By FOO Kai Bing, Kelly (Jockey Club Academy Hall)

“You cannot eat out every day, it is too unhealthy! Do you want to lose all your hair from consuming too much MSG? I really don’t think you would look good bald. Start cooking for yourself! Use that pantry of yours and make yourself some healthy food!” That was what my mom said to me yesterday; the day before yesterday; and the day before that as well.

I have to admit, the only food I cook is instant noodles, and don’t even get me started on how much my mom hates their mere existence. Homemade cooking always sounds difficult and troublesome to me. The thought of having to go through all the trouble and ending up with something that does not even taste good totally puts me off. I honestly do not think ‘healthy’ and ‘delicious’ are two adjectives that can exist in one dish.

Surprisingly, the student residents proved me wrong in the Healthy Food Cooking Competition this year. (Okay, correction, some of them proved me wrong; the rest of them just made me speechless.) The theme for this year is tomatoes, and 16 teams of 4 came together to show us how they could whip up something good using this sweet-looking vegetable.

There were teams who really focused on keeping their dishes healthy. One of the teams even went to the extreme and served a dish of freshly sliced tomatoes with sprinkled sugar. Miss Micol Mauro, an international student from Italy, who was one of the judges that night exclaimed: “Weirdest tomato dish I have EVER eaten in my life, and I am from Italy!” Other teams tried to be as creative as they could. They dug out the insides of the tomatoes and used it to contain other food, like meat or pasta. The participants tried really hard to create a dish which is healthy, tasty and presentable. Sadly, only a few teams successfully did so, others’ dishes were just plain weird.

The judges were all full after tasting all 16 dishes, and they cried out with a joke, “No more tomatoes for us in the coming weeks!”

I was really inspired by the participants that night. I never knew you could cook so many different types of dishes with tomatoes; and I never expected healthy food to taste good!

Hurry, grab some tomatoes and start cooking already! You will love the impressed faces when you let others try out your masterpiece!