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Shakshuka – Spicy all day breakfast 

My husband was having a gig last night, djing at one of the event, and he was out until this morning. Usually, what he loves to eat after a night like this, will be something meaty, but I would like to have something vegetarian. I think maybe it’s good to cook something like a all-day breakfast for him. 

This dish is called Shakshuka, it’s a spicy dish with eggs poached in tomato sauce and pepper. I am not sure if I can handle something that spicy for breakfast, but I guess should be fine for night time “breakfast”. This is a very easy dish, you can quickly get it done in half an hour.

Heat up the pan with some butter and olive oil, add diced onio, minced garlic and sliced mushroom into the pan. Season them with a pinch of salt and black pepper, and fry them until they turn brown and dry out. Add diced red bell pepper, chopped green pepper / jalapenos, and minced red chilli pepper. Stir fry them, and then add ground paprika, ground ceyanne pepper, ground cumin and cumin seeds. Now add chopped tomatoes in the pan, add a touch of water or chicken broth, let it simmer a bit until the sauce is thicken up. Create 4 little holes in the pan, then drop the egg into each little hole. Lower the heat and cover the lid, poach the eggs for 5 to 6 minutes. Garnish with chopped spring onion and coriander. Serve the dish with some sliced baguette or toast. 

It’s quite spicy, spicer than I thought. Maybe it’s good to have it in the morning, it definitely can wake you up!

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Green Sunday dinner to leverage with my juicing husband…. quinoa with green salad and nuts

My husband watched this TV show by Joe Cross, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. He is really amazed by this Reboot programme and the amount of information he got, only to do it with juicing and how much nutrition your body can get and how to balance your diet with raw food and processed food. So, he decided to start juicing and reboot his body on Saturday, he would like to have someone doing this with him, but I would not be able to do it as I think I will feel hungry all the time….. He got his brother in Germany, who is going to kick off the reboot programme with him at the same time, which it’s great to have someone doing this together.

As I would not be able to do juice fasting together with him, but I would like to have a nice juice to start off my day. First of all, we managed to get a second-hand juicer, the powerful Breville juice fountain elite. It is very important to have a good juicer, as you are going to live your days with only juicing. There are lots of varieties of juice you can find online and Joe Cross also got a good amount of juice recipes, that can get either from the app or on the website. I was testing the juicer with my first attempt, to juice with apples, carrots, celery, cucumber and ginger. The juicer is really amazing and speedy, you get a jar of good juice in 30 seconds! Tasting fresh and feeling healthy! My husband was trying to follow the recipe from Joe Cross, and he started off with the Mean Green Juice with cucumber, green apples, celery, kale, lemon and ginger. It tastes good and very green, I love the taste! Compare to the super green powder that I used to drink, I guess this one should be better because it is so fresh! Now whatever I see, I see them in juice……!

For Saturday and Sunday dinner, I also try to leverage with my juicing husband. I try to have a raw diet, or more raw food instead of processed food. I had a salad for dinner with 100% raw food, and for Sunday dinner, I did a dish with quinoa and salad. Even it is not a 100% raw diet meal, it is at least over 51% with raw food. For the quinoa, boil it with a double portion of water in a sauce pan, and I add the leftover sauce we had the other night from the steam mussels. The sauce was full of mussel flavour, and it tastes so good with the quinoa, with still a bit of vegetable leftover in it. I served this quinoa with a mixed green salad, chopped tomato, sliced mushroom and some mixed nuts. Season the salad with a touch of salt and add the quinoa directly on it, eat that like a warm salad.

 

My first trail

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Heathly Sunday dinner – brown rice with minced pork and aubergine

Tonight, I would like to cook something healthy! Well, that’s what I always try to do, cook healthy food! I am getting this idea from Jamie Oliver and change a bit to my version.

First of all, to cook the aubergine in hot water to make them soft. It is difficult to find aubergine with nice shape, they are all long and lean, which is hard to use the skin the bake later on. That’s why I decided to not keeping the skin. On the other hand, cook the brown rice and get them ready. 

Preheat the oven to 180C. Now, heat up the sauce pan with olive oil, then add the minced garlic, red chilli and onion. Fry them until they start to turn brown, then add the chopped mushroom, and the minced pork to fry everything until they are done. Add salt, ground cumin, oregano and fresh dill for seasoning. Now, mix the cooked brown rice and the aubergine into the sauce pan and stir them well. Taste it and adjust. 

Put the mix in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, get the tomato sauce done. Heat up the pan with olive oil and a bit of garlic, add one can of plum tomatoes in and then some brown sugar. Cook and stir them until they are done.

When the rice mix is done, serve them on a plate with the tomato sauce on top, some feta cheese and some fresh dill as garnish. 

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Seafood Night – Fish, Prawn and Crab

This Sunday dinner, I am thinking to work on seafood. I’ve been thinking to do a dinner with Fish, Prawn / Shrimp and Crab (魚蝦蟹). I was thinking to work on my presentation, and do something closer to a fine dining approach. But then, I lost my enthusiasm totally, because I did not manage to defrost the pastry. By the time I need to work on the pastry, I have to come up with a solution quickly, so I decided to use the bread instead. Forget about fine dining presentation…

I started it off with the Prawn Rolled Toast, as I said, my original idea was to wrap them with pastry and bake it. I might try it out again later on, but let’s make it with bread for the time being. The pack of frozen prawn is with 9 pieces of prawn, let’s cook them first in a pan with a bit of water. Remove them from the pan when they are 80% done, and we will cook them through in the oven later on. Remove the shell but keep the tail part on,  devein the prawn and sit them aside and let them cool down. To use the bread to wrap, we have to use a roller to flatten the bread. Use half of a sandwich bread, and coat both side with butter. Lay Swiss cheese, cucumber strips and a piece of prawn on top of the bread, add some wasabi mayonnaise or just mayonnaise, and then roll up the bread and close it tight. Add a layer of egg wash on the surface, and place them in the oven to grill under 200C for 10 minutes.

I’ve used only 4 pieces of prawn for the toast, so I use the rest of them to add into the Crabmeat Salad. Chop the prawn into small dices and get a large salad bowl ready, chop the rest of the ingredients into dices and add them in the bowl. I am using cucumber, tomato, onion, avocado and crabmeat, mix everything well in the salad bowl. Then, add lemon juice, a touch of salt and plain yogurt into it, mix them well and adjust the taste. Keep them cold in the fringe to serve later with the tuna, or you can have them separately as long as they are cold enough to serve.

For the Seared Tuna, let’s work on the dressing first. Mix sesame oil, soy sauce, grated ginger, minced garlic, red chilli and lemon juice, taste it and adjust. I did not manage to get a thick piece of tuna steak here, what I’ve got is only 2 cm thick, but ideally we should work with something around 3 to 4 cm thick. For what I have, I could not have the tuna cooked in a way like cooked on the surface but still raw in the middle. What I’ve got was the entire tuna steak is cooked, because it is too thin. Cut the tuna steak into rectangle shape, coat the entire surface with sesame seeds. Heat up the pan with a mix of sesame oil and olive oil, fry some sliced garlic until golden brown and set them aside for later use. Fry the tuna each side around 15 seconds, you can see how much it’s been cooking on the section, and you can decide on how much you want that to be cooked. When the fish is done, slice them into thick pieces and serve with some mixed green salad together with the crabmeat salad.

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Healthy weekend – trying super food and making enzyme fruit juice


This weekend is definitely a very health conscious weekend. I always want to try to make this enzyme fruit juice, but I heard that is a tough job to make, but my friend is willing to teach us finally. Friday night, we went out for a drink and this friend was giving us a lecture on how to make it and which area we need to watch out. She is not an expert, but she was making this for few times, when her husband was fighting for cancer. I am amazed by what this drink can do with our body, so I really want to try. I don’t mind to buy, but seems like it’s hard to buy and the one you buy is not really guarantee that is truely authentic. So, why not trying to learn and make my own one!

It’s funny, a friend also brought another friend with her, she is a nutritionist and she is running her own business with super food. Of course the night turned into a very health conscious night, and all we talked about was healthy diet.

On Saturday, I tried to go around and get all 10 kinds of fruit, other ingredients and the utensils to see if I can make the enzyme on Sunday. To get all the fruits could be difficult, so let’s start searching and see.

What I need are:

Pineapple x 1, Green Papaya x 1, Dragon friut (red one is better) x 2, Guava x 2, Red apple x 2, Pear x 2, Red tomato x 2, beetroot x 2, Kiwi x 3, dark grapes must be with seed (all seedless grapes are genetic modified) x 60 pcs.
Pure honey x 1 kg, dark cane sugar x 1.5 kg, good water (like spring water or filtered water) around 5 litre.

New chopping board (either wood or plastic), ceramic knief, few plastic buckles for fruits washing, long wooden spoon for stiring, big glass jar 14 litre with plastic buckle and towel, cling flim, thick elastic bands x 6, new scrub-sponge, fruit scrubber, plastic funnel and plastic strainer.

For fruits, better to choose the unripe ones, which is better for making enzyme. The greener and the harder, the better! Of course, anything organic is also good, and I would not choose anything that are from China, try to look for better quality. For kitchen utensils, should not use anything in stainless steel or metal, as try to avoid any kind of chemical reaction.

I was trying hard to get everything around home, but it is hard to get grapes with seeds, as all I can found are all seedless! For beetroot, it’s impossible to get it here in Happy Valley as well, so I decided to make a trip to Causeway Bay, I think I can get those missing ingredients in Citysuper! Before heading to Citysuper!, I tried to take a look at the wet market, and I bought the green papaya there. But all the grapes I asked for are without seeds. Found some grapes in Citysuper!, but not sure if they are with seeds or not, so I decided to eat one and find out. Grab one pack, hide somewhere and try one out… Yeah! with seeds!!!! It’s so difficult to find grapes with seeds nowadays! I also found beetroot there! I am so happy I can finished my shopping, but overall took me 3 to 4 hours to get everything.


So today is Sunday, I will be working on my enzyme fruit juice after getting all ingredients that I need! Let’s start the day healthily, have this super green powder that my friend gave me on Friday night, should help to alkalise and detox my body! She is having her brand and this super food diet by Super Food Lab seems very powerful! I am thinking to get this super green and super red powder to have this everyday.


Let’s start making the enzyme, to get all the fruit washed is my first task! Before that, I have to get all the utensils washed and rinsed with hot filtered water. I have two to three containers with filtered water filled, and I’m ready for washing all fruits. I also have to make sure I washed my hands with hot filtered water, I hope I get all procedure right and not screwing up the juice! All the fruits need to be brushed and scrubbed to clean, and get rid of all kinds of chemical. Make sure to wash the fruit with good water, not just the tap water. When you are done with washing, place them on kitchen towel and let them dry. The toughest one is to clean the 60 grapes, either cut the stem with ceramic scissors or pick by hand, but you must keep that little piece of stem on, as you don’t want any water get inside of the grape. You can also use warm water to wash the grapes, as that should help on getting rid of the chemical.


When you are done with all the cleaning and washing, place all the fruits nicely on the kitchen towel and cover them with kitchen towel as well. To speed up the drying process, can switch on the dehumidifier to help.


One problem that I am dealing with, it’s one of the guava starts to get ripen at one point, as I could not see that part which is hidden under the packaging. I tried to get another pack, which turned out to be the same for the other two! It is bad, as the fruit is getting all soft and wet, and it will not get dry at all! Luckily one of them is better, so I can just use that one among the three ripen ones. So, it is very important to get the unriped fruits, especially after such cleaning and washing.

I thought these 2 blackies will be nosy about what I do, but obviously they prefered to chill instead.

 

After few hours of drying the fruits, it’s time to cut them and place them into the jar! Of course, please make sure the jar is washed and also rinsed it with hot filtered water. My friend suggested me to place the jar into a bucket and with a towel to protect it, as we need to turn the bottle around everyday afterwards, it’s better to get it well protected. First of all, put the sugar and honey in the jar, then add 1/3 of water and stir them nicely, let the sugar and honey melt and sit nicely in the jar.

Better to start chopping the biggest fruit, pineapple, everything should keep the skin, but you can cut off a bit of the skin of the pineapple, especially the spiky parts. Place the pineapple slices at the bottom of the jar. For the rest, it’s up to you about the order. Just cut all the fruits in slices, and place them in the jar layer by layer. For the green papaya, have to remove all the seeds, otherwise the drink will turn bitter.  For the grapes, you need to remove the stem and slightly cut open the skin, and keep the seed for the grapes. After cutting and putting all the fruits into the jar nicely, fill up the jar with good water to covering all fruits.


You are almost done, hang in there! The last step is the closing, get the cling film and get the size that can cover the mouth of the jar, put around 16 layers and place them on the mouth of the jar. Leave enough space for the fermentation later on, then close it by putting 5 to 6 elastic bands at the mouth. I also use tape and plastic straps to add on top and make sure it is tight enough.


After 3 hours of washing and 2 hours of cutting, finally done! Let’s see if my first attempt going to be successful… I will update this on my blog everyday.

After the third day,the enzyme fruit juice was already popping up! This is a very good sign, as the fermentation must be in progress! Each day, I have to turn it 30 rounds, in order to let the bubbling works. As the weather is kind of hot here in Hong Kong, the fermentation process could be faster. Hope this could be done in one more week!

Day 3 already start to pop up

 

I was told by my friend, it only takes around 5 weeks in Summer time to get this enzyme fruit juice done. It is still around 28C to 32C here in Hong Kong from August to October, so we expected that will be done in 4 to 5 weeks. I don’t why it takes so long for my jar, it just keep bubbling, meaning still working on the fermentation, so we have to wait until the day there is no more bubbling go on inside the jar. After 10 weeks, finally the bubbling stopped! I just can’t wait to open the bottle and see the result of my first jar of enzyme fruit juice. I’ve prepared 10 empty red wine bottles for the storage of the juice, at the same time, we need to also get a sieve, a funnel and a ladle ready. Avoid to use metal utensil, and stay with plastic or silicone, as enzyme can catalyse a reaction by the use of metals. In order to have the juice evenly distributed, we have to pour the juice in all bottles one by one. Therefore, we should not finish one full bottle then go for the next one, we have do it by rounds in sequence from bottle number 1 to 10. You really have to empty your fridge in order to get enough space for the storage of all these bottles. Do not store them horizontal like how we do with bottle of wine or water, as they might be still active and have a chance to spill. Put them vertically inside the fridge and do not close the cap tightly, leave some space in case it has to breath. Try to finish them in 1.5 months by drinking around 100ml per day. Heard that this formula of enzyme juice can really cure cancer, it’s not that I am having one right now, but it is always good to detox and remove radiation from our body. As most of us keep absorbing a lot of radiation everyday, from computer, mobile phone, TV, microwave, and etc.

The next day, I started with my second jar of enzyme fruit juice! To reuse some of the fermented fruits into the new jar should help to speed up the fermentation, hope the second jar could be done quicker. Let’s keep it rolling and running!

After 10 weeks, this is finally done!!! It takes longer than I thought.

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Chili con Carne . can go with rice or bread


I was thinking what to cook for our usual Sunday dinner, my husband was trying to help and brain storm. Suddenly he came across “Chili con carne”, he said he can eat that for the entire week. I am not a fan of Mexican food at all, and I am not sure if I know exactly what Chili con carne is… Tried to search a bit online and look into few recipes, my husband also trying to explain to me how should that tastes like. All right, even I do not like Mexican and beans that much, let’s stay open-minded and try something new!

I found few different recipes, and I am going for the one with more vegetables to make it a bit more healthy, so I decided to base on the recipe from Jamie Oliver and improvise. Looking at the ingredients, somehow I feel that I am making the spicy Bolognese sauce, just with more beans.

There are a lot of chopping to do, so better get everything nicely chopped and ready before starting to cook. Of course you can make use of the food processor to help out a bit. Finely chop the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and finally chop the red peppers into  medium squares. Get some coriander chopped and separate the stalks from the leaves. I also like to add some red chili to make the dish a bit more hot, just get them chopped and ready.

Are you ready? So, get the biggest sauce pan out, heat it up and put some butter into the pan. Put the minced garlic and the onion in the pan to start with, then add the carrot and celery together with a pinch of salt, let them cook a bit until they turn soft. You can add some olive oil if you feel there is not enough oil, then put the minced beef in and fry them nicely until they start to turn brown. Then, add the kidney beans and chickpeas, together with the coriander stalks and the red chili. Give them a good stir, add all the spice into the pan, chili powder, ground cumin, ground cinnamon and ground paprika, of course some salt and pepper, then add the chopped tomato sauce into the pan. Let them cook a bit, and then add some water into it, bring it to boil and then switch it to lower heat, let it boil for at least 30 minutes to one hour.

When it’s done, you can serve it with some long grain rice, by adding some yogurt and corindar as garnish. That’s how I like to eat, as I love rice. My husband prefers to have it with bread, so he had it with some baguette, French meets Mexian. Somehow I feel like having Indian food….? My husband said that has nothing to do with chili con carne, but at least it tasted good. He thinks the vegetable makes it so non-Mexican, he said he will cook me a real one later, let’s see… well, I kind of like it, at least it is not too beany and not too Mexican 😝

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Long time no cook, Sunday dinner – Grilled mussel with penne pas7a


Long time no see is a Chinese idiom, so long time no cook……. I was away two weeks for business trip, I miss my cooking, of course can’t wait to cook something tonight!

I watched Jamie Oliver’s show the other time, and he was cooking this grilled mussels that go with tomato soup. I was thinking to cook that a while ago, but I guess today I want to do it, but instead of tomato soup, I will make it with pasta.

In order to grill the mussels and penne pasta at the same time, I tried to get both ready almost at the same time. Before cooking anything, it’s better to get everything chopped and ready. First of all, let’s prepare the breadcrumbs for grilling. Mix the breadcrumbs, some Parmesan cheese, basil, garlic, some olive oil and a pinch of salt in a food processor. So that’s ready for the grilling part later on. Now to chop everything, garlic, red chilli, onion, celery, tomatoes and coriander, and ready for cooking.

To boil a pot of hot water and cook the penne first, because the cooking time is around 11 minutes. On the other hand, heat up the sauce pan with butter, and put the minced garlic, then chopped onion, fry until the onion turn slightly brown, then add chopped celery and tomatoes and red chilli. When everything is kind of cooked, pour some white wine in, and then add some water or you can add chicken stock. I always think water is good enough already. Then, put the mussels in the sauce pan, and cook for 4 minutes with lid on, then cook it without lid for another 2 to 3 minutes. When all the mussels are opened up, that means all cooked.

Now put the cooked pasta in a bake tray, and pour some stock from the mussels in the tray and mix with the pasta. Then, remove one of the shell from the mussel and let it just sit on the other half of the shell and place it on top of the pasta in the tray to create a layer of mussel. You can let those onion, tomato and celery sit inside of the mussel. After putting all mussels on top of the pasta, then put the breadcrumbs on top of each mussels. And place the tray inside of the pre-heat oven under 190C for around 15 to 20 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs turn brown.