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What made you start this blog?
I went vegan around 2009 and realized, there’s lots of vegetarian resources, but less pure vegan eateries in Singapore. So I started making my own. The endless possibilities of the same old ingredients and new foods I discovered are just so, so fascinating. I never even heard of nutritional yeast (yummy cheesy powder made from yeast) or almond milk (yes, almonds can be milked!) or flaxseed (high in omega 3) during my vegetarian days! So I’d like to share with people how wonderful plant-based foods can be, for the environment, animals and your health.
I’m not sure if just eating plants is enough..look at you, you’re so skinny.
I’ve always been underweight as I have irritable bowel syndrome of varying severity since age 10. I found that eating plant-based whole foods is best for me – long story here (please read before coming to conclusions). Remember everyone had their invisible struggles. I’m still healing 🙂
Nutrition-wise, it’s extremely important to learn. I’ve written a summary of vegan nutrition here.
Where do you get your recipes?
Mostly the Internet! There’s a vegan version of almost everything (if there isn’t I R&D it), just google, “vegan (insert your favourite food here) recipe. You’d be amazed by how creative people are. Chickpea meringue!
I tweak, substitute and change parts of the recipes to suit my tastes and budget. I find some recipes (especially dessert ones from Western sites) to be too sweet and heavy.
Eating great food that’s made by others is also inspiring. It gets my brain working to figure out what ingredients and processes are involved.
Lastly, thanks to my Northern Chinese heritage, my family teach me about Chinese dishes from that part of China too. Think water dumplings, garlic eggplant cold dish and spring onion pancakes.
Your site is very nice! What camera do you use?
Thanks! I’m trained as a designer so I designed everything while IT Wonders took care of the technical parts. I use either a Canon EOS 450D or Sony a6000 with a Canon 50 mm F1.8 (for under low or artificial light) and 18-200mm lens (for under natural light and close-ups). Sometimes iPhone 6S for the convenience.
There’s beautiful natural light coming from the windows and doors in the daytime, no lighting equipment involved.
Do you spend a lot on ingredients?
Compared to others my age I’m crazy for spending on groceries instead of splurging on clothes, shoes and makeup.
And no, because I minimise expenditure by mostly shopping at local wet markets and mainstream supermarkets like NTUC. Making your own food is cheaper as you won’t have to help an eatery or restaurant pay for bills, rent and manpower.
Questions from Readers
What does plant-based whole foods mean?
Basically, something that is directly from a plant with minimal or no processing to alter their natural taste, texture or nutritional content. Sweet potatoes, mushrooms, beans etc are unprocessed plants. White rice, tempeh, tofu and noodles etc are slightly processed but they are much less harmful than highly processed foods. My definition of bad processed foods are basically packaged foods with long list of ingredient with preservatives, colouring, additives or names of substances you don’t recognize as directly from a plant.
What do you make of the high carb low fat diet? I have a friend who turned vegan around a year ago and advocates HCLF which I think sounds good, but she also say that she is able to eat unlimited carbs without becoming fat, even without exercising. As I am unfamiliar with the specifics of nutrition and veganism, I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
I do have many girl friends who feel good with HCLF plant-based diet with low oil, salt and processed food. I don’t follow any specific diet; I eat what makes me feel good over a long time (not like the sugar high then crash kinda good). Everyone’s bodies and needs are different and weight is just a number. Exercise is important no matter what you eat as it helps us absorb calcium, balance hormones and more. You can check out my post on nutrition and there are lots of resources that can turn up from a google search. You have to find out what works for you! General rule, if you start following a diet and it makes you have more fatigue/mood swings/cravings, no matter how much weight you lost, you’re not eating right.
Favourite plant based milk?
Homemade black bean soy milk. Otherwise, Oatly Chocolate, Bonsoy and Marusan 🙂 – available at some supermarkets, Donki and Mustafa.
Where do you buy vegan ingredients from in Singapore like the medjool dates? Are they expensive? Great to know there are vegans in Singapore too:) Were your parents or friends supportive?
There are lots of things that are vegan in our mainstream supermarkets! Many of them have medjool dates if they are in season. Mustafa (the mall in Little India) carries them all year round with the cheapest type being $3.90 at 500g. I have a guide to buying vegan groceries in SG.
My family and closest friends are vegan/vegetarian so yes I’m lucky to have lots of support. Other friends are often curious about it so I seldom meet negativity. We have a growing vegan scene here, you can check out this post for list of groups, meetups and events to join!
I’ve been wanting to be a vegan for quite a while but my family is not agreeable to it, so I try to be as vegan as possible on weekdays when I am away from them in school. But it’s really hard to find proper vegan food (it’s usually mock meat or deep fried) at common food places, and cooking (and washing up) takes up way too much time! Taking things one step at a time!
That’s fantastic! Respect your courage to go vegan as it’s not common in our country. Yup, some vegetarian stalls don’t offer good choices and they use lots of oil too. You can choose tofu or tau kee types from the stalls, they usually boil or braise them. Or get your protein from nuts/seeds for variety! Buy packets from NTUC or iHerb and munch on them. When I was in NUS I mostly brought my own lunchbox, as there’s plenty of foods that don’t need a lot of washing. Refer to my guide on cooking for busy people like us 🙂
What brand of vegan butter or margarine do you use without palm oil/veg oil ?
I use the brand nuttlelex olive once in a blue moon. It lists vegetable oil in its ingredients list sadly, that’s why I try to avoid using. I prefer extra virgin olive oil in savouries and canola / grapeseed oil in cooking and baking sweets 🙂