This is a question I often ask myself because I always get carried away when it comes to grocery shopping. I like to stock up on frozen meats (usually go for chicken breast/fillet/drumsticks, salmon, red snapper, dory fish, tilapia) so it makes it easier to prepare meals anytime.
While it's convenient to prepare your meals ahead of time and have it ready to-go in your snack box, it's also nice to cook a fresh meal ready-made hot, not microwaved. Hence, I keep a freezer stocked with frozen meats more than cooked food.
- A whole chicken is good for up to a year, but pieces—legs, wings, thighs—should be used within 6 to 9 months. For cooked chicken leftovers: 4 to 6 months.
- Fatty fish like salmon can be frozen for 2 to 3 months, while lean fish like cod or flounder will last up to 6. Cooked leftovers: 3 months.
- Ground meat (beef, lamb, pork) keeps for two or three months; roasts, steaks, and chops can be kept frozen for at least half a year. Leftovers: 2 to 3 months.
- Fruits and vegetables can be frozen 8 months to a year and still taste fine.
By the way, a food's quality will decline faster if you don't keep your freezer at zero degrees—cold enough to freeze ice cream rock solid. (Speaking of ice cream, it keeps for up to two months.) An appliance thermometer will help you monitor the temperature.
Freezing won't kill bacteria, so use caution when it's time to cook. Thawing foods in the refrigerator is wise because the temperature stays below 40 degrees, the point at which bacterial growth can really take off. Poultry and beef generally require a full day to thaw in the fridge; larger items, such as a frozen turkey, require one day for every five pounds, on average.
Mixed dishes containing meat may require slightly less than a day. (Vegetables can usually go directly from freezer to stovetop.) For the best flavor, most foods should be cooked immediately once thawed. Heat leftovers to an internal temperature of 165 degrees to ensure that you kill all bacteria; stews and soups should be brought to a boil.
(hat tip: Oprah)
I like to stock up on fruits at home because it's a great to-go food when you're in a hurry or hungry for a quick nibble. Fruits are the healthiest form of fast food!
Charlie likes to use lemon for his Johnnie Walker cocktail. I prefer to drink lemon with just ice cold water. First thing I do every morning is drink a large glass of lemon water. It adds a zesty flavor to plain water which is not just refreshing, it helps to kickstart your digestive system and keeps your skin healthy and glowing as you stay hydrated.
Another use for lemon is to cook! One of my New Year resolutions is to eat in and cook more often. So lately I haven't been able to stop looking at recipes online and cooking healthy dishes at home for Charlie and I. He's been a good taste tester and food critic. I sometimes would imagine he was Gordon Ramsay and I was a Hell's Kitchen chef cooking the best dish to please his appetite. Except he could never be that mean towards me even if the dish didn't come out perfect.
Here's a delicious healthy recipe that you should definitely tryout. I made it for the first time the other day and it was so easy and turned out wonderful! Charlie even said "I never expected this chicken breast could taste so flavorful."
That made my day!
Rosemary Lemon Chicken Recipe
Half a lemon
1 boneless chicken breast
1 sprig of fresh rosemary (chopped)
1 tablespoon of butter
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1 ziplock bag
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
Step 1: Put the chopped rosemary (save about 1/4 of it for later), minced garlic, about 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and the chicken breast in a ziplock bag and spread out ingredients evenly. Allow to marinade for a couple of hours. (I left mine to sit for an hour before and it still tasted great).
Step 2: Squeeze lemon juice.
Step 3: Remove the chicken from the ziplock bag and sprinkle some salt and pepper on both sides. You can skip the salt if you're conscious about salt intake.
Step 4: Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and add a bit of olive oil. Lay the chicken breast down and let it cook for about 4 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside. You might wanna put it on a couple sheets of kitchen paper to soak up excess oil.
Step 5: You're gonna have to do this step very quickly and make sure you have all the ingredients ready! Now, add the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of water and the remaining 1/4 of chopped rosemary. Let it sizzle while constantly stirring the mixture with a spatula. Lower the heat and add the butter. Stir it in until completely melted. Mmm, your kitchen should be smelling hella good right now.
Final step (not pictured): Add chicken back to the pan, and toss to coat. Serve the chicken breast on a dinner plate and pour the remaining sauce over it.
Enjoy this simple dish with some roast potatoes, broccoli and brown rice.
(hat tip: no recipe required)
Rise and dine. My favorite meal of the day - breakfast. Oatmeal pancakes, waffle sandwiches, cereal mixed with fresh fruits, scrambled eggs and toast... Mmm. I like a big breakfast. On weekends however, I prefer something light (starting with a protein shake and, or a muesli bar) because instead of a big breakfast, my weekend treat is BRUNCH.
Epicurious @ Robertson Quay always hit the spot. Charles and I used to eat here almost every weekend when we lived in Singapore. Their delicious eggs benedict is the top reason why we sometimes force ourselves out of bed earlier during the weekend. You snooze, you lose! After much anticipation, I finally went there again for lunch over the F1 weekend a couple of weeks back. How I've missed it!
I was delighted when the waiter asked if I wanted only egg whites for my scrambled eggs. He must've noticed my workout gear and immediately assessed - seeing I'm the kind 'fitness freak' who would ditch the yolk to cut calories. Now I wouldn't call myself a fitness freak, but he was right. Just egg whites for my scrambled eggs, please!
I love how the food is served in classic retro porcelain plates. Reminds me of the good ol' days growing up in Singapore...
Before I learned to dunk Oreo cookies in milk, I was dipping biscuits in hot Milo. I love oats now, but I grew up with Nestum. Good mornings start with hard-boiled eggs on toast, sprinkled with white pepper and some soya sauce. Chili sauce is always preferred. (Charles says that's probably one of the things that makes me uniquely Singaporean, because Asian Americans like him favor ketchup.)
Ahh, those nostalgic days. How I treasure those memories of Singapore.
Check this out - The Nostalgia Talking Parrot, Ah Hock, says what you love about the good old days speaks a lot about your character now. Think this could be true? Go back in time and take this personality test to find out!
I must say, he was quite precise about me!
My dad actually called me out once for treating our home like a hotel because I'm always traveling. Ah Hock is a wise parrot!
This year, Nestlé celebrates its 100th year in Singapore. What a successful journey it's been for the brand! I'm happy to have shared many nourishing years with Nestlé products such as Milo, Milkmaid, Nestum and Cheerios.
To commemorate this milestone, Nestlé is giving back by fulfilling the wishes of 100 lucky people this year. If you have a wish that fits the "Good Food, Good Life" theme, share it with Nestlé and it may just come true!
What will you wish for?
Coincidentally, like Kenny Choo, who wished for a Milo van at his wedding, my sister is getting married in December and my simple wish for her is to have a Kit Kat wedding cake. She is a huge Kit Kat fan! Now if it were up to me, I'd choose green tea flavor. Aly claims she's tried more than 20 different flavors (there's gotta be at least 100 different flavors out there!) but her favorite is still the classic.
Admittedly, I like chocolates too. Occasionally. Especially dark chocolate! Speaking of chocolate, have you seen the new Milo 3-in-1 with 'Less Sugar'? Kudos to Milo for making an effort to promote a healthier option!
And now for the BIG NEWS... Nestlé is fulfilling one of my wishes. I can soon check off "Travel to Europe" from my bucketlist because I'm flying to Switzerland tonight to visit the home of Nestlé in Vevey! I've always wanted to travel to Europe and what better place to start than Switzerland. I'm so grateful to be given this opportunity to visit interesting Nestlé landmarks like the Alimentarium and the Cailler chocolate factory. My heart is racing from all the excitement.
I'm always curious to know what people spend on when it comes to groceries. I wished more of you would send me photos of What's In Your Grocery Cart... (keep 'em coming)! It's a great way to keep track of what you store in your kitchen - the first place you're gonna raid when you're hungry! Stocking up on mostly sweet drinks and ready-to-eat snacks is obviously not going to do your diet any good. Try to stay away from the frozen section and aisles where you'll find the *real danger* - snacks and packaged food. I typically do my groceries every 2 or 3 days, buying mostly fresh fruits, meat and vegetables, depending on how much I'm cooking at home.
In the book Hungry Planet, photographer Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio present a photographic study of families from around the world, revealing what people eat during the course of one week. Each family's profile includes a detailed description of their weekly food purchases; photographs of the family at home, at market, and in their community; and a portrait of the entire family surrounded by a week's worth of groceries.
To assemble this remarkable comparison, Menzel and D'Aluisio traveled to 24 countries and visited 30 families from Bhutan and Bosnia to Mexico and Mongolia, and recorded what they ate for a week. Menzel photographed each family in their kitchen with the week’s worth of groceries, while D’Alusio interviewed them about their food habits and family structure. Accompanying the portraits and narratives are detailed breakdowns of each family’s grocery list, more photographs of the family and home country, and statistics for each country visited.
*Note: The book was made about 7 years ago, and the prices were of that time.
Germany & Italy
Beer is a major part of German culture. My Germasian friend (half German, half Asian) once questioned why it is such a cliché to think that all Germans love beer... Here's why - Germany is ranked 2nd in terms of per-capita beer consumption! (1st: Czech Republic, 3rd: Austria, 4th: Ireland) Germans drink beer like Americans drink soda!
Favorite foods include fried potatoes with onions, bacon and herring, fried noodles with eggs and cheese, pizza, vanilla pudding. Fresh fruits are less available so colder-climate vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower and potatoes are consumed the most.
The Italian diet is extremely heavy in carbohydrates due to their large consumption of bread and pasta. Their favorite foods include fish, pasta with ragu, hot dogs, frozen fish sticks. While seasonal vegetables and herbs are the source of much flavor and nutrition, they also depend on canned/ready-to-eat processed foods in their daily diet.
United States of America & United Kingdom
In USA (California), the Caven family reveal some of their favorite foods which includes beef stew, berry yogurt sundae, clam chowder and ice-cream. In the UK, on the other hand, the Bainton family say they enjoy foods such as avocado, mayonnaise sandwich, prawn cocktail, chocolate fudge cake with cream. Evidently, both regions spend the most on packaged goods. Americans are getting nearly one-third of their calories from junk foods: soft drinks, sweets, desserts, alcoholic beverages, and salty snacks.
Japan & China
The Japanese and Chinese diet is a culturally interesting comparison. Both diets are heavily rice based, and every meal is usually served with common meat sources such as fish, seafood and chicken. Fresh seafood is abundant in Japan, hence raw food is also more prevalent in their traditional diet. Canned or frozen foods are normally avoided as fresh fruits in season is the normal snack and dessert. However, I think the usage of soya sauce and other seasonings in their dishes contribute to a diet that may be relatively high in sodium.
See the rest of the photos here, or go on Amazon to get yourself a copy of the book for your coffee table. It's fascinating how different dietary lifestyles compare in various parts of the world. An abundant food supply doesn't guarantee that a nation will have the healthiest or safest diet. If this topic interests you, perhaps you'd also like to read on the Top 10 Countries With Healthy Food.
Looks like I'm having Japanese for dinner again tonight!
If you haven't read or seen 'The Secret', I recommend that you do if you want to get a better understanding of why it's good to have a vision board. I just really like the idea, whether it's the law of attraction happening or not...
One more thing...
My Facebook page just hit over 10,000 Likes this week!
Thank you so much!
Phew! Excuse me while I try to catch my breath and wipe off this sweat because I just had an INTENSE workout today! Less than 2 more weeks to go before the end of the New Body Challenge so I gotta train even harder if I want to see RESULTS. My progress photos are looking good but between this week and last week's photo, the difference isn't much so I definitely need to step it up a notch...
Good to know—those annoying stickers on fruits and veggies tell you A LOT! 4 numbers mean they were conventionally grown, 5 numbers starting with number 8 means they are genetically modified (GMO), and 5 numbers starting with 9 means they were organically grown (no pesticides or GMOs)
Sometimes we do things out of habit and we don't really stop to think about it. Like ordering a diet coke with a sandwich. Or Redbull with vodka. All-the-time.
I know a number of people who've tried everything to lose weight - from going on low-carb diets, low-fat diets, cabbage soup diets or blood type diets, to name a few. Somehow they don't realize just how many calories beverages can contribute to their daily diet. Most people try to reduce their calorie intake by focusing on food. Not so easy. Drinks contain calories too and can really add up to your daily calorie intake.
Fact: You'd rather drink a Mountain Dew than eat a cake. But not until you realize how much sugar is in a bottle!
Here's a better picture:
How do you calculate how much sugar is in your drink?
grams of sugar (g) ÷ 4 = teaspoons of sugar
40 grams ÷ 4 = 10 teaspoons
Sometimes food companies market their products in the best possible light but sometimes the information can be vague or misleading. So watch out if it's more than 1 serving per container. Calculate by
Multiplying: teaspoons of sugar per serving (x) number of servings = teaspoons of sugar per container
(Example: 2 servings per container: 10 teaspoons x 2 servings = 20 teaspoons per container) *gasp!*
(hat tip: http://www.cdph.ca.gov)
Congrats to the contest winners & subscribers of TASTE e-magazine! They have each won themselves a Maxitone Sculptress set which includes a mini shaker, protein powder, meal replacement/ protein bar and Sculptress tablets worth $115!
To win the contest all they had to do was susbcribe to TASTE e-magazine and answer a very simple question:
What is one dish that Fay recommends and why?
The best answer: One dish that Fay recommends is Grilled Salmon with Broccoli for its high-protein content and its richness in Omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon's insulin properties further help build muscle and aid in losing that stubborn layer of abdominal fat to show off great, killer abs! Served as a perfect accompaniment; broccoli, a good source of antioxidant that helps keep skin supple. With its high folate content and anti-cancer properties, broccoli serves as a perfect round-up to a delicious, satisfying meal!
Thank you for subscribing and enjoy your Maxitone products!
This is one of my favorite to-go meals that's fast and easy to make. The ingredients are basic and you can prepare this meal in less than 10 minutes!
You will need: Whole-grain pasta, canned tuna chunks (in water), cucumber, red onion, hard boiled eggs and black pepper. As usual, I like adding Thai chili to my meals and sometimes a dash of cayenne pepper too. Can't live without my spice! It's also good for your metabolism.