The Green Bar – Millenia Walk

More often than not, we look for healthy lunch or dinner options after an indulgent weekend. Salad bars fit perfectly into this mindset and you end up getting a lean and green dining experience. Thus, on a healthy note, I made my way to Green Bar, a gourmet salad bar situated in Millenia Walk. Frequented by business executives working in the area, this place is crowded during lunch time. It seats no more than 15-20 pax. If you are in a hurry, they have takeaways as well. They have limited options for vegetarians on the standard menu – but what works is the fact that you can customize your own salad with different combinations of dressings. The queuing system uses a display number token system which makes it organized – though during lunch time it ends up in a bit of order confusion.

Green Bar

Green Bar

The Orders
Salads can be made to taste interesting by creating different flavour profiles and combining textures. We ordered the ‘Moroccan Couscous Salad’ as the focus was to get more fibre and less fat. This salad was a mini-adventure of raisins, chickpeas and olives in buttered couscous on a bed of baby spinach and arugula leaves. This was finally drizzled off with a lemon dill dressing which was top-notch. What was striking was the large wooden serving bowls – and the quantity of the serving was perfect for lunch. The salted cashews on the side lent a nice balance to the sweet raisins. Bread (which can be dipped in olive oil) is served on the side and this was a good wholesome meal.

Moroccan couscous salad

Moroccan couscous salad at $8.90


For those who are fan of grilled veggies, the ‘Grilled Veggie Foursome’ is a riot of colours with red bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini and tomatoes. If you are wondering what makes this combination work – it’s when all these ingredients come together with the coriander pesto dressing. The ingredients used are fresh which imparts a crunch to the vegetables – both leafy and non-leafy. If required, extra bread can be taken at the bread bar.

Mushroom salad

Grilled Veggie Foursome salad at $10.90


On the whole, the salads might seem a bit pricey but that could mainly be because of the location and the sourcing of high quality ingredients. For its gourmet salad concept, for the portion sizes and for a healthy but tasty meal, the Green Bar is worth a visit if you are in the area.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Salad Bar ★★★
Nearest MRT: Promenade
Address: Millenia Walk, 9 Raffles Boulevard, #01-91, Singapore 039596
Timings: Mon-Fri: 11am – 8pm
Website: https://www.facebook.com/TheGreenBar/
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Pasarbella – Suntec City

Far from their distant location of Grandstand, Pasarbella has opened their second gourmet food market at Suntec City. Conveniently located near Promenade MRT, this place lights up in the evening with a huge signboard that you just can’t miss. Across a sprawling 7000 sq ft, 15 gourmet stalls wait to serve you their best dishes. The decor is industrial-chic meets food-court with ample seating.

Pasarbella @Suntec

Pasarbella @Suntec

The Orders
Since we scouted for vegetarian options, I am sharing the stalls in which I managed to find them conveniently.

1. Grillo
Grillo is a Japanese Yakitori stall specializing in skewers along with their house-blended sauces. To begin with, I ordered the ‘Sweet Potato Fries’ as the starter. The fries were appropriately crunchy and salted and you can take a chilli dip as the side.

Grillo stall

Grillo stall


Sweet potato fries grillo

Sweet potato fries at $3.50


If you are looking for a delish bowl of rice, then this ‘Garlic Tofu Bowl’ fits the bill. First ensure that you like the ingredients and the taste of garlic is not overwhelming. The ‘Zucchini Skewers’ on top were crunchy and went with the soy-sauce drizzled rice. I would have liked a bit more veggies to balance the rice in the dish.
Garlic Tofu Bowl

Garlic Tofu Bowl at $10.90

2. Pimp My Salad
I have a weakness for salad stalls brimming with fresh ingredients. ‘Pimp My Salad’ does not disappoint with its options. A neat ordering form is provided where you can mark your choices and customize your own salad. With glee, I filled the checklist and created my salad carefully choosing the ingredients. They also have their signature salads with interesting combinations.

Pimp my salad stall

Pimp my salad stall


Salad ordering

Salad ordering form


If you are a fan of healthy eating and enjoy salads, I would highly recommend this bowl of goodness. Vegetarians and vegans, you can go crazy choosing your preferences. Look at my choice – Broccoli with Almond Flakes and Chilli, Baby Corn with Paprika, Pomegranate, Hummus, Garam Masala Chickpeas and Couscous with Raisins and Bell Peppers. And everything was rightly flavored and so tasty!
Customized Salad

Customized Salad at $11.90

3. Pita and Olives
Next we hit the ‘Pita and Olives’ stall. It is a Mediterranean-style bistro dishing out hearty food in the form of pita bread, kebabs and falafels. Their food is not new to me as I have reviewed them earlier which can be read here . They have closed their outlet at Tanjong Pagar and moved to Suntec City and serve some tasty dishes. I particularly like their Falafels and generally order their platter which can be shared by 2 pax. Their Hummus and Salad are delicious!

Mediterranean Platter

Mediterranean Veg Platter at $18


If you like rice for lunch or dinner, then go for their Pilaf Set which is filling and take falafels on the side.
Pilaf set with falafel

Pilaf set with falafel

4. Sarnies
Instead of the usual savory items, ‘Sarnies@Suntec’ serves coffee, pastries, tea and milkshakes. They also have the non-dairy form of drinks. Along with this they are selling ‘Cocowhip’ which is a vegan soft serve from Australia. This ice cream is made from coconut water and there is a pronounced coconut taste when you dig into it. You can choose your sauce toppings to give it a variety in flavour and I chose Burnt Caramel Sauce which was damn good!

Cocowhip vegan ice cream

Cocowhip vegan ice cream at Sarnies at $6.50

5. Squeezed
Last but not least, ‘Squeeezed’ serves some awesome fresh juices. An appropriate stall in this setting, especially with the Singapore weather. They serve cold-pressed juices packed with vitamins. I felt refreshed after drinking this juice.

Squeezed juice

Squeezed juice


For its central location, its variety of food stalls and decent lunch and dinner options, Pasarbella is worth visiting!

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Gourmet Food Stalls ★★★
Nearest MRT: Promenade
Address: Suntec City, 3 Temasek Boulevard, #01-455 to 461 North Wing, Singapore 038983
Timings: Mon-Sun: 10am – 10pm
Website: http://pasarbella.com/

Pita Pit – Fusionopolis Place

A large number of cafes and restaurants have sprung up in One North over the last few months, specially around Fusionopolis. Since it is primarily an office area, there are lot of lunch options – be it takeaways or dine-ins. During an exploratory walk, I came across Pita Pit which is a wrap and salad shop. When I entered the place, I found their signage quite interesting as it marked their global reach.

Pita Pit map

Pita Pit map

The Orders
Orders are placed across the counter. It helps that their well-lit menu mounted on the wall clearly states the options. I was happy to see vegetarian and vegan offerings. There were combo meal options for a wrap + juice or wrap + coffee.

Pita Pit menu

Pita Pit menu


Upon payment, the ordering process is very simple as you choose your type of wrap along with your preferred toppings. It was obviously nice to see that they aren’t stingy on toppings. Also it was good to see the service staff know about eating preferences of customers and clearly ask for vegetarian or vegan requirements.

Pita Pit ordering process

Pita Pit ordering process


Pita pit toppings counter

Pita pit toppings counter


For the wraps, I ordered the ‘Falafel’ and ‘Halloumi’ versions for takeaway. Once you choose your wrap size, you get to choose unlimited toppings in your order. The other interesting thing to note was they use a separate grill for their vegetarian wraps. If you want some of your veggies grilled (Onion,Mushrooms and Green Peppers), then just let them know that you want O.M.G in your wrap! Their assembly line is pretty neat and the wrap is shaped like a huge pocket so the veggies can be nicely stacked into it. Personally I preferred the Falafel wholemeal wrap but that is purely because of my love for falafels. The Halloumi was also quite nice and halloumi as a cheese goes very well in any grilled version.
Pita pit wraps

Pita pit wraps


Falafel wholemeal wrap

Falafel wholemeal wrap at $9.90


As you can see, the large version of Falafel wrap can be a full meal. They also have a juice counter where bottled fresh juices are available in different flavours. I tried the ‘Calamansi Lemon Honey Juice’ juice which was refreshing and tasty.
Pita Pit juice

Pita Pit juice


Apart from takeaways, they also have a dine-in option with around 15-20 seats. Instead of wraps, you can also order salads. For the freshness of their ingredients, for their liberal portions and for their efficient customer service, Pita Pit is worth a visit.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Mediterranean ★★★1/2
Nearest MRT: One North
Address: 1 Fusionopolis Place, Galaxis #01-15, Singapore 138522
Timings: Mon-Fri: 8am – 8pm ; Sat-Sun: 11am – 6pm
Website: http://www.pitapit.com.sg/#about

Chickpea, Carrot and Couscous Dish with Pomegranates

I traveled to Bali recently – and I have to let you all know that it’s one of the best places to visit to eat! There are umpteen options for vegetarians and if you are a foodie, then Bali is surely going to be on your repeat list. This recipe is an adaptation of a dish that I had during one of my meals. It is inspired by Moroccan cuisine which plays with and balances sweet and savory flavours with the spices used to season them. Personally, I always wanted to try making a dish with couscous, and I am glad I managed that through this dish. I added some ingredients and made it to my liking. I must say this has been one of the most wholesome and fulfilling recipes of mine. I remembered the taste of the dish and tried to build it stage-wise which was an interesting process in my cooking journey. The texture of couscous is like semolina and the dry roasting process for both of them is identical. This dish is very easy to make, healthy and a welcome change from a boring salad. It is quite filling, ingredients can be added and the dish can always be evolved to suit your liking. I hope you enjoy trying it and do let me know on the outcome as I would be happy to read about it 🙂

Recipe Details :
Serves: 2-3 pax
Time: 40 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients :

  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 3 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 2 tsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 3 tsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely crushed (Or you can use 1/2 a can of tomato puree)
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 pomegranate, deseeded
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves for garnish
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste (optional)
  • 1.5 cups water

Method:


    Pomegranate layer at the bottom

    Pomegranate layer at the bottom

  • Take a pasta bowl or a broad dish and place the pomegranate seeds as the bottom-most layer. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to the seeds and set it aside – preferably in the fridge.
  • Place a pan on medium heat, add oil and the cumin seeds. Once the cumin seeds splutter, add the ginger, garlic, cinnamon and onion. Once the onion turns translucent, lower the flame, add the carrots. Add some salt, cover and cook for 5-7 minutes.
  • Once the carrots are done, add the chickpeas and tomato puree. Also add 1 cup water. Stir well, add some salt and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Couscous - middle layer

    Couscous – middle layer

  • Simultaneously start dry roasting the couscous on a medium flame in a separate pan. The couscous will start to turn golden brown in 5 mins and you will also get a slight fragrance. Now add 1.5 cups water and let it boil on a low flame so that the couscous fluffs up. Switch off the flame and set it aside for 5 minutes before plating. This will form the layer above the pomegranate seeds.
  • Final dish

    Final dish

  • By now, the carrots and chickpeas part of the dish would also have been done. Remove that from the flame and plate it on top of the couscous layer. Garnish with coriander leaves and this is going to be one tasty dish!

Tips:

  • While boiling the couscous, ensure that your water proportion is correct. To much water will make it mushy.
  • Let the couscous rest before you serve it. Once it has cooled slightly, you can fluff it with a fork.
  • If you do not have pomegranate, you can also use finely chopped dates.

Cucumber and Apple Salad

Some time back I posted about my layered Veg Biryani. In that post, I wrote that I paired the rice with a delicious salad.  So, this post is going to be a healthy and easy-to-make salad recipe. I decided to go with my most staple salad ingredient – cucumbers. To give sweetness and crunch, I paired them with some lovely red apples. These ingredients also provide necessary fiber to the body and are refreshing to eat. I like to grate some nuts (walnuts or almonds) as garnish and make it a wholesome spoon of nutrition.

Recipe Details :
Serves: 3 pax
Time: 15 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients :

  • 3 cucumbers, cut in crescents
  • 1 apple, cut in crescents
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 5 walnuts, grated
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  • 2 tsp honey (optional)

Cucumber and apple salad

Cucumber and apple salad


Method:

  • Cut the cucumbers and apples into crescents and keep them aside.
  • Take a bowl and add the white vinegar, honey and pepper powder and whisk the dressing well.
  • Add the cut ingredients to the dressing and mix them nicely.
  • Garnish this salad with grated walnuts.
  • Refrigerate it for 20 mins before serving.

Real Food – Orchard Road outlet

An organic, healthy, vegetarian restaurant coupled with relaxed ambience sounds almost surreal. This place, however, is true to its name. Situated in Orchard Road, is a spacious restaurant called Real Food that will make you feel at ease with its decor and ambiance. The restaurant has two types of seating : sofas and large wooden tables. These sections are bifurcated by a huge wooden book shelf and can accommodate small and large gatherings. I prefer the sofa section as it has a lounge feel and is ideal for long friendly chats. When you are seated on the sofas, you can see a lovely photo collage on the walls facing you and when you turn back, you can grab a book and begin to read. You never know how time passes by at this warmly-lit place.

Real food decor

Real food decor

The Orders
For starters, we decided to go for the ‘Herb Salad on Tomato Bruschetta’. The bread had a nice crunch which contrasted well with the cherry tomatoes, herb and vinegar topping and we gobbled it up in no time. To beat the heat, we also ordered the ‘Organic Lemonade’ at the same time and it was absolutely refreshing.

Herb salad on tomato bruschetta

Herb salad on tomato bruschetta at $7.80


Organic lemonade

Organic lemonade at $5.80


Next, we ordered the ‘Beet (Millet) Burger’ since we had heard so much about it. This is a delicious handmade patty made with beetroot, carrot and a combination of other veggies. It is slightly crumbly in nature but quite tasty and I enjoyed the burger. It is served with sweet potato wedges which makes the whole dish an interesting combination.

Beet burger

Beet burger at $12.80

For the next dish, we went for the ‘Balsamic Cherry Tomato Prune Pasta’ which was just OK. The pasta was dry and needed more sauce. It is better to eat it when served hot. Since their menu is quite extensive, it is better to try out other dishes if you are headed there for the first time.

Balsamic cherry tomato prune pasta

Balsamic cherry tomato prune pasta at $8.80

My friend ordered the ‘Stuffed Veggie Salad’ which was a beetroot patty with combination of veggies (like the burger), but excluding the bun. It is quite filling on it own and totally healthy.

Stuffed veggie salad

Stuffed veggie salad at $9.80

They have some interesting desserts on display at their counter and all of them are gluten-free. We ordered the ‘Vegan Brownie’ which was a large slab of deliciousness and can easily be shared by two people. We also ordered ‘Chocolate and Date Cake’ which was a small square filled with the rich taste of natural dates and I would totally recommend it.

Vegan brownie

Vegan brownie at $6


If you are a fan of rice, then the ‘Baked Brown rice’ is recommended. After the meal, you can also shop around the grocery section for organic items. The restaurant sells a variety of chips, coffee beans, teas, honey, juices, sugar, nuts and cooking items. Their menu is crystal clear and states which items are vegan and/or gluten-free. From a healthy vegetarian perspective, for their comfort, ambiance, variety in menu, affordable cost and delicious food, Real Food is totally worth a visit.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Vegetarian ★★★★
Nearest MRT: Orchard
Address:181 Orchard Road, #02-16 Orchard Central, Singapore 238896
Timings: Mon-Sun: 10 am-9 pm
Website: http://realfoodgrocer.com/

Quinoa with Chickpeas and Black Bean Salad with Lemon-Cumin Vinaigrette in Potato Basket/ Quinoa with with Chickpeas and Black Bean Salad with Lemon-Cumin Vinaigrette in Aloo Katori

I’ve been reading up on healthy foods and came to hear a lot of good things about quinoa. It is being touted as a healthy grain as it is a rich source of protein and fiber. When cooked, it fluffs up nicely and almost resembles couscous or sabudana (tapioca). What I like about cooking is the ability to experiment with new ingredients and since I had never cooked with quinoa before, I decided to try a salad. I also wanted to understand the quinoa behaviour while cooking. I read that the cooking process is similar to the one used for rice. However, I found that it is better to be conservative on the quinoa to water ratio. The brand of quinoa I suggested a ratio of 1:2 (quinoa:water). When I tried it, the quinoa was too soggy for my taste. Ultimately, I ended up using 1:1 ratio of quinoa to water. Wash the quinoa thoroughly (3 – 4 washes) before cooking as it has a bitter outer coating. This recipe has quite a few ingredients – each adding their own taste and texture. I had made it as a picnic starter and it turned out to be delicious. This recipe has 3 main components: The quinoa salad, the lemon-cumin vinaigrette and the potato basket. This dish can be made just as a salad and served with a dash of lemon, the vinaigrette is multipurpose and can be used with other salads, and last but not least, the potato baskets can be stuffed with a filling of your choice. In short this is my triple bonanza post, three recipes in one dish! Needless to say, experimenting with these combinations to create a dish was a deelightful experience 🙂

Recipe Details :
Serves: 3-4 pax
Time: 40 mins
Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients :

  • For salad

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (please see tips section of this post)
  • 1/2 can black beans
  • 1/2 can chickpeas
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander, finely chopped

  • For vinaigrette

  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • fine zest of half a lemon(optional)
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp honey (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • For potato basket/aloo katori

  • 1 medium potato, shredded on the largest side of a box grater
  • 1/2 tsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • Salt as per taste

Quinoa with beans salad

Quinoa with beans salad


Method for salad and vinaigrette:

  • Wash the quinoa thoroughly and place it in a pan with a 1:1 ratio of water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Once it boils, put on a lid and turn the heat to low. Cook till all the water is absorbed. Take it off the heat and leave to rest for 20 minutes. Fluff well with a fork.
  • Combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well. Prepare the vinaigrette only after the quinoa is cooked.
  • Now combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl. Add half the quantity of the prepared vinaigrette into the salad bowl and mix well. Let the salad rest for about 20 mins at room temperature before serving.
  • The salad can be refrigerated overnight and the extra vinaigrette can be used at the time of serving the next day. The vinaigrette is essential as it adds a great acidity to the salad. If you do not have the ingredients for the vinaigrette, then just squeeze some lemon juice on top to balance the salad flavours.

Potato baskets

Potato baskets


Method for potato basket/aloo katori

  • Wash and peel the potatoes. Grate them on the largest openings on a box grater.
  • Squeeze the grated potato to remove excess moisture. The more water you can remove now, the better.
  • Now combine the remaining ingredients with the potatoes in a bowl. Do this quickly as the potato will start to oxidize.
  • Lightly grease a muffin tray. Scoop some of the mixture into each section of the tray.
  • Working outwards from the center, press down to create a flat base and then push the mixture up the sides of the wall to create a bowl shape.
  • Bake in an oven at 180 Celsius for 20 minutes. At that stage check if the baskets are golden brown. If not, continue baking, checking every 3 – 5 minutes.
  • Remove the baskets from the muffin tray. You can serve them immediately.

Tips :

  • For those staying in Singapore, I used the Origins Health food Organic Quinoa pack and I did not cook according to the instructions on the pack as it made the quinoa too mushy for my liking.
  • For an interesting perspective on cooking quinoa and reading instructions about the same, give this a read http://foodbod.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/dont-cook-quinoa-as-it-says-on-the-pack/
  • I used canned versions of the chickpeas and black beans. You can soak them overnight in the usual manner and make them too.
  • If you refrigerate the potato baskets, then warm them slightly in an oven so that they get a bit crisp before serving the next day.