What’s going on?

It’s been a most peculiar few months.

From burnt out apathy to chasing a new dream and facing a new big hill of hope; from sailing on still, slightly sentimental waters to hitting hysterically emotional rapids with submerged rocks and from waking up smiling and on a high to staying in bed, curled up under the covers, trying to hide my tears even from myself.

Internally, there is hope yet doubt, optimism yet uncertainty, confidence yet fear. Externally, on some days, when reading the news, I feel a near breakdown of faith in humanity and the state of the country and I think screw evolution, let’s aim for revolution.

What the hell is going on? PMS? Peri-menopausal stress? Is it biological? Physiological? Psychological? Mental? Emotional? Am I finally really losing it?

Time passes fast, I’m rushing to pick up supplies, driving from Kuala Lumpur to Klang and back again. I’m cooking for mother, filling backlogged orders for clients, trying to keep up with paperwork and, late at night, staring at a blank screen, willing myself to vomit out clogged up decades-old emotions putrefying inside. Self-therapy seriously sucks sometimes.

I realise I’m neglecting myself a little, then more than a little. No time, no inclination to eat full meals. I eat on the run or not at all. This cannot go on. If this roller coaster is to continue, I have to have real sustenance.

What’s fast, easy to whip up, won’t go bad in the fridge too fast? What vegetables will stand the test of time yet remain tasty?

The answer was easy.

Tomatoes: always tasty, extremely versatile, a good source of vitamins, and energy, a super food.

Cucumber: High water content, vitamins and provides that essential crunch needed in a good salad.

Corn: Raw, of course, complex carbs, check. Another super food, practically.

The base ingredients for Trinity Salad

  • Half a punnet of red cherry tomatoes
  • Half a punnet of yellow cherry tomatoes (optional)
  • One Japanese cucumber
  • Baby corn, can be substituted with raw sweet corn


  • One teaspoonful of Straits Heritage Foods (SHF) Sambal Belacan
  • Juice from half a lime or lemon or whatever citrus you have on hand
  • Splash of olive oil

Chop up all the vegetables, whip the vinaigrette ingredients together, toss everything into a bowl.

Time check: 5 Minutes.

A base trio of red and yellow cherry tomatoes, Japanese cucumber and baby corn
Alternatively, for more chewiness, substitute baby corn with raw sweet corn

Ingredients for Trinity Chicken Salad

  • About 150gms of chicken fillet. Always good to have in the freezer. After buying, split it up into singleton portions of about 150gms into separate freezer/Ziplock bags and freeze. Make sure the chicken pieces are dry when you pop them in. Freezer-burnt chicken, no matter how much you cook it, tastes awful.  
  • Marinate chunks of chicken fillet in teaspoonful of SHF sambal belacan with a splash of oil. Toss into hot pan. Stir fry until cooked. Toss contents of pan, chicken, oil and all into salad trio. Mix.
  • Stuff the tossed Trinity Chicken salad into pita bread, or any flat bread. Or just bread. Or eat it like that. Whatever.
Marinate chicken chunks in a teaspoonful of sambal belacan and oil then fry off
When cooked, pour into trio of vegetables and toss
Stuff tossed chicken salad into pita bread

Ingredients for Trinity Tuna Salad 

  • One can of tuna in olive oil.
  • Open can, drain half of the oil, plop tuna into bowl, add teaspoonful of sambal belacan. Smash everything together with a fork. If you’re feeling fancy, squeeze in a splash of lime.
  • Plop smooshed up sambal belacan tuna onto trio of vegetables. Mix. Eat as is or use as sandwich filling.
  • Optional, if one is craving protein: Boil an egg or fry up a sausage or if really hungry, do both. Arrange nicely in bowl. Then smoosh everything together. Also therapeutic, if one is repressing some level of aggression.
Alternatively, to make life easier, use tuna. Toss tuna in vinaigrette of sambal belacan, oil and splash of fresh-squeezed lime juice. Then toss tuna into salad trio.
A quick yet healthy meal
Dress it up with fried chopped sausage and a boiled egg


Experiment with other vegetables or proteins, canned, fresh or otherwise. The key here is fast, fast, fast, 10 minutes or under.

Beats ordering in fast food again.






Dancing with Myself…

Drew Barrymore said this a while ago: “There’s a tremendous difference between alone and lonely. You could be lonely in a group of people. I like being alone. I like eating by myself. I go home at night and just watch a movie or hang out with my dog. I have to exert myself and really say, oh God, I’ve got to see my friends ’cause I’m too content being by myself.”

And I have to confess, as I get older and more comfortable in my own skin, I have begun to appreciate my solitude more and more, to the point where, if I am not forced to make appointments, I would rather hang out at home with my books and music and movies and TV series. Besides, with the interwebs these days, it’s difficult to not be connected to the world.

But still, a girl has still got to eat. And some days, when I don’t feel very creative or can’t be bothered to recreate any of Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals, I am very glad that mum provides me with a steady supply of sambal udang kering and sambal belacan. As long as there’s bread and bacon and assorted sambals, I have no need to venture out into the world and I can eat what I want, when I want.

And I have to say, sambal belacan goes on everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. Take one late night, when I was hungry. All I did was fry up some bacon and an egg, toss in some sprouts (so I can pretend it’s a healthy thing I’m eating; and the bread is sprouted grain bread, so it’s REALLY healthy), slather on a little sambal belacan in place of ketchup and Voila! Ten minutes.

Bacon, egg, sprouts and sambal belacan sandwich


But I’m Malaysian and, sometimes, truly lazy. So, for those lazy times, it’s instant noodles. But since I occasionally have pretensions to being a gourmand, not to mention delusions of eating healthy food, here’s what I do:

Step 1: Wash egg.

Step 2: Put egg in pan for water to boil

Step 3. When water boils, add instant noodles and handful of fresh vegetables. Toss in packet of flavouring.

Step 4: After two minutes, pour it all into a bowl, rescue boiled egg, peel under running water (unless you have asbestos fingers).

Step 5: Garnish with sambal udang kering.

A more original take on the instant noodle staple

Time check: Five minutes. And if you serve it in a nice bowl, it looks good too.

I mean, I want to eat well (although if I’m making instant noodles, the term “eating well” becomes a little debatable), but I’m just to damn lazy to do anything more than throw stuff together. And speaking of throwing stuff together, this is literally a two-minute meal:


And then I go back to my book/movie/TV series/FB game/whatever is distracting me at that point in time.

Who says you can’t eat well when you’re alone? Actually, who says you need to have company at all?

Right, now excuse me while I catch up on the latest episode of The Big Bang Theory.