Scallops with Carrot Spirals & Yellow Pepper Slivers

Skillet Scallops with veggie spirals

Skillet Scallops with veggie spirals

Here is recipe for a simple pan-fry preparation of scallops. This is a serving for ONE!

  • 5-8 scallops – fresh/defrosted on a bed of paper towel in the fridge overnight
  • 1 tsp of coconut oil
  • 1/2 carrot spiralled (I find you can do a whole carrot and when it is spiraled it is so easy to eat-up)
  • 1/4 yellow pepper (thinly sliced)
  • sprinkiing of pink himalayan sal
  • 2 Tsp thinly chopped green onions
  • Red onions for colour

Heat pan to medium low temperature. Add the coconut oil to the pan. Allow pan to heat up and place the scallops in the oil. Brown the scallops on each side for a few seconds.

Leave the scallops to cook for only a few minutes (the colour will change from translucent to white). While the scallops cook on one side of the pan; add the spiraled carrots (these need only a few minutes to soften. I like my peppers with some texture, so when the carrots are tender, take the peppers out of the pan as well. Place veggies on your plate & gently arrange the scallops on top. Sprinkle the onions on top for texture & colour.



Lemon-Baked Salmon

Day 24 – Dinner

This is a family recipe taught to me over 20 years ago by my dear ole brother, Chef Christopher. We were barbecuing at our old Riverdale-home and this simple recipe resulted in a wondrously tasty, salmon fillet. (And no-mess afterwards!)

  • One salmon fillet (or whole salmon – should you be adventurous & near BC)
  • Lemon – wash & cut into 1 cm thick slices
  • one onion – peeled & cut into 1 cm rings
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil

Lay the salmon on top of a piece of foil large enough to wrap around the entire salmon. Slide the slices of lemon beneath the salmon fillet so the salmon is raised up from the foil. Pile the onion rings on the top surface of the salmon. Finally drizzle the olive oil over the entire fish. Seal up the foil leaving space for the fish to steam. Place on a baking tray or pan and bake @200F for 35 minutes.

Be careful when opening as it will be steamy! The onions are soft and carmelly; the lemon has infused into the salmon. It is lovely and light.

Spring Detox – in Five Steps

Spring is the in the air in Hong Kong and the Northern Hemisphere. The air is filled with promise and opportunity. We are still having breaks of cooler weather, allowing us to make certain our plans for the brightness and energy of summer sunshine and heat. However, as the sun moves higher in the sky we will need to prepare for the energizing rays that will jumpstart us into a season of speed & activity. So, let us take advantage of this pre-summer season as the perfect


The easy step is the cleanse the body. By changing our eating habits we can quickly change the way that we interact with the world: improving our energy, sleep and moods. The Whole30 diet outlines a healthy program to eliminate common allergens from the diet. The three main sensitivities include: wheat, dairy and soy. By eating a simple diet that is based on a large portion of vegetables and good sources of protein, you can start to cleanse the body.


There are some terrific supplements and herbs that can be used to support the organs of elimination during your cleanse. To assist the liver detoxification process try Gold D-Tox for terrific combination of herbs to support the cytochrome p450 process. A gentle, yet effective herb Dandelion acts on many levels: clearing the urinary tract; providing mineral support; and cleansing the liver – take a tsp/day in water each morning. To assist the bowel you can add in a non-offensive probiotic which assist the body with digestion, elimination and immune function as well. Embrace your coconut oil – great for eliminating microbes from the body; decreasing inflammation; improving memory; cleansing the bowel, nourishing the skin and making food taste great. Add a tablespoon or two for great source of fat.


Along with the typical cleanse of the organs it is important that we cleanse our minds as well. On a piece of paper, write a list of the the ideas that you are ready to let go of; take your written list in your hand and repeat:

I’m sorry; please forgive me; I love you

Now, take your list to your yoga class; a meditation class; or another place that is sacred to you. Let go of that list by burying it, ripping into pieces or burning it and leaving it behind.


Spring cleaning is a time for releasing the piles of unneeded items in your house. Pick one section of you home for a one or two hour session. During each session prepare three bags for your stuff; and ask yourself three simple questions: keep; toss; give-away? Things that you are keeping must fall into three categories: used in the last year; couldn’t live without; ready for use today. These categories will eliminate holding on to things that were once useful and useable. There is no space in our minds for new opportunities when we hold onto the past. There is no space for health when we hold onto illness. There is no place for happiness when we hold on to anger.


Finally, find a way to celebrate the changes you have made. Take a long walk in nature; go for a swim in the ocean; or jump on a bicycle. Celebrate yourself for making these changes and becoming a healthier, happier, friendlier person!

Fat Makes Babies

There is such a trend towards low-fat dairy; I could just crack a rib thinking about it.

One of my first patients in the teaching clinic was this little old lady, Mary: 90 pounds and 5’4” who was suffering with rib soreness. She was as frail as could be.

Fat Protects

Mary and I took a look at her diet for a typical week: skim milk, low fat = zero fat. I gave her the prescription:

Now although this is catered to each person, as many people are sensitive to dairy… I told Mary to eat full-fat milkshakes daily; for two weeks, minimum – nice doctor, wouldn’t you agree? And I told her to cut all low-fat products from her menu.

Within a week Mary was feeling more energetic as was able to fight the case of shingles she had caught. Fat is good.

Fat Balances

As humans get older the fat levels are vital for protecting our bodies from illness. And when we are prepping for pregnancy those same fats are vital for creating a fertile balance of hormones in the body.

You know when you walk through the yoghurt section in an average dairy-stocked grocery store every yoghurt container is labeled low fat; yet looking at the label we find HIGH sugar. What is this refined carbohydrate going to do to you?

Not only is it sugar that’s added to compensate for the tasteless product that results from removing the fat from the yoghurt, the sugar that’s added is high fructose corn syrup.

This fructose causes swings in sugar levels: stressing your insulin levels, your thyroid and your fertility! As well those colouring and additives and preservatives…? Oh yeah, that’s healthy for you sure… NOT

Hormone-Free, Organic, Full-Fat

When you are trying to get pregnant you need good fats in your body. Healthy, hormone-free, full-fat fats!

The cholesterol found in animal fats is needed to create hormones. But the hormones used to increase the milk production in cows, is going to create havoc in your body. So find organic, hormone-free milk products to consume.

Omega Oils

Of course omega oils found in nuts, seeds and fish oil are vital too.

Our fertility will increase by consuming the fats found in purified fish oil (mercury-free), or fresh fish (pick the oily fish, remember the acronym, SMASH), including:

S salmon
M mackerel
A albacore tuna
S sardines
H halibut/herring

As well as oils found in seeds such as pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and flax will assist with balancing the hormones in the body. Adding more omega oils will create a balance towards healthier oils and inflammatory cytokines in the body. But, that is another article completely.

Less Sugar, Good Fats

So, remember, reduce your sugar intake wherever possible, but keep the fats: your body needs them, your hormones need them and your new cutie-babe will need them too.

My mom always tells me that I am such a smart kid because she took a fish oil supplement when she was preggers with me in the 70s!

Hey, the proof is in the fish oil pudding…

Chocolate Zucchini Bread for Obama

Tasty & inviting on the outside but still nutritious & healthy.

This bread was baked in honour of Obama’s Election today. Chocolate Zucchini bread is brown on the outside and green on the inside!

So tasty and inviting; yet nutritious and healthy at the same time! Eat it for breakfast; but don’t forget to call it chocolate cake with your children…

– kids freak when you hide veggies in anything!

This recipe was slightly influenced by the fact that my pantry was missing a few things (i.e., oil).

However, one thing that was very present, was a delicious Zucchini from Homegrown Foods in Hong Kong!

zucchini from the gardens of Hong Kong @ Homegrown Foods

Preheat Oven to 350/180

Mix wet ingredients together:

2 cups grated zucchini (one large zucchini!)

3 eggs

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

add enough yoghurt to make 1 cup

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 Tbsp honey

2 Tbsp molasses

Whisk dry ingredients together thoroughly:

1 cup sugar

2  cups white flour

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

sift together first & add:

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp sea salt

½  tsp cinnamon

dash of cayenne

Gently mix wet with dry until JUST mixed.

Finally, fold in 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Add to a pre-buttered loaf pan

Bake until a knife/toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes in the pan; invert and cool completely. We couldn’t wait and it was crumbly after only five minutes. Cool it and it slices so fine!

My Cantonese Class enjoyed some slices = “Ceoi juk gwaa” gou

modified from The Frugal Girl

Family Massage in Hong Kong?

Okay, it may sound unusual to you North American readers, but this last weekend my family went for massages. Our first family massage experience was in Cambodia this past Christmas. And since then, the kids are addicts.

On Sunday afternoon, after our traditional Sunday Indian Buffet Brunch (if you’ve hung with me in Hong Kong, chance are I have taken you to Bombay Dreams – all you can drink Lassi!), we wandered down the steps towards Lyndhurst.

So, the day before my daughter had collected a flyer from Refresh Massage, so we decided to check it out. I have to admit I was a bit leery, but the massage place is in the same building as Yardbird & J.A.R.!

Well, no photos here, to protect the relaxed and innocent, but we were totally relaxed after this experience. My daughter and I opted for the full-body. My eight-year old son had a foot massage. And the hubby had a shoulder and neck massage – he fell asleep in his chair.

“Ah, I feel so relaxed; maybe all I need is a massage to get rid of all this tension in my body?” suggested my husband as we left our new go-to massage place.

Bun Festival on Cheng Chau

This year I made the trip out to Cheng Chau for the Bun Festival. It was a part of a tour… Very touristy of me. We took a “junk boat” to the island. It was a glorious morning – followed by incredible rain in the afternoon. We sat out on the deck and had the wind in our faces and blowing our hair in the wind. It was lovely.

The island of Cheng Chau does not have any cars. People travel using bicycle or walking. Everyone was gearing up for the Bun Festival and we found the village decorated with flags and lanterns to celebrate both Buddha’s birthday & the Bun Festival. Very auspicious year.

We visited the temple as well and had our fortunes told. One friend was in a boat all alone – cold & lonely. Mnn… Definately time to make a change for the better.

My future career adventures brought quite a bit brighter than my friend’s reading… Although the tree in the garden once was beautiful, all the leaves and fruit would fall to the ground. Soon the tree would grow ever more beautiful with plenty of flowers and fruit. I’ll take one tree-of-life any day!

What festivals are you celebrating.

Tooth Transformation – Best Conversation I had this week

This week I had the pleasure of visiting the Lion’s Outdoor centre in Sai Kung. I went with a group of 11 people (five children & six adults)! We breathed in the fresh air; walked through a butterfly forest; looked at “poisonous caterpillars”; and observed a display of the butterfly life cycle.

Unfortunately the rain was starting to come down quite heavy, so no butterflies were flying in the forest. However, we did collect useful information on the types of butterflies in Hong Kong, and the type of flowers which attract the butterflies – good information for our school butterfly project!! (more about this later)
On our long taxi drive home the kids and I were talking about our own life cycles – we were inspired by the butterfly metamorphosis I suppose. We started to talk about our tooth-loss stories.

One boy was feeling his first loose tooth; “More like a wiggly head” one of us suggested playfully. The same boy explained how he had kicked out the tooth of his big brother as they wrestled one day. The little brother was very proud of being able to a part of his big brother’s life changes. The big brother explained how he had swallowed one of his teeth when he lost it, and how his dad had had to pull out one of his teeth that just wouldn’t let go.

I told a story of my own stubborn tooth. My father suggested the “age-old door handle method”: attach a string around your tooth and attach the other end to a door handle. Well you get the picture. Luckily all the fooling around with a string on my tooth caused the tooth to fall out in it’s own. No need for dad’s door slamming assistance!
Every tooth that my young friend had lost had a traumatic story attached it, explained his mother. Blood, accidents, extractions by dad. And the whole thought of losing a tooth made the boy feel ill.
“I don’t suppose you are going to be a dentist when you are older?” I asked sarcastically. Other peoples teeth would be an improvement, agreed the boy.
Our war wound stories brought us all closer together. We all have common human experiences of change and transformation. How appropriate too that our tooth-loss conversation was right before Easter. This is a time for transformation: from winter to spring; dormancy to new life; and from baby-teeth to adult teeth. We’ve all managed so much change in our lives, there is no limit to what we are capable of next…

Window Ledge Planting Beginnings – Advocado Seed Instructions

Has anyone ever tried to sprout an Avocado Seed? I have failed many times. I just found these instructions, so I’m trying again. Wish me luck!

Adapted from: Sprouting an Avocado Seed – by Richard Jauron, Department of Horticulture

  1. remove the large seed from the center of the fruit, wash it in water
  2. insert several toothpicks into the sides of the seed; halfway up the pit
  3. suspend the seed in a glass of water. The bottom one fourth of the seed should rest in water  (the broad end of the seed is considered to be the bottom)
  4. periodically add water to maintain the water level
  5. remove the toothpicks and plant into a 6″-8″ pot when the roots are at least 2″-3″ long
  6. top of the seed should be level with the soil surface; water thoroughly
  7. place potted plant in brightly lit location (east or west window is ideal)
  8. Water the plant regularly. Keep the soil moist, but not wet.
  9. Fertilize once or twice a month during the spring and summer with a houseplant fertilizer.

Avocado plants grow rapidly. They often have to be discarded after 2 or 3 years because they’ve become too large for indoors. (Never produces fruit inside- it may take 20 or more years to bear fruit!) If it doesn’t sprout within 2 to 3 months, discard the original avocado and try again!