Question is, do you recognise your body’s tell-tale warning sign for abnormally high stress levels? Continue reading
Mention you’re on a plant-based vegan diet to your friends in Singapore and I betcha 90% of the time you get cute lil inquisitive remarks like these:
“Won’t you get cold and weak easily?”
“But a Vegan diet won’t work cos you’d be too Yin. There’s no Yang in your diet!”
Not surprisingly since there are only a handful of vegans anywhere, Singapore too obviously, the examples of poor health and nutrition tend to stand out because they’re, oh say, on a RESTRICTED diet that provides insufficient nutrients, and contains just plants without the valuable energy from meat… Continue reading
Honestly, no one really needs a reason to enjoy Indian cuisine. But if you need some, here’s at least one. If you’re vegan and are feeling the chills lately, get some Indian food into that belly! Indian spices like garam masala used in dishes like chana masala and biryani stimulate a gentle warmth in the body, and that’s not even to mention the how soothing these foods already are on the tastebuds!
Even if you aren’t vegan, here’s another reason why you’d like to get more of these vegan Indian foods into your diet. Veggie Indian dishes, I find, tend to be more balanced energetically, with the warmth of the spices balancing the cooling nature of veggies. Indian dishes typically aim to balance the 6 tastes (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, astringent) which truly satisfies the tastebuds resulting in a fulfilling eating experience.
Need some inspiration getting started? Here are 3 simple dishes I learnt during Vegan cooking school – Aloo Tikkis (Potato Cutlets) and Coriander-Mint Chutney, Keralan Eggplant Curry and Vegetable Masala (Vegetable Butter Masala). These recipes are not complicated and easily made vegan should you manage to find an excellent non-vegan version to start with.
It is Middle Eastern Vegan cooking this time and it feels like a journey to the other far side of the East with lots of legumes, couscous and tinned tomatoes. The truly beautiful thing about being vegan is how much that exposes you to the huge variety of plant foods around the world rather than the restricting world of meat people tend to get cooped up in when clinging to the likes of standard local fare.
Middle Eastern food conveys the impression of deep tasting savory spices like cumin, as well as hearty, solid fare that almost sticks to your ribs in a warm, nourishing way. Our agenda for the day was the following: Hummus with toasted Pita Bread, a warm Couscous Salad with Roast Pumpkin and a Harira soup. Continue reading
Today I discovered photo collages and thought ”How ingenious! These will save me so much time with uploading a gazillion photos on WordPress!” So I thought it was an excellent way to keep time spent uploading photos to a minimum whilst arranging them in running fashion for easy-to-comprehend viewing. But now realise I was utterly wrong, after spending a phenomenal length of time prettifying these, that collages are not saving me any time, therefore not actually speeding up my blog-updating rate which I’d originally hoped for! Nonetheless, I’m satisfied with the way the pictures turned out and I hope you like them too!
I pass through Clementi Mall on my way to and from work everyday but have never really ventured past the Mall to explore the little provision shops, coffeeshops, much less get acquainted with the vibe of the place beyond the mall. Imagine my pleasant surprise when I found this Chinese vegetarian coffeeshop stall tucked just a short distance away from the Mall whilst looking for an organic healthfood shop around the same area last Sunday.
Being just 1 – 2 minutes walking distance from Clementi MRT, I decided to give Tian En Vegetarian Food a go for a weeknight dinner.
When I arrived, I was greeted by the sight of a queue! Which actually put me to relief quite some as I believed this must be a testament to their standards since there weren’t many people at the other stalls.
It’s kind of hard to explain how to tell if a cai fan* stall does good food or not. But really, just a quick glance and you should be able to tell how interesting, how properly cooked, or how fresh the spread of dishes are at the time.
By 7+pm when I arrived, there was a good spread of leafy greens, mock meats, tofu, curried and saucy dishes as well as more simply seasoned dishes. Looks like they’re just getting ready for the dinner crowd! Good thing it wasn’t crowded either and seats were easy to find.
I‘m a creature of habit, and always like my vegetarian/vegan beehoon + dishes. And I’m always ordering a curried veg, one simple green veg dish and one protein dish which feels like a most balanced combination to me.
What immediately struck me was the strange gray tinge to the beehoon. Next thing I noticed was that everything on my plate was positively glistening, so gives me the impression that they are not shy in using oil to cook dishes. So here’s my review of the dishes I chose:
Beehoon — really moist and doesn’t feel dry when you have a mouthful of it unlike beehoon I’ve had from other vegen food stalls. It was also very flavorful. While that’s a plus, it also appears quite well coated with oil. If flavor is the most important to you though, I’d say definitely go for it!
Curry Veg — the curry veg here definitely tasted more rich and heavy. The gravy was also a darker brown rather than orange, and I somehow felt that it lacked that milky coconut milk taste reminiscent of curry veg/ sayur lodeh. This wasn’t necessarily a poor dish, rather a different sort. It also consisted predominantly of cabbage, long beans and beancurd (not taupok).
Okra and Long Beans — while simply seasoned veggie dishes may seem like a no-brainer on first sight, I find they do require some skill and technique to do right. Timing and high heat is key to making sure the veggies are cooked just right, do not become soggy and retain their vibrant green. Here, I find the veggies met these requirements plus they were flavored with galangal, which was a welcoming sign as it tells me the stallowners know how to rely on herbs for flavor rather than turn to MSG and other refined seasonings not so good for health!
Tempeh and Tofu — I adore tempeh! And a most common stir-fried tempeh dish is this type which is coated in a sweet and sticky sauce, quite similar to sweet and sour pork. While I thought this was pretty decent in terms of flavor, I wish I had more tempeh in proportion to tofu as I found the tempeh bits to be too small to be substantial enough. Another vegan chinese foodstall at Amoy Food Centre does a similar tempeh dish with petai beans that is really savory and is one of my favorites.
Red Chilli Paste: I find it generally very difficult to find tasty and fragrant red chilli pastes at most vegan cai fan stalls and I am still on the hunt. I will not bother with Tian En’s chilli paste in the future as this was like spooning sugar to mouth. It was too sweet with little flavor and spicyness at all.
Price: I paid $3 for my plate which I thought to be reasonable and quite standard in price. You do get quite a lot of beehoon in comparison to the veggies.
Besides rice/ beehoon + dishes, one can order a variety of other zi char* dishes and hot pot which are all pretty reasonably priced. Also, check out their specials-for-the-day below which include laksa, biryani, chicken rice, prawn noodles and bak kut teh, all vegan of course!
I hope this review helped brought your attention to this humble stall and I look forward to reading any of your comments if you’ve been there before. Please share your experience with me! 🙂
* Psst.. If you’re wondering, cai fan literally means vegetables and rice and refers to stalls that let you choose a range of different kinds of dishes to have with your rice. Vegetarian stalls usually have the extra carb options of fried beehoon and unpolished rice. Zi char refers to made on order type dishes like fried rice or noodles among others.
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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
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.
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
apple tart, Cook, coral jelly, Food, laksa, Lifestyle Choices, nutritional yeast, pumpkin salad, Raw foodism, Raw veganism, shiso, Singapore local favorites, vegan, Veganism, vegetarian, vegetarianism
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.