Category Archives: Food

Having a good laugh

I have had the best time yesterday night with my friend. It was awesome in so many ways. First of all, she got a pay raise, so she treated! Second of all, she chose to dine in our favorite place, Out of the Pan! But best of all, we had so much fun!

We chatted and laughed at everything. Don’t you love doing that with your friends? Being in such an euphoric high of camaraderie and jovial mood that you laugh and crack jokes about the stupidest and most random things? I thought I almost cracked a rib, and food flew out of my mouth a few times.

One thing I regained back during my time here in Singapore is my ability to relax, enjoy social activities, and just…laugh. Oh, to laugh freely and naturally! I missed that carefree burst of cackles, spilling out from deep within me with no restrictions or awkwardness. After not being able to have a real laugh for so many years, I was pleasantly surprised at how beautiful and delicious it felt to be able to do such a simple, basic thing. To all of you who laugh on a regular basis, take a second to relive the moment, and give thanks for it, because there truly is nothing as sweet and pleasant as a good, jolly laugh.

Tra la la~

Oh, yeah, on to food.

I know many of your are rolling your eyes at our choice of venue at Out of the Pan again, but I swear I tried to suggest other venues to her! But she really craved Out of the Pan (who can blame her?) and since she was treating, I was in no position to oppose her wishes. 😉

This time, I ordered the Tandoori Chicken in whole wheat crepe:

Chicken marinated in spices and baked in tandoori oven with cucumber in mint chutney

I’d actually debated getting the Norwegian Salmon again for its wonderful creamy pistachio cheese, but I’m so glad decided to order something different because this was freaking awesome!!

The chicken was so nicely marinated with all sorts of lovely spices, and was so tender and flavorful!

And the mint chutney with cucumber…Obviously, I would love it because it’s this brilliant green, but it was such an interesting and complex chutney. It was both spicy and bold yet refreshing and cool at once, and complemented perfectly with the tandoori chicken.

She, however, was not so lucky with her choice of Honey Soy Chicken in sundried tomato crepe:

Grilled honey soy chicken with sauteed organic leeks in garlic shoyu

Truthfully, I didn’t think it was that bad when I tasted it, but she complained that it tasted weird, as in, too Asian. I guess the combination of crepe and strong Asian flavors just did not match.

It looks pretty good, though, doesn’t it? I thought the filling would actually be delicious with Shanghai pancakes, or on top of fragrant jasmine rice.

While she was complaining about how strange it tasted, she shoveled it down and was done before I was halfway through mine. Ha ha!

We also ordered a side dish of tortilla chips and guacamole:

They were terrible. I thought the guacamole was way too sweet. I think they added honey or something in there, but the sweetness was just overbearing for me! She liked it, though she couldn’t finish it.

Today is a “relax” day. As in, no eating out, because I have discipleship training meeting at church tonight. After all the extravagant, interesting eats I’ve had, I was actually craving something really simple for lunch today. Which was a good thing because since I’m leaving on Sunday, I can’t buy any more groceries and really needed to clear out whatever’s left in the fridge.

I decided on a simple cheese-omelete sandwich:

Two whole wheat bread, slathered with blackcurrant jam, encasing a 2-egg omelet with huge handfuls of Parmesan cheese and chopped red onions, a small sliced tomato.

Well, okay, maybe it’s not that simple. The blackcurrant jam might seem like a strange addition, but it’s gave a very pleasant fruity bursts of sweetness to the sandwich.
And do you see that glob of melted gooey cheese in the egg? Yum!

After eating this I still felt a bit empty, so I ate some roasted pumpkin (or winter squash) as well:

So today is a simple simple day, but sometimes simplicity can be so comforting and enjoyable! I hope all of you have a great day, enjoying all your simple pleasures of life!

Question of the day: What are some really simple things in life that make you happy?

For me: Curling up in my bed with a good book, sipping on a fresh-brewed cup of coffee in the morning, taking a walk by myself in the breeze, my daily poop exactly between 12-2 pm, hugging a loved one, crunching on ice during a hot day, a brief stretch before bed.

Crepe and More

We met for the final time last night. It is most probably our last meeting because she has to go to Kuala Lumpur tomorrow, and will only return Sunday, which is the exact day I’ll be leaving. Hopefully we can at least meet up in the airport; I’m crossing my fingers that we might have sufficient time to maybe even have one last dinner together.

We had a wonderful time together today, but this time was a bit more solemn because at the back of my mind, I could not forget the fact that this might be the last time I’ll be seeing my dear friend for a very long time…This is a small world, but when it comes to this, the world seem to vast for me!

She treated me again last night! I felt a bit bad about it, but I think the fact that I’m eating well and clearly gaining some weight makes her very happy. Originally she wanted to go to Out of the Pan again, but since we’ve already been there three times and I’ll be visiting that place tonight with my old gymnastics friends, we decided to try someplace new.

We went to Canele, a French patisserie chocolaterie that also serves classic French cafe-style foods. It seems that in Singapore, every coffee shop, ice-cream parlor, pastry/bakery shop, chocolaterie, etc. all doubles as a restaurant! I find it kind of weird, but since they seem to serve good food anyway, I’m not complaining. But you don’t see Ben & Jerry’s or Haagen Daaz in America selling burgers along with their ice cream, do you? Though Starbucks seem to be getting just as ambitious with their broadening menu…

Anyway, Canele was quite awesome. It has a very romantic, modern and sleek atmosphere, with dark lighting, posh couches, and a big fountain in the middle.

The food was amazing, too, though I might as well have gone to Out of the Pan because I ordered crepes again! Please excuse me for ordering the same kind of stuff again, but I’m indulging myself in as many crepes as possible before I leave because I can’t find any where I live in America!

I ordered a savory crepe:

Roasted chicken, figs compote, tomato, gruyère cheese sauce

I was pleasantly surprised to see the different presentation of this crepe. Instead of being rolled up like a wrap, the filling was scattered on top of the crepe like a pizza, and then sealed along the edges and baked briefly again, so that the whole thing came out big and square-shaped and flat. Cool, huh?

The greens that came on top of it was lightly dressed in some sort of vinaigrette, which I pushed to the side because I don’t really like salad dressings. But the rest?

It was freaking amazing.

Honestly, what can go wrong when you have figs compote in your food? And a rich, creamy layer of gruyère cheese sauce? The figs were so chewy and sweet and sort of caramelized, and went amazing with the smokiness of the cheese and roasted chicken, the juicy tomato, and the eggy crepe.

I think if there was a bit more of that delicious gruyère cheese sauce, this crepe would be better than all the other crepes I’ve had at Out of the Pan. But unfortunately, Canele isn’t as generous as Out of the Pan with their fillings! (Perhaps that explains the different crepe presentation. What a scam!)

She ordered the Rustic bacon and pea soup:

Bacon and peas with baby corn and caramelized onion in a rich chicken broth

It was…weird. It tasted like an Asian-style French onion soup. If only they left out the baby corn, it would have been quite good. The baby corn ruined the whole dish, and none of us touched it besides a few slurps.

The soup came with these bread:

Sort of dried out, but that’s okay since they’re for dipping in the soup.

She also ordered a smoked salmon pasta:

Spaghettini sautéed with onion, white wine, cream, smoked salmon and fresh dill.

Fortunately, this one tasted pretty good. The cream wasn’t overbearing, and the smoked salmon was the perfect flavor, not too bland but not too salty.

I’m kind of surprised. When I first came to Singapore, I thought I would be craving local food all the time. But after sampling some of my old favorites, I found myself satisfied with just a taste of them, and now I just crave western food like sandwiches, wraps, pasta, soup, steak, etc! Things I can readily get in America!

And the more surprising thing is, I really really want to sink my teeth into some good Mexican or Middle-eastern food. Which is so weird, because they never really appealed to me when I was in America. I mean, can you believe I’ve never even tried Chipotle?

Part of the reason was because of my eating disorder. I never dared venture to other foods besides my “safe” prepackaged, microwaveable meals from Lean Cuisine or Kashi. But now that I’ve kicked the habit of having to know the exact nutritional information of everything that enters my mouth, I can’t wait to try everything I didn’t allow myself to!

This time I managed to withhold myself and stick to only three, so that there are more to pass it forward to!

Have a great week, everyone! I’ll be back from my dinner from Out of the Pan (are you groaning or drooling? Heh heh!)

Question of the day: Is there a certain restaurant you always frequent and can never get sick of? What is it, and what do you usually order?

Middle-eastern Cuisine

Wow. I’m in tears. Really. My (tiny Asian) eyes are glistening with grateful emotion. Thank you so much for your amazing, kind, encouraging comments to my last post. They mean so much to me, and have strengthened my resolve to overcome this sickening disease and pursue my dream. Being able to go back to college means so much to me, because I love learning new things and studying. I’m an uber-nerd that way. Heh. But seriously, I just want to forward all your comments to the admission-decision committee of USC and say, “Come on, now. How can you not accept me? Are you really gonna disappoint all these incredible girls out there?” Bet that will work! Hahahahahaha!

A-hem. Anyway, I’m still joyfully chomping my way through recovery. Delicious eats, and a fear food faced and conquered! Are you ready? Here we go…

Lunch yesterday was another variation of my soufflé-omelet…

Can you guess what’s inside this fluffy blanket?

I was meaning to try a sweet version of this, but suddenly I had a real craving for something cheesy, so I went all cheesy-crazy. I whipped up my soufflé-omelet just like before, but for the filling I used roasted butternut squash and four kinds of cheeses: bleu cheese, Parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, and cucumber-garlic cream cheese to make a Four-cheese-butternut squash

Soufflé-Omelet:

Oh, heaven. How can you ever go wrong with cheese?

I did not measure, but I used about 2 tablespoonfuls of Parmesan, a fistful of cheddar, a tablespoon of bleu, and 3 tablespoonfuls of cream cheese.

I was afraid the flavor of the cheeses would all mesh together into one incoherent, unidentifiable mess, but I could actually detect each distinctive taste and texture…

There’s the tangy creaminess of the cream cheese…

And the stringy, sharpness of the cheddar…

Every bite was amazing. The roasted butternut squash gave a nice smoky, mellow sweetness to the omelet that was perfect with the blend of cheeses.

I had church youth group that night, so I had to pack up my dinner. Along with my usual 12 mini chicken hotdogs, I tried out a new sandwich combo. Do you remember my Poop-in-poop-out? This is how it looks like:

You can click here for the recipe, but it’s basically a chocolaty blend of black beans, pumpkin, and cocoa. I paired this poopy (but so delicious)puree with sliced green apples on two slices of whole wheat bread:

And of course sandwiches tastes best toasted like this:

Check out the filling! It was torture restraining myself from gobbling this up right there and then!

’Twas a poopilicious dinner ^______^. Youth group ended late till midnight, and I was just too pooped out to blog…

Well, that brings us to today, Saturday! Those who have followed my blog continuously should know that the couple who are hosting me and I have lunch out together every Saturday. Today we went to a place nearby called Istanbul Gourmet. As the name indicates, it’s a Middle-eastern restaurant. Can you believe I’ve never really tried Middle-eastern food before? Unfortunately, we chose the wrong place for my first taste of Middle-eastern cuisine. Istanbul Gourmet was definitely…not gourmet. It was small and the prices were too cheap to be able to serve great food.

I ordered the Chicken Kebabs and Yellow Rice on Bean Salad:

The chicken…tasted like fried chicken. I’ve never tried chicken kebabs before, but I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to have chunks of crispy bits in kebabs. They came shredded over a bed of bean salad with some kind of sweet chili sauce drizzled all over.

The yellow rice…

Meh. I hate rice, but had decided to challenge myself with this dish. Besides, I thought it wouldn’t be so bad as it is yellow and had other mix-ins like herbs, turmeric,raisins and chickpeas. But it was so bland! Looks are deceiving. But at least I faced my fear food and I still forced myself to choke them down.

Liwen ordered the Istanbul laksa:

Yeah, this is so totally not Middle-eastern at all. Laksa is a Singaporean noodle dish based of a coconut-curry soup. The only thing “Middle-eastern” about this was the chicken kebabs they used in the soup. I thought it was just sub-standard. Not a huge fan of coconut-based laksa.

Wengang ordered the Beef Bomb, which was marinated beef stuffed with hard-boiled egg on salad and a side of potatoes:

Again, I can’t see anything authentically Middle-eastern about this dish. The beef was pretty tough and stringy.

Damn, my first experience with Middle-eastern cuisine, and we had to pick a lousy unauthentic place. It’s like going to Taco Bell to try my first “Mexican” fare. Or calling sweet-and-sour chicken and fortune cookies “Chinese” cuisine.

But that’s okay, because we had a lovely time together, and that’s what matters. But still, I hope to give Middle-eastern cuisine another chance once I return to the States. What do you guys recommend? (Except hummus…Please don’t kill me, but I really don’t see what’s so great about hummus)

Bad Middle-eastern food aside, I got some baking done for my friend who’s birthday is on March 22nd~! I made sure to take pictures of it…Yup, these pictures are especially for you! Consider this my first baking challenge to you! Check this out:

My Chocolate-Pumpkin Swirl Brownie Cheesecake!!!!

Take a hunk of that! (The knife is for dramatic effect) Can you beat that chunk of drool-worthy baby? Put on those baking mittens, girl, because the baking throw-down is ON!

As the Iron Chef chairman says, ”ALLEZ CUISINE!!!!” *Takes a chomp on a bell pepper muffin and grins lecherously challengingly*

Um, just to make sure. That’s not me.

Right. Before I scurry away, here’s a mini-mini-mini Q&A section in response to the last post’s question of the day! LOL, are you guys shy to ask questions? But anyway, hear are the questions that were asked by these lovely fellow bloggers [with a bit of my add-ins in these brackets 😉 ]:

Do you have recipe for that [freaking amazing oh-my-god you’re such an amazing baker] brownie?

My answer:

Those brownies were actually just leftover batter from my chocolate-pumpkin swirl cheesecake brownies (see above for the fabbity fab fab pic), which I plopped into a muffin tin to bake. I sort of “made-up” this concoction by mixing-and-matching several recipes, but here’s the basic recipe for the brownie bottom:

6 oz unsweetened chocolate
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs plus 5 large egg yolks
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla
1 cup chopped almonds

To make the brownies:

1. In the top of a double boiler over simmering, not boiling water, melt the chocolate and the butter, stirring to combine. Set aside to cool to warm.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.

4. Pour the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and combine with a whisk. Add the flour mixture and almonds to the chocolate/egg mixture and stir until just combined. Pour the brownie batter into muffin tins. You can pour all the way, because you don’t need to worry about the batter rising too much.

5. Bake for about 40 minutes in a 325 degrees. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

I adapted this recipe from here, and used a lot more egg yolks so that the batter will be a bit drier and more like a cookie so it’ll keep it’s shape better. If you want my added recipe for the chocolate-pumpkin swirl cheesecake topping, just ask.

Hey the sushi looks yum just out of curiosity, I noticed you use pearled barley on most of your stuff in place of rice. I have never tired it before and intend to ask what is the reasoning behind it, if you don’t mind me asking, just so curious…

My answer:

Of course I don’t mind you asking! Ask away!

I have mentioned this a few times, and will probably mention it over again many more times, but I absolutely hate, detest, abhor, loathe rice! I’m so not Asian in that way. But I like pearled barley. I actually only just discovered this, and have fallen in love with its plump, chewy texture. Plus, it has way more nutrients, fiber, and protein than plain ol’ rice. I hope you give this grain a chance, it’s awesome! And if you come across any great barley recipe, share the wealth!

Where have you always wanted to travel to?

My answer:

Wow. Where to start? First of all, traveling is my dream and I really hope to be able to touch all corners of the Earth before I’m dead. That said, one of the top things on my to-do list of “Things I wanna do before I DIE” is to backpack all across Europe. I also want to go to China, but just to immerse myself in the language and culture there and perfect my Chinese. Anybody wanna join me?

[You crazy girl!] How can you not like avocados?

My answer:

I know this sounds like blasphemy to a lot of you guacamole and avocado-lovers out there, but there’s just something about avocadoes that turn me off. Probably their creamy, mushy consistency. I like food with texture, food that I can chew and bite. I don’t really like mushy stuff, which is another reason why I also do did not like tofu. But! I am willing to give avocadoes another try…Suggestions on recipes with avocadoes, anyone?

When are you coming to the UK to teach me to cook? Kidding. Seriously though- do you like traveling? if you could go live anywhere, where would it be?

My answer:

Hey girl, if you could fork up at least half the amount for the plane fare, I will hop onto the nearest plane and live in your kitchen! Haha! But yes, as I mentioned above, I love traveling. But if I could live anywhere, I’d have to say southern California. I’m a girl who loves the sunshine and freezes her skinny ass off in the slightest chill, so the sunshine state it is for me! And I heard that west coast people are more laid-back than the crazy ambitious east coast peeps, so that’s good for me because I need to learn to relax. It’s one of the reason I applied to USC (that and it has a pretty good journalism program).

Hee hee! I like this Q&A thingy! I’ll probably give this another try some time, but hopefully more of you will ask questions the next time! But I’m sure you’ve had enough of me for one day, so here’s today’s question for you: What is the least authentic ethnic food you’ve ever tried? For me, I’ll have to say every single item on a Chinese take-out menu in America. I seriously can’t stand the “Chinese” food they serve…way too greasy and sweet!

Oh, by the way, I found this random quote that really tickled me:

“I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond. “~ Mae West

Tee hee! Wise words, eh? I certainly should learn a little from this smart, insightful woman!

Okay, I’m off now. Have an awesome weekend, everyone, and please indulge me by answering my question!

The Philosophy of Burbing

What’s with all this “burping” mania? Why burp? How disgusting/funny/interesting/cool!

There is actually a very valid reason why I choose to use the word “burp.” As embarrassing as this is to confess, I am a huge burper. There. I’ve said it out loud. I burp louder and longer than any big, fat, beer-guzzling, ESPN-watching couch potato out there. I am known far and wide for my burping skills. In fact, when I left Singapore for America, my friends compiled a nice little farewell album for me, in which they all left a sweet message, and every single one of those messages included the sentence, “I will miss your burps!”

Yeah. Not my intelligence, my wittiness, or my absolute fabulosity, but my burps. I’m not exactly thrilled to be identified by my burps, but I’ve come to embrace it.

That said, I don’t burp out of my own will. Why would I ever want to be stuck with an image of social inappropriateness? They just slip out on their own. I blame my genes. Everyone on my dad’s side are burping champions. Seriously. My grandpa’s burping skills put my own to shame.

I remember the one time when I was about 12 and I was visiting Korea, and I was staying at my grandparents’ house. Before I go on, I’ll let you know that I have never been very close to my grandparents, as we lived half the continent away and could only visit once every two years at the most.

One morning, My grandma cooked a big pot of Korean miso soup for breakfast. That put a scowl in my face, because I hated miso soup. Actually, I hated any Asian food, but miso soup was just one of my least favorites, especially the stinky Korean kind. So I sat there picking at my rice and barely touching my bowl of miso soup.

But meanwhile, my grandpa was guzzling it down like it was a bowl of golden nectar from the gods. He slurped up each spoonful noisily, going “AHHH!” and “Mmmm!!” with every mouthful. The sight of him enjoying this simple bowl of miso soup so much made me suddenly crave for the same experience. What the hell is so great about miso? All of a sudden, I, too, wanted to enjoy my miso soup, so I decided to give it another chance.

I picked up my spoon and gave it a cautious taste. And you know what? It tasted magnificent. I don’t know if it was because of my grandpa’s influence or my grandma’s amazing cooking, but I finished every last drop of that miso soup, albeit with less moans of ecstasy than my grandpa.

And at the end of it, we both burped out loud in unison. My grandma shook her head in disgust, muttering, “Like grandfather, like granddaughter.” But my grandpa and I shared a secret smile, and at that moment I suddenly felt myself sharing a close kinship and bond with him.

Here’s the sad part of the story, though. My grandpa just passed away last year due to stomach cancer. Because at that time I was still severely underweight, I was unable to attend his funeral. I regret it so much and it weighs heavy in my heart that he died without seeing me fully recovered. Up until his very last breath, he worried for my health even while he himself was at his own death bed.

But I take comfort in the thought that he is now up there in heaven, rooting me on as I fight my way through recovery. Grandpa, this lunch today is in memory of you:

Miso Pilaf

The base: 1 cup cooked pearl barley

The mix-ins: 1/4 cup black beans, 1/2 cup chopped roasted winter squash, sliced crabmeat (imitation)

The dressing: miso paste mixed with water

The toppings: sprinkle of furikake (dehydrated seaweed and fish and sesame seeds) and a sunny-side egg

This is just another variation of my “Mix-it-up” bowl again, starting out by sautéing onions and garlic first, then dumping in the base and mix-ins, then the dressing, and finally ladling the mixture into a bowl with the toppings.

I have to say, no miso was ever as good as that bowl I had with my grandpa. I soon returned back to avoiding miso soups, but no longer harbored the same distaste I had for it before then.

This bowl of miso pilaf was warm, comforting, and satisfying. I kept the water to the bare minimum so that the broth was thicker and more gravy-like than normal liquidy miso soup.

It was simple, much less fancy than my other “Mix-it-up” bowl creations, but still very, very good. Highly recommended for any cold nights, or if in need of some major comforting.

Some awesome news today!

1. A friend tried out my “Mix-it-up” bowl! Hers was a Greek-Italian fusion, and these were her mix-ins: 1 cup cooked barley, splash of EVOO, 1/4 cup feta, Sicilian lentil pasta sauce, and kalamata olives. Gosh, that sounds so yummy! This is Kiki’s response to her “Mix-it-up” bowl creation: “Not attractive, but yumskies.” I beg to differ, Kiki, but yours looked amazing! Check out her blog for the delicious-looking picture!

2. And now, a huge standing ovation is in order for

JIAYING of Brownbread girl! She managed to identify

every single fruit in my header-banner! The correct answer was: kiwi, pear, dragonfruit, orange, and grapefruit! I’m pretty impressed, I must say! Great job, Jiaying!

3. I really liked the Q&A section last time, so I’m opening up to any more questions today! I might even make that every Thursday’s question of the day.

So, before you leave, guys, remember to ask me any questions you want! I promise to answer them!

Buai buai, and until next time!

P.S. Carrots and Cake is having a PURE BAR GIVEAWAY! I’ve always been a great fan of her blog, but now she’s given me all the more reason to love it even more! Go check out her blog for details!

Feeling like Spring

Back in America, Panera used to be one of my favorite “restaurants.” I loved their “You-Pick-Two” deals, and the freshness of their bread, and the variety of their sandwiches. So I was very happy to find Singapore’s own version of Panera in the form of The Soup Spoon.

We met up for lunch again yesterday, and this time she wanted to eat at someplace other than our usual Shokudo, so we chose The Soup Spoon for lunch that day. The menu isn’t as extensive as Panera’s but all the choices were appealing enough. They also had a soup + half-sandwich deal like Panera.

I wasn’t feeling for soup, so I just got the full Tikka Chicken Wrap:

“Tandoori Chicken, Mango Chutney, Mint, Cucumber, Red Onion, Romaine Lettuce”

To tell you the truth, I never really liked wraps before…because I didn’t think they were “filling” enough. I’m a carb-fiend, so a flattened piece of dough did not appeal to me. But after my delicious experience with crepes and reading all about the different yummy-looking wraps you food-bloggers have made, I was suddenly craving for one myself.

And I’m glad I did, because this wrap was a-mazing. The chicken was marinated in a myriad of spices, and I absolutely loved the smoky, spicy sweetness of the mango chutney.

The coleslaw that came with this was also really good. It was fresh, vibrant, and crunchy, with a spicy after note that made my nostrils flare, in a good way. I stole all of her coleslaw as well. >___< She ordered the soup-and-sandwich combo. She got a bowl of Velvety Mushroom Stroganoff: …and half a Tuna Mayo Sandwich: “Tuna Mayo, Red Onion, Green Salad, Honey Mustard Mayo” All I can say about this sandwich is, we both agreed my Tikka Chicken wrap was much, much better. 🙂 The soup was very, very thick with lots of mushrooms and cream. It was aptly named, as each mouthful glided down my throat, chock-full of smooth, fresh mushrooms. As a mushroom-lover, I thought it was really very good, but she did not like it so much. She found it too thick and “stewy.” I gladly helped her with her portion, dipping pieces of my wrap into it. By the way, I was wrong. Wraps are really filling. I was stuffed after finishing mine, and couldn’t even help her finish her soup! I’m definitely going to try many more wraps in the future…Meanwhile, I better brainstorm on some great fillings! Speaking of brainstorming, I got to try out another one of my “Mix-it-up” bowl brainstorms for lunch today! This dish was really interesting because it was inspired by just one thing: GREEN. As many of you already know, I love funky green foods. So I’ve been meaning to make a green dish for quite some time now. I remember I once saw a picture of a bowl of green rice. Now you know I hate rice, but that picture made me want to lick the paper, so appealing was its greenness! But that was awhile ago and I had no idea what it was that made it green. Anyway, I did not really care if I made a dish totally different from that one in the picture so long as it looked as green as it. My first thought to recreate that greenness was pesto. But I couldn’t find any basil in my local grocery store, so I picked cilantro instead. Again, I was too lazy to consult to any recipe but just threw a whole bunch of ingredients together into the blender: Cilantro “Pesto” Sauce about 3/4 cup cilantro one heaping tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese one spoonful of pine nuts one stalk green onion, chopped one big garlic clove splash of vinegar splash of almond milk pinch of salt squeeze of lime juice I just combined and blended them all together until liquefied into a nice, thick puree. I then prepared my “Mix-it-up” bowl with these components: Green Pilaf The base: 1 cup cooked pearl barley, 1/4 cup black beans and 1/2 cup chopped roasted winter squash The mix-ins: 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper and shitake mushrooms The dressing: few tablespoons of chicken broth and a bit of lime juice The topping: tablespoonfuls of Parmesan cheese, the cilantro “pesto” sauce, and a soft-boiled egg What can I say? I’m a freaking genius. Everything worked well perfectly together. I did not need another special dressing other than a bit of chicken broth to moisten the grains, as I really wanted my green sauce to shine in this dish. The cilantro “pesto” sauce was an exploding firework of flavors. The cilantro in it was bright and popping with its fresh herby fragrance, the Parmesan cheese added a lovely tang and sharpness, and the pine nuts gave the sauce depth in richness and creaminess. I’m glad I decided to top this with a soft-boiled egg rather than my usual fried egg. Somehow it made this dish seem much more impressive, and the smoothness and plumpness of the boiled egg whites was a nice change, especially together with the sauce. And of course I couldn’t resist sprinkling even more Parmesan cheese on top. You just can’t have too much cheese. I think this dish is a great way to welcome spring. I actually ate this sweating like a horse in the sweltering Singapore weather, but each bite let me imagine the fresh budding grass of spring, the new fragrance of blooming plants and flowers in the air… It’s just too bad that I miss spring this year. 🙁 But on a happier note, I received more questions! These are kind of late (I asked for questions on the last, last post!), but I’m still really happy to answer all of them…So here’s another (tardy) round of… Q & A TIME! “I have a question for you…where is the link to the original soufflé omelet recipe? Those look so MARVELOUS and creative. I want to try it. I’m very lazy though…so a link would be great 🙂 It’s probably like 3 blog posts down on your page, huh? I know, I’m lazy. Whatever, I can’t feel my toe. Have some sympathy 😉 ” My answer: “YAY! I’m so excited you’re gonna try making souffle omelets! Here’s the link to the the first time I made it, where you will find the basic steps. Let me know if you have any more questions about it. Meanwhile, have fun, enjoy, and promise me you’ll let me know how you like it! I’ll give you a nice shout-out 😉 ” “So I have a question, – do you live in Singapore with your parents? Or do they reside elsewhere? Have you got any siblings? Okay, more than one question but hey 🙂 ” My answer: “Tsk, tsk. Greedy, my dear, greedy. Three questions altogether at once! But that’s okay, it gives me the chance to talk about myself some more, so thanks for asking! (Hee) My parents are not in Singapore right now, they’re back home in America, missing me like crazy. But I’ll be seeing them again in just a month when return back to the States. Meanwhile, I’m staying at families house. They’re family/church friends and have been the most marvelous hosts. And yes, I do have a sibling…a brother, two years younger than me. He has the complete opposite personality from me (he’s mild, gentle, patient, good-natured), which is good because he can tolerate my crazy temper. I used to bully him all the time when we were younger, but now he’s all grown up…into a handsome, well-built young man, so I find myself bullying those annoying, flirtatious girls around him instead to protect him! Here’s a picture of my lovely brother: bro I love him so much, especially since he’s been so understanding and patient with me through my ED days…” “If there was just ONE food you could eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?” My answer: "Whoa! That’s a toughie. I have too many foods I love! But if there is ONE food I just cannot live without, it will have to be oatmeal…Or sweet potato. Or pumpkin. Or eggs…GAH! This is impossible!!” “What’s pistachio cheese? Is it like pistachio-flavored cheese or a cheese-y substance made out of pistachios? Either way sounds yummy.” My answer: “For those of you confused out there, Emily is referring to the pistachio cheese I had in my Norwegian Salmon crepe I had here. I’m not so sure, but I am very sure it wasn’t something made out of pistachios only. It definitely had that tang of a brie or cream cheese, and wasn’t green or sweet enough to be made entirely out of pistachios. I’m guessing it’s some kind of really creamy, rich cheese blended with pistachios. Either way, it was freaking delicious and I wis h I knew the exact ingredients and measurements so that I can have it again and again. Anybody feel like experimenting for me?” —————————————————————————————– Okay, I’ve just polished off two tuna and cheese Mr Bean pancakes (which are also GREEN!!) and a purple sweet potato for a “snack”… and now I think a nice nap is much needed…just before I move on to dinner. Sleep…eat…sleep…poop…eat… You know, minus the mental issues, recovery from ED can be quite pleasurable… So I bid you adieu with this question of the day: What is your favorite type of sandwich bread? Wraps? Pitas? Wonder bread (God forbid)? Toasts? Rolls? Hamburger buns? Bagels? Baguette? Ciabatta? Mine is a good, crusty whole grain artisan bread, preferably pressed with those lovely grill marks…mmmmmm…Carbs……

Flavored veggies

Again, going with the “gourmet” theme, I am going to share two more “gourmet” lunches that I had yesterday and today. But first, yesterday’s breakfast, because it was different.

I usually always have a bowl of fruits and a bowl of oatmeal every morning. The mix-ins may be different; sometimes a granola bar, sometimes corn, sometimes pumpkin, sometimes peanut butter, sometimes yogurt. But that’s the standard breakfast I always have. No fuss, no hassle, no need for any planning. But I woke up 2 hours later than usual yesterday! I panicked, because I knew if I had the usual breakfast I would totally still be stuffed come lunchtime, and I have quite an OCD about eating schedules especially since I’m in ED-recovery weight-gain mode right now.

So I just mixed together something that would be light on my stomach: Pumpkin yogurt with mixed fruits.

Just plain yogurt mixed with pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, grapefruit, mangosteen, pineapple, apple, white nectarine, grapes, tangerine.. Light, fast, easy, nutritious, and oh-so-delicious. Why is pumpkin so good in everything?

Anyway, on to lunch. Since my breakfast was lighter than usual, I needed something more heavy on the calories for lunch. And I knew exactly what I wanted: a burger. But not the usual beef or chicken burger. My burger was a mixture of minced pork and tofu, adapted from my mother’s recipe for Korean pan-fried patties. This is super fast and easy!

Just mix together equal parts of minced pork and extra-firm tofu (make sure to squeeze out excess liquid from the tofu first), with minced ginger and garlic, salt and pepper to taste. If the mixture is too wet, add in some breadcrumbs until you are able to form firm patties with your hands. And then you can cook it however you want it! Roll it up into cabbage rolls and steam it, or dust with flour, coat with egg and panko, and deep-fry it into croquettes.

As for me, I made two variations from this pork/tofu mixture. I formed little golf ball-size patties, dusted it with flour, dipped it into a beaten egg, then pan-fried it into little nuggets. Here is the result:

For the other variation, I formed a giant burger patty, popped it into the fridge to firm up for a bit, then cooked it on a skillet until cooked through. Then I beat together two eggs with salt and pepper, and poured it over the burger and turned off the heat. The heat from the burger cooked the egg mixture to a lovely, soft, velvety consistency. And then, the grand finale: cream of mushroom sauce spooned on top. The creamy mushroom sauce is just basically some mushrooms and onions sautéed in 1/2 cup of homemade cream of mushroom soup I had made earlier the day before.

So I present to you, ladies and gentlemen, my “fancy” lunch: Pork-tofu burger in Egg bath with Creamy Mushroom Sauce~

Okay, this doesn’t look that appetizing, especially since all the colors are just different shades of brown. But I assure you,it was absolutely divine!

The burger was extremely soft and juicy, with the perfect ginger and garlic background. The egg was infused with the flavorful pork juice from the burger, and was steamed to lusciousness.

The sauce had a bold, meaty, mushroomy flavor, adding a depth of texture and intensity. Absolutely freaking amazing!

You want a bite, don’t ya? Come one, you know you want it!

On the side I also had a big salad. Man, I was stuffed after this!

But I’m even more excited to share today’s lunch with you, because I am aware that many of the bloggers in this community are vegetarians. Most of my meals are probably unappetizing to most of you because I consume so much animal products (mainly eggs, but still) so today’s lunch is a tribute to all you lovely vegetarians out there! (But it’s not vegan, sorry)

This was what was on the menu: Open-faced Broiled Cheese and Vegetable Sandwich. The fixings: Two types of cheese (herbed cheese spread and Parmesan), grilled eggplant, tomato, and marinated mushrooms and onions on whole-grain bread.

Basically, I just spread a liberal amount of herby cheese spread onto two slices of bread, topped it with grilled eggplant and tomato. Then I marinated mushrooms and onions in a mixture of soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, sake, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic, sautéed it in a skillet, piled it over the eggplant and tomato, topped it off with some Parmesan cheese, then popped them into the oven for a few minutes until the cheese and vegetables merged together in their delicious scents and flavors. Man, it smelled freaking incredible!

It was the first time I had a sandwich without some kind of animal product like ham or eggs, and I was bowled over by how incredibly flavorful the sandwich was. This tops all tuna/egg/ham and cheese/BLT/etc sandwiches! Definitely one of my favorite sandwiches from now on!

I also had some yogurt with those awesome sandwiches, the perfect end to the perfect lunch. Yum, yum. I can’t wait to make these again.

For afternoon snack, I had the usual sweet potatoes. And then dinner was something I had not had for awhile: Omelet with cheese and chicken hotdogs. Always good, always welcoming.

Well, that’s it for today. I kind of failed on the aesthetic part of my attempt to make “gourmet” food, but met my satisfaction taste-wise!

By the way, let me leave you with yet another question: Are you a vegetarian? If so, what kind, and what made you become one? And if you’re not, have you every considered becoming one?

Hope you all have a great weekend!