Munch Saladsmith for Lunch!

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Where I work there’s a Munch salad cafe on the first floor which appears to have decent to good human traffic on most days. Munch is one of these hip and trendy salad bars popping up all over the place especially in the *CBD area. I really can’t say how they compare to their competitors – Salad Stop and Sumo Salad, as I still can’t bring myself to fork out $10 even for a lovely salad much less make it a habit out of frequenting these places. When you’re eating 100% plant-based, chances are you’re already pro-actively making your own delicious plant foods and will not have to fork out tonnes of cash trying to hunt out healthy eating options for lunch. Continue reading

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Ninth Vegan Cooking Class — More Singaporean Dishes!

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I’m always thrilled when classes include recipes on local favorites. I think we Singaporeans tend to be too enthralled in debating which stalls offer the best tasting whatever-it-is rather than understanding the mix of flavors and the balance of ingredients used that produce that overall wonderful taste. Perhaps fewer Singaporeans will even know how to make these local favorites within their kitchens (myself included at the moment!!) so am certainly jumping at any opportunity I can to soak up food knowledge pertaining to my local heritage!

Two out of the three recipes during this class are dishes we commonly buy outside. I mean, who bothers to make Otah anyway?? And Lei Cha, probably one of the few real healthy options one can hope to find at hawker centres, with its seemingly finicky array of toppings and complex green herb soup may give one the impression that it is best prepared by those who really know best.

Well, today’s class helped diminish my ignorance towards these two foods somewhat. I was especially intrigued with the Vegan Otah we learnt as it implies I may too to be able to enjoy it even after becoming vegan.

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Favorite Workplace Lunches of a Budding Raw Foodist

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Okay, so I’ve mentioned a coupla times I’ve been dabbling with raw foods in my diet. If you’re gone through my earlier posts, you’ll notice I haven’t had very much success prior to just recently. But for reasons which I’m still speculating and coming to terms with, eating a high raw diet (about 60%) is working phenomenally for me at the moment.

For skeptics who’ve perhaps tried going raw but have their attempts backfire, or simply anyone who’s interested but haven’t had the means to do so, one thing’s for sure: certainly anyone and everyone can eat raw foods, just don’t go all crazy and puritanical at the start and go according to your comfort levels (especially those exhibiting Vata imbalance!!)

Once you’ve found out how raw foods work in for you in your particular lifestyle and diet, you realise it is only the start of wonderful opportunities and possibilities. Let’s start with the fact that there is zero cooking involved, minimising cooking prep and clean up. Furthermore, raw meals are very very portable and great especially when your workplace pantry is less than ideally furnished (like mine which doesn’t have a microwave!!)

Here’s a glimpse into fun workplace lunches I’ve been conjuring up (given my many a mad scientist moment) lately:  Continue reading

Eighth week of Vegan Cooking Class — More Raw Food!!

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I am seriously running behind time with my posts ><” and I’m so sorry to all you readers for not posting the whole of last week! From here on I’ll try to keep my posts as succinct as possible since spending too much effort painstakingly conveying all my thoughts and feelings makes them too long and time-consuming to write, adding to the difficulty of posting regularly. So here goes!

We made a raw vegan laksa, a herbed pumpkin salad and apple cinnamon tart. Generally speaking, raw food shines in terms of vibrant flavors since the original flavors of vegetables remain unadulterated and completely intact in the final dish. Eating raw also does wonders for how that meal digests in your system, and I really mean it when I say in a divine way because having switched to a >50% raw diet recently I can ascertain that my body feels lighter, I experience higher mental clarity, energy throughout the day and have more frequent bowel movements compared to when I’m on a predominantly cooked foods diet.

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Seventh Week of Vegan Cooking Class — Singaporean Local Favorites! :D—-

A stark contrast in the kind of food as well as volume we cooked and brought home compared to last week’s Raw Vegan class, is the focus on whipping up healthy, non-greasy versions of common local dishes geared especially towards the average omnivorous and Singaporean taste buds. While emphasis last week seemed centered on maximising nutrition, which may be more of an importance for existing vegetarian/vegans, this week’s emphasis takes into consideration the circumstances of those who might like to eat more healthily but find it difficult to leave their love affair for usually not-so-healthily prepared local foods behind, or even vegetarians/vegans who would like to slowly introduce (or sneak in!) healthy, less processed, wholesome, nutritious food into their family members’ diets with less of a backlash!  Continue reading

Sixth week of Vegan Culinary Class — Raw Vegan (Part I)

The sixth week of the culinary course took place at our teacher’s residence. V is a former nurse at a cancer institute in Singapore whose experience with working with patients’ as well as her own late parents’ diets have spurred her on the path of health and nutrition. She will be teaching us vegan versions of local favorites such as chicken rice next week, but she also specialises in raw food, having learnt about the benefits of raw food from a raw food teacher.

Her place is well-equipped with dehydrators and specialised health food equipment such as a high-powered blender, steam oven and racks of organic health food which students can buy at a discount. I suppose her experience as a nurse has influenced her emphasis on using specifically organic and at times obscure health food ingredients in her dishes.  Continue reading

Last Session at Onaka (Week 5) – Tofu & Tempeh (Western style)

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CAM00365Despite setting my ideal target of 2 posts per week it is getting trying keeping up with blogging especially these updates about the vegan culinary course since I tend to have so much to say about them! Looks like I’ll have to work out a regular routine as there’s been quite a lot of things going on that I’d love to blog about such as my RAW workplace lunches.

Anyway, this session was all about using the soy products – tofu and tempeh in re-creating standard Western dishes like meatballs, scrambled eggs as well as creamy salad dressings. Apart from the use of these unconventional replacements in normally meat containing items, Chef also introduced a fairly atypical ingredient probably only health foodies or vegan/vegetarians would know of in adding an extra savory note to our tofu scramble (which I will elaborate on later) – Nutritional yeast!

I felt this lesson was important in general to the concept of vegan cooking as these recipes make use of healthful ingredients rather than unhealthy processed soy, gluten products and MSG which vegetarian establishments have tended to overabuse in imitating the taste and texture of meat products. Continue reading

Cooking at Onaka restaurant – Vegan Korean Cuisine (Week 4)

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I’m running a little behind time with posting – it’s almost been a week since the last vegan cooking class last Saturday. We seem to be jumping straight into making the recipes after a precursory run-through of what each recipe entails. Week 4 was Korean themed and we learnt the following recipes: an express vegan Kimchi, a black pepper and clove spiced Korean pear drink-cum-dessert, Bibimbap, Japchae and a Zen Buddhist spinach root stir-fry. The last is probably hovering more towards Japanese, especially since Chef mentioned it during our first Japanese Zen Buddhist themed class.

Without further ado, here’s what we did for each recipe: Continue reading

The Living Cafe @ Bukit Timah Rd… Again!

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I never seem to stop raving about this place, especially the raw desserts, so this time I brought my conventional-diet cousins along too to check out the food. I was convinced they would, like me, swoon over the desserts regardless of our differences in tastes and eating habits.

There were some major changes to the interior compared to the one month ago visit when I brought my sis there. Namely, the tables near the once supplement-stocked shelves have been cleared, now replaced by a rather swanky looking pub-inspired bar area. The shelves behind are now used for wine glasses so imagine my surprise when I found what I thought to be a neighbourhood health food vegan-friendly cafe undergoing an image change to become more… pub-goer friendly? Continue reading

A Simplified Thai Eggplant and Bell Pepper Vegan Stir-fry

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Finding my bearings on starting a raw food regiment..

Before I talk about the recipe, I thought I’d update a bit about my life at the moment so as to put my present approach to food and cooking into perspective. Having just started on my full-time temp job last week, I am no longer able to cook up lunch fresh nor have the time to prepare some of my favorite dinners like curries. In fact, by the time I get home which is about 7.30 pm, I’m starving, want to eat and get over with my meal so I can rest for the evening. Continue reading