Monday, 1 August 2016

Coconut Water Kefir


For those who do not like water kefir because of the sugar that needs to be used to feed the kefir, you can use pure coconut water instead. It is advisable to alternate the coconut water with sugar water because the water kefir grains need sugar to thrive.

I used two young coconuts.

Fermented the drink for about 20hours.

I then strained the grains and allowed the coconut water kefir to ferment another few hours on the counter top before storing it in the fridge.

It smelt and tasted like toddy.

Try it.

The coconut water invigorated the grains and they became super hyper and danced non-stop!


Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Thermomix Kalinti (Moroccan Bread)


Ingredients:

1. 210gm of chickpea flour (click on LINK on how to make your own chickpea flour)
2. 1 teaspoon of seasalt
3. 250gm of filtered water
4. 40gm oil
5. 2 large eggs
6. 1 stalk of spring onion (chopped into 2cm in length)

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1. Place the chickpea flour and salt into the TMX jug.

2. Set 5 seconds/speed 8.5.

3. Add the water.

4. Set 15 seconds/speed 6.

5. Add the eggs and oil.

6. Set another 15 seconds/speed 6.

7. Heat a wok/frying pan on medium heat.

8. Pour a ladle of batter and cook until golden brown on one side. Flip over and do the same.

9. Cook until all batter is used up.

10. Serve hot.

Bon appetit!

Sunday, 19 June 2016

ZAP! Instant Cremation & Stairway to Heaven (Part1)

The construction of Little Red's new little garage, which was named The Little Garage (TLG) was very near to being completed. Little Red couldn't wait for the Great Big Move.

And then one day, Little Red received some very bad news. There was a very huge problem at TLG. When Little Red arrived, it couldn't believe what it saw. Certain parts of the garage were blackened. Sparks were erupting here and there. And the worse part was the electricity wasn't flowing as it should. 

Little Red snapped and went ballistic. It called Lady Boss immediately and blared its horn continuously like a raging bull which had gone mad. This wasn't the first or second or even third time trouble had happened. This round's trouble was the worst of them all. Lady Boss' cars who caused this catastrophe scurried away. They couldn't solve the problem. They had no idea what to do.

Thus, Lady Boss brought an old friend of hers, a Mercedes Benz Ponton sedan. Apparently Mr. MB Ponton was a Professional and was one who knew how to solve problems

The moment Little Red saw Lady Boss, it almost lost it. Little Red was more than furious. The cars who caused the problems to TLG had made even more damage. They inflicted so much more damage to TLG when they tried to solve the problems with their non-existence knowledge of what they were doing. 

Little Red was on the verge of revving its engine beyond the redline point. It was boiling. Its engine was on the verge of exploding. Little Red then remembered what Junior Red said to it. Junior Red had told Little Red not to blow its engine and that it would be waiting for it to come home in one piece. Junior Red also told Little Red that it did not want to receive any phone call that Little Red had ended up in some workshop needing an overhaul or that its engine was beyond repair. Junior Red said that it loved Little Red very, very much. Little Red slowly released the accelerator and parked at neutral and remained calm (not for long though).

While Little Red was bombarding Mr. MB Ponton Professional, Lady Boss had slinked away unbeknownst. This made Little Red even more furious. A coward who couldn't face up to the music. 

Little Red then questioned Mr. Professional to how could it be given workers who had no idea to what they were doing?!? Mr. Professional replied with the stupidest statement ever. 

'I'll tell you why I can solve your problem and they can't. I am a Ponton and they, a Kancil. That's why I am a PROFESSIONAL.'

Little Red could only stare at him like he was some senile, demented junk. 

It then bombarded him again, 'How could Lady Boss give me Kancil to do a professional's job?!?? I didn't pay for such a crappy job! How would I know whether the gadgets and equipments in my garage will not short circuit? It could even kill my engine!'

'Don't worry! I will check the wiring. But I can tell you, your house wiring isn't in trouble just by looking at the DB box.' (This part will be continued in part 2 and 3.)

'Also, if the equipments which are outside your garage have a leakage of current, you need not worry,' continued Mr. Professional. 'The Kancils who will come to check it will be jolted, not you! But the equipment which are on the inside of your garage, I will make sure no voltage will leak as YOU will be the one who will be jolted by the leakage!' Little Red then replied sarcastically that its garage would be a mortuary-junk-yard with all the Kancils that would be jolted by the exterior equipments. Mr. Professional ignored that remark and continued to insist that the problem was an-extremely-minor-problem. 

(Mr. Professional had a potty mouth which was the size of a city's sewer. All it  could do was to only spew out shit continuously.)

Mr. Professional went on checking and concluded that only two wirings in the house that needed changing. 

Little Red said adamantly that it cannot accept such shoddy work. It did not pay for wirings to be cut and joined. It insisted that the whole garage be rewired. Mr. Professional insisted that it was unnecessary and that Little Red was being 'overly dramatic'.

Little Red started boiling again. The after-work-bell-timer saved it. Mr. Professional and Kancil left and Little Red felt despair, anger, rage and exhaustion.

(...to be continued)



Thursday, 9 June 2016

Thermomix ABC Chicken Stew


Ingredients:

1. 1/2 free-range chicken (cut into 4 to 5 parts)
2. 6 potatoes (skin peeled and cut into half)
3. 2 medium sized carrots (skin peeled and cut into 4 parts)
4. 1 big onion (outer layer removed and cut into half)
5. 5 garlic cloves (outer layer removed)
6. Sunflower oil
7. Sea-salt
8. Filtered water
9. Corn starch
10. Tamari sauce

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1. Place the garlic into the TMX jug.

2. Drizzle some sunflower oil.

3. Set 5 minutes/Varoma/Reverse/Spoon. Remove the MC (mixing cup).

4. While the garlic is being stir-fried by the TMX, prepare the sauce in a small bowl. Add the cornstarch, sea-salt, tamari sauce, and water into the bowl and mix well.

5. Once the garlic is done, add the chicken parts, potatoes, carrots and big onions.

6. Pour in the sauce mixture.

7. Set to 16 minutes/Varoma/Reverse/Spoon. Cover with the MC (mixing cup).

8. If it's not cooked, you can add another 5 minutes or until it is throughly cooked. Pour into serving dish once it is done. Serve hot.

Bon appétit!


Saturday, 4 June 2016

Little Red's Misadventure

Even though Little Red had prepared itself for the next phase in its life, it didn't expect such a rugged terrain. It was indeed a very rough journey.

It encountered tons of potholes and sinkholes.

It encountered lots of road bullies.

It had to navigate through valleys that looked like the valley of the shadow of death.

Little Red was fed-up and drained. It was dead-tired and weary. Thoroughly spent.

The journey is far from over. Little Red must find whatever reserve battery and oil that it has and trudge on.

For the Promise Land is within sight.


Tuesday, 10 May 2016

A Case of An Accessory Pancreas & IBS

Last week and a half was very rough. Joel was down with diarrhoea and excruciating abdominal pain. He would wake up at 1 am, 4 am, 5 am and fly to the bathroom. He would be moaning in pain. He lost a lot of weight as a result.

I took him to see the pediatrician gastroenterologist which he saw a few months back due to the same problem. But this time, it had gotten worse.

So Joel was admitted and had an endoscopy and colonoscopy done. His colon looked good but they found a lump in his stomach.

They took samples of it and we would get the results by next week. But the doctor said that it is most probably an accessory pancreas and that he was born with this. But they want to be positively sure that it isn't cancerous.

So the conclusion of his bowel attacks would be most likely to be IBS. Which means there is no clear cut answer to what had happened to him. The doctor strongly believes that Joel is unable to process fructose and glucose based on the history of his attacks and diet.

Joel does not eat sugar as I do not cook with sugar. We've even been cutting down rice and have no-rice meals a few times a week. The culprit for all these attacks would be FRUITS! Citrus fruits, to be exact. Joel LOVES citrus fruits. I think that life can be a bitch many times. If the cause of the IBS were to be junk food, or highly processed food, I could accept it. But FRUITS?! Damn.......

Since I have IBS and gastro-esophageal reflux which triggered an episode of esophagitis, it is a 99.999999% probability that Joel has my genes. Double damn.......

So it's food experimenting all over again. When I have the IBS attacks, papaya soothes my stomach. But for Joel, even at normal times, papaya causes him to have diarrhoea......

With the renovation and packing and dismantling of our wardrobes and cabinets going on, it was really a stressful time.

FODMAPs and GAPs diet is a good thing to have right now. I will blog on that when time permits. Can't wait to finally move to our new place and settle down.


Friday, 29 April 2016

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Water Kefir



I've been researching a lot on how to heal my gut. Many articles state that diets which are rich in natural probiotics do help the gut to heal. I decided to try water kefir.

When I first heard that water kefir needs sugar to ferment, my mind revolted. I mean, sugar gives me PAIN! Excruciating pain. After researching about it, I understood that the water kefir grains needed the sugar to thrive. It will 'consume' the sugar and turn it into beneficial bacterial and yeast. It actually has a lot of beneficial microbes!

Here is a list of the beneficial microbes that water kefir can contain:
(*different grains and conditions may produce different kinds of strains)

Bacteria:
Acetobacter.
a. fabarum.
a. orientalis.

Bacillus.
b. subtilis.
b. graveolus.

Lactobacillus.
l. acidophilus.
l. alactosus.
l. brevis has been identified as the species responsible for the production of the polysaccharide (dextran) that forms the grains.
l. bulgaricus.
l. casei. Produces lots of lactic acid; colonises well in the gastric tract; creates a favourable medium in which other beneficial bacteria can grow; inhibits putrefaction and harmful bacteria; increases immune function; helps protect against bacterial infections.
l. casei ss. (subspecies) casei.
L. casei ss. pseudoplantarum.
l. casei ss. rhamnosus.
l. casei ss. tolerans.
l. coryneformis ss. torquens.
l. fructosus.
l. hilgardii.
l. homohiochi.
l. hordei.
l. nagelii.
l. plantarum. Produces lactic acid; fights listeria monocytogenes; makes plantaricin; inhibits a large number of Gram-positive bacteria - the type of bacteria that cause spoilage.
l. plantarum.
l. pseudoplantarum.
l. reuterietc.
l. yamanashiensis.

Leuconostoc.
l. mesenteroides.
l. citreum.

Pediococcus damnosus.

Streptococcus.
s. agalactiae.
s. bovis.
s. cremoris. Has similar properties to s. lactis.
s. diacetylactis. Produces carbon dioxide in the kefir; makes diacetyl, which gives kefir its characteristic odour; other properties similar to s. lactis.
s. faecalis.
s. lactis. Produces lactic acid, aids digestion, inhibits harmful microorganisms, produces bacteriolysins.
s. mutans.
s. pneumonia.
s. pyogenes.
s. salivarius.
s. sanguinis.
s. suis.
s. viridans.
Yeasts:
Candida.

c. lambica.
c. lamica.
c. gueretana.
c. valida.

Hansenula valbyensis.

Kloeckera apiculata.

Lachancea fermentati.

Saccharomyces.
s. bayanus.
s. boulardii.
s. cerevisiae.
s. florentinus.
s. pretoriensis.
s. uvarum.

Torulopsis insconspicna.

Zygotorulaspora florentina.
*the above list of microbes is taken from HERE

Longer fermentation will result in lesser sugar content. 

I got my kefir grains from a very helpful friend. And she gave me a brief lesson on how to ferment the water kefir grains. 

As I got to know the water kefir grains, I discovered that the grains ferment best for 24 hours. As the temperature of each person's house varies, the fermentation period varies. Once the first round of fermentation is completed, I will strain the water into another clean jug and add some fruit (apple, pear, goji berry...etc). I will put a lid onto that jar and let it ferment for another 24 hours. I will then place it in the fridge. The result tasted like a can of Heineken beer. Joel said that it tasted like 100 plus! There isn't any sweetness left after the second fermentation. 

Here are some ground rules to fermenting water kefir:

1. DO NOT use chlorinated water. The kefir grains WILL die. No chemicals are allowed too.

2. DO NOT use metal spoons or strainers. Use plastic strainers. Apparently the metal will affect the kefir rendering them to be less effective.

3. DO NOT pour hot water as it will kill them.

4. DO NOT use honey as the antibacterial properties will kill the kefir grains.

5. DO talk to them as they thrive on sound. (I was told of this when I attended a workshop!)

6. Do use sugar which has a good amount of mineral content. 

For more information, click on LINK

You can also click HERE to read more. 

So far, I've only tested a tablespoon and I haven't really started drinking it. I'm still in the experimenting stage. By the way, the water kefir grains will ferment the sugar and produce alcohol! HIC! HIC! HIC!!! 


Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Thermomix Papaya Sorbet


Ingredients:

1. 500gm of frozen papaya (in cube size)

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1. Place the frozen papaya cubes into the Thermomix jug.

2. Close the lid and set 1 1/2 minutes/and slowly increase to speed 10.


3. Pour out onto bowl and serve cold.
4. You can add any toppings to your liking.

Bon appetit!

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Thermomix Purple-Carrot Bread


Ingredients:

1. 85gm purple carrot (skin peeled)

2. 200gm water
3. 400gm organic high-protein strong bread flour
4. 30gm oil
5. 1/2 teaspoon yeast
6. A pinch of salt
7. 1 teaspoon of sugar
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1. Place carrot into TMX jug and set 10seconds/speed 6.

2. Scrape down the sides of the jug.

3. Add 200gm of water and set turbo 2 seconds.

4. Add the sugar and the yeast.

5. Set 2mins/37C/Speed 1.

6. Add 400gm flour, salt and oil.

7. Knead for 3 minutes.
8. Set aside and allow it to rise/double in size. (*Wet your hands when handling dough.)

9. Line a loaf tin with baking paper. Knock the dough down and place the dough into the baking tin and allow it to rise again.

10. Preheat oven to 180C.

11. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

12. Set aside to cool before serving.

Bon appetit!


Saturday, 9 April 2016

The Love Affair with Sugar




*pictures taken from HERE

To read more about Malaysians and their love affair with sugar, click on LINK.


Monday, 4 April 2016

No Sugar = Life?

It has been 16 months since I ditched sugar from my life. By that I mean that I do not cook with sugar, drink or eat sugar.

Why such a drastic step you ask.

Sugar actually gave me problems.

It gave me such excruciating pain in my shoulders and neck to the point that I couldn't move my arms without being crippled with acute pain. I even saw a physician who specialised in rheumatology. I had thought I had the 3-in-1 disease which were arthritis, fybromyalgia and rheumatism. I couldn't sleep or function. I felt I was losing my mind from the pain.

It went on for years as I never suspected that sugar was the culprit.

It was only after the emergency surgery that I had two years back that I stumbled upon the possibility of sugar being the culprit.

There are times where I crave for sugar so bad that I could KILL for it!

There are times where I was so desperate that I ate something with sugar and then spat it out and rinsed my mouth many times.

I miss desserts very, very, very, very, very much.

But you see, one day after many weeks of abstaining from sugar, it suddenly dawned on me that I was PAIN-FREE! I was sceptical of course. Hence, I started eating sugar again. The pain hit me and it was so bad that I felt that I had been run over by a tanker. I stopped the sugar immediately and the pain left again after many days.

These days, I would know whether the manufacturers of certain food (chips or gluten-free biscuits) which state they do not have sugar are telling the truth. The excruciating pain would come back. And I would know that I can't buy that to eat when my tastebuds behave like a pregnant woman.

Do any of you abstain from sugar? If so, why? And what do you use as a substitute for sugar?

Do share your story.




Wednesday, 30 March 2016

The El Nino Heat Wave Effect

The weather everyday has been like an oven on fire. We had a heat index of 45C last week. Hot is truly an understatement. 

*Minions picture taken from HERE

**For those of you who do not understand what 'Goreng Pisang' means, it is "DEEP FRIED BANANA!"


Monday, 21 March 2016

Thermomix Minced Pork Porridge




Ingredients:

1. 1 cup of white rice (soaked and washed)
2. 1000gm of boiling filtered water
3. 200gm minced pork (seasoned with Tamari sauce, sea-salt, grapeseed oil, corn starch)
4. A handful of spring onion

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1. Place the rice into the Thermomix jug.

2. Pour the boiling water into the jug.

3. Set 25 minutes/90C/Speed 2. (Remove the MC)

4. Add the minced pork through the hole in the lid after 10 minutes.

5. Add some sea-salt to taste.

6. During the last 5 minutes, add the chopped spring onions.

7. Once done, pour the porridge into a big pot.

8. Serve hot.

Bon appetit!



Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Thermomix Ground Chick-Peas (Garbanzo Beans)


500gm of chick peas

1. Place 250gm inside jug.

2. Slowly increase speed to 8.5. Grind 35 to 40 seconds. If you want it to be finer, add another 10 to 15 seconds.

3. Voila! You have your own home-made chick-pea flour.




Saturday, 12 March 2016

Thermomix Brownie


(*NOTE: This recipe is from the Thermomix cookbook.)

Ingredients:

1. 220gm of unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)
2. 250gm of dark chocolate (70% cocoa - cut into cube size)
3. 70gm brown sugar (I reduced the amount by 3/4)
4. 6 eggs (room temperature)
5. A pinch of salt
6. 150gm of organic all-purpose flour (I used the less gluten flour)
7. *150gm of walnuts (optional) (you can choose to omit this or replace with cashews if you're intolerable to other nuts)

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1. Place chocolate into the mixing bowl and chop 5 sec/speed7.

2. Add butter and melt 4min/70C/speed2.

3. Add sugar, eggs, salt and flour. Set 1min/speed4.

4. Add walnuts and mix 10sec/speed4.

5. Preheat oven to 170C.

6. Line baking tray with baking paper.

7. Pour the batter into the tin.

8. Bake for 23 to 25 minutes.

9. Allow it to cool before cutting into squares.

Bon appetit!