A favorite quinoa dish of mine that is made simply with a handful of ingredients. Healthy and extremely versatile, you can enjoy it as a side or as a meal on its own.
The last couple of weeks had been rough on our family. Seasonal allergies were on an all time high in Houston for us, and everyone in our household has been dealing with some really bad allergy symptoms. From extremely congested noses to itchy and watery eyes that later developed to fevers and asthmatic symptoms. It has gotten so bad for us that both Bella and Jamie had to stay home from school for a few days.
While caring for sick children at home, I found that this Smoked Salmon Quinoa Bowl recipe, that I actually make all year long, came in really handy. A fresh and easy salad that can be enjoyed as a meal or as a side. Deliciously simple, packed with flavor and lots of fresh vegetables, this is the perfect easy lunch or dinner.
Smoked Salmon Quinoa Bowl
by Miss Crumbs A lot
1 Cup Dry Quinoa
1 Cucumber (peeled, cored and diced)
1 Avocado (peeled and diced)
1 Red Bell Pepper (diced)
15 Cherry Tomatoes (halved)
3 tbsp Shallots (finely diced)
1 15.5 oz Canned Black Beans (rinsed and drained)
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Juice of 2 Limes
1 1/2 tsp Dill Weed
Salt & Pepper
Smoked Salmon (or any other protein of choice)
1. Run cold water over 1 cup of dry quinoa in a fine-meshed strainer.
2. In a 1 1/2 qt pot, add in 1 cup of rinsed quinoa and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil.
3. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 15 to 20 min or until all water is absorbed.
4. Fluff gently with a fork and allow it to cool slightly.
5. Gently toss the cooked quinoa with diced cucumber, avocado, red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, shallots, black beans, olive oil, juice of 2 limes, dill weed and season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Top with smoked salmon or any other protein of choice and serve.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
Spaghetti Squash Bolognese, a wonderful pasta alternative that is lower in carbs & calories served with a simple bolognese sauce, a healthy week night dinner option!
One of Bella's & Jamie's favorite week night dinner is Spaghetti Bolognese and because it is such a quick & easy recipe, I make this dish as often as every other week. However, trying to stay on a low carb diet with a pasta meal makes it rather difficult to adhere to it. And we were starting to get tired of zucchini noodles or "Zoodles". So, I decided to try spaghetti squash instead.
I roasted the spaghetti squash and paired it with my usual bolognese sauce. It was delicious! The stringy squash resembled regular spaghetti and has a slight sweet flavor to it. Both Bella and Jamie loved it and have since requested that I make the squash as a pasta alternative for them too.
Spaghetti Squash Bolognese
by Miss Crumbs A Lot
1 Medium Spaghetti Squash
1 lb Minced Beef (20% fat, 80% lean)
3 stalks of Celery
1/2 Large Onion
5 cloves Garlic
1 28 oz Can Tomato Sauce
1/4 cup White Wine or White Wine Vinegar
Salt & Pepper
3 tbsp Olive Oil
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Cut the spaghetti squash into half, remove the seeds and rub 1 tbsp of olive oil and a little salt on the inside.
3. Place the squash cut side down onto a baking tray, add a little water in the tray and bake for 40 to 60 minutes (depending on the size of the squash and if you prefer it more al dente or softer).
4. In a food processor, mince the carrots, celery, onion and garlic (separately)
5. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a pot and stir fry the minced onion and garlic until fragrant.
6. Add minced carrots and celery and continue stir frying for a few minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
7. Add white wine into the vegetables and mix well.
8. Add the minced beef and stir fry until meat is cooked, breaking up the minced meat.
9. Season with salt and pepper. Allow it to simmer for 20 min.
10. When the squash is done and cooled slightly, use a fork to fluff the squash to make the insides resemble spaghetti. Serve with bolognese sauce and parmesan cheese, if desired.
Makes 4 servings
Quick, fresh and delicious, this easy weeknight dinner makes family meal time simple and enjoyable.
If there is one dish that I'd prepare for my family a lot, and I'm thinking almost on a weekly basis, it is oven roasted chicken. This is by far one of the easiest meals to prepare and clean up. It is literally a "shake and bake" situation here. Hence, they make a frequent appearance on our dinner table.
In my pantry, I do have a pretty decent spice rack that is filled with a variety of dry rub ingredients. Every other week or so, I'll try different combinations of spice powders on my chicken dinners. Needless to say, the family absolutely love it and very often request for this dish. Do not be disheartened by the long list of ingredients listed below. These spice powders are inexpensive and last for quite a while. On top of that, the flavors that they add to the meat is heavenly.
As I mentioned before, I make oven roasted chicken on a regular basis and so I have developed quite a few dry rub recipes in my arsenal, many of which have less than 5 ingredients required. And I promise I will share them soon. But for now, give this unbelievably flavorful and crispy chicken a try. I even have it such that you can prepare the dry rub once and store it in an air tight container, ready for multiple use.
Asian Spiced Roast Chicken
by Miss Crumbs A Lot
5 lb Chicken Thighs (about 8 to 10 pieces)
1 1/2 tbsp Chinese 5-Spice Powder
1 1/2 tbsp Ground Cumin
1 tbsp Paprika
1 tbsp Salt
1 tbsp White Pepper Powder
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1 tsp Cinnamon Powder
1/2 tbsp Coriander Powder
1 tbsp Ginger Powder
1 tbsp Garlic Powder
1 tbsp Sesame Oil
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a small mixing bowl, combine Chinese 5-Spice, ground cumin, paprika, salt, white pepper, chili powder, ground nutmeg, cinnamon powder, coriander powder, ginger powder and garlic powder. Mix well and transfer into an air tight container for later use.
3. Drizzle the sesame oil and olive oil over the chicken thighs in a large bowl.
4. Season with 3 tbsp of the pre-mixed seasoning prepared earlier and rub it into the meat.
5. Place the seasoned chicken thighs onto a roasting rack and roast it for 30 to 40 minutes (I used the Convec Roast function of my oven).
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
An extremely appetizing and easy salmon recipe that will definitely make a frequent appearance on your dinner table.
It has been a while since I posted a new recipe. Truth be told, I am a creature of habit and very often, I make the same recipes over and over again for my family. Fortunately, everyone at home enjoys these dishes and are not complaining. However, when I do throw in a new recipe, it is definitely appreciated.
With the end of Chinese New Year celebrations and all the indulgent feasting over, we are definitely ready to go back to a more healthy and wholesome diet. This broiled salmon is a perfect week night dinner dish. The sweet and tangy flavors paired with the rich and buttery texture of salmon makes it great meal that is full of good fats. And not to mention the simplicity and ease of this recipe.
Mustard Herb Salmon
by Miss Crumbs A Lot adapted from Delish.com
1 lb to 1.5 lb Sockeye Salmon (cut into 4 to 5 fillets)
1 tbsp Coarse Grain Mustard
2 tsp Minced Garlic
1 tbsp Minced Shallots
3 tsp Fresh Thyme Leaves (chopped & divided)
2 tsp Fresh Rosemary (chopped)
Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Lemon Slices (for garnishing)
1. Pre-heat oven on high in broiler function.
2. In a small bowl, mix 1 tbsp of coarse grain mustard, 2 tsp minced garlic, 1 tbsp minced shallots, 2 tsp chopped thyme, 2 tsp chopped rosemary, juice of 1/2 lemon and season with salt & pepper.
3. Spread the mixture over the salmon fillets on a baking tray and broil for 6 to 8 minutes, depending on how thick your salmon fillets are.
4. Garnish with the remaining 1 tsp of chopped thyme and lemon slices before serving.
Makes 4 to 5 servings
Add a twist to the classic egg salad with some creamy & ripe avocados and you'll get a nutritious dish that is packed with healthy fats and proteins.
I know we are already 2 weeks into 2019 but still, here's wishing you a Happy New Year. I definitely took a long break from the blog during the last few months of 2018. And almost out of necessity too. I was busy managing some home remodeling & interior decorating projects while still keeping up with the kids' active calendar. And not forgetting about all the celebrations that we had.
The end of the year is always such a festive time, especially for our family since Bella's birthday is in December. We celebrated her turning 10! Double digits! How time flies. A blink of an eye and she is a "tween".
At this age, she is very aware. She noticed how Kian and I were experimenting with a low carb & low sugar diet which has now become a lifestyle for us. She was keen to lead a healthier life and has hence decided to avoid sugar for 3 days a week. So far, she has been doing really well. Of course, my pantry is still stocked with chips and candies. It is all about balance and treating ourselves once in a while. But I am pleased that the kids are mostly consuming a low carb and low sugar diet with us. And they have definitely shown more interest in trying new foods.
Just the other day, I made this Avocado Egg Salad and served it as a side with the Almond Flour Bread for dinner. It was a hit with the family. A lovely twist to the classic egg salad that is packed with healthy fats and proteins. A quick and easy side dish that worked so well with our oven roasted chicken and broccoli dinner.
Avocado Egg Salad
by Miss Crumbs A Lot
2 medium sized Avocados
6 eggs (hard boiled)
1/4 cup Chopped Cilantro
1/4 tsp Dill Weed
Juice of 2 Limes
Salt & Pepper
1. Chop up the avocados & hard boiled eggs and place in a large mixing bowl.
2. Add in 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, 1/4 tsp dill weed and juice of 2 limes.
3. Mix well. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
A delicious low carb and gluten-free bread that is satisfying and healthy.
It has been quite a while since Kian and I started the Slow Carb Diet, reducing carbs, sugar and dairy. Having lost a significant amount of weight, we have since kept up with the diet loosely and also started experimenting with others as well. We recently introduced intermittent fasting into our routine and have taken interest in the Ketogenic diet. Having read up a little about it, I found so many delicious and interesting recipes out there.
I made a Almond Flour Bread recipe that was very similar to the Flourless Almond Butter Bread that I had shared some time ago. However, this recipe produced a more spongy texture and is less dense. I personally felt it was more bread-like. It is very easy to make and keeps very well wrapped up in foil in the refrigerator. And the bread makes an awesome avocado toast or sandwich while maintaining a low carb count.
Almond Flour Bread
by Miss Crumbs A Lot, adapted from FatForWeightLoss
1/2 cup Butter (room temperature)
2 tbsp Coconut Oil
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 cups Almond Meal / Flour
1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
1/2 Tsp Salt
1. Preheat oven to 355 degrees F. Grease and line a bread pan with parchment paper.
2. Melt 1/2 cup butter slowly using the microwave in 30 second intervals. Mix in 2 tbsp coconut oil.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat 7 eggs until light and fluffy. Add in melted butter and coconut oil. Mix well.
4. Add in 2 cups almond meal, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp xanthan gum and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix well.
5. Pour batter in lined bread pan and smooth out the top.
6. Bake for 45 min in 355 degrees F. Insert a skewer into the middle of the bread and ensure it comes out clean. Cool on a cooling rack.
Makes 1 loaf
The closest version of a burger in Chinese cuisine, these Asian Pulled Pork Buns are so tasty and fuss-free to make, they are guaranteed to be a family favorite!
Some time ago, I made a fusion version of the traditional Hokkien dish, Braised Pork Belly Taco. Braised Pork Belly is originally served in lotus leaf buns, and they are usually cooked over a long time until soft and extremely fragrant.
I wanted to make a less fatty version for my kids so with the same base marinade, I made these delectable Asian Pulled Pork Buns for dinner when we celebrated Mid-Autumn Festival at home last month. These flavorful buns were like mini sliders that were so delicious and versatile, perfect as an appetizer, or as a hand-held pass around at parties or on its own as a meal.
Using the slow cooker also made this recipe extremely easy and fuss free to make. Just prepare the ingredients and let the slow cooker do the rest of the work. At the end of the day, simply pull the meat apart and pop them back into the fragrant sauce. The recipe also freezes very well and you'll get a few meals out of this this large batch recipe.
Asian Pulled Pork Buns
by Miss Crumbs A Lot
3 to 4 lb Pork Shoulder or Boston Pork Butt
6 oz Shallots (thinly sliced)
18 cloves of Garlic (lightly smashed)
5 tbsp Cooking Oil
2 oz piece Ginger (lightly smashed)
12 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
3 Cinnamon Sticks
6 Star Anise
3 tbsp Chinese 5-Spice Powder
1 1/2 tbsp Cumin Powder
1 1/2 tsp Salt
3/4 White Pepper Powder
3 tsp Sesame Oil
3 oz Rock Sugar
5 cups Water
Lotus Leaf Buns (available in most Asian supermarkets, in the frozen section)
1. In a wok, heat up 5 tbsp of cooking oil. Once heated, brown the whole pork shoulder or Boston pork butt on all sides. Set aside.
2. In the same wok with the leftover oil, add in thinly sliced shallots and light smashed garlic. Stir fry until fragrant and soft.
3. Add in dark soy sauce, cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, Chinese 5-spice powder, cumin powder, salt and white pepper powder. Mix well.
4. Add in water, sesame oil, rock sugar and lightly smashed ginger. Mix well.
5. Bring to a boil and lower heat to allow it to simmer for 10 min.
6. Place browned pork shoulder or Boston pork butt in the slow cooker. Pour the marinade over the meat. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours.
7. Once ready, remove the pork shoulder or Boston pork butt from the slow cooker onto a chopping board. Shred the meat and place them back into the sauce.
8. Serve with cilantro in lotus leaf buns.
Always a popular choice for week night dinners, this Bacon Wrapped Chicken is kept moist & juicy with a boost of added flavor.
It has been over 3 weeks since school started and the kids' activities are back in full swing too. I am so glad that both Bella and Jamie are having a great time learning and making new friends. However, for me, this is the time of the year that I often struggle a little to be as productive as I hope to be. While we truly enjoy the warm summer days, I always look forward to fall. Not just for the cool weather but also for the upcoming holidays. I can't help but feel that this is a very festive time of the year - with Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up. So, I guess I am still pretty much on holiday mode.
But life cannot be on a standstill, especially if we have our family depending on us. So, quick and easy recipes are my go-to for week night dinners. I always try to make it a point to have warm homemade meals for the family during the week nights, despite having to run from one after school activity to another. And this Bacon Wrapped Chicken recipe is a hit with my family. It is simple to make, delicious and cleaning up after is a breeze.
Here are more quick and easy recipes that make a frequent appearance on our dinner table:
1. Chicken Fajita Soup
2. Five Spice Bacon Wrapped Pork
3. Ginger Soy Minced Beef
4. Garlic Lemon Butter Salmon
5. Spaghetti Bolognese
Bacon Wrapped Chicken
by Miss Crumbs A Lot
3 lb Boneless & Skinless Chicken Thighs
12 to 16 Slices of Bacon
2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Chili Powder (you may add more for a spicer version)
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
1 tbsp Olive Oil
2 tbsp Honey
1. In a large bowl, season the chicken thighs with 2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp balck pepper and 1 tbsp olive oil. Mix well and ensure that chicken is well coated with seasoning.
2. Wrap the seasoned chicken thighs with bacon slices and place it on a baking tray.
3. Brush on honey onto the bacon wrapped chicken pieces.
4. Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 min on the middle rack. And broil on medium for about 5 min or until bacon is lightly charred.
Makes 4 servings
Thin strips of boldly seasoned and skewered meat that is cooked quickly over long beds of hot charcoals.
During this past summer holiday, one particular Singapore classic food that I have been making often is Satay. These little hand held meat skewers are such a versatile dish. They are perfect for parties as an appetizer, as a tray pass food or as a light meal! I even made them for Jamie's 5th birthday pirate themed party. I called them "Pirates' Peg Legs" and not only were the guests amused, they were impressed with this quintessential Singapore street food.
And they are easy to prepare too, although one should plan ahead of time for marinating and cooking. I typically marinate the meat the night before and skewer the meat the next day before grilling them over my Satay grill, which is a long rectangular grill using charcoals. But you can grill them over any type of grill or even bake them in your oven if a grill is not available. The skewers are flipped frequently to ensure even cooking while basting it with a mixture of coconut milk and vegetable oil. Boldly seasoned and lightly charred over the grill, these Satays are so flavorful and delicous. Definitely one of my family's favorite recipe that I have made so far!
Satays are typically served with cucumber, shallots, ketupat (a type of Malay style rice dumpling packed in a diamond shaped woven palm leaf pouch) and a peanut sauce in Singapore. Unfortunately, Bella is allergic to peanuts and so we usually do not have it with peanut sauce. However, I do have a bottle of a store bought Satay peanut sauce that I'd let friends sample with the Satay if they wish to. The sauce is readily available in the Asian supermarkets. So, if you are thinking of grilling this weekend or on Labor Day here in the US, perhaps you might want to shake things up with this favorite Singaporean hawker food!
by Miss Crumbs A Lot
3 1/2 lbs Beef Filet Mignon or Chicken Thighs
8 oz Shallots
6 cloves Garlic
1 1/2 inch slice of Turmeric
1/4 inch slice of Galangal
4 1/2 stalk of Lemongrass (white portion, sliced thinly)
1 1/2 tbsp Coriander Powder
1 1/2 tsp Cumin Powder
1 1/2 tbsp Tamarind Extract
1 1.2 tsp Anise Seeds
6 tbsp Sugar
3 tsp Salt
6 tbsp Vegetable Oil
Skewers (soaked in water for 20 min)
Basting Sauce Ingredients
1/3 cup Coconut Milk
4 1/2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1. Cut beef and/or chicken into small 1/4 inch cubes and set aside.
2. In a food processor, blend the shallots, garlic, turmeric, galangal, lemongrass, coriander powder, cumin powder, tamarind extract, anise seeds, sugar, salt and vegetable oil until a smooth paste is formed.
3. Mix the marinade with the meat and allow it to marinate for 3 -4 hours or overnight if time permits.
4. Prepare the charcoal grill, use charcoal sparingly as too much heat will burn the Satay easily.
5. Skewer the marinated meat and prepare the basting sauce by mixing the coconut milk and vegetable oil together.
6. Cook the Satay over the grill, flipping frequently to ensure even cooking and baste it with the coconut milk and oil mixture. Lightly char it, if desired.
Makes approximately 200 Satays
A classic soft and chewy cookie that will be a hit with adults and kids alike. So quick and easy, it is one of my favorite recipe to make with my kids.
This year's summer holidays came and went by in a flash! I had taken the entire summer off from blogging and had the most wonderful time with my family traveling, boating, swimming and just about any family-fun activity there is. The kids are now settled back in school and I am feeling refreshed & excited to share with you what I have been up to all summer.
Every summer, as a fun family tradition, I try to get my kids involved in the kitchen. Inviting your kids into your kitchen to help with meal preparations or to make a special recipe not only helps them learn and refine some basic skills, it is also a wonderful way to spend quality time together. They get to explore new foods & learn about nutrition and also develop math and reading skills as they help measure and read directions.
So, for the 4th of July, we decided to bake some cookies together. This recipe is so simple & easy to follow and yet, they bake up so tender and delicious! We used red, white and blue M&M's in honor of America's Independence Day but any colors will work just fine. In fact, Bella said that we could make another batch in August with just red and white M&M's for Singapore's National Day. Orange and black would be perfect for Halloween. Orange, yellow and brown for Thanksgiving or any Fall festival party. And not forgetting Christmas with red and green. The possibilities are endless!
For more of my favorite recipes to make with kids, go to:
Gem Biscuits - These adorable "Gem Biscuits" promises fun and color in every bite! Kids will have so much fun icing the biscuits and learning about colors
Homemade Wontons - With the little extra hands helping, this batch recipe will leave you with ready made meals for days to come.
Sweet Potato Balls - A great recipe to include for Thanksgiving as the kids lend a hand and talk about what they are thankful for.
Candy Coated Chocolate Cookies
by Miss Crumbs A Lot, adapted from Robbi's M&M's Cookies
1 cup Brown Sugar (packed)
1/2 cup White Sugar
1 cup Butter (cold)
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1 1/2 cup Candy Coated Milk Chocolate Pieces (We used M&M's)
1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, brown and white sugar together.
2. Add in eggs, vanilla extract and mix well.
3. Add in the sieved all purpose flour, baking soda and salt and mix well until a soft dough is formed. Add in 3/4 cup of candy-coated chocolate pieces and set the rest aside. Mix well.
4. Drop dough by spoon onto a baking tray. Push a few candies gently on top of each dough ball with the candies that was set aside.
5. Place the trays of dough in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes before baking.
6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes 36 pieces
A Singaporean SAHM living in Houston, Texas. Discovering her potential in the kitchen with authentic Singaporean Cuisine. And exploring the dynamic food scene Houston has to offer.