Beans, and Roasted Capsicum Salad with Pan-seared Rump Steak

Quinoa, Green Beans, and Roasted Capsicum Salad with Pan-seared Rump Steak

Hello Everyone! I can’t believe that January flew by that quickly! We’re already into the second month of the new year but I feel as if though the year has just started! It’s going to be a short month too since it’s February. Anyway, when I got up this morning, I came across a photo on Instagram with the caption:

“Did y’all make New Year Resolutions? How’s it going so far? If you got lazy, you can always start back up today.”

We’re all human, and we all fall into that trap of not keeping our resolutions, but it is indeed never too late to start back up today… Or tomorrow. As long as you are determined to continue going, you will probably reach your end goal. One of my resolutions is to get fit and eat healthy, and I can honestly say that I haven’t been keeping up with this for the past 2 weeks. I’ve been busy with deadlines and helping out in a 5-day event that ended on the weekend, that I have completely ignored exercising and eating right. I am now determined to get back on track, but I feel a sore throat coming down so who knows when I’ll be able to get back on track – but I ain’t giving up that’s for sure.

Quinoa, Green Beans, and Roasted Capsicum Salad with Pan-seared Rump Steak

Tonight, I want to share an experimental recipe that I whipped up a few weeks ago. I rarely cook with quinoa (pronounced as KEEN-wah), and the sole reason for that is because it is very expensive – the bag of 280g (just a little bit under 2 cups) I bought already set me back $12.80. If we take a second to overlook the cost of quinoa, it is actually very beneficial to our health. It is incredibly nutritious as its fibre content is much higher than most grains. It is also very high in protein, containing the essential amino acids that we need . Quinoa contains a great amount of minerals – minerals that we other do not get enough of, especially magnesium, potassium, and zinc. If you would like to read up more on the health benefits of quinoa, click here.

I usually cannot go with a meal if it doesn’t have some sort of meat on the plate – which is why I decided to match this salad with another hit of protein from pan-searing a nice slab of rump steak. I was kind of going for medium-rare, but I think the beef turned out to be a bit more towards the rarer side of medium-rare. Nonetheless, it was delicious indeed (my mom seared the meat a little longer after cutting these few slices). You can pair it with any other meats if you wish, or have it completely vegetarian or vegan; whatever tickles your fancy.

Quinoa, Green Beans, and Roasted Capsicum Salad with Pan-seared Rump Steak

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 5-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g rump steak
  • 250g green beans, ends trimmed
  • 100g feta cheese
  • 2 cups chicken stock*
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup wild rocket leaves
  • 1 red capsicum
  • Ground salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil fry pan-searing

For the dressing

  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

*You can make you own stock by boiling chicken carcasses for about half an hour, together with whole black peppercorns, bay leaves, and salt. Or you can use the store bought ones, again, whatever tickles your fancy.

METHOD

  1. Bring the quinoa and chicken stock to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Once boiling, reduce heat down to low, cover, and then simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Once done, fluff with a fork and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  2. While the quinoa is simmering away, blanch the green beans in boiling water for about 5-6 minutes. Once done, transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. This ensures that you’ll have nice and crisp green beans in your salad. Drain and then add to the large mixing bowl.
  3. Season the beef with some ground salt and black pepper. Bring a large frying pan with olive oil to a heat over high, until it starts to smoke. Add your steak and sear for about 2-3 minutes per side for rare, 3-4 minutes for medium-rare, 4-5 minutes for medium-well, or 5+ minutes per side for well done. Once done, set aside to rest for about 10 minutes.
  4. While the beef is resting, you can move on to roasting the capsicum. Rub the red capsicum with a little bit of oil and place directly on open flame of gas stove. Rotate occasionally so that the red capsicum blisters and chars on all sides. Once done, set aside to cool down. Peel the skin off and cut into strips once it has cooled down enough to handle. Add to the large mixing bowl together with the rocket leaves and feta cheese.
  5. Whisk the lemon juice, honey, oil, and paprika in a small bowl until well combined. Add to the large mixing bowl and toss the salad around until well coated and combined.
  6. Serve the salad topped with a few slices of the rump steak. Enjoy!

Quinoa, Green Beans, and Roasted Capsicum Salad with Pan-seared Rump Steak

ps: do not be deceived by the portion of this dish. I just used an oversized dish to plate it up. This kept me quite full for a few hours and I didn’t even finish everything on the plate!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com