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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Quick Guide on the Cuisines of Singapore

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Few cuisines in the world can claim to be as cosmopolitan as the culinary traditions of Singapore and although a small country; Singapore offers you an incredible variety of colourful and multicultural dishes.
Whether you are looking for a good restaurant, market or food centre, Singapore has it all.
You can see a reflection of the country's cultural diversity in the array of local cuisines on the menu across Singapore. You can find, in food centres and local restaurants, Malay food, Indian vegetarian thali, a range of naans and briyanis. Cantonese dim sum, Hainanese chicken rice, Peking duck, Fujian Hokkien mee (fried noodles) and popiah (spring rolls). The abundant hawker centres are also the most popular destinations for people in search of variety in tastes available at low prices.While there are a number of cuisines available in Singapore, some of them are particularly associated with this culinary destination.
Here is your quick guide to the flavours of Singapore before you decide you're definitely going to jump in and start your holiday:
Chinese Cuisine
One of the main players in the country's gastronomic array is the Chinese cuisine. You can enjoy the delicious dim sum, roasted meats and double-boiled soups brought by the Cantonese immigrants, the spicy dishes from Szechuan and the flavourful chicken rice with its roots from the Hainan province. Hearty meat dishes and appetising noodles are a part of Hokkien meals while Teochew dishes include lighter items such as steamed seafood, comforting porridge and clear soups.
Indian Cuisine
If you're a fan of Indian food, you'll be spoilt for choice! Fancy vegetarian thosai, seafood dishes and fiery curries enriched with coconut milk or why not try tandoori offerings and fluffy naan breads. You can also get a taste of popular local Indian-Muslim dishes such as roti pratas, murtabak - (prata stuffed with minced meat, eggs and onions) and nasi biryani, a saffron rice dish with spicy chicken or mutton. You can also taste the popular local Indian-Muslim dishes such as roti pratas, murtabak - (prata stuffed with minced meat, eggs and onions) and nasi briyani, a saffron rice dish with spicy chicken or mutton.
Malay Cuisine
Next on the culinary menu is the Malay cuisine in Singapore which will give you a chance to savour an array of spices. You'll find the cuisine spicy without being unbearably hot, thanks to its generous use of coconut milk and local spices. Peanut sauce occupies a pride of place in dishes like gado gado, an Indonesian salad of lettuce, bean sprouts and fried bean curd and satay - skewers of meat grilled over charcoal served with raw onions and cucumber. Try the nasi lemak for its flavourful coconut steamed rice, or nasi padang, where you can select from a wide range of dishes on display.
Peranakan Cuisine
Dishes such as the Peranakan or Nonya food offer a blend of Chinese, Malay and Indonesian flavours, combining aromatic herbs and spices such as lemongrass, chillies, tamarind paste, shrimp paste and coconut milk to create a rich cuisine of braised dishes, stews and curries. You'll have to try the ayam buah keluak, a chicken dish mixed with earthy-tasting buah keluak nuts and the laksa, a famous Nonya dish made with rice vermicelli and coconut milk and garnished with seafood or chicken.
Singapore also offers you a wide range of international cuisines - from Thai, Korean, and Vietnamese to Mongolian food. Whether you're in the mood for Japanese, a hearty Italian meal, or a casual French bistro experience, you'll find it all. So, no wonder that going out for food is one of the most popular pastimes in Singapore. Food is a constant subject of conversation among locals who like to comment on the dishes they have eaten and the restaurants they visited. Among the ethnic Chinese in Singapore, it is also common to ask a colleague or friend whom you bumped into casually in the streets or in the corridor `Have you eaten yet?' regardless of the time of the day.
Singapore is a foodies paradise and for us at vacation and cuisine Southeast Asia's food capital.
Born into an Italian family Marco was bound to have a passion for food, hence it was only a matter of time until he came up with his brainchild vacationandcuisine.com. Growing up in Germany and combined with living in multicultural London he wanted to combine his passion and experience for marketing with his love for travel and food.
Marco's aim with vacationandcuisine.com is to give visitors a good website to turn to have a look for great destinations with great food. For more information on vacationandcuisine.com or to read more article please visit:
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http://www.vacationandcuisine.com
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Monday, November 28, 2011

Asian Foods You Must Try

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Are Asian foods healthier and less caloric than Western foods? It depends. Certainly, a bowl of dashi garnished with cubes of tofu and chopped scallions isn't very caloric, but a similar bowl of chicken soup isn't either. But here are some Asian foods you must try before the bucket is kicked.
Sushi and Sashimi
Yes, some people are a bit revolted by the idea of eating raw fish, but these two Japanese dishes are oh so good, especially when the vinegared rice is prepared just right and the fish is so fresh that it's still in rigor mortis. Fish and seafood used for sushi include salmon, tuna, though not the overfished bluefin, eel, flounder, octopus, shrimp, abalone and salmon roe. If the dieter really can't bear raw fish, they can have sushi made with avocado, sweetened egg, or cucumber.
Dashi
Dashi is a broth made with a sheet of kombu seaweed and dried bonito flakes, bonito being a fish. It has a delicate taste and aroma and is the basis for many Japanese soups. It is wonderful to drink with nothing in it on cold winter nights.
Tempura
The calorie count with this dish might be fairly high because it involves dipping food in batter and deep frying it. The great thing about tempura is that it can be made out of anything, including chunks of seafood, sliced Japanese eggplant, carrots, tofu, green squash, slices of lotus root and green onions. It should be drained and eaten while it's hot, for cold or left over tempura has lost much of its appeal.
Hot and Sour Soup
This delicious soup is made from tree fungus, dried tiger lilies, dried shiitake mushrooms and tofu in beef stock. All of the ingredients can be found easily in an Asian market and they're inexpensive. The dieter shouldn't worry about the tree fungus. It's also called cloud ears and is a black mushroom that's grown on logs. It's dried and when it's rehydrated it seems to grow ten times its size, then it's sliced and added to the soup. The soup only needs one or two to suffice.
Peking Dust
This dessert is a bit fussy to make, but it's heavenly. It uses raw chestnuts, sugar, a pinch of salt, heavy cream, one orange and glace├ęd walnuts. The chestnuts are pureed, then garnished with the orange and walnuts and slathered with whipped cream in a mold.
Lamb Korma
This is an Indian dish where chunks of lamb are cooked in a creamy curry sauce and served with rice, chutney, raita or onion sambal. Made with coriander, cumin, cardamom seeds, ginger, cloves, red pepper and garlic, it smells as good as it tastes.
Wontons Stuffed with Pork, Cabbage, Scallions and Ginger
Though a lot of people may have bought wontons at their take-out place, there's nothing like making some at home. They're not that hard to make, and practice makes perfect.
Onigiri
These are rice balls and are very popular in Japanese picnic boxes. The ingredients include fresh salmon fillet, one sheet of dried nori, which is also used for wrapping sushi, bonito flakes and umeboshi, pickled and salted plums. Onigiri are a bit labor intensive to make, but, again, worth it.
Miso Soup with Oysters and Bean Curd
Miso is soy bean paste and this dashi-based soup uses red and white miso, fried bean curd, regular bean curd, about 16 oysters, Japanese parsley, fresh ginger root and sansho powder. It's very, very delicious indeed.
Larry Lim writes reviews on Japanese restaurants in Singapore and recommends Online Restaurant Reservations for your instant guide on any restaurant located in Singapore.
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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Low Salt - Making Healthy Sausages

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Making Healthy Sausages - Lowering Salt
Removing animal fat and decreasing calories makes a healthier sausage for most people, but the large amounts of salt still create a problem for many. The amount of salt added to all commercial products (not just sausages) is huge and will in time increase blood pressure in even healthy individuals.
Salt increases blood pressure, that is a fact. Some people are more tolerant to salt, but about 20% of the population will become salt sensitive, especially later in life.
We do not develop high blood pressure by eating sausages, but by consuming ready to eat products which we warm up at home. Just look at the amount of salt canned soup, canned vegetables, or canned fish contains. Salt is added to everything, meat products and sausages, canned fish, peanut butter, canned vegetables, nuts, soups, milk, cheese, butter, vegetable spreads - the list is endless.
The amount of salt those items contain is simply scary. Salt is added in such a high amount to prevent the growth of bacteria and to prolong the shelf life of the product. We have no control over manufactured products, but we can prepare our own meals ourselves. By cooking at home we can add only as much salt as is needed for good flavor. This amount will be well below what is added by commercial producers.
Choosing salt substitutes. The number one step is to pick up a salt substitute which will be used and become familiar with it. Let's assume that a sausage will contain 1% of salt and that calls for adding 10 g of salt to 1 kg (1000 g) of meat. Mix 10 g of salt substitute (about 1½ teaspoon) with 1 kg of meat, make a tiny hamburger, cook it and see how you like it. Let your palate be the judge. Contrary to a popular belief, the sausages do not contain as much salt as we normally like to think. A typical range is from 1.5% to 2% salt in relation to the weight of the sausage mass. An average figure will be around 1.8%. Keep in mind that fermented sausages must not be made with lower levels of salt as at the beginning of the process, salt is the only barrier that protects the meat against the growth of bacteria.
Read the label carefully to see how much regular salt (sodium chloride) a particular salt substitute contains and you will know exactly how much salt your sausage contains. There are different brands of salt substitutes in supermarkets and online so do your research.
Here comes to our rescue another salt, KCl, known as potassium chloride. You can see that does not contain Na (sodium), the part that is responsible for increasing blood pressure. When used alone, it has a salty bitter flavor, so the preferred choice is to mix it with a common salt. A good combination is to mix one part of KCl with one part NaCl. What we get is the new salt: NaCl + KCl, which contains only 50% of Na (sodium) of the common table salt. Our biggest salt producer Morton makes such a salt called "Lite Salt" which is available in every supermarket. Morton produces another salt under the name "Salt Substitute" which contains 0 sodium (Na). You may call it the salt without salt as it has salty/bitter flavor, yet it does not contain any sodium. Salt substitutes vary in their composition, but their main ingredient is always potassium chloride. A salt substitute does not taste exactly like sodium chloride, but it is close enough, and it contains less or none of the sodium that some people are trying to avoid.
If you decide to go on a low sodium diet and start decreasing the amount of salt you consume, after about three weeks you may reach a point when your food tastes enjoyable, though you use less salt than before. When smoking large amounts of meat that will be kept for a week or longer, remember that it will keep on drying out (losing moisture), even when kept in a refrigerator. Salt will, however, remain inside and your sausage will now taste saltier though its diameter will be smaller. In such a case you may use less salt than originally planned for as the saltiness and meat flavor will be more pronounced in time. And if you find your sausage not salty enough use a salt shaker, that is what they are made for.
Adam Marianski has written six books on meat smoking and making sausages. His latest book Making Healthy Sausages has been recently published. Detailed information on making sausages and many recipes can be found at http://www.wedlinydomowe.com/sausage-recipes
Adam Marianski has written six books on meat smoking and making sausages. His latest book Making Healthy Sausages has been recently published by Bookmagic LLC.
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Monday, November 21, 2011

Sugar-Free Chocolate Fondue: Delicious And Healthy

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For as much as you want to serve the best dessert, you also need to make sure that you do not only serve delicious dessert but a healthy one as well; and sugar-free chocolate fondue is one good example of it. By serving it, you need not to worry about any healthy issues at all, for it is proven to be safe. You can cut down the excess fats that you have without any hassle. You can also try to serve it with fruit slices as dippers and the best thing about it is that you can try to experiment other flavored extracts such as cheery, almond and even banana. For the complete list of ingredients and as well as the preparations, you can just read thoroughly the following things listed below.
To begin with, you need to prepare the necessary ingredients for your sugar-free chocolate fondue and they are as follow, 2/3 cup of dry unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, 1 cup of milk, ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract and ½ cup of Splenda sugar substitute. You also need to be aware that the preparation time is only 5 minutes and the actual cooking requires only 10 minutes.
Now, the first thing that you need to do right after you have gathered all of the necessary ingredients for your chocolate fondue is it place the cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt and milk in a blender. You need to make sure that all of them are mixed evenly. You can pulse it until all is combined well enough. The next thing that you need to do is to pour mixture into a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. You then have to lower the heat and let it shimmer for at least 5 more minutes. You need to be sure that you keep on stirring it until it is thickened already. You have to remove it from the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes while you occasionally stir it. You have to whisk in sugar substitute and then the vanilla. Stir all of those ingredients together until it had all dissolved and smooth.
The last thing that you need to do as you prepare the sugar-free chocolate fondue is to pour it into a fondue pot which is best in keeping it warm. You then need to serve with variety of fruits which will serve as your dippers. You can make 8 delicious servings using ¼ cup each.
Learn more about Chocolate Fondue
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Friday, November 18, 2011

How to Prepare Vegetables So Your Child Will Eat Them

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Children, especially young ones, have more sensitive taste buds than adults. They are also very aware of texture. If vegetables are slimy your child won't eat them. Overcooked vegetables, such as green beans that have been cooked until they are gray, are not appealing. If your child is going to eat vegetables, they must be cooked right.
Watch for seasonal vegetables like fresh asparagus. Steaming these vegetables retains their flavor. Frozen vegetables are packed with nutrition and you can cook them quickly in the microwave. Children like color and colorful combinations, such as green beans and orange carrots, are appealing.
According to the US Government's My Plate campaign, half of a dinner plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables. That's a lot. How can you meet this recommendation? First, you can have vegetables on hand. When you get home from the grocery store, cut up the vegetables and put them in plastic zipper bags. These tips will also encourage your child to eat vegetables.
Cut vegetables differently. Your child may ignore zucchini rounds. But if you slice the zucchini into thin ribbons like spaghetti, your child may eat this vegetables. Toddlers are put off by large pieces and will be more apt to try vegetables if they are cut into small pieces.
Pair new vegetables with familiar ones. What is your child's favorite vegetable? Maybe it is corn. To get your child to try a new vegetable, such as carrots, add it to corn. Strive for colorful, eye-catching combinations.
Perk up veggies with herbs. Sprinkle Italian herbs over vegetables just before serving. You may also sprinkle the vegetables with oregano, the herb that makes pizza taste and smell like pizza. The smell, alone, may entice your child.
Add zing with citrus. Children like to be involved. Put a lemon wedge next to the vegetables or salad on the plate and ask your child to squeeze juice over them. Lemon butter also adds zing to vegetables.
Serve vegetables with cheese sauce. Cheese sauce is easy to make. Your child will be tempted to eat broccoli, green beans, carrots, corn and other vegetables when they are combined with cheese sauce. Many reduced fat cheese are available. Use a cheese sauce mix if you're short on time.
Sneak vegetables into your child's favorite foods. Add grated carrots to spaghetti sauce, sloppy Joes, meat loaf, and soup. Pre-shredded carrots from the grocery store don't work as well as freshly grated ones. Other vegetables may be added as well.
Serve pasta-veggie combos. Whether they are long, short, curvy, straight, or shaped, children are nuts about noodles. To encourage your child to eat vegetables, combine them with his or her favorite pasta. Sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese over the combo before serving.
Make every casserole a veggie casserole. Instead of fixing plain scalloped potatoes, make scalloped carrots and potatoes. You may also add peas, green beans, carrots, asparagus and corn to hamburger casseroles.
The best way to get your child to eat vegetables is to eat them yourself. As the US Government advises on its My Plate website, "Set a good example for children by eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains with meals or as snacks."
Copyright 2011 by Harriet Hodgson
http://www.harriethodgson.com
Harriet Hodgson has been an independent journalist for 35+ years. Her 26th book, "Smiling Through Your Tears: Anticipating Grief," written with Lois Krahn, MD, is available from Amazon. Centering Corporation has published several of her books, including "Writing to Recover: The Journey from Loss and Grief to a New Life," a companion journal, "The Spiritual Woman: Quotes to Refresh and Sustain Your Soul," and "Happy Again! Your New and Meaningful Life After Loss."
Hodgson has two other new books, "101 Affirmations to Ease Your Grief Journey," and "Real Meals on 18 Wheels: A Guide for Healthy Living on the Highway," Kathryn Clements, RD, co-author. Please visit Hodgson's website and learn more about this busy author and grandmother.
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