My haul from Pasarbella

PasarBella is a covered market selling an eclectic mix of organic vegetables, fresh seafood, soy candles and shabby chic furniture. The first time I went there, I didn’t buy anything because I went in the evening. This time, I made a trip in the day, which is the best time to go because all the stalls are open. I wanted to get my hands on good meat and cheese and I wasn’t disappointed.

Pasar Bella 1

My first stop was to James’ Butchery & Co.

“They have free-range meat!” I squealed in delight. There was also pasture-fed meat, which means that grass and other forage make up most of the animals’ diet.

PasarBella 2 free range
Free-range beef
IMG_0112
Free-range veal

We bought free-range beef and oxtail meat to make broth.

Our next stop was to The Providore, which specialised in artisanal cheese and charcuterie, as well as dips and olives. We bought some salami (not pictured here).

IMG_0116
Cheese at The Providore

Apart from a deli, The Providore also has a dry goods section selling herbs and coconut-based products.

Herbs and spices at The Providore
Herbs and spices at The Providore

And for all the paleo people out there looking for coconut products but don’t want to order online from CocoNuture you can get your oil, flour and sugar from PasarBella.

CocoNuture products at The Providore
CocoNuture products at The Providore

Next up was The Cheese Ark, which was located in a temperature controlled room in an obscure part of PasarBella. The moment you step in, the smell of pungent cheese assaults your senses. Definitely not for the faint of heart.

Mostly raw milk cheese
Mostly raw milk cheese
Cheese Ark Singapore
Cheese sampling is very welcome

Apart from cheese, The Cheese Ark also sells goat’s milk from local goat farm Hay Dairies. Goat’s milk may be better for people who have trouble digesting cow’s milk because it contains less lactose (milk sugar). In any case, your milk cannot get any fresher than this because Hay Dairies is located in Lim Chu Kang.

Fresh local goat's milk
Fresh local goat’s milk

We bought 100 grams of buffalo cheese for about $15.

Apart from meat and cheese, there were also stalls selling organic vegetables. I always feel that the healthiest and most environmentally conscious way to eat vegetables is to eat local most of the time. So I was happy to skip the vegetable sections that imported Australian or American greens.

IMG_0137

This is my haul from PasarBella consisting of free-range beef and oxtail meat, buffalo cheese, salami and (not so healthy) Cornish ginger ale.

Pasarbella haul

That very evening, we made a stew using the free-range beef. The meat was so good it melted in my mouth.

Beef stew with carrots, celery and tomatoes
Beef stew with carrots, celery and tomatoes

 

Address
PasarBella @ The Grandstand Bukit Timah
200 Turf Club Road Singapore 287994

Opening Hours
Stalls : 9.30am to 7pm
Restaurants: 10am to 10pm

Review: Project Paleo – finally! Paleo lunches in the CBD

Back in the 2013 when I first started this blog, there was no such thing as a paleo restaurant or takeaway or cafe in Singapore. You either had to cook at home to get a good paleo meal or just close an eye and brave it outside. First, Cavemen Food opened up at Novena Square Two. And now for people at Raffles Place, we have Project Paleo.

Here is the owner Joyce with her stall at 15 Phillip Street. Her food contain no refined sugar, no harmful additives, no diary and no gluten. Olive oil is used for cooking.

IMG_0036

All sets go for $8, which include one main and two sides. The mains range from chicken to fish to beef to pork. The sides include sweet potatoes, mushrooms and vegetables. And fear not if you are vegetarian because you can choose three sides as well.

IMG_0035

I chose the salmon with cauliflower rice and mushrooms. Here’s my verdict:

  • Salmon: tender but quite plain and less tasty than I expected.
  • Mushrooms: yummy! The best part of my dish.
  • Cauliflower rice: this tastes very interesting indeed – like coleslaw but a super healthy version. Some people in the paleo world eat this to simulate the mouth feel of real rice.
IMG_0039
Salmon, mushrooms and cauliflower rice

My overall thought was that the dish was very small. I wasn’t full after eating even though I enjoyed every delicious morsel of food. The salmon was 150 grams and for another $4 you can add on another 100 grams. Or maybe I just have a huge appetite! Continue reading Review: Project Paleo – finally! Paleo lunches in the CBD

What people eat around the world

In 2007, photographer Peter Menzel and writer Faith D’Aluisio visited 30 families in 24 countries to document what they ate. The results were incredible photographs showing Indian, Japanese, Mexican families with their weekly meals.

what-the-world-eats-peter-menzel-India
The Patkar family spends around $45 per week
what-the-world-eats-peter-menzel-Japan
The Ukita family spends around $361 per week

I have always been curious about what other people eat. When I’m at supermarkets, I would peer into the baskets of other shoppers. Did that man just buy 10 bags of Coke and 8 bags of potato chips? And, oh wow, that salmon looks amazing – where did she get that?

In their 2010 book What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets, Peter and Faith focused on the diets of individuals instead.

On one extreme, we have this lady in the UK showing us what she eats on a bingeing day. Her bags of chips, chocolate bars, bread and sausages amounted to more than 12,000 calories.

Continue reading What people eat around the world

Now online at The Naturalyst: paleo condiments and cooking essentials

I’ve lamented before that it’s never easy to eat paleo in Singapore. Every time I go to the supermarket, I have to read the ingredients label of everything I buy. Recently I was looking for miso soup paste and I had to study the back of every packet to find one that didn’t use MSG.

There is now a new online shop in town called The Naturalyst catering to us fussy paleo eaters. Run by a lady named Regina Soh who shares the same frustrations as me about the difficulties of healthy eating, she has stocked her online shop with essential paleo ingredients such as Red Boat fish sauce, which contains just two ingredients: fresh caught wild black anchovies and sea salt. Popular paleo blogger Nom Nom Paleo loves it in her dishes. It’s really freaking difficult to find sugar-free sauce so Red Boat fish sauce is a must.

I’m also excited by her supply of coconut aminos, which is used in the paleo world as a replacement for soy products. Coconut aminos are great when you need salty flavouring. I’ve used it to fry Shirataki no-calorie noodles. Before knowing of the existence of the Naturalyst, I bought my bottle of coconut aminos from iHerb.

So without further ado, let’s meet Regina and see what the paleo diet has done for her health.

Interview with Regina from The Naturalyst

Regina

Continue reading Now online at The Naturalyst: paleo condiments and cooking essentials

Want to win some paleo goodies?

I’m giving away¬†a loaf of paleo bread or a bag of paleo cookies to two people! Now is a great time for you to take part if you’ve always wanted to try¬†the bread or cookies but¬†are not sure if you’ll like it. Or if you’re a regular customer, you can get your next loaf for free!¬†This is the first contest I’m sponsoring so I’m very excited. The winner also gets a one clothing item¬†from local online yoga retailer¬†www.omgoing.com, which stocks amazing brands like Teeki and Liquidoactive.

contest free bread

It’s very easy to take part in this contest.

1. First, you need to have Instagram. Go download¬†the app¬†on your phone if you haven’t!¬†It’s fun and you can ‘follow’ people to see what they are up to!

2. Next take a photo of yourself wearing your gym wear outside of the studio. The idea is that we need not confine exercise clothes to the gym and that there are creative ways to make them look good for outside wear as well.

3. Post this photo with the hashtag #coloursplashsg and tag the four sponsors @paleorina @omgoing @yogaseeds and @trinityark. The other sponsors are also giving away goodies, including free yoga lessons.

3. This contest will run for two weeks from now until 23 July 2014. Winners will be announced on my Instagram wall.

Here are some sample photographs. Let’s create some colour splashes around Singapore!

bodyangelactivewear
Omgoing sisters wearing their yoga tops to the playground
yoga clothes free
Aunty Pearly taking her yoga leggings sightseeing overseas

Stop this fat talk

We (women) have all indulged in talk like this from time to time.

“My thighs are huge. I can’t wear these white jeans.”

“I look like I’m three months pregnant. I need to go on a diet.”

“I’ve been so bad. I ate both lunch and dinner today. I need to run twice the distance this evening to burn off the calories.”

I’m no stranger to complaining about my body. My favourite target is my tummy and it drives me nuts as to how I can never wear cropped tops or a bandage dress because I store all my fats there. From a biological standpoint, being predisposed to storing fats around my waist has no detrimental effect on my health and I should be happy that I am healthy and relatively fit. But from an asthetics standpoint, I’m pissed that I can’t wear bandage dresses like Blake Lively.

bandage dress celebrity

So my “fat talk” typically revolves around how I need to lose weight on my tummy and feeling frustrated because it’s not really possible to spot reduce. Even at my thinnest in university, I still sported a small¬†paunch (You see, this is how my fat talk starts). Continue reading Stop this fat talk

Coconut water – the real deal vs the packaged drinks

Coconut water has become the latest health craze in the US over the last few years, spurred by celebrity endorsement from Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow. The latter did a three-week cleanse in which she survived on coconut water, pumpkin seeds, miso soup and fruit smoothies, among other food. In 2010, Madonna invested US$1.5 m in Vita Coco, which as you can see from this graph below, is the market leader in the US for coconut water.

coconut water trend

I regard this with some amusement. I grew up drinking coconut water (and eat coconut flesh) straight from the husk. If you live in South-east Asia, coconuts are plentiful and cheap. You can go to any hawker centre and buy a fresh coconut for S$2. You can choose between young and small coconuts to the larger, less sweet varieties. Heck, I’ve even went camping in Pulau Hantu, which is a small island off Singapore, and my friends climbed a coconut tree to pluck the fruit fresh off the branch.

20140620_125324

Continue reading Coconut water – the real deal vs the packaged drinks

Top 3 weird and wonderful diets

If you think the paleo diet is strange, think again. While some people cannot grasp the idea of eating healthy, whole food with minimal processed meals, other people around the world are taking their food choices to another level altogether. Here are the top 3 weird and wonderful (some might call them wacky) diets.

1. Fruitarianism

This diet, like its name suggests, is a diet consisting largely (more than 75%) of raw fruit. It is a subset of veganism and closely related to raw foodism, which we will talk about later. The other 25% of this diet usually include vegetables, nuts and seeds.

In this category, we have people from The Banana Girl (yes, that’s the name of her website and it’s very catchy, I must say) to ultra marathon runner Michael Arnstein.

First up, we have Freelee the Banana Girl, who hails from Australia. She stirred up controversy when she posted a YouTube video of herself eating 51 bananas a day.

banana girl diet

She eats no cooked food until 4pm, usually eating mono meals – which means making meals out of one type of food only – of melons, pineapples and of course, bananas. After 4pm, she then eats cooked food, which could be 3.5kg of potato baked in the oven, or another meal of fruit. Continue reading Top 3 weird and wonderful diets

Review: Chocoelf sugar free chocolates

The last time I tried sugar-free chocolate did not turn out so well.¬†The brand was¬†Sugarless Gourmet Fresh Mint and I wrote about how the chocolate, which used maltitol to replace sugar, didn’t taste genuine enough. It wasn’t dark enough, it was too sweet and the mint taste was too strong.

I told myself that I would just stick to my favourite Lindt Excellence Extra Dark Chocolate 85%, which was a “real” chocolate that didn’t use fake sugar. But I was craving for other flavours so when I came across Chocoelf’s sugar-free chocolates at NTUC¬†Unity, I caved and bought two flavours – mint and green tea. Each sold for $6.80.

Chocoelf singapore

Cocoelf beat the Sugarfree brand by miles. The chocolate was creamy and had the right balance of chocolate, cream and sweetness. I find that fake sugar tends to be quite cloying, and I have written about how I hate Stevia with a vengeance. Chocoelf, on the other hand, was pleasant and well balanced. Continue reading Review: Chocoelf sugar free chocolates

Review: Kiku Japanese Restaurant – high-end but so good

Kiku is a new high-end Japanese restaurant located at Duxton. My friends and I stumbled upon this place completely by accident. We were planning to eat Mexican food at Lucha Loco but it was closed on a Monday evening.

kiku singapore

The restaurant was nearly empty when we entered. We were shown upstairs to a cosy tatami room and proceeded to order umeshu. I chose the ryokucha umeshu, which was made from green tea and Nankou plum. My friends ordered the yuzu lemon umeshu.

This was my first time tasting green tea and plum umeshu and I was so impressed by the flavours. I have a sour and salty tooth (as opposed to having a sweet tooth!) so I really enjoy the tartness of the plum in my drink. One small glass, however, set me back by $14. If only I can get my hands on a whole bottle somewhere in Singapore…

umeshu green tea

I don’t order the rice or noodle dishes so a good Japanese restaurant to me is one that serves a good variety of side dishes. Kiku did not disappoint. We opted to skip the sashimi but we were spoilt for choice with the cooked dishes. Continue reading Review: Kiku Japanese Restaurant – high-end but so good