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Archive for the ‘healthy options’ Category


The sun is shining bright. I hope the monsoon rains which typhoon Maria would be bringing are not strong to cause flooded streets and houses. Sometimes monsoon rains take as long as more than a week, a little inconvenient when you want to go out and it’s raining outside.

I checked the garden for a while making sure that the the plants in the planter’s box not reached by the previous rain yesterday are not too dry.  I also checked our jackfruits which are still fruiting and our two kalamansi trees.  What do you know. I just harvested about a kilo of fresh kalamansi. Perfect for  marinating meat, dips and making kalamansi juice. I am trying to limit my sugar intake though so it would be just a bit of  sugar.  I am planning to buy honey when I go back to the supermarket.

Fresh kalamansi

For the past two days, I avoided eating rice. Carbohydrates eventually turn into sugar and sugar feeds cancer cells. Trying to do it right slowly until my body adjusts to no rice at all. My daughter Nissa is on a Keto diet. She’s been on it for the past two years.  I asked my internist about it and he said I should not eat fats  since I am on maintenance with high blood pressure. I  don’t like fats specially from pork  and chicken.   When I buy chicken, I remove the skin or have chicken breasts deboned by the vendor.  Josef suggested that I cook my meals in our steamer to avoid those unnecessary oils and fats that I don’t need.

Over the weekend, Josef and I bought some wonton wrappers and cooked  Pinsec frito. Pinsec is a type of dumplings wherein wonton wrappers are filled with ground meat, carrots, sesame oil, salt, ground black pepper, green onion, crab meat (optional), and egg  or seafood filling and then deep-fried until golden and crisp. It’s best eaten when it’s hot and it’s best with sweet and sour sauce as dips.

Pinsec Frito

As we grow older, it’s not just the body aches and muscular pains that we experience. I still feel my immunity is low. After all these years, maybe it is still the effect of chemo drugs. I am grateful though that despite all these  setbacks, I feel okay and I thank God for that.

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I am listening to some afternoon 70’s and 80’s music as I write this. When you’re used to blogging and posting something every day, you miss the hustle and bustle of the blogging world. I’ve been busy for a while though, catching up on gardening (finally finished replanting Crossandra  that just sprouted in all corners of the garden, regrouped them together in one line) and reading e-books, Christmas stories that warm the hearts and lift the spirits.  When it’s Josef’s days off, we work together to finish pending household chores that need his help. We found fresh zucchini and honeydew melons on our trip to the wet market last Saturday morning. Honeydew is juicier  than your regular melon found in the market. Low in calorie, rich in vitamin C and rich in fiber too. I don’t know if zucchini are in season now but  they are cheaper than a few months ago. It’s time to experiment on some recipes using zucchini. I normally use them for pasta dishes and crispy fries. I found out to my delight that there are about a hundred ways to cook zucchini. Here’s one simple dessert that I just baked a few minutes ago. The recipe is for muffins but I tweaked it a bit and came up with this yummy loaf.

Zucchini loaf

Zucchini loaf

Last week, I made a variation of Puto (steamed buns) by adding Pandan flavoring. Just love it. I always reduce the sugar in the recipe, although I like to bake, I am not fond of too much sweets but my son is.

Puto pandan with cheese toppings

Puto pandan with cheese toppings

Josef gifted me with a three-tier Camel food steamer. It’s a late birthday gift, another gadget in the kitchen that I love. I have the bigger aluminum steamer which I use for embutido (our local sausage) and siomai (pork dumplings) but this one is easier to use and you can steam several kinds of veggies and meat in one cooking.  Healthy eats with no messy oil to think of. I tried it last night with carrots, sweet corn and deboned chicken breast with lemon.  Yummy! How was your week?

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“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces — just good food from fresh ingredients.”~ Julia Child

One of the  best volumes I’ve seen in cooking are that of Julia Child’s  Mastering the Art of  French Cooking. They’re available at Bestsellers. They come in four volumes actually but they cost the earth so I just look at the spines and indexes  and try to memorize some simple recipes  that don’t need  complicated ingredients.

We have some left-over food from yesterday and some ripe mangoes from the other Sunday that a friend gave us. I thought of  making mango bread and found this site on how to make a simple one.  The procedures are almost the same as making banana cake. Gosh, I burned my finger trying to take it out from the oven. I love the heavenly aroma of combined cinnamon and fresh mangoes.  There is something  so comforting about measuring ingredients, sifting the flour, mixing and such.  So here it is,  my yummy version of mango bread. Can you imagine a mango bread topped with grated Belgian chocolate truffles? Another friend who was on  vacation from Canada gave me a box of these sinfully addicting  chocolates together with some mint candies wrapped in dark chocolates.

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I can proudly say, it  is really, really yummy. Here’s the recipe if you want to try it copied from  kitchenrunway.com.

Ingredients:

  • 2 C All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon powder
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ½ C Regular Butter, melted
  • ¼ C Oil
  • 2 Ripe Mangoes, finely chopped (or chunks if you prefer) I used 3 medium-sized ripe mangoes, coarsely chopped

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 180 ° C
  • Sift flour into a large bowl.  Add baking soda, sugar and cinnamon and stir the dry ingredients to combine.
  • In a medium bowl, beat eggs, add vanilla extract, melted butter and oil.  Combine the ingredients and add to dry ingredients.
  • Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon stir to combine the wet and dry ingredients.  Fold in the  chopped mangoes.
  • Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 55 – 60 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Remove bread from pan and let cool before slicing.

 

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Mango

Last Sunday, a friend who came over for lunch brought a bagful of green and golden ripe carabao mangoes. We could not consume it in three days so I decided to make some smoothie drinks by simply adding a small can of evaporated milk, a few spoons of sugar and crushed iced. There you go, a sweet and refreshing glass of pure mango.

Most people say that the Philippines has the best sweet and delicious mangoes in the world and I agree. Summer is the best time that you’ll enjoy this fruit. I am planning to make a mango jam out of the remaining ripe ones. You might not believe this but I love green mangoes more. I enjoy eating them fresh, sliced with the skin on and just sprinkled with a pinch of salt. Heaven!

I also baked chewy oatmeal raisin cookies using yellow raisin instead of the dark ones. Yellow raisins have more natural taste, not too sweet and not too dry.  Preparing  something in the kitchen need not be that elaborate. It’s Holy Week  and I suggested to my son that we do away with meat for the whole week and eat sea food and veggies instead.

Have a blessed and meaningful Holy Tuesday!

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I knew that I won’t go back to being 100% fit the first time I heard the word “cancer” more than four years ago.  I have enough of hospital and doctor visits so I gave up visiting one. A month ago, I felt an excruciating pain on my left knee so I have to look for a doctor near our place and it was my first time to visit a government hospital. Consultation is free of course but there are charges for laboratory tests. Compared to private hospitals, they charge a bit lower than the normal rate. It turned out I have gout and I have to take medications for three months before I go back there again.  Visiting doctors and hospitals always reminds me of the ordeal I went through when I was having chemotherapy.

Last Sunday, I underwent Quantum Resonance Magnetic Analysis. The QRMA is a rapid (it only takes a minute), accurate, non-invasive testing method. “The main analysis items are over 30, including cardiovascular and cerebrovascular condition, bone mineral density, trace elements, blood lead, rheumatism, lung and respiratory tract, nephropathy, blood sugar, stomach and intestines, liver and gall, cranial nerves, gynecology, prostate, bone disease, the trace elements of selenium, iron, zinc and calcium, etc.”  Suffice to say, I need to have a detox for three days and have to change my diet and eat more fruits and vegetables. I’ve been so careful with  my diet since I had surgery for  colon cancer so I’ve wondered why there are still so many health risks that need to be addressed. It is so frustrating to know that  despite being so careful about it all, the results are not good.  Lack of calcium intake when I was a kid contributed to the weak bones that affect me now. I don’t drink milk  and I never like its taste and mom used to say that I was completely breastfed as a baby. I could tolerate milk products though as long as it is not pure milk. 

The things you do to stay healthy but then how sure are we that the things we eat nowadays are free from chemicals that ravage our bodies? Even fruits and vegetables are not safe unless they are locally grown in your own backyard.

Health is wealth so they say and I agree.

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Finally, we’re done trimming  the carabao grass. It’s son’s day off so we spent the late afternoon finishing the patch of grass that we left yesterday. It’s summer here now and 4pm is still a bit too hot for gardening.   Took time out to take a few shots of our lovable and cuddly dog Kuchi. She’s been with us for more than two years now and she has definitely grown. She has learned to open our screen door at the back . She has grown a little longer with those short legs and fan-like tail to boot. She is so “makulit”, always inching her way to get inside and sleep under our dining table. Lately, this is her favorite spot, a small area in our garden.

Her name is Kuchi!

Her name is Kuchi!

I am saving on space so I compressed the photos. A friend is giving us a new  male puppy, a mixed breed of Japanese Spitz  like this one.  Dogs have been constant companions for us since we moved here nineteen years ago.  I call our backyard garden “pet sematary”, it is where our previous dogs are buried.  Remember Stephen King’s book of the same title?

We did our marketing this morning by going back to Pasig market, an hour trip from our place when there is traffic. As usual, I enjoyed the haggling, I am happy with even just a peso discount on fruits and vegetables.  It’s been some sort of ritual for Josef and me to eat breakfast at the nearby Jollibee outlet before going to the market. He would always order hotdog with egg  and local sausage (longganisa) for me either with two hot cups of coffee or hot chocolate drink.  We would go back there to explore the garden center we saw this morning. I would love to buy a pot  each of citronella, rosemary or marigolds. Citronella is the most common natural ingredient used in formulating mosquito repellents.

We’re having fun at making simple kitchen recipes again. This morning, Josef prepared lumpiang shanghai made of different veggies which we bought earlier. Then we recycled the left-over spaghetti sauce my making pizza  using sliced bread.

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IMG_5696Our Tootsie roll sandwich is made of flattened sliced bread, with ham and cheese inside and rolled in bread crumbs before frying.  It is best served hot.

One can always experiment on  these simple and easy to prepare snacks without making a dent on one’s pockets.

Or you can boil fresh corn or sweet potatoes and they will give you enough fiber and they are healthy.

So much for this, have to catch up on reading Archetype.

 

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It seldom happens now because they are always busy at work, yesterday though, Josef and his girlfriend Jovy took me to Mont Albo in Timog Avenue in Quezon City, a spa and massage facility that offers several massage therapies including body scrub. The three of us availed of the Hilot, a Filipino healing method practiced for  thousands of years. It is a total body massage characterized by slow deliberate strokes to remove blockages by using virgin coconut oil.  It was a very relaxing one hour therapy. The three of us also availed of the additional  Bentosa, a therapy used by placing suction glass cups at one’s back to remove energy blockages. Josef practically went to sleep when  the therapist did that because we could hear his gentle snore while waiting for ten minutes before they remove the suction glasses and resume massage of the arms  and legs. I used to have foot massages  before (another way to unwind and relax) in the nearby beauty salon but it has become quite expensive so I only go there when I need to rest and enjoy the quiet times.

New Year 14

We had an early dinner at Papa John’s  in  Tomas Morato before going home. I told Josef that we used to live in that area back when he wasn’t born yet. The quiet neighborhood in the early eighties has now become a busy avenue of several high-end restaurants and eateries.  It was my first time to sample Papa John’s cheese and bacon pizza and its crispy onion rings, better than what we usually order at Burgoo’s. Such  a lovely day to spend  it  with them. I wish that next time we do this, my daughter and son-in-law and of course my darling baby Nate  could join us.

The weather here for the past  two or three weeks was a good 20 degrees Celsius.  It is colder at night and windy in the early morning and late noon.  The coldest morning so far in Metro Manila was at   17.5 degrees Celsius early Saturday  while Baguio City was at its coldest at 8.1 degrees Celsius last Sunday. Most days it’s cloudy, a perfect time to catch up on gardening and do a little weeding too.  It’s  a lovely time too to read. I’ve done six books since the start of the year and I planned to read around 50 books till the end of December. I really hope I could do it since I neglected reading last year, read a measly 20 titles, I guess.

I am listening to Richard Clayderman  and Ernesto Cortazar  while writing this blog. It’s a lovely day 🙂

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Last Christmas, my daughter gifted me with a lovely glass infusion bottle and told me I can use it every day for whatever veggies and fruits I would like to use. I’ve been using it ever since.

water infusion

The first time I encountered the healthy benefits of water infusion was during our visit at Regina RICA in Tanay, Rizal two years ago. The Dominican sisters who manage the place had a big jug of water infused with some herbs which tasted so refreshing. I forgot what it was but that introduced me to an alternative way to drink water instead of just pouring it in a glass. I haven’t actually researched on the health benefits of water infusion but some of my friends say it is healthy. I found this site which featured lemon as its ingredient.  Interesting read,  lemon is used not just to flavor your drinks but  it adds more benefits.  I’ve tried combining celery stalks with cucumber and it was great. For some of us who are conscious of  our health (not getting any younger) and would love to try an alternative way to stay well, this is it.  You can use fresh herbs or fruits like lemon, oranges, lime, mint and other fruits available in the market.

  • orange
  • lemon
  • lime
  • grapefruit
  • cucumber
  • mint
  • orange
  • lemon
  • lime
  • grapefruit
  • cucumber
  • mint

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Two days ago, Josef and I did our twice a month marketing at our wet market here in Cainta. And look what I found inside the stall of my “suki” (favorite vendor), some fresh produce that are old-time favorites. I seldom see these in other stalls in the area, something as fresh as they look.

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I love zucchini but they are not regular fares in our household because I seldom see them in the wet  market and the ones they sell in supermarkets no longer look fresh. Do you eat fiddlehead fern? We call it locally as paku or pako. And boy, it really tastes good made into salad.  Those new slim and long green ones are called French beans,my suki said, and they are now locally grown in the uplands in Baguio.  How nice, can’t wait to taste this with a few drops of oyster sauce.

 

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Mom and I had this for lunch today, a yummy dish of tilapia  wrapped in taro leaves and cooked in coconut cream.  Tilapia or St. Peter’s fish  could be cooked in so many different ways.  You can have it filleted, deep-fried or our usual way of cooking pangat. I like it cooked in kalamansi (Philippine lime) which I have plenty of  in our garden with chopped onions, green pepper and ginger. I was craving for something different  so I tried cooking it in gata using  two pieces of tomatoes instead of kalamansi. Mom loved it and she asked what the green leaves were.  I told her it’s a fresh harvest from the garden,some edible gabi leaves growing alongside my ampalaya plants. When you cook something with coconut cream, it needs to be a little spicy to go with the creamy taste of the gata.

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