From controversial greens to greens that slay garlic breath, and going green for St Patrick’s Day, it’s time to paint your meals green!
Words: R. Rajendra
THE BEST MEAL OF THE DAY
Wake up to, or rather, fly away with scrumptious breakfast offerings on AirAsia flights! Guests can choose from Pak Nasser’s Nasi Lemak, a Malaysian breakfast staple consisting of coconut rice with special chilli sambal (spicy condiment), chicken rendang (spicy chicken), fried anchovies, groundnuts and a hard-boiled egg; Scallop Congee, which is a popular Chinese breakfast rice porridge flavoured with scallop and mushrooms; Roti Canai with Chicken Curry, a flaky Indian flatbread served with a mild chicken curry or, Pancakes with Butter and Maple Syrup for a plate of fluffy pancakes drizzled in butter and syrup. These delights are available on all Malaysia AirAsia flights up to 11.00am and come with a free cup of T&Co coffee or milk tea. Go to www.airasia.com for details.
GARLIC BREATH BE GONE!
If your meal is laden with garlic, expect a lingering aroma that will not earn you brownie points while chatting someone up. A quick way to neutralise the smell is to chew parsley leaves (basil, thyme, dill and cilantro work too!). Plant chemicals like chlorophyll and polyphenol bind with the sulphur compound in garlic to eliminate odour.
THE SLENDER WAY
Containing konjac, an Asian root vegetable used in weight management, Slendier Drink is also packed with fibre to keep hunger at bay. Each Slendier Drink sachet makes one 200ml serving, contains just 11 calories and comes in three exotic flavours: Acai + blueberry, mango + coconut and pomegranate + aloe vera. RRP is AUD10.25, and each box contains seven sachets. This is available at select supermarkets across Australia and online. www.slendierslim.com.au
BANGKOK LATE NIGHT EATS
It’s a foodie paradise and a city that eats around the clock! Coconuts Bangkok suggests these five spots for late night pig-outs.
1. TOOK LAE DEE
Housed in Foodland supermarkets all over the city, these little restaurants serve up simple but satisfying early breakfasts. For less than THB700, you get two eggs, bacon or ham, juice, and coffee or tea.
2. 25 DEGREES
Located at Pullman Bangkok Hotel G in Silom Road, this swanky spot dishes up yummy burgers, late night snacks and Tex Mex dishes. Pricey by Bangkok standards, but worth the service and ambience.
3. ANGEL CITY DINER
Screaming 60s kitsch, this diner at The Prime 11, in Sukhumvit 11, offers American-style meals that are big on taste and size in the wee hours of the morning. The Monte Cristo French toast ham, turkey and cheese sandwich is highly recommended.
4. 24 OWLS
Hop over to 39 / 9 Ekkamai 12 for hearty Italian meals with quirky Asian twists like Spaghetti Tobiko and other classic fare.
5. TOO FAST TO SLEEP
Find this popular hangout at 754 Rama 4 Road, Silom Road. During the day, students occupy the space; at night, Silom Road revellers devour delicious Thai dishes. Source: Barbara Woolsey; http://bangkok.coconuts.co
THE KANGKUNG CONTROVERSY
This humble vegetable found itself at the height of stardom in Malaysia over a political remark recently. A popular green that grows wild by the roadside and bodies of water, it is often erroneously called water spinach or morning glory. The correct name is water convolvulus (Ipomoea aquatic) and it is eaten all over Asia. In Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, it is stirfried with shrimp paste and chilli paste, while many Southeast Asian countries eat it raw. A popular tale in Malaysia tells of a time when Hang Tuah, a legendary warrior from Melaka, visited the Chinese emperor. In the emperor’s court, visitors were forbidden to look directly at the emperor. At meal time, Hang Tuah asked for kangkung leaves, but requested the vegetable be served whole. As he ate each stalk with the full length of the vegetable hovering above his mouth, he quickly stole a peek at the emperor!
THE YOGHURT SMACK DOWN
Regular yoghurt (RY) has found a rival; it is called Greek yoghurt (GY). What exactly is Greek yoghurt and why is it considered a healthier option? Here’s the smack down!
PROTEIN: GY packs twice the protein of RY.
CARBOHYDRATES: GY contains lesser carbs and sugars in its natural, unflavoured form.
TASTE & TEXTURE: GY is creamier and thicker because it undergoes double straining to remove more whey.
CALCIUM: RY beats GY as it carries three times more calcium than GY.
CALORIES: Both have more or less the same amount as long as there is no added sugars.
Traditionally, these foods are eaten on St Patrick’s Day, which falls on March 17 annually. All these have Irish roots, but lately, adding the colour green to any food has become a popular way to add merriment to the celebration.
- Corned beef (there is actually no corn in this dish; the ‘corn’ comes from the Anglo Saxon word for granule / pellet, which refers to salt grains used in the curing process.
- Cabbage and potatoes
- Soda bread
- Cod cobbler, a small fish pie
- Colcannon, a combination of mashed potatoes with either cabbage or kale
- Green beer, regular brew tinted green
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