Guilt-Free “Creamy” Mushroom Soup


Date Published: Aug 8th, 2022 | Last Updated: Aug 8th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: easy, healthy, low-cal, mains, appetizers, soups, vegetarian
Serves: 4 (as a main) | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 30 mins

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The countdown is on to our wedding and thus our wedding diet is in full swing which means healthy, low-calorie meals that cut out the fat without compromising on flavour. This recipe ticks all the boxes. I love a good soup and I love a good mushroom dish. When you put two together, I’m loving life! This soup is PACKED full of mushrooms – 600g of mushrooms, to be exact; and it’s creamy without actually using any cream! The creaminess comes from a bit of flour to thicken it all up. There’s also a red chili pepper in this soup that adds a little spiciness to punch up the flavour.

Original recipe adapted from: AustralianMushrooms.com.au – this is a fantastic website chocked full of beautiful mushroom recipes. I highly recommend checking it out.

Without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

We move house quite a bit and it’s not always easy to find the perfect sunny spot for food photography. Often times Toby will be holding the plates of food for me to get that perfect light. Here, he’s concentrating holding the pose and trying not to move to dirty the edges of the bowl. It looks like he’s praying to the soup gods. 😂 Always my #1 supporter. ❤️

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 600g white button mushrooms (400g chopped, 200g sliced)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 long red chilli, deseeded, finely chopped
  • 2cm ginger, peeled, minced or finely grated
  • 2 Tbsps plain flour
  • 4 cups (1 litre) beef stock (chicken stock is fine too)
  • 2 dried or 3 fresh bay leaves
  • Optional: 2 Tbsps heavy cream
  • Optional add-ins to bulk up the soup:
    • 4 cups (100g) kale and/or spinach leaves, stalks removed, chopped
    • Roasted butternut squash
    • Shredded roast chicken

Directions:

In a large pot on MED-HIGH heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and sauté the 200g of sliced mushrooms until tender. Remove from the pot and set aside in a separate bowl.

In the same pot, add another drizzle of olive oil and sauté the onion, ginger, and red chili for a few minutes until the onion is soft and translucent. Add in the 400g of chopped mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms are tender. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and mix together for 1 minute until all the liquid is absorbed.

Pour in a few splashes of beef stock and mix it all together, scraping the sides and ensure nothing is clumped to the sides or the bottom of the pot. Pour in the remaining beef stock and add in the bay leaves. Turn the heat up to HIGH and bring the soup to a boil. Once it boils, turn the heat down to LOW-MED until a simmer and let it simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

After simmering, remove the bay leaves and remove from heat. Use a stick blender and blend the soup until smooth. (You can also pour it all into a blender if you don’t have a stick blender). Stir in the cooked mushrooms that was set aside in step 1 and cream (if using). Salt and pepper to taste. Done!

Optional for a bulkier soup: Once the soup is smooth, return to the stove and add in any additional add-ins you’d like to bulk up the soup (ie. spinach, squash, roast chicken). Stir until the leaves are wilted or the veg or chicken is warmed. Turn off the heat and serve. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Guilt-Free “Creamy” Mushroom Soup

Date Published: Aug 8th, 2022 | Last Updated: Aug 8th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: easy, healthy, low-cal, mains, appetizers, soups, vegetarian
Serves: 4 (as a main) | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 30 mins

Ingredients:

  • 600g white button mushrooms (400g chopped, 200g sliced)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 long red chilli, deseeded, finely chopped
  • 2cm ginger, peeled, minced or finely grated
  • 2 Tbsps plain flour
  • 4 cups (1 litre) beef stock (chicken stock is fine too)
  • 2 dried or 3 fresh bay leaves
  • Optional: 2 Tbsps heavy cream
  • Optional add-ins to bulk up the soup:
    • 4 cups (100g) kale and/or spinach leaves, stalks removed, chopped
    • Roasted butternut squash
    • Shredded roast chicken

Directions:

  1. In a large pot on MED-HIGH heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and sauté the 200g of sliced mushrooms until tender. Remove from the pot and set aside in a separate bowl.
  2. In the same pot, add another drizzle of olive oil and sauté the onion, ginger, and red chili for a few minutes until the onion is soft and translucent.
  3. Add in the 400g of chopped mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms are tender. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and mix together for 1 minute until all the liquid is absorbed.
  4. Pour in a few splashes of beef stock and mix it all together, scraping the sides and ensure nothing is clumped to the sides or the bottom of the pot. Pour in the remaining beef stock and add in the bay leaves. Turn the heat up to HIGH and bring the soup to a boil. Once it boils, turn the heat down to LOW-MED until a simmer and let it simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
  5. After simmering, remove the bay leaves and remove from heat. Use a stick blender and blend the soup until smooth. (You can also pour it all into a blender if you don’t have a stick blender). Stir in the cooked mushrooms that was set aside in step 1 and cream (if using). Salt and pepper to taste. Done!
  6. Optional for a bulkier soup: Once the soup is smooth, return to the stove and add in any additional add-ins you’d like to bulk up the soup (ie. spinach, squash, roast chicken). Stir until the leaves are wilted or the veg or chicken is warmed. Turn off the heat and serve. Enjoy!

Unintentionally Amazing Soft Tea Eggs (茶葉蛋)


Date Published: Aug 8th, 2022 | Last Updated: Aug 8th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: Asian, sides, snack, appetizers, healthy, low cal
Serves: 8 eggs | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 5-10 mins + resting overnight

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The empty bottle of the brand of sweet vinegar I used. Any sweet vinegar should be fine.

I’ve had a bottle of Chinese sweet black vinegar in the back of my pantry for the past 2 years that has gone untouched and collecting dust. I have no idea what I originally bought it for but whatever it was, I only ever used a small amount. Toby says I bought it originally because I couldn’t find regular black vinegar and tried to use this as a substitute and failed – I have no recollection of this 😅🤷🏻‍♀️. I’ve tried to look for recipes to use up this bottle over the years but I can only ever find it used in a very specific Chinese pork knuckle dish. This bottle has become an eye sore and in a desperate attempt to clean out my pantry before we hit the road again, I decided to try adding it to a marinade for tea eggs. I had very low expectations for this – I just wanted to make something somewhat edible so I’m not wasting it. The end result turned out so much better than I could have ever hoped for! It gave the egg a subtle sweetness along with the saltiness. In fact, it was so good that I ended up buying another bottle of sweet black vinegar just so I can keep making these tea eggs, which is now my favourite way to eat them.

Chinese sweet black vinegar isn’t as tangy as regular vinegar. It’s more subtle and has a light sweetness with a star anise/liquorice flavour. When mixed with the rest of the marinade ingredients, it makes a slightly sweeter tea egg that’s lighter on the palate compared to the classic tea egg that’s usually only soy sauce based. Soft boiled eggs are my favourite style of eggs and perfect for this recipe. The yolk remains soft and jammy which allows some of the marinade to penetrate through giving it more flavour. Make sure you set a timer to cook them perfectly. I’ve included cooking times for medium and hardboiled eggs as well if that’s your thing.

What is a tea egg?

If you’re unfamiliar with tea eggs, it’s a classic Chinese side dish commonly made of hardboiled eggs marinated in a soy-sauce based concoction with black tea leaves. The eggs are cracked before marinating and as a result you get a beautiful marbled appearance on the eggs with a savoury umami flavour with a hint of tea. I remember getting a few of these in a baggie from the local 7-11 in Taiwan before hopping on a train and having these as a snack. I’ve never had them soft-boiled until I started playing around with this recipe. It’s a total game changer and I think this will be the only way I’ll be having my tea eggs from now. 😛

Tips for using up leftover marinade:

  • Sauté with garlic, cabbage, splash of shaoxing wine until the cabbage cooks down, then stir in chilli paste like lao gan ma or leftover red chilli oil wonton sauce.
  • Reuse the marinade again! Make sure you reboil the liquid and let it cool before using it again.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Marinade:
    • 1/2 cup Sweet Black Vinegar
    • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
    • 2 Tbsps dark soy sauce
    • 2.5 Tbsps soy sauce
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
    • 2 Tbsps (or 2 tea bags) extra strong black tea leaves
    • 1 cup water
  • 8 large eggs

Directions:

Simmer the marinade on low for 10 mins

Make the marinade: Mix all the ingredients of the marinade (vinegar, soy sauces, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, tea leaves, water) in a saucepan and heat on MEDIUM until it boils, then turn the heat down to LOW-MED and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool completely.

Make the eggs: While the marinade cools, boil a pot of water (use a pot large enough to allow all the eggs to submerge in the boiling water without crowding). Once the water boils, carefully lower the eggs into the water – be careful not to crack them. Start a timer and boil for 5 minutes and 30 seconds for soft-boiled eggs, 7 minutes for medium eggs, or 10 minutes for hard boiled eggs.

Dunk them in an ice bath or under cold running water until cooled

Prepare an ice bath for the eggs while they are boiling. Once the timer goes off, immediate transfer the eggs to the ice bath to cool. If you don’t have any ice, run the eggs under cold water until completely cooled.

More cracks = more marbling

Once the eggs are cooled, use the back of a spoon and gently crack the egg shells around the entirety of the egg. You want the egg shells to be cracked and broken without breaking the actual egg. This allows the marinade to get through the shell and create a marbled effect. Be careful not to hit them too hard, especially for soft-boiled eggs.

Once the marinade has fully cooled, transfer the marinade with the ingredients to a container or a large ziplock bag and add in the cracked eggs. Ensure the eggs are submerged in the marinade. Choose a container or a bag big enough to fit all the marinade and eggs. It’s better to use a deeper container than a wider one so the eggs submerge better.

Let the eggs marinate in the fridge overnight, or best for 24 hours (or longer!).

Serve the eggs either cold, room temperature, or slightly warmed. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Unintentionally Amazing Soft Tea Eggs (茶葉蛋)

Date Published: Aug 8th, 2022 | Last Updated: Aug 8th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: Asian, sides, snack, appetizers, healthy, low cal
Serves: 8 eggs | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 5-10 mins + resting overnight

Ingredients:

  • Marinade:
    • 1/2 cup Sweet Black Vinegar
    • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
    • 2 Tbsps dark soy sauce
    • 2.5 Tbsps soy sauce
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
    • 2 Tbsps (or 2 tea bags) extra strong black tea leaves
    • 1 cup water
  • 8 large eggs

Directions:

  1. Make the marinade: Mix all the ingredients of the marinade (vinegar, soy sauces, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, tea leaves, water) in a saucepan and heat on MEDIUM until it boils, then turn the heat down to LOW-MED and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool completely.
  2. Make the eggs: While the marinade cools, boil a pot of water (use a pot large enough to allow all the eggs to submerge in the boiling water without crowding). Once the water boils, carefully lower the eggs into the water – be careful not to crack them. Start a timer and boil for 5 minutes and 15 seconds for soft-boiled eggs, 7 minutes for medium eggs, or 10 minutes for hard boiled eggs.
  3. Prepare an ice bath for the eggs while they are boiling. Once the timer goes off, immediate transfer the eggs to the ice bath to cool. If you don’t have any ice, run the eggs under cold water until completely cooled.
  4. Once the eggs are cooled, use the back of a spoon and gently crack the egg shells around the entirety of the egg. You want the egg shells to be cracked and broken without breaking the actual egg. This allows the marinade to get through the shell and create a marbled effect. Be careful not to hit them too hard to break the eggs inside, especially for soft-boiled eggs.
  5. Once the marinade has fully cooled, transfer the marinade with the ingredients to a container or a large ziplock bag and add in the cracked eggs. Ensure the eggs are submerged in the marinade. Choose a container or a bag big enough to fit all the marinade and eggs. It’s better to use a deeper container than a wider one so the eggs submerge better.
  6. Let the eggs marinate in the fridge overnight, or best for 24 hours (or longer!).
  7. Serve the eggs either cold, room temperature, or slightly warmed. Enjoy!

Green Curry Fish Soup


Date Published: Feb 16th, 2022 | Last Updated: Feb 16th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: mains, soups, vegetarian, easy, healthy, low-cal
Serves: 6-8 (1 large pot) | Prep time: 20mins | Cook time: 45mins

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I love a good Thai green curry but making the curry paste from scratch is always time-consuming since there are so many ingredients involved, however the end result is ALWAYS worth it so I always make a big batch of it and keep it stored in a large ice cube tray in the freezer. I freeze them in 1/4 cup portions so it’s easy for me to measure out and defrost when I need it. Since I always make a large amount, I’m constantly looking for new creative ways to use it. This recipe uses my homemade Thai green curry paste. It’s so easy and quick to whip up a large pot with enough portions to pack for lunch for the week!

Homemade Curry Paste vs Pre-made curry paste in a can?

I will always choose a homemade curry paste over one that comes in a can. The flavours of a homemade paste is so much fresher and more pungent compared to one in a can. You’ll find that in many recipes that use a canned paste, you always have to add aromatics to it such as ginger, garlic, or galangal to “freshen” it up and bring out the flavours of the paste first before you add in your main ingredients, however when you use a homemade paste, you don’t need to add in anything extra. You can just start sautéing it in the pan and add in your veg, protein…etc. Although it’s more time consuming to make the paste at the start, I found that it ended up saving me so much more time when I’m trying to whip up something quick.

A Healthy Green Curry?

Nearly all Thai green curries use coconut milk in the recipe which has a high saturated fat content – something I try to avoid as much as possible due to high cholesterol running in the family. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a good Thai curry with the creamy coconut flavour, however for the sake of my health I’ve experimented with alternatives to make it healthier and still satisfy my green curry cravings. This recipe uses soy milk or oat milk as the replacement which is low in calories, no saturated fats, and overall healthier! You don’t get the coconuttiness however the flavours of the green curry still shine through.

A great recipe to clean out the fridge!

The vegetables I’ve chosen in this recipe are the common veg I usually have in the fridge but feel free to change it up to whatever you like. I’ve thrown in leftover cabbage, carrots, potatoes…etc. I’ve also chosen fish as the protein for this soup due to health reasons, but you can easily substitute with chicken, beef, pork, or even no protein at all and keep it vegetarian.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup homemade green curry paste
  • 4 cups (1L) unsweetened soy milk or oat milk
  • 4 cups (1L) chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 2 chicken stock cubes (concentration of 1 cube = 1 cup)
  • Vegetables: *feel free to substitute with whatever vegetables you like*
    • Butternut pumpkin – 2 cups
    • 1-2 zucchinis, diced
    • 1 roasted eggplant, diced
    • 1 can bamboo shoot slices
  • 600g white fish fillets (~3 fillets) (ie barramundi, ling fish or any white fish that won’t disintegrate easily in a soup)
  • 2-4 Tbsps fish sauce to taste

Directions:

Sauté the green curry paste in a pot with a drizzle of olive oil over MED heat until the paste dries out a bit and turns slightly brown.

Add in the soy milk, chicken stock, and chicken stock cubes. Mix it around and bring the heat up to HIGH until the liquid boils, then turn it back down to LOW-MED. Make sure there are no clumps of curry paste.

Add in the pumpkin and zucchinis. Let the soup simmer with the lid on until the pumpkin is cooked, then add in the roasted eggplant, bamboo shoots and fish.

Let the soup come to a boil again and turn the heat off once the fish is cooked. Add fish sauce to taste. Serve!

Summarized Recipe:

Green Curry Fish Soup

Date Published: Feb 16th, 2022 | Last Updated: Feb 16th, 2022
Author:
Abby | Category: mains, soups, vegetarian, easy, healthy, low-cal
Serves:
6-8 (1 large pot) | Prep time: 20mins | Cook time: 45mins

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup homemade green curry paste
  • 4 cups (1L) unsweetened soy milk or oat milk
  • 4 cups (1L) chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 2 chicken stock cubes (concentration of 1 cube = 1 cup)
  • Vegetables: *feel free to substitute with whatever vegetables you like*
    • Butternut pumpkin – 2 cups
    • 1-2 zucchinis, diced
    • 1 roasted eggplant, diced
    • 1 can bamboo shoot slices
  • 600g white fish fillets (~3 fillets) (ie barramundi, ling fish or any white fish that won’t disintegrate easily in a soup)
  • 2-4 Tbsps fish sauce to taste

Directions:

  1. Sauté the green curry paste in a pot with a drizzle of olive oil over MED heat until the paste dries out a bit and turns slightly brown.
  2. Add in the soy milk, chicken stock, and chicken stock cubes. Mix it around and bring the heat up to HIGH until the liquid boils, then turn it back down to LOW-MED. Make sure there are no clumps of curry paste.
  3. Add in the pumpkin and zucchinis. Let the soup simmer until the pumpkin is cooked, then add in the roasted eggplant, bamboo shoots and fish. Let the soup come to a boil again and turn the heat off once the fish is cooked. Add fish sauce to taste. Serve!

Vegan Parmesan


Date Published: Feb 8th, 2022 | Last Updated: Feb 8th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: basics, easy, healthy, how-to
Serves: 1.5 cups | Prep time: 1 minute | Mix time: 30 seconds

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I’m not vegan, nor could I ever go vegan, but I do often try to cut down my intake of dairy for health reasons. The hardest part of cutting down dairy is the cheese. My idea of a perfect picnic is a giant cheese board with crackers and fruit pastes. Mmmmmm. I could eat cheese all day every day. I’m a cheese fiend!

Although I have yet to find a replacement for an ooey gooey cheese, I have found a replacement for Parmesan from Minimalist Baker. This recipe uses nutritional yeast as the source of its cheesy flavour and it’s super easy to whip up. Although it won’t melt, you can still use it anywhere you’d use Parmesan. I sprinkle it over pizza, pasta, and add it to savoury baked goods like tuna cakes.

What is nutritional yeast?

Nutritional yeast is a strain of deactivated yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) that is often used in baking, brewing, and wine-making. The yeast is grown, deactivated, dried, and packaged. It has its own nutritional benefits, but best of all it has a nutty cheesy flavour. It’s a very popular vegan product as a cheese replacement. You’ll usually find nutritional yeast in the health food section. A little goes a long way!

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 180g (1.5 cups) cashews (raw or roasted/salted)
  • 6 Tbsps nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt (skip if you’re using salted cashews)

Directions:

  1. Add all the ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until you get a consistency that looks like parmesan cheese. Taste and adjust salt if needed. Done! Use immediately or store in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3-4 weeks.

Summarized Recipe:

Vegan Parmesan

Date Published: Feb 8th, 2022 | Last Updated: Feb 8th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: basics, easy, healthy, how-to
Serves: 1.5 cups | Prep time: 1 minute | Mix time: 30 seconds

Ingredients:

  • 180g (1.5 cups) cashews (raw or roasted/salted)
  • 6 Tbsps nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt (skip if you’re using salted cashews)

Directions:

  1. Add all the ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until you get a consistency that looks like parmesan cheese. Taste and adjust salt if needed. Done! Use immediately or store in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3-4 weeks.

Mom’s Savoury Pork & Cabbage Congee 鹹稀飯


Date Published: Nov 8th, 2021 | Last Updated: Nov 8th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, Asian, easy, healthy, soups, Taiwanese
Serves: 4-6 (as a main) | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

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This recipe is easy and cooks up quickly!

This recipe is near and dear to me. My mom used to make it for us when I was a kid and I don’t think I properly appreciated it until I moved out from home. I had to get a dental procedure done a couple months ago and was instructed not to eat any hard foods for a day or two and the first thing I thought about making was mom’s salty congee. I called her up in Canada on the way home from my procedure and she gave me the rough instructions and ratios for me to figure out (she never writes down recipes and just eyes the ratios when she cooks). I picked up the ingredients before heading home and made it that night for dinner. It was surprisingly super easy and it turned out just like mom’s. It was amazing, nostalgic, and brought me right back to my childhood. I ate 3 bowls in one sitting!

Now I crave this every time I’m sick (Toby has amazingly learned how to make this dish for me for when I’m unwell 😊). It’s so warm and comforting, kind of like the effects of a chicken noodle soup. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 350g pork mince
  • 3/4 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 7 cups (1.75L) water
  • 4 cups of cabbage, chopped to 2cm squares 
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp chicken stock powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil

Directions:

In a bowl, mix the pork mince and cornstarch together (this may be easier to do by hand). Set aside.

In a large pot, add in the rice, water and pork. Break up the pork into smaller pieces when adding it to the pot and stir. Turn the heat on HIGH and bring it to a boil with the lid on.

Once the water boils, add in the cabbage, salt and chicken stock powder. When the water boils again, turn the heat down to LOW and let it simmer with the lid on until the congee is to your desired consistency. Stir occasionally to ensure your congee doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.

I like my congee thick and porridge-y consistency so I let it simmer a bit longer. If you prefer your congee more watery and soupy, turn off the heat earlier.

When the congee is to your liking, turn off the heat and immediately add in the beaten eggs. Stir the eggs into the congee until they are cooked (a few seconds). Mix in the white pepper and sesame oil. Add more salt and pepper to taste if you like. Serve!

Summarized Recipe:

Mom’s Savoury Pork & Cabbage Congee 鹹稀飯


Date Published:
Nov 8th, 2021 | Last Updated: Nov 8th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, Asian, easy, healthy, soups, Taiwanese
Serves: 4-6 (as a main) | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • 350g pork mince
  • 3/4 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 7 cups (1.75L) water
  • 4 cups of cabbage, chopped to 2cm squares 
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp chicken stock powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, mix the pork mince and cornstarch together (this may be easier to do by hand). Set aside.
  2. In a large pot, add in the rice, water and pork. Break up the pork into smaller pieces when adding it to the pot and stir. Turn the heat on HIGH and bring it to a boil with the lid on.
  3. Once the water boils, add in the cabbage, salt and chicken stock powder. When the water boils again, turn the heat down to LOW and let it simmer with the lid on until the congee is to your desired consistency. Stir occasionally to ensure your congee doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.
    • I like my congee thick and porridge-y consistency so I let it simmer a bit longer. If you prefer your congee more watery and soupy, turn off the heat earlier.
  4. When the congee is to your liking, turn off the heat and immediately add in the beaten eggs. Stir the eggs into the congee until they are cooked (a few seconds). Mix in the white pepper and sesame oil. Add more salt and pepper to taste if you like. Serve!

Avocado Fries


Date Published: Oct 10th, 2021 | Last Updated: Oct 10th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: easy, healthy, snacks, appetizers, low-cal, sides, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 35 mins

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I could eat these all day everyday! Avocado fries are a great way to snack healthy. They’re easy to make, but I’ll admit a little time-consuming since you have to bread each one separately, but they’re SO worth it. You can change up the spices for different flavours but I prefer to keep them simple and let the dipping sauce create the extra flavour. They’re crunchy on the outside and soft & creamy on the inside. Serve it as an appetizer, a snack, or a side to a burger.

To keep with the healthy profile, these fries are baked in the oven instead of deep-frying. The secret to keeping them crispy and crunchy is to bake them on a wire rack so both sides get evenly cooked without any liquid pooling and softening the breading. You can also cook them in an air-fryer but I find it easier to make large batches in the oven. Pair it with any dipping sauce you like! Our favourite is sriracha mayo or toum mixed with Greek yogurt. Mmmmmm. To change it up, you can make zucchini fries using this exact same recipe too – in fact, the steps are identical so I’ve just duplicated the blog post and changed up the ingredients.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 5 large hass avocados
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1.5 cups panko
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1.5 tsps Italian seasoning
  • 1.5 tsps paprika

Directions:

Preheat oven to 200˚C (425˚F). Prepare a greased cooling rack over a baking sheet (see photo).

Slice each avocado in half. Remove the seed and use a spoon to scoop out the avocado from the skin. Then slice the avocado halves into strips.

I made zucchini fries at the same time and forgot to take a photo with avocado instead so pretend the zucchinis are avocados 😅

Prepare 3 bowls and put the following in each bowl: 1) Flour, 2) Beaten eggs, 3) Panko, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and paprika.

Bread the avocado strips one at a time by first covering it in flour, then dredging it into the beaten eggs, then finally tossing it in the panko/parmesan mixture and pressing down so the coating sticks well to the avocado strip. Place the breaded avocado strip onto the greased cooling rack prepared earlier. Repeat for the rest of the avocado.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Let them cool slightly on the rack before transferring it to a serving plate. Enjoy!

You can alternatively put them in the air fryer at 200˚C for 8-10 minutes.

Summarized Recipe:

Avocado Fries

Date Published: Oct 10th, 2021 | Last Updated: Oct 10th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: easy, healthy, snacks, appetizers, low-cal, sides, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 35 mins

Ingredients:

  • 5 large hass avocados
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1.5 cups panko
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1.5 tsps Italian seasoning
  • 1.5 tsps paprika

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200˚C (425˚F). Prepare a greased cooling rack over a baking sheet (see photo).
  2. Slice each avocado in half. Remove the seed and use a spoon to scoop out the avocado from the skin. Then slice the avocado halves into strips.Prepare 3 bowls and put the following in each bowl:
    1. Flour
    2. Beaten eggs
    3. Panko, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and paprika
  3. Bread the avocado strips one at a time by first covering it in flour, then dredging it into the beaten eggs, then finally tossing it in the panko/parmesan mixture and pressing down so the coating sticks well to the avocado strip. Place the breaded avocado strip onto the greased cooling rack prepared earlier. Repeat for the rest of the avocado.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Let them cool slightly on the rack before transferring it to a serving plate. Enjoy!
    • You can alternatively put them in the air fryer at 200˚C for 8-10 minutes.

Zucchini Fries


Date Published: Oct 10th, 2021 | Last Updated: Oct 10th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: easy, healthy, snacks, appetizers, low-cal, sides, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 35 mins

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I could eat these all day everyday! Zucchini fries are a great way to snack healthy. They’re easy to make, but I’ll admit a little time-consuming since you have to bread each one separately, but they’re SO worth it. You can change up the spices for different flavours but I prefer to keep them simple and let the dipping sauce create the extra flavour. They’re crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Serve it as an appetizer, a snack, or a side to a burger.

To keep with the healthy profile, these fries are baked in the oven instead of deep-frying. The secret to keeping them crispy and crunchy is to bake them on a wire rack so both sides get evenly cooked without any liquid pooling and softening the breading. You can also cook them in an air-fryer but I find it easier to make large batches in the oven. Pair it with any dipping sauce you like! Our favourite is sriracha mayo or toum mixed with Greek yogurt. Mmmmmm. To change it up, you can make avocado fries using this exact same recipe too!

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 4 medium sized zucchinis
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1.5 cups panko
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1.5 tsps Italian seasoning
  • 1.5 tsps paprika

Directions:

Preheat oven to 200˚C (425˚F). Prepare a greased cooling rack over a baking sheet (see photo).

Cut the top end of the zucchinis off and discard. Then slice each zucchini in half horizontally and then slice each half into about 6 sticks (see photo).

Prepare 3 bowls and put the following in each bowl: 1) Flour, 2) Beaten eggs, 3) Panko, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and paprika.

Bread the zucchini strips one at a time by first covering it in flour, then dredging it into the beaten eggs, then finally tossing it in the panko/parmesan mixture and pressing down so the coating sticks well to the zucchini strips. Place the breaded zucchini strip onto the greased cooling rack prepared earlier. Repeat for the rest of the zucchini strips.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Let them cool slightly on the rack before transferring it to a serving plate. Enjoy!

You can alternatively put them in the air fryer at 200˚C for 8-10 minutes.

Summarized Recipe:

Zucchini Fries

Date Published: Oct 10th, 2021 | Last Updated: Oct 10th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: easy, healthy, snacks, appetizers, low-cal, sides, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 35 mins

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium sized zucchinis
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1.5 cups panko
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1.5 tsps Italian seasoning
  • 1.5 tsps paprika

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200˚C (425˚F). Prepare a greased cooling rack over a baking sheet (see photo).
  2. Cut the top end of the zucchinis off and discard. Then slice each zucchini in half horizontally and then slice each half into about 6 sticks (see photo).
  3. Prepare 3 bowls and put the following in each bowl:
    1. Flour
    2. Beaten eggs
    3. Panko, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and paprika
  4. Bread the zucchini strips one at a time by first covering it in flour, then dredging it into the beaten eggs, then finally tossing it in the panko/parmesan mixture and pressing down so the coating sticks well to the zucchini strips. Place the breaded zucchini strip onto the greased cooling rack prepared earlier. Repeat for the rest of the zucchini strips.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Let them cool slightly on the rack before transferring it to a serving plate. Enjoy!
    • You can alternatively put them in the air fryer at 200˚C for 8-10 minutes.

So Easy Healthy Chocolate Mousse


Date Published: Oct 10th, 2021 | Last Updated: Oct 10th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: quick, easy, healthy, vegetarian, dessert, low-cal, <15mins
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 5 mins | Blend time: 1 min

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Get ready for a quick, easy, healthy, vegan, sugar-free, low-carb chocolate mousse! Sounds too good to be true, right? I promise it’s worth a try. Chocolate mousse is one of Toby’s all-time favourite desserts and although this isn’t quite as good as his favourite version, it still got his official stamp of approval for being pretty damn good especially since it’s a healthy alternative! He can gorge on this guilt-free and better yet, it’s SO easy to make.

This mousse isn’t as fluffy and light as a traditional chocolate mousse but it’s still packed with chocolatey flavour and just as creamy because it uses avocados as the main ingredient. You can eat this on its own with some diced strawberries or alternatively choose to use it as a frosting on a cake or as a stuffing in a pastry.

What makes this recipe so amazing?

Quick and easy – Just blend all the ingredients together. It comes together in 15 minutes, perfect for a quick snack or last minute dessert plans.

Vegan – No dairy products are used. Avocados are the main ingredient that gives this mousse its creamy velvety texture.

Sugar-free – Medjool dates are the best kept secret to replacing sugars in a recipe without adding any extra flavour! You can alternatively use honey or maple syrup if you don’t have any dates on hand.

Low-carb – Compared to a regular chocolate mousse, the only ‘carb-y’ ingredient in this recipe are the dates. No extra added sugars

Healthy – avocados, dates, and soy milk make up the bulk of this recipe!

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 24 pitted dried Medjool dates
  • 4 ripe hass avocados, pitted with the flesh scooped out (~500g of flesh)
  • 1/2 cup natural cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup dutch cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup soy milk (or any milk alternative)

Directions:

Soak the dates in hot water for 10 mins until soft (this will help the dates blend easier).

Drain the dates and blend the rest of the ingredients (avocados, cocoa powders, salt, vanilla, soy milk) together until you get a smooth mousse texture. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed. Add more soy milk if too thick, or more soaked dates if not sweet enough. Serve!

Summarized Recipe:

So Easy Healthy Chocolate Mousse

Date Published: Oct 10th, 2021 | Last Updated: Oct 10th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: quick, easy, healthy, vegetarian, dessert, low-cal, <15mins
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 5 mins | Blend time: 1 min

Ingredients:

  • 24 pitted medjool dates
  • 4 ripe hass avocados, pitted with the flesh scooped out (~480g of flesh)
  • 1/2 cup natural cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup dutch cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup soy milk (or more to your liking)

Directions:

  1. Soak the dates in hot water for 10 mins until soft (this will help the dates blend easier).
  2. Drain the dates and blend the rest of the ingredients (avocados, cocoa powders, salt, vanilla, soy milk) together until you get a smooth mousse texture. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed. Add more soy milk if too thick, or more soaked dates if not sweet enough. Serve!

Baba Ghanoush


Date Published: Sept 27th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 27th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: dips, appetizer, easy, healthy, snacks, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 (1 medium sized bowl) | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

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Baba ghanoush is a Lebanese dish that is typically served as a starter or a side to a meat dish. It’s made with charred eggplants, tahini, garlic and lemon. It tastes similar to a hummus but with an extra smoky flavour from the grilling of the eggplants. The ingredients to a baba ghanoush and hummus are nearly identical but instead substitute the chick peas with eggplants. Comparatively, hummus is much easier to make because you skip the step of grilling eggplants, but flavour-wise I prefer baba ghanoush for the smokiness. If I’m feeling lazy and wanting a whip up something quick for a party or a side, I’ll go for the hummus (you can check out my hummus recipe here).

There are many ways to char an eggplant. Traditionally the eggplant is placed over an open flame until the skin wrinkles and the flesh softens, but I find this method more time-consuming to constantly watch the eggplant and I also find it harder and messier to peel. My preferred method is to slice them in half and char them in the oven on high heat. You can then simply scoop out the eggplant flesh instead of having to peel it.

You can simply serve it with some sliced veg and pita chips, or slathered in a wrap with a chicken shawarma.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 2 medium sized eggplants
  • 2 Tbsps olive oil for brushing
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 Tbsps lemon juice (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)

Directions:

Roast the eggplants: Preheat oven to 220˚C (430˚F). Cut the tops off of each eggplant and then cut them in half. Arrange the eggplants skin side up on a baking sheet and brush each one with olive oil. Roast in the preheated oven until the skin wrinkles and the flesh is very soft.

Prepare the eggplants: Once the eggplants are done, set them aside to cool. Once it is cool enough to hand, use a spoon and scoop out all of the flesh. Discard the eggplant skin. Place the eggplant flesh in a strainer and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. You can let it rest for another 30 mins to let more juices drip out.

Blend it all together: Add the eggplant flesh and the rest of the ingredients (tahini, garlic, cumin, paprika, lemon juice, salt) in a blender or food processor and blend until you get a smooth texture. Taste and adjust salt and lemon to your preference. Done!

Summarized Recipe:

Baba Ghanoush

Date Published: Sept 27th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 27th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: dips, appetizer, easy, healthy, snacks, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 (1 medium sized bowl) | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sized eggplants
  • 2 Tbsps olive oil for brushing
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 Tbsps lemon juice (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)

Directions:

  1. Roast the eggplants: Preheat oven to 220˚C (430˚F). Cut the tops off of each eggplant and then cut them in half. Arrange the eggplants skin side up on a baking sheet and brush each one with olive oil. Roast in the preheated oven until the skin wrinkles and the flesh is very soft (~30-45 mins).
  2. Prepare the eggplants: Once the eggplants are done, set them aside to cool. Once it is cool enough to hand, use a spoon and scoop out all of the flesh. Discard the eggplant skin. Place the eggplant flesh in a strainer and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. You can let it rest for another 30 mins to let more juices drip out.
  3. Blend it all together: Add the eggplant flesh and the rest of the ingredients (tahini, garlic, cumin, paprika, lemon juice, salt) in a blender or food processor and blend until you get a smooth texture. Taste and adjust salt and lemon to your preference. Done!

Curry Zucchini Soup


Date Published: Sept 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: soups, healthy, easy, mains, <30 mins, low-cal, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 (1 large pot) | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 40 mins

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This curry zucchini soup is quick, easy and healthy. The bulk of the soup is just zucchinis so its also low in calories as well. This is the perfect weekday meal with minimal effort. Serve it with some croutons, bread, or even toss in leftover shredded roast chicken or vegetables.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 5 zucchinis, diced (~8 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tsps curry powder
  • 6 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 1/3 cup basmati rice
  • Cayenne powder to taste (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot on MED heat, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until the onion starts to soften (~5mins).

(A yellow onion will be fine. I only had red onion on hand at the time.)

2. Add in the zucchinis, salt, and curry powder and cook for another minute.

3. Next add the chicken stock and rice. Turn the heat up to HIGH until it boils, then reduce the heat to gently simmer for 30 mins with the lid on (or until the zucchini is very soft).

4. After 30 mins, take the pot off heat and use a stick blender to purée the soup until smooth. Return the pot back onto heat and adjust salt, black pepper, and cayenne to taste. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Curry Zucchini Soup

Date Published: Sept 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: soups, healthy, easy, mains, <30 mins, low-cal, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 (1 large pot) | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 40 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 5 zucchinis, diced (~8 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tsps curry powder
  • 6 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 1/3 cup basmati rice
  • Cayenne powder to taste (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot on MED heat, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until the onion starts to soften (~5mins).
  2. Add in the zucchinis, salt, and curry powder and cook for another minute.
  3. Next add the chicken stock and rice. Turn the heat up to HIGH until it boils, then reduce the heat to gently simmer for 30 mins with the lid on (or until the zucchini is very soft).
  4. After 30 mins, take the pot off heat and use a stick blender to purée the soup until smooth. Return the pot back onto heat and adjust salt, black pepper, and cayenne to taste. Enjoy!