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As part of the Nutrition Month programme, chefs at Prince Court Medical Centre show how you can make nutritious meals in a jiffy, writes Tan Bee Hong
AFTER a week of wet, wet, wet, the sun burst out gloriously on a Saturday morning. At 10am, despite the sweltering heat, attendees at the Nutrition Month cooking demonstration at the Prince Court Medical Centre in Jalan Kia Peng, Kuala Lumpur, were eagerly waiting for the event to start.
Held at the open-air balcony behind the back of the main lobby, the cooking demonstrations, themed Eat Right, would be spread over four weekends.
According to Annie Freeda Cruez, media liaison of Prince Court, the campaign is designed to “focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices, developing good eating habits and encouraging physical activity”.
“Today, everyone is busy with their careers and often cannot find the time to cook. Eating out, especially at fast food outlets, can be detrimental to health as such foods are laden with fat and MSG. We will be showing the public how they can make meals in a jiffy and that nutritious food can be very tasty,” she says.
“Our team of chefs have designed dishes that will appeal to both adults and children.”
She adds that there was a special Kids Camp session to teach young children to prepare simple meals. On March 17, kids aged 4 to 11 who had registered to take part in the DIY sandwich challenge, not only learnt to make sandwiches but they were “tested” on their knowledge of food. “In a way, it was an interesting lesson for them,” she says.
At the session on March 10, chefs Mohd Azizi Abd Aziz and Jumahari Abdul demonstrated making a crepe wrap and two dessert items.
The focus was on dairy products and its chief dietitian Datin Farah DiBa Khan, says these recipes will encourage intake of dairy products which many locals are not fond of. “Dairy produce is high in calcium which is necessary for strong bones and teeth,” she adds.
Farah DiBa touched on use of fats. Not all fats are equal, she says, adding that though the body needs fats, saturated fats (mainly animal fats) are bad for health and contribute to high cholesterol.
“It is important to differentiate between good fats and bad fats. Palm oil is a vegetable oil, so it is cholesterol-free. It is also one of the most economical oils in the market,” she says. But, she cautions, use in moderation.
“What is important is the method of preparation of food and how oil is used. We should avoid deep frying. Even though palm oil is cholesterol-free, we should use oil sparingly. Deep frying, for instance, should be avoided,” she says.
Here are some healthy recipes that do not require lengthy or complicated preparation, courtesy of the chefs at Prince Court Medical Centre.
• Learn to cook. It’ll do wonders for your wallet and waistline. Here are the top three reasons for spending more time in the kitchen.
1. You know what you’re eating.
2. You can control how much you eat.
3. You get to spend more quality time with your loved ones.
• Fish with edible bones, soya and leafy green vegetables are good sources of calcium which, when coupled with Vitamin D, enhances calcium absorption.
• Trim skin and fat off meat. Steam, bake, grill or boil is better than frying. Cut back on use of fat, such as butter and opt for low-fat or non-fat versions instead.
• Eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables daily. These are pack with fibre, vitamins and antioxidants. They are low in calories but they fill your tummy so you feel full.
• It’s a myth that starch is fattening and that we should limit intake of starch when trying to lose weight. In fact, many foods such as bread, rice, pasta, noodles, cereal and beans are high in starch but low in fat and calories.
Source: Prince Court Medical Centre
Mediterranean Bean Mash in Tortilla
8 pieces fresh tortilla sheets
15g olive oil
200g cooked cannellini beans
200g cooked borlotti beans
200g cooked chickpeas
60g onion, finely diced
60g celery, finely diced
10g chopped garlic
2 bay leaves
4 sage leaves, finely chopped
450ml chicken stock
50g light cooking cream
1g crushed black pepper
8g fresh chopped parsley
1. Fry onion, celery, garlic in oil for 5 minutes until they soften. Add stock, sage and bay leaves and bring to boil.
2. Add all beans, season with salt and pepper and simmer gently for about 10 minutes.
3. Add cream and cook further. Then add parsley and seasoning if required.
4. Fill tortilla with cooked beans and grated cheese.
5. Cook in a griddle pan or hot frying pan, until it turns golden on the outside. Serve.
Calories: 207.1 kcal
Total fat: 11.3g
Dietary fibre: 1.2g
Kung Po Chicken
200g chicken breast (skinned, slice)
0.6g white pepper
20g palm oil
5g yellow onion (medium cube)
20g red pepper (medium cube)
20g green pepper (medium cube)
8g dry chillies, cut 5cm length (fried)
30g cashew nut (fried)
6g spring onion (cut 5cm lengths)
8g tau pan paste
28g light soya sauce
20g dark soya sauce
18g black vinegar
32g castor sugar
120g chicken stock
1. Dilute cornflour with half of chicken stock.
2. Add remaining chicken stock to sauce ingredients. Mix well and keep aside.
3. Marinade chicken with pepper.
4. Heat oil in a pan and stir-fry chicken lightly.
5. Add onion, peppers, dry chilli and continue to saute.
6. Add sauce ingredients and bring to the boil. Pour in diluted cornflour and simmer for a few minutes to thicken.
7. Add cashew nuts, stir and remove from heat.
8. Put in a bowl and garnish with spring onion. Serve with steam rice.
Total Fat: 9.47g
Dietary fibre: 0.3g
Bean Ravioli With Capsicum Sauce
For Ingredients A
20ml palm oil
For Ingredients B
50g cooked cannellini beans
50g cooked edamame beans
20g onion finely diced
2g cumin powder
2g coriander powder
200ml vegetable stock
2g fine salt
50g unsalted butter
For Ingredients C
100g red pepper, roasted and seeded
10g shallots, finely diced
200ml vegetable stock
5g garlic finely chopped
30ml light cooking cream
20g olive oil or palm oil
3g fine salt
1g crushed black pepper
1. Boil bean, onion and spices (Ingredients B) until soft and keep aside.
2. To make capsicum sauce, saute shallots and garlic with palm oil until translucent and add roasted red pepper. Continue stirring and add remaining ingredients C. When cool, puree in food processor.
3. Mix flour with egg and oil. Knead until dough is smooth and put aside to rest for 10 mins. Divide dough into two and roll into thin pasta sheets.
4. Fill pasta sheet with teaspoons of bean filling and cut into squares. Blanch until al dente (firm).
5. Saute ravioli with palm oil. Arrange on plate and pour over capsicum sauce. Garnish with fresh arugula or salad leaves.
Total Fat: 14.2g
Dietary Fibre: 1.4g