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Poached chicken soup with amaranth greens and quinoa

>> Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Love my greens

This photo is full of happiness and bright, I can't help but sharing it. :) A lot of love for green veggies around here! And in the photo, we have amaranth greens (rau dền)!

 February is in, and I have started to change my life considerably. I have cleared out my schedule, organizing my life in a different ways. Be more active and explore options that I haven't considered before. Most of my days start at 5am with a workout now. It is still a struggle of will to get up so early for working out. I'm not much of a morning person, but it's a great feeling to start the day active and even enjoy a decent breakfast on workdays.

The first week was hard. I felt like a zombie by Friday, just to realize that my body needed sleep. Earlier bed time did wonder. Listen to the body, it knows what it needs. 

Poached chicken soup with amaranth greens and quinoa

 My body screams for greens and something soupy after I got a cold earlier this week. This soup comes about after I read about an array of Arabic soups. I am inspired by the spice, the greens and grains. I make mine with amaranth greens , chicken and quinoa. A cinnamon stick is added to the soup, and it gives a surprising hint of warmth to the broth. Wholesome, nourishing and comforting. Cooking chicken this way is wonderful, since the broth is lighter and sweet. The meat is tender and moist.


Poached chicken soup with amaranth greens and quinoa

Of course other greens will work here – think spinach, kale, and other Asian greens. Substitute quinoa for brown rice if you like.

 Ingredients (5 smallish portions) 
1 small organic chicken, around 1kilo
1 onion, peeled
1 cinnamon stick
A piece of ginger, about 0.5 cm, skinned and sliced thinly
3 bunches of amaranth greens, leaved picked (you should get around 3-4 cups)
100-120g quinoa
Slices of 1 purple onion
A few tsp of best quality fish sauce


Bring around 6 cups of water to the boil. Add in the onion, cinnamon stick and a ½ tbsp of salt. Lower the chicken to the water, and boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to the lowest heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. This way, the meat will stay moist.

 Once the chicken is cooked, take out and let it cool down. Remove and shred the meat. Discard the bones and skin. Skim off the fat from the chicken broth. Discard the onion and cinnamon stock.

Add in enough water so you will have around 4-5 cups. Bring to simmer.

 Rinse the quinoa and cook in plenty of water until pale and cooked through. Drain. Set aside.

Clean the amaranth greens and roughly chop to 0.5cm pieces. Add to the boiling broth with the chicken meat. Wait for the broth to boil again plus a few minutes for the greens to cook. Don't overcook veggies! Check seasoning. I like to add a bit of fish sauce at the end for extra flavours.
 Serve the soup hot with sliced onion and quinoa (or rice).

Poached chicken soup with amaranth greens and quinoa


{GIVE AWAY} FREE Better Homes and Gardens LIVE Tickets - Melbourne 2012

>> Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Monday! Hope all of you had a blast during the weekends! I have been incredibly busy with outdoor activities. Not a lot of time in the kitchen, but I am very happy that I can enjoy a bit of gardening and exercise here and there :)


If you happen to be in Melbourne on  24th to the 26th of February then I have a fantastic give away in store! Better Home and Garden Live!

Better Homes and Gardens LIVE is coming to Melbourne at the Royal Exhibition Building from the 24th to the 26th of February. This show provides the opportunity for the magazine to come to life with live presentations from the TV Presenters and a load of shopping opportunities with over 250 exhibitors.

Better Home and Garden Live has generously offered to send 10 lucky readers a double entry double passes worth $40 to enjoy the event.


Required Entry: For a chance to win email me at anhnguyen118[at]gmail[dot]com with "BHG LIVE" in the subject line.

Extra chances to win:

1. Follow @anhsfoodblog on Twitter.

2. Tweet the following: Enter to #win a double pass to Better homes & garden LIVE in #Melbourne from @anhsfoodblog #giveaway

Please let me know if you have done the above in your comment so I can count it as one extra entry.


The give-away starts on 13 Feb 2012 and runs until 20 Feb 2012, 11:30pm AEST.

The winners will be selected at random and announced on 21 Feb 2012. I will send the emails with unique codes for you to get your free tickets to Better Homes and Gardens LIVE in Melbourne.

Disclaimer:  I was contacted by Better Home and Garden LIVE for this give away. For any other information, please contact the event organiser directly.

*All images above are courtesy of Better Home and Garden LIVE.


Pure Maple Syrup Ice-cream (No egg recipe)

>> Monday, February 06, 2012

Pure Maple Syrup Ice-cream #2

I think I have discovered a favourite way to make ice-cream. Alice Medrich, how utterly talented is she? Her recipes in 'Pure Dessert' yet again tell me that minimal ingredients and preparation still can yield very good results.

 You see, I am not a big fan of making custard-based ice-cream. I just cannot bother to do it in hot weather. The texture, too, feels a little bit heavy after freezing. It was not until I discovered Alice Medrich's recipe that I've managed to make ice-cream a bit more often. Her recipe contains no eggs, just cream and flavouring ingredients. It results in lighter and softer product. Even after sitting in the freezer for a lengthy period, the ice-cream texture is still soft-serve like, which I totally adore.

 On Sunday I made ice-cream with just cream, a bit of milk, a pinch of salt and pure maple syrup. I used the organic dark maple syrup (Grade B) we carried all the way from the US. The deep, dark caramel flavours of maple syrup really shined through. It was such a marvellous recipe, a keeper!

 (I took the photos when it was really hot. It melted so FAST! ARG!)

Pure Maple Syrup Ice-cream

 Pure Maple Syrup Ice-cream - the Recipe

 (Based on "Pure Dessert")

Note: because there are no yolks to thicken the ice-cream, it tends to melt quicker. I have an idea from Momofuku Milk Bar's cereal ice-cream recipe that a bit of gelatine may help, but I have not tested it yet. 

1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup dark organic maple syrup (Grade B if you can get it)
Scant 1/8 tsp salt
600ml heavy cream

 Heat the milk in a saucepan until barely simmer. Set aside to cool down to lukewarm, then pour in maple syrup and salt. Stir to dissolve. Stir in the cream, and chill overnight.

 The next day, freeze the ice-cream according to your ice-cream maker's instructions. I've found that with this recipe, extra churning time is required (but I got really hot and humid weather, too).

 Serve soft or freeze in the freezer until hard to scoop. If the ice-cream gets too hard, leave to stand for a few minutes until scoopable.

Pure Maple Syrup Ice-cream #1

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