My Recipe

Toss Buckwheat Noodle with Chicken and Vegetables


4 x 91 g bundles buckwheat noodle (soba)
10 oz cooked chicken thigh
3 oz carrot
8 oz cucumber
4 oz yellow bell pepper
3 Tbsp toasted sesame seed

Noodle Seasoning:

4 Tbsp Japanese soy sauce
4 Tsbp Japanese rice vinegar
4 Tbsp Mirin
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp wasabi


  1. Boil 12 cups of water in a wok. Add noodle, stir and bring to a boil. Cook uncovered for about 6 minutes or according to package instructions. Remove and rinse noodle with running cold tap water until completely cooled. Remove and drain. Cut into shorter sections.
  2. Tear chicken into thin strips.
  3. Cut carrot and bell pepper into 1½-inch matchstick strips.
  4. Mix noodle seasoning in a large bowl.
  5. Add noodle and mix in seasoning. Add chicken, carrot, cucumber, bell pepper and sesame seed. Toss to combine. Remove and serve.

Nutrition value for 1/6 portion of recipe:

Calorie 399, Fat 11.6 g, Carbohydrate 55 g, Fibre 1 g, Sugar 2 g, Cholesterol 43 mg, Sodium 1,298 mg, Protein 23 g.

Home-cooked Lunch of A Japanese Dietitian

Pasta with Chicken and Vegetables Simmered in Flavoured Soy Sauce

Fast-food Consumption in Children Linked to Poorer Academic Outcomes

Past research has linked fast-food consumption to childhood obesity and numerous health problems later in life. But eating such foods may not only affect physical health; a new study finds that the amount of fast food children eat may also influence their academic growth.

The research team – led by Katy Purtell, assistant professor of human sciences at Ohio State University – found that the higher the frequency of fast-food consumption in fifth grade, the worse children performed on math, reading and science tests in eighth grade.

They publish their findings in the journal Clinical Pediatrics.

Many studies have suggested that consumption of unhealthy foods is a major contributor to childhood obesity, and there has been much debate over the marketing of junk food to children, with many experts claiming it encourages unhealthy eating.

According to the Prevention Institute, almost 40% of children’s diets come from unhealthy fats and added sugars, and only 21% of youths aged 6-19 years eat the recommended five portions of fruits and vegetables a day.

In this latest study, Purtell and her team wanted to determine whether fast-food consumption affects how well a child does in school.

The researchers analyzed data from 11,740 students who were part of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort. All students were in kindergarten in the 1998-99 school year.

When the children were in fifth grade, they completed a food consumption questionnaire. From this, the team found that only 29% of children reported eating no fast food in the week prior to the questionnaire.

Test scores up to 20% lower among children who ate fast food

Around 10% of children reported eating fast food every day, while 10% reported eating it four to six times a week. The remaining children reported eating fast food one to three times in the week before the questionnaire.

The children completed tests in reading, math and science in fifth grade, and further tests in these three subjects were completed when they reached eighth grade.

The study results revealed that children who consumed fast food four to six times a week or every day scored up to 20% lower on math, reading and science tests in eighth grade than those who did not eat any fast food. Children who ate fast food one to three times a week had lower scores on the math test only in eighth grade, compared with those who ate no fast food.

The researchers say their results remained even after accounting for other potential contributing factors for lower test scores, such as exercise, television viewing time, their family’s socioeconomic status, other food consumption, and school and neighborhood characteristics.

Commenting on the team’s findings, Purtell says:

“There’s a lot of evidence that fast-food consumption is linked to childhood obesity, but the problems don’t end there. Relying too much on fast food could hurt how well children do in the classroom.

We’re not saying that parents should never feed their children fast food, but these results suggest fast-food consumption should be limited as much as possible.”

Although the researchers say they are unable to say exactly why fast-food consumption in fifth grade appeared to affect test scores in eighth grade, they note that other studies have indicated that fast food lacks nutrients associated with cognitive development, such as iron.

Furthermore, they say that previous research has linked high-fat and high-sugar diets to impaired memory and learning skills.

Source: Medical News Today

A Mediterranean-style Colourful Vegetable Appetizer


2 large red bell peppers, quartered, cored and seeded
2 large yellow bell peppers, quartered, cored and seeded
1 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise
2 large zucchini, slice lengthwise
6 tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup raisins
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1-2/3 cups tomato juice
2 tbsp powdered gelatine
fresh basil leaves to garnish


6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper


  1. Place the red and yellow peppers skin side up under a hot broiler and cook until the skins are blackened. Transfer to a bowl and cover with a plate. Allow to cool.
  2. Arrange the eggplant and zucchini slices on separate baking sheets. Brush them with a little oil and cook under the broiler, turning occasionally, until tender and golden.
  3. Heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan, and add the onion, raisins, tomato paste and vinegar. Cook gently until soft and syrupy. Let the mixture cool in the frying pan.
  4. Line a 7½-inch terrine with plastic wrap, leaving a little hanging over the sides.
  5. Pour half of the tomato juice into a saucepan, and sprinkle with the gelatin. Dissolve gently over low heat while stirring.
  6. Place a layer of red peppers in the bottom of the terrine, and pour in enough tomato juice with gelatine to cover. Continue layering the eggplant, zucchini, yellow peppers and onion, finishing with another layer of red peppers. Pour tomato juice over each layer of the vegetables.
  7. Add the remaining tomato juice and tomato juice with gelatine to the terrine. Cover and chill until set.
  8. To make the dressing, whisk the ingredients together.
  9. Turn out the terrine and remove the plastic wrap. Serve in thick slices, drizzled with dressing. Garnish with basil leaves.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Healthy Mediterranean Cookbook

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