Vegetables

Vegetables

Monday, July 18, 2016

To Cater or Not to Cater: Benefits of Hiring a Catering Company for Your Event


Planning for and hosting a big event can be an overwhelming and stressful process. Whether it's a corporate event, a wedding, a birthday party, or even a family reunion, feeding your guests is always a must. Hiring an outside catering company will benefit you in more ways than one and will make the event a memorable one for your guests.

Let Someone Else Do the Work

When you have an important event planned, wouldn't it be less stressful if you had some assistance? Feeding a big group of guests requires a lot of time and work: shopping for the food, cooking all of the food that you just spent hours shopping for, serving all of the food that you just spent hours cooking, etc. Catering companies know the right amount of ingredients to use and they'll make sure your event runs smoothly, giving you one less thing you'll have to worry about. So if you're planning an event and want to save some time, money, and work, hire a reputable catering company!

Professional and Knowledgeable

Not sure what foods you should be serving at your event? Catering companies will help you pick out the best menu choices that will make your guests happy and will fit your budget. Catering companies have a team of professional and qualified employees in order to properly meet your requests and provide tasty food for your guests.

Special Experience

Having a caterer at any occasion provides a special and unique experience for both you and your guests. Your caterer will make sure that the food items are up to your standards both in taste and in display. Whether big or small, the event will be a memorable one with the help of a professional catering company. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Singapore: A Fine City Full of Even Finer Food


My Experience

Hi everyone! I traveled to Singapore this month and stayed there for two weeks so I'm writing this blog post to share my experience about my time on this tiny Asian island. Singapore is located in Southeast Asia off the southern coast of Malaysia. The residents of Singapore are diverse, mostly consisting of but definitely not limited to ex-pats of China, Indonesia, India, and Malaysia. It was interesting hearing people speak because everyone, for the most part, knows a little bit of the languages associated with these countries and they communicate by mashing all of these languages together. Singapore is a global finance center and is also one of the safest cities in the world. The climate is tropical, with an average temperature of 80+ degrees Fahrenheit and an average humidity level in the low 80s. Adjusting to the climate was a little difficult, especially since most of the apartments don’t have air conditioning (including the apartment where I stayed). The streets are clean, for the most part, since littering is one of the many fineable offenses in the country (Singapore is known as a "Fine City" for a reason). Aside from being fascinated with the cultural differences of the country, I’d have to say that my favorite experience was tasting all of the food.

The Food

The food in Singapore is as diverse as the people. My advice to you if you ever have the chance to visit Singapore is to never be opposed to trying a new dish (unless you’re allergic, of course). No matter where you stand in the city, there’s bound to be a dining facility within walking distance and from what I noticed, they were always packed. There are numerous Hawker Centres located throughout the city, which is where a majority of the locals go to eat. They open around 5 in the morning and most of them close between lunch and dinnertime. The Hawker Centres were my favorite places to eat, not only because the food was inexpensive, but also because I felt like I was getting the local experience. I tried a variety of foods, including popular Singapore dishes such as Chilli Crab, Laksa, Chai Tow Kway (also referred to as “Carrot Cake”), Sambal Stingray (also known as Spicy Banana Leaf Stingray), Chicken Rice, and the list goes on! If your mouth isn’t watering yet, here are some pictures of the food and drinks that should do the trick!

Hokkien Mee and Mango Smoothie
Dum Biryani
Sambal Stingray
Black Carrot Cake - I had this almost every morning for breakfast!
Soy Milk and Grass Jelly
Wheatgrass Juice
From left to right: Kopi O – coffee with sugar and no milk; Kopi C – coffee with unsweetened evaporated milk and sugar; Kopi O Kosong – coffee with no milk and no sugar
Variety of juices at a juice stand on Bugis Street

Would I Ever Go Back to Singapore?

The answer is yes. Even though it was a little difficult to adjust to the culture when I first arrived, it was even more difficult to separate myself from the sunny climate, the easy transportation system, the diverse group of friends I made, and last but definitely not least, the delicious food!



Sunday, April 3, 2016

Important Tips Before Tying the Knot



Planning a wedding is a long process and a lot of time is involved (the average wedding takes up to 240 hours to plan, according to senior editor for ModWedding, Kara Yates)! Here are a few tidbits of information that should lessen the stress and make your big day more beautiful and memorable.

Make a Checklist, Have a Timeline, and Don't Multitask:
When you're ready to start planning your wedding, make sure to start out with a checklist. Brainstorming through every detail beforehand will make the process a lot less stressful. You can always add to your handy-dandy checklist throughout your wedding planning process if you forget something during your initial brainstorm. After making a checklist, set deadlines for tasks, payments, and RSVPs. Always complete one objective at a time so you don't overlook anything important. 

Choose a Theme:
Choosing a theme for the wedding will make the food, flowers, and décor a lot easier to pick.

Needs First, Wants Second:
First, focus on what you absolutely need, such as a wedding dress, a caterer, and a venue. You can then purchase what you want after the essentials are covered. 

Let the Seasons Inspire You:
Whether you're planning a Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter wedding, embrace the colorful pallets and ambiance that each season has to offer and use them to your advantage. 

Consider the Weather
Since the weather is unpredictable, always have a "plan-B" so you can be prepared for whatever nature has in store for that day. This is especially important if you plan on having your wedding outdoors.

Do the Paperwork:
Make sure to get a marriage license at the beginning of your wedding planning and that you receive written contracts from all of the vendors you choose to utilize.

Don't be Afraid to Ask for Help:
Planning a wedding is a lot of work soo don't be afraid to ask for help. Your wedding planner, venue, family, and friends are great resources and will more than likely be happy to help.

Enjoy Your Wedding Day:
All of your planning will pay off on this special day, so enjoy it! 


Adapted from ModWedding and WaverlyBride 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Keep it "Kalean"

Hop aboard the kale bandwagon because this trendy superfood deserves all the hype that it’s been getting. The health benefits of this leafy green are plentiful and can be incorporated into a variety of tasty meals. According to Dr. Michael Greger on NutritionFacts.org, “Kale is a good source of antioxidants, calcium, nitrates, skin-enhancing carotenoids, and other phytonutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which may be protective against glaucoma.” Dr. Greger also states that “kale, like other cruciferous vegetables, may boost mood, lower cholesterol, prevent DNA damage, improve immune function, prevent cancer (like breast and kidney cancer), increase cancer survival rates, and reduce the risk of chronic age-related diseases.”


This infographic from Nutribullet is a great representation of some of the benefits of kale: 

So, are you craving to try some delicious and nutritious kale yet? Here are some kale recipes that will get you through the day, from breakfast all the way until your late night snack!

Breakfast:

Kale Breakfast Smoothie
We picked this recipe because it is packed with protein, tastes great, and will keep you energized all morning.
Yield: 1 large or 2 small smoothies; Prep Time: 3 minutes; Cook time: 2 minutes; Total Time: 5 minutes
Ingredients:
·      2 cups lightly packed chopped kale leaves with the stems removed
·      ¾ cup milk, unsweetened vanilla almond milk is preferred
·      1 frozen banana cut into chunks
·      ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
·      ¼ cup frozen pineapple pieces
·      2 tablespoons peanut butter or almond butter
·      1 to 3 teaspoons honey, to taste
      Directions:
Place all ingredients in a blender until smooth. To reach the desired consistency, add more milk.

Source: Erin Clarke, WellPlated

If you like to eat a little bit more in the morning, here’s a recipe for an easy Feta Kale Eggs Florentine:
Yield: Serves 2; Prep Time: 5 minutes; Cook Time: 15 minutes; Total Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients:
·      2 slices English Muffin Bread, sourdough bread, multigrain bread, or English muffin, for serving
·      3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
·      3 cups chopped kale, stems removed
·      1 teaspoon/2 cloves minced garlic
·      1/8 teaspoon salt, plus additional for seasoning
·      1/8 teaspoon pepper, plus additional for seasoning
·      1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
·      2 large eggs
·      2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
Directions:
1.     Toast bread and set aside.
2.     Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium. Add the kale, stir to coat, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale begins to soften for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir and cook 1 additional minute. Remove from heat, stir in the feta cheese, then cover to keep warm.
3.     In a small skillet, heat the remaining teaspoon olive oil over medium. Gently crack eggs into skillet and sprinkle with a little extra salt and pepper. Cook until whites are nearly set, about 1 minute. Cover skillet, remove from heat, and let stand until whites are set but yolks are still soft, about 3 minutes.
4.     To serve: Place half of the kale on top of each toast, then top with a fried egg. Serve immediately.

Source: Erin Clarke, WellPlated

Lunch:

The protein from the beans and all the nutritional value of kale make this Kale and Black Bean Burritos recipe both healthy and filling.
Ingredients:
·      fresh lime juice
·      splash of olive oil
·      pinch of cumin powder
·      dash of chili powder
·      dash of sea salt
·      ½ teaspoon seeded and finely chopped fresh jalapeño
·      1 tablespoon roughly chopped cilantro
·      2 medium leaves of kale, washed and dried, stems removed and roughly chopped into bite-sized pieces
·      1 clove of garlic, minced or pressed
·      ½ cup cooked or canned black beams, rinsed and drained
·      1 small (8 inch) whole wheat tortilla
·      ½ small avocado, pitted and sliced into strips lengthwise
·      1 tablespoon chopped red onion
·      1 to 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
Directions:
1.     In a bowl, combine the lime juice, olive oil, chili powder, cumin, jalapeño, sea salt, cilantro, and kale. Toss to mix well and set the bowl aside to marinate.
2.     Warm the beans and minced garlic with a couple of tablespoons of water. You can do this in your smallest saucepan on the stove over medium-low heat (sauté the garlic in a drizzle of olive oil before adding the beans) or in a bowl in the microwave. Add little splashes of water as necessary. Use a fork to mash up the beans a little and add salt to taste, if necessary.
3.     Warm the tortilla in a skillet or in the microwave for a few seconds. Top the tortilla with the black bean mixture, sliced avocado, marinated kale (you may end up with more kale than will fill your burrito, reserve the extra and serve it on the side). Top with red onion and feta. Roll up the burrito by first holding the tortilla over from the bottom to partially cover the beans and greens, then fold in the 2 sides; finish rolling and put the burrito seam side down on a plate.

     Source: Kathryn Taylor, Cookie and Kate

Dinner:

This Zoodles (zucchini noodles) with Kale Pesto and Edamame recipe is perfect for lunch or dinner. Plus, it’s vegan and gluten-free!
(Before starting on this dish, you’ll need a vegetable spiralizer or a julienne peeler and a food processor).

Kale Pesto:
Ingredients:
·      10 kale leaves, stem removed
·      1 tablespoon pine nuts
·      ½ clove garlic, chopped
·      ¼ teaspoon salt
·      3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
·      1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese
·      You will also need:
o   A large bowl of water
o   Ice cubes
Directions:
1.     Fill a large bowl with water and ice and then refrigerate.
2.     Wash kales and remove stems.
3.     Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the kale for about 3 minutes, remove and place in the ice bath to stop the cooking process.
4.     Drain and place leaves on paper towels and blot away the moisture.
5.     Put kale, garlic, pine nuts, and parmesan in the bowl of the food processer and pulse until coarsely chopped.
6.     Add the extra virgin olive oil and continue to pulse until the kale pesto reaches the desired consistency.


Zoodles with Kale Pesto and Edamame (main course):
Ingredients:
·      kale pesto (made in recipe above)
·      4 zucchini
·      1 clove of garlic, minced
·      ½ teaspoon chili powder
·      1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
·      7 ounces shelled frozen edamame
·      ½ cup blanched almonds
Directions:
After preparing the kale pesto,
1.     Defrost the edamame
2.     Wash and spiralize or peel zucchini into noodles.
3.     Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat
4.     Add the garlic and chili powder and cook until the garlic is fragrant
5.     Add the zoodles and sauté for 2 minutes
6.     Add the edamame, season with salt and pepper and sauté for another 1 or 2 minutes. If you overcook, you’ll get mushy zoodles.
7.     Remove from heat, toss the zucchini noodles in the pesto until it’s thoroughly coated. Top with almonds and serve.

     Source: As Easy as Apple Pie

Dessert:

This Banana Kale Muffins recipe is great because it’s gluten-free and you can’t even taste the kale!
Ingredients:
·      4 eggs
·      3 large ripe bananas, cut into chunks
·      5 ounces fresh baby kale
·      ½ cup butter, melted
·      1.5 cups certified gluten free oat flour
·      ½ cup brown sugar (you can use less sugar but they won’t be as sweet)
·      1 teaspoon baking soda
·      1 teaspoon lemon juice
·      ½ teaspoon sea salt
Directions:
1.     Preheat oven to 350°F
2.     Wash and dry kale, remove all stems.
3.     Put all ingredients into food processor. Turn on high. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn on high again and blend until completely mixed.
4.     Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper baking cups. Fill muffin cups almost to the top. Bake for about 32 minutes. 
5.     Remove the muffins from the pan and cool on a wire cooling rack for about 10 minutes.

      Source: GlutenFreeMama


Snack:

Whether you want to munch on something while watching your favorite TV show or you want a midnight snack, kale chips is the way to go! This diet-friendly alternative to potato chips is quick and easy to make!
Ingredients:
·      kale, stems removed
·      olive oil
·      salt (or any seasoning of your choosing)
Directions:
1.     Preheat oven to 350°F
2.     Completely dry the leaves
3.     Drizzle with olive oil and sea salt
4.     Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes, or until edges start to brown.

    Source: Seth Kolloen, Allrecipes


We hope you enjoyed this blog post! Feel free to contact us if there are any food related topics you would like for us to write about!