Cooking is Easy if you know How!! Whenever I think of my family, I want to provide the best I can as a mother & wife. Cooking is definitely one important skill I have mastered over the past 1 year to ensure a healthier lifestyle & not burning my pocket with too expensive ingredients. I try to set myself a budget whenever I visit the grocery store so that I’ll not be buying excessively as too often, we end up throwing away overdue food into the trash bin. Personally, I think SGD$20-50 is a good budget to get all my grocery & household products in each visit (about 2-3 visits to the grocery per week)
Today, I’ll be sharing with you on my home cooked chicken rice dinner for a family of 3 and under a budget of SGD$10 for 3 dishes + 1 soup.
I always believe that cooking should be fun, easy & quick. So for my chicken rice, I’ll normally purchase the PRIMA Chicken Rice Paste which you add into the washed rice. You can adjust the amount of water to add into your rice as the paste can be slightly salty. There are instructions provided on the pack if you are cooking it for the first time.
Steam Chicken Breast
My husband prefers chicken breast as it is a great source of protein and usually less fats. I seasoned the chicken breast with a pinch of ground black pepper & sea salt just on the top and added about 1-2 tsp of light soya sauce before placing into the steamer. Some people actually asked me how long to steam the chicken breast? Well, it takes approx. 20 minutes for it to be cooked thoroughly. When the chicken is ready, you will notice the excess fats settling on the bottom of the bowl which you can drain away before serving it.
If you are planning to make chicken mayo for sandwich / shredded chicken hor fun with chicken breast, I’ll suggest that you steam it for 40-60 mins. The best gauge is when you can tear the chicken breast up into strips without much efforts.
Baked Chicken Thigh
This succulent looking baked chicken thigh is seasoned with 1-2 tsp of dark soya sauce, a dash of sesame oil, a pinch of sea salt & ground black pepper. It is highly recommended to let it ‘rest’ and absorb the seasoning for at least 2 hours. After which, you can just bake it in the oven for 20 minutes till golden brown.
Steam Bean Sprouts
I prefer oil-free cooking such as baking or steaming as it is much healthier and I’ll also try to adjust my choice of cooking method based on all the dishes I am cooking for the day. This helps to minimise the many pots and pans I have to clear thereafter.
I have simply added a pinch of sea salt, ground pepper & 1 tbsp of spring onions for that extra flavour. Steam it for approx. 10-15 minutes to retain the crunchiness of the bean sprouts.
*Optionally, you can omit the salt and add abalone sauce or any other sauce but make sure it is MonoSodium Glutamate-Free. MonoSodium Glutamate are widely used in dishes as a flavour enhancer but it is not a healthy choice of seasoning. Therefore, I’d not recommend it for home cooking.
To prepare a simple & tasty cabbage soup to complete the chicken rice meal, you will need 1-2 cup of cabbage (shredded), 2-3 slices of ginger, 1 cube of chicken stock, 1-2 tsp of light soya sauce, 1.5-2 litres of water and a dash of white pepper. Let it boil till the cabbage is soft and always taste the soup to see if you need to add more seasoning.
- Chicken Rice – SGD$2.50
- Half a chicken – SGD$4.50 (2 styles of cooking)
- Cabbage Soup – SGD$1.50
Total Amount Spend: SGD$8.50 (an average of SGD$2.80 per person/ family of 3)
I am saving at least 50% of the expenses I pay dining out with my family, as well as providing a healthier meal with my method of cooking and control of ingredients added.
According to the 2010 National Nutrition Survey, it showed that 6 in 10 Singaporeans eat out at least once a day. Thus, Singapore Health Promotion Board (HPB) launched the Healthier Hawker Programme in April 2011, encouraging the hawkers to prepare healthier food for the consumers and also provide diners with an accessibility to healthier food choices. HPB has also introduced the Healthy Eating in School Programme, seeking to enhance the availability of healthier food and beverage choices in schools to train the children to start eating healthy & living healthy.
With the Healthy Eating Awareness Movement encouraged by HPB, I feel that the best type of food is still Home Cooked Food. Many people would grumble that their cooking is horrible, but if you take the effort to keep trying, you are already making a difference in your family’ health. So why not try cooking today? I believe even providing home cooked food once a week to your family is already a good start!
What do you think? Leave your comments below.