Nov 7, 2011

Help Save A Baby's Life


I know I haven't been updating my blog for the past few months, with all the transition from a student to professional and all, but I just can't ignore a call for help when I see one. Being in the health industry has opened my eyes to a lot of things, and made me appreciate life even more.

Mark Angelo Salazar is a toddler suffering from biliary cirrhosis. It's a severe liver disease that needs a liver transplant as soon as possible, and the family needs all help possible to reach the Php 2M cost for the liver transplant. It's a lot, yes, but if we can all just donate or buy a shirt for only Php 300, then it would add up and help him get a better future. Photos of shirts for both kids and adults can be found at their Facbook page: http://www.facebook.com/newliverforMark?sk=wall
Any amount of help is most needed and will be greatly appreciated, please send directly to the family through the following options:
G-cash 09165382179
or
Banco De Oro- Maritess Salazar/ Mark Angelo Salazar
Savings Account No. 0300886918
Swift Code: BNORPHMM

Or buy this nice shirt. For orders, please email : save.baby.mark@gmail.com 
Shirts are available for P 300.00 in Black and White in the following actual sizes:
Large - 21"width -28"length
Medium - 19"width - 26" length
Small - 18" width - 25" length
Xsmall - 17"width - 24" length

Just send a personal message to Mark's father through his Facebook account: Dennis Salazar or text him at 09083664383 or 09212955657.

Let's make this happen. :)
Nov 2, 2011

Eating Healthy For You and The Environment



Environmental awareness is slowly gaining ground around the world nowadays, with the tons of natural disasters and doomsday predictions coming out. But why did it took so long for people to wake up to this reality when early in school we were already taught to love and care for the environment? Is it too late, you say? I don't think so, and neither do the people behind Ethical Ocean. I came across their web site a few days ago while browsing for environmentally friendly products I could buy for our home. While I did find what I was looking for, Ethical Ocean opened my eyes to a lot more.

They provide users with stories, opinions, and articles that are made to help people realize that our lifestyle isn't exactly as good as they seem, even though it looks like it's not harmful to the environment. Ethical Ocean also stands up against poverty, and supports livelihood projects for those people who struggle to make ends meet. From food to electronics and fashion items that are as good as your designer bags and clothing, you are sure to find something that will make you shop sans the guilt. I sure wished they have a local store near our place, but let me show you some personal picks from their food shop that I am going to send over to my sister in Canada instead.


These are organic chocolate truffles, practically catered to the vegan community, but guaranteed to be just as delicious and even healthy. Everyone needs chocolates sometimes! :) And below, some yummy organic gummy bears to satisfy her gummy cravings! Seriously, I never thought I would come across organic gummy bears, but here they are. :)

But what's even better is that I found these roast garlic and onion-infused olive oil. Perfect for whipping up quick gourmet meals at home. 
 

They have tons of other cool products as well, such as completely biodegradable and chemical-free disposable palm leaf plates. These ones are made from palm leaves, and they are just right for picnics, and they are even microwave safe!


So the next time you decide to buy something for your home, consider the environmental impact of your purchase. Better yet, go to Ethical Ocean instead for environmentally friendly products for the kitchen! Just a note, this post is of my own opinion. Just a quick reminder for everyone to help save the earth. :)
Oct 15, 2011

For The Love of Soccer and Rugby


We have all witnessed the glory and the excitement brought to us by our National Soccer Team, Azkals, on the recent season. The sport is beginning to come back with a vengeance after the series of poor performances in the past years, so I am more than happy to accommodate a guest poster, Alma, here on Sassy Chef. I wonder what food I'll prepare the next time me and my brothers watch another game.  :)

Soccer has been steadily growing its popularity since the start of the 21st century, and it is considered to be the most popular sport in the world. Rugby, the version of soccer that permits handling of the ball, is equally as popular as soccer. Both are rough sports, involving a lot of running, kicking, and jumping, and a ton of stamina as well.

Although not everyone is physically fit to play the rough sport, soccer and rugby, the version of soccer that permits handling of the ball, has gained millions of fans eager to watch the exciting games brought about by each season.

In the Philippines, the love for soccer has been awakened in most Filipinos by the recent stunts pulled off by the Azkals, the Philippine National Soccer Team. Despite the past decade giving our country poor performance in the FIFA World Cups, Azkals awakened the spirit and support for this sport. Now the youth and even the adults are hooked and eager to learn the sport, as they yell and cheer for victory while watching the soccer and rugby matches in television.

Blog post courtesy of Alma who writes for a coupon blog catering to World Soccer and Rubgy.
Oct 7, 2011

Blogger Shirt Giveaway Winner


Congratulations to Cielo of Brown Pinay for winning my Blogger Shirt Giveaway! :)

Will send the email after this post about the prize! Thanks for joining everyone! :)
Oct 1, 2011

Malunggay (Moringa) Powder Recipes

My dad is a certified health buff who loves everything organic. Ever so often he picks stalks of malunggay leaves from our tree, and makes a brew with fresh lemongrass stalks and fresh pandan leaves, all from our garden of course. Mixed in with raw honey and a squeeze of lemon and he's a happy man.



When I came across some Malunggay Powder, I was very delighted because the recent Typhoon Pedring has left the malunggay tree bare. Apparently, it is a valued dietary supplement due to its nutritional properties. A little research tells me that dried malunggay leaves in powder form has 10 times the Vitamin A of carrots, ½ the vitamin C of oranges, 17 times the calcium and 15 times the potassium of milk, 25 times the iron in spinach and 9 times the protein in yogurt.

Now that's something we all want to have, right? I have to admit, even I am not fond of eating malunggay leaves. But when it's this good to drink, even I won't have to worry anymore. For moms, the malunggay powder is something you can infuse into your children's drinks. It's a versatile ingredient that can be mixed in with all kinds of food and drinks, and anyone would barely notice it. You can even mix it in with your meals, you just have to be creative. Enriching your family's diet has never been easier.



I looked forward to making their famous malunggay fruit shake, but the typhoon left me with no good fruit to buy this weekend. So I brewed some honey-pandan malunggay tea for us, and a nice malunggay chocolate drink for my brothers.

Surprisingly, the chocolate drink was really delicious. My youngest brother said there's something different with his hot chocolate, and even said that it tastes better than the usual. They are the pickiest eaters in the world and would always have a fight with dad when he sometimes tries to make us eat boiled malunggay leaves, but the fact that they liked the malunggay powder-infused chocolate means that this product is an effective way to fortify your family's food.


The tea was actually very nice, with a mild flavor that would appeal even to those who are used to the taste of expensive tea. It doesn't have much of that signature malunggay taste that many people don't like. When I opened the foil pack, I thought I smelled hints of honey in it, but the dark green powder is pure ground malunggay leaves. It has a mild and sweet flowery scent with it, and when brewed, it reminds me of the dried rosebuds tea my mom bought from a trip Hong Kong before. A perfect pick-me-up for this gloomy weather.

There's just one thing, I sure hope it came in a resealable pack, because any kind of tea (or dried leaves in this case) is not supposed to be exposed to light. Oh well, time to look for the tea canisters mom bought from Hong Kong. :)


Pick-Me-Up Moringa Tea


Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp Malunggay (Moringa) Powder
  • 5 cups water
  • 5 large pandan leaves
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • to taste, honey

Cooking Directions

  1. Boil pandan leaves in water.
  2. When water starts to boil, mix in the malunggay powder and boil for two more minutes.
  3. Strain into teapot, add lemon juice and honey to taste.
  4. Enjoy steaming hot. :)


Hot Choco-Moringa Drink


Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp Malunggay (Moringa) Powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • to taste, milk
  • to taste, honey

Cooking Directions

  1. Boil water and remove from heat.
  2. Place cocoa powder and malunggay powder into the water.
  3. Strain into a cup and pour hot water into it.
  4. Add a dash of honey or sugar to taste. Add milk if desired.


Sep 29, 2011

Weekday Potluck 9: Banoffee Pie


Nothing gives a sweeter message than the most sinful homemade desserts, and one of my favorites are Banoffee Pies. Just look at that lovely slice shared to us last week by A Slice Of Kate! Isn't it just lovely? :) 

*sigh* Another busy week of trainings, and months more after this one. But I'm doing my best to update and post, hopefully with new recipes to share.
Don't forget to join my giveaway for this month! Up for grabs is your choice of a Blogger Shirt, to be chosen from none other than BloggerShirts.com. Go to the Giveaway Page. :)

 

Sep 22, 2011

Weekday Potluck 8: Pineapple Strawberry Smoothie


My apologies for not being able to get back last week, it has been a swirl of mayhem between the trainings and applications that I didn't notice that the scheduled post didn't go live. The giveaway is still ongoing though, and after I finish everything needed to start my career, I'll be back to cooking and blogging. :)

What we have here is a pretty pink smoothie from Mika of Time To Eat. She says it's made of pineapple and strawberry, I never had one before but maybe I'll give that a try! :)

Don't forget to join my giveaway for this month! Up for grabs is your choice of a Blogger Shirt, to be chosen from none other than BloggerShirts.com. Go to the Giveaway Page. :)


Sep 18, 2011

The Paleo Diet

My apologies for getting back to blogging late, I was busy with so many things that it was too late when I realized that the scheduled post for the Weekday Potluck and other posts did not go live as planned.

Nevertheless, I have here a wonderful guest writer, James, from Food On The Table, giving us a very interesting take on a new and increasingly popular Paleo Diet. :)


Why the Paleo Diet is Worth Thinking About 

A diet that is environmentally friendly is what we are all looking to have when we put on our meal planner hats. There are many places like organic food shops and farmers markets that help make these foods more accessible to the average person. However, whenever you think about this kind of diet, imagine less meat and more nuts, beans, vegetables, and grains. This image of the diet has created a culture which turns to low-fat high carbohydrate foods with increased fiber and less meat. If this is the way society is going, then why are we seeing record highs in pork demand? Why are bacon and pulled pork sandwiches the staple on most menus if it goes against the beliefs of environmentally conscious eaters? 

One reason for this could be the popularity of certain diets. One of these diets is the Paleo Diet and it has appealed to many different people such as celebrities, athletes, and even some vegetarians. This diet also known as the Caveman Diet takes us back 2.5 million years to the Paleolithic Era where our ancestors’ diets consisted of protein, healthy fats, and less carbohydrates. 

“Paleo Diet for Athletes” by Loren Cordain and Joe Friel shows us that even American athletes are eating incorrectly. They state that athletes are not eating enough fresh fruit, seafood, vegetables, and leans meats, but rather taking in too much refined sugar, cereals, and dairy products. Cordain and Friel do present a host of evidence that supports their argument. For example, an article in the New England Journal of Medicine sums up what they are saying very well when it states that: “the time-honored diets with low fat and high carbohydrates do not work with weight loss as well as high protein and low carbohydrates ones do”. 

The anti-vegetarian sentiment and the authors’ apathetic view towards organic food has been attacked by many eco-friendly consumers. However, there are also some vegetarians and eco-friendly consumers who are taking a look at what this diet is promoting. There are a number of points that are made to show that eating meat is not actually worse for the environment and that in some cases it’s better: 

1. Sustainable agriculture relies heavily on grass fed livestock to provide manure to use instead of chemical fertilizers and to encourage plant growth. 
2. Soy production has increased because it’s a staple in many vegetarians diet, but it is responsible for intense deforestation in South American countries like Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina. 
3. Cheese can be more harmful to the environment than meats like chicken and pork. 
4. The greenhouse gas emissions from transporting fruit, vegetables, and cereals is more detrimental than that of chicken, fish, and red meat according to a study done by Christopher Weber and H. Scott Matthews. 

It should be noted that the Paleo Diet is not intend to market itself as an environmentally friendly diet. It is, in fact, simply trying to move away from foods that are frozen, packaged, processed, high in fat, and environmentally detrimental. It strives to promote fresh food, seeds, nuts and low environmental impact foods. It is unlikely that the skepticism many environmentalists have regarding meat will ever dissipate, but trends like the Paleo Diet shed some light on the existing discrepancies of our current lifestyle choices. This diet makes us think more critically about our food. 

--
Food on the Table is an online community where users can enjoy exchanging ideas, search for healthier recipes and options, and learn more about eating healthy. Meal Planning is a key feature of the community, where you can keep track of what you intake.
 
Sep 8, 2011

Blogger Shirt Giveaway



It's giveaway time! I was so happy with last month's giveaway, that I thought of having another one. Up for grabs is your choice of any design of blogger shirts from none other than BloggerShirts.com. There are many designs to choose from, and each design is available in ladies, men, and unisex fits.
Show your love for blogging with these cool shirts, and be proud! Having these is easy, and you just need to do ONE simple thing to be included in the raffle.

Required:
  1. Join weekday Potluck at least once. All you have to do is post anything related to food. It can be a recipe, a food photo, or food you ate in a restaurant. - 1 entry each week you join.
  2. Please comment on this post to let me know that you joined, together with your name and email.

Optional: 
  1. Like Sassy Chef of Facebook and share this giveaway - 1 entry
  2. Follow Sassy Chef on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway - 1 entry
  3. Blog about this giveaway - 3 entries
  4. Follow Sassy Chef on GFC  - 1 entry

This giveaway will end at October 5, 2011. 

Weekday Potluck 7: Picadillo Soup


During this rainy season, everyone loves a hot and hearty soup to sip, right? Our featured dish for today is Soup Picadillo from Bonz World. :)

I have just visited the participants' linked posts and realized that it does look cluttered for the post to have the sponsor list at the end of each post. As much as I'd love the link exchange, since not all of you want the added clutter, then I am reverting the potluck rules to the original one.

I have another giveaway for this month! Up for grabs is your choice of a Blogger Shirt, to be chosen from none other than BloggerShirts.com. Go to the Giveaway Page. :)

Sample prize (many designs to choose from):
Sep 5, 2011

Pandan Chicken Recipe

 

It's been so long since I last cooked. There's a lot going on in my life right now as my career is already starting, and the rainy weather has been draining all my energy away. Just this morning the sun finally peeked and stayed throughout the day, and I saw our pandan plants (screwpine leaves) in the garden, lush and green, waiting for me to pick on their wonderful foliage.



Now I don't want to make some pandan-flavored dessert, but I do want to cook pandan chicken. I've been eating a lot of it before, but I've never actually tried to cook some. The thought of eating sticky pandan flavored bite-sized chicken is so welcome right now. So here's my first try, and it came out delicious. You might want to adjust the seasonings or taste if you're not used to it. :)



Pandan Chicken Recipe

Ingredients
  • a bunch of pandan leaves
  • 8 pcs chicken thigh filletscut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 inch piece ginger, peeled and grated finely
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 1/2 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp asian fish sauce
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

Cooking Directions

  1. In a deep bowl, combine the chicken pieces with all the ingredients above except the pandan leaves.
  2. Leave at the fridge to marinate for two hours.
  3. Lay a piece of chicken on one end of the pandan leaf and roll tightly. The chicken will shrink a bit during cooking so it's better to roll tight.
  4. Secure the end with a toothpick.
  5. Deep fry until golden brown.
  6. Remove the toothpicks and serve hot.
Sep 1, 2011

ChikBoy's Lechon Cebu



My sister has been raving about ChikBoy being a great fast food to eat in, and she claims that their lechon cebu was something you would like to eat when you're on a budget and still want some comfort food. It was weird when I heard her say it, because she is not fond of fatty foods, and she hardly ever likes any fast food joint.

But then again, with the gloomy weather making me lose all my mojo in posting and doing my oDesk jobs, maybe comfort food in the form of roast whole pork cut into bite-sized pieces isn't such a bad idea. I was a bit turned off by the time the plate got to us, because the meat was all greasy. But hey, what's lechon without the fat, right?



So I may have had a lot of high expectations for this one, but at the end of the day, I had better tasting lechon than this one. No, not from Metro Manila, but the ones I had from the provinces. But Chikboy's lechon cebu is yummy, and their vinegar dip that's light and different than usual does amp up the flavor a lot. :) And yes, we did indulge, but not too much. The staff was friendly and kept offering us another free bowl of rice, even though we kept declining.

Weekday Potluck #6: Potato Croquettes + Giveaway

Won't you love those cute little potato croquettes from My Twisted Recipes? They look good, and my brothers and I could eat these all day!

As I noticed that I haven't been on the mood lately to post anything on my blog, nor even go to other blogs and read away, my traffic slowed down a bit. It's not a remarkable decrease, but it does tell me that I have to get out of bed despite the horrible weather.

So, to make things better, and to make up for not promoting my blog and the Weekday Potluck meme well, I am starting the -Ber months with a little giveaway. :) I was so happy with the blogger shirt that Peek My Style is sending over to me, that I was inspired to give away a Blogger Shirt of your choice to you guys as well. For international members, I would ask BloggerShirts.com if they can ship to your country, and if they don't, I'll send you Paypal cash instead. :)

The mechanics:
  1. Join weekday Potluck every week. - 1 entry each week (required)
  2. Refer other bloggers (at least one) to join us here, and ask them to put "I was referred by my friend, your name, to join Weekday Potluck." in their post. - 2 entries per referral (optional)
  3. Like Sassy Chef of Facebook and share this giveaway (optional) - 1 entry
  4. Follow Sassy Chef on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway (optional) - 1 entry
  5. Blog about this giveaway (optional) - 2 entries
This giveaway will end at October 5, 2011. Have a nice day! :)


The sponsors for this week are:



Aug 25, 2011

Weekday Potluck #5: Calamari


I'm a big fan of calamari, those battered rings of squid coated in a rich batter and deep fried to a crisp. Served with rice, or on its own with a sweet-spicy vinegar dip, this simple dish is definitely a winner for both kids and adults alike. This yummy treat is from Mymy, the wonderful author of My Bric-a-Brac.

Here are the list of sponsors that you need to place at the end of your post if you wish to be included in the weekly link exchange:





Aug 24, 2011

Mercato Centrale: Ha Yuan's Chilled Taho


I'm a big fan of taho and soy milk. We used to have our own soy milk maker here at home, but it's not working anymore. Soy milk that's missing from our diet is tolerable, but to have our morning servings of hot, steaming cups of silken tofu glazed with sugar syrup and tapioca balls is something else. I wondered why our taho vendor has gone missing, turns out he was selling in the afternoons, carrying two large containers of flavored taho. 

On a recent project with City Delivery, they also sent me Manang's famous twice-fried chicken and Ha Yuan's chilled taho, aside from the Bale Dutung meal. What I love about this taho, though, that made me feature it is that it is so silky and cold, with a light sugar syrup that won't make you guilty when you indulge. Yes, I love pouring lots of arnibal (caramelized sugar) in my taho. And what's better is that their taho tastes sooo good with fruits because of the lighter syrup, and it makes a great and healthy afternoon snack!

Aug 18, 2011

Pineapple Fried Rice Recipe



Pineapple fried rice is Thai in origin. The sweetness of the pineapple chunks combines well with the wonderful aroma and flavor of the bell peppers, and the salty taste of soy sauce. It usually has a moderate amount of heat, but since I made this one from scratch on a lazy morning, no chilis for me. It's not as colorful as the ones made with bright red chilies and red bell peppers, but I can assure you, it really brightened up my day!

Here's my version of a Thai-inspired pineapple fried rice recipe, all made from what I could find in the kitchen. What's wonderful about this is that it doesn't have a strong or too savory flavor that would overpower the taste of whatever meat or fish dish you're having with it. It's mild and sweet, and it reminds me of our younger days in the province where we eat our meals with fresh ripe mango chunks mixed in with the rice.


Pineapple Fried Rice Recipe


Ingredients
  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, diced
  • 1 pc large bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • a few chopped scallions for garnish

Cooking Directions

  1. Combine the olive and sesame oils.
  2. In a wok, heat the oil. Saute the garlic, ginger, and bell pepper until fragrant.
  3. Add the cooked rice and pineapples. Stir until well mixed with the oil.
  4. Pour the soy sauce and oyster sauce and mix well until evenly distributed.
  5. Heat through, and top with chopped scallions.
  6. Serve hot.

Aug 17, 2011

Weekday Potluck #4: Fish and Pie


This week's Weekday Potluck schedule was delayed for two reasons, one was that I was sick and couldn't put it up, and that I wanted to move it closer to the weekend, where most of us including me indulge in so much food. :)

To start the party, here are three featured participants from last week:


Fish and Chips by Jenn of I Live To Eat!

Salmon Cakes by Pattie of Olla Podrida

and Buko (Coconut) Pie from Maiylah of Picture Clusters

I would like to make a few changes to the potluck, and make things a bit more interesting. We are going to have an automatic link exchange here at the potluck. Here is the rundown of the mechanics:

  • Each week, all the participants who submit their links to Weekday Potluck will be included in a list.
  • For each following week, those included in the previous week's list will be placed at the end of the post of each participant, so everyone can have their links exchanged.
  • So if you participated last week, you are included in the sponsors for this week. Those who do not include the link list at the end of their post will not be included in the list.
  • Participants for this week who follow the guidelines will be included in next week's sponsor list.
  • There's no more need to place the button at every post, instead the small link list will take its place.
  • This is a great opportunity to widen your scope of readers and boost your buzz. :) Let me know what you think :)
  • This is the test run, if everything goes smoothly, then the automatic link exchange will be a keeper. 
Here are the list of sponsors that you need to place at the end of your post:


    Aug 16, 2011

    SM Master Chefs 2011: Jonathan Chua



    SM Hypermarket has just reached its 10th anniversary, and to celebrate, well-known chefs are giving their Cooking Marathons and Demos live in many Hypermarket branches nationwide. From July to September, every week there will be cooking demos in different branches. To catch their wonderful events in your area, see the Cooking Marathon Schedule. Apart from the Cooking Marathon, they are also giving away a kitchen makeover to one lucky winner. SM Hypermarket will also be holding Supersized Cook-off Series, so watch out! With only a little more than a month to go, make sure you don't miss out on the culinary events SM Master Chefs have to offer.

    Yesterday's Cooking Marathon was held at SM Hypermarket in Sucat, Paranaque, with Chef Jonathan T. Chua on the spotlight. He finished Hotel Restaurant and Institutional Management from De La Salle College St. Benilde, as well as a graduate of California Culinary Academy with the Associates Degree for Culinary Arts and Baking. Chef Jonathan started off the event with a little background of the sponsoring brand, San Miguel Food Corporation, and went off to the cooking demos of four dishes for today. There was audience participation, a Q&A throughout the demo, as well as raffle prizes for the participants.

    Here's a quick rundown of recipes featured on yesterday's event:


    Star Ranchero Rice 
    (click for recipe)


    (click for recipe)