Food Week at Caregiver Asia Kicks Off with Some Sound Advice from a Nutritionist, and a Brilliant Delicious Recipe for all to Try!
Charlotte de Drouas eats pulp. In fact, she eats all sorts of pulp. Pulp from a Pineapple, pulp from an Apple, even Carrot pulp from the bottom of the juicer. Charlotte's philosophy is to "Eat Natural, Eat Well, & Waste No Food". Simplicity, inventiveness and mindfulness: this is why we are so enamoured with our Caregiver of the Week. Charlotte the Nutritionist!
A Nutritionist by training, Charlotte's passion in life is to unravel how people's diets play a huge role in their health and well-being. Careful of her own diet since young, Charlotte has been a lifelong champion of knowing what you are eating. Part of her choosing to do her Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition, was to "once and for all", learn about the subject matter and to be equipped with the right knowledge to make an impact on others. Her pet peeve is the conflicting information presented to consumers through the media, food labels and old wives’ tales which have no scientific evidence to them. So disturbed is she about the mass misinformation all around, that Charlotte's developed into an excellent "nutrition police" when it comes to mislabelled product information and bad labelling communications.
With a satisfied smile on her face, she shared that when she was working at Kellogg’s in the UK, she used to check through the artwork of all new product packaging to ensure compliance with legislation before it all gets approved for printing. She would pick on things ranging from the wording of substantiations for nutrition claims, to the bolding of allergens in the ingredients list. It was all in a satisfying day’s work of putting out truthful nutrition labels for all!
A Frugal Nutritionist's Tips for Reducing Food Waste
Despite the strictness and food detective work she so enjoys, Charlotte's first love is being a foodie. She doesn't just enjoy a good eat (give her a Epoisses Cheese and see her melt!), but she enjoys showing her love for food and people by cooking. A contestant on a recent reality cooking show, Eat-List-Star, Charlotte shows off her multi-cultural, French-Singapore-Malaysia background, as well as her inventiveness for recycling food to lessen food waste. I myself have been a happy recipient of Charlotte's culinary works, and it was super refreshing to enjoy a healthy berry pulp tart for Chinese New Year! Charlotte's tips for frugal, "waste not", delicious cooking includes:
- Using pulp left behind in a juicer to add moisture and tenderness to minced meats as a marinate; or to add to stews or tomato-based pasta sauces
- Keeping all vegetable trimmings (roots, skins, tips) and use it in chicken/vegetable stock. Keep them in a ziplock bag in the freezer until you have a large enough portion to cook them up
- Before squeezing lemons/limes for their juice, peel off some of their skin and use to flavour water/tea; throw it in your fridge to freshen up any lingering odours; or throw it into stews for more flavour
Supermarketing - The Nutritionist Way
Eating healthy starts from eating naturally and wholesomely. The WholeFoods movement that many families are embracing, encourages the eating of foods that are as close to their natural form as possible. Examples are :
- Eating fruits and vegetables for fibre and vitamins instead of taking supplements
- Enjoying a baked potato instead of french fries
- Ordering sashimi instead of fish fingers
Conversely, processed foods are foods that have been altered from its natural state in some way, either for safety reasons or convenience. Examples include canned fruits and sausages. While such foods might not be totally unhealthy, it is typical that they would have higher sodium and sugar content than whole foods. There has been much recent debate on the healthiness of processed food, such as the recent WHO announcement that processed meats could be cancer causing. Fact is, for most of us who live in the city, we eat more processed food than we know. While city dwellers can make the right choices in eating fresh produce, most urbanites have slipped in some form of convenient processed food into their diets, due to time constraints leading to the inability to prepare meals from scratch. We also do most of our shopping in supermarkets, and if you look at the food items in a typical supermarket, more than half of all products on the shelves are processed.
So, it is with this, gentle reader, that we have arranged for Nutrition-trained, myth busting, and food labelling purist Charlotte to step in. To guide and advise us in the most sensible way. To make the best healthy choices for our families when we do our weekly grocery shopping in a supermarket. We have invited two lucky ladies to come for a Supermarket spree with us and Charlotte, where she will advice and guide them on the most sensible foods options (without cramping their lifestyle) for their families, children and elderly parents at home. Watch this space as we share with you their stories and the advice received in our next two Wednesday instalments!
In the meantime, why don't you try out this healthy and delicious recipe from Charlotte. It packs a real punch with its larger than life favours. This shows that eating healthy does not mean compromising on flavours you love from your familiar processed foods!
Lemongrass Pork Skewers, as seen on Eat List Star Ep. 3
- 300g minced pork
- 1 lemongrass stem (approx 6”)
- 1 red chilli
- 6 garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 4 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon carrot pulp (from juicer)
- Zest of 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon corn flour
- 6 sticks of lemongrass (as skewers)
- Roughly chop the lemongrass, chilli and garlic cloves. Then, pulse until fine in a food processor.
- In a bowl, combine the blended mixture with the rest of the ingredients, except the pork, corn flour and lemongrass sticks.
- Mix the pork in with the mixture, followed by the corn flour. Mix well and let it sit for at least 15 minutes.
- Take a lemongrass, and with wet hands, take some of the meat mixture and gently shape it around the top end of the lemongrass stick to form a meatball the size of a golf ball. Repeat until all the meat is used.
- Cook the skewers for 20-25 minutes at 180°C, or until they are no longer pink in the centre.
- Serve with some nuoc cham dipping sauce on the side
So happy cooking everyone! And wishing all a wonderful, nutritious, delicious food week to come!
Interested to get your family started on healthy eating? Caregiver Asia has many good Nutritionists and Private Chefs on demand! Book one today for some family fun this weekend!
Want to read more? Subscribe to the Caregiver Asia Blog for the next few instalments on Caregiver Asia's Food Week, which includes the Top 5 Takeaways from Charlotte and how two lucky Caregiver Asia subscribers benefitted from a shopping spree with Charlotte!