How Not to be Normal (Eat Sardines).

by Nyamka Bayanmunkh in

ABM_1415405670 Last month I  learnt how to cook with first fresh sardines. I bought them because I found out that they were one of the most nutritious and sustainable seafood out there. Sardines are full of healthy fats, their soft edible bones are full of minerals, and since they are  lower on the food chain they are also low in mercury. They are sustainable because they are not overfished, and they have very little by-catch.  And, they are cheap. It cost me $7.50 for a kilo at the Prahran market. I could have gotten them cheaper for $6.00 at the next stall where it was already gutted and cleaned but they were not the first  ones I saw, and as a result I had to learn how to gut and clean a sardine.

I have to be honest, learning to clean and gut a whole kilogram of sardines was not a clean process. Below is a video of me doing it all over again the next day to take to some sardines to  a barbecue. (Why? Because I thought it was good idea to share my new found love of barbecued sardines. Apparently, fishes with their heads still on are not so popular at parties. Lesson learnt! Sometimes, I forget how weird I am, but, who wants to be normal right?)

Next time I should be be better with the whole cleaning and gutting process. Practice makes perfect. Or, I could buy the cheaper already cut and cleaned ones. Decisions, decisions. Even though, learning to gut sardines was definitely  not easy, the end result was well worth it. I didn't know how good they could taste!

After my terrible job of cleaning them, the sardines were lightly  seasoned with salt, pepper, some lemon juice and drizzled with olive oil. They were then roasted  under the grill for four minutes. They are done when they start sizzling.  You can technically eat them raw because good quality sardines are served raw for a sashimi platter, so don't worry if they are slightly undercooked.

Once they were done, I had them with a salad. And, they tasted unexpectedly good! I wasn't expecting the taste to be that good, because most white fish don't have that much flavour, but these sardines were so flavourful and fresh tasting. If you are feeling adventurous this weekend and you have never had fresh sardines before, go out and get some fresh sardines and make a day out of it- it's well worth it.



With love and simplicity,


P.S. Me and Ines, my lovely housemate/best friend, have started Youtube channel called Nyamka and Ines Cooks. That's where this sardine gutting fail video is from. I am the one with the knife, and she is recording me. We plan to do less grizzly recipe videos in the future. If you want to  watch normal people like us cooking, please subscribe to it.

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Recipe Review: Paleo Banana Bread

by Nyamka Bayanmunkh in


I am not really a sweet tooth, and after quitting sugar my taste for sweet things just went away. However, just because I have stopped eating sweet things doesn't mean others around me have to do the same. Last week a friend came back from the Commonwealth games  and to celebrate his achievement we decided to make him a cake, but a healthy one.

Athletes have the tendency to eat whatever they want because they don't put on weight due to all the exercise they do. However, the optimal nutrition can help them recover faster, improve their performance, and reduce inflammation. Also, being fit on the outside doesn't mean you are healthy on the inside.

I knew an athlete who was incredibly fit. Unfortunately he had a terrible diet and had to have a triple bypass surgery because his arteries were clogged from eating lots of unhealthy food. With that on my mind I wanted to make a cake that didn't have processed sugars or trans fats. Sugar and trans are bad news for people who want to reduce their inflammation. So I made a paleo banana bread and it was pretty good. It had just the right amount of sweetness, not too sweet but sweet enough to curb a sweet craving.

The recipe is from The Merrymaker Sisters who are famous for their paleo cake recipes. I saw them when I went to the IIN conference earlier this year in Sydney and  since then I have been following them on Instagram. I encourage you to check out their site for more sweet and healthy recipes.

Without further ado here is the recipe for their banana bread.

P.S. I switched a few of the ingredients like the banana flour with an even mix of coconut flour and buckwheat flour because I didn't have banana flour. Coconut flour by itself can suck a lot of moisture so I used buckwheat flour to keep it a bit fluffy. I used walnuts because I didn't have pecans.

Also, remember to use really soft and ripe bananas as they are sweeter and more nutritious than their less ripe counterparts. The bananas are ripe to eat or cook with when they start getting black spots on it.

Paleo Banana Bread

(recipe via the merrymaker sisters)



  • 4 bananas
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 a cup of coconut oil melted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 a cup of coconut flour
  • 1/2 a cup buckwheat flour
  • one cup of walnuts


  1. Heat your oven to 180 degree celsius.
  2. Blend the bananas until they become a puree.
  3. Add the eggs, honey, vanilla and coconut oil. Continue to blend until combined.
  4. Stir through baking powder and cinnamon.
  5. Sift flour into the mixture, add the nuts and stir.
  6. Pour the mixture into a loaf tin
  7. Sprinkle with cinnamon and place some nuts on the top of the bread.
  8. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Then take it out and cover it with foil because of the coconut flour and buckwheat flour can get burnt quickly.
  9. Then bake with foil on top for 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  10. Let cool and turn onto a wire rack.

Eat it by itself or slathered with almond butter, butter,  or coconut oil, with a side of berries. You can also slice them and store it in the fridge  for later, and toast them when you want a warm, sweet, and nutritious snack.

With love & simplicity,


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