clean eating

Meal for homeless – white cooked chicken with oyster sauce and green shallot (FODMAP friendly)

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Simple and easy home-cooked meals are always appreciated at the homeless feed.

Meal for homeless - slow poached chicken with oyster sauce and green shallot (FODMAP friendly)

Here’s one of my simplest meal with whole chicken(s) with a few other ingredients –  oyster sauce, sesame oil (or cooking oil), corn flour, ginger and green shallot.  For a FODMAP friendly recipe, use only green part of the shallot.

To cook the chicken:

  1. In a large heavy pot, add hot water, salt, white pepper and a few slices of ginger
  2. Use a stick to poke a few holes in the thickest part of the chicken, lay the chicken in the water, breast down; bring to boil, and turn the heat off;  leave it on the stove for the remaining heat to cook the chicken for at lease 1 hours.
  3. Turn the chicken over and bring to boil, turn the heat off for 30 minutes.
  4. Bring it to boil again for a few minutes.
  5. Take the chicken out of pot, cool slightly, then pull the meat off, making sure all the meat is cooked; if slightly under cooked, return the pieces to the pot of hot water for a few minutes.

To make the sauce:

  1. Thinly slice some green shallot.  For a FODMAP friendly recipe, use only the green part of the shallot.
  2. In a small pot, bring some sesame oil and cooking oil (1/2 each) to high heat; remove the pot from heat, add the sliced green shallot and a little salt, saute for a few seconds with the residual heat;  add the shallot to the chicken, toss well.
  3. In a cup, mix a little corn flour with water  (1 tsp flour to 5 tbsp water).
  4. In a small pot,  add some oyster sauce and the corn flour mix, stir and bring to slow boil and removed from heat immediately; pour the sauce over the chicken.

Bacon and cucumber stir fry (gluten free, FODMAP friendly)

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Stir fried cucumbers with bacon (gluten free)

I had a few cucumbers in the fridge and some bacon in the freezer. I sliced the cucumbers, defrosted the bacon and sliced them up. In a frying pan I drizzled a little oil and added the bacon pieces. I pan fried the bacon until nearly crispy, then added the cucumbers. A few stirs, added a little sugar and white pepper. There we have a big bowl of tasty veggie and yummy bacon for dinner.

Beef with Asian dipping sauce (FODMAP friendly, gluten free)

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Beef with Asian dipping sauce (FODMAP friendly, gluten free)

A few friends dropped by unexpectedly one weekend afternoon.

We opened a bottle of red wine and felt a bit peckish. Something quick and easy to share would be lovely.

A piece of Angus rump steak is the perfect snack:

1. Cook the steak 1-3 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness and how rare you would like it; rest the steak for 10 minutes

2. Prepare a simple Asian dipping sauce – fish sauce (1 tsp) + rice wine vinegar (1tsp) +  sugar (1tsp) + boiling water (3 tsp), stir well to dissolve the sugar.  added a little chopped chili if you prefer

3. Slice the steak

4. Drizzle some sesame oil over the beef (optional)

5. Chop some mint for garnish (optional)

6. Serve at room temperature

Great to share with friends.

Meals for homeless: turmeric eggs with chili tomato salsa

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This is a simple ‘please-all’ egg recipe with a tangy chili and tomato salsa.  It is often the first dish to be emptied at the street buffet for our homies.

Turmeric eggs with chili tomato salsa

Turmeric eggs with chili tomato salsa
Eggs pan fried with turmeric

Tangy capsicum, onion, tomato and chili salsa
Tangy capsicum, onion, tomato and chili salsa

Easy method is as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

Saute spiced cauliflower, with grilled kiwi fruit (gluten free, vegan)

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Over twenty years ago I lived and worked in Tasmania. I fell in love with the stunning landscape and its beautiful bays. Recently we took our little boy to the east coast of Tasmania. The highlight of the trip was the walk at the Bay of Fire, jumping and running among the colorful rocks. I took many photos. Here are two of my favorite:

Bay of Fire, Tasmania
Bay of Fire, Tasmania

 

DSC03294 #1
Colorful sea rock at Bay of Fire, Tasmania

I was so fascinated by the ‘kiwi fruit’ on the rock, I decided to make a dish. I sauteed some finely chopped cauliflower and Spanish onion with a little cooking oil, spiced with some turmeric, cumin, garam masala, a little fresh chili and sea salt.  The veggies were served with lightly grilled kiwi fruit slices – the ingredients complemented each other very well, sweet, sour and spicy.

So simple, no recipe required.

Saute spiced cauliflower, with grilled kiwi fruit  (gluten free, vegan)

Asian style ox tail Soup with cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and pepper (gluten free)

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When I attended university in the late 80s, I had the good fortune of studying alongside with a diverse group of Asian kids, many became my friends for life. They exposed me to a large range of comfort food from all over Asian, such as Malaysian hawker dishes and Indonesian desserts.

One of my favorite dishes I learned from my friends was the aromatic Indonesian ox tail soup – a scrumptious bone broth with vegetables, spiced with cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. Its flavors were enhanced by fried shallots and fresh herbs.  I often crave for it on rainy days. Unfortunately, we don’t have an Indonesian restaurant nearby.  So I have to cook my own.

We can use a pressure cooker for this soup (40 minutes) or a stock pot (slow cook for 5 hours). I like using the stock pot as I can make a huge pot to enjoy over a few days.

I love having this hot soup with some warm rice – really satisfying.

Asian style ox tail Soup with cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and pepper (gluten free)

Recipe is as follow: Read the rest of this entry »

Simple Chinese mushrooms and cloud ear fungus, memories of Chinese New Year (vegan)

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Simple Chinese mushrooms and cloud ear fungus

Nearly 30 years had passed since I left China, but I still remember vividly the wonderful days around the Chinese New Years. Extended families gathered at the large dinner tables, briefly forgot about their quarrels throughout  the year. The wok chinked with an aroma of delicacies that we couldn’t afford as daily meals. The rolling pins were out for the wickedly delicious sweet peanut pastry.

The flower festival (‘huaJie’, 花街) was held about a week before the Chinese New Year. Families went to the street market packed of flower vendors to select their festival decorations. Kumquat 金橘 was an essential – ‘kum’ means gold and  ‘quat’ has a similar pronunciation as fortune. It is a plant that will bring good prosperity in the new year. A small blossoming  peach shrub was also an essential, s symbol of strength and vitality, with beautiful flowers emerged from the harshness of the winter. Also common were the chrysanthemum 菊花 and peony 牡丹, large and colorful, symbols of riches and honor.

Flower street
Memories of a street pack with people, flowers and green plants

When I was a little girl, my father worked in another city. So my second uncle took me to the flower festival each year. Our most memorable trips were the ones on the New Years Eves. We had loads of fun browsing the market and pushed through the crowd. There were so many people at the market, my uncle had to put me on his shoulders to be safe. When it was close to the midnight, we rushed home to light our fire crackers. There was one time that we were late and ran into the fire cracker storms at mid-night. The crackers and the odd firework were loud and smoky, with laughter of the children, so much joy and happiness.

Fire work
Memories of kids lighting fire crackers on the street

The next morning the streets were quiet with a red carpet of paper left behind by the fire crackers. Kids got up early to collect the odd fire crackers that did not go off the previous night, then ran around greeting their relatives ‘goon he fa choi’ 恭喜發財, in exchange for red envelopes with a little money, which they would use to buy lollies for months to come.

After the big feast on the New Year’s Eve, vegetarian meals were common on the first day of the new year.  My favorite dish was the stew Chinese mushrooms, a delicacy rarely consumed during the year. The mushrooms were cooked with different types of dry or fresh vegetables – lily buds, fungus, dry tofu sticks, hair vegetable 髮菜 and bamboo shoots. The aroma of the dish is still lingering in my mind.

Nowadays I cook Chinese mushrooms quite often – nearly everybody in our family and extended families love it.  In Sydney the Chinese mushrooms are inexpensive, a 250g bag of good quality mushrooms cost around $12. It makes a huge dish for 8-10 people to share. We are thankful for what we are able to enjoy today.

Here is a simple mushroom dish I’d like to share with you.

Read the rest of this entry »