In My Kitchen July 17 – Travel Tidbits and Healthy Stuff

Gourmet chocolates from Indonesia

My second half of year is starting very slowly on this little island  – in exploration mode, wait and see kind of thing. 

Since I did not contribute to June IMK (more on this below), this post will be a catch up from June as well as update for July. 

I’ve been good in the kitchen trying new recipes such as ghormeh sabzi (Persian herb stew), and  khoresht fesenjan (Persian pomegranate and walnut stew). Also cooked few Arabic dishes such as below:

Traveling around South East Asia (SEA) got myself handy in picking few tidbits, as well as getting to know some amazing location:

  • Borneo organic salt from Bario. I went to the salt spring and amazed at the end to end process. Laborious and time consuming, I very much appreciate the final product wrapped in palm leaves and string. Was told that Bario salt is very high in iodine so just need a very small quantity.
Organic salt from Bario
  • Jakartachocolates crafted from three local companies because I like to support local products instead of grabbing the well-known European chocolates at the airport: 1. Pipiltin Cocoa (my best pick of the 3) using cocoa from Bali 2. Monggo 77% dark chocolate made in factory based in Yogyakarta, Java 3. Krakakoa 70% dark chocolate – bean to bar from South Sumatra. They tasted not bad at all although the dark chocolates were too sweet to my liking.
Gourmet chocolates from Indonesia
  • Chiang Mai – I went for a 3 days run retreat and the run ended at Ban Doi Pui where I tried few dried local strawberries from one of the stall. Apparently, there are plenty farms along the mountain part of Chiang Mai. At the airport I bought a packet of dehydrated strawberry to take home. Much economical and coming from closer region, I prefer than those expensive fresh imported from far away location.
Dehydrated strawberry from Chiang Mai


Running/sport and health/wellness products. Please hover over on the pictures for details and link to the supplier/companies.

  • Sports hydration drink from PURE – I am a regular user of the big packaging but needed small sachets to top up my water bottle in order to keep up my hydration and sustain energy level with both electrolyte and carbohydrate during long run. Bought a box that contain 25 sachets x 42g.
  • Paleo raw bar from The Primal Pantry – I love them because it’s natural, vegan, no grain, no added sugar and no vegetables oil. Bought a box that contain 18 x 45g
  • Mushroom products from Four Sigmatic – I’ve heard so much rave about mushroom consumption for medicinal and adaptogenic properties. Very keen to experiment them especially chaga, reishi and cordycep. Bought 5 superfood blends, cocoa mix and elixir mix (great as substitute for coffee).
  • Runivore Bar – During run retreat in Chiang Mai,  I took some to sample from organiser (Gone Running). It work fine for me and I like that this natural bar contain chia seeds. This Asia based company was started by 3 dudes in Taiwan who turned to be ultra-runner (maybe one day I can launch my own sports bar!).
  • Journey Bar – also from organiser’s sample, it’s unique due to the savoury flavour not the usual sweet taste. The nutrition bar made of whole grains (buckwheat, flaxseed, oat, amaranth, quinoa, brown rice), almonds and real herbs and spices.  At first I was a bit skeptical but turned out to be a good fueling after my run (when I need a salt fix) and even for brunch or snack like a meal on the go. Come with various interesting flavour (I do fancy rosemary and coconut curry). Also clever packaging of map printed on each bar to represent where the flavour from. 

FYI – I will be in Sydney by end of month for a short visit. Very much looking forward to the trip as I haven’t been back since I left for Middle East in 2009. Hope desert rat like me can brave the winter.

Pop by Sherry Mackay, from Sherry’s Pickings who compiled ‘In My Kitchen’ series on global virtual level by clicking the button below.

Live To Thrive,




5 thoughts on “In My Kitchen July 17 – Travel Tidbits and Healthy Stuff

  1. thanks for joining in this month Aida. just curious – wondering how salt can be anything other than organic? it’s a bit amusing isn’t it? i hope you have a fabulous time in sydney. bring your woollens. could be cold. 🙂 do you eat the dried strawberries as they are, or use them for cooking? lots of healthy foodstuffs in your post. Good on you. hope to see you on IMK next month. cheers Sherry

  2. Sherry’s comment set me thinking. The normal meaning of the word _organic_ is “relating to or derived from living matter.” By extension, organically grown and processed food uses no chemical products like insecticides, weed-killers, or artificially derived additives at any stage of its creation. So I have the opposite reaction to Sherry — How can salt be _organic_? As far as I know, there’s never a process that extracts salt from meat or plants. It’s always a mineral.

    Your chocolates are very interesting. So many new places are growing and making bean-to-bar chocolate.

    best… mae at

    1. Hi Mae, really appreciate you dropping by. You are correct – organic salt cannot be organically grown (as it is a mineral not plant). The organic I am referring is to the process of collecting salt. Organic salt because of all natural salt, produced with hand, unrefined, and without any additives or anti caking agents that may be included before packaging (usually present in table salt).
      fyi Some countries provide certification for organic salt that the harvest is done in unpolluted environment. Hope this helps. Best, Aida

  3. Hi Sherry, as you know there are different type of salt out there on the shelves, varies from source of salt and how being processed. I’m referring ‘organic’ here since there’s no additives such as iodine or anti-caking agents which is common in table salt, and because it contain minerals not just sodium chloride. Thought of making smoothie or bake them, but the strawberries I ate them all. Will definitely pack some wollens!

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