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5 One-Pot Wonders that’ll Make You Excited to Cook

Cooking can become quite a hassle when you’re trying to get food done quickly. We don’t always have time to prepare so many things while also trying to keep track of our lives and what we have to do. This logic is what gave rise to fast food and delivery services, but there’s an easy method that applies to homemade food as well and all you need is a pan or a pot.

One pan or pot wonders are dishes that can be created quickly and effortlessly, all you need to do is grab a pan or pot, prepare the ingredients and them mix them all up and watch the magic happen.  So, let’s take a look at some of these recipes that we’re sure you’ll fall in love by the time we’re done.

Tabasco Braised Chicken with Chickpeas and Kale

We start off with a kick thanks to this spicy chicken recipe. The flavourful tomato sauce that’s created by combining the tomatoes with onions and Tabasco gives this dish its name. All of that goes a long way in enhancing the flavour of the chicken and chickpeas. A braise would usually take a long time to make but this recipe is quick and easy to repeat. Recipe below is suitable for a family of 4.

Ingredients:

1 ½ pounds skinless chicken thighs

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 white onion, diced

2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes, including juice

2 15-ounce cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

2 cups kale

1 tablespoon Tabasco

½ cup water

Instructions:

We’ll start by seasoning the chicken thighs with salt and black pepper, while heating up a tablespoon of oil over medium height heat in the pot. Once the oil starts bubbling, the chicken in and cook it for about 5 to 7 minutes on each side, then remove it from the pan and add the remaining oil to cook the other half of the chicken.

Once all the chicken is set aside, lower the heat down to medium and put the onions in until they become tender (which should only be about 4 or 5 minutes). Add tomatoes with juice, garbanzo beans with juice, kale, Tabasco and water and stir making sure to scrape the bits off the bottom of the pot.

Once this is done, mix the chicken thighs together with the tomato mixture until they simmer. Cook for about 30 more minutes until the flavours mix and then it’ll be ready to serve. We recommend serving it along with some rice or quinoa (there are quite a few things you can do with quinoa too).

One Pan Caprese Pasta

Pasta is certainly one of the most delicious and loved dishes one can make, and this simple dish is no different. If you love Caprese (mozzarella with tomato, fresh basil and olive oil), this recipe is one that you can’t miss if you’re looking for a light main course or a great side dish to your meals. Definitely fits into the Mediterranean Diet! This recipe serves 4.

Prep Time: 10 Minutes| Cook Time: 20 Minutes | Total Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup diced white onion

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 1/2 cups dry pasta

1 package of grape tomatoes, sliced in half

5 fresh whole basil leaves

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 1/2 cups water

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

1 1/2 cups fresh, diced Mozzarella (about 8 oz)

2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

Chopped basil leaves for garnish

Instructions:

Preheat a 12-inch skillet or a sauté pan up to medium heat with one tablespoon of oil. Cook the onions with this oil until they become tender and soft. Drop the pasta, sliced tomatoes, fresh whole basil leaves, garlic, water, salt and pepper in once the onions are tender and stir them together.

We’re not done just yet, however. We want to bring the pasta mixture to a boil here and letting it really suck in the juices and flavour from all the other ingredients, so make sure to stir it continuously for about ten minutes. You can check this by seeing if the liquid around the pasta has reduced.

Once the pasta is cooked, all we have to do is throw in the mozzarella cheese and let it melt by covering the pan. You can also add some balsamic vinegar and chopped basil once it’s done for extra flavour. Best part? You can eat from the pan if you reduce the quantity four times to have your personal pasta in a pot.

Rustic Chicken with Garlic Gravy

Nothing is quite as good as some well-cooked chicken, and this recipe sure delivers on that front. Your mouth will water instantly once you get a look at the combination that this chicken and gravy make, and your taste buds will explode once you taste it too! You won’t want to leave even a bit of food left on your plate with this pan/pot wonder. You can even use whatever type of chicken you want.

You’re also advised to have a staple on the side, preferably pasta, mashed potatoes or bread so that you can fully soak up and taste the gravy.

Prep Time: 15 Minutes |Cook Time: 30 Minutes |Total Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients:

2 Tbsps. Cooking oil

6-8 pieces skin-on/bone-in chicken thighs (could use any skin-on chicken )

Salt and freshly-ground black pepper

20-22 cloves garlic, separated and peeled (2 full heads)

2 Tbsps. flour

3/4 cup dry white wine

1 cup chicken broth

1 1/4 tsp fresh thyme leaves (or about 3/4 tsp. dried thyme leaves)

2 Tbsps. Butter

Instructions:

Start off by heating the oven up to 400-degree Fahrenheit (204 degrees Celcius) and set up a rack in the centre of it.

Heat some oil in an oven-safe skillet and pan fry the chicken with some salt and pepper. Cook and turn the chicken regularly for about eight minutes until it’s well browned and then remove it from the pan.

Reduce the heat once the chicken is cooked and remove it from the pat. Add the garlic into the pan and cook it for about three minutes. Sprinkle some flour in and stir it properly such that the flour is fully incorporated into the oil and garlic before putting the chicken back in. Put a lid over the pan and place it in the oven for 30 minutes.

Remove the pot from the oven (with gloves of course) and put it on the stove. Take the chicken out and you could start plating them.

Now it’s time to get to the sauce. Over medium-high heat, whisk in wine into the pan which has all the juices from the chicken, and simmer for 1 minute. Whisk in the broth, thyme and a bit more salt and pepper, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring regularly, until the sauce thickens. Turn the heat off and stir in the butter.

Make sure to taste it once it’s done to make sure it doesn’t need any more seasoning and pour it over the chicken before serving.

One-Pot Roasted Red Pepper and Sausage Alfredo

The combination of the pasta and sausage is great, especially if you haven’t really had the chance to do your grocery shopping put have a few hardy ingredients ready in your fridge. There’s vegetables in this dish too, so it’s a great way to sneak them into your children’s diet! It’s also relatively straightforward to cook, so you won’t have to worry about any prior cooking skills.

Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: 25 Minutes | Total Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients:

3/4 lb Italian sausage

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 cups milk, plus 1/4 cup for the sauce

1 1/2 cups chicken broth, plus 1/4 cup for the sauce

1 (16 oz) jar roasted red peppers, drained and pureed (you can do this in a food processor or blender)

8 oz goat cheese

1/2 cup grated parmesan

Salt and pepper, to taste

3 handfuls fresh spinach

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

12 oz pasta of your choice

Instructions:

Let’s start by removing the casing from the sausage and discard the casing. To do this, cut along the side of the sausage with a sharp knife and peel off the pierced casing with your fingers. After that, sauté the sausage in a large pot or pan with some garlic and olive oil at medium heat, make sure to leave it there until it browns.

Stir in the chicken broth, pureed roasted red peppers, milk and pasta; make sure to season it with some salt and pepper to give it some extra taste. Bring it to a boil and then lower the temperature to medium heat so that the pasta is cooked through, though remember to cover it first. If the liquid gets absorbs then add in the rest of the milk or broth.

Now, all we have to do is add and stir in the spinach (though don’t throw all of it in) and the cheeses. Stir it some more until they are melted, and it’ll be ready to serve.

Ginger Beef, Mushroom and Kale Stir-Fry

We’ve had a tonne of chicken and pasta recipes so why don’t we close out with some good old beef. It’s not just beef on its own; this stir-fry brings out the flavours in the kale, mushroom and beef to create a great combo of taste. You’ll feel like you’re eating actual Chinese food by the time you’re done even though kale isn’t a typical vegetable used in Chinese cuisine. This is a dish that you could also prep ahead by marinating the meat a few days before or while making breakfast so that it’s ready to be cooked by the time you return home.

Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: 25 Minutes | Total Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients:

For the Sauce:

1/3 cup soy sauce (if making gluten-free, be sure to use GF soy sauce)

1/2 cup vegetable broth (or chicken/beef broth, or water)

3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons corn starch

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper

For the Stir-Fry:

1 lb. thinly sliced flank steak or sirloin cut diagonally across the grain into thin strips

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

8 ounces baby portobello or button mushrooms, halved

4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, halved

3 cups chopped kale

2 green onions, thinly sliced

Instructions:

The most important part of this dish is the sauce, so take all of the ingredients for the sauce, put them in a bowl and whisk them until they mix. After your little mixing session is done, pour the sauce into a zip-lock bag and add the steak in to marinate in the fridge for at least fifteen minutes.

To cook, heat the oil in the pan over medium heat. Once it’s hot, fry the garlic until it’s golden brown before adding in the mushrooms and kale. Once the mushrooms are half cooked, add in the steak slices and stir fry until the meat is cooked to your desired doneness and the sauce has thickened. Serve over some steamed brown rice and you’ve got a wholesome nutritious meal!


Photo Credits: Gimme Some Oven, Host the Toast, Seasons and Supper, Foodie Crush, Yellow Bliss Road

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What You Need To Know About the Mediterranean Diet

The  term “Mediterranean Diet” came about in 2013 when medical researchers were studying diets from around the world and tracked the health statuses of women from when they were in their 50s to 60s till they were in the 70s. They found that the people from this small village in Italy had the lowest cases of age-related diseases such as diabetes and heart diseases, and thus started looking into their diets to find out whether it is the cause of their better health status.

mediterranean diet

First, let’s talk about what Mediterranean food is not about. When one mentions Italian or Greek food, one would often think about pasta, pizza, lamb and loaves of bread accompanied by bottles of wine. However, Mediterranean food is more than that and when referring to the Mediterranean diet specifically, it’s about eating a diet that is rich in fruit, vegetables, beans, shellfish, chicken, fish, tomatoes, nuts, olive oil and…even, red wine. For example, the paella or pilaf has a lot of the above ingredients inside. Nonetheless, the key to everything is moderation.

This “Mediterranean diet” has been around for thousands of years but contrary to what most would believe, it’s not just a diet but a way of life. People who live with the diet don’t just eat; they also lead active lives, get a lot of exercise and are very social. It’s a lifestyle that is meant to keep you healthy in all fronts – physical, emotional and mental.

Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet

We’ve talked a lot about the Mediterranean diet and what it is, but you might be wondering what the benefits of it actually are, people wouldn’t talk about it if it didn’t live up to the hype after all. The main benefit that everyone mentions when they talk about this particular diet is how it can help prevent heart disease, type-2 diabetes, obesity and even depression.

It’s Low in Processed Foods and Sugar

Ingredients found in Mediterranean food tend to be natural with little processing and no artificial flavouring, favouring on fresh produce. The only ‘processed’ foods would be items such as cheese, sausages and preserved olives or capers. It doesn’t shy away from carbs nor is it exceptionally high in protein (e.g. Atkins or Paleo diets).

The Mediterranean diet is also low in sugar, with the only sugar present being in fruits and wines. It also involves drinking a lot of fresh water or natural juices, which also lowers the consumption of sugar that could lead towards diabetes.

Helps You Lose Weight

This is one of the main reasons why the Mediterranean diet is so popular. Not only is it sustainable, the ingredients are all healthy and offer a variety of nutrients (protein and omega 3s etc) that allow you to lead a healthy life without making you go hungry, so you won’t have to skimp on food. Not just that, there’s also a large variety of foods and dishes, so you won’t have to worry about sticking to only one type of food, you can try out different recipes that suit your palate or needs.

prostate cancer

Improves Heart Health and Prevents Cancer

The benefit of a lot of these dishes, and their reliance on olive oil in particular, is that they offer a great amount of Omega 3 fatty acids that can help heart disease, as some famous stars would tell you. Coupled with a diet high on fish and the chances of cardiac arrest can be lowered by 30%, with sudden cardiac death going down by 45% or more.

Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, is also great at lowering hypertension because it makes nitric oxide more bioavailable, which makes it better able to keep arteries dilated and clear. It also helps fight against oxidation and improves endothelial functions, which is further enhanced by the antioxidant resveratrol found in red wine.

The antioxidants found in red wine and the various fruit and vegetables also help to prevent cancer by protecting DNA cells and slows down the degenerating rate as well as lowering cell mutation and delaying tumor growth.

healthy fats

Prevents Diabetes

Its ability to lower inflammation also makes Mediterranean diets able to lower the risks of diseases such as metabolic syndrome and type-2 Diabetes. The reason for this might be in the fact that foods found in this group control excess insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar levels, and makes us gain and retain weight.

People living with a Mediterranean diet eat a balanced breakfast shortly after waking up and eat all three meals a day, with their biggest one usually being lunch.

Can Prevent Cognitive Disease and Help You Live Longer

The effects of anti-inflammatory vegetables and fruits also help fight age-related cognitive decline. Thus, the Mediterranean diet can work as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s, which are often thought to be related to the lack of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is necessary for body movements, body regulations and thought processing.

This diet also encourages people to spend more time with nature as well as getting a good sleep and spending time with loved ones. Constantly spending time with those you care about helps release dopamine too, and can help with fighting stress and depression.

Plant-based foods and healthy fats also act as a good combination for longevity. Olive oil for its part offers a lot of monounsaturated fat, which is associated with lower levels of all the diseases we’ve mentioned before and also acts as the main offering of this diet.

 

These are some of the main benefits tied to Mediterranean diets that have helped push it into popularity as of recent years. It stands out even more in an age where people are looking to live healthier and change the direction of their lives.

However, like many things in life, a Mediterranean diet will only help you if you eat the correct amount of calories for your body type and weight, and stick to it. If you’re able to find a balance and follow the diet as best you can we’re sure to get results.


Photo Credits: Draxe.com, Wallpaper Gallery, Natural Society, UPI, US News Health

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Why Do I Get The Cold Often Even When I Get Enough Exercise?

The common cold is the most frequently occurring disease in the world, and is a leading cause of doctor visits and missed days from work, school and yes, from your fitness classes.

There is a hidden fact about why people are often infected with the common cold.

Some of the ways to ward off communicable diseases like the cold, is to exercise, eating healthy and washing your hands as often as possible to minimise the chances of getting sick. Yet, some of you who exercise, eat healthy are often affected by the common cold.

Why?  The simple fact is you could be deficient in Vitamin D.

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is an extremely important vitamin that has powerful effects on several systems throughout the body. For example, muscles need it to move.

Unlike most vitamins, vitamin D is a hormone (the medical community continued to use the term vitamin, even after it has been found to be a hormone – habits are difficult to change!) and every cell in your body has a receptor for it. Your body makes it from cholesterol when your skin is exposed to sunlight.

Vitamin D deficiency is very common. According to a 2011 study, 41.6% of adults in US are deficient.

What about Singapore or people living in the tropics? One would think low Vitamin D is not an issue given that there is sunshine all year round. The surprising thing is that a large majority of people does not have sufficient Vitamin D, one key reason being, most people live in modern cities and spend most of their time indoors.

Do you have any of these symptoms?

  1. Getting sick and infected often, especially with colds or the flu.
  2. Fatigue and tiredness.
  3. Bone and back pain.
  4. Hair loss.
  5. Muscle pain

Some people might attribute any of these symptoms to aging and live with it but you don’t have to.

It takes a simple test to find out if you are deficient in Vitamin D. If yes, you can correct it.

But read on. There is more to Vitamin D than we know. Research has shown Vitamin D is important in preventing other illnesses like diabetes, cancer and heart diseases.

prostate cancer

Vitamin D and Bones

Studies have shown that elderly individuals with low vitamin D are more likely to develop fractures and higher doses of vitamin D intake can reduce the likelihood of fractures

Vitamin D and the Heart

Studies have shown that low vitamin D levels are seen in people with heart failure, high blood pressure and stroke. There is some evidence that vitamin D may have a role in regulating blood pressure and preventing artery damage.

Vitamin D and Diabetes risk

Vitamin D levels also have an association with the increased incidence or likelihood of developing diabetes, a major risk factor for heart disease.

Vitamin D and the Immune System

It has been established by research that vitamin D is crucial to activate the body’s immune defences and that without sufficient intake of the vitamin – the killer cells of the immune system will not be able to react and fight off infections in the body.

Next time, ask your doctor to include the Vitamin D test to determine that you’re neither having too little nor too much of it.

For more about integrating health and fitness and be proactive in building optimum health, visit www.vitalay.earth.

 

Contributed by Lay Yong, Wellness Entrepreneur.


References:

Vitamin D crucial to activating immune defences – www.sciencedaily.com, March 8 2010, University of Copenhagen

Vitamin D keeps the doctor away, Heart Stroke & Cancer Centre www.shscentre.com; Dr Michael Lim

Photo credit: Pixabay and GIPHY

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Thinking About a Soup Cleanse?

The Chinese have always been promoting the nutritiousness of soups, as seen from the variety and how each type of soup is able to help soothe the lungs and other internal organs. However, with the recent trend in detox plans and juice cleanse, there is a new trend called – soup cleanse.

All of us here at The Wellness Insider are healthily sceptical about soup cleanses considering how little evidence there is about them, so we decided to ask the experts. Integrative Dentist and Health Coach, Dr Surinder Arora, said that the point of soup cleanses was to get “people to eat whole real foods if the soups are prepared themselves” and that “this is another way to get these good foods into the body.” However, she did mention that soup cleanses are “not needed if people have eliminated artificial and processed junk foods from their diet.”

So, in other words, it is not a total ‘don’t try it!’ diet regime and it might be a good way for you to try and cut back from sugar and other additives. Nonetheless, it’s not meant to be a long term diet but like most of us, it’s great to have a bowl of soup once in a while.

If you’re interested in doing a soup cleanse, then you may want to try out the following recipes by our friends at Gergich & Co. in this simple infographic.
Click to Enlarge Image

Soup up Your Lifestyle with a Soup Cleanse

 

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Could this be the cause of your bloating?

‘Gluten-free options available’.  ‘No gluten’.  We often hear or see these terms advertised but what is gluten? What does it do to our bodies and what do these statements actually mean?  These statements often get us thinking without us realising.  Should I go gluten free?

Gluten-containing grains, such as wheat, rye and barley, have been a component of the human diet in Western countries for thousands of years.  Due to the progressive adoption of Western lifestyles, consumption in Eastern countries is increasing.  Gluten-related disorders have a global prevalence that is estimated around 5%.

Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, rye, barley and their varying forms. It gives baked goods a doughy and elastic property and is also used as a thickening agent and flavour enhancer. It consists of gliadin and glutenin.  Gliadin is what causes the adverse effects when consumed.

We are no longer eating the same type of wheat that our ancestors ate.  In order for the crops to be resistant to environmental factors such as bugs and the weather, the grains have been hybridised, resulting in varying forms of gluten.  Many of these forms can lead to sensitivity when they are consumed.

How does gliadin affect my body?

When your food gets to your intestines, an enzyme (tTG – tissue transaglutaminase) breaks gluten down into gliadin and glutenin. Gliadin is then broken down into peptides in the digestive system and then into amino acids.

Dr Fasano, paediatric gastroenterologist and researcher from Harvard explains that gliadin binds to the intestinal lining which activates a complex mechanism resulting in barriers (that are usually closed) being opened in the intestinal lining.  When these barriers are opened, bacteria as well as gliadin moves into the blood stream and into the body.  Gliadin resembles human proteins such as the ‘synaptin protein’ and therefore, can activate an autoimmune response.  The body cannot tell the difference between gliadin and the human proteins as they look similar and so their effects are the same.  This can result in common symptoms of autoimmune diseases including fatigue, fever and feeling generally unwell.

The amino acids also bind to the human brain and act as opiates. The opiate effect depends on the individual.  It can lead to mental fog, outbursts in ADHD, paranoia, trigger mania in bipolar and even trigger depression.

What is celiac disease?

When gluten is consumed, an autoimmune response occurs in the body which results in damage to the villi of the small intestine. These villi are finger like projections that create a larger surface area for nutrients to be absorbed. When the villi are damaged, the body is unable to absorb the necessary nutrients that the body needs. There are more than 200 symptoms of celiac disease including abdominal bloating and pain, constipation, diarrhoea, vomiting and fatigue.

How do I know if I am gluten intolerant?

Take gluten out of your diet for a month and see if you feel better. If you do, chances are that gluten is not working well on your body. Lab testing is also an option to determine if gluten suits you.

Are gluten-free products healthy?

Data in the 2013 Gluten-Free/Diabetes Friendly Handbook, a Supplement to Grocery Headquarters Magazine suggests that $4.5 billion US dollars were spent on gluten free items in 2012. There is also an increasing trend amongst restaurants with increasing gluten-free options on menus.

healthy fats

Gluten-free does not necessarily mean healthy. If gluten has been removed form a product, it may be loaded up with other additives as well as sugar to aid texture and flavour. This processing commonly results in an unhealthy gluten-free item that many of us think is healthy. Always check your food labels. A gluten-free diet can be very healthy providing it is based on real whole foods.

Here are a few gluten free food choices:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Beans, nuts and seeds
  • Lean meats, poultry and fish
  • Dairy
  • Gluten-free whole grains
  • Gluten-free whole grain flours
  • Certified gluten-free oats
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Millet
  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat
  • Teff
  • Sorghum
  • Nut flours

If you’re having digestive issues or are experiencing fatigue, it may mean that your body does not take too well to gluten.  Eliminate all sources of gluten (e.g. bread, pasta and noodles) for 7 to 10 days to see if this makes a difference. If you do find that you are slightly gluten-sensitive, opt for whole and real foods rather than ‘gluten-free’ ready made options as you would still want to keep a balanced diet. Remember to read your labels!

To find out more about gluten-sensitivity and celiac disease, do read about it here.

Contributed by Dr Surinder Arora, Integrative Dentist and Health Coach.


References

Elli L et al,  Diagnosis of gluten related disorders: Celiac disease, wheat allergy and non-celiac gluten sensitivity World J Gastroenterol. 2015 Jun 21; 21(23): 7110–7119

William Davis MD www.wheatbellyblog.com

Weiser H, Chemistry of gluten proteins Food Microbiology Volume 24, Issue 2, April 2007, P. 115–119

Celiac Disease Foundation What is Celiac Disease www.celiac.org  Accessed 07 May 2017

Photo credits: Pixabay and GIPHY

 

 

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We’re planning something BIG

Here at The Wellness Insider, we are all gearing up for our inaugural Wellness Day Out happening from 23 to 25 June! This also marks the official launch of our platform and we’d like you to celebrate along with us in this festival of holistic health.

The Festival spans across two and a half days, and will feature a Wellness Bazaar that will have vendors selling healthy products and services. Entry to our Wellness Day Out itself is FREE and you can also enjoy a Fashion Show of active wear on Fri evening too!

This is also a chance for you to learn new things or kick start your fitness journey through our ticketed workshops such as: Self-Defence for Women, Make Up Customisation and even a Fitness Bootcamp. The little ones will also get to partake in activities such as the Children Batik Workshop, where they can unleash their creativity and learn more about a traditional art form exclusively from Indonesian artists.

We’re also very proud to feature some of our experts as the speakers for our Wellness Day Out:

Joel Quek
Joe’s Fitness
Zackiee Ng
U-Elite Martial Fitness
Fiona Tan
miss:fi:t

Do check out the full Festival’s activities at our event site http://dayout.thewellnessinsider.sg! We hope to see you there and just relax with us.

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Top 10 Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants in Singapore

If you’re vegetarian or vegan, it can get a bit tough to find places outside with delicious and healthy options. We’re also talking about a balanced meal without copious amounts of starch but also protein and fibre. Thanks to our friends at EatPrayFlying.com, they tried and tasted several vegetarian restaurants in Singapore which we further refined to give you a top 10 list.

All of these places offer vegan options, most offer organic foods and all of them do not compromise on taste. Thus, even non-vegetarians will still enjoy a meal there without missing their usual meaty fare.

1. Herbivore

With the names of dishes such as Katsudon, sashimi and other meat-based foods, we wouldn’t blame you for thinking that Herbivore doesn’t live up to their name. However, even though the taste and texture are just like those meaty dishes, Herbivore’s Japanese food is 100% vegetarian and excellent to boot. They do add MSG and colouring into their food, so that may be something that you may want to keep in mind.

Herbivore
190 Middle Road
#01-13/14 Fortune Centre
Tel. no.: +65 6333 1612
Opening Hours:

Mon-Fr11:30 – 15:00
17:00 – 22:00
Sat & Sun11:30 – 22:00

2. Foy Yin Vegetarian Food

The first item on our list is an old school vegetarian food stall found within a hawker centre. It has great vegetarian dishes that taste just like their meat variants such as their “fish” soup and “duck” rice. Make sure to get there early though as the queues can get pretty long.

Foy Yin Vegetarian Food
Blk 628 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4
#01-70 Block 628 Market & Food Centre

3. Original Sin

This restaurant is one of Singapore’s most established vegetarian places, with a great variety of western styled foods and salads that offer something for everyone, and the food is sure to rock your taste buds. You shouldn’t miss the chance to try out their Turkish Flat Bread, Falafel Salad and their highly recommended risotto. They are one of the pricier choices but it’s a great treat with family and friends.

Original Sin
Blk 43 Jalan Merah Saga
#01-62 Holland Village Chip Bee Gardens
Singapore 278115
Tel. no.: +65 6475 5605
Email: [email protected]

4. Café Salivation

Café Salivation was one of the first Western vegetarian cafes to open in Little India back in 2008. Salivation offers a variety of dishes such as salads, sandwiches and their unique pasta that are to die for. They don’t use any MSG, so that’s a double win right there.

Café Salivation
176 Race Course Road
Singapore 218607
Tel. no.: +65 6298 1412
Website: www.cafesalivation.com

5. Living Café and Deli

Vegans and vegetarians have a sweet tooth too! And Living Café and Deli is just the right place to have your cake and eat it. The recipes here aren’t entirely vegan (some of their mains have white meat) but it does have a large selection of vegan options and a variety of raw desserts that any sweets lover will approve.

Living Café and Deli
779 Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 269758
Tel no.: +65 6468 4482
Website: www.balancedlivingasia.com/living-cafe-and-deli
Opening Hours:

Mon11:00 – 19:00
Tue – Fri11:00 – 22:00
Sat09:00 – 22:00
Sun09:00 – 19:00

6. Kampung Senang

Kampung Senang isn’t just a restaurant; it’s also an eco-conscious charity that aims to help cancer patients recover. They’ve used this as a basis for installing an organic kitchen to their Holistic Lifestyle Centre and in turn, aim to promote a healthy lifestyle to members of the charity as well as schools and corporations. Aside from offering great sushi rolls and a selection of organic food, they also hold seminars, workshops and educational talks.

Kampung Senang
Blk 106 Aljunied Crescent
#01-205
Singapore 380106
Tel. no.: +65 6749 8509

7. Create Healthy Lifestyle Café

You wouldn’t believe how crowded this little café gets and if you’re lucky enough to brave through the crowd or queue, then you’ll definitely appreciate it’s organic meals that are at affordable prices. There are several other vegetarian eateries within Fortune Centre but we like how Create just lets the ingredients speak for themselves and the dishes are quite well balanced.

Create Healthy Lifestyle Café
190 Middle Road
#02-17 Fortune Centre
Singapore 188979
Tel. no.: +65 6336 4355

8. Afterglow

Afterglow is one of the few organic restaurants that serves entirely raw food. The restaurant offers a ton of vegan and raw dishes ranging from soups, vegetable-based chips and even lasagna (don’t ask us how they do it). All of their recipes have been worked on so as to bring out the best of each dish. However, the prices for the food can be a little steep if you’re just looking for a place to eat and the portion sizes are a bit on the small side, mostly because of how much work it takes to make entirely raw dishes. Nonetheless, it is an experience eating here.

Afterglow
24 Keong Saik Road
Singapore 089131
Tel. no.:+65 6224 8921

9. Sunny Choice

Sunny Choice mainly sells organic products, not just foods but also everyday home-care. Which is why it comes as no surprise their their cafe serves up organic vegetarian versions of local delights (bak kut teh, anyone?). They serve fresh organic juices and after your meal, you can stock up on your groceries too.

Bukit Merah
Blk 125 Bukit Merah Lane 1
#01-158
Singapore 150125
Tel. no.: +65 6272 3138
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat, 10:00 – 15:00 (closed on Sundays and Public Holidays)

Bukit Timah
434 Upper Bukit Timah Road
The Rail Mall
Singapore 678060
Tel. no.: +65 6892 2383
Opening Hours: Daily, 10:30 – 21:00 (last order at 20:30)

Bukit Batok
Blk 630 Bukit Batok Central
#01-154
Singapore 650630
Tel. no.: +65 6899 0918
Opening Hours: Daily, 10:30 – 21:00 (last order at 20:30)

10. Real Food

Real Food has become the leading restaurant when it comes to organic vegetarian food in Singapore. It originally started out as a small restaurant in Central, Clark Quay but has since grown and expanded over the years. They’ve become famous due to their support of ethical farming and food preparation, but their food is no joke. With fresh, organic and completely raw ingredients, they can make such amazing dishes as their Fried Vermicelli and Dumpling Soup along with a selection of pasta and sandwiches. It’s an experience you just won’t want to miss although we do advise you to skip their water (S$0.50 for a tiny glass).

The Central
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
#B1-52/53 The Central
Singapore 059817
Tel. no.: +65 6224 4492

Square 2
10 Sinaran Drive
#B1-105/106/129 Square 2
Singapore 307506
Tel. no.: +65 6397 2289

Killiney
110 Killiney Road
Tai Wah Building
Singapore 239549
Tel. no: +65 6737 9516

Website: www.realfoodgrocer.com

We hope that this list was as helpful to you in choosing some non-meat alternative places to eat. There are still many more vegetarian and vegan restaurants around Singapore so make sure to do some exploring of your own as well. With that said, it’s time to go out and eat!

If you’re a café or restaurant and would like us to contact us to do a review, do email us at [email protected].


Photo Credits: TripAdvisor, Eat Pray Flying, Chope, Kampung Senang, Sunny Choice

Original post by EatPrayFlying

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Best Healthy Lunch Deliveries in Singapore

Quite a lot of us have the excuse that we don’t eat healthy because we’re either too busy to prepare our meals or it is hard to do so when you’re working as there are no healthy food options around your office. Well, we hear you and we’re here to squelch those excuses as we introduce to you some options of healthy food that can be delivered to your doorstep. Healthy lunch 1 Excuses 0.

Over 2 weeks, we reviewed food from 4 healthy lunch deliveries and we judged them on Taste, Appearance and Experience (ease of ordering etc). Read on as we give our reviews (and casual awards) to Grain, Dosirak, FitThree and YOLO Food.

Best online luxe food delivery – Grain

Pan-seared Norwegian Salmon

Their website is very user-friendly and the food definitely takes centrestage. They have weekly specials chosen by their chef, and for the week that we did our tasting, it was Roasted Lamb. What makes eating healthy for the whole week easier is that their website allows you to plan your meal ahead, which really works for people with a very busy schedule. What else was more impressive is that the whole start to finish user experience was really thoughtful – you get an alert as to when your food was about to arrive; after your meal, you get an email asking you for feedback which only goes to show how much they value your opinion and their willingness to improve. Something noteworthy is that the containers used are all environmentally friendly, with exception to the plastic covers.

Melissa’s ReviewMatthew’s Review
Day 1Chose:

  • Weekly Special of Roasted Lamb Leg
  • Earl Grey Pear Tart

The lamb was really tender and the sauce had a mild curry flavour to it, all on a bed of super creamy mash and some roasted carrots. It was so lush that it’ll fool you into think that it is not healthy. The quality is restaurant standard, so it is quite a bargain at S$14.95. At 600 calories (yes, it’s all labeled), it was not a light meal per se and I probably should’ve held off on the dessert. Nonetheless, it only contains 27g of fat, 56g of protein and 69g of carbs! My main complaints were that the lamb still had a bit of sinew to it and was difficult to eat with only a fork and spoon. Knife please. Secondly, I wished there were more greens as the fibre from carrots was not enough in my opinion.

The Earl Grey Pear Tart was ok. Maybe they should take away the ‘Earl Grey’ part because I couldn’t taste the distinct bergamot flavour which makes up earl grey.

Meal satisfaction = 8.5/10

Chose:

  • Grilled Tiger Prawns with
    dry curried Fusilli

The prawns were really flavourful and fresh, which is always a plus point for seafood. The cherry tomatoes were caramelised (smart choice) and added a light sweetness to the whole dish. There was also mushy black beans in the foray which added a nice contrast of texture that made it a pleasant experience eating the dish, with crunchy tiger prawns and fusilli cooked al dente. The best part was how they got the portion made just right for the Asian stomach. I didn’t feel bloated or left hungry after consuming the entire serving.

Meal satisfaction = 7/10

Day 2Chose:

  • Honey Soy Tempeh
  • Grilled Farm Fresh Chicken
  • Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

I love tempeh and Grain’s version is amazingly good with the honey soy sauce. It’s super low in calories, high in fibre and great to share, which I did. The honey soy sauce had this incredible smokey flavour which added more depth to the grilled tempeh. Highly recommended!

Ok…the chef who is in charge of the grill is a master! The grill on the chicken was on point! Excellent char with slight smokey flavour and when you pair that with steamed vegetables, it was simple but delicious. Love the Asian twist by using black rice as the staple and it added a slight creaminess to the whole dish. Wished there was more pesto sauce though.

You will not want to share the chocolate tart. ‘Nuff said.

Meal satisfaction = 9.5/10 (0.5 more points if there was more pesto sauce)

Chose:

  • Pan-seared Norwegian Salmon

This is great for days when you have late lunches. Mind you, this dish is served cold and ready to eat whenever.

The salmon was not overcooked, which meant that it was not tough and the pan-seared Western style left the inner meat soft like sashimi, which felt like it was a fusion dish. Personally I prefer having my salmon done this way, with a nice milky aesthetic and bite with a melted texture like sashimi at its core.

The vinaigrette enhanced the overall flavour since most of the dish was vegetables. This is my favourite dish out of all the meals tried throughout the 2 weeks.

I did initially order a tempeh to match my salmon but it was finished before my order. Nonetheless, I’m glad the salmon more than compensated for my satisfaction.

Meal satisfaction = 9.5/10

Day 3Chose:

  • Char-grilled Zucchini and Couscous bowl
  • Grilled Piri-piri Chicken (side)
  • Coconut milkshake (there’s no milk)

Once again, kudos to the grill master. The grilled chicken was so good, I was tempted to toss it into the couscous.

I am a bit ambivalent with regards to the Char-grilled Zucchini and Couscous. It tasted great on the whole as I love mozzarella balls, the amount of zucchini made me happy (what…I like my veg!) and I liked the bits of olive and cherry tomatoes. However, the whole dish was really dry and that’s where the coconut drink came in handy. Also, they decided not to compromise on presentation, resulting in very large halves of the zucchini which you couldn’t eat in one bite and had less grilled flavour compared to the smaller slices.

Not particularly fond of the coconut milkshake which was essentially blitzed coconut flesh in coconut water. Cool shade of pink though.

Meal satisfaction = 8/10 (saved by the Piri-piri chicken)

Chose:

  • Roasted Lamb Leg
  • Honey Soy Tempeh
  • Earl Grey Pear Tart

The Roasted Lamb leg had a strong flavour and they were pretty generous with the portion. The ingredients’ natural flavours were highlighted and accompanied well with their chunky mashed potatoes. I liked that their mash wasn’t totally smooth as it added texture while eating.

It was a happy experience eating the tempeh. The dish was literally sweet and savoury at the same time.

The tart was not as fantastic as I had hoped it to be. Tasted a little more like a breakfast pastry than a dessert.

Meal satisfaction = 8/10

Overall Score8.5/10

Restaurant quality at café prices with convenience. Vegan option only on demand. I’m still not too convinced that it’s the healthiest choice as I reckon that there should be more green vegetables in most of the dishes.

9/10

+1 for the sustainable boxes sans plastic labels. They have a very diverse but yet familiar menu selection. I find them to be the most well rounded healthy food delivery with exceptional quality and great customer service.

Head on over to www.grain.com.sg to view their full menu and do use the promo code RF36812 to get S$5 off your first order!

Most fun meal experience – Do.Si.Rak

Beef Bulgogi

Dosirak literally means ‘lunch box’ in Korean so you know that they know that you want your lunch quick but healthy. The packaging is entertaining with Korean motifs and it’s handy and reusable if you choose to keep it for future use. Needless to say, their menu is Korean-inspired and you get to choose from their menu that ranges from beef, fish and vegetarian options. Each meal is under 500 kcal unless you decide to top up more protein or carbohydrates. They even have the HPB’s “Healthier Choice” stamp of approval! Starts from S$7.90.

Melissa’s ReviewMatthew’s Review
Day 1

Beef Bulgogi with White Rice

The beef was really tender and I had fun pouring the sauce in and shaking the whole tub up! I loved the fact that there was A LOT of vegetables, including my favourite ‘big head’ bean sprouts.

 

There was a familiar sesame aroma and the beef was moist. The layering of meat, salad and rice makes you eat complex carbohydrates last if you choose not to mix it up.

 

Spicy Chicken with Brown RiceDidn’t add a lot of sauce to this because the chicken was already spicy. The brown rice was very fragrant!

Meal satisfaction = 8/10

The Spicy Chicken was mostly, well, spicy. I felt that it was less flavourful than the beef.

Meal satisfaction = 7/10

Day 2

Salmon Soba Noodles

 

I liked the raw salmon with the soba but because soba doesn’t absorb that much sauce compared to rice, the flavour of the sauce was overpowering. It got a little too spicy after a couple of mouthfuls. I would’ve actually changed the sauce from the typical Korean one to perhaps a Japanese sesame ponzu version.The Salmon with Soba Noodles reminded me of sushi in a takeaway box. I was a tad disappointed with this because of its resemblance to a tamago sushi but had contrasting flavour, although the salmon did go well with the natural sweetness from the vegetables.
 Avocado Cauliflower ‘rice’This is the vegetarian option and I must say that I love the ‘rice’! Also, there was Japanese sweet potato in the dish, which I was feeling slightly dubious about because I didn’t think it would go with the avocado and the sauce. However, I was pleasantly surprised that it did go very well! In fact, it lessened the saltiness of the sauce and gave the dish small bursts of flavour that wasn’t just sauce.

Meal satisfaction = 7.5/10 (let down mainly because of the Salmon Soba)

Much preferred the Avocado Sweet Potato with Cauliflower Rice compared to the salmon. The natural sweetness of the ingredients were a good start, with the avocado matching well with the sweet potatoes and mushrooms. All went really well with the spicy sauce while the cauliflower ‘rice’ gave the whole dish a fresh flavour.

Meal satisfaction = 9/10 (I really liked the cauliflower rice and sweet potato combination)

Day 3

Soy Chicken with White Rice

Tasted the chicken first and the soy taste wasn’t very strong. Needless to say, there was no more soy taste after adding the Korean chilli sauce. This is the safest option if you don’t like raw fish or beef.

Meal satisfaction = 6/10

There was a very strong garlic flavour. In my opinion, this was rather generic and average compared to other dishes. The chicken cubes were quite lean and I liked the moist lotus root bits which added texture to the meal. I was spoiled by the soy chicken recipes from other franchises (albeit not the healthy kind) For a healthy option, I surely wasn’t expecting the overwhelming garlic.

Meal satisfaction = 5/10

Overall Score7/10 

Fun to eat once in a while but would be great if they had more sauce options.

6/10

Besides their handy food packaging and well layered delivery, they’re pretty much alright. It is good as a traditional healthy option.

Flavour is decent and it’s good as a quick “to-go” healthy meal.

If you’re in the Raffles Place/ Chinatown area then you can order from their store at China Square Central (18 Cross Street) and enjoy their promotion of “Buy 4 for the price of 3” . Otherwise, get them to deliver through foodpanda.sg. Do note that Foodpanda’s delivery charges and minimum order applies, which is why it would be a good idea to get your gym buddy or lunch kaki to join you to Shake It Up.

Most no-brainer meals for the gym rat or health conscious – FitThree

Yakitori Chicken Meat Balls with Asian Vegetables Medley (low carb menu)

If you have specific fitness or health goals in mind and you don’t really want to think about your meals, FitThree definitely helps you plan out your meals while you just concentrate on your exercise. They made it even easier by allowing you to pick your meals up from several gyms located all over the island. This means that you can hit the gym and then have your lunch after that. They deliver the meals cold and you simply warm them up in the microwave. That truly is guilt-free fast food at only S$12.90 per dietician-approved meal. They run it subscription-style and the menu changes every week.

However, their communication was not so great as we had asked for a 3-day meal plan to review but only received 1. Moreover, both of us received different amounts of food. Thus, we were not able to effectively sample their menu.

Melissa’s ReviewMatthew’s Review
Lunch: Yakitori Chicken Meat Balls with Asian Vegetables Medley (low carb menu)

The amount of stir-fried vegetables sang to me and made me happy even before I ate a bite. When I did bite into it, it was a tad peppery but mellowed out after chomping into the meatballs. Oh…the meatballs. They were so good that two of them were ‘stolen’ by my mother whom I was sitting next to.

Dinner: Thai Basil Meatballs with Asian Style Zucchini and Coconut Brown Rice (omnitarian menu)

These beef balls were really really good. Even after being microwaved. There was no sauce but the whole dish was surprisingly moist. The coconut brown rice was really fragrant but not cloyingly rich, unlike nasi lemak. I wasn’t too impressed with the zucchini which were sliced and soaked in vinegar and ginger.

Meal satisfaction = 8.5/10 (best meatballs EVER!)

Lunch: Sesame Chicken Brown Rice and Mixed Vegetables (omnitarian menu)

This is a no frills meal. Simple seasoning that tasted familiar and great, brown rice and toss in frozen peas, carrots and corn. It works well as a fundamental post-workout meal for the busy fitness junkie.

Dinner: Thai Basil Meatballs with Asian Style Zucchini and Coconut Brown Rice (omnitarian menu)

The meatballs did taste addictive and I was popping them into my mouth enjoyably. The aesthetics were a little plain but the flavour more than make up for it. The coconut flavour was rather strong and I hold mixed feelings about it.

Meal satisfaction = 7.5/10

If you’re on a controlled diet with strict caloric count, then FitThree might be the choice meal for you. They don’t do home or office deliveries unless you’re nearby (do check), so they clearly know their target audience. To peruse their menu, do visit www.fitthree.com. Readers get 30% off their first orders when using the code TWIMAY.

Almost like home cooked food…with a zing – YOLO Food

Miso Salmon with Kailan and Broccoli on Quinoa

Our good friend, Luke Tan, has worked with YOLO Foods to come up with some vegan options that are still nutritionally holistic. That is why we knew that YOLO would definitely deliver on taste and health benefits too. They’ve got a good selection of Asian dishes with the most healthy ingredients in our opinion.

Melissa’s ReviewMatthew’s Review
Day 1

Miso Salmon Quinoa

There’s a certain unfair expectation when I saw all my favourite ingredients in a box. Not to mention that I have cooked cod and salmon in miso before. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised that the salmon was not too salty (what miso did they use?) and the sesame coating added a nice sorta bite to it all. Brought out the nutty flavour of the quinoa too. Loved the generous portion of vegetables although they were not that flavourful. Wished there was more salmon though. I was left with quite a lot of quinoa after devouring the salmon and veggies.

Meal satisfaction = 8.5/10

It is savoury and the sesame coating didn’t give it an overwhelming flavour, which made me very impressed as most food franchises use sesame as a disguising seasoning. The kailan and broccoli were a good addition to make it a balanced meal. On a side note, they were using my favourite ingredients too and definitely not adapting Melissa’s review content.

Meal satisfaction = 9.5/10

Day 2

Coconut Chicken with Brown Rice and Vegetables

With studies showing that coconut is really not bad for you plus the medium-chained triglycerides found in coconut oil being good for you, it comes to no surprise that coconut is now the ‘in’ ingredient for a lot of health foods.

Similar to the coconut rice from FitThree, YOLO’s Coconut Chicken wasn’t creamy nor did it taste like nasi lemak. It was lightly fragrant, which means that there’s probably a mixture of both coconut milk and coconut water to cook the chicken in. As a result, the dish was subtle in terms of flavour and after a few mouthfuls, became a bit boring despite the zesty lime juice. The lightly stir-fried vegetables with sweet potatoes did not help in adding more dimensions to the dish either. Thank goodness for the cashew nuts to bring this Thai-inspired meal together but alas, not enough cashew nuts.

Was filling though and lasted for more than 4 hours till dinner without any snacking involved.

Meal satisfaction = 6/10

I have to apologise that I was unable to review this dish as I was busy and did not put the dish in the fridge in time before it turned bad.

 

Meal satisfaction = NA

Day 3

I had a nice surprise with Meatball pasta with eggplant and cherry tomatoes!

I spy my little eye on enoki mushrooms and some other vegetables hidden within the meatballs. Clever! The pasta was al dente, which earned YOLO Food solid brownie points because it is not easy to deliver pasta without it becoming soggy. The meatballs were pretty decent and were a very close fight with FitThree’s but I preferred the latter’s. Very satisfying and the portion was perfect. Add in some grilled courgette and I’ll be extra happy with this dish!

Meal satisfaction = 8.5/10

Received the gluten-free and vegan option of Peranakan Vegetable Curry with Brown Rice. I remembered to keep it refrigerated this time round and microwaved it later to eat.

The portion was adequate and it was fragrant when I opened the package. The curry is the signature of my experience of reviewing YOLO Food. It felt so much like home and the tangy taste of the vegetables inside made it so much more. They definitely stayed true to the Peranakan flavour. Needless to say, there are plenty of personal attachments to this dish.

The brown rice gave great contrast to the soft vegetables as it had a bit of husk. I have to say it made my day after missing out on the coconut chicken and a hectic day. They definitely spent time considering other factors of the eating experience besides taste.

Meal satisfaction = 10/10

Overall Score8/10

I felt that YOLO Food treated every ingredient with thought on how to not compromise on flavour but yet not over or undercook them so that they’re nutritionally good. Also loved their seemingly nonchalance in packaging and presentation but if you’ve ever done food prep or events, you’ll know that Yolo does care about its food.

9.5/10

Quite like their functional packaging while it would be a plus if they have a sustainable initiative included. They definitely deliver on flavour using the natural taste of the ingredients which is quite impressive.  Their presentation seems a little plain.

YOLO Food offers bespoke weekly meal plans that suits your needs and goals, starting from S$99. Otherwise, you can also opt just for their normal menu items which begin from S$10.90 or even build your own meal at S$12.90. Our readers will also get a free coffee or tea when you mention “Wellness Insider” during your purchase in-store!

If you’re in the Tanjong Pagar area then you can order from their store at ICON Village (12 Gopeng Street). Otherwise, get them delivered through Uber Eats. Do note that Uber Eats’ delivery charges and minimum order applies so you might want to buddy-up or perhaps order both lunch and dinner at the same time. Just remember to refrigerate if the items are served warm. Use the code eats-ubermelfann to get S$10 off your first order on Uber Eats.

 

If you would like your company’s products to be reviewed and featured on The Wellness Insider, please drop us an email at [email protected].


Photo credits: Melissa Fann, Matthew Yeo, Dosirak and YOLO Food.

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