Day of Perfect Meals

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The commute to and from work is about a 2.5 hour drive everyday.

My solution to combat the long drive is Podcasts. Tons of them.

Today on my way home, I was listening to Spilled Milk and was so inspired by their Day of Perfect Meals episode that I’d like to share my vision of a Day of Perfect Meals with all of you.

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Breakfast:

Fluffy Pillow Pancakes such as the one by Isa Chandra

Hot Nut Milk consisting of almonds, cashews, 1 tbsp of carob powder, 1 tbsp of flaxseeds, 2 dried figs

Lunch:

Miso tofu soup topped with scallions

Sweet Potato sliced in half and slathered with almond butter

Snack:

Red Delicious Apple

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Dinner:

Hot Nut Milk

DIY Vietnamese spring rolls

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Dessert:

Jasmine Tea

Big, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

As you may be able to tell, I like to keep my meals simple because I prefer to not eat too much per meal but have more meals spread throughout the day. I also love savoring each bite so the less I have on my plate, the more I can focus on the texture and quality of the foods.

What about you? What’s your favorite meal?

{Touch} Our Hands

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You used to admire my soft, delicate hands.

You said I was like a princess who never had to work.

You did all the work for me,

for everyone around you.

You spoiled us like royalty.

I grew older.

I became you.

My hands are no longer soft and delicate.

They are covered with calluses.

I often touch the calluses on my hands and wonder,

if I’d rather be the naive princess or the hardworking daughter.

I’d often wonder if my hands stayed soft and delicate,

if your hands would become coarser; your heart heavier.

My hand touches yours.

They match.

I won’t let go.

{Taste} Whole Wheat Millet Mantou 馒头

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Mantou (馒头)or Chinese steamed buns is a staple in our household and culture.

The bun is light and fluffy, and does not contain any filling.

It is usually made out of all-purpose or bread flour but we like being healthy and don’t mind the coarse texture of whole wheat or grains.

Edit Note: I adapted to Hevil’s recipe below but must admit that the buns turned out a bit tougher than expected. I would perhaps:

  • add about 1/2 cup more water;
  • or take out the millet and sesame flour mixture, and baking powder, Then, replace it with a starter using 2 cups of whole wheat flour and enough water until the mixture turns into dough. After both starter and dough rises, combine and knead, shape into buns before letting it rise once more and then steam.

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Whole Wheat Millet Mantou
adapted from Hevil’s Special Delights

    • 2 1/2  cups Whole Wheat Flour
    • 1 cup millet; 1/2 cup whole millets ground in food processor
    • 1 tbs sesame seeds
    • 1 tbs brown sugar
    • 1/2  cup temperate water
    • 1 cup warm non-dairy milk
    • 2 tsp active dry yeast
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • Directions: 
      1. Grind 1/2 cup of millet and 1 tbs of sesame seeds in a food processor until they resemble flour.
      2. Combine both the flours and add remaining dry ingredients in a bowl. Then, pour in 1 cup of warm non-dairy milk and 1/4 cup of water into the dry mixture. If more liquid is needed, add more water until you can knead into a dough. Once the dough has formed, knead until dough doesn’t stick to the bowl.
      3. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise until double in size. This can range from 1 to 2 hours, depending on the temperature. It rises faster in warmer temperatures.
      4. After the rising period, punch down the dough and knead for 3-4 minutes to strengthen the gluten. Remember to add flour if the dough is sticky or add more liquid if the dough is too dry.
      5. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle. Then, fold one side into the middle, and then fold in the other side to the middle. Roll it out again.
      6. Roll the dough into a log.
      7. Divide into 12 to 18 pieces.
      8. Let it rise for about another 20 to 30 minutes.
      9. Steam for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the buns.
      10. Serve warm.

{Touch} Running Chronicles: Pusher

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I get this feeling that you’d like to know more about me.

Either that or I’m just making an excuse to tell you more about me.

Does it matter?

Not to me.

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Grab your tea or coffee. Let’s talk.

In case you haven’t read far enough into my blog, I’m a runner.

I run six days a week. Some times twice a day.

I’m NOT addicted to anything during the run:

PAIN when I push hard;

and FEAR when confronted by wild animals or barking dogs.

But I AM addicted to the effects of running:

Release of ENDORPHINS,

and a boost of extra ENERGY.

I’m not sure if being motivated is an innate trait of mine.

But I rarely let myself give up.

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About a month ago, I started feeling sluggish during my runs.

I didn’t want to take a break from running so I did the next best thing:

I bumped up the game. I started timing my runs.

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The method worked.

My time has improved by about four minutes, comparing the first time I started timing myself to my fastest time.

Yet I still have an issue.

I don’t know when enough is enough.

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Last week, I felt my body and legs sore. They were telling me they needed a break, even just for a day.

But I didn’t listen.

Maybe because I’m scared that if I ever stopped my routine, I won’t be able to get my rhythm back.

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I know in the long run it is not good to not listen to your body.

But I’m a Pusher.

It’s hard to tell a Pusher to stop when the lifestyle is always to go, go, go.

Do you have a strength that is also your weakness? How do you cope with it?

{Taste} 马来糕 Malay Steamed Cake

I love this cake. Light, fluffy, and slightly chewy.

 The fragrant brown sugar releases a type of caramel taste on the tongue.

Try it! You might fall in love with this cake too.

Adapted from Cafe Corner’s Malay Cake

Makes one 18cm cake

Ingredients

A)
1 cup cake flour
2 tbsp sweet rice flour
1/8 tsp sea salt

B)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda baking soda
1 tablespoon molasses or honey
1/3 cup canola oil

C)
4 eggs, separated
2 big spoonful (approximately 1/3 cup) of brown sugar

Directions

Gather ingredients from list A. Sift well with a whisk and set aside.

Gather ingredients from list B. Mix well and set aside.

Separate the egg whites from the yolks from list B. Beat egg whites until fluffy and foamy. Drop brown sugar one spoonful at a time into egg whites and continue to beat until well incorporated. Repeat step with second spoonful of brown sugar.

Combine List A and B. Pour List C into the combined mixture and gently fold until well incorporated.

Pour into pan. Let the mixture sit for about an hour.

After an hour, prepare steamer and hot water. Steam for about 25 minutes.

{Taste} Baked Vegan Donuts

I’d like to think I’m rather simple.

I like living as a minimalist. Just give me food, enough sleep, and enough personal space each day, and I’m good to go.

So when I went shopping with my grandmother one day and admired a mini donut maker on display, she showed up with the machine the next time she came to our house.

Although I love adoring and eating the miniature donuts, making them is another topic. The batter is quite difficult to pour into each miniature donut mold.

I’m patient.

Sort of.

Okay. Maybe a perfectionist should not own, or even operate, a mini donut maker.

That’s why I have a non-perfectionist as a sister.

I made the batter. She “baked” the donuts.

Baked Vegan Donuts

adapted from Oh She Glows

Dry Ingredients
1 Cup Whole Wheat PastryFlour
3 tbs Brown Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/8 tsp Sea Salt
1/4 tsp Cinnamon

Wet Ingredients
3/4 Cup Soymilk
1/2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1 tbs Sweet Rice Flour
2 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Icing Glaze:

  • 3 tbs soymilk
  • 3 tbs cocoa powder
  • 1 tbs confectionary sugar