Posts Tagged ‘healthy’

Farmers and Chefs – A truly child-friendly cafe with food from the heart

[Media Invite]

There may be many seemingly child-friendly eateries around in Singapore, but in truth, one that offers a children’s menu featuring healthy food that you would offer at home is a rare gem. Chicken nuggets, fish & chips and spaghetti bolognaise do not maketh a child-friendly cafe, even if the children themselves clamour for that.

At Farmers and Chefs, they take pride in what they serve be it for the children’s menu, or the main menu. Here’s what they abide by the following rules

  • No flavour enhancers
  • No artificial colouring
  • No Deep-frying

The children’s menu features nutritious mini breakfast sandwiches, and mains come with fruit. You can even mix and match items for a customised meal. Things are made from scratch including all sauces. Eg the Farmer’s Soy Mayonnaise is dairy and egg free, and made with soymilk, vinegar and olive oil.

Here’s another thing I have not seen emphasized anywhere so far…..Baby Led Weaning (BLW) is encouraged here! BLW means that the young baby/child is encouraged to feed himself or herself, even if it creates a mess. It will create a mess for sure, and at many other eateries, parents either have to wear a really thick skin or attempt to clean up the mess themselves. You never know when you will get an evil stare from an impatient staff if were to be some other eatery because in Singapore, most people are more familiar with traditional weaning, ie caregivers feeding the child to minimise mess. Some think that parents who practice BLW are trouble makers! I’m personally not really a fan of BLW for certain reasons, but that’s another story for another time. In any case, Edward is fully capable of feeding himself at this age, although he still enjoys being fed!

Farmers and Chefs - Happy Boy playing with Toy Car

There is also a small play area equipped with a table for colouring work and blocks, as well as 2 toy cars. The two toy cars were a huge hit for all the children who saw them. As the cafe. is on the 1st floor, and not air-conditioned, there was ample space for the children to drive the cars around the cafe.

The husband and wife team behind Farmers and Chefs are also the same people behind the LeClare Preschool. The multi-tasking chef is also the same one that the preschool uses. Now you know why the business is so kid-focussed.

Scroll down to see more photos of the food that we tried.

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Listening To My Body–Top 5 tips to improve the health

I have been under the weather lately, not just a couple of days, but a longer period than that. It’s times like these when the body issues distress calls in the form of flu, cold, headaches, body aches, that jolts me into questioning whether I have been paying attention to my body and how I have been treating it.

I am not an advocate for taking medicine. I have not taken any antibiotics in years. If I have a cold or a flu, I usually tell the doctor I want no medicine as such medicines only suppress the symptoms but do not cure the illness. I particularly detest the painkiller ads on TV, where you see the guy suffering from back pain and taking a painkiller, only to be encouraged to go back to his back breaking work. That’s equivalent to giving some throat lozenges to a smoker with smoker’s cough, to mask the itch, so that the smoker can continue smoking. This is so morally wrong.

The point is, everyone has to listen to their own bodies, and find time to make things right, rather than to take quick fix solutions. Question yourselves, are you working too hard, too long, not exercising enough, always feeling stressed?

Here are my top 5 tips to give the body a break, listen to it for once and regain your health and vitality.

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Meditation / Enjoy a calm and peaceful surrounding

We live very stressful lives in Singapore, often having to meet tight deadline after deadline. This is not something that you should accept as the norm.  People often forget this when they seek out the highest paying jobs, which often comes with greater stress. Know that this takes a toll on health and has an actual impact to your pocket when the medical bills start racking up. My advise to mitigate this stress, is to take some time out to enjoy some peace and solitude. Meditate if you can. Even going for spas or chilling out at a cafe need not be considered just mere luxury, but actually beneficial to health. But if money is an issue, at least find a quiet park or take a stroll around some reservoir. Even de-cluttering your room and decorating it with some calming furniture helps.

peaceful-sunset-wallpaper

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Real Food Revisited 3

In line with the healthy theme these 2 weeks thanks to Zespri’s Kiwifruit Challenge, I decided to take my parents to the new Real Food outlet that just opened at Killiney Road. The original Real Food cafe is at The Central just above Clarke Quay MRT Station and I’ve been there many times over the last 2 years.

It’s interesting how when you do something unappealing a number of times, it soon becomes more palatable, and may even turn into a habit? After having a Kiwifruit daily, plus the more or less raw dinner at The Living Cafe, my mind is more attuned to the benefits of eating healthily which was why I instantly thought of Real Food for Saturday brunch.

Real Food strives as much as possible to utilise organic ingredients in its food. Also, no meat is used. However, you would be really hard pressed to miss it because all the other flavours in each dish come together so nicely even without the meat! Another reason why I like coming to Real Food is because the prices are very affordable, and comparable to non-organic cafes!

Real Food - Dumpling Soup (Dumplings handmade with 10 ingredients like carrots, mushrooms, bean curd, french beans and chest nuts) $7

Dumpling Soup (Dumplings handmade with 10 ingredients like carrots, mushrooms, bean curd, french beans and chest nuts) $7

For example, this dumpling soup. There is no meat in the dumplings but because it’s bursting with other ingredients, and chestnuts to give it a bite, you don’t miss the meat at all. In fact, my mother asked me if the dumplings contained minced meat as it was so flavourful. The soup itself is also a delight to drink, and has a peppery base that warms you.

I almost always order this dumpling soup, or the dumpling noodles. I believe most customers who patronise Real Food consider the dumplings to be one of their signature dishes.

Real Food - Organic Fried Quinoa with french beans, mushrooms, carrots and crushed black peppercorn $7.80

Organic Fried Quinoa with french beans, mushrooms, carrots and crushed black peppercorn $7.80

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Zespri Kiwifruit 14 Day Challenge Kick-off Dinner

Ladies and Gentlemen, for the next 14 days you are going to be inundated with kiwi delights (not the bird or the man, but the fruit) as I embark on Zespri’s 14 Day Daily Scoop Amazing Challenge.

Everyone knows the benefits of eating fruits, but did you know that Kiwifruits are one of the most nutrient dense fruits around? Kiwifruit has 5 times the nutrition of apples and contain twice the Vitamin C of Oranges! So the next time you fall ill, grab a kiwi instead of an orange! Don’t worry, I won’t drown you guys with too many facts (for now), although if you want to read up yourself you can definitely do so at http://www.zespri.com.sg/. For now, I’ll just share with you the wonderful kick-off dinner I had at The Living Cafe, courtesy of the good people of Zespri.

Oh just a short plug for The Living Cafe, they are into organic as well as raw food, prepared in a way that still makes the food taste great! Check out their menu here. Gotta bring my super healthy parents!

Zespri Kiwifruit Event -

Group photo after the amazing kiwi inspired and laden meal. I have to say, this is the 1st food blogger’s meal I have ever eaten where I didn’t feel sinful and guilty after gorging on the food! This is really the way to incorporate more healthy fruits into your diet in an interesting and fun way to eat. I mean we all know that we have to eat more fruits, but after our main meal, sometimes there just isn’t space for anything else. So the best way may just be to incorporate the fruits themselves into the main dishes!

Zespri Kiwifruit Event - Zespri Kiwifruit Event - Raw Bruschetta with Pesto and Kiwi Salsa

 Raw Bruschetta with Pesto and Kiwi Salsa

And you thought that bruschetta can only be made with bread and tomatoes.

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Grand Salads Bistro

*Invited Session*

Just before my Norway trip, I received an invitation to check out Grand Salads Bistro. It’s not often that you find a cafe touting healthy food so I was really excited to know about the existence of this place. Grand Salads Bistro is located in the Buona Vista area. Have you heard of Fusionopolis? Well Grand Salads Bistro is located at the Solaris building, which is an extension of Fusionopolis. It’s near the one-north MRT station.

If you think that Grand Salads Bistro sounds familiar, it’s because of the Grand Salads bars located in Suntec City and AXA Tower, all owned by the petite and soft-spoken Israeli Michelle Kanner. Grand Salads Bistro offers salads and sandwiches on weekdays to the lunch time office crowd. However, on the weekends, which was when we were there, the bistro focuses on brunch/lunch items.

The brunch menu isn’t very extensive but we managed to each find something that we liked. The food is prepared by Michelle herself together with her helpers. The portions aren’t large, big eaters may need to order side dishes to share. You won’t find any deep fried food or oily food here. The dishes don’t make you feel like you’ve sinned. Instead, you get the light hearted feeling that you’ve done something good for your health for once.

Grand Salads Bistro - (3)  .Grand Salads Bistro

I really really really love the decor of Grand Salads Bistro. It looks like some New York styled deli! The place is bright and the high ceiling gives the feeling of great spaciousness. It helps that the bistro overlooks a lot of green shrubs.

Grand Salads Bistro - Cappucino and Latte

One latte and one flat white $4.90 – Nice coffee that came with a biscotti each

Grand Salads Bistro - Anti-Pasties Platter Set B

Bite selection of Mini Sandwiches, Veg & Dip, Quiche and Olives $12.90 – Love the vegetable quiche. We were thinking of whether to order a quiche on its own or via this platter here and quite regretted not getting a bigger quiche even though the accompaniments were tasty. I think most Singaporeans would not be accustomed to eating olives, prunes and chickpea puree aka hummus for breakfast, but it is a refreshing change. I love olives dearly, and I can’t understand why the Partner doesn’t, even though he loves olive oil. But whatever he doesn’t like, is a extra bonus into my mouth. Yes that little bowl there is a bowl of garlic. We polished it off wholesale.

Grand Salads Bistro - Buenos Dias

Buenos Dias (Mexican Breakfast) $12.90 – Traditional Mexican omelette with tomato, mushroom, onion, peppers and cheese, with premium veal sausage. The veal sausage we were told was organic and imported from New Zealand. You can’t find this sausage in Jason’s supermarket! Really tasty, juicy and cooked with just a tinge of char. Grand Salads Bistro should consider having a sausage dish on its own! Omelette was also nice and light tasting with all the diced veggies in it.

Grand Salads Bistro - Homemade Fruit Pickle

Michelle’s really into making her own fruit chutney. I can’t remember what they all are, I think grapefruit was one of them, and of course the garlic in the jar on the right. If you’re nice, she might just give you some to try!

Grand Salads Bistro - Pickled Grapefruit

You either like it or you don’t! I loved it, sour zing and all!

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