Pistola

Pork Belly Burrito Bowl with added Guacamole and a Mango Margarita
Pork Belly Burrito Bowl with added Guacamole and a Mango Margarita

What: Casual Mexican with a strong Asian influence.

Pros: YUMMY, convenient (at the Club St/Ann Siang Hill intersection) and hip.

Cons: Kinda expensive (tacos/burritos/bowls start at SGD12, SGD2 for extra condiments, SGD15 for margaritas) and the decor = shambolic.

Verdict: GO! It’s yummyyy and they have exciting HOT SAUCES.

Details:
93 Club Street, Singapore 069461
6438 2185

Chicken Salad with Almond Butter Dressing

Chicken Salad with Almond Butter Dressing

I had a fork speared with a mouthful of this salad (half a juicy grape, crunchy romaine, moist chicken and tangy feta tossed in Almond Butter dressing) halfway to my lips last Friday at work – when my spunky colleague Tasha peered over her bowl of noodles from the canteen and asked me:

“Are you eating that to lose weight?”

Hmm. Pause. Think about it. Weird but the answer is:

“No I’m not. I kinda just…”

“Eat like that. She eats like that normally-lahhh,” another colleague, Reza, chimed in.

And it’s true.

I think maybe there was a time when healthy food eating was dictated by my desire to be thinner or to have better skin or something.

But then a conscious effort to eat healthily turned into a habit.

And the habit turned into genuine love.

I LOVE eating my salads. I LOVE that they’re fresh and crunchy and full of flavor. I LOVE that they make me feel both virtuous and like I’m winning at life.

I LOVE that eating them makes me feel light and energized. And I LOVE that after making salad eating something I do, almost everyday, I do indeed have better skin/a better body/a clearer mind.

Clear colon = clear mind?

MAYBE.

Too much information?

DEFINITELY.

So let’s get going!

This salad is so good because all the components tie it together. Unlike the way the blog Pinch of Yum describes it (recipe slightly adapted from there), I do not in fact think the dressing is that great by itself. BUT with all the ingredients in it – it’s like magic. The almond butter dressing is hearty and brings together the veg/fruit/protein/nut combo beautifully.

Chicken Salad with Almond Butter Dressing

Make it and thank me.

Protein Accompaniment
Boneless chicken breasts/thighs, as much as you want
olive oil
2 Tbsps freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 tsp salt

Almond Butter Dressing
3 Tbsps almond butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsps freshly squeezed orange juice
3 Tbsps water
1 Tbsp yellow mustard
1 Tbsp honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of cayenne powder
ground black pepper

Salad
red grapes, halved, as much as you want
Romaine lettuce, chopped, as much as you want
feta cheese, crumbled, as much as you want
almonds, chopped or crushed, as much as you want
precooked pasta, as much as you want

Protein Accompaniment
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.

Toss the chicken with a bit of olive oil, the orange juice and salt.

Lay it on the grill bit and bake for 20 to 30 minutes – flipping once halfway through.

Remove from the oven and let cool. Chop into bite sized chunks.

Almond Butter Dressing
Put all the dressing ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth.

Store in a glass jar in the fridge until needed.

Salad

Fix a bowl (it needs to be big enough to handle the tossing) with all the salad ingredients and protein accompaniment.

Dollop with a tbsp or two or the dressing.

Toss carefully to coat evenly.

Serve.

Chicken Salad with Almond Butter Dressing

So pretty. Like a painting. ūüėõ

Taco Salad

Taco Salad

This past two weeks I felt like I was being stalked by Cinco de Mayo.

Every single Instagram account and food blog/website was all – MARGARITAS! You should make this awesome GUACAMOLE! Why don’t you eat TACOS!

Ohhh the Tacos.

Steak TACOS. Fish TACOS. Deconstructed TACOS.

But I knew I shouldn’t do it, you know? Tacos are so carb heavy with corn tortillas and fatty with dripping meat – IWANTITIWANTITNOW.

Sigh.

Yeah I couldn’t hold out. But I figured I would compromise. TACO salad? Yeah sure of course – this is totally healthy.

Taco Salad

Honestly, I’m sorry about the quality of these pictures but believe you me – if you had this in front of you, you wouldn’t be too concerned about trying to make it look pretty. You would be concerned about exactly what amount of each ingredient would render the perfect bite. And it’s alllll up to you because the beauty of salads is the customization baby. And the dressing pulls it alllll together. And in this salad there are two dressing: spicy cumin and rich sour cream. Mmmm.

It’s Friday y’all – just go with it.

Cumin dressing
3 Tbsps apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsps ketchup
6-10 dashes Tabasco
2 tsps ground cumin
2 tsps freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsps granulated sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Sour cream dressing
1 cup sour cream
1 big green chili, seeded and minced
1 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice

Salad
Romaine salad leaves, as much as you want
Black Beans, canned, as much as you want
Corn kernels, as much as you want
Avocado, diced, as much as you want
Tomatoes, diced, as much as you want
Red/yellow pepper, diced, as much as you want
Red onion, sliced and pre-soaked in lime juice (to make less pungent)
Tortilla chips, as much as you want
Protein accompaniment*
Cheddar cheese, grated, as much as you want (for topping)

Cumin dressing
Put all the ingredients in a glass bottle except the oil. Top with tight lid. Shake vigorously.

Open cover and add oil. Top with tight lid. Shake vigorously again.

Refrigerate until needed.

Sour cream dressing
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until combined.

Refrigerate until needed.

Salad
Fix yourself a bowl of salad with a selection or all of the ingredients listed above in whatever quantity you want.

Drizzle with the cumin dressing and sour cream dressing and toss!

Crack extra black pepper over for added zing.

Try not to eat too fast.

*The protein accompaniment you choose is all up to you. You can stir-fry shrimp, grill chicken or pan-fry steak. I had all three options over this past week and they were amazing. Click on the links if you need recipes.
**Adapted from Chow.

Internet-ing: FOOD BLOGS

When I read food blogs I feel the way little kids do when they meet a cool grown-up.

I want my blog to be just like this blog when it grows up!

Thing is, I read a lot of food blogs so I have a feeling my blog is a little confused about its future.

Some blogs standout because of their witty writing, some with the best recipes I’ve ever made, some with stunning photography and the rare few with all of the above.

And the personality of each blog? Wildly different.

Still, since my blog is in its infancy it may be wise to draw inspiration from all these varied wildly talented people.

SO I give you the best food blogs on the Internet (according to me).

Chocolate Blackberry Pudding

The Sugar Hit –¬†All-Rounder
1) Lip-smacking in your face photos with none of that overdone faded effect (both pictures in this post are from The Sugar Hit)
2) Funny and very relatable. Bonus: the recipes aren’t overly descriptive (aka the blog assumes you have some common sense).
3) Flavor combos that have you slack-jawed and drooling at the screen – like chocolate and raspberry muffins and apple fritters and salted caramel.
4) I can’t comment on the recipes because I’ve never made one! (SORRY SARAH – FYI Sarah is the author and we’re totes best friends now because she replied to my email, ok?) Shall I start with the Salted Caramel & Macadamia Pull-Apart Bread???

Joy the Baker – Famous
1) There’s a reason why this blog is famous. The recipes are something special. The Cranberry Orange & Pecan Coffee Cake? Best cake I’ve made in my life to date.
2) Bewarned the recipes are elaborate – but they are detailed and the blog features useful tips.

Cooking Classy – Reliable
1) Cook anything from this blog and I guarantee it will be amazing. The Chocolate Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting were not only the first cupcakes I made in my life, they were better than ANY cupcakes I’ve eaten ever.
2) The savory dishes are simple and good, like the Thai Peanut Quinoa Salad that kickstarted a salad binge in my house.
3) Really regular posts = key in this short attention span world.

Lady and Pups – Asian Fusion and Kick-Ass Personality
1) Recipes that make you sit up and go WOAH – like this gem: The New York Halal Drunk Food
2) That photography – THAT PHOTOGRAPHY
3) The tagline – An Angry Food Blog – which hints at the deliciously acerbic prose

The Kitchn/Bon Appetit/Food52 – ResourceFULL
Not exactly blogs more like Internet food bibles Рthey have HUGE recipe databases, useful advice like how to pack a better lunch and are a great place to hangout for any foodie.

Salted Caramel & Macadamia Pull Apart Bread

Peanut Butter, Banana and Oat Muffins

Peanut Butter, Banana and Oat Muffins

I was going to leave this post till mid week because that’s typically when traffic is higher but you know what?

It’s pretty.

It looks oh-so-comforting.

And that’s what you need on a Monday morning when your entire body is screaming at you to NOT WAKE UP – CRAWL BACK UNDER THE SHEETS – THE WORLD DOES NOT DESERVE YOU!

Peanut Butter, Banana and Oat Muffins

Ahem. I present the breakfast muffin. Made with leftover mushy bananas.

They are light and fluffy and not too strong tasting if that’s your sort of thing. Since it’s not mine I would serve it with additional peanut butter or Nutella.

YUM.

Dry ingredients
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup whole oats (I made mine finer by pulsing it a bit in the food processor)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Wet ingredients
1/3 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil (you can probably use vegetable oil)
2 eggs
1 cup milk + 1 Tbsp white vinegar (allowed to sit for 5 minutes before incorporating)/ 1 cup buttermilk
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 175C/350F.

Grease a muffin pan for 12 muffins.

Whisk the dry ingredients in a bowl.

Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl.

Mix them together until just combined.

Pour evenly into the muffin holes – they will be 3/4 full.

Bake in the oven till its puffed up and the tops crack. About 20 minutes.

*Adapted from Baking Bites.
**Photography by Hoi Yee (paper_shins).

Update: You MUST eat this with an extra tablespoon (or two!) or peanut butter. THE END.