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COOKING

Slicing Onions Doesn’t Always Have to be a Tearful Affair.

From fresh salads to hearty stews, onions are a key ingredient in many dishes. They are loved for their natural sweetness and are used in classic kitchen staples like pasta sauce and Asian stir-fries. The humble yet versatile onion can even be separated into rings and dipped into the batter to be deep-fried into onion rings, or caramelised and served in sandwiches and burgers. But there is one other thing that onions are notorious for – bringing people to tears. …

Quick & Easy Steamed Fish

There are many ways to cook a delicious fish – you can fry it, poach it, and even grind it into a paste for fish skewers or fish cakes. Steaming it, however, remains a popular method of cooking fish, particularly among Asian households, as it brings out the fish’s naturally sweet flavour while retaining the flesh’s soft and flaky texture. This cooking method is also relatively easy for beginners and a good option if you’re pinched for time. You don’t …

Celebrating the Year of the Rat the Vegan Way

Millions of people of Chinese descent unite with their friends and family every Lunar New Year to wish each other prosperity and good health. Yet, we pig out, feasting on Chinese delicacies chock full of fat, sugar and rich cuts of meat. We reason that it’s a once-a-year occasion, and we will take our new year resolution of eating clean and exercising regularly seriously this time around. Obviously, good health isn’t something that happens because your superstitious grand-aunt wished for …

DIY Vegan Snacks to Kick Off the Year of the Rat

Hot on the tails of overindulging on Christmas and New Year, the upcoming Chinese New Year brings yet another round of feasting. Celebrated by the Chinese community worldwide, the holiday brings with it mouth-watering small bites and pastries. Favourites include pineapple tarts, mini prawn rolls, almond cookies and other types of calorific treats. Unfortunately, most of these snacks are high in fat, cholesterol and sugar. The buttery pineapple tart contains 93 calories, 6.2 grams of sugar and 2.3 grams of …

How to Enjoy Christmas as a Vegan

When it comes to food, most of us probably associate Christmas with turkey, roast beef, glazed ham and creamy yuletide log cakes. While they are often responsible for much of that notorious festive season weight gain, these dishes are also typically the highlight of Christmas dinner – some might say the highlight of Christmas, period. Skipping them during the holiday would seem to be a cardinal sin. So how do vegans get through Christmas, then? Surely it’s the most vegan-unfriendly …

Healthy Hemp Hearts – Without a High

Looking for a new, offbeat vegan ingredient to experiment with, or to act as a conversation starter? Well, look no further than hemp hearts or hemp seeds. Often associated with the marijuana plant, they are now finding their way into vegan recipes as a rich source of protein and fibre. Hemp hearts are the edible interior of the seed from the hemp plant. The white, soft things you buy at the shop are actually the “heart” rather than the seed – that …

EATING

Lactose-Intolerant? Here’s Some Dairy-Free Ice Cream to Enjoy.

When people walk into a cheery Kind Kones outlet in Malaysia, they are often curious about the dairy-free ice cream parlour’s vegan offerings.  They usually have one question in mind: Can dairy-free ice cream really be satisfying? Can it be as creamy and luscious? Or is it going to be a pale shadow of ‘real’ ice cream? Their scepticism is born mostly out of unfamiliarity, as dairy-free ice cream still isn’t widely available in Malaysia although the trend seems to …

Faux Gras – The Cruelty-Free, Vegan Alternative to Foie Gras

Meat-free options are all the rage these days with health benefits being touted as the main attraction of a plant-based diet. But health purposes may not be the only motivation of seeking a foie gras alternative. This French delicacy, sought after for its richness and decadence has been the subject of animal rights and cruelty debates across the world. In New York City a recent law to be enforced in 2022, was passed recently in a move to ban this …

5 New Superfoods to Try

The term “superfoods” induces the occasional eye-roll from those who shun them for their trendy status, high prices and outlandish cure-all claims. You may get teased by friends, who say you are getting cheated of your money when you can get the same health benefits from a handful of spinach. But one thing is for certain – superfoods are packed with vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients that are good for your health. Sure, they may be over-marketed by the health …

Detox Diets – Good for Post-Festive Season Guilt?

Now that the festivities are finally over, you feel bloated, uncomfortable and guilty for all that gluttony.  Well, it’s time to make good on your resolution to eat healthily and maybe lose a little weight from all binging. Wait – before you go back into the gym and jump into looking up some articles on which diet is the easiest to attempt, you wonder if you should do a detox to jumpstart your quest. With a plethora of detox diets …

Lucky CNY Dishes and Their Symbolism

Non-native Chinese speakers who try to pick up the language are often amused to discover that different words can possess the same pronunciations while taking on entirely different meanings and characteristics. For instance, the word “no”, pronounced as 不(bù), shares the same pronunciation as 布, which is Chinese for cloth. Being a superstitious bunch, the Chinese have used this similarity in pronunciation to associate luck, prosperity, and good health with a list of foods and dishes typically eaten during Chinese …

No Meat, No Problem! Best Protein Sources for Vegans.

Being vegan doesn’t mean that you lose out on protein – just ask vegan bodybuilders and athletes. The topic was even tackled in a recent Netflix documentary, The Gamechangers, in which host James Wilks travelled the world to show that a plant-based diet can elevate an athlete’s performance, and to debunk the myth that humans can’t get strong and fit without animal protein. There are actually plenty of plant-based protein sources to choose from. Some pack more protein than others, so …

INGREDIENTS

Reishi Mushroom – A Promise of Immortality?

Reishi mushrooms, also known as Lingzhi, have long been a traditional ingredient in Chinese medicine. However, recently food delivery company UberEats have noted its popularity as more searches crop up for this mushroom in its online platform. The woody, bitter-tasting mushroom is ending up in smoothie bowls, hot chocolates or are being pounded into capsules for consumption. Reishi mushrooms (scientifically known as Ganoderma lucidum) has a long history of being used in Japan, China and other Asian countries. A book …

Cauli-FLOUR?

Bland and mushy. Some have even coined this vegetable as “tasteless”. The humble cauliflower’s plain flavours may not appeal to most, but it happens to be a great ingredient to soak up flavours from spices in your aloo gobi, or potato and cauliflower curry, and work well in a tempura dish. Either battered with flour and fried, or paired with melted cheese – there are many ways to “spice” up the cauliflower.  With new emerging food trends, we’re finding many …

Moringa: The Next Superfood in Vegan and Gluten-Free Kitchens

Traditional food turning trendy.  That seems to be way food is changing for the modern kitchen – and the moringa is no different as it takes the stage as a healthy and tasty choice for vegan and gluten-free recipes. The moringa tree, also known as the moringa oleifera is native to northern India and is typically found at the foothills of the Himalayan mountains. One of its biggest advantages is its ability to survive in dry and arid regions where rainfall is …

The Many Shades of Horchata Milk

Nut milk has long been a popular alternative to dairy milk for vegans and those suffering from lactose intolerance or dairy-related allergies. More recently, the list of dairy-free choices has expanded to include grain-based milk beverages, including one known as horchata. Horchata originates from a Mediterranean tradition of grinding grains to create drinks (the name comes from the Latin word hordeata, which in turn originates from hordeum or barley). These drinks have been an important alternative form of protein for people consuming plant-based …

Nuts! It’s Peanut Butter Month

Have you eaten peanut butter sometime in the last month? Yes? Then you’ve inadvertently celebrated Peanut Butter Month, in which we celebrate a globally enjoyed staple condiment that has stood the test of time. And for good reason: without exaggeration, peanut butter may be the greatest food spread in history. But before we make our case for peanut butter, let’s start with the peanut butter basics. Yes, any self-respecting human has eaten peanut butter on crackers and in sandwiches since …

Is MSG Really Bad for Your Health?

More dining establishments are going MSG-free these days, reflecting widespread consumer concerns about the consequences of eating too much of this commonly used flavour enhancer. Formally known as monosodium glutamate, MSG is usually found in Asian cooking, as well as in canned soups and sauces. Some people try to steer clear of MSG completely, claiming it gives them headaches and causes weight gain. It’s perhaps most synonymous with Chinese food, thanks to a 1968 opinion piece in the prestigious New …

Is Vegan-Friendly Coconut Nectar the New “Agave”?

Natural sweeteners are all the rage in vegan-friendly or vegetarian kitchens, with products like coconut nectar or agave syrup appearing in everything from desserts to baked goods and breakfasts. Vegetarian or vegan cooks are employing these naturally sourced sweeteners not only for their perceived health benefits but also due to the widespread use of bone char in sugar production. Many manufacturers use bone char to decolourise or bleach sugars through an absorption process. Bone char is a byproduct of slaughtered cattle …

Milk Your Almonds

Easy-to-make almond milk Almond milk has long been a popular alternative to dairy milk for the lactose-intolerant. It is lower in fat, a great source of protein and calcium and, for those who avoid dairy for ethical reasons it is cruelty-free. With its creamy texture and naturally sweet flavour, it is the most viable substitute to dairy milk available right now. But it’s also a rather expensive: expect to pay SG$24 for a 1-litre bottle of raw almond milk from …