Saturday, January 17, 2015

Lugaw 'Zagat Style'

I've always tweaked my cooking based on my Caucasian husband's preference. First off, they're the 'kind' of people that doesn't take lightly to msg - he gets headache-y. Second, they have a preference for bland foods. They don't like the smell of fish sauce, shrimp paste (bagoong), and oily adobos. Finally, I noticed they can't eat ginger sticks as expertly as we do. I saw my father in law spit a whole ginger stick I mixed with the chicken curry :D

Now, I've read from that there are three different types of Pinoy congee. One, the Arroz Caldo with bone-in chicken thighs and legs. Two, the 'Goto', where you add 'tuwalya' (tripe), beef, and internal organs. And then there's the simple 'lugaw' without the chicken but still filling  altogether when added with toppings.

So instead of following an entire recipe to a 't', or typing the recipe below altogether, I'll just give you the ingredients I used so you can tweak it to your heart's content.

Also, just follow how 'Panlasang Pinoy' does his style of Arroz Caldo, without the chicken, if you're just making plain Congee like what I'm doing.

Here's what I used:

Uncooked jasmine rice
fish sauce
Kirkland's Granulated Garlic

Kirkland's Chopped Onion

ground black pepper
Sliced lemons
Hard boiled eggs
Ginger (3 sticks plus, grated)
Swanson's Chicken Broth
Toi Xai Fried Garlic (Container similar to this but the brand is 'Toi Xai' sooo good papak style) for toppings

Option: Add saffron if its not too expensive where you live. I think it's only cheap in the Philippines considering I see saffron threads on my 'lugaw' when I buy it at the palengke (wet market).

When I have better lighting, I will post my actual pics. Winter is not very conducive to displaying food, especially if I'd like to use natural light.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Hazel's Chicken Noodle Soup

*Tweaked Elaines Chicken Noodle Soup of

4 cans Swanson's chicken broth
      (For homemade recipe,
       click How to Make Chicken Stock)
1 cup cooked chicken, flaked
1/2 cup minced onion
1/3 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 cups uncooked egg noodles 
2 stalks spring onions chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon cilantro
1/2 teaspoon tarragon
salt to taste
juice of half a lemon
lemon halves, to serve
chopped red chile for sprinkling (optional)

1  Bring chicken broth to a boil for 2 minutes in a large stockpot, lid on. Add chicken, onion, celery, and garlic. Lower heat and simmer. Add noodles and cook until al dente.

 Remove from heat and add parsley, cilantro, spring onions and tarragon. Season with salt and pepper, and squeeze half a lemon over the soup.

3  Serve with bread (bolilo or pandesal) on the side. Finish off with a sprinkling of chopped red chile for a unique hot and spicy touch.

4 Makes 6 servings

Perfect for Winter, Spring and flu season :D

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Foodie Info Overload

Ok so far, due to my research on pregnancy, I have read four books on healthy eating, all contradicting each other.

Skinny Bitch - All vegetarian. No way. I don't want to look pale BUT they do make sense on organic stuff and dairy free alternatives. I wont listen to their nonsense only if I can guzzle milk without having an upset stomach, but with their dairy free alternative options, and reasons for foregoing dairy (animal treatment aside), I can be open minded to their suggestions.

Eating Right for You and Your baby - Eat based on your blood type. Hmmmmm interesting. I'm a vigorous red blooded O and to my delight, BEEF is one of the requirements along with chicken. I didn't see pork but that's okay considering beef, lamb, veal and chicken are high up there in their food pyramid. This book will also give me (gave) me a chance to try Essene Bread. Yes, that oh so divine manna bread from heaven. However, my peeve about this book was that it encourages pre prego and prego women to drink tea. Doesn't all tea have caffeine, including decaf herbal ones? Also, it advises to avoid at all cost some of just a looong list of the following healthy foods to achieve your fullest fertile self:  honeydew melons, cantaloupes, cauliflower, cucumber, potatoes, olives, coconut milk, wheat bread, wheat pasta, popcorn, and oranges. Whew! What's there left to eat? Everything else of course! Oh, except Dairy (again).

The Paleo Diet-The author boasts about people who lost weight eating ONLY the basic three food groups: 1) Lean meat 2) Fruits 3) Vegetables. No grains, no dairy. You better live in Mars buddy, cuz that's not possible. I love my Krispy Kremes :D. The author also advised for us to eat like that of our hunter gatherer ancestors, pre Biblical times. Ohhhhkay. Last I recall, I'm not as hairy and my jaws are not that wide.

All books have something different to offer but rather, seem to be a bit extreme for my liking. However, I won't be duped. I'm all for balance and Weight Watchers gave me the best alternative to healthy eating. They don't have a book for pregnant women yet because their objective is for women to lose weight in a healthy, non-depriving way, but their swapping food points style system is a genius.

However, based on my research about pregnancy, all books and legit internet sources provided me with the same list of foods to avoid:

1) Junk food - due to empty calories and its HFC content (duh, not gonna happen... ok maybe a little)
2) Sushi ;( - raw meats can be highly contaminated with harmful bacteria which is bad for the baby
3) Deli meats (must I repeat myself?)
4) Soft cheeses ;( particularly brie, blue, camembert and gorgonzola - just like reason 2,
5) Seafood high in mercury such as:
  • Marlin
  • Orange roughy
  • Tilefish
  • Swordfish
  • Shark
  • Mackerel (king)
  • Tuna ( bigeye, Ahi)
  • Farmed salmon (meaning all salmon ;() may contain chemicals such as PCB with serious long term health effects 
  • Fish sauce
     mercury can cause birth defects or miscarriages.

6) All forms of caffeine, even chocolate (Now wait a minute! I'm not pregnant just yet!)

Its quite hard to remember all these so I just picked and choose the foods I can eat that are most beneficial based on the three books I read combined:

Highly Beneficial:
BEEF! (Also Lamb, Mutton, Veal and Venison)

Seeds and Beans
Black Eyed Peas

Non Gluten Bread (Manna)

Romaine Lettuce
ONION (Yeay)
Sweet Potato


Cayenne Pepper

Organic Fat Free Cows Milk with DHA & Vit D.

Non Dairy Alternatives:
Almond Milk
Rice Milk

Fat Free Condiments:

I will still eat the following foods, though in moderation of course:

Oatmeal (every morning)
Wheat bread

Hard Cheese

Non Dairy Alternative:
Soy Milk
Coconut Milk

Fruits & Veggies:
Honey Dew Melons

Seafood, stick to the following at least one meal a week:
Oyster (sauce is ok)

Maybe if I read the list I can eat again and again, I may be able to memorize them by heart...

Friday, February 7, 2014

Chicken Sopas

Lower calorie version:

Olive Oil instead of butter
Easy on the fish sauce
Elbow macaroni instead of twistie pasta
Fat free milk

Everything else is fair game!

Monday, January 13, 2014

STS - Ab Circuits

Requires wooden floors. Ours are carpeted (excuses, excuses)

Still, I'll be ordering the DVD... Soon :D