Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Easy Weekend Meal Ideas

I have not been cooking so much for a while now.  Not so many dishes in one day anyway. My mom-in-law was in town and because she is on a low carb diet program, I decided to make a few suitable dishes for her to enjoy. She has lost 5 kg in 3 weeks. Yippeee!!! Let’s keep this great progress moving on.



For breakfast, I made the super easy and once viral Bacon Egg Toast in a cup. As the name implies, this only needs 3 ingredients: Bacon + Egg + Bread. I used smoked bacon and lined the sides of a greased muffin cup (You can stir fry this first, but I skipped this as I didn’t want to wash another pan). Then, I added a small, square piece of whole meal bread into the muffin cup to fill the base part. (Remember we are going low carbs? You can use a bigger piece to line the whole muffins cup instead. Or just skip the bread for a carb-free brekkie).

Finally, crack an egg into the cups. Top with cheese, some pepper or chilli flakes if you wish. Bake for 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 200ºC. You can actully used the air fryer for this, but since I was using a muffin tray, I used my breadmaker oven.You can’t beat anything with bacon in it, right? YUmmmsss!

During lunch, I figured that my Air Fryer and Multi-purpose pressure cooker will be ideal for a quick (that is very important for me) and a delicious meal. I have fresh spinach, mushrooms, fishballs… just perfect for a One-Pot Pasta. Pasta is a staple at my house as both my kids love pasta and it is so easy to make yet so delish!


There are plenty of recipes for One-Pot-“Everything you can imagine & fill in the blanks yourself”-Pasta on the internet and the blogosphere. I love the fact that they are quite a no-brainer and you can flavor them anyway you like at the end. You can make it as fancy or as simple as you want to. But, I tell you… mushrooms and spinach are a match made in heaven. You can’t go wrong with these 2 ingredients. They give the broth a savory, earthy flavor and the mushrooms has a sweet taste as you bite into it. Just heavenly…

Most recipes will start with putting all the ingredients sans spinach with sufficient water into the pot. This time, I browned the onions, garlic and fish balls first to bring up the flavor a notch before adding the pasta, mushrooms and water. With the pressure cooker, I only need 4 minutes on the high-pressure mode for the pasta to be done. After that, throw in all the spinach and simmer for another 2 minutes. Lastly, I added an egg yolk and the heat from the pasta will cook the yolk as you mix everything up together. This really added extra sweetness and body to the flavorful broth.


The Lil’s lady, usually a small-eater, finished a whole bowl of it. I also had more fresh ingredients than pasta to make this dish suitable for both the kids and my MIL. All in all, this dish took for less than 10 minutes to make. Yaaay! :)

At the same time, during the 4 minutes waiting time, I prepped the Salt AF fish. This is an extremely easy dish to do. The result is always amazing because the flesh of the fish is so, so juicy and sweet. A bit of an oxymoron, right? Since we’d cover the fish in a packet of salt. Here is why I had an egg yolk to spare for the pasta. 


To get the salt ready for this dish, beat the egg white until it gets frothy. Then, add one packet of salt (600g) into the egg mixture and combined well. This salt paste is then lathered on the fish and that is all! You can add a few pieces of ginger or spring onions or pandan leaves into the stomach of the fish before that to get rid of any fishy smell and add a subtle aroma. But, you can skip this if you have none at home. Since the fish is freshly bought, it shouldn’t smell too fishy anyway.


Preheat the AF to 200ºC and air fry for 11-13 minutes (my fish was about 550g). Rest the fish for about 5 minutes before removing the hardened salt layer. Make a few cuts onto the fish and peel off the skin. The fish is sooooo good! Oozing with its natural sweet juices. 

For the grand finale, for an early dinner, I made the Chinese Roasted Chicken legs. The only difference was that, I added some rose wine in the marinate. The taste was great and you get the wine flavor in each juicy bite. Oh, one thing I discovered last weekend was, if you are going to AF the chicken legs straight from the fridge, add about 3 more minutes to dry out the skin. While the legs were throughly cooked after 20 minutes, the skin could use a few more minutes.

What was MIL’s review of all these easy weekend dishes? She gave me a thumbs up and some tips to make them even better too. Hehe! Wink, wink! 

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