Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Coconut Fruit Salad

Here's an all-year-round delicious, nutritious, natural food treat you can make yourself! If you order this at a restaurant it would probably cost at least 2 times more. I got inspired to make this when I saw the guy at the Buko (coconut) kiosk at the mall making one. They sell it at P69., not including the coconut juice which they sell separately at P35. At home, it will only cost you around P50., (and you get to drink the juice)... lower if you buy ingredients at the big wet markets. This can be shared by 2 persons as a snack. If you're hungry, finish this all by yourself and it can substitute for a breakfast meal.

Coconuts cost around P25. here in metromanila. Choose one that has a lot of juice and with coconut meat that is still soft but firm and fleshy. (The coconut man knows how to pick this). For the other fruits, choose those that are in season.

Here's what I included in my fruit salad:

1 whole coconut (pour the coconut juice in a tall glass), cut the top off and put in slices of:
1/4 watermelon, sliced into cubes
1 kiat-kiat orange, sectioned
1 ripe banana, sliced
1/2 mango, sliced into cubes


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Natural orange cleaner/deodorizer

After a week of soaking the orange peel grinds (see previous post) in ethyl alcohol, I strained it using a coffee filter...

The result is a very fragrant liquid which can be used as an all-around cleaner and deodorizer. Put it on a spray bottle and its ready to use. I'm not sure what materials are safe to use it on, but surely it can be used to replace strong chemical cleaners that are usually bought.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What to do with orange peels?

Oranges are plentiful now and not so expensive. I was able to buy a good variety that smelled so good and tasted quite sweet. I just thought it was a waste to throw the I googled on how to extract orange oil from it.

Step one says: Put the peel in a warm dry place (such as in a sunny window ledge) to dry. Since the sun didn't shine, and it was even stormy this week I also put the peels on the stove just to warm it up a bit, then I just let it air dry for two days.

Step two says: Grate the peels with a grater or grind them in a grinder, blender or food processor after they are dry. I grated the peels manually, and the leftover bits, I chopped finely.

Step three says: Put the ground peel into a glass jar. Add enough alcohol (grain alcohol or vodka, for instance) to cover the peel. Cover the jar tightly with the lid. I used Ethyl alcohol, but I made a mistake since it has some fragrance...that overpowers the orange scent.

Now I'll wait a couple more days for the last two steps to get the orange oil :p

Monday, September 5, 2011

Gluten-free baking mix!

I was pleased to see gluten-free baking mix available in our local supermarket. It is a bit pricey, but I got it at 30% discount. Sale is up to Sept. 7, at Shopwise, so I had to try it now to know if its worth buying more. I made a small batch of tasted different - but definitely better! Here it is served with butter and raspberry jam.

That was yesterday ;)
Now I made a single serving of blueberry pancake...I just added a spoonful of frozen blueberries to the batter. It had to be served with blueberry jam of course, but I wasn't able to get if from the grocery yet. I'll surely make this again for the family next time!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

One egg-white for dessert!

Lunch for me is usually just vegetables and rice. If the veggies are not enough, or if I'm really hungry I stir-fry the rice in corn oil, with sauteed garlic and onions. Then I mix in an egg-yolk until its cooked. I avoid eating a whole egg since I always feel so full after the meal.
This time I thought of cooking the egg-white. Adding sugar to it, and a drop of vanilla essence is the simplest way of turning it into a dessert. But here's the trick - the egg-white has to be beaten. Manually with a fork, of course! You don't need power tools to do this. Besides, there's not much to clean up after enjoying your dessert ;)
After beating the egg-white stiff, add about 2 tsp. sugar, continue beating, then add a drop or two of vanilla essence. Pour the beaten mixture in a baking pan, and bake until just about cooked and browned on top. I just baked it in a toaster oven for a few minutes. Here is the finished product and its called a meringue. Maybe next time I'll add some cream of tartar to improve texture. Thought it probably won't make much difference if I'm making it for myself to be eaten at once ;)

P.S. I had to crop the photo since it looked like a gross sculpture :p

Friday, July 22, 2011

Make it at home - Kani Salad

I had Kani Salad at Omakase restaurant one time, and really liked it. I couldn't recreate the dish as well, since their ingredients come from Japan, and their presentation is delightful and authentic.
But here's my version.

Iceberg Lettuce - cut into bite-size pieces
Cucumber - grated
Carrot - grated
Ripe Mango - sliced into cubes
Kani - there are different brands, and prices. I settled for Sea Stix made in Thailand.
Caviar (optional) - I wasn't able to buy since it was too expensive. Though adding some would make the dish more authentic.
Sesame Oil - just enough to flavor
Light Mayonnaise

Separate the Kani into strips. Mix all ingredients together and you're done!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Egg, more nutritious and delicious

Interested in serving egg in a simple and delicious way? I've found one, inspired by Kopi Roti a Singapore franchise coffee shop. They serve soft-boiled eggs with black soya sauce. Their sauce might be a secret recipe, but I googled and found that it can be substituted with 1 part soy sauce and 1 part molasses. Of course, its good to have the best ingredients you can find. I used Kikkoman premium soy sauce and Brer Rabbit mild molasses. Its not really expensive since I only use 1 teaspoon each, for every egg. Its enough to give it that delicious sons love it, though I have to work on a better presentation.
Btw, I used only boiling water to cook the egg, the yolk is still soft inside, which we prefer.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Barley Vegetarian Soup

This is definitely a good tasting soup! I wonder why I haven't tried it sooner, I love the taste and texture of barley. Its not locally available though, and I got to try this with the pack of barley from my dear SIL in Australia.

We here at home are into vegetarian soups, which are easy and quick to make, tasty and nutritious. And we can only be sure of this by using mostly fresh ingredients. I only use canned veggies when fresh is not available or the price is too high.
My basic recipe for soup: don't follow a recipe!
Just make sure the following ingredients is in the soup and is fresh: onions, celery stalk, tomatoes, carrots, green or red bell pepper
Optional ingredients: garlic, beans, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, corn, potato, and many more
Seasonings: salt and pepper; (optional) bay leaf, basil

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Carabao's Milk goodies!

The other day, my son went on a working fieldtrip to the Philippine Carabao Center in Munoz, Nueva Ecija. Lucky me, he came home with my favorite Kesong Puti (farmer's cheese) and Pastillas, also some Mozarella cheese and pulvoron - all made from carabao's milk.
I didn't have much time to search for recipes and to experiment, so I just made up a simple salad with a simple olive oil dressing. The cheese and tomato really go so well together...yum!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Asparagus Omelet with Tarragon Sauce

I made this based on a recipe from an old Better Homes and Gardens book. As usual I was in a hurry to serve so I took a picture after we already ate some of it ;)

Its so good but seem a bit complicated at first. Its worth another try though, since it passed the test on my two not-so-easy-to-please sons. However, I served it with a fresh veggie salad with Asian dressing which complimented it so well. So I guess on its own it might not be so popular.
Following is the modified recipe from the book:

Asparagus Omelet Tarragon
1 bunch of asparagus, bias-sliced into 1-inch pieces
6 eggs
2 Tbsp. water
1/4 tsp. salt
dash pepper
2 Tbsp. butter
Tarragon Sauce:
1/4 cup sliced green onion
1 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp dry white wine
1 Tbsp. lemon juice (which I substituted for the vinegar)
1 Tbsp butter
3 tsps all-purpose flour
1 cup milk (I used 1/2 cup fresh milk, and 1/2 cup water)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dried Tarragon

Make the sauce first.
In a small saucepan cook sliced green onion in butter till tender. Stir in white wine and lemon juice and simmer till liquid is reduced by half, 3 to 5 mins. In another saucepan melt 1 Tbsp butter, blend in flour, then add milk. Cook, stirring constantly, till thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat, stir in salt and crushed dried tarragon. Return to low heat and slowly stir in onion mixture. Heat through, but do not boil.
Cook asparagus in a small amount of salted water, about 8-10 mins, until crisp-tender. Remove from heat and drain liquid. (Note: I would use this liquid in the sauce, next time)
Slightly beat eggs, water, salt and pepper with fork until blended but not frothy. In 10-inch skillet heat butter till it sizzles and browns slightly. Tilt pan to grease sides. Add egg mixture and cook slowly. Run spatula around edge, lifting egg to allow uncooked portion to flow underneath. Spoon asparagus across center of omelet, top with 1/2 cup of tarragon sauce. Tilt pan to fold omelet and roll onto hot platter. Serve with remaining sauce. Makes 4 servings.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Watermelon, Melon Juice

I have here some slices of watermelon and honeydew melon, for my son who's in a hurry to get to the office. So instead of slicing it up to pieces, I just squeezed them on a citrus juicer and it can instantly be served:

Its delicious and refreshing too! It can also be served with a few ice cubes.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Homemade Roasted Peanuts

Peanuts are popular as snacks or ingredient in some dishes. Most of us love its nutty, delicious taste and crunchy texture, though it is actually a legume and not a true nut. It is usually substituted in dessert and meal dishes that require nuts, since it is much cheaper and more available. What I noticed though, as with most healthy ingredient, manufacturers add sugar, salt, oil, spice and whatever flavoring they think would make it more tasty and addictive! On the contrary, I think the delicious flavor of the nut is lost and you end up unhealthy too because of the additives. I'm so glad I'm able to buy raw shelled nuts in the supermarket. 

It costs a lot less, and I can easily roast it in the toaster and just add a little salt. 

The first time I roasted peanuts in the oven toaster, I used the higher setting of 800W. After just 5 mins. it got burned! 

So I tried again and used the lower setting of 400W, and after 7 mins. it looked just right :) Now I have another healthful snack that I can eat regularly and enjoy.

A handful of naturally prepared peanuts is really much better in taste and has loads of benefits. Here are just some:

Health benefits of Peanuts

  • Peanuts are rich in energy and contain many health benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.
  • These nuts are good source of dietary proteins with fine quality amino acids that are essential for growth and optimum health.
  • These nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E, alpha tocopherol; contain about 8 g per100 g. vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant which helps maintain the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by protecting from harmful oxygen free radicals.
  • Peanuts are packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. 100 g of peanuts provide about 85% of RDI ofniacin which contribute to brain health and blood flow to brain.
  • The nuts are rich source of minerals like copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium.
  • Just a hand full of peanuts a day provides enough recommended levels of phenolic anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins and protein.
    All these - except if you're allergic to peanuts! I don't know anyone who is...but I've read that this condition can be fatal.

  • Consequently, if you get all these benefits then you most likely will prevent diseases from taking over your body.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Discovering the wonders of an Induction cooker...

I've been looking at the Induction cookers at the appliance section since more than a year ago. I liked how it looks and know that its an innovative product, but didn't bother to learn what it was all about. The price itself discouraged me. But recently I noticed that the prices of these induction cookers are becoming more affordable. So I decided to go ahead and try this latest improvement in cooking style. Yes, its a style that you need to learn and absorb, but once you get it - you'll find out its so cool and wouldn't get back to your old style ;) Here is a pic of a similar cooker as what I bought:

I'm certain this cooker consumes less electricity compared to regular electric stoves...though I have not computed the savings at home. It also saves a lot of time, since one does not have to wait for it to heat up. The pot or pan will generate heat from the magnetic field generated by electricity. This is also the reason you might have to spend on some new cookware made of stainless steel, as most other materials will not heat up on the induction cooker.
It takes some practice to get used to this "instant" heat and some recipes need to be adjusted a bit. A few dishes would cook better on a regular stove, though. One example is fried egg and omelettes, since it tends to become dry. However, for boiled eggs I get a perfect result just by setting the timer at 7 mins. on medium heat. The water would boil just before the time is up. Then I leave it alone for 10 mins before rinsing in cold water.

More about induction cooking here, or do a Google search.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tapol malagkit rice Champorado

This might seem like weird food to most of you, but champorado is a popular Filipino breakfast (at least its one of my faves). This is basically glutinous rice, made into a porridge. Chocolate powder or tablets is a must to flavor this porridge. But this time I made the dish healthier by using wild glutinous rice called Tapol. I'm so glad this is available in my favorite supermarket.

Champorado is usually served with sugar and milk and eaten with fried dried fish like dilis or tuyo.

Looks weird, huh?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Strawberry, Papaya and Dalandan fresh fruit shake

Here's another healthy recipe using  only natural ingredients. Remember to consume only on an empty stomach and don't combine with other foods. This will be digested in about 30 mins., and you'll feel energized!

These fruits are locally available and are in season at this time of the year. I buy the strawberries at the U.P. shopping center, priced at P35. to P45. for 250gms. Dalandan and papaya can be bought at any fruit store. Dalandan is about P25. per kilo, and papaya is P30.-P40. per kilo.

Strawberry, Papaya and Dalandan fruit shake
A cup of fresh strawberries, approx. 200gms
A cup of sliced papaya, approx. 200gms
Freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 kilo dalandan
1 cup ice
1 Tablespoon honey and/or natural sugar

To make: just toss everything in the blender and process for a few seconds.
Yield: approx. 1 liter (serves 4)