What are they cooking for dinner?

Home-cooked Japanese Dinner

Menu of Main Dishes

Pork Wonton and Pumpkin Soup

Simmered Fish (Splendid Alfonsino) with Lotus Root

Komatsuna and Konbu mixed with Chili Pepper Powder

Cooking Class Benefits Kids in Many Ways

A program that helps elementary school students develop cooking skills while learning subjects such as geography, math, science and cultural studies may be one way to fight the growing problem of childhood obesity in the United States.

In a new study, researchers assessed an experimental food-and-nutrition education program called Cooking with Kids, in which students explore, prepare and enjoy fresh, affordable foods from a number of cultures. The program also teaches students the social skills of working together to prepare a meal and then enjoying it together.

The study included 178 fourth-grade students and their teachers who were interviewed before and after a series of cooking-plus-tasting or tasting-only classes that were integrated into the normal school curriculum.

Teachers and students who took part in both types of food classes found it to be a positive experience, and those who had the cooking classes said it gave them opportunities to improve their social skills.

Students who had the cooking-plus-tasting classes did not regard cooking-related tasks at home as chores, unlike those who had the tasting-only classes or those who had neither type of food class, the University of Colorado researchers said.

The study appears in the November/December issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

“This study describes student and teacher perceptions about the integration of nutrition education programs with academic curriculum topics, which is essential in justifying nutrition education’s continued place in the school curriculum. It documents the importance of including cooking in school curriculum as it is a practical mechanism to promote health, social and educational skills to better prepare students for adulthood.” said Leslie Cunningham-Sabo, an assistant professor at Colorado State University, in a journal news release.

Childhood obesity in the United States has tripled over the past 30 years, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the release noted.

Source: HealthDay

Hot and Spicy Noodles

The degree of hotness of the dishes will depend on the amount and types of chili used. On the other hand, the type of spices and other ingredient added to complement the heat of the chili will determine the flavour of the dishes. The addition of curry gives the dish its fragrant taste while Sichuan peppercorn will make your mouth and lip feeling a sense of numbness.

Below are some typical examples of hot and spicy noodles with different hot flavours.

Mildly Hot and Sweet Ja Jiang Mein (Fried Meat Sauce Noodles)

Hot and Fragrant Malaysian Seafood Lasak

Hot and Numbing Szechuan Dan Dan Noodles

Hot and Sour Yunnan Sweet Potato Vermicelli

Mildly Hot and Peppery Japanese Ramen

See my related post:

Cherry Juice Gives A Good Night’s Sleep

People who have difficulty sleeping might want to consider drinking a glass of cherry juice at bedtime because it has been found to significantly increase melatonin levels in the body and improve the quality and duration of sleep, according to a new study published in the European Journal of Nutrition.

Researchers at Northumbria University recruited 20 healthy volunteers and had them drink a 30 ml serving of either tart cherry juice made from the Montmorency cherry or a placebo juice twice a day for seven days. Urine samples were collected from all participants before and during the investigation to determine levels of melatonin. During the study the participants wore an actigraphy watch sensor that monitored their sleep and wake cycles and kept a daily diary on their sleeping patterns.

Participants who drank cherry juice for a week experienced significant increase in their urinary melatonin (15% to 16%) than those who consumed the placebo drink samples. Actigraphy measurements of participants who consumed the cherry juice saw an increase of around 15 minutes to the time spent in bed, 25 minutes in their total sleep time and a 5% to 6% increase in their “sleep efficiency,” a global measure of sleep quality. Cherry juice drinkers reported less daytime napping time compared to their normal sleeping habits before the study and the napping times of the placebo group.

‚ÄúThese results show that tart cherry juice can be used to facilitate sleep in healthy adults and, excitingly, has the potential to be applied as a natural intervention, not only to athletes, but to other populations with insomnia and general disturbed sleep from shift work or jet lag,” the researchers said.

The findings support a previous study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food that concluded drinking a glass of unsweetened cherry juice at bedtime may help provide a natural way to curb insomnia.


Korean Hot and Spicy Noodle Soup with Pork


250 g thin wheat noodle
250 g kim chi
150 g lean pork
1 tbsp chopped green onion
2 tbsp korean chili paste


  1. Cook noodle in boiling water until done. Remove and drain.
  2. Cut pork into slices.
  3. Bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Add pork and kim chi. Cook for 5 minutes. Add noodle and chili paste. Cook for 3 more minutes. Mix in green onion before serving with some fresh kim chi.

Source: Hong Kong magazine