Now that A is at that age when she is able to tell me in not so many words exactly what she wants, I look forward to meal times and snack times;- hearing “pancake”, “cheese toast”, “egg”, “fries” or “mummin” (muffin) definitely makes life for mommy easier. And of course if she doesn’t finish her food, it gives me the prerogative of saying, “You asked for this, remember?”. Having a greater and more discerning palate also means that she is almost always looking over at my plate, and insisting on having what I am, with the exception of anything I say “spicy”, which have now, judge me if you will, included any fast food, carbonated drinks, and ice cream.
And so it was that one morning when I was craving for chocolate chip cookies, or rather any cookie with some smidgen of chocolate chips in it, and decided to throw some rolled oats and spelt flour in the mix to well, mix things up, then along came the little toddler into the kitchen exclaiming, “Cookie!”. And there it was, that lonely bag of chocolate chips I had purchased a few days prior, sitting on the counter, tsk-ing loudly as I grabbed the pack of oft-overlooked raisins right next to it. I know a little chocolate won’t hurt, but knowing how much this 2-year-old of mine (yes, she turned two last weekend!) loves cookies, a little chocolate would turn into a whole lot of chocolate her momma wouldn’t want to be responsible for.
Many shun away from the idea of healthy cooking, but it’s easier and possibly tastier than you think. With simple ingredient substitutions in your daily meal preparation, you won’t need to sacrifice flavour to cut some calories. From organic raw virgin coconut oil in place of your regular vegetable oil, to puréed potato to thicken your soups and gravies, head over to Coconuts SG to read my full article on six healthy substitutions you can, and should, adopt in your cooking today.
My personal favourite substitution ingredient, if I may call it that, is the unassumingly creamy and buttery avocado, albeit not so much for health reasons as it is for dietary specification reasons (read: lactose intolerance). Much like my avocado egg salad sandwich, this ohmygoodness-why-didnt-I-think-of-this-sooner avocado potato salad takes on a greener twist on the well-loved potato salad, replacing mayonnaise with avocado. Equally creamy, a whole lot more healthy, and all kinds of tasty; even if you’re not averse to mayonnaise, or you’re a self-declared mayonnaise purist, you’ll need to give this a try! (Recipe after the jump.)
Thinking of eating healthy, but not sure where to start? Whether you’re intending to lose some belly fat, improve your digestion, regulate your blood sugar, or just to look and feel better, the answer might just lie in the shelves of your supermarkets.
‘Superfoods’ is probably overused these days, but just how well do you know your superfoods, and what makes them so super anyway? If you’d like to jump on the healthy-eating bandwagon, but have no idea what ‘chia’, ‘wheatgerm’ or ‘quinoa’ means, how to prepare them, or where to find them here in Singapore, I’ve got you covered in my first article contribution to Coconuts Singapore, a recently-launched local news site, that covers all that’s happening in our little red dot of an island.
Head over to read my full article here.
Some might consider quinoa (pronounced as keen-wah) to be pretty much passé in the superfoods list, with farro looking to be quite the healthy food trend amongst food blogs right now. But with the United Nations declaring 2013 as the International Year of Quinoa, it is hard to overlook the benefits of this supercrop (aptly referred to as ‘mother grain’ by the Incas) be it on an individual level, or on the global scale of combatting food poverty and insecurity. Containing all eight of the essential amino acids, gluten-free and easy to digest, quinoa is certainly something you ought to find stashed in your pantry. However, it has not quite reached staple level around these nooks, mainly due to the numbing question of what exactly to do with quinoa.
Oh wow, I’ve just realised the last FTM post was more than a year ago! From then till now, I still have been receiving queries, but have opted to answer them directly via e-mail, etc. Having posted quite a bit of pancake photos on Instagram as of late had inevitably garnered pancake queries, mostly along the lines of “Why are my pancakes always dense?”, “I always burn my pancakes!”, and “My pancakes look cooked, but the insides are raw”. So, if any of the aforementioned statements sounds like you on a not-too-good day, here are some perfecting pancake pointers (yes, I do love my alliterations). If you’re a bona fide Pancake Master, just scroll all the way down for the recipe of these refined sugar-free fluffy wholewheat oat pancakes (yes, they’re wholewheat AND fluffy!). Suffice to say, my search for the perfect oat pancakes has ended here.
In the meantime, keep those questions coming in, and drop me an e-mail (address on my profile), or a note on Twitter or Instagram!
This post had been a long time coming. Of all the photos of A’s meals I’ve shared on my Instagram account, these mac & cheese bites never fail to garner a recipe request. And if you follow me there long enough, first off, “Hello, stranger!”, and second, you may have noticed by now the different variations and times I’ve posted them.
You see, most times, cooking or baking for my 19-month-old is a breeze. But since I don’t eat half of the things I bring to her table, I’ll have to fall back on the mister’s feedback when it’s pertaining to cheese, which, as aforementioned, possibly constitutes to half her meals. And as much as lil A readily eats anything she can hold in one hand without any “Come here, and eat!” disruptions to her playtime, I’d prefer tweaking and reworking a toddler-friendly (read: possibly bland) recipe till it is suited for an adult’s (in this case, the self-proclaimed cheese monster of a mister) palate.
When Corsage, the blogger behind the inspiring lifestyle and parenting site, A Dollop of Me, approached me for a guest post on her Kitchen Exploits: Family Favourites series, I knew I wanted to share something simple, quick and versatile;- one that would take minutes to prepare, and just left to work its own magic in the oven;- yet look and taste like you’ve spent the whole morning working on it.
And that’s when this berry baked chocolate oatmeal comes in. A personal favourite of mine, throwing in whatever bits of fruits I see sitting lonely in the pantry, this is a breeze to work with, and perfect for rushed mornings (I plonk it into the oven right before I give A a bath, so it’ll be all nice and warm when we’re done). Don’t be deceived by the chocolate component though, with the low amount of (unrefined) sugar, and with all the oats, this one’s actually good for you!
Drop by here for my berry baked chocolate oatmeal recipe, and don’t forget to explore a series of food adventures called Kitchen Exploits on A Dollop of Me for ideas and inspirations too! Thank you again, Corsage, for having me over!