Foodie Fridays: B’s Mediterranean Lettuce Cups

Hope everyones doing well. ¬†It’s Friday so I’m sure the weekend makes everyone smile. ūüôā

Foodie Fridays have been pretty fatty, should be called Fatty Fridays honestly. ¬†Today was pretty healthy – I have to admit. ¬†Well so far at least! ¬†I had leftover hummus¬†(the link will direct you to my recipe) from yesterday and thought I’d eat it differently. ¬†Had Baby Gem Lettuce in the fridge which made me think of lettuce cups! ¬†Baby Gem Lettuce are the best for lettuce cups as the shape holds very well as opposed to other types of lettuce – just FYI. I strongly¬†recommend¬†it!

hummus cups

Don’t they just look absolutely yummy? ¬†They were better than good enough to eat, as far as the aphorism goes. ¬†Very refreshing for a hot day in London (rare to have hot days here!). ¬†Surprisingly, even my husband loved it for lunch. ¬†For him it was more of a snack to be honest!

B’s Mediterranean Lettuce Cups

Makes: As many as your leftover hummus can fill!

Ingredients:

  • Hummus¬†(home-made) or store bought
  • Baby Gem Lettuce
  • Olives

Method:

  1. Wash lettuce with cold water and assemble in a plate.  Leave it in the fridge for 10 mins if you want it nice and chilled.
  2. Spread hummus on it.  Top it off with olives!
  3. Voila! Eat and enjoy ūüôā

So simple.  Yet so delicious and pretty!

xx

B

B’s Quick & Healthy Hummus Recipe

Hello everyone! ¬†I’ve restarted my gym regime which means just one thing: time to zip my mouth to everything tempting. ¬†Hmmm… Or so you would think. ¬†I’ve decided to try out healthy dips and snacks that are still tempting minus the high calorie count. ¬†Today I tried out my very own hummus recipe. ¬†Basically most recipes online for hummus incorporate a high level of olive oil. ¬†Fair enough, in the restaurants it is served that way – but if I eat my carrot sticks in an oil based dip, what good is it really?

Mixing everything up to form a smooth creamy paste:

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And the final product:

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Here’s my recipe:

B’s Quick & Healthy Hummus Recipe

Makes: One bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of chilli flakes/paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 3-4 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Spoon chickpeas from the can instead of draining.  The liquid adds flavour!
  2. Add all ingredients and blend away ūüôā

Note: ¬†Adjust the consistency to your preference by adding more or less water. ¬†Best served chilled – I refrigerated it for 15 mins. I couldn’t wait any longer! ūüôā

Enjoy!!

xx

B

Poha! – Flattened Rice

Poha Рan unusual name that reminds me of Po  (The Teletubbies). Eh-oh! Oh God, I feel as though I have come from a completely different era, at the thought of the song.  Yes, it is playing in my head right now.  What a drag.

Anyways, ¬†today I tried a new dish and wanted to blog about it ūüôā ¬†I made Poha, a south-indian lunchtime dish made from flattened rice.

It’s easily¬†available¬†in Asian Supermarkets in the Indian section. ¬†My sister mentioned this dish to me after her trip to South India (Kerela) and said it was very easy to make. ¬†In addition, it’s¬†nutritious¬†which led me to giving it a go. ¬†The recipe below is a rough guide as I made it up as I went along (kind of like how indian fried rice is made). ¬†Feel free to adjust the flavours and quantities as you like.

B’s Simple Poha

Makes: Enough for 4 people

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sized flakes Poha packet (300g or so)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1 cup of okra
  • 1 big potato
  • 1 heaped tsp Ghee/butter/oil
  • Indian Spices: Cumin seeds, Curry powder, Red Chilli Powder, Cumin Powder, Garam Masala Powder,¬†Turmeric¬†Powder
  • Peanuts

Method:

  1. Preparation: Put Okra in the oven for 20 mins.  And par-boil the potato.
  2. Heat ghee in pan then add 1 tsp of cumin seeds for 1 minute. Then add chopped onions.  Saute on low fire for about 8 mins until onions are cooked.
  3. Add chopped tomatoes to the onions and saute.  Add a bit of water to cook the tomatoes.  Add 1 chopped green chilli to the mixture.
  4. Cook for about 5 minutes till a mixture forms (Steps 1-3 are the same for any indian cuisine FYI).
  5. Now add all the indian spices to taste.  Stir it, allowing mixture to absorb all the flavours.
  6. Cut both the okra and potato in bite-size pieces.  Add this to the mixture.
  7. Lastly, rinse the poha and drain it slightly.  Add to the pan and mix.  If it is a bit dry and some water while mixing as it tends to absorb water like rice.  Adjust flavours according to taste.
  8. Serve hot with peanuts on top for the extra crunch.

Note:  We had this with a side portion of cucumbers and yoghurt.  Also, I made daal (indian lentil soup) to supplement the meal.

Here’s a picture of my POHA! (Yes, I’m very much entertained by the name. ¬†As I typed it in caps it reminded me of my ALOHA! post. ūüôā ¬†hahaha POHA!)

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Cheers to Poha! Let me know if you try it out.

xx

B

Technology Tuesdays: Articles in my “pocket”

When you’re on the go, having what you need in your pocket is always convenient. ¬†The Pocket App stores articles and videos. Once the article is downloaded it can be read offline anywhere. This proves to be extremely useful when I am on the tube (assuming I get a seat that is, which is unlikely – but anyways!)

My husband and I have been doing various research on the current app market. When he comes across interesting articles that would shed some light on the launching on our first app, he puts it in my pocket. ¬†Although, I’d prefer a cheque book in my pocket, but articles for now would do ūüôā

How the app works: 

I have a desktop client on my iMac which allows me to save links and send them to my app. In addition, another user (in my case, my husband) can add to your individual pocket list.

It’s a good sharing platform. ¬†Also, it’s compatible with Flipboard (you can check out my review on that app) that makes it easy for users to read articles offline later. ¬†Once the articles/links are saved they appear in a list format.

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The picture depicts the list format.  Furthermore, it shows the articles that have been sent to my list by my husband РAmit Bajaj.

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The app also simplifies searching for your saved material with the categories above.  This functionality makes it easy if you have numerous articles/videos saved and want to search for a specific one.

This app is pretty handy – download it and give it a shot and put it in your “pocket”. (Couldn’t resist being cheesy – sorry! haha)

xx

B

Foodie Fridays: B’s Quorn Teriyaki Steak Sushi

I absolutely LOVE sushi. ¬†I guess being brought up in Japan does have something to do with that. ¬†Japanese food is¬†definitely¬†an acquired taste. ¬†However, in recent years the growing exposure to different cuisines has played a huge role in people experimenting with different flavours. ¬†Japanese food is now everywhere. ¬†Being¬†vegetarian, the variety of sushi is limited in restaurants. ūüė¶ ¬†Anyways, when you have a creative mind and hands that are willing to get dirty (dirty with food is always ok, not with mud. There’s a difference! I’m not an outdoor-hiking-kind fyi) then there’s no limit!

Having a love for¬†aesthetics,¬†the food I eat has to look as good as it tastes. ¬†The taste is always takes precedence though, I will never compromise on taste. ¬†Saying that, I would compromise on it just if it is very unhealthy and I’ve just come back from cardio. The cliche aphorism works well for me – health is wealth.

Ok, so you got the point. ¬†The fact that the sushi looks impeccable and it is healthy makes it a winner. ¬†Here’s a picture of the sushi I made:

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Please stare at it in awe as I did. ¬†My husband thought it was very professional! ¬†And I got tons of likes on Facebook and¬†Instagram¬†which boosted my ego. ¬†Small things make me happy. ¬†Happiness then leads to big things ūüôā ¬†So try being happy with small things in life, don’t just wait for the big things as they might not come and you’ll end up being a grumpy-old lady by then! I’ve met many, and boy are they unpleasant.

Back to Sushi Р just went slightly off tangent there.

B’s Quorn Teriyaki Steak Sushi Recipe

Makes: 3 rolls of Sushi (about 24 sushis Рdepending on the size) 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups Japanese Rice
  • 6 Tbsp Sushi Rice Seasoning
  • Teriyaki Sauce
  • 1 Cucumber, cut in strips
  • Quorn Steak Strips (half the packet)
  • 3 Nori Sheets

Method:

  1. Cook rice in a rice cooker. ¬†Japanese rice takes less water than normal rice, so be sure to check the instructions. The ratio of the rice I use is 1 cup rice to 1 1/3 cup water. Let the rice cool down, don’t¬†refrigerate it.
  2. In the meantime, pour a bit of teriyaki sauce in a pan and cook steak strips.  Add water as needed, but make sure the end result is sticky steak and not watery.
  3. Add seasoning to the rice.  If you like it more on the sour side, add more.
  4. Oil Sushezi a bit before putting the rice inside, and follow instructions. ¬†See the video- that’s what I did as this was my first attempt!
  5. Put cucumber on one side of your rice mixture, and the Quorn Strips on the other.
  6. Place glossy side of Nori downwards, and you’re ready to roll.
  7. Use water as a glue for the end of the Nori.  Refrigerate the roll for a while, then cut the sushi.  And put the cut pieces back in the fridge.  Sushi is best served cold with Japanese ginger and Wasabi.

Note:  Hands might get sticky with rice.  Keep bowl of water nearby and dip your hands in often to remove stickiness.To remove stickiness of knife when cutting sushi,  I like dipping knife in water after each cut.  Keeps the sushi clean and pretty!

Enjoy! Itadakimasu¬†(„ĀĄ„Āü„Ā†„Āć„Āĺ„Āô)! ¬†Have I mentioned I speak/read/write Japanese? ¬†Ok so I do. ¬†Not as well as before though, as I don’t have much practice anymore!

The phrase above translates to Bon Appetite ūüôā

Travel Thursdays – Plights of Flights

Cover of "Bon Voyage!"

Cover of Bon Voyage!

This week instead of a country review or my wanderlust adventures – I’ve decided to post some travelling tips which I find very helpful. ¬†These tips address the plights that arise with flights. Combat problems associated with flying, yes, truly a first world problem.

Tips for future globe trotters:

  1. Sleep enough before a long flight.  Jet-lag is inevitable so try to combat tiredness before boarding the flight.
  2. Your skin tends to get very dry on long haul flights (I tend to break out) -moisturize yourself in the plane. ¬†A spritz spray might be a good idea. ¬†I use Jane Iredale Antioxidant Hydration.¬† It works well for me. ¬†I order it online from Beauty Time Therapist (it’s cheaper with free delivery!) ¬†Spray your bare skin a few times during the flight. ¬†If you have make-up on, I’d suggest mineral make-up to ensure you don’t clog your pores. ¬†In addition, the Hydration spray is suited for mineral make up and is able to¬†penetrate¬†through your make-up to your skin.
  3. Keep a packing list saved on your computer.  Or print one out everytime you travel.  It relives stress and the problem of forgetting to pack something is eradicated.
  4. Keep a bit of different currencies with you. ¬†You never know when you need it, and you won’t lose out on exchange rate. ¬†I’m not saying 100s of dollars, but keep the petty cash after a trip and don’t convert it back. ¬†This is exceptionally true for my Europe trips.
  5. Keep a ziplock that contains your liquids (less than 100ml) in your handbag. ¬†It’s easier than having to search through your bag prior to security. ¬†You know its waiting to happen so be prepared.
  6. When shopping abroad, use your debit card. ¬†The exchange rate is the best rate on it. ¬†I’ve come to realise it’s better than exchanging money. ¬†However, if living in the UK make sure to alert your bank that you are travelling – otherwise your card gets flagged for fraud. This will leave you stranded!
  7. Overcome jetlag by trying not to sleep on the plane even if it “your night”. ¬†Try from the first day to fit the new clock. ¬†That’s the only way to maximise your trip!
  8. Be consistent with Multi-Vitamins. ¬†It’s essential. ¬†Stay hydrated on the plane. ¬†Walk in the plane and make frequent trips to the toilet. ¬†it all sounds logical but it’s imperative. ¬†Not doing so causes DVT and other illnesses.
  9. Travel with a laptop. ¬†Transfer pictures of your holiday daily. ¬†Memory cards get lost/damaged – be pro-active! ¬†To be honest, I’ve learnt this from my husband as he’s in control of photography, photos and technology.
  10. Turn 3G/Roaming off.  The bill will kill you even before your shopping bills arrive.  If you go to a certain country often, getting a local pre-paid sim card would be practica.  You could top up to retain the number from online.  Find out from the provider. Save money where you can!

These are my golden 10 rules of travel. ¬†You can add to my list from your experience! ūüôā

Happy Travelling!  Bon Voyage! X

Technology Tuesdays on a Thursday? Over dependancy on Technology!

I wanted to write my Technology Tuesdays this week but my iMac froze on me. ¬†That made me think how dependant we are on gadgets. ¬†We expect them to work all the time – and when they don’t – a wave of frustration comes over us. ¬†I could have written a post to upload later from my iPad or iPhone – but I was simply too annoyed.

I got over the annoyance in a day.  The next day another technology mishap was waiting to happen.  Yesterday I was out at Westfield with a friend and realised I forgot my phone at home.  I realised when I reached the tube station Рbefore meeting her. I stood there paralysed for a minute.  How do I contact her?  How do I ask my husband to pick me up from the station in the evening?  How will he gauge the time?  I was stressed.

I regained my¬†composure¬†and used a public pay-phone. ¬†To my surprise, they are hard to find and the price reflects the fact that they take advantage of people’s¬†desperation. ¬†60p as a starting rate is a joke in my opinion. ¬†Funnily enough, the credit expired after a second of me getting through.

Fortunately, ¬†I brought my iPad mini along in my handbag and upon reaching Westfield made full use of the free wi-fi. THANK YOU WESTFIELD! ¬†ūüôā ¬†I iMessaged my way into successfully meeting up with my friend and contacting my husband too.

Sadly, Wifi saved my day. ¬†We depend on technology more than we know. ¬†I’m questioning the effects of technology on my everyday life. ¬†Certainly, it makes life easier. ¬†Yet, the¬†absence¬†of it paralyses us in a way it would not if we weren’t so dependant on it.

Foodie Fridays: Eggless Scones

I’ve really been wanting to eat home-made scones so thought I’d make them. ¬†Last I baked them was a year ago in a friends’ baking birthday party. ¬†It was actually an afternoon party where we bake what we eat (very smart of the host and I should incorporate this idea into my party planning) ūüôā

I got this recipe from BBC FOOD and did not alter it – as I liked how it turned out!

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Yes its on my Paprika App, in case you’re wondering! ūüôā ¬†To make them eggless, follow the recipe through and at the end brush the scones with milk before baking. ¬†It’s that simple. ¬†Scones are faster and easier to make than cookies. ¬†So get baking!

This is my baking process and the yummy end result:

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I can’t decide if I prefer clotted cream then strawberry jam or the other way around. ¬†So the next morning I had it in reverse. ¬†Both were delish! ¬†Dilemmas¬†of a true foodie.

Another interesting way to eat it is with a spread of Nutella and Peanut Butter.  My husband is not a fan of cream + jam and has his scones topped that way.  Although,  I like my scones done traditionally Рclotted cream with jam = heaven.  So the choice is yours!

Added Notes:

Recently, I’ve improved on my scones and created a new recipe which I absolutely love. ¬†Check it out – Coconut Eggless Scones

Foodie Fridays: Sugar Cookies

My little sis baked for my husband sugar cookies for me to bring back for him. Heart warming gesture. He completely adores this 10-year-old from Singapore.

And so do I. ¬†Baking with a kid just makes the experience so much more fun. ¬†ūüôā

While baking the night before my flight – I snuck in bites of cookie dough. ¬†I’ve always loved the dough more than the actual cookie. ¬†Although, in this case – this recipe is quite debatable as the thought of both make my mouth water.

So we baked eggless sugar cookies that came out yummy. ¬†She had found a recipe online and we modified it a bit. ¬†Hope you enjoy them ūüôā

Warning: Sugar High might be on a High!

Eggless Sugar Cookies

Bakes 30-35 cookies (depending on size) 

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg = 1/4 cup carnation milk + 1 tsp custard powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a bowl, mix together butter and sugar using a beater.  Beat in egg replacement.
  3. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour and baking powder.
  4. Refrigerate dough for an hour.
  5. Mix dough up again Рas it might be a bit dry.  Make into small balls and flatten.
  6. Bake for 8-10mins on a cookie sheet (I always use cookie sheets – no greasing needed!) ¬†Take cookies out when a bit golden on the top. ¬†Do not over bake as it’s best when its neither not too soft and not too crisp.

Note:  Cookie does not spread, so you can bake many at one go.  With this recipe I noticed  that two trays were suffice.

*Baby Sis wanted to call them Smurf cookies – so she added blue colouring to some of the dough ūüėČ

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Travel Thursdays: Singapore

Best to know about a country from a local-cum- tourist, someone like – well me. ūüôā Being Singaporean I can’t help but feel a sense of pride for my country. ¬†Frankly, I don’t know where I belong due to my history, but it’s safe to say I am Singaporean. ¬†Travelling has its perks, but it definitely comes with a price to pay. ¬†An individual’s sense of belonging is lost – and for me, I find my belonging to any country questionable.

I predominantly love the radiant multicultural aura that Singapore has. ¬†Everyone feels welcomed in a country like that. ¬†Although, I’ve always come across negative comments about the country being a concrete jungle. ¬†There is truth to this, as land is scarce and population is growing. ¬†Thus, to counter this problem the government built high rise buildings. ¬†Large sky scrapers surround the country which is a distinctive feature of the country as opposed to countries like Australia and USA which have an abundance of land.

A question of whether the weather plays a role in your holiday is an important one.  Singapore is located on slightly north of the equator which makes it a hot country!  Being an island the level of humidity is pretty high as well. I guess geography lessons paid off somewhat.  Tropical countries make a good holiday though.  You can bring out your summer dresses, flip-flops and sunnies and start your day exploring.

If you love a fast-paced city life, Singapore is a holiday destination that is perfect for you!

Shopping malls are open till very late at night and 24-hour food joints are found in every corner. ¬†Do try ROTI PRATA (flour based bread) which is an Asian Indian speciality. ¬†It’s typically served with fish curry but there are vegetarian options and dessert options too. ¬†I can’t believe I went without mentioning food for an entire paragraph. Maybe my diet is working and my brain is avoiding topics related to food. ūüôā

Anyways, I love shopping and window shopping (it’s a cheaper option to be honest though the level of satisfaction is questionable) .

So here are a few tips on shopping in Singapore from a shopping expert (myself of course!)

Malls I recommend (click on the links to see store listing): 

Ion Mall: new mall that has recently opened

Vivocity: huge mall with a cinema as well

Somerset 313 – shops and one of my favourite restaurants : Marche

Do try a Rosti! It’s delicious! After eating it there years ago, I’ve tried making it at home too!

 Cheap shopping of souvenirs and clothes:

-Bugis Street (opposite Bugis Junction Mall) You can reach there by MRT- alight at Bugis station.

Sight-seeing

Sentosa – the luge ride is fun! Stay for the fountain show too

Supertrees (new addition to Singapore. ¬†I went last week at night and was mesmerised by it. ¬†It’s located in Gardens by the bay)

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Took a few pictures for my blog!  The beauty encapsulated in the picture is a fraction of the beauty it exudes in real life.  Breathtaking.

Marina Bay Sands – A hotel that is recently made. ¬†It has a gondola rides in it that replicate Venice. ¬†It’s also beautiful to make your way up to Kudeta restaurant which overlooks Singapore’s city. ¬†I’d recommend for you to make a trip up there at night as the night-view is spectacular.

 Mode of transport:

-MRT – the train system is fantastic. It’s fast,convenient and punctual. ¬†The tube system should learn from Singapore! It’s cheap too.

-Taxis: the flag down rate is $3.20 which is very reasonable compared to most countries.

If you are making a trip there and need further advice, feel free to contact me!

Bon voyage.

X

B