Lemongrass Coconut Chicken and Leek Soup

Moving. I’m not sure if I am a fan of it. I actually don’t mind the packing and unpacking bit- it’s quite cathartic…culling old stuff.. re organising things… But only if I have the time! Meals become a hassle and I’m not sure where my baking dish went! (Talk about organisation. LOL)

Which is why we are having so many versions of soups these days. The more things I can cramp into one pot the better I say. Then I start filling my fridge and freezer with containers and we survive on them for a long time.

This is my mixed up version of chicken and leek soup. It has a little thai influence in it- aroma of lemon grass and some coconut milk (which means it isn’t too good for freezing or keeping but oh well). I grated some ginger and it provided a lovely warmth to the body in this lovely cold weather.

This is only the start of our move. In the next few weeks, you will be reading some of my pre-prepared posts. It’s exciting. and I can’t wait to cook in our new kitchen.

Lemongrass Coconut Chicken and Leek Soup (Makes enough for at least 8 serving)
2 leeks chopped
2 red onions chopped
1 tablespoon of garlic
2 stalks of lemon grass, inner bit chopped
1 knob of ginger grated
2 red chill chopped
1 roast chicken meat removed
2 cups of button mushrooms chopped
3 carrots chopped
1 bunch of celery chopped
2 litre of chicken stock
.5 litre of water
1/4 cup of coconut milk

Saute leek, onions, garlic and chill till soft. Add lemongrass and cook till soft. Add all veges and cook till soft. Add stock- simmer for 10 minutes or so and add chicken. Taste. Simmer with coconut milk. Taste and season.

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Snickers and Peanut Butter Muffins- my 1000th post!

Amazing.

This is my 1000th  post.

Who would have thought? When I first started blogging, I was heart broken and desperately trying to finish my honours thesis. I was overweight and love my instant noodles.

Over the years, I have learned so much through food. I know how to budget our food allowance on a weekly basis. I learned how to create a better relationship with food and nutrition. I appreciate food and learned how to enjoy it rather than to feel guilty about it.

Which brings me back to my 1000 post. One cannot celebrate it without some form of cake isn’t it?

I like to go all out. A candy bar and peanut butter in one muffin. How cool is that? Yes, it burns your calories but we have to live a little sometimes :p This is one of Nigella Lawson’s- and from the “baking for children” section too.

But I think we as adults should enjoy it too.

Happy 1000th Post!

Snickers and Peanut Butter Muffins (Makes 12)
250 grams plain flour
6 tablespoon of brown sugar
1.5 tablespoon of baking powder
pinch salt
160 grams or 6 tablespoon of peanut butter
60 grams of melted butter
1 large egg
175 ml of milk (I used almond milk)
3 x 65 grams of snickers bars-chopped

Preheat Oven to 200C.  Line muffin tray. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add peanut butter and mix till it resembles bread crumbs.

In a jug, mix melter butter, egg and milk. Pour to dry mixture and fold through. Add snickers and spoon into muffin case.

Bake for 25 mins. Cool and eat and say… Happy 1000th  post!.

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Brussels Sprouts

It’s not often that I post on vegetables or side dishes. Somehow, I never seem to conjure anything interesting with them. To me, they accompany the dish- even though we eat our fair share of salads and vegetables daily!

Funny enough, I never knew how to appreciate the beauty of brussels sprouts till recently. Maybe it’s because I associate them with a bitter after taste when I had the as a kid. My mother in law though, loved it! and even brought some back to KL!

Anyway, I discovered that if I blanched it quickly and cook it in stir fry, it tastes fabulous. I love the crunch and texture of it. A little oyster sauce and mixed it up with other vegetables, it’s a great side dish with chinese dishes.

So what are the other ways to cook Brussels sprouts? I can see it in some butter and pine nuts perhaps?

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Rum and Raisin Ice Cream

If you have a favourite ice cream flavour, what would it be? For me, rum and raisin wins hands down. There is the simplicity of just rum and raisins in a vanilla base ice cream that just catches me. Or maybe it’s the alcohol that permeates through the ice cream!

For years I embraced the low fat ingredients. Since my treats are usually limited to one day a week, I decided that it has to be worthwhile. I bravely walked up to the milk section and grabbed a bottle of….. breath in… whole milk! Woah, it may be real proper cream next.

Eating clean makes me appreciates these ingredients more I think. Moderation is key and because of the richness of the ice cream, I’m finding it that I savoured every bite of it when I do eat it.

When my MIL came to visit, she requested for rum and raisin ice cream because it seems that Malaysia is no longer allow to sell this due to the alcohol content. So I experimented and found this awesome blogger and her rum and raisin recipe adapted of course from David Lebovitz.

I suspect I went a tad over excited with the rum in this though. It was powerful to say the least. I soaked the raisins overnight with the rum-and I do think that it is probably a good idea for me to reduce the amount of rum, just because too much of it gives a slight bitter taste. Yes, I know… too much alcohol can be a bad thing :p

I didn’t make the caramel sauce as I think this ice cream is rich enough for me. I increased the amount of raisins which we all enjoyed as every bite has raisins in it. The funny thing is that I am not usually a big fan of raisins when eating with nut mix but when it is mix with rum ice cream, oh joy!

What is your favourite ice cream flavour? Tell me and I might just make it!

Rum and Raisin Ice Cream 
1.5 cups raisins 
3/4 cup rum 
3 cups whole milk 
2/3 cup sugar 
Pinch of salt 
4 large egg yolks 



In a small saucepan, place raisins and dark rum. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and simmer for a couple more minutes before removing from heat and covering with a lid. Allow to soak for at least 2-3 hours or like me, overnight for a deeper flavour! 
Meanwhile, whisk together milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat on medium heat until steaming. Remove from heat.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Slowly pour in warmed milk while whisking rapidly to prevent the yolks from curdling. Return mixture back to saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the milk forms a custard thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain mixture and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Before placing in an ice cream maker, strain the raisins, pouring any extra rum into the ice cream base. Freeze mixture in ice cream maker, following the manufacturer’s instructions. In the final minutes of churning, add the raisins so they spread evenly throughout the ice cream. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and freeze for 2-3 hours before serving.

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Lemongrass Ginger Over Baked Salmon Fillets and Prawns

My mother in law came to visit a few weeks ago and commented my frequent use of our oven used to cook meals. Growing up, I recall that our oven was used to bake but not to cook. In fact, our oven was so under utilised that it fused, and my parents decided to remove it for good.

I love how I can stick my food into this hot space, and have meals ready while I do other things. The programming function of my oven is really well used in my home. I like coming home, knowing that our food is cooking in the oven, ready for our meal after a hot shower.

I know I could have cook this dish in a steamer, or on a pan. Now, we are nearly ready to move, hence I have been slowly packing things away-meaning, I do not have a steamer, wok or anything huge in my kitchen at the moment. A baking tray, some baking paper- that I can handle. I chose to wrap it in baking paper to create a steam effect. Stuck it into the oven, head to the gym and dinner is done. In order not to overcook the prawns, I added it when I came back.

The flavours of soy, lemongrass and ginger is really hard to beat. A healthy easy meal- served with some stir fry veges.

Lemongrass Ginger Over Baked Salmon Fillets and Prawns (Serves 4)
3 Salmon fillets
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 red chill chopped
1 knob of ginger grated
1 tsp of minced garlic
2 stalks of lemongrass chopped finely
1/2 lemon juiced
1 lemon zested
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Marinate salmon and prawns with all the above for 10-15 minutes. Reserve prawns.

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with baking paper (with double the length of paper), place salmon and marinate onto the paper, fold over to create a parcel. Bake for 20-25 minutes. when it is done, stick the prawns in and cook for another 5 minutes or so. Remove from oven when done. The seafood will continue to cook so it’s ok to be a little under. Serve with veges.

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Mocha Caramel Nut Slice

I have always assume that caramel slice is an aussie dessert. But wikipedia said it is of a scottish decent! How surprising is it! I suppose with the scottish shortbread, creamy filling and chocolate topping, it makes sense that the Scottish invented this.

Caramel slice is such a popular dessert in cafes and bakeries though. It’s everywhere! At first, caramel slice is a tad too sweet for my liking- sugar in shortbread, sugar in caramel and sugar in chocolate seems overkill to me.

But like all things, I have grown to appreciate it and do like the texture that comes with it. The crunch from the shortbread, chewiness from the caramel and the smooth chocolate won me over!

I adapted this from Delicious Sweets cookbook- it’s a coffee version of the caramel slice. A lovely twist and worth your time in making this. Coffee was pretty much in everything but the chocolate. I omitted the essence and used instant coffee instead which I think tastes more real than essence. ;P  It is probably not a good idea to add coffee while melting the chocolate though as it will seize and you would have to add butter to make it smooth again!

Mocha Caramel Nut Slice (cut into around 30 tiny pieces)
395grams can of sweetened condense milk
1/3 cup brown sugar
50 grams butter
3 tsp of coffee (i mixed 2 tsp of instant coffee with 2 tsp of water)
1 cup or 100 grams walnut pieces
200 grams dark chocolate (

Base
1.5 cups of plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup of brown sugar
150 grams butter melted
2 tsp of coffee (as above)

Preheat Oven to 180C. Line slice tray with baking paper.

whisk flour, sugar baking powder together. Whisk melted sugar and coffee into it. Press it to base and bake it for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat up the condense milk, sugar, coffee and butter. Whisk till it becomes thick. Don’t take your eyes off the pan and the caramel could burn. It should take around 10 minutes.

Remove base from oven and cool, Sprinkle walnuts onto base. Pour caramel on it and smoothen it. Bake for another 10-12 minutes till it bubbles around edges. Cool completely.

Melt chocolate in a microwave- blitz it every 30 seconds stirring it. Pour chocolate on slice. Fridge it for it to set for 2 hours or so. Cut it in small pieces-it’s rice so it goes a long way!

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Squeeze and Stir Heinz Soup

I’m excited! Nuffnang asked if I could review a recent product that has hit our supermarket shelves- Squeeze and Stir Heinz Soup.

As you are aware, I enjoy “eating clean”- which means less processed food as possible. By habit, the first thing I did was to turn and read the label. While this is not my ideal, everyday choice of a snack, I’m happy to read the ingredient list that it is relatively low in sugar, and high in tomato paste (85% in one instance!).

It arrived on my doorstep in a lovely package. Packaged with a soup mug, spoon and 2 sachets of Squeeze & Stir Instant soup. I’m pleased that Heinz made an effort to be environmentally friend- the mug, box, cloth and soup are all re-usable. Instead of sending paper information, they included a small USB drive. Thumbs up for thinking that far!

The sachets are indeed very handy- I can see it stash in my work drawer, or bag.

I’m not a fan of powdery sachet soups- I find that on most occasions, it can be too lumpy. Worse, it is full of sugar, msg, sodium and fat. Empty calories on most counts. These little handy heinz sachets though resembles more like a thick tomato paste, that dissolve easily with a little hot water. After storing it for a few seconds, I topped it up with more warm water. They are not very low in sodium, but certainly better than some other canned or powder versions.

There, a reasonably thick and tasty soup. Of the two flavours that I received, my favourite would be “Rich Tomato with Basil”.  Not only it has 84% of tomato puree, it has a intense beautiful rich flavour to it. It tastes “real” and not “artificial” if it makes sense. The ripe tomato and vegetable tastes a little sweeter to me, but certainly resembles the usual tomato soup that you would find in your local supermarket shelves.

I wish I save half of the sachet (before drinking it up!), I could also see this as a lovely marinate for chicken (think oven baked tomato chicken), or even in soup with added fresh vegetables and meat for a one pot meal. I guess I just have to have more to experiment! In our cold wintery weather, this is certainly handy to have in the pantry.

small note-This is a Product Talk by Nuffnang post. I’m not paid to review this product, but was provided the samples instead. I aim to be open and honest in expressing my opinions 😉 

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Broccoli With Chicken Soup

I am finding it such a challenge to make green soup looks more appealing in photos. It looks like slush to me! I can assure you however, that I am having fun blitzing vegetables into soup and adding chicken or other forms of meat into it. It’s such a quick and easy meal to have on a rainy night.

Plus, I cook them in BIG batches. Yes, I’m not sure how my hubby puts up with me on this, but he is now used to having soup for 4 meals in a row. Luckily, he hasn’t turned green yet! This is what happens when life gets a little crazy sometimes! Hey, a meal is better than no meal right? ;P

Broccoli remains one of my favourite vegetables as I do like the crunch factor. In a soup, I love how it makes the soup feels thicker without the need to add cream or milk. It is almost like a jazz up version of a chicken and vegetable soup. I used a store bought roasted chook which means, all I needed to do is to tear the meat from the chicken and toss it through the soup when it simmers for the last 15 or so minutes.

I also think it is a good way to use left over vegetables. I made another similar version using baby spinach leaves but with cumin and basil. Certainly no one batch of soup tastes the same!

Broccoli with Chicken Soup (makes enough to freeze!)
2 heads of broccoli
2 red onion chopped
2 chili padi chopped
3 tablespoons of garlic
2 zuchinni chopped
3 red capsicum chopped
4 carrots chopped
2 litre of chicken stock
1 litre of water
1 roasted chicken with meat removed

Saute onion, chill and garlic till soft. Add in all veges and cook till it softens. Add stock and simmer. When done, blitz it up in a blender. Return to pot, add chicken and simmer for another 15-20 mins. Season, taste and season again. Serve hot!

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Almond and Coconut Waffles

One amazing thing about adapting Paleo as much as I can is extending my comfort zone in using ingredients. Take these waffles for example, they introduced me to coconut flour. I never even knew such an ingredient exist. It’s another alternative if you are after gluten free treats, or just wanting to reduce refined carbs like I am on most days.

It’s also intriguing how the use of clever ingredients taste just as good if not better than the usual waffles I have. These was slightly crisp with fluffy insides and tastes awesome with some maple syrup. I omitted coconut flakes- just because I didn’t have them on hand but they were still good.

Now, you know that coconut was an acquired taste for me..and I am please to say that I have since been won over and love my coconut in baking and cooking now.  Oh you should have seen my hubby when I made this batch of waffles up. He was smiling from ear to ear. My MIL? she asked me for the recipe- now that’s one of the greatest compliment one can get right? 🙂

Almond and Coconut Waffles (Makes 5)  adapted from PaleoOMG
1.5 cups of almond meal
2 eggs
1 tablespoon of coconut flour
3/4 cup of coconut milk
1 tablespoon of honey (I used jarrah)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
pinch of sea salt

maple syrup

Preheat waffle iron.

Whisk almond meal, coconut flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together. Whisk eggs in a jug with coconut milk, honey and vanilla. Pour wet to dry and whisk to combine- if it is too dry, add more coconut milk. Spoon onto waffle iron, wait for it to beep or turn green and serve with some maple syrup or fruits if you like!

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