Bonus Healthy Recipe: Green Tea Almond Milk Milkshake (1 Serving)

Morning guys! I mentioned yesterday that I would be making milkshake using the green tea ice cream I made using Organic Matcha – Green Tea Powder.

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I did not break my promise.  In fact, it was one of the most delicious milkshakes I have ever made.

Here is the recipe:

4 1/2 scoops green tea ice cream

2 cups almond milk

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon Organic Matcha – Green Tea Powder

1 strawberry, hulled and sliced

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1) Put every almond milk, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, sugar, cinnamon and 1/2 scoop green tea ice cream in blender.  Blend until smooth.

2) Pour 2/3 cup of milkshake in cup.  Scoop rest of green tea ice cream and scoop to top of milkshake.  Garnish with strawberries.  Serve when ready.

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IT WAS DELICIOUS! You first tasted the green tea ice cream. As you go down to the middle of the milkshake, you start to taste the strong chocolate flavour.  Chocolate and green tea just work together.

If you want to have more chocolate flavour in your drink, sprinkle some cocoa powder on top of the ice cream.

So try this at home and see what you think guys!

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Bonus Healthy Recipe: Green Tea Risotto with Seasonal Vegetables (3 Servings)

Finally! I am back!

I have been very busy.  I work more than 60+ per week, so it is hard to juggle my time between work and blogging.

Since I want to open my own restaurant/bistro/cafe in the future, I am currently working very hard to reach that goal.

Today, I just want to do something simple and healthy.  Therefore, I went to my local farmer’s market today and picked up some peas and cherry tomatoes.  OH MY! The cherry tomatoes were VERY sweet and tasty.

I also used Organic Matcha – Green Tea Powder I got from Kiss Me Organics (Thanks Maria! Sorry for the long overdue review!) just to see how it would look in the dish.

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I also used the same green tea powder to make green tea ice cream (It was delicious!). I will be using the ice cream to make a green tea milkshake, so stay tuned for the recipe!

Here is the recipe for the risotto:

2 cups Arborio

2/3 cup white wine

1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced

1 bunch of pea, skinned

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 shallot, minced

1 jug of water

3 teaspoons Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoon Organic Matcha – Green Tea Powder

salt and pepper to taste

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1) Heat pan over medium heat.  Heat the olive and butter.  Add shallots and cook until softened.

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2) Add Arborio rice and turned up the heat.  Keep on stirring to prevent rice from sticking to the pan.  When the rice started to look translucent, add half of the white wine and keep stirring until the wine has cooked into the rice.

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3) Add your first ladle of water to the rice and keep on stirring.  When the water has cooked into rice, add another ladle of water. This process has to repeat many times before the rice is fully cooked. This whole process takes more than ten minutes.

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4) While the rice is cooking, start a new pot and boil water over high heat.  Add salt and oil when water boil.  Cook peas in water until slightly soft.  Put peas in cold water to prevent overcooking.

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5) When the rice is cooked, add the rest of white wine and keep stirring.  Add green tea powder and keep stirring until powder is evenly distributed.  Add parmesan cheese, pea, cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper and stir until fully incorporated.  Serve when ready.

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This is the first time I made risotto and I am impressed because the rice is fully cooked.  The cherry tomatoes also added some sweetness to the rice.

I just wish I had more seasoning and wish I used chicken stock because that would make a huge difference to the flavour of the rice.  My parents tried it and they wished the rice was slightly more creamier.

The green tea powder in this dish was just to add some colour to the rice AND IT WORKED.  I mean why not because GREEN TEA IS GOOD FOR OUR BODY.

I still have some Arborio left over and I cannot wait to make my second risotto dish!

Health Facts Monday – Calories Face-Off: T.G.I. Friday’s vs. Applebee’s

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Applebee’s is another casual dining restaurant that I had been when I was in the States.

To be honest with you, I find it hard to differentiate Applebee’s from other casual dining restaurants because they all serve similar food and have similar decor.

But do all the causal dining restaurants prepare food for people in healthy lifestyle? Today, we will be comparing calories of food between T.G.I. Friday’s and Applebee’s.

1) Sandwich (Friday’s WINS!!)

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T.G.I. Friday’s Rotisserie Chicken Salad Sandwich – 850 calories (SCORE)

Applebee’s Chicken Fajita Rollup – 1020 calories

2) More Sandwich (Applebee’s WINS!!)

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T.G.I. Friday’s California Club –  750 calories

Applebee’s Classic Turkey Breast Sandwich – 560 calories (SCORE)

3) Salad (Friday’s WINS!!)

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T.G.I. Friday’s Strawberry Fields Salad with Grilled Balsamic Chicken  –  820 calories (SCORE)

Applebee’s Regular Fiesta Chicken Chopped Salad – 860 calories

4) Burger (Applebee’s WINS!!)

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T.G.I. Friday’s New York Cheddar and Bacon Burger  –  1480 calories

Applebee’s Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger – 970 calories (SCORE)

5) Dinner (Friday’s WINS!!)

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T.G.I. Friday’s Grilled Salmon  –  480 calories (SCORE)

Applebee’s Savory Cedar Salmon – 520 calories

So Friday’s serves healthier food than Applebee’s.  I guess I should go to Friday’s more often next time when I go to the States.

Have you been to Applebee’s? Do you prefer eating at Applebee’s or Friday’s? Post your comments below. Till next time!

Bonus Healthy Recipe: Shredded Pork Ramen (4 Servings)

I am being ambitious this time because I made my own ramen soup.  I used pork neck bone because bones make delicious stocks and they are not expensive.  You can get pork neck bone at your local butcher or your local Asian supermarket.

This is also a very healthy ramen because not only everything is homemade, but also I used buckwheat noodles, which are loaded with manganese and lean protein.

Manganese aids in energy metabolism, promotes the health of the nervous system and plays a vital role in synthesizing hormones, connective tissue and proteins needed for blood coagulation.

Moreover, lean, plant-based sources of protein like buckwheat noodles can significantly decrease your risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes according to the Harvard School of Public Health. 

Here is the recipe:

3 pounds of pork neck bone

one bunch of green onions

one large ginger root, chopped

12 cloves garlic, mashed

16 cups water

3 bunches buckwheat noodles

1/8 cup bean sprouts, cleaned

1 egg

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon white wine

salt to taste

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1) Rub salt on pork bones and let bones sit overnight in the fridge.

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2) Pour eight cups of water in pot with ginger root, garlic, and salted pork bones and boil over high heat.  When boil, skim the fat and other floating scums.

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F.Y.I. This was how much scums I skimmed.

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3) When all the fat and scrums are skimmed, reduce heat to low heat, cover pot and simmer mixture for about two hours.  When broth is done, let broth and pork completely cool in pot. Strain and save pork bone and get as much meat from the pork bone as possible.  Set meat aside as one of the toppings later.

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4) Boil 4 cups of water over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to medium, salt water and cook buckwheat noodles until noodles are al dente. Set noodle aside.

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5) Boil rest of the water in another pot over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium and hard-boil egg for about 5 minutes.  Peel the egg shell and cut egg in half. Set aside.

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6) Using the same pot for the noodles, boil water over medium and blanch bean sprouts for about 5 minutes.  Cut egg in half. Set aside.

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7) Boil strained broth over high heat. Skim more fat or scums out if necessary.  Add salt, soy sauce, sesame oil, and white wine. Let broth simmer until it is ready for plating.

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8) Chop green onion nicely.  Set aside.

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9) Plate buckwheat noodle in a bowl.  Pour simmering broth until noodles are covered. Place pork pieces, green onions, bean sprouts and egg nicely on top of noodle.  Serve when ready.

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Overall, I love this ramen because everything is homemade.  I also thought soy sauce and sesame oil helped in flavouring the broth.  However, I thought my broth was still a bit too oily and my yolk was not runny enough.

I put some of my broth in the refrigerator already to see if this helps in skimming all the fat out of the broth.

If you are not able to use all this broth at one time, you can always freeze the broth for future use.  So try this recipe today and tell us what you think!

Bonus Healthy Recipe: Summer Avocado Soup (2 Servings)

I think lots of people assume avocado is only good for salads, but apparently avocado is good for soups as well.

Using avocado for soups is, apparently, very common in Latin America since avocado is their staple.

I got this recipe from a website and I did some changes to my kitchen’s capabilities. Here is the recipe:

2 ripe avocados

2 cups water

1/2 onion, chopped

1 tablespoon butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 teaspoons lime juice

1/8 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon cumin

parsley or cilantro for garnish

salt and pepper to taste

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1) Heat pot over medium-high heat.  Heat butter and cook onion until soften.

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2) Cook garlic for a minute or until you smell the aroma. DSCN1964

3) Add water, avocado and lime juice into pot and bring mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat and cook for about 5 minutes.

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4) Put mixture in the blender.  Blend until smooth.

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5) Pour blended mixture back to pot and add milk, cumin, salt and pepper.  Bring mixture to a boil. Serve in a bowl and garnish with parsley or cilantro.

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Wow! This soup is surprising delicious.   I tasted a bit of heat from cumin and a bit of citrus from the lime.  In addition, there is a creamy aftertaste from the avocado.

Please do not omit the cumin because it did help elevate the flavour of the soup.  I also thought the milk elevated the creamy texture, making the soup tasted more sophisticated.

If you like avocado and you want to use avocado for anything other than guacamole and salads, this is a perfect recipe for you!