Soy Chai Latte

“Grande 3-pump-chai Soy No-Water No-Foam Chai Latte please”

That was me at Starbucks before I got ill. I know, I was really specific about how I want my drinks… I used to work for them and I knew how I want my coffee/drinks made.

In my last post I mentioned that cancer may possibly be fed on sugar and I’m avoiding white sugar altogether just to play safe. That means I can no longer get a chai latte from Starbucks as they make their Chai syrups and is heavily sweetened with I-don’t-know-what.

I’ve had cravings for chai lattes for a while now, and I’ve decided to make my own. With the extremely limited spices in my cupboard and my research on the internet, I’ve decided that I could make my own chai latte that I know what is in it and drink comfortably at home. It was quite good I must say!


THE RECIPE

Servings – 1 cup
Prep time – 10 minutes

Soy Chai Latte - ingredients
Soy Chai Latte – some of the ingredients
  • 150 ml water
  • 1 cup of unsweetened Soy Milk – replace with your favourite milk or milk substitute
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 4 Cloves
  • 2 Black Peppercorn
  • 1 English Breakfast tea bag
  • 1 Earl Grey tea bag
  • 1.5 Teaspoon of raw sweetener (such as honey, I used Demerara sugar)

Grab a small saucepan/milk pan and pour in the small amounts of water, put all your spices in the water and turn on the heat until the water boils, continue simmering the spices, until the cinnamon stick starts to break open, around 5 minutes. Add the tea bags into the water, let it steep in the spiced water and continue to simmer for another 2 minutes.

Simmering
Simmering

Add your milk to the spiced tea and immediately it becomes a┬áluscious looking tea. Let the milk heat, but do not let it boil, to approximately 65 degrees celcius/150 fahrenheit. Serve immediately. You may wish to strain the spices out or your tea if the tea bag breaks or if you’re using lose leaf. Add your sweetener.

Soy Chai Latte
Soy Chai Latte

It’s such soothing drink for a cold day. Plus, if you make your own you save some money!

Variations – try adding cardamom, ginger, staranise, vanilla pods into it and let me know how it goes! I’ll try that out as I extend my spice collection!

Quinoa Salad with Cherry Tomato

Myths say cancer feeds on sugar. Carbs on the other hand, turn into sugar after being eaten.

I am trying my best to cut out refined sugar (such as normal white sugar) from my diet, I don’t know how effective that is to stop cancer cells from growing, but anyway it’s better to be safe than sorry, refined sugar and a lot of refined foods such as white rice and white flour are no good for you as they are just simple carbs. I’ve been replacing a lot of my carb intake into healthier alternatives.

I used to enjoy couscous (a simple carb) quite a lot, but I’ve found couscous’ cancer friendly cousin – quinoa, to help me through this difficult time.

Quinoa (pronounced kinn-wa) is a type of seed that contains “9 essential amino-acids, making it a complete protein” (source http://vegetarian.about.com/od/glossary/g/whatisquinoa.htm), therefore when eating quinoa, you’re not just eating simple carbs but instead, really good protein.

Now that I’m due for the next chemo in 2 days, I’m pretty confident that I’m past the neutropenic stage when I stick to a low-microbial diet (info). There is this couscous recipe from Nigella that I used to love making, and having tried quinoa before, I somehow thought it’d go really well with quinoa. And it did! Here’s my recipe.


THE RECIPE

Servings – 2 persons
Prep time – 45 minutes

  • 1 cup quinoa (red or white, your pick, I used white as it looks like couscous)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1.5 tablespoon of peeled ginger
  • Half a standard red onion
  • 300g cherry tomato
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch of coriander

Place the quinoa into a colander and rinse under running tap to remove the saponins (otherwise you are destined for a bitter quinoa), just a minute or so would be good enough. Put the quinoa into a deep saucepan (or rice cooker if you wish) together with water (the quinoa to water ratio is 1:2), with the paprika and ginger into the water. Turn on heat on high until water boils and then switch to low heat. Let it simmer for 20 minutes. Once cooked, turn off heat and let the quinoa cool.

While waiting for the quinoa to be cooked, use your time to chop/cut/dice your red onion. Juice a lemon into a bowl and put the chopped/cut/diced red onion into the lemon to let it steep. Let it steep for at least 20 minutes.

In another bowl, half the cherry tomatoes and pour the extra virgin olive oil into the cherry tomato halves.

Once the quinoa is cooled, pour the cherry tomato-extra virgin olive oil mixture into the quinoa into it, mix. Pour the red onion-lemon juice mixture into the quinoa, mix.

Finally, chop the coriander and mix it in the quinoa.

Finished Quiona Salad with Cherry Tomatoes
Finished Quinoa Salad with Cherry Tomatoes

Alternative suggestions – zest some lemon peel into it! I served it with grilled salmon tonight.

Quinoa salad served with grilled salmon
Quiona salad served with grilled salmon

Enjoy!


I’m already feeling sick for the next chemo session. I will just be telling myself it’s gonna be fine! ­čÖé

Salmon Fish Cakes with Potato & Dill

Before I became sick, I already cut out on most of red meat (maybe except if you consider it as red meat, pork, but I was trying really hard to cut it out too). If you ever eat out at where I live, the most common red meat you would pretty much be beef, and lamb comes as a second. I was basically leaning towards vegetarianism. I haven’t yet.

As a cancer patient, I have been told that I should eat more whole foods and eat organic as far as possible. I’ve been trying out recipes to make my intake to a higher quality food. Fish is one of my major sources of protein and omega 3 intake albeit me cutting out those red meats.

I came across Jamie Oliver’s Salmon Fishcakes while looking for recipe ideas last night, I had a craving for it, but having reading recipes for salmon fishcakes elsewhere, I wanted to use dill instead of parsley which Jamie’s recipe calls for. I also read about Nigella’s Salmon Fishcakes which used tinned salmons instead of fresh salmons. Tinned salmons, to be honest, aren’t that much cheaper than fresh salmons in most places around the world, I opted for fresh salmon from the local supermarket.


THE RECIPE

Servings – 4 persons
Prep time – 40 minutes

  • 500g potatoes
  • 370g salmon fillet
  • 1 bunch of dill
  • 1 spring onion – only the white and light green parts
  • 1 egg
  • olive oil
  • some flour – as much as you need

Start boiling a pot of water with some salt in it, meanwhile, peel the potatoes and dice them. Put the diced potatoes and cook them until soft. While the potatoes are being cooked, clean your salmon fillet and rub with salt and olive oil – wrap it in foil and let it steam or baked at 220 degrees celsius in the oven for a quick 12 minutes. When your potatoes are cooked, drain and mash them in a big bowl. Let both the mashed potatoes and cooked salmon cool close to room temperature.

Once everything is cooled, flake the salmon, chop the dill, cut the spring onion into fine slices, crack one egg – add everything into the bowl, season generously and mix. You would notice that the mixture is rather wet – add enough flour until you get the consistency of being able to hold the mixture onto your hand without sticking too much. Divide this mixture into 8 equal parts.

The mixture to be mixed
The ingredients of the salmon cakes

Flour a surface grab one part of the mixture and make a patty on the floured surface, sprinkle the flour (lightly) on the patty as you go. Repeat until you have done this for all the equal parts.

(At this point – If you find it easier – put the patties in the fridge for 30 minutes to hold its shape.)

Using a little vegetable oil on a non-stick pan, fry the cake patties until they are golden brown, approximately 3 – 4 minutes each side.

Serve with lemon wedges. This would probably go very well with a salad. I served it with cabbage with dill & anchovy butter.

Alternative suggestions – make smaller and thinner patties and have them crisp up!

Bon appetit!

Final Product.
Final Product.