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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Blue pea flower and fruit salad

After making nasi ulam HERE, my garden opens up whole vistas of new opportunities for yumminess. Over time, I had collected various ginger plants. I never thought of eating the leaves. Along with the curry plant, the kedongdong, the piperomia, the various ginger leaves can really liven up a plain salad.





Sunday, October 15, 2017

Nasi Ulam



1) Kencur rhizome or sand ginger (HERE)
2) Kunyit rhizome or turmeric (HERE)
3) Limau purut leaves or kaffir lime (HERE)
4) Bunga kantan or torch ginger flower (HERE)
5) Kedongdong leaves (HERE). Use the very young leaves.
6) Pudina leaves or mint leaves (HERE)
7) Limau kasturi or calamondin lime (HERE)
8) Daun shiso or perilla leaves (HERE)
9) Daun ketumbar or coriander leaves (HERE)
10) Daun kemangi or thai basil leaves (HERE)
11) Daun kari or curry leaves (HERE). Use the very young leaves.
12) Daun serai (HERE). Use only the tender hearts.
13) Dried prawns. Toast and blend into a powder. Then toast again.
14) Kacang botol or winged beans (HERE)
15) Turmeric leaf

You need to make a sambal belacan accompaniment - HERE.

I am sorry there are no proportions. Simply taste the various leaves and roots. Add more of those you like and less of those you dislike. Omit those you really cannot stand. Normally, people add ulam rajah (King's salad) but mehhhh... I don't like the taste of that.

I cannot believe I grew up in Singapore and never fell in love with nasi ulam. I have had it 3 times this week.




Monday, September 11, 2017

Diverticulitis

After I went on my whole foods plant-based diet, I encountered 2 conversations that has strengthened my resolve to eat as much real food as I can. Whole foods = food that is as little processed as possible. Plant-based = food that does not come from animals.

In the first conversation, a friend was telling me about her Dad who is already in his 70s. He was hospitalised for rectal bleeding. He passed copious amounts of blood every time he went to the toilet. He almost died from loss of blood.

In the 2nd conversation, The Daughter recounted her friend's experience in Barcelona. An elderly parent succumbed to food poisoning. After a period of vomiting, he vomited copious amounts of blood too.

Apparently, when people eat a lot of meat, dairy and processed foods, the walls of their colon develop pouches that bulge into the intestinal tract. As food passes through, these pouches of intestinal wall are susceptible to rupture leading to massive blood loss. Since the rupture is internal, it is very hard to pinpoint the location. Much blood is lost before something can be done to plug up the rupture.

I tell you. Both these stories freaked me out no end. I guess that by the time one gets to 70-ish, skin and flesh lose elasticity and are prone rupture. Hence, an entire lifetime of eating meat, dairy and low fibre foods catches up on one.

Apparently, diverticultis (see HERE) is a 1st world country disease. In poorer countries, people have more vegetables in their diet. I wonder how many Singaporeans will end up with diverticulitis because whenever I go out to the hawker centre, every stall sells meat. In some stalls, the main dish is meat with a few slivers of vegetables. It has become rather hard to eat out these days because I can't eat gluten and I won't eat meat.




Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Mosquito Net

I used to think a 4 poster bed an unnecessary expenditure. To me, such beds looked imposing and took up a lot of space, but served not much practical purpose. Those were the days when I relied on wall plug-ins against mosquitoes.

The mosquitoes were knocked out by the chemicals that filled my bedroom every night. The same chemicals also disrupted my endocrine system, causing all sorts of hormonal imbalances. I was in ill health for years.

I was too stingy to buy a new bed so I tried everything else possible from ...

(1) lighting mosquito coils in the day to chase away mosquitoes

(2) diffusing citronella oil in the day to chase away mosquitoes

(3) using an electrified mosquito bat to hunt down mosquitoes before bed time

All these measures worked for years because the mosquitoes flying about were the aedes aegypti ones. Then, the NEA introduced the wolbachia virus into aedes aegypti mosquitoes, to disrupt their reproductive cycle. The wolbachia virus rendered the male aedes aegypti mosquitoes sterile. This meant no new aedes aegypti mosquitoes were being born.

Measures (1) to (3) above were good for aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which are active in the daytime. They did not work for those mosquitoes that bit in the night. With the disappearance of the aedes aegypti mosquitoes, we began to see other types of mosquitoes appear in our bedroom. These were active all night.

We had sleepless nights.

I was so desperate for a solution that I bought a 4 poster bed online. The mosquito net was a whole long story on its own. I approached the curtain shop and they charged me $850. The shop that sold me the bed retailed one for $350. I went on Amazon and got one delivered for $35.

It has been bliss. Once the mosquito net is down, we sleep the sleep of babies with no fear of mosquitoes. Best of all, we are not breathing in anti-mosquito noxious fumes all night.



Monday, July 24, 2017

Eating A Plant-Based Whole Foods Diet

I watched a documentary entitled Forks Over Knives. Overnight, I switched to a WholeFoodsPlantBasedDiet. I had been on the diet for 2 days before I introduced the documentary to The Husband. Overnight, he embraced the diet.

In the beginning, he complained a little and looked sad whenever his children ate meat in front of him. By Day 4, he was hooked. He wouldn't eat meat even when I asked him to.

The cooking is so much less of a hassle too because I pressure cook the vegetables in water before adding some fish sauce and olive oil to flavour. It takes 2 minutes to pressure cook carrots so you can imagine the amount of time saved in the kitchen. With this diet, I also forage more in the garden, plucking flowers and young leaves to add to the salad.

By Day 4, The Husband and I were full of energy. We did not miss meat at all!

I am told that I should supplement with some meat occasionally so that we can get all the amino acids we need, as well as the vitamin B12. We will do that. The aim will be to eat only 3 meals with a bit of top grade organic meat or seafood.

The remaining meat in the freezer is going to last us a long while.


Buckwheat, asparagus, pumpkin flowers. The pumpkin flowers are from the garden.

Roasted carrots, sweet potato, cherry tomatoes, carrots and tandoori chickpeas on a bed of salad greens.

Portobello mushroom steak topped with sweet potato + roasted cherry tomatoes + amaranth leaves (from the garden) + cranberries + figs + fermented red cargo rice..

Jackfruit seeds, jackfruit, avocado, cherries, bananas and freshly bloomed pumpkin flowers.

Caramel dipped walnuts, avocado, jackfruit seeds, jackfruit, young buah long long leaves, pumpkin, brinjal and lady fingers.

Lady fingers, jackfruit seeds, jackfruit, pumpkin flowers and chopped cucumber.

August 2017 Parent Seminars

Sign up for the August run of Positive Teaching HERE.

Sign up for the September run of HOT Skills HERE.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

More on Waterfall Cafe

A shout-out to all celiacs! The range of buffet anti pasti dishes at the Waterfall Cafe, Shangri-La has increased somewhat. Most of it is gluten free.