Our health is very important. We shouldn’t take it for granted. In my family, my parents, uncles, aunties and grandparents have or had different kinds of terminal illnesses like cancer, kidney and heart conditions and other sorts. I know that they don’t really have smoking and drinking issues, so I do have a strong suspicion that the two major cause of all these troubles are: (1) their eating habits and that (2) they don’t really exercise.

As they say, prevention is better than cure. So I am really trying to break this “chain” of bad sickness. Not only will I be the only one to suffer, the rest of my family will suffer as well. I don’t want Alvin, Albert and my future grandchildren to worry and feel like what I feel now for my mother. The best solution for now is to exercise and cook healthy dishes. The former can be hard, but the latter should be easy!

Eating healthy doesn’t mean eating yucky food. Cook whatever your family likes, but make sure to introduce healthy ingredients. For kids, encourage them to eat vegetables from young age. If you can see my instagram and blog post recipes, my 12-year old son also ate all the vegetables and vegetarian food. I NEVER had to cook for him separately (well, except when we was still a toddler, of course). Introducing vegetables to your kids is a big parenting challenge. But they’ll learn to accept it if we are patient with them. Talk about stories and experiences about eating vegetables, what it can do for them like make them stronger to fight diseases. In no time, your kid will eat vegetables normally as you do.

Salad for dinner or lunch is a great start. It is easy to prepare and cook. I made this Pesto Chicken Couscous Salad for dinner and I stored the leftover in the fridge for Alvin’s lunch box. If you have leftover honey balsamic vinaigrette, you can use it in this recipe. Just add more if needed.

Pesto Chicken Couscous Salad

Serves: 3-4

400 chicken fillet (or you can use 2 breast, skinless sliced)
3 tablespoons ready-made pesto
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 aubergine, diced into 1/2 inch thickness
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 punnet (125g) Cherry Tomatoes, halves
1/2 cucumber, diced
250g asparagus, cut into bite-size, blanched
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup uncooked couscous
salt and pepper

1. In a bowl, marinate chicken with pesto, salt and pepper. Cover and put back into the fridge.
2. Whisk balsamic vinegar, honey, mustard, extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper in small bowl.
3. Heat a frying pan with water and salt to blanch the asparagus. Boil for 2-4 minutes – depending on the thickness of the asparagus. Drain.
4. Using the same frying pan, in med-high heat, add vegetable oil. Cook eggplant until soft (must!). Whisk the balsamic vinaigrette again. Soak cooked eggplant and the red onions into the vinaigrette.
5. Heat using the same pan with oil in medium heat. Cook chicken 5-6 minutes each side and ensure the meat is not pinkish. Remove from the pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
6. Cook couscous as per package instructions.
7. Cut the chicken into bit-size.
8. Place the prepared ingredients in a salad bowl and mix well.

Happy Cooking!