Easy Healthy Recipe Wednesday: Baked Basa Fillet (4 Servings)

With this era of increasing food prices and economical uncertainty, a lot of  people are having harder times to make meals that are affordable and healthy. Unfortunately, many of them cannot keep the balance of affordable and healthy because most people think healthy food are more expensive.  In “Easy Healthy Recipe Wednesday and Thursday”, we will show you recipes that are inexpensive, affordable and easy.  Who says healthy food is expensive?

For every recipe in “Easy Healthy Recipe Wednesday and Thursday”, we would buy every ingredient in No Frills because they are a lot of No Frills in Toronto and the groceries in No Frills are affordable.  (No Frills did not endorse me to do this).

Ok! Let’s talk about the recipe.  Today,  we will be making Baked Basa Fillet. We chose Basa because this fish is affordable and does not overcook easily.  In addition, fish is a great source of many nutrients such as omega-3, is rich in protein and healthy fats and low in saturated fat and is heart-healthy and good for brain and eye development. This recipe is great for dinner.  In addition, for every dinner dish that are introduced in “Easy Healthy Recipe Wednesday and Thursday”, we aim for $5 CAN per serving maximum. Here is the recipe and cost for each ingredient:

1 teaspoon avocado oil ($0.50 CAN)

1 cup cucumber, diced ($0.50 CAN)

0.5 cups onion, minced ($0.13 CAN)

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced ($0.03 CAN)

2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced ($1.0 CAN)

2 tablespoons thyme, leaves only ($0.50 CAN)

0.25 teaspoons salt and ground black pepper ($1.0 CAN)

4 unfrozen basa fillet ($5.51 CAN)

One-third cups feta cheese, crumbled ($1.50 CAN)


1) Preheat oven to 450F.

2) Heat avocado oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in cucumber, onion and garlic.  Cook and stir for 5 minutes or until tender.


3) When mixture becomes tender, mix in tomatoes, thyme, salt and pepper.


4) Cover baking dish with aluminum foil.  Arrange basa fillet in single layers in baking dish.  Spoon cucumber mixture over each fillet. Top with feta cheese.


5) Bake for 15 minutes or until fish is easily flaked with fork.


And there you are! So the total cost to make this dish is $10.67 CAN.  That means it costs $2.67 CAN per serving.  THIS IS VERY CHEAP AND MEETS WITH OUR $5 CAN MAXIMUM (See! Healthy food does not have to be expensive).

As to the dish, the sauce was very DELICIOUS and the fish was not overcooked.  In addition, I smelled the thyme already when the fish came out from the oven.  Moreover, the feta cheese not only added saltiness to the dish, but also added “creaminess” when the cheese was eaten together with the fish.

Do you have your favourite fish recipe? What is your favourite fish? Post your comments below. Till next time.

P.S. The prices were as of Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at No Frills. 


Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread Recipe (1 Small Loaf)

A few days ago, I showed you guys how to make sourdough starter. I feel this would be more complete if I ACTUALLY make bread with the starter.

But before we go on, I just want to say thank you to the people who looked at my post yesterday. I posted the link to my own Facebook page, and I did not even know so many people are interested in knowing why did I start doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ).  This is one of the reason I am still doing this sport today because the BJJ community is very supportive and everyone is helping each other out. There are some outliers of course, but I will talk about this later.  Many of the comments on my Facebook were positive.  Here were some (names were covered due to privacy reasons):



Okay! Now back to sourdough bread recipe.  I used whole wheat flour because it is healthier.  Whole wheat flour is more expensive than all-purpose flour, but not that much (probably one or two dollars more for the same weight).  Since bread making is a long process, therefore you also have to make sure you schedule your time properly.  Here is the recipe:

3.5 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups warm water

0.5 cups sourdough starter

2 teaspoons salt

Noticed I did not weigh my ingredients (weighing ingredients are more accurate when baking)? This is because I think some people do not have a scale at home, and this recipe worked for them as well.

1) Put all ingredients in a BIG bowl in this order: starter, water, flour and salt.  You do not want starter and salt to interact with each other at this point because salt inhibits yeast’s growth.


2) Mix everything until a dough is formed.  If it is too wet, put more flour; if it is too dry, put more water. Transfer to a floured surface when dough is formed.  Knead the dough until windowpane test is passed (just grab a small piece of dough into golf ball size and stretch dough into translucent membrane.  Your dough is ready to rise when the membrane does not break).  It took me less than thirty minutes to knead the dough.


3) When dough is ready to rise, put it into a bowl, cover with a wet cloth and let the dough rise to double its original size in a spacious environment. It may the dough four hours to twenty-four hours to rise, depends on where you put the bowl.  Mine took twelve hours to rise.


4)  When dough is rise properly, punch dough to release carbon dioxide from the dough and re-incorporate oxygen to the dough.  After you punch the dough, let the dough rise to double its original size again.  Mine took another twelve hours.


5) When dough is ready, round dough on a slighly floured surface and let is rest for thirty minute.


6) Turn on oven to 150F and grease loaf pan with oil.  When oven is ready, put dough into loaf pan and put loaf pan in oven.  We are now proofing the dough so the bread is ready for final baking.  Make sure you turn on the steam in your oven because steam is needed for proofing and baking process.  Since I only have a toaster pan, I had to fill a cup with water and put the cup inside the oven. Mine took almost 1.5 hours to proof.  I know my dough was ready when I use my finger to push the dough and the dented part slowly came up.  If you did that and the dented part came up instantly, that means your dough is not ready to be baked.


7) When dough is ready, turn up your oven to 350F and slash one side of your bread.  I put tin foil on my dough so it did not get burnt easily. Bake your bread for  twenty-five minutes to one hour.


8) When you see your bread has browned (about twenty-five minutes), you can check to see if your bread is done by using a thermometer and poke a hold to your bread.  Your bread will be ready when the dough reaches the temperature between 190F to 210F.  Let the bread rest for at least thirty minutes after baking.


9) When bread is completely cool, you can start eating it!


There you go! The bread will taste slightly sour when cooled, but it is still good for your homemade sandwiches or just with butter or your favourite spread alone.  Also, you can see the bread is very easy to make and you spend most of the time just waiting.  So give it a try!

Have you made sourdough bread before? What is your recipe? How long did it take you to make yours? Post your comments below. Till next time!

Broccoli Soup Recipe Inspired by Gordon Ramsay (2 Servings)


This is recipe is inspired by Gordon Ramsay in his Kitchen Nightmare UK show when he showed of the owners his version of broccoli soup. I find it very healthy, easy-to-make and delicious. I do not get why she said Gordon’s soup is too bland. Anyways, I like Gordon Ramsay not because of his pretty face, but because of his work ethic.  He works so hard to get to where he is now.  I truly believe anyone can achieve whatever they want as long as they are consistent, persistent, passionate, and hardworking. I cannot say I am a hard worker, but I work more than 12 hours a day to achieve the goals I want.

I am going to work at a kitchen this summer, so I believe I will introduce more unique recipes to you guys.

Anyways, I got the ingredients today and it took me one hour to make it.  Here is the recipe:

2 broccoli heads, cleaned and cut

6 cups water

1 tablespoon avocado oil

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons 0% yogurt

15 pistachios, crushed

pinches of salt and pepper


1) Boiled water in high heat. Put salt, oil and broccoli in pot when water boiled. The water should be covering the broccoli.


2) When broccoli is cooked.  Turned off the heat and strained the broccoli.   Make sure you saved the water because you need the water for blending later.

3) After straining the broccoli, put broccoli in the blender and blended until broccoli become small pieces (about 15 seconds).  Add garlic into blender and slowly added broccoli water.  At this point, the amount of water added is up to you.  Add just a little if you want a thick soup and add more if you want a thin soup.

4) Put the blended broccoli-water mixture to a pot and let it boil.


5) When boiled, add salt and pepper for taste. Ladled soup to a small bowl.  Scooped yogurt to the soup and garnish with pistachio.

And voila. The soup tastes so good. It has the broccoli flavour with a slightly sour kick from the garlic and yogurt.  Pistachio also added a salty crunch to the soup.

Do you like broccoli? How do you usually eat your broccoli? Do you have your own secret broccoli soup recipe? Post your comments below. Till next time!


Sourdough Starter Recipe

I love making bread with sourdough starter not because I want to impersonate ANCIENT EGYPTIAN (yes….I actually tried to wrap myself to become a mummy…hahaha..joking), but it just tastes natural.  I LOVE NATURAL, and once you started a starter, you can make bread WHENEVER YOU WANT (JUST LIKE BUYING ACTIVE DRY YEAST IN THE SUPERMARKET). I got referred to this recipe by my teacher at George Brown Chef school.  It is from Chad Robertson, the owner of Tartine Bakery and Cafe in San Francisco. I did some changes to what works for a Canadian, Extremely Cold Home Kitchen.

You will need all-purpose flour and lukewarm water. You can also use bread flour and whole wheat flour as well.  I am not too sure about pastry flour and cake flour because they contains less gluten content than all-purpose, bread and whole wheat flour.  In addition, I am using lukewarm water because increase in temperature increases the rate of fermentation.


  • Put 0.5 cups all-purpose flour and 1 cup of lukewarm water in a bowl and mix until there is no lumps. You can see some bubbles at this point and this is okay.


  • When mixed, cover the bowl with a dry clothes and leave it in a cool place.  Because a final sourdough bread tastes sour, so keeping your sourdough starter wet and cool would make your final product less sour.  DO NOT LEAVE YOUR SOURDOUGH STARTER IN YOUR REFRIGERATOR BECAUSE FERMENTATION OCCURS MUCH SLOWER IN COLD TEMPERATURE.


  • When you start to see bubbles occurring on the surface of the starter, it is time to “feed” your starter.  You may have to wait 1 to 3 days before you “feed” your starter.  Just put 5 tablespoons of your original starter, 0.5 cups of flour and 0.5 cups of lukewarm water in a new bowl and mix until there is no lumps.  Then cover the bowl with a dry cloth and leave it in a cool place.

You can see this is a cycle and you have to keep “feeding” your starter everyday. This is what the starter looks like after about 2 weeks:


Bubbles are forming and you see a crust.  Once your starter form a dark crust and floats in warm water, you are ready to make your sourdough bread. That would take about 3 weeks to 1 month. I also find you get a better result by using whole wheat flour (probably due to the milling process of flour).


Professor Terry Graham  from University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario (a small town just outside Toronto) did a study on four types of breads to determine which had the most positive health effects. He used white, whole wheat, whole wheat with barley and sourdough white breads to examined how subjects (who were overweight and aged between 50 to 60) responded just hours after eating the bread for breakfast and again just hours after eating a standard lunch. Professor Graham found subjects’ blood sugar levels were lower for a similar rise in blood insulin with the sourdough.  In addition, this positive effect remained during their second meal and lasted even hours after. As a result, Professor Graham concluded the fermentation of the sourdough changes the nature of the starches in the bread, creating a more beneficial bread.

In fact, some people suggested sourdough bread is more digestible and more nutritious as well because the lactic acids in sourdough starter make the vitamins and minerals in the flour more available to the body.  In addition, the acids slow down the rate at which glucose is released into the blood-stream and lower the bread’s glycaemic index (GI), so it doesn’t cause undesirable spikes in insulin.

Have you tried sourdough bread before? Do you or how do you make your bread at home? You have a bread recipe you want to share with us? Post your comments below. Till next time!

Buckwheat Noodle Salad with Avocado Oil (2 Servings)

Remember I wrote a post on the healthy benefits of avocado oil a few days ago?  I recently made a noodle salad recipe that has avocado oil in the vinaigrette  I also used buckwheat noodle (aka soda noodles) because buckwheat provides more protein per serving than any other grain except for oats and contains manganese and thiamin (aka vitamin B-1). 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. In addition, vitamin B-1 is required to synthesize the body’s main source of energy, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and supports the health and function of the immune and nervous systems. You can get buckwheat noodle at a Asian supermarket and cost about $1.60 (CAN) for 300 grams. Here is the recipe:

200g buckwheat noodle, 2 pieces of chicken thigh (trim out the fat and cut into small strips), one-half of orange, yellow and red bell pepper each (cut into julien),  1 small cucumber (cut into julien), 0.25 cups balsamic vinegar, 0.25 cups avocado oil, 3 cloves of garlic, pinches of salt and pepper


1) Marinate chicken with salt and pepper.  Mix and set aside.


2) Boil a pot of water in high heat.  Once water is boiling vigorously, put the buckwheat noodles in the pot and cook the noodle for  5 to 10 minutes or until noodles get al dente.  Make sure to add salt in the boiling water to boil the water faster.


3) Once noodles are cooked, put the noodles in a ice cold bath.


4) Boil another pot of water.  Once water is boiling, cook the chicken in the pot for 3 to 5 minutes or until chicken turns colour.  Set chicken aside when cooked.


5) Mix avocado oil and balsamic vinegar together.  Mince garlic and add garlic to the vinegar-oil mixture.  Add salt and pepper to enhance flavour of vinaigrette.


6) Mix all the ingredient and vinaigrette together.


And voila! This salad is very good for the summer and for lunch.  It is definitely an alternative to the traditional salad (all vegetables with little carbohydrates). You can replace all the vegetable I used with the ones you love.  This is the definite of making salad.

Have you heard of buckwheat noodle before?  Have you cooked with buckwheat noodle before? What is your recipe? Please post your comments below.  Chao!