Homemade Spanakopita Mashed Potato

Today I attempt to make a simple comfort food that was introduced to me during my solitude time in 2015 in Antwerp. The host of just made some breakfast cum dinner and offered some for me and I found it tasted really nice and I liked it.

As you know that both Netherlands and Belgium’s staple food is potatoes, it is no surprise that there will be many recipe that will come out from it.

And this one added with a bit of healthiness , which is with baby spinach.

Baby spinach recipes are very common in Belgium; so instead of cooking multiple meals, you can actually mix them together.

This reminds me of our Asian culture’s fried rice or “one-pot-recipe”; and you know Asians will definitely have a lot of “tang” to it – just the staple food is rice instead.

A little nutrition facts about potatoes:

  • it has more potassium than banana!
  • it has good source of B6
  • it actually has no fat, sodium or cholesterol
    (of course, deep fried is not counted)
  • one skin on potato is only 110 calories
  • it has magnesium and antioxidants

So if you would like to only eat the potato without added stuffs, it is actually quite a good thing to have for survival.

No wonder in the movie the Martian (2015) you literally could survive if you can cultivate it!

But of course, this recipe I am doing isn’t THAT low calorie. Haha…

I so happened to have 3 mid-sized potatoes left in my storage and I have been attempting to finish off whatever I have as much as I can before I do my grocery again so that I will not waste any excess food; except this round I had to get some baby spinach.

After finish pealing, I have decided to use about 50g butter under low heat to let it melt slowly while I prepare the masher

I so happened to obtain this masher during the middle of the year just to make some mashed potato for my mom after her first cataract surgery, and you can see that it is very fast and useful instead mash until your hands are tired.

It’s not cheap, but for long term, a stainless steel can be a good investment for home made mashes.

After you add in the mashed potato with the butter, keep mixing with the spatula. Over here, you can add black pepper and salt for taste as there is no sauce to this recipe.

I chose Himalayan pink salt because it has other traces of minerals like potassium, magnesium and even some calcium compared to the normal table salt.

Time for some washed baby spinach!

While keeping on low heat , you add these greens on and kept mixing it until it is soft. I added about 20g worth of baby spinach leaves in it.

Gotta get those fibers in!

 

This should be your consistency and you know it is almost done.

While it is slightly warm you can taste it. Some part of the baby spinach can be slightly bitter so you might want to add a little more pink salt to taste. I added extra mixed herbs just to get the fragrance.

This is the basic recipe to it…

But, the difference of this Belgian mash is that it actually has an added ingredient.

You can choose to add feta cheese to it before serving.

But I don’t have feta cheese with me so I added some mozzarella cheese that still left from my previous mini tarts recipe. It gives a whole different level of consistency to the mashed potato and it is actually a lot more feeling.

I actually could not finish all and I have kept some for tomorrow. I already could feel full with only 3 scoops on a small bowl. Maybe it is the mozzarella cheese that keeps me from finishing everything.

I hope you like this version of Belgian Spinach Mashed Potatoes that I learned. A little different from the normal ones that you get from the fast food like KFC.

Tried and Tested – Heart Rate Tracking Pedometer under 5 USD

Hello everyone! I hope the HF20 hasn’t really discouraged everyone too much now that version 20.5 has been implemented!

Today, after tried not to have a pedometer (and also can’t find my old watch) for a few months I have finally resorted to get a new one within a thrifty budget, added with some “jazz”!

(I’ll explain that part later)

So what did I manage to dig up from the nifty online store in Malaysia?
TADA.

Yes, and it is less than 5 USD (excluding shipping)

YES. I am not kidding you.

You’d probably be wondering is this for real because you might not easily get it, and even my niece also mistakenly thought it was the famous MI band 2 from Xiao Mi which could cost almost 50 USD; but nope, this is a cheap version of it that does all the basic stuffs you need, minus the water proof and password unlock feature.

Yes, this little gadget under 5 USD is not water resistant; so don’t go try to wash with it, or worse, swim with it if you don’t want to flush your money into the toilet.

If there is a 5 USD worth of watch band that is water resistant, I think almost the whole world would be using it.

Ahem, I am digressing again…

Back to this little gadget:

At first look, it does resemblance the MI Band 2, only that the on/off sensor has a print on it instead of a sleek surface to feel it. I like the fact that the LED display is actually quite bright compared to my last pedometer that seems to be a Fitbit lookalike.

(I didn’t know about it until my friend asked me)

Sensor wise for the heart rate is impressive, both with or without the silicone wristband; and it is not constantly on until you decided to switch it to heart rate / blood pressure display.So this means it saves battery power; besides you don’t need it to monitor you all the time.

My previous one had a button at the side, and sometimes it is quite a hassle to press on it especially after you have used it for almost 2 years (until the silicon band broke).

With this one, a gentle touch at the fingerprint area you will be able to switch from one mode to another.

The other really cool feature is if you do not wish to disturb your wrist band, as long as your Bluetooth is on, you can go to the heart rate or blood pressure interface and you can click on the play button for it to detect your heart rate.

There are a lot of pedometers once strapped it on, it will not be as accurate or it will take longer time to perform readings but so far with this model, even with loosely latched on band it isn’t too bad. I suppose if you press it on the skin it will detect better with the sensor light below.

So when your pedometer interface is not switched on to the heart / blood pressure part, you will not see this green light turned on.

Another really cool feature is that you can actually turn it off, should you choose not to use it for sleep, or when you need to charge.

Even the charger dock looks a lot like the Mi Band 2’s.

Geeze, talking about imitations; they are just getting better, don’t they?

PRETTY COOL, NO?

Oh yes! You did notice that I mentioned about this gadget came with a little “jazz”?

For most compatible / imitation-like pedometers out there from the real deal, they usually do not come with much selections on accessories; but THIS one, does come with a small range of colours for you to choose, from the usual ones like whites and blacks (and blacks are usually sold out), to much funkier bright colours like orange, blue, green, yellow and pink.

How much do they cost? About 1.30 USD for each coloured band. Not bad at all!

So there you go; my simple short review of my “new toy”. As I continue to check on how good this is, I might actually get extra for my parents; especially for my mom who now suffers from hypertension. This will be easier for her to monitor if the readings are accurate.

For those who are interested in purchasing this, usually a single pedometer like this would usually need to add additional 2.30 USD for local shipping in Malaysia; however for those who wants to add an extra jazz into their lives they can opt to purchase extra coloured bands (or the same colour for safekeeping) to round up until 9 USD you will get free local shipping.

International wise, express will cost a bomb; so if there’s anyone who’s interested in bulk purchase, please do let me know if you need help and see if I can help you to arrange for a more affordable shipping deal.

So far I have checked from aliexpress.com website, it cost about 8.12 – 10 USD. Some vendors offer free shipping while others will add on a little extra for the fee.

Like it or not, I think this can serve as a pretty good Christmas present which is not too expensive, wouldn’t you agree?

pst! If anyone from #teammalaysia who wants to get one, please let me know, I might want to get extra coloured bands so we can buy it together if you want to!

I hope you have enjoyed reading this simple review as much as I have enjoyed preparing it!

Tried and Tested: Safest Way to Clean Rust

Hello everyone!

I am pretty sure you know some of you actually finds metal items are actually very useful, particularly when it is easier to wash and probably sturdier than plastic.

But often times even the mighty stainless steel (well, depending on the quality of the steel itself) could still succumbed to one of its nasty enemy (of all metals)

RUST

There has been tons of solutions that pretty much tries to sell you how to really get rid of nasty stains, and those products actually come with quite a hefty price; but recently during my reunion meetups, I met an old friend who is a strong advocate for vinegar who has shared how good it is.

And interestingly I was almost giving up trying to clean my mini steamer that was coated with rust until I found some youtube videos that actually mention vinegar can easily clear up rust particles.

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After giving this a try, I soaked the surface of my mini steamer with vinegar for 8 hours and used a metal brush to lightly brush it; it works!

That gave me a little more confident that vinegar actually could work; but how about really nasty ones?

I head on to tackle on the metal cabinet at the new place I acquired that was coated with a really thick layer of rust and it smells really bad.

I bought a larger bottle of vinegar which costs about 60 cents USD and I allowed it to soak for about 10 days.

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The day of the verdict came…..

I did use the metal brush to brush it in between the 10 days but I let the vinegar solution soak a little longer. This morning when I got a little time, I used the kitchen paper towel and started to wipe it off to see how well the vinegar did.

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I agree it still needs more time, but look at the amount of rust it has gotten off from the surface, leaving the metal still in tact and not corroded.

I have decided to clean up and pour fresh vinegar and let it soak probably a few more days before I attempt again.

So do stay tuned for the result! And see if I can turn the insides of the metal cabinet back to its former glory!