wolfberry

W for wolfberry for #AtoZChallenge: easy spinach soup with wolfberries recipe

Wolfberry is also known as goji berry (枸杞), desert thorn, or matrimony vine. When my eyes feel tired from staring too much into laptop, I remember Mom’s advice to have some wolfberries. They are versatile ingredients for tonic soups, porridge or congee, or herbal tea.

Wolfberries go well with a variety of dishes, simple ones include spinach soup.

In Southeast Asia, we often have spinach soup cooked with 3 different kinds of eggs: normal egg, salty egg, century egg. Home-cooked version of thin and clear spinach soup can be egg-free and simpler.

For #AtoZChallenge on 2014 April 26 Sat, I lovingly present a recipe of easy spinach soup with wolfberries by ServicefromHeart.
easy spinach soup with wolfberries recipe by ServicefromHeart

Serving: 2 as a side dish
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 8 minutes

Ingredients:
♥ 1 packet spinach: sharp spinach (苋菜) or round spinach (菠菜)
♥ 1 tbsp anchovies / ikan bilis / ikan teri, rinsed
♥ 1 tbsp wolfberries
♥ 1 honey date (optional)
♥ 3 sticks imitation crab meat

Directions:
1. Bring water to boil with anchovies and honey date to acquire salty and sweet tastes, respectively.
2. Before boiling, add wolfberies and imitation crab meat.
3. Meanwhile, wash thoroughly spinach.
4. After boiled, add spinach. Stir. Be careful not to overcook.
easy spinach soup with wolfberries recipe by ServicefromHeart

Tips:
♥ It is best to consume this meal immediately. Mom warned not to eat
left-over spinach dishes. Why? Spinach is rich in nitrate(which is
reduced to nitrite) and Fe2+ (oxidation of Fe2+ results in Fe3+).
♥ Rinsing and soaking wolfberries are also important to remove pesticides and fungicides.

Other recipes that I love:
♥ Nirmala Ganesh’s spinach soup at Lil Spice & Lil Stir
♥ Wiffy’s Chinese spinach in superior broth at Noob Cook

Check also our other #5minutemeal recipes.

With love,
ServicefromHeart
20140426

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R for rice for #AtoZChallenge: steamed rice with peas wolfberries cheese recipe

Since my childhood, I have paid special respect to farmers worldwide, they are my heroes and heroines. My kiddy picture of farmers are grown-ups who brave the hot suns and cold rains, endlessly bending their bodies to plant paddies so that we can have a bowl of rice on our dining table for every meal. I love drawing such a scene for my drawing class assignments, with a backdrop of blue mountains, dancing coconut tree and the yellow orange sun. Not to forget a little hut (pondok) where the farmers can take a rest.

 steamed rice with peas wolfberries cheese recipe by ServicefromHeart

For #AtoZChallenge on 2014 April 21 Mon, I lovingly present a recipe of steamed rice with peas wolfberries cheese by ServicefromHeart.
 steamed rice with peas wolfberries cheese recipe by ServicefromHeart

Serving: 2

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes (depends on your rice cooker)

Ingredients:
♥ 3/4 cup white rice grain
♥ 3/4 cup frozen garden peas
♥ 1/4 cup wolfberries
♥ 1 slice cheese

Note: use rice cooker cup for measurement.

Directions:

1. Rinse garden peas and wolfberries. Soak to thaw and makes puffy, respectively.

2. Rinse and gently rub rice grains.

3. Add rice grains and water in 1:2 ratio into rice cooker pot. Add peas and wolfberries.

4. Once rice is cooked, quickly transfer the rice cooker pot out.*

5. Add a slice of cheese. Quickly cover the pot lid to melt the cheese. After 1 minute, gently stir the rice.

* I am using an antique rice cooker, this step is to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

 

Check also our other #5minutemeal recipes.

With love,
ServicefromHeart
20140421

F for finger millet for #AtoZChallenge: East Asian style Finger millet porridge by ServicefromHeart

Finger millet (also known as ragi / Muthari kurukku / Kezhvaragu / pampered corn / Nachni / Eleusine coracana / 䅟子), is a rich source of calcium, protein, fiber, vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin).

East Asian style Finger millet porridge by ServicefromHeart

This grain is very cooling on a hot day, especially for hot summer or dry spell (kemarau) such as an extreme one that we had in Singapore from February to mid March 2014. It is the driest one since 1869 for Singapore.

East Asian style Finger millet porridge by ServicefromHeart
withered bougainvillea during a dry spell in Singapore (2014)

Finger millet can grow with less water than rice and wheat does.

East Asian style Finger millet porridge by ServicefromHeart

Thank you for the finger millet that Candida gave me (and baby Ren)! She has given liquid of finger millet – mixed with milk – to her baby girl Divita since she turned 6 months old.

East Asian style Finger millet porridge by ServicefromHeart

The choice for finger millet over wheat is probably due to more easily digested proteins of the former.

Finger millet also contains the amino acid methionine (Met / M) – the only amino acid coded by the initiation codon AUG of mRNA for protein synthesis.

For #AtoZChallenge on 2014 April 07 Mon, I lovingly present a recipe of East Asian style Finger millet porridge by ServicefromHeart.

East Asian style Finger millet porridge by ServicefromHeart

Serving:1

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

♥ 3 tbsp finger millet seeds (穇子)

♥ 1 tsp wolfberries (枸杞子), washed & soaked until fluffy

♥ 1 egg (鸡蛋)

♥ 1 tsp sesame oil (麻油)

♥ grounded white pepper (白胡椒粉) to taste

♥ 1 fresh parsley leaf (香菜叶)

Directions:

1. Wash ragi by rubbing them in water for a minimum of 3 times.

2. Soak ragi overnight or at least 15 minutes.

3. Add finger millet to soup stock / boiled filtered water.

4. Stir finger millet continuously to ensure thorough cooking until the porridge thickens and bubbles stop to form on surface.

5. When finger millet is almost cooked, gently add egg & wolfberry. Stir.

6. Add white pepper. Mix well.

7. Garnish with parsley.

East Asian style Finger millet porridge by ServicefromHeart

Other recipes that I love:
♥ An advice to cook ragi properly to prevent constipation from Yummy Tummy
ragi drink for baby by Oishi
Ragi porridge recipe for baby
Sweet ragi malt
♥ Swathi combines ragi and oats

East Asian style Finger millet porridge by ServicefromHeart

Next time, I will use finger millet flour so to cook faster so that I can play more with Baby Ren, an idea for a future #5minutemeal recipe!

East Asian style Finger millet porridge by ServicefromHeart

With love,
ServicefromHeart
20140407

C for carrot for #AtoZChallenge:carrot sweet potato peanut pear soup meal recipe

Why do rabbits love carrots? There must be plenty of good things in carrots that we can enjoy too by eating carrots.

Perhaps it is the bunny teeth of rabbits that make us imagine that rabbits easily bite raw carrots off. However, if you happen to have lovely rabbits as your pet, you would know that rabbits actually eat mostly hay and green leaves (including those growing on top of carrots).

carrot sweet potato peanut pear soup meal by ServicefromHeart.

The humble root vegetables are represented by their orange sticks. The orange color is due to β-carotene, which our bodies convert to vitamin A. That’s why carrots are good for our eyes.
Baby Ren loves biting thoroughly washed and peeled carrots to ease his teething gum. Be careful not to over feed carrots to babies, because it may cause carotenosis – a benign condition in which the skin turns orange.

Once, we had enjoyed purple carrots, thanks to Fairprice Finest.

For #AtoZChallenge on 2014 April 03 Thu, I lovingly present a recipe of carrot sweet potato peanut pear soup meal by ServicefromHeart.

carrot sweet potato peanut pear soup meal by ServicefromHeart.

Servings: 2
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour

Ingredients:
♥ 1 carrot (1红萝卜), peeled & cut into bite chunks

♥ 2 sweet potatoes (番薯), peeled & cut into bite chunks

♥ 1 snow pear (雪梨), peeled & quartered

♥ 1/2 cup peanuts (花生), soaked overnight

♥ 2 pork ribs (排骨)

♥ 8 dried scallops (干贝)

♥ 8 red dates (红枣)

♥ 1 honey date (蜜枣)

♥ 1 tbsp wolfberries (枸杞子)

Directions:

1. Blanch pork ribs in boiling water for ~5 minutes. Drain and wash.

2. Bring all ingredients to boil in a pot using low heat.

For variations, substitute sweet potato with pasta or noodles to enjoy this delicious soup meal.

carrot sweet potato peanut pear soup meal by ServicefromHeart.

♥♥♥

Preparing peanuts for our meal reminds me on an
American comic strip: Peanuts. Charlie Brown and Linus van Pelt appear to be kind children to me and their friendship is cherishable. Who are your favorite comic characters?

carrot sweet potato peanut pear soup meal by ServicefromHeart.

Peanuts are a good source of niacin (vitamin B3 / nicotinic acid) – good four our brain health and blood flow.

My grandmother’s adviced me to drink bowls and bowls of peanut trotter soups to increase breast milk production during confinement.
Subsequently, I just prepare peanut soups with visually-less-carnivorous-looking meat.
For other faster-to-prepare recipes, check also our #5minutemeal recipes.

With love,
ServicefromHeart
20140403

easy zucchini soup with lotus root meatballs

Meatballs, also known as bakso in Indonesian, often bring back happy memories. A childhood song “Abang tukang bakso, mari mari sini, aku mau beli. Abang tukang bakso, cepat donk kemari, sudah tak tahan lagi” – echoes in my mind.

It literally means “meatballs seller brother, please come, please come here, I wanna buy! Meatball seller brother! Please come her quick, I cannot hold it anymore!

A bowl of bakso was sold for Rp200 and later Rp500 when I was a primary school student! Today, a US$ is ~ about Rp11,400.

Listening to the song sung by Melisa inspired me to design a simple breakfast of easy zucchini soup with lotus root meatballs / 夏南瓜莲藕肉圆汤.

easy zucchini soup with lotus root meatballs by ServicefromHeart

Serving: 1-2

Preparation time: 5* + 5 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

* I mix the meat ball ingredients the night before.

Ingredients:

♥ 1 zucchini (夏南瓜), sliced

♥ 1 tsp anchovies (凤尾鱼)

♥ 1 tsp wolfberries / Goji berries (枸杞子), washed & soaked

♥ 1 tbsp parsley (香菜), chopped

♥ 300 ml water, () filtered if possible

for meat balls / meat coins:

♥ 1 tbsp meat (), grounded & blanched

♥ 3 tbsp sweet potato flour (薯粉)

♥ 1 tsp lotus root powder (莲藕粉)

♥ 1 tsp oat (燕麦)

♥ 2 cloves garlic (大蒜), minced

♥ 1 tsp sesame oil (麻油)

♥ 0.5 tsp pepper (胡椒粉), grounded

♥ 0.5 tsp sugar ()

♥ 0.5 tsp light soy sauce / kecap asin
Directions:

1. Mix ingredients for meat balls in a bowl. Leave in a fridge overnight to marinade or you can use it immediately.

2. Boil anchovies in a pot of water.

3. Shape meat mixture into balls & dump into the anchovies stock when it boils.

4. Add zucchini & wolfberries.

5. Once cooked, turn off the heat & add parsley. Enjoy!

easy zucchini soup with lotus root meatballs by ServicefromHeart

Check also our other #5minutemeal recipes.

With love,
ServicefromHeart
20140327