Makan

She cooks all her children's meals

Former actress-host Wong Li Lin's skills include whipping up leftovers into a proper meal, like turning uneaten risotto into squash arancini and remaining mushrooms into an omelette.

The 41-year-old, who admits to being a better cook than baker, is an expert in the kitchen, having started cooking since her teenage years.

Wong, who has a daughter, Sage, nine, and a son, Jonas, eight, is a strong believer in all things healthy. She is, after all, a fitness and wellness guru and founder of Loopz Fitness, a unique exercise band and fitness system.

She tells M she believes in balancing out the "healthy stuff and fatty stuff".

"It's like a mathematical equation. My kids like their sausages, which is full of sodium nitrate, so I mix them up," she said.

She suggests a 70:30 ratio of fresh food to processed foods.

"Out of three meals a day, at least two are power-packed."

The meals she cooks for them are "very simple", as long as there is protein and vegetable.

Her suggestion to mothers whose children hate their greens? "Sneak them into something."

She sneaks sprouts into her kids' sandwiches and baked potatoes and adds lots of bananas to her banana chocolate cake made with spelt flour.

"I'm not expecting them to conquer the entire vegetable kingdom, so long as they eat some," she said, laughing.

The hands-on mum prepares all of her children's meals. Sage and Jonas eat out on weekends or when their father, US-born actor-host Allan Wu, takes them out.

The celebrity couple split up last June after 10 years of marriage.

Wong is particular about the kind of bread the children eat, preferring to give them gluten-free bread.

She said her children help out in the kitchen: "Sage can make her own scrambled eggs, and the other day, Jonas made his own fruit salad."

She said they "like a mixture of cuisine" and added: "I can't eat Chinese all the time. We have grilled stuff or simple stir-fries. We could also be having bulgogi one day, and go vegetarian the next."

But don't expect the trio to make a meal out of Mother's Day because Wong does not really "buy into celebrating" the occasion.

She said: "Sage may make a card, but I don't make a big fuss about it. They are always leaving me little love notes, giving me hugs and kisses.

"It's the everyday things they do that count. Maybe I may make them give me a massage or something!"

LI LIN'S SALMON & SPINACH SAUTE

"Super foods all in one dish!''

Ingredients:

  • Salmon
  • Spinach ("I use frozen and adjust the amount accordingly")
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 cup stock (chicken, fish or vegetable)
  • Half onion and a clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • Splash of cream (optional)

Method:

1. Heat a pan. Add oil and saute onions and garlic until soft.

2. Add mustard to mix. Toss in frozen spinach, stirring until mostly soft.

3. Add the salmon to brown gently on all sides. Be careful not to flake the fish in the process.

4. Add stock and cream (if adding), season to taste and simmer until the fish is cooked through.

5. Garnish finished dish with some tomatoes.

6. Serve with rice, bread or potato.