Saturday, January 14, 2012

Veggie Fritters (Gorengan)

Indonesians love fried stuffs. And I only learnt when I was 27 that it was not such a good thing. So I tried to reduce my consumption of fried foods ever since but not in an extreme way. Every once in a while I'll have fried foods or gorengan as we call it.

There is always something good in something bad, they say. And it's damn right.

So I decided to do my own gorengan. I made some adjustments that hopefully reduced the "badness" by using vegetables, less frying oil and no MSG. It tasted pretty good. I mean, gorengan is never that savoury snack dish. But it could make a good entree or simply a snack while watching rugby.

In this recipe, I was using white cabbage, green beans and carrots. All were leftovers from the salad the night before. You can make sweet dishes, too, using this batter and make pisang goreng (fried bananas), fried sweet cassava, etc. Just free yourself and experiment.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


I remember the first time I had guacamole. I couldn't stop eating it! I liked the sweetness, the citrousy tang, and the freshness of this green dip. It's such a perfect Sunday snack when you don't feel like eating big but some munchies would be great as companion to watch your favourite Sunday TV show. Share it with friends and family, chances are they're gonna totally love it!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Stuffed Cabbage

I am honestly never a big fan of cabbage. White cabbage, red cabbage, whatever cabbage, it's simply not my favourite veggie. My mother used to tell me that cabbage gives nothing but water (not sure what's the truth in that) but my disliking cabbage comes from its bland taste. Unlike carrots that have sweetness or tomatoes that are rather sour, cabbage just felt so... not special for me.

Until I watched French Food at Home by Laura Calder the other week. I was about half time late when I saw Laura making this Stuffed Cabbage. So the recipe I am sharing below won't be by-the-book one. It might be absolutely different in taste with the real Stuffed Cabbage since I substituted the pork mince with the beef mince. But according to the French guy in the family, the dish was an absolute delish! How is that coming from a guy who doesn't like veggies?
Anyhoo, he was right. It was super tasty - and I am not being biased because it was my cooking. Remember that I was supposed to dislike cabbage. But it did indeed blow away my mind.
I also fell in love with the layers of cabbage and beef, not sure if you can see it in the pictures. If only I used the red cabbage as it actually should be, then maybe it'd look much more beautiful in presentation. But I'm telling you, this is already amazing!
You need to serve it on a plate with its delicious broth. Scatter it with fresh chopped scallions. Yumm...
Oh, and did you notice that I put some text on the pictures? It's because my annoying, but kind-hearted friend, Pyorr, said that I should protect my photos in any way possible. I actually used to do that a lot long time ago. But really, if people want to steal photos, they'll steal them. A mere text is so easy to erase with only stamp tool from Adobe Photoshop. But anyway, I think she had a point. If your house is in a thief-prone area, you'll put double locks, hire private security guards and put security cameras all around, right? There is still a chance that your house is going to get robbed, but at least you have put that much effort in protecting it. So, I'm watermarking my pictures from now on, though I still think it makes them uglier. :P

Enough babbling! Here goes the recipe.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pork and Vegetable Stir Fry

I have been busy with so many different things lately that I couldn't be as systematic and organized as before. Not that I am THAT systematic or organized. But I could do better. The reason is because I've been diversifying my works to keep me away from being bored of doing the same routine. However, they have all been coming to me altogether lately that my days were close to crazy. I did try to be organized with the works, though, by making a list of which is important, which is due sooner and which I can postpone. It seemed to work though I still couldn't manage to write long for the blogs.

However, I feel the need to update this food blog. It's been a while.

The good thing is although I've been busy with things, I still found time to cook. I view cooking as a relaxing as well as productive activity. I feel relaxed when I cook, as opposed to my mom who is always frantic in the kitchen. I wouldn't really blame her. She always puts too much pressure on herself than she should. She cooks literally everyday and there is no exception not to. Even when she took a vacation in Bali and stayed at my house, she was never far from the kitchen.

Anyway, during the time when I'm busy, I need to come up with something quick to cook. Like this Pork and Vegetable Stir Fry. It only takes minutes to cook and some more to do the prep. Anybody can do it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Strawberry, Carrot and Cherry Tomato Milkshake

My friend, Pam, says that the Fitness Wii game is bullshit. "It is just a game, not a real sport," she says.

But what is a real sport?

Pam does yoga. According to Vincent, it is not a real sport since one barely moves when doing yoga. But we don't believe so. Keeping the balance in yoga sometimes is heavier than doing the extreme muscle-moving sport. Do we sweat when doing yoga? Yes, we do. We sweat a lot, in fact.

Dancing. Is dancing a sport? I think so. You move your whole body when you dance. Sometimes when it's too hot of a dance night out, you'll even get stiffed muscles the next morning. How is it any different from jogging?

You know, at times when we - lazy bumps - hear the word "sport", we directly assume it's the adrenalin-pumping, no-fun thing to do. But basketball players find it fun. Yogis find peacefulness when doing yoga. My sister enjoys aerobics because there is music to move along. And all are considered sports because at the end of the day, your body is doing exercises.

My Fitness CoachI think it is no different with My Fitness Coach Wii game. Just because it comes from a Wii game player, it shouldn't be considered as sport? Football is a game. Baseball is a game. Salsa and tango are not a game, but they give you as much fun as playing a game. And do they pump you up? Yes, they do. Does Wii Fitness game pump me up? Yes, it does.

I'm doing sport!

I have to admit, however, that the exercises I am going through now is not of the hardest kind, perhaps due to my end goals. I registered "flexibility" as my primary goal and "lose a size" as my secondary goal. I only do about 30 minutes per day. It is not too tiring, yet I always end up completely soaked with sweat. And I think it is perfect. I once joined a gym near my house where there was a cute personal trainer. I think he did well in training me. But for someone who just started doing sport again after years, you could not shock me with muscle-breaking exercises. You do that and I will never return again, which was what happened. I had stiffed muscles for a week and I could hardly move. I got cranky because everything hurt and none of the tasks I should be doing got done. With 30-minute exercise a day, I keep coming back and doing it. If I think the exercise of the day is not enough, I do another set of express workout. I lost 2 kilos in a week since the last time I weighed myself, so I guess the Wii game does a justice.

There is also a dietary menu suggestion within the game. Recipes and weekly shopping list are also provided. However, these I don't necessarily follow. But I do scan what ingredients are mostly used for breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks, then I get creative from it.

Typical breakfasts are with fruits. Mixed fruit juice, fruit slices with yoghurt, etc. So one day when I saw these beautiful local organic strawberries at Bali Deli and some local organic baby carrots and cherry tomatoes, I used them as my breakfast. I made Strawberry, Carrot and Cherry Tomato Milkshake. It was surprisingly very, very fulfilling. Of course I used a tall glass to contain the milkshake. But who would have guessed a glass of milkshake would be enough for a Carla? :) Anyway, it tasted very good and what more... it's healthy! I think you should also try it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sweet Corn Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Feta Cheese

I kind of like salad. As a matter of fact, I can really like salad. It's just when I have to order it in a restaurant, I'm often pretty fussy about it. Making it myself, however, is a completely different story. I can put whatever ingredients I like in there and how much sourness, freshness, sweetness or saltiness that I want.

Personally I like my salad somewhat salty with a bit of freshness and sourness. I love Italian mixed green salad, mostly organic because that's just where you can get the crunchiest loveliest greens. Some additional toasted nuts will be great to add some flavour and cheese is definitely a must. I prefer feta cheese to put in my salad, but shredded cheddar cheese will work as well. As we are now talking about cheese, I find it rather weird that the only place where I want some goat cheese is in a salad. Other than that, I pretty much hate goat cheese. I dislike its strong, strong smell and how it stays inhabiting my fridge for a while if the it's not finished quickly enough. Vincent likes goat cheese so much! He could eat it just like that with some toasted French bread. In the early months when he just moved here, he bought goat cheese almost every time we went out shopping for groceries. I remember how I was rather upset about it because this is one of the most expensive cheese in Bali and yet I couldn't enjoy it as he would! Anyway, put some goat cheese in your vegetable salad or sprinkle it on a tomato together with olive oil, salt and pepper and put it in the oven for a few minutes, it will transform the low profile salad into a posh, most delicious salad ever!

The reason why I am talking about salad is because I just ate one for lunch. A very nice one, if I may add. I originally wanted to make dadar jagung - Indonesian mashed corn cake, but I found out that I ran out of eggs. It had been raining the whole day today so I couldn't go out and buy some eggs either. My stomach was growling angrily and I had to think fast what to do with my sweet corns I just bought a few days ago.
So I came up with this Sweet Corn Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Feta Cheese. I could have made my normal, full-of-nutrition lunch dish I usually had, but Vincent and I just bought a bathroom scale yesterday so that we could watch our weight and be alarmed if it got too much. He needs to lose weight in a month due to his gastritis condition and I just want my once J-Lo's body back. Okay, I am not that ambitious. Kate Winslet's body is alright too for me.

I did think that I lost some weight when Vincent was in Vietnam. But now that he's back, I eat normally again (when I was alone, I could eat whenever I wanted and there were only a few times that I actually felt hungry). I suppose that's what causes my 60.4 kg weight as proven down here, despite my diligence in having Wii fitness and yoga training!
I swear last night it was only 59 kgs!

I'm actually not overweight with my 157 cms height. But I'm in the borderline between slim and fat with more tendency to fat. And to compare this 60.4 kgs with my once-steady-highschool-and-college weight of 45 kgs, this is a sad fact! So, I've made up my mind to at least lose 5 kgs in the next month. I'll do the Wii exercise everyday and eat more healthy foods. If Vincent protests because I am serving grass on his plate - his reference to green salad - he can be disappointed as he wants. :P

Anyway, enough rambling. Here is my lovely sweet corn salad with cherry tomatoes and feta cheese recipe. It's great to eat with crunchy garlic bread and fruit juice for lunch. This makes one portion.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Brownies a la Carla

I am not a big fan of sweet things. Every time I say no to candies or over sweet-looking desserts, the most common reaction from the people offering is: "Are you on diet?"

Well, no, I am not on diet, never have been, and will hopefully never be. I SHOULD be. But life is too good to pass worrying about all the food that you are about to eat, how many calories it contains, what about the cholesterols, etc. But I do care about balance. Balance between what gets in and what gets out (read: food versus exercise). Balance between body and soul. Balance between work and rest.

My boyfriend has been recently diagnosed as having gastritis; most probably caused by the excessive alcohol he drank during the past 6 months. I recalled that this seemed to have started since we had our first serious argument, after which was followed by other endless fights that almost ended in a breakup. Those times are over now, fortunately. All we have to do now is to fix the damages what the broken soul causes to our body. Vincent has to go on a big diet (no alcohol, no soda, less coffee, less smoking, no lemon/lime, no onions, and most importantly no stress). The last one is a note for me, too. Stress always leads to health problems!

Back in the balance discussion, therefore even though I don't eat that much of sweet food, I do indulge myself in the goodness of the bitter sweet chocolate once in a while. Not the overly sweet one. It's the mouthwatering real dark chocolate. I especially prefer to make it myself, so I know what is put and how much is put to conform it with my personal taste.

The brownies recipe I am going to share in a little bit is taken from Crazy for Chocolate cookbook. I loooove every single recipe in this book. However, as always I reduce the amount of sugar called by the recipes. Or substitute it with brown sugar. And even after I do so, these brownies are still my family and friends' all-time favourite. My darling friend, Veve, got a pan of brownies for her birthday a few years ago and she hardly shared it with anyone else. She could eat it all by herself maybe because it was not as sweet as other brownies (too much sweetness makes you drool, but then stop after a few bites). Just enough sweetness hooks you.
Brownies a la Carla

These are soooo chocolaty with a bit of crunch the macadamia nuts give, sort of firm on top but gooey in the inside, making it melt-in-your-mouth brownies, except when it comes to the part when you have to chew the nuts. And I should really just stop babbling and write the recipe now.

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