Take a leaf from these lean, green cookbooks

SENSIBLE GREEN EATS: Seasonal greens with poached egg and "green goddess" sauce, a dish from Ms Ong's cookbook.


    Jul 04, 2016

    Take a leaf from these lean, green cookbooks

    HEALTHY cooking and eating get easier with three new cookbooks filled with nourishing yet time-saving recipes.

    At Home: From Pot To Pot

    By Pauline Menezes

    $28.00 before GST, 234 x 180mm / 140pp / Paperback Cuisine.

    Now available

    This book on growing herbs and using them is the first of its kind that is tailored for Singapore's apartment dwellers.

    Pauline Menezes is the honorary secretary of the Vegetarian Society (Singapore) and started growing her own herbs at home for the book, besides soliciting recipes from different sources.

    The book gets to the nitty-gritty of growing 15 herbs - covering the general basics from how to pot them to how to ensure best growth.

    "The book's main aim is to encourage apartment dwellers to plant greens and enjoy the benefits so it has to cover the basics and be accessible," said Ms Menezes. The 30 recipes were selected to best use the herbs and the food can be prepared in less than 30 minutes.

    One thing she learnt was that most of the herbs in the book do not require full sunlight. They can also be grown in small, used drink or food containers.

    The recipes in the book try to keep to less than eight ingredients as Ms Menezes believes that people want simplicity.

    The recipe for the Blue Butterfly Pea Curd Cheese Spread, for example, sees the use of the flower in an edible way rather than just as a natural food dye.

    The Pleasures Of Eating Well: Nourishing Favourites From

    The Como Shambhala Kitchen

    By Christina Ong

    $95.00 before GST, 305x225mm / 303pp / Cased

    The book will be sold at Como Shambhala Urban Escape at Delfi Orchard, SuperNature at Forum the Shopping Mall, Culina at

    Dempsey Hill,


    from early August Founder Christina Ong's elegance is reflected in the classy look of the book, and as she reveals in her introduction, the whopping 147 recipes are a reflection of her sensible approach to eating well.

    The recipes are meant to be flexible so the food can be whipped up any time of the day - whether you are eating alone or hosting a dinner party.

    Those looking to lead healthier lifestyles will find the recipes handy too.

    The recipes stem from Ms Ong's Como Shambala concept of 360-degree wellness, and are developed with Como's group executive chef Timothy DeSouza.

    While some are simple (such as juices), there are those which require "exotic" ingredients such as goat curd and yak meat from Bhutan.

    But there are no-cook recipes like a chilled creamy avocado, miso and orange soup which just requires a quick blend of avocado and white miso paste, with carrot juice and young coconut water, ginger, garlic and grated orange zest.


    By Joanna Wong

    $36.00 before GST, 255 x 210mm / 164pp / Cased

    The book will be available at bookstores from July 9

    In 2004, the World Gourmet Summit featured modern cuisine cooked with traditional Chinese herbs.

    That event introduced Chinese herbs in the Singapore culinary scene outside of the usual soups or medicinal fare, and its profile has been slowly on the rise since.

    The force behind this change has been Joanna Wong, who had headed the branding and corporate communications for traditional Chinese medicine brand Eu Yan Sang.

    "I wanted to debunk the myth that Chinese herbs could be used as medicine only when one is ill, and spread the knowledge that Chinese herbs can be incorporated into the daily diet for the maintenance of good health," said Ms Wong.

    She has collaborated with renowned celebrity chefs to create original herbal dishes while experimenting on her own.

    After she left Eu Yan Sang last July, she decided to pull together all that rich experience and distill it into a cookbook, Herbalicious.

    The cookbook is certainly a first, and she also roped in five chefs, each contributing six to eight recipes each.

    There are more than 50 recipes in the book, about one third of which are Ms Wong's.

    Eu Yan Sang sponsored the herbs used in testing the recipes.

    Readers will find Chinese herbs used in Indian, Thai, Western and Chinese cuisines.

    "The recipes in this book are much about nourishing yin, the nutritive body fluids inside our bodies that help to lubricate our organs. This is important, especially for those of us living in hot and humid climates," she said.

    There is a useful pictorial glossary of the herb, with the names in Mandarin and hanyu pinyin.