Favourite dish during Ramadan

Favourite dish during Ramadan

May 8, 2022   Return


It is the holy fasting month of Ramadan, the month that embraces the purity of thought, action and speech. Besides that, the lively and colourful bazaar Ramadan selling all the mouth-watering delights is also one of the highlights of the fasting month! One of my personal favourites at a bazaar Ramadan is “drum roll …” Bubur LambukBubur Lambuk is a rice porridge dish or congee that is cooked with a mixture of different spices, making it exceptionally fragrant and yummy.

I can still recall my first time trying Bubur Lambuk, I was still working at a hospital then. The hospital’s mosque will usually give out Bubur Lambuk to visitors and staff for free during every fasting month. I instantly fell in love with it after the first spoonful. I call it “Love at First Bite”!

In this issue, Georgen Cooking will be sharing with you Bubur Lambuk recipe with a healthy twist! Don’t forget to check out Georgen Cooking’s Youtube channel for the recipe video too.


Bubur Lambuk

Serves: 3 persons                                                                

Duration: 45 minutes






Red Rice1.5 cupsWashed, soaked for 1 hour and drained
Carrots2 medium sizedCubed
Lean Minced Beef150 g 
Dried Shrimp2 tbspWashed and chopped
Vegetable Oil2 tbsp 
Onion1 mediumChopped
Garlic2 clovesMinced
Ginger1 inchJulienned
Pandan Leaves2 leavesTied into a knot
Trim Coconut Milk50 ml 
Water800 ml 


Spices (dry roast and finely ground)

Cinnamon Stick

1 inch

Star Anise

1 piece


2 pieces


3 pieces

White Pepper

1 tsp

Coriander Powder

1 tsp

Cumin Powder

1 tsp



Chinese Salary (Daun Sup)

Sliced Chilli

Fried Shallots




Heat up oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat, sauté onion, garlic and ginger until fragrant for about 2 minutes.


Then, add all the spices and sauté for another 2 minutes.


After that, add dried shrimp and minced beef and continue cooking for 2 minutes before tossing in the carrot.


Continue to stir fry for 1 minute and then transfer the mixture into a rice cooker. 


Add water, pandan leaves and then turn on the rice cooker.


A normal rice cooker will take approximately 40 minutes to cook porridge. Stir in coconut milk before the last 3 minutes. You can continue cooking for a longer time if you prefer a thicker consistency. 



Once it’s done, garnish with sliced chilli, fried shallots and Chinese celery and it’s ready to serve. Enjoy! 


Nutritional Information (1 Serving)

Energy (Kcal)


Protein (g)


Fat (g)


Carbohydrate (g)


Fibre (g)



Healthy Twist:

  1. Using red rice (a whole grain) instead of white rice gives you 3-4 times more fibre and more nutrients and antioxidants too!
  2. Using trim coconut milk reduces the saturated fats (bad fats that increase the bad cholesterol in the body) and calories too.
  3. Adding pandan leaves gives more fragrance so you can reduce the amount of coconut milk in the recipe. (The original recipe calls for 100 ml of coconut milk.)
  4. Adding carrots helps provide vegetables serving and bumps up the fibre and antioxidants of the porridge too.
  5. Extra salt is not needed as we already have some saltiness from the dried shrimps and adequate flavour from all the different spices.
  6. Using lean minced beef helps cut back the saturated fats. You can consider replacing the beef with minced chicken (with the skin removed) too! HT 

My heartiest wishes to all Muslim friends: Selamat Berpuasa and Blessed Ramadhan!

If you like this article, do subscribe here. 

Yummy Overnight Oats

Yummy Overnight Oats

May 7, 2022   Return

Having oatmeal for breakfast can kick-start your day as oats are a great source of whole grain, a food that is packed with energy.

The Goodness of Oats

  • They are rich in soluble fibre and help your digestive system work efficiently. The soluble fibre absorbs water when passing through your gut and bulks up your stool, hence helping to prevent constipation.
  • The soluble fibre of oats is not well-absorbed in your body so your blood sugar levels will remain stable while you feel full. So, soluble fibre helps you maintain a healthy weight and may prevent type 2 diabetes
  • Help to lower your cholesterol levels and protect your heart in the long run.

Looking at all of oats’ nutritious goodness, you will surely want to eat oats everyday for breakfast. If you find it tough to set aside some time every morning to cook oats for breakfast, why don’t you try overnight oats?

Overnight Oat-ilicious

Overnight oats is a quick no-cook method of preparing oats. It’s so simple. All you need to do is put equal parts of oats, yoghurt and milk in a bowl – usually about half a cup of each is enough. For a less thicker version, add about half a cup of oats to one cup of milk. You may use full cream or low-fat milk of your choice.

Here’s an easy recipe for creamy overnight oats:


1/3 cup oats

1/3 cup almond milk

1/3 cup Greek yoghurt

¼ cup blueberries

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1 tablespoon honey

1-2 teaspoons cinnamon powder


Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and give the mixture a good stir until well combined.

Pour the mixture to a 30 ml (or 12-ounce) mason jar or any airtight container, and close the lid tightly.

Refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours.

To serve, keep in the jar or scoop out into a bowl and top with extra blueberries and cinnamon.

You’ll be surprised to find the mixture soft and yummy without becoming too mushy. You can eat it straight away or warm it. If you’re planning to warm it, transfer the mixture into a saucepan and heat it on the stove. Alternatively, transfer into a microwaveable container and heat it in the microwave oven.

The best part of overnight oats is you can be creative and pick your own ingredients to add to oats. You can even enjoy it dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free or vegan. Enjoy your overnight oats today … or rather tomorrow morning!

References: 1. Mother Nature Network. Available at www.mnn.com 2. WebMD. Available at www.webmd.com

If you like this article, do subscribe here.

Food for the Heart

Food for the Heart

May 3, 2022   Return

Box of gourmet chocolates? Check. Bouquet of carnations? Check. Tickets to that romantic comedy currently playing in movie theatres? Check. Dinner reservations for two? Well… you might want to reconsider that one. Although dining out has become the norm for many couples when celebrating Valentine’s Day, why not try something different and opt for a home-cooked meal instead come this February 14th?

Now, before you protest in indignation (after all, Valentine’s Day is the time for romance and many people’s idea of romance does not involve slaving over a stove), hear me out. Although eating out has its perks, it does have its downsides – health issues being a major one.

Statistics show that Malaysia has emerged top in South-east Asia for the prevalence of both diabetes and obesity. Upon closer inspection, one of the causes for this worrying situation was found to be excessive calorie intake. According to 2005’s Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNI) for Malaysia, men require only 1900- 2200 calories whereas women require only 1770- 2145 calories daily. However, Malaysian cuisine is so rich in sugar and fat that a plate of nasi lemak accompanied with a fried egg and fried chicken contains as many as 934 calories!

These are all alarming figures but it is never too late to change. Modifying your dietary choices can be the first step. The American Heart Association recommends swapping unhealthy ingredients for healthier ones when cooking to cut down on unnecessary fats. For instance, replacing butter and shortening with cooking spray and low-sodium broth or swapping mayonnaise with low-fat yogurt.

But as great as these food swaps are, cooking can still be quite a drag, right? Not necessarily. With the right cooking methods and equipment, meal preparations can be straight-forward, convenient and even, fun. Take the airfryer, for example. A good airfryer takes only a matter of minutes to pre-heat while ensuring the perfect browning of fried food (crispy on the surface and oh-so-tender on the inside!). Also, airfryers can be used not only for frying but also for roasting, baking and grilling. Talk about multipurpose!

So, what’s a more refreshing way to spice things up this Valentine’s Day than impressing your loved one with a delectable homemade meal? Even better, get him or her involved in the cooking! Preparing a meal together is a great opportunity for some bonding time.

Here are several scrumptious, healthy recipes from Heart-y Meals: Smart Guide To Guilt-Free Cooking to help you get started. Happy cooking!

Herbs Crusted Fish with Spaghetti

Contributed by Azwan Ibrahim & Nur Laili Dasril (Diabetes Education Clinic)

For 1 pax 

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

130g            Seabass, bones removed or use fillet only

¾ tsp           Salt

1tsp             Black pepper

10g              Bread crumbs

20g              Oats

10g              White sesame seeds

10g              Black sesame seeds

40g              Spaghetti (uncooked)

1 tbsp          Olive oil

10g              Garlic

30g              Spinach, blended

30ml            Low fat milk

10ml            Lemon juice

20g              Parsley, roughly chopped

20g              Capsicum

5g               Dried chili flakes

  1. Marinate fish with ¼ tsp salt, black pepper, bread crumbs, oats, white and black sesame for 15 minutes.
  2. Place the fish into the Philips Airfryer at 180C for 15 minutes until it is cooked. Leave aside.
  3. Boil spaghetti in boiling water until al dente.
  4. Sauté half of the garlic in olive oil. Add blended spinach, low fat milk, lemon juice and ¼ tsp salt and stir until it is thick. Blend the mixture.
  5. Sauté the rest of the garlic, chopped parsley, capsicum, dried chili flakes and ¼ tsp salt until fragrant. Then, add spaghetti and mix well. Set aside.
  6. Pour the spinach sauce in a plate. Roll up the spaghetti and top it with fish slices.

Chicken Roll with Garlic Cream Sauce

Contributed by Azwan Ibrahim & Nur Laili Dasril (Diabetes Education Clinic)

For 1 pax

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

150g            Chicken breast, skin & fats removed

½ tsp           Salt

5g               Black pepper

5g               Cajun powder

5g               Paprika powder

1 medium    Onion, 50% cut in rings, 50% finely chopped

60g              Asparagus, cut into 2 inches in length

3 no             Cherry tomatoes, cut into halves

1 no             Egg, beaten

10g              Flour

10g              Bread crumbs

1 tsp            Vegetable oil

3 cloves       Garlic

15 ml           Low fat milk

30 ml           Water

  1. Marinate chicken breast with ¼ tsp salt, paprika and Cajun powder.
  2. Lay half the amount of onion, asparagus and cherry tomatoes on the chicken breast.
  3. Brush the egg on the chicken breast and dip in the flour and bread crumbs.
  4. Airfry at 180C for 15 minutes. Remove from the airfryer and cut into an inch in thickness.
  5. Sauté garlic and chopped onion in vegetable oil until fragrant. Add low fat milk and ¼ tsp salt. Stir until it thickens. Turn off heat.
  6. Pour the gravy over the air fried chicken rolls.

Cherry Shortbread

Contributed by Mary Easaw (Dietetics & Food Services)

For 10 slices

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

80g              Soft margarine

25g              Castor sugar

49g              Corn flour, sifted

80g              Plain flour

20g              Glazed red cherry, finely chopped

  1. Cream the margarine, castor sugar and corn flour until the colour becomes light and pale.
  2. Add cherries and plain flour. Knead to form a soft, smooth dough. Chill the dough for half an hour.
  3. Place the dough into a rectangle baking tray and press until the thickness is about 1 cm.
  4. Prick the surface using a fork all over the top of the dough.
  5. Pre-heat the airfryer for 6 minutes at 160C. Place the baking tray in and bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from the airfryer and cut into thick slices to serve.

For more yummy, heart-y recipes, grab a copy of Heart-y Meals: Smart Guide To Guilt-Free Cooking from IJN Diet Consultant Clinic (Ground Floor Block A & Block B, (03) 2600 6596/6942) or FATCHECK Secretariat (www.fatcheck.my, (03) 7961 1868).  

If you like this article, do subscribe here. 

‘O’ is for Oats

‘O’ is for Oats

May 2, 2022   Return


It may not seem like the right way to start off an article about oats but here’s my confession: I used to hate oatmeal when I was a kid. Oatmeal was the last thing that my primary school self wanted for breakfast. The mere idea of eating that thick, gooey substance every morning repulsed me. Unfortunately, my parents did not share my sentiment and made oatmeal my breakfast staple for the years to come.

But looking back now, their efforts have paid off. I may have had to begrudgingly force myself to finish up my oatmeal back then but I now find myself enjoying it. Perhaps, it is because I now understand how regular oatmeal consumption can significantly improve one’s health. For instance, did you know studies found that people who eat oatmeal regularly experienced an average 7% decline in LDL (bad) cholesterol or that the fibre in oatmeal helps maintain blood sugar at normal levels?

Now, you may already be aware of the various health benefits of oats but you just can’t seem to bring yourself to eat it every day. Maybe, it’s the texture or the bland taste. Probably, you have attempted to spice up your oatmeal but your concoctions just end up tasting not much better than how oatmeal tastes on its own.

The thing is oats can be consumed in a variety of way; it doesn’t have to be just about oatmeal. If oatmeal isn’t your thing, you can still incorporate oats in your daily diet such as making it a core ingredient in your favourite desserts and beverages.

Here are some recipes which are bound to tantalize your taste buds while giving your health the boost it needs. Go on, try out these recipes (courtesy of Quaker) and let us know how it went!

Coco and Nana Mini Cookies



  • 1 tsp unsaturated cooking oil to grease the muffin cups
  • 1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup Quaker Instant/ Quick Cooking Oats
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
  • ¾ cup low- or non-fat milk
  • 4 tbsps unsaturated margarine, melted
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 4 tsps chocolate chips


  1. Pre-heat oven to 205°C.
  2. Lightly grease the bottom of miniature muffin cups with oil and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix flour, oats, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda.
  4. In another bowl, blend mashed bananas, milk, margarine, egg whites and vanilla essence with an electric blender.
  5. Add in the dry ingredients and continue blending until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not over-mix.
  6. Fill the muffin cups almost up to the top.
  7. Sprinkle half a teaspoon of chocolate chips on each muffin.
  8. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
  9. If a wooden toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, the muffins are cooked.
  10. Let muffins cool for a few minutes. Remove from pan onto a wire rack to cool.

Nutty Brittle Cookies



  • 1 tsp unsaturated margarine for greasing the aluminum foil
  • 2 cups Quaker Instant/ Quick Cooking Oats
  • 1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup unsaturated margarine, chilled, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsps. water
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 cup peanuts, lightly salted, dry roasted, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate pieces


  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
  2. Line two cookie pans with aluminium foil and grease the foil with a little margarine and set aside.
  3. In a bowl, combine oats, flour and baking powder and mix well.
  4. Add margarine and beat mixture on low to medium speed with a blender until mixture looks crumbly.
  5. Add icing sugar, brown sugar, water and vanilla essence.
  6. Beat again until dough starts to form.
  7. Slowly add chopped peanuts and mix the dough again.
  8. Divide the dough into two.
  9. Place half the dough on one cookie sheet and flatten with lightly floured hands into a rectangle.
  10. Repeat with the other sheet.
  11. Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes or until slightly brown, rotating cookie sheets after 12 minutes.
  12. Sprinkle chocolate pieces over each large hot cookies, let it soften and then spread melted chocolate pieces over each cookie.
  13. Remove cookies from the sheets, break into pieces and serve.

Strawberry Shortcakes



  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Quaker Instant/ Quick Cooking Oats
  • 2 tbsps sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsaturated margarine
  • ½ cup low- or non-fat milk
  • 8 tsps strawberry jam
  • Pre-heat oven to 220°C.


  1. In a bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  2. Add margarine and milk.
  3. Mix well until dry ingredients are moist.
  4. Roll the dough into a boll and knead on a light-floured surface.
  5. Patt the dough to about half inch thick.
  6. Using an oval-shaped cookie cutter, cut the dough into oval-shaped shortcakes.
  7. Using a smaller oval-shaped cookie cutter, make an indent in the center.
  8. Place the shortcakes on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  9. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until brown.
  10. Serve shortcakes with strawberry jam.

Rich Mango Oats Shake



  • 5 tbsps Quaker Instant/ Quick Cooking Oats, grind into a powder
  • 1 large mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup low- or non-fat milk, chilled
  • 1 tsp sugar or low-calorie sweetener
  • ½ cup ice cubes


  1. Add oats, mango, milk, sugar or sweetener and ice cubes into a blender, blend well and serve.

Rich Choco-Oats Smoothie 



  • 3 tbsps Quaker Instant/ Quick Cooking Oats
  • 1 cup low fat unsweetened plain yogurt
  • 1 small banana, peeled and sliced
  • ½ tsp cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup ice cubes
  • 1 tsp sugar


  1. Add oats, yogurt, banana, cocoa powder, ice cubes and sugar into a blender, blend until smooth and serve immediately.

Orange Juice with Oats



  • 2 cups of freshly squeezed or 100% orange juice
  • 5 tbsps Quaker Instant/ Quick Cooking Oats, grind to a powder
  • ½ cup crushed ice cubes


  1. Add orange juice, oats and ice cubes into a blender, blend well, and serve.


WebMD. Available at www.webmd.com

Recipes provided by Quaker Oats.

If you like this article, do subscribe here. 

A Joyous Festival of Lights

A Joyous Festival of Lights

May 2, 2022   Return


Deepavali, also known as Diwali, is celebrated as a day when good triumphs over evil – the victory of Lord Krishna over the demon Narakasuran and the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana. It is also a day when families and friends come together. We gather at our family home, pray to our ancestors and enjoy a feast both for our eyes (read: fireworks and new colourful clothes) as well as for our stomachs (food!). We usually share our past experiences with our loved ones and plan our future at these gatherings.

Deepavali is also a time for us to light up our minds and hearts, freeing ourselves of ignorance, hatred and bigotry while embracing compassion, forgiveness and wisdom. Family and friends come together, lighting up one another’s life with laughter and joy. This is why Deepavali is known as the Festival of Lights.

People from different countries celebrate it differently. Let’s take a peek at some of these countries.


Hindus in Malaysia start their day at dawn with the traditional oil bath and wear new clothes. After a prayer session at home and/or temple, the entire family (including extended family members) enjoy a sumptuous breakfast of traditional fare like idli and tosai with a variety of chutney and curries – chicken, mutton and sometimes, even turkey. Then, in the usual Malaysian hospitality, friends and neighbours are invited to open houses to enjoy scrumptious food and great company. At night, oil lamps and fireworks are lit to make sure that the darkest night of the year is as bright as possible.


Our neighbours down south celebrate the Festival of Lights in many ways that are similar to us, but the celebrations are centered at Little India along Serangoon Road. On the holy day, people offer prayers at the temples, which number more than 18. There will also be a fair with cultural performances to be enjoyed by both locals and tourists.


Diwali is celebrated as Lam Kriyongh in Thailand. It is celebrated modestly with people greeting each other happy returns of the day and sharing sweets. They make lamps out of banana leaves and place candles, coin and incense on it. These lamps are set afloat on rivers and look pretty at night.


Celebrations go on for 5 days! The whole country goes into a frenzy of shopping for clothes, food, decoration items and fireworks. Most houses have colourful floor designs called rangoli at their entrance, and they lit up with earthern lamps or diya at night. Family and friends visit one another and give boxes of sweets like ladoo, gulab jamun, halwa, barfi and peda. Special prayers are held at homes and temples.


Diwali is known as Tihar in Nepal and is also celebrated for 5 days, but with a difference. This is a time for reverence not only to the Gods and fellow human beings, but also to animals that have a close relationship with humans. The first day is for giving food and other offerings to that ward off grief and death. The second day is dedicated to dogs, as they are messengers for Lord Yama, the God of Death. On the third day, cows are garlanded and fed with the best grass. The evening is a time for giving thanks to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, through joyous music and dance. Homes are lit up with oil lamps and fireworks take to the skies, while groups of young boys and girls dance and sing from home to home in exchange for money, fruits and a special bread called Selroti. On the fourth day, which is the first day of the Nepal Sambat calendar year, some people worship the oxen while others worship the Govardhan Mountain. The fifth day is for sisters to pray for their brothers’ long life and thank the brothers for protecting them.

Sri Lanka

Diwali is important in Sri Lanka as it’s the place where Lord Rama conquers the demon king Ravana as mentioned in the epic of Ramayana. People make toys of enamel and figurines of crystal sugar called Misiri. They also light oil lamps and burn crackers in the evening. A large meal is prepared and enjoyed.

Trinidad & Tobago

Diwali celebrations go on for more than a week in this twin island state off the coast of Venezuela in South America. The festival is celebrated with prayers, feasts and lighting of thousands of diya all over the country. These diya are put on bamboo poles that have bent into different shapes. Open-air theatres are set up in villages and two stories related to the origin of Diwali are acted out by actors dressed in full costume. Government employees and even ministers dress up in Indian costumes during the weeks before Diwali. There’s even a place called Divali Nagar or City of Lights! Divali Nagar, the headquarters of the National Council of Indian Culture, is the main place for Diwali celebrations.


Diwali is celebrated grandly with lighting and candle decorations. The festival encourages people of different faiths to live in harmony. Schools organize Diwali celebrations with various competitions like singing, essay writing, quiz, rangoli drawing and greeting card designing. People exchange greetings, sweets and gifts.

Here are two healthy festive recipes chicken kurma and tandoori fish from the Resepi Sihat, Pilihan Bijak Volume 2 Part 1, which is a collection of healthy recipes, courtesy of the Nutrition Society of Malaysia. Try them out this festive season!

Chicken Kurma

Serves 5


  • 600 g (5 pcs) chicken breast, discard skin
  • 5 shallots
  • 2 pips garlic blended with ½ cup water
  • 2 cm ginger
  • 50 g kurma spice
  • 175 ml coconut milk, from ¼ grated coconut
  • 175 ml low fat milk
  • 250 ml water, to mix with kurma spice
  • 5 tbsp fried onion
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cm cinnamon
  • 2 cardamoms
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 screwpine (pandan) leaves, folded
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 potatoes, quartered


  • 4 tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 red chilli, cut lengthwise


  1. Marinate chicken with blended ingredients, fried onion, low fat milk and coconut milk for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oil. Stir-fry sliced onions with cloves, cardamom and cinnamon until fragrant.
  3. Add chicken, kurma spice mixed with water and cook.
  4. Add screwpine leaves and salt.
  5. Lower the heat and cook until chicken is tender.
  6. Add potatoes and cook until soft. Add tomatoes and red chilli.

Weight per serving: 125 g

Nutritional content per serving:

  • Calorie 392 kcal
  • Fat 22.0 g
  • Protein 28.0 g
  • Calcium 104 mg
  • Cholesterol 42 mg
  • Iron 3.8 mg


Tandoori Fish

Serves 5


  • 350 g (2 medium size) black pomfret
  • ½ cup low fat yoghurt
  • 1 lime, for juice only
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 cm ginger
  • 4 pips garlic
  • 2 tbsp chilli powderblended with ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 cardamoms
  • ½ tsp salt


  1. Wash, clean and make slits on fish.
  2. Mix the blended ingredients, yoghurt, lime juice and salt.
  3. Marinate fish with the mixture of blended ingredients, yoghurt, lime juice and salt for 1 hour.
  4. Grill fish in oven until cooked.

Weight per serving: 150 g

Nutritional content per serving:

  • Calorie  58 kcal
  • Fat 0.9 g
  • Protein 8.9 g
  • Calcium 48 mg
  • Cholesterol 22 mg
  • Iron 0.8 mg


And we can’t celebrate Deepavali without any sweets! So, here’s a simple recipe:

Milk peda

Makes 12-14 small peda


  • 200 g sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ tbsp ghee or butter
  • ¾ cup milk powder
  • A pinch of saffron strands
  • A pinch of nutmeg powder
  • 3-4 green cardamoms


  1. Mix condensed milk, milk powder and ghee/butter in a microwave-safe bowl until there are no lumps.
  2. Microwave the mixture on high for 1 minute.
  3. Grind the cardamoms to fine powder.
  4. Add cardamom powder, nutmeg powder and saffron strands to the mixture. Stir and microwave on high for 1 minute.
  5. Stir, microwave on high for 30 seconds and check. If the mixture looks slightly watery, microwave again for 30 seconds on high. It takes about 3 minutes to get the right texture.
  6. Let the mixture cool slightly and shape into small balls while it is still warm.
  7. For variety, you can place a small piece of pistachio on each ball and press slightly.
  8. When the sweets are completely cool, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


Resepi Sihat, Pilihan Bijak Volume 2 comes in Part 1 and 2 and has about 200 healthy recipes, which are favourites from all over Malaysia. To buy a copy, email: president@nutriweb.org.my or secretary@nutriweb.org.my

References: 1. Diwali celebrations around the world. Available at www.diwalifestival.org 2. Diwali Around the World. Available at http://festivals.iloveindia.com 3. Veg Recipes of India. Available at www.vegrecipesofindia.com

If you like this article, do subscribe here. 

Cool It With Food

Cool It With Food

May 1, 2022   Return


The hot days are here, people! So, what do you do to feel comfy and healthy in this sweltering heat? Eat!!! Yes, cool yourself with food by sticking to fresh juicy fruits and vegetables.

On hot days, the best way to keep cool is to minimize cooking using your stove and oven, instead, turn to your blender and food processor. Not forgetting your salad bowl, of course!

Chilling with Smoothies


A healthy and refreshing way to kick off your day is with a smoothie. Smoothies are easy and quick to make. Not to mention, they are packed with nutrients. You can make your smoothie with different fruits and vegetables to keep your taste buds delighted.

Here’s a recipe for a zesty tropical-flavoured smoothie:


  • 1 medium sized mango
  • 1 banana
  • 500 ml orange juice
  • 4 ice cubes


  1. Peel and cut the mango into chunks.
  2. Peel and chop the banana into thick slices.
  3. Blend all the ingredients either in a food processor or blender until smooth.
  4. Serve chilled. You can keep it in the fridge for a few hours.
  5. For variety, replace the mango with other local fruits such as guava, papaya, pineapple or mangosteen. You can even add kale or baby spinach leaves and replace orange juice with non-dairy beverages like almond, rice or soy milk.

Scrummy Crunchy Salads


Having salads for your main meals is not only easy on your tummy, salads are also easy to prepare, requiring only a bit of effort. (Good news for busy people!) The secret to a good salad is buying fresh vegetables and storing them properly in your fridge to maintain their freshness. Then, you can quickly put together healthy meals whenever you want.

For a wholesome salad with a Malaysian touch, try this recipe (serves four):


  • 1/3 cup of thinly sliced green onions
  • ¼ cup of chopped fresh coriander
  • ¼ cup of chopped fresh mint
  • 1/3 cup of thinly sliced carrots
  • 1/3 cup of thinly sliced purple cabbage
  • 1 small sengkuang, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup of sliced cucumber
  • ¼ cup of sliced radishes
  • 2 boiled quail eggs, halved
  • 1 cup of peanut sauce


  1. Mix all the ingredients well and serve immediately. Feel free to experiment with different vegetables and cooked meat or seafood. For vegans or vegetarians, you can leave the egg out.


  • ¼ cup of creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons of tamari soy sauce (low-salt, of course)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup of warm water
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ginger, grated (optional)
  • Chili powder/ sauce (optional)


  1. Mix all the ingredients well in a covered glass bottle.
  2. This sauce can be stored in the fridge for a few weeks. Stir well or heat before use.

Try Some Cold Soup


When you are rushed for time, gazpacho is a wholesome cold soup you can prepare quickly. You just need some raw vegetables to come up with a decent bowl. People in Spain and Portugal have gazpacho, especially during summer for its refreshing and cooling taste.

Try this recipe for the classic gazpacho, which serves four:


  • 1.4 kg of ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 mild green chili, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red capsicum, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh orange juice
  • Fine sea salt, to taste


  1. Mix tomatoes, garlic, cucumber, chili, capsicum and onion in a large bowl.
  2. Puree the vegetables in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add water if the mixture is too thick.
  3. Strain the pureed vegetables to remove peels and seeds.
  4. Transfer the puree into a large bowl and whisk in orange juice and salt.
  5. Cover and chill before serving. Garnish with chopped cucumber.
  6. For a tropical variety, you may add pineapple, mango, cilantro and lime.

Can’t Go Wrong with “Old-Fashioned” Water and Juices

It is important to drink enough amount of water, especially during the hot days. Adults need about 2 litres while children need 1-1.8 litres a day, and experts recommend drinking more after working up a sweat or if you are feeling unwell. For those who wish to have a change from plain water now and then, you can experiment by infusing water with fruits and herbs like lemon, lime, mint, strawberry, watermelon and basil. Try different combinations of fruits and herbs to come up with different flavours. This tip is also handy when you are trying to coax your uncooperative children to drink more water.

You can also make fruit popsicles and granita for refreshing icy treats on a hot day.


1. Cool Foods for Hot Weather. Available at www.wholefoodsmarket.com

2. Smoothie recipes. Available at www.bbcgoodfood.com

3. Fresh Malaysian Salad. Available at www.azalinas.com

4. Coach Nicole’s Tasty Peanut Sauce. Available at http://recipes.sparkpeople.com

5. Mayo Clinic. Available at www.mayoclinic.org

If you like this article, do subscribe here. 

Have Yourself a Yummy Raya!

Have Yourself a Yummy Raya!

May 1, 2022   Return


Any and every Malaysian knows just how synonymous food is with the festivities – Hari Raya being no exception. Beef rendang, chicken satay, lemang, ketupat and kuih raya are just a few examples of the gastronomical delights to which one can look forward during the Raya celebrations. Ah, the thought of digging into these fares is enough to send many a person’s brain (mine, especially) into overdrive.

But as easy as it is to gush about these delicacies and their sumptuousness, whipping them up is another story. Let’s face it; we only need about 20 minutes (10 for those famished ones) to polish food off our plates but the preparation that comes before all that feasting can go up to hours! It’s no wonder some may turn to catering or take-out when inviting guests over for their Hari Raya rumah terbuka (open house). However, tempting as it may be to get someone else to do the cooking for you, there’s nothing quite like proudly presenting your guests with your very own culinary creations.

In light of this, HealthToday asked Elaine Ho, the founder of online food delivery service Chopstick Diner to share with us, her ideas for some relatively quick, easy and oh-so-delicious dishes you can whip up this Raya.

Indonesian Vegetables in Coconut Curry (Sayur Lodeh)



   Prep Time

   Cook Time

   6 people




  • 300 g snake beans cut to 2 inch strips
  • 300 g cabbage roughly chopped
  • 1 pieces carrot skin removed and cut to quarters
  • 5 pieces fried tofu puffs cut into halves
  • 3 pieces cloves garlic skin removed
  • 10 shallots skin removed
  • 2 pieces candlenuts soaked in water for roughly 10 minutes
  • 2 cm galangal
  • 50 g dried prawns soaked in water for roughly 10 minutes and impurities discarded
  • 2 tbsp prawn paste (belachan)
  • 2 pieces large red chillies
  • salt, adjust according to taste
  • 1 litre water
  • 500 ml coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil


  1. Blend shallots, garlic, galangal, dried prawns, chillies, candlenuts and a 2 tablespoons of water. Blend until you achieve a fine paste
  2. In a wok, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Add blended paste and saute for 5 minutes or until fragrant
  3. Add water to the paste and mix ingredients thoroughly. Bring it to boil then lower the heat to simmer ingredients
  4. Add snake beans, prawn paste, tofu puffs and carrots. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes
  5. When ingredients are soft, add cabbage and simmer for 10 minutes
  6. Add coconut milk and season with salt. Simmer for further 5 minutes
  7. Turn off heat
  8. Serve immediately


Beef rendang



   Prep Time

   Cook Time

   6 people

   30 minutes

   3.5 hours


  • 600 g beef shin cut into large cubes
  • 7 shallots skin removed
  • 5 cm galangal skin removed
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 large red chillies stems removed
  • 3 stalk lemongrass finely sliced
  • 1 litre water
  • 500 ml coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut lightly fried over low heat until it turns slightly brown
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves finely shredded
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar (gula melaka)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil


  1. Using a blender, blend red chillies, shallots, lemongrass, galangal and 2 tablespoon water together until you reach a fine paste.
  2. Heat oil in a large pot and add blended ingredients to the oil. Fry until fragrant over low heat
  3. Add cloves, cinammon stick, cumin powder and beef. Fry over low heat for 1-2 minutes
  4. Add water and simmer for 2 hours or until beef is quite tender
  5. Add lightly fried grated coconut, kaffir lime leaves, palm sugar, salt and coconut milk and simmer for further 1 hour until water has all evaporated and beef is tender
  6. Serve with steamed rice or nasi kuning (recipe coming up next!)

Yellow rice (nasi kuning)



   Prep Time

   Cook Time

   3 people

   5 minutes

   20 minutes


  • 1 cup Basmati rice or any long grain rice washed to remove any impurities
  • 3 tbsp Ghee
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron soaked in 2 milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • handful or parsley and sultanas for garnish


  1. Heat ghee in a large saucepan over high heat. Add cloves and fry for a few seconds or until fragrant
  2. Add rice and mix thoroughly, consistently stirring the rice so it does not stick to the saucepan
  3. Transfer rice mixture to a rice cooker. Add water, saffron and salt
  4. Cook for approximately 15 minutes
  5. Using the back of a fork, fluff up the rice
  6. Dish onto a clean plate and serve with parsley and sultanas
  7. Serve immediately with curries or dishes with sauce such as beef rendang

Steamed Nyonya Pandan Custard and Rice Cake (Kuih Seri Muka)



   Prep Time

   Cook Time

   8 people

   10 minutes , 4 hours

   1 hour


For the rice base:

  • 1/4 cup glutinous rice soaked for 4 hours or overnight if you have some time
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • For the custard layer:
  • 3/4 cup castor sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 whole chicken egg
  • 1/2 cup plain all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp corn flour
  • 1 cup thick coconut cream
  • 1 tbsp pandan essence *


  1. For the rice base, drain glutinous rice and add salt and coconut milk to the rice. Cover 8 inch round loose bottom tin with baking paper. Spread rice mixture evenly over tin and steam for 30 minutes. Once rice is steamed turn off heat and leave to rest.
  2. For the custard layer, combine water and castor sugar in a small saucepan, place over low heat and stir until mixture is dissolved. Leave to cool. Crack eggs into bowl and then add all purpose flour, corn flour, coconut cream and pandan essence. Using an electric mixer, mix ingredients until you achieve a smooth custard mixture. Pour sugar mixture into bowl together with the other ingredients and beat further to combine ingredients. Using a double boiler, fill bottom bowl with water and add custard to the top bowl. Alternatively you can boil a pot of hot water and add custard onto glass bowl which sits above the boiling water (making sure the glass bowl does not touch the boiling water). Stir custard with a wooden spoon for about 20 minutes until it thickens. Turn off heat and leave custard on the bench top
  3. Pour custard through a sieve onto cooked rice layer. Even out the layers by tapping the tin softly on the bench top
  4. Place steamer over low heat until you see some steam. Then place tin in the steamer, cover tin with a clean tea cloth and cover steamer. Steam cake for 20 minutes or until custard sets
  5. Remove cake from steamer and leave to cook
  6. To eat, slice steamed cake with oiled knife. Serve with a cup of green tea or coffee
  7. * If you can’t find pandan essence, you can extract pandan juice by placing pandan leaves in a food processor and then squeezing out the juice using a fine muslin cloth. You’ll need about 100ml of pandan juice for this recipe

Now, there you have it! Dishes bound to tantalize you and your guests’ taste buds. So, give these recipes a go this Raya! For further information, check out Chopstick Diner at www.chopstickdiner.com

If you like this article, do subscribe here. 

Zoodle Mania!

Zoodle Mania!

April 29, 2022   Return

Most of us these days are either trying to maintain a healthy weight or to lose some weight. Unless you are one of the few lucky ones, chances are, it is not easy to keep those unwanted kilos away.

One big reason for this is our diet. Aside from rice, we also love our noodles. Noodles such as bihun seem like a “lighter” fare than rice, but they are actually packed with carbohydrates in the form of starch. Most noodles are made from white flour and may contain gluten. While we are not saying that noodles are bad, if you are trying to keep a healthy weight, all those noodles you eat for lunch, dinner or in between meals are going to add up, especially on your waist and thighs.

Fortunately, we have zoodles!

Zoo… what?

The word “zoodles” is coined from the words “zucchini” and “noodles”. Yes, we are talking about noodles made from zucchini. Zoodles have been the trendy choice for health-conscious people since the last few years.

Five Good Reasons for Zoodles over Noodles

  1. Unlike noodles, zoodles are rich in nutrients aside from carbohydrates. They are a very good source of dietary fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, potassium and manganese.
  2. They are low in saturated fats and salt.
  3. Zoodles are a great way to add more vegetables into your diet. Try offering zoodle dishes to kids who resist eating vegetables in their normal form.
  4. Zoodles are a great substitute for noodles in your favourite meals, so you can still enjoy your “pasta” and “noodle soup” while cutting down on carbs and upping your nutrients and dietary fibre. It’s a win-win situation.
  5. If you are too lazy to steam the zoodles, you can enjoy them raw.

It’s easy to make

You can use a mandolin slicer or a vegetable slicer to create your own zoodles. These days, however, there are fancier slicer devices with names like spiralisers and zoodle makers available in stores, making it easier and faster to fill a bowl with healthy zoodles.

If you prefer other vegetables to zucchini, you can try making other versions of zoodles with cucumbers, squash, carrots and other firm vegetables.

Zoodles in 5 Simple Steps  

  1. For 1 serving, use 1 medium zucchini.
  2. Wash the zucchini. You can keep the skin, or peel for a more “noodle-like” colour.
  3. Line a bowl with a cloth and put your preferred zoodle-making device to good use.
  4. Add a pinch of salt, and then wrap the cloth around the zoodles.
  5. Let the zoodles stand for about 15 minutes to allow excess water to seep out. Squeeze cloth gently to remove this excess water.
  6. Place the zoodles in a bowl to steam or microwave.

Lor Mee Zoodles 

Enjoy a healthier twist to a much loved local delicacy with this special recipe, courtesy of popular chef Kim Lillian Jesudasan.



  • 2 medium size green zucchini (green or yellow)
  • (Optional) 1 cup bean sprouts (scalded)

Chicken stock:

  • 4 pieces chicken breast
  • 1 tablespoon thick soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 cups water / chicken stock

Prawn stock:

  • 300 g medium prawns (shelled and keep for stock)
  • 1 medium onion (wedged)
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 cups water/ chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon 5-spice powder
  • 3 tablespoons light sauce
  • Salt and pepper for taste
  • (Optional) Chicken stock cubes (optional)
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs

For thickening

  • 1 beaten egg with 2 tablespoons water
  • 5 tablespoons tapioca starch / cornstarch + water (1/2 cup)


  • Boiled prawns (sliced into half)
  • Fish cakes (sliced)
  • Sliced red chillies
  • Black vinegar
  • White pepper
  • Chopped coriander

Chilli and garlic sambal

  • 3 tablespoons chilli paste
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • Salt to tase
  • Chicken stock to taste


  1. Rub thick soy sauce and sugar onto the chicken pieces. Sear the chicken in 1 tablespoon oil until brown.
  2. Turn off heat and add crushed garlic (to prevent burned garlic).
  3. Place pot back on the heat and add 4 cups water, 5-spice, thick and light soy sauce. Bring to boil and simmer until chicken is tender. Remove chicken to cool. Add the whole hard-boiled eggs at the last 15 minutes of cooking.
  4. While chicken stock is still simmering, in another pan, heat up one tablespoon oil and fry the prawn shells until their colour changed. Add onions and 4 cups water and bring to boil. Simmer until fragrant (about 30 mins).
  5. Mix the two kinds of stocks together and, if you prefer, add in chicken stock cubes. Add in salt and pepper to taste. Simmer further for at least 10 minutes and gradually add in the starch mixture and mix well until sauce thickens. Once almost red, stir in the beaten egg mixture and have a quick stir and turn off the heat.
  6. For the zucchini, use a mandolin or vegetable slicer and shred the zucchini lengthwise or julienne them into long strips.
  7. In a heated pan, add in one tablespoon of grape seed oil and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the zucchini noodles are tender, and careful not to get them overcooked. (Zucchini noodles should be slightly crunchy when eaten.)
  8. Let the zoodles rest to release moisture. Then, drain excess water.
  9. Thinly slice cooled chicken breast and put aside. Remove the hard boiled eggs and cut into quarters or halves; leave aside for garnishing.
  10. Place the zoodles in a bowl and pour in the Lor Mee sauce. Garnish with sliced chicken, fish cake, hard-boiled egg and some minced garlic, red chillies, white pepper and chopped coriander. If you prefer, serve with black vinegar.

For the sambal

  1. Heat up oil in a saucepan.
  2. Add chilli paste and salt and cook until oil separates.
  3. Blend with garlic, chicken stock and salt into fine paste using a food processor. 

If you like this article, do subscribe here. 

Is Organic Really Better?

Is Organic Really Better?

May 1, 2022   Return

More people are turning to organic food as a healthier option. But is it really better for us? Our contributing dietitian and chef shines the spotlight on organic foods, answering all the commonly asked questions and providing tips on how to start going organic.


Georgen Thye

BSc. (Hons) Nutrition and Dietetics, IMU

Dietitian, Holmusk

Council Member, Malaysian Dietitians’ Association (MDA)

Founder of Georgen Cooking




Walking down a supermarket aisle these days, you are likely to see more shelves dedicated to organic food and beverages. The price of these organic food can sometimes be three to four times more expensive than regular items. One of the latest reports by Zion Market Research shows that the global organic food and beverage market was valued at approximately US$124.76 billion in 2017, which is an increase of almost eight-fold since 1999, and is expected to generate revenue of around US$323.09 billion by the end of 2024. So are organic foods really worth the extra cost and marketing hype? Of greatest interest to us, are they truly better for health?


What does organic actually mean?

The word “organic” refers to the way farmers grow and process agricultural produce such as vegetables, fruits, grain products and meat. The foods are grown without using most artificial fertilizers and pesticides, and animal products are free of antibiotics and hormones. Organic farming practices encourage soil and water conservation, as well as reduce pollution. It’s actually better for the environment.


How do we know “organic” is really organic?

In the US, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates the organic industry with strict standards. The soil where the crops are grown has to be inspected, livestock must be able to roam freely, fed with organic feed and receive no antibiotics and hormones. Only foods that are at least 95 percent organic can carry a “USDA Organic” seal.

What about our own local produce in Malaysia – do we have anyone to regulate this? The answer is yes. The Malaysian government introduced national standards for organic farming and organic foods back in 2002 and it is now called the Malaysia Organic Scheme (MOS). Organic products produced according to this standard display the Organic Malaysia logo.


Should we go organic?

Many people purchase organic food because they feel that it is a healthier choice. Some say that organic food tastes better than conventional food, while others say that they taste the same. While organic food has fewer artificial fertilizers and pesticides and are free of antibiotics and hormones, they actually do not offer any nutritional advantages over their conventional counterparts. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in the US says that the vitamin, mineral and antioxidant levels in organic foods are no different from the nutritional qualities of conventional foods. A review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2010 found no evidence showing that organic products are healthier than conventionally grown products. So, if you are buying organic food solely based on the belief that you will be getting more nutrients, this may not be the case.


But what about the pesticides?

The evidence is pretty conclusive that organic food has much less pesticide residues compared to conventional food. According to a large scale study conducted by the Consumers Union, it was found that organically grown crops consistently had 70 percent less pesticide residues than the conventionally grown versions. Having said that, the amount of artificial pesticide residues found in conventional foods is still well below the level that the Environmental Protection Agency has deemed unsafe. The question now is whether these small doses, accumulated over years, might add up to an increased health risk down the line. Is this something that we should be worried about? For now, the answer is that we don’t know because it has not been proven.


Choosing what organic food to purchase?

If you have decided to go organic and are not sure where to start, you can consider buying organic versions of foods on the Dirty Dozen list, published each year by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), an American non-profit organisation. This lists the conventionally grown foods that are potentially heavily contaminated with pesticides according to findings from the USDA. Check out the list at www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php. This year’s list includes strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, potatoes and sweet bell peppers. Although standards vary around the world, this list acts as a reference for people who want to reduce their contact with pesticides. The EWG also puts out a Clean Fifteen list showing conventional produce that are lowest in pesticides, so check that out too. Extra tip: Produce with thicker skins tend to have fewer pesticide residues, because the thick skin protects the inner fruit or vegetable. Remove the skin, and you’re removing much of the residue.


Bottom line

It is important to include a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low fat dairy into our diet. Regardless if they are organic or conventional, they are nutritious and contribute to a healthy dietary intake. Make sure you wash all fresh produce under running water, and rub fruits and vegetables with hands or a soft cloth to remove dirt and some pesticide residues. No soap or special solutions are necessary; plain, cool water is the best agent.

Besides that, do be extra careful not to fall for marketing gimmicks. Just because a product is organic or contains organic ingredients does not mean it is always a healthier option. Some organic products can still be high in sugar, fats and salt that are bad for health. A chip is still a chip nutritionally, no matter if it is organic or not, so consumption in moderation is still necessary. Read and make good use of the food labels before purchase!


Vegetarian Tofu Poke Bowl

Serves: 4 persons                                         Duration: 45 minutes





Cooked Brown Rice

4 cups


Vegetable Oil

1 tbsp



2 pieces

Thinly sliced

Firm Tofu

2 pieces



2 cups


Shimeji Mushroom

1 cup



½ cup


Purple Cabbage

½ cup



½ cup

Red or yellow, sliced


1 fruit

Deseeded, cubed

Dried Kombu

¼ cup

Soaked in hot water until soft, drained


1 cup

Boiled, drained

Corn Kernels

½ cup

Boiled, drained

Cashew Nuts

½ cup





Calamansi Juice

4 Calamansi


Sesame Oil

2 tsp



1 tsp


Soy Sauce

2 tbsp




1.  Heat up 1 tbsp oil on a non-stick pan over medium heat, sauté the shallots until fragrant. This takes about 3-5 minutes. Be careful to not burn the shallots, lower the heat if necessary.

2.  Remove the fried shallots from the pan. With the remaining oil in the pan, pan-fry the tofu on each side for 3 minutes until they turn golden brown and crisp, then set aside.

3.  In the same pan, stir-fry these vegetables separately – spinach (3 mins), mushroom (3 mins), pumpkin (5 mins), purple cabbage (3 mins) and capsicums (3 mins). The remaining oil from pan-frying tofu should still be sufficient for stir-frying spinach and mushroom. Top up with 1-2 tsp of oil if needed.

4.  Dressing: Put all dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid, close the lid and shake the jar vigorously until all the ingredients are well combined.

5.  Assemble: Scoop 1 cup of rice into a big bowl, arrange ¼ of all the ingredients on the rice in a single layer. Garnish with some black & white sesame and seaweed strips (optional).

6.  Repeat step 5 with the remaining ingredients and enjoy the poke bowl with the special calamansi dressing!


Nutritional Information (1 serving)

Energy (Kcal)


Protein (g)


Fat (g)


Carbohydrate (g)


Fibre (g)



Follow “Georgen Cooking” on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube for more healthy eating tips and recipes.


If you like this article, do subscribe here. 

Your Gut’s Best Friend

Your Gut’s Best Friend

April 28, 2022   Return

Many of us pay our gut very little attention until we eat something that does not agree with us. Maybe it is time to change that, as a healthy gut can make a difference to our health.

While the colon is part of the digestive system, it plays no role in digesting our food. By the time the food reaches the colon, it has already been digested. So, the colon absorbs water from what is left and then, processes the leftovers into the material that normally goes out the back door when we sit on the toilet bowl.

However, the colon has another important role that is not related to the toilet, thanks to the bacteria that make their home there. From the moment we come into this world, bacteria have been growing in our intestines, especially the colon. Do not panic – these bacteria are our friends, and they help us in ways that many of us may not imagine. Chief among these bacteria are those called Bifidobacteria.   

Can we call them Fido?

So far, we have identified about 30 types of Bifidobacteria living in our intestines. They feed on some of the food in our gut (do not worry, there are plenty to go around), and in return, they repay us in the following ways:

Keep the bad guys out. Bifidobacteria produce a substance called acetic acid which suppresses the growth of potentially harmful bacteria.

A boost for our immune system. While we do not know the exact mechanism yet, there are strong indications that Bifidobacteria can stimulate the production of antibodies, increase our resistance to toxins and may even suppress the development of cancer cells!

More love for the gut

As you can see, it can be good to encourage the Bifidobacteria families to thrive in our gut. A way to do this is to include prebiotics in our daily diet. Prebiotics are used as an additional food source for the bacteria, and can be found in food rich in dietary fibre.

You can get your dietary fibre from the following:

  • Fruits and vegetables – eat plenty every day!
  • Yoghurts and dairy products with added prebiotics – check the food labels to ensure before buying.
  • Supplements containing both soluble and insoluble fibres.
The US Institute of Medicine recommends the following:
Under 50 years oldOver 50 years old

Men: eat 38g every day

Women: eat 25g every day

Men: eat 30g every day

Women: eat 21g every day



Ishibashi N, Yaeshima T and Hayasawa H. (1997). Bifidobacteria: their significance in human intestinal health. Mal J Nutr 3: 149-159.

Mayo Clinic. Available at www.mayoclinic.org 

If you like this article, do subscribe here.