Banana & Blackberry Smoothie Bowl

Banana & Blackberry Smoothie Bowl

Hello Everyone! So my allergies have been acting up all day and usually dust triggers my constant sneezing, but I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary today to inhale a load of dust for this to happen. While I’m left clueless, I’m also left with a slight headache, fatigue, and quite possibly (but hopefully not) might end up with the flu when I wake up tomorrow morning, followed by a chain of bugs – a fever, a sore throat, and a terrible cough. On the other hand, sometimes I wake up feeling 120% better as if nothing happened. So I HOPE for the latter.

To be completely honest with everyone – I’ve never had a smoothie bowl until I started this series of mine. I’ve seen it all over social media back when it was the new ‘foodie’ trend and it always looked aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but I was a bit skeptic on the idea of using a spoon to eat my smoothie rather than using a conventional straw to drink it. I tried to wrap my head around the idea to imagine as if I was having a bowl of thick soup, but the thought of having cold soup soon consumed my mind and I didn’t like that thought. I just thought that it was weird for some reason, until I decided to try one out for my breakfast series on Amcarmen’s Kitchen and feel completely in love with them.

They are super EASY to make, as you may have seen in my previous posts, the take about a minimum of 5 minutes to put together. It allows you to get creative with your favourite toppings and this not only adds colour to your mornings or makes it look pretty, but it also adds texture to your smoothie. Furthermore, it’s a great way to slowly use up those chia seeds and pepitas lying on your pantry shelf just waiting to go out of date because you don’t know where else you can use them!

Banana & Blackberry Smoothie Bowl Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME  | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

For the smoothie mixture

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

Toppings

  • Bananas – loaded with essential vitamins and minerals such as potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, folate, niacin, riboflavin, and B6
  • Blackberriesrich in vitamin A, B, C, E, K, as well as antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, and minerals such as sodium, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, riboflavin, niacin, and folic acid
  • 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
  • Pumpkin Seeds – contains magnesium, manganese, copper, protein, and zinc

METHOD

  1. Blend the frozen blackberries, yoghurt, milk, banana, honey, and chia seeds until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and top with sliced bananas, blackberries, chia seeds, goji berries, and pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!

Banana & Blackberry Smoothie Bowl

If you have yet to try out a smoothie bowl, then you should definitely try out this recipe for a Banana and Blackberry Smoothie Bowl. The great thing about this bowl was that I had everything on hand and didn’t need to buy extra ingredients for this bowl – except for the blackberries of course. We always have a bunch of bananas lying around in the kitchen, and well, we’ve had the chia seeds, pepitas, and goji berries lying around for a bit now.

Don’t forget that 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. I’ve basically been doing the same thing since I started my Smoothie Bowl series at the beginning of the month!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Strawberries & Cream Smoothie Bowl

Strawberries & Cream Smoothie Bowl

Hello Everyone! First of all I would like to wish all my friends and followers of Amcarmen’s Kitchen a very belated New Years as this is the very first post that I am writing since 2018 started. Yes, I am aware that I have been MIA for the past few months, and I do apologise for that. I’ve just had a lot to juggle for the past month – mainly work life took over, mixed with a bucketload of emotional rollercoaster rides, and procrastination that led me to neglect Amcarmen’s Kitchen. But I’ve finally gotten back into my cooking and I’ve never been happier to do what I love doing best, and that is making a mess in the kitchen to come up with amazing eats!

The theme for this year revolves around what I foresee my future boutique café menu to carry – which is Breakfast… ALL DAY – Breakfast for Breakfast, Breakfast for Lunch, and of course the best part, Breakfast for Dinner. I was inspired by a restaurant called Wild Honey if I’m not mistaken, that I went to in Singapore a few years back, where they served an All Day Breakfast menu. My friend and I went there for dinner and I cannot express how much I enjoyed a Smoked Salmon Eggs Benny for dinner. I mean, it wasn’t the first time I had breakfast for dinner; in fact, I’ve had my fair share of them at home during my uni days where I had nothing in the fridge but breakfast ingredients which always usually resulted in a plate of buttered toast, sautéed spinach, sunny side up eggs, fried bacon, and on the rare occasion, that is if there were any leftovers in the fridge from the previous day(s), some sweet potato mash. Yes, this is taking me back to a specific night (possibly 6 years ago OH MY), that I spent at home all alone, going through a Big Bang Theory marathon, and having my breakfast for dinner. Those were the days.

So yes, the theme for Amcarmen’s Kitchen this year will be all about Breakfast or Brunch eats as both are my favourite parts of the day and I honestly think that they should be eaten all day everyday! For the month of March and April, I’ll be tackling some healthy smoothie bowls for a quick-and-easy go-to breakfast or afternoon snack packed with nutrients that will keep you energized all day long. They have the taste and texture of a smoothie, but with health-boosting, super-satisfying toppings such as granola, flaxseed, chia seeds, fresh berries, coconut, or even a little bit of dark chocolate to turn them into a heartier meal. Aside from being delicious, whipping up a smoothie bowl is a great opportunity to get creative. The possibilities are endless!

Tonight, I will be sharing with you a ‘Strawberries & Cream’ inspired Smoothie Bowl. Double the ingredients if you wish to make a smoothie bowl for two.

Strawberries & Cream Smoothie Bowl Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

For the smoothie mixture

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Toppings

  • Blueberriescontains vitamin C & K, fibre, manganese, and other antioxidants
  • Chia Seeds – contains omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, antioxidants, iron, and calcium
  • Cornflakes – contains vitamins, folate, minerals, dietary fibre, proteins, and also carbohydrates
  • Fresh Strawberries – contains vitamin C, folate, potassium, manganese, dietary fibre, magnesium, antioxidants, and polyphenols
  • Honey-roasted Almonds – contains healthy fats, fibre, protein, magnesium, and vitamin E
  • Pumpkin Seeds – contains magnesium, manganese, copper, protein, and zinc

METHOD

  1. Blend the strawberries, yoghurt, milk, honey, and chia seeds together until smoothie.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and top with the cornflakes, fresh sliced strawberries, blueberries, almonds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and a drizzle of honey.

If you don’t have all these toppings on hand, then don’t fret! Just use what you have on hand. Like I said before, whipping up a smoothie bowl is an opportunity to get creative and top them with your favourite fruits, seeds, nuts, and grains!

Strawberries & Cream Smoothie Bowl

Pro-tip: If you want to make a pretty design, add the heaviest topping ingredients last (don’t be like me and add them first haha).

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Strawberry Kiwi Lime Yoghurt Cake

Strawberry Kiwi Lime Yoghurt Cake

Hello Everyone! I know the last two posts have been a bit of a downer; let’s just say I’m starting to feel a little bit better and more of myself this week so I hope that I will be back to my chirpy self soon. That aside, tonight’s recipe is actually one that I made just almost 2 months ago for a very special occasion; my sister’s 23rd birthday last August 23rd! We celebrated her birthday with a yummy all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ dinner at Seoul Garden followed by a surprise visit from a family friend which at that time we had offered to look after their two little boys for a week since their helper had to go back to the Philippines and they couldn’t find anyone else under short notice. Overall it was a fun evening spent with lots of food, cake, and little, but great company!

Happy 23rd Birthday Angela!

The cake that I decided to make for my sister was inspired by a recipe that I found online when I was researching ways that I could incorporate some of the ingredients from my blood pressure friendly list that I compiled at the beginning of the year. This recipe, from that list, features kiwis, strawberries, bananas, and fat-free yoghurt, all of which help lower your blood pressure. This cake is simple and easy to put together, yet is still delicious and guilt-free for when you reach out for a second heap of serving or three (or four)… Or you know the whole cake *cheeky grin* Not that I have done this myself before, you know, have a whole cake for no one else but just me, myself, and I. Anyway, onward with the recipe shall we? But before that, just a quick mention that the original recipe can be found over on SkinnyMs.

Strawberry Kiwi Lime Yoghurt Cake Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | FREEZING TIME 3 HOURS | SERVES 10-12

INGREDIENTS

For the base

  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts, finely ground
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, finely ground
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Honey graham crackers (enough to make about 1 cup of crumbs)

For the filling

  • 2 punnets (2 x 250g) fresh strawberries, sliced thinly
  • 1 tub (500g) fat free all natural yoghurt
  • 1 large banana, mashed
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp honey

For the topping

  • 2 kiwis, peeled and sliced into thin circles
  • Sliced strawberries (about 2-3 from the punnet)
  • Extra honey graham cracker crumbs (optional)

PS: Please ignore the egg in the ingredient shot, I actually didn’t use it at all even though it was in the original recipe. I decided to go with a no-bake base and therefore omitted the egg from my recipe.

METHOD

  1. Prepare an 8.5-inch springform pan by lining the bases with baking paper and greasing the edges with a little bit of butter. Add all of the base ingredients into a medium-sized mixing bowl and mix until well combined. Press half of the mixture over the base of the prepared pan and set aside in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes or until firm.
  2. In a separate medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the mashed banana, yoghurt, honey, and lime juice, whisking well until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Arrange half of the strawberry slices on top of the cooled crust then pour over half of the yoghurt mixture on top of the strawberries in an even layer.
  4. Repeat by adding the remaining half of the base over the top of the yoghurt mixture, arranging the strawberries slices, and the pouring the remaining half of the yoghurt mixture.
  5. Top the cake with the kiwi slices and strawberries slices before placing in freezer for about 3 hours or until completely frozen.
  6. Serve and enjoy! Tip: to cut, hold a knife under hot water for 10 seconds, dry and cut the frozen cake wile the knife is still warm!

Strawberry Kiwi Lime Yoghurt Cake

Strawberry Kiwi Lime Yoghurt Cake

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Auguest 2017: Jialing Mew

Curried Lentil & Vegetable Stew

Curried Lentil & Vegetable Stew

Happy Guestember everyone! I’ll be taking over Amcarmen’s kitchen this week, for my third guest appearance. Having lived in Sydney for the past few years, I’ve crossed paths with several people, all with different lifestyles, backgrounds, and interests. Amidst the social and cultural melting pot, I’ve found that food is always a common talking point and a great way to bring people together. And what’s better than food that can be enjoyed by all? I’ve certainly managed to surpass my own expectations this year – not only does my recipe use multiple ingredients from Allison’s high-blood-pressure-lowering list, but it is also gluten-free, dairy-free, and… vegan! (Read about last year’s vegan recipe struggle here MATE YOU GOTTA LINK THIS PART WHERE IT SAYS HERE TO THE RECIPE FROM LAST YEAR PLZ CUZ I DONT KNOW HOW TO DO EET AND ALL THIS TEXT IN RED PLZ REMOVE FROM POST TENKS. Yes, 2017 Jialing can laugh about it now).

[I’m sorry Jialing, I had to share the text in red for the blogging world to see because it’s just too funny!] – Ally xx

Inspired by seasonal ingredients in my kitchen, staples in my pantry, and great people in my life, this dish is something that I hope everyone can enjoy. True to my appetite, my recipe makes a LOT, so it’s best made in the largest pot or pan you can scrounge up, then shared with a small army. Or simply halve the first lot of ingredients for a more regular quantity. Enjoy!

Curried Lentil & Vegetable Stew Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 45-50 MINS | SERVES 12

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g scrubbed potatoes, cubed
  • 500g split lentils
  • 500g sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 can (400g) white beans, drained
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 bunch kale, roughly chopped
  • 1 head garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 3 tbsp hot curry powder (use mild if less heat is preferred)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  •  (optional)
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • A small handful of dried curry leaves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Optional

  • 1 tbsp cornstarch, for slurry
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • Lemon and coriander, to garnish

METHOD

  1. In your very large pot over high heat, fry onion in oil until browned. Add garlic and stir until fragrant. Add ginger paste and tomatoes, stirring until tomatoes are soft and start to break down (being careful not to let the garlic burn).
  2. Add curry powder, coriander powder, and chill powder if desired, stirring briefly for a few seconds.
  3. Add potatoes, sweet potatoes and lentils, increase heat to high, and add enough water to the pan to cover the potatoes and lentils. Keep covered until the water boils.
  4. Once the water boils, reduce the heat to low and add lemon wedges, stirring occasionally and topping up water until lentils and potatoes are all cooked through (may take roughly half an hour). Be sure to leave enough liquid to just cover the lentils.
  5. Add curry leaves, then salt and pepper, adjusting to your taste (I usually end up adding about 1 tbsp of salt). At this point, make the optional slurry with cornstarch and 1 tbsp of water, and add to the pan to thicken the gravy.
  6. Add drained white beans to pan, stirring until heated through. Take your pan off the heat.
  7. Toss in the kale, stirring through gently until evenly distributed. Be careful not to spill, as I always do…
  8. Garnish with fresh coriander and lemon. Serve hot with basmati rice or flat bread, chutney or fresh yogurt, or even on its own. Enjoy with friends or family 🙂

Curried Lentil & Vegetable Stew

Curried Lentil & Vegetable Stew

Recipe Copyright © 2017 | jialingmew

BON APPÉTIT

– xx Jialing

myTaste.com

Gingery Berry & Oat Smoothie

Gingery Berry & Oat Smoothie

Hello Everyone! For this week of breakfast/brunch month, I have some simple brekky smoothies for you that you can easily prepare the night before, whizz it in the blender in the morning, and voilà; you’ve got a quick brekky that you can take with you to go if you really need to. I’ve never really been the type to make my own smoothies at home, not until my second year of uni back in 2012 when my flatmate at that time started making smoothies for the both of us on the weekends. She would always make the same banana and blueberry smoothie with full cream milk, old-fashioned rolled oats, and vanilla yoghurt. Ever since then, I would whip up this easy smoothie whenever I felt like it even after we went our separate ways. I’ve also made a strawberry smoothie with the same ingredients, just taking out the bananas and blueberries, and added mint into the mix; it was a really good smoothie too.

Anyway, I won’t be sharing those two recipes with you this week as I’ve got two completely different (maybe in some way a little bit similar) smoothies for today and Thursday. I decided try new smoothie recipes and for today’s post, I came across a recipe for a Blueberry and Oat Smoothie; now I know this is sounding a little similar to the smoothie that I mentioned above, and that I’m used to making, but what makes this different is the touch of ginger added. I don’t think I’ve had a smoothie with ginger in it before so I thought that I’d give this recipe a try; original recipe can be found over at Real Simple. All I’ve really done was change the quantities to serve 3-4 tall glasses, as well as reducing the amount of sugar.

Gingery Berry & Oat Smoothie Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME  | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 & 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 & 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup creamy vanilla yoghurt
  • 1 cup ice
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp fresh ginger, grated

METHOD

  1. Add the oats and water to a blender and leave to soak until the oats have softened, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add the ice, blueberries, yoghurt, brown sugar, and ginger to the blender. Blend until smooth and frothy, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

Gingery Berry & Oat Smoothie

I’ve read a few of the comments on the site where the original recipe was uploaded, and some said that the oats had a weird texture and made the smoothie grainy and starchy. Some didn’t like the addition of the ginger and made their stomachs upset. So I guess this smoothie is not for everyone, but if you think you’d enjoy all these flavour into one drink, then go ahead and give it a try because it’s definitely delicious! I personally thought that the oats were fine and still gave the smoothie a nice flavour and texture to it; I feel that without it, the smoothie would be quite loose. The ginger, though quite a strong flavour, paired well with the sweet blueberries and helped cut down the sweetness of the smoothie from the added sugar.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Cheesy Mushroom Omelette with Avocado Mint Greek Yoghurt & Wilted Spinach

Cheesy Mushroom Omelette with Avocado Mint Greek Yoghurt & Wilted Spinach

First off let me be the last to wish everyone a glorious Good Friday! Welcome everyone, to my very first blog post ever! I have been meaning to start up a food blog of all my kitchen adventures, well more like I have had other blogs before but I never kept up with it. So I decided to start fresh!

I just went through a hard week of procrastination and a 2500-word essay that was due yesterday and I’m so glad that it’s the Easter weekend and mid-semester break! So to celebrate the end of the first half of the semester, and of course Good Friday, I wanted to whip up a special BIG brunch for myself – though I think my eyes were way much bigger than my tummy, I only ate half of it and kept the rest.

Today’s recipe as the blog title says is: Cheesy Mushroom Omelette with Avocado Mint Greek Yoghurt & Wilted Spinach:

Cheesy Mushroom Omelette with Avocado Mint Greek Yoghurt & Wilted Spinach

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 15 MINS | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

For the Omelette:

  • 4 regular-sized Swiss Brown Mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1/2 gourmet tomato, diced
  • 1/2 green capsicum, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste
  • Handful of shredded parmesan cheese
  • Knob of butter

For the Avocado Yoghurt:

  • 1 small-sized avocado, roughly mashed
  • 1 cup regular greek yoghurt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of loose-leaf baby spinach

Just note that I sometimes work without measurements in the kitchen, so some of the measurements in the ingredient list may not be very accurate. I’ve tried to remember roughly how much of each ingredient I’ve added in, but please feel free to adjust to your liking! Also, I don’t work with timers very often (unless it’s for baking or cooking with seafood and other meats). For this recipe I used my eyes to tell when something is cooked – probably not to perfection like Masterchef and all, but definitely cooked.

METHOD

  1. Combine all the avocado yoghurt ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate until needed.
  2. In a large fry pan on high heat, melt the butter. Then add in the onions and stir until soft. Add in the mushrooms and stir until colour changes. Add in the capsicum, tomatoes and 1 sprig of the thyme leaves, stir for about a minute and transfer to a dish. We don’t want to over cook the capsicum and tomatoes, so that they still retain a slight crunch.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add oil to the same frying pan. While waiting for it to heat up, beat the eggs in a bowl with the milk and season with salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture into the frying pan.
  4. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top and let the egg cook until the egg starts to set. Top half of the egg with the mushroom filling. Fold omelette in half, and cook for a further minute or so. Transfer to a plate.
  5. Add the spinach to the same frying pan and stir until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the plate.
  6. Garnish by sprinkling fresh thyme leaves over the omelette, avocado yoghurt and wilted spinach.

Cheesy Mushroom Omelette with Avocado Mint Greek Yoghurt & Wilted Spinach

I remember when I was chopping up all the ingredients, my housemate came into the kitchen and she said, “Wow it smells so fresh in here!” And again we met again when the meal was cooked and ready to be devoured by me, she said “THAT LOOKS AMAZING!” She’s so adorable 🙂

BON APPÉTIT!

– Ally xx

myTaste.com