Archive for June, 2009

Diet Food

curried tofu and sauteed bean sprouts, packed for my lunch tomorrow

tomorrow's lunch: curried tofu and sauteed bean sprouts

I’ve been bad. I have been careless about my food in take and feel that I am starting to put on a little weight. So before I pack on the pounds and sink deeper into that ‘my-diet-starts-tomorrow’ attitude, I am back into a more disciplined eating regimen. This means, rice only when necessary (meaning, only when I have a run), more vegetables and protein, and if possible, no fried food.  As for beer…well, let’s just not go that far.

Whenever I want to lose a few pounds, I always turn to my favorite diet food – tofu and bean sprouts. I was a little tired of eating it together, yasai itame style. So tonight, I fancied my tofu up a bit and turned it into curried tofu. As usual, I made my own curry paste consisting of garlic, onions, lemongrass, corriander, turmeric and cayenne pepper. Making your own paste makes a whole lot of difference when it comes to taste and you definitely want your diet food to be appetizing, right?

So this is me committing to being good again. As I post this, I promise myself to be a healthier eater (ba-bye, duck and starchy white rice) and to keep off the weight I worked so hard on losing.

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Sango! The Master Burger

sango

I’ve known of Sango for a while now and have heard only good things about their burgers. I just never bothered to go because I always found Makati Cinema Square to be an inconvenient location. So it was fortunate that the after so many years, they finally decided to open another branch at a more accessible mall, Poweplant in Rockwell.

Today, before watching Transformers, Mister M and I decided to grab lunch at newly opened branch of this famous burger joint. The restaurant itself is quite spacious and well-lit, with very comfortable booths and  ample tables for the lunch crowd. We also noticed how the place was adorned with Japanese comic books and was even showing Japanese music videos. It was quite entertaining and added a very quirky feel to the place.

BLT cheeseburger

BLT cheeseburger

Yakinuku rice burger

Yakinuku rice burger

As for the food, I was quite pleased. Mister M ordered their famous Yakinuku Rice Burger (P110) while I ordered their BLT Burger with cheese (P125) and their fresh salad (P75) with a simple sesame and soy sauce dressing. I wasn’t that thrilled about the rice burger only because my taste buds cannot fathom the concept of rice as a bun but Mister M was very happy with his food. He insisted that I try the beef and it was actually very tasty, but I was saving my appetite for my burger. When my burger arrived, I knew I had ordered right. This BLT burger had the right amount of meat and vegetables, making a very balanced meal. Although I was intimidated by the size of this burger and was wondering how to partake of it, I was also very excited to taste it and disappointed I was not 😛 I loved that there were so much vegetables and I could really taste the grilled beef. The bacon was cooked well and was not tough to eat and went well with a slice of tomato. I quietly enjoyed my burger and was pleased to have found a new place to frequent at my favorite mall. We also ordered their fries which were perfectly cooked and not to greasy. For my drink, I ordered their iced green tea. I was expecting a sweet drink but this was basically green tea on ice. T’was a very healthy drink 🙂

you can actually order and pay at this express kiosk. quite efficient don't you think?

you can actually order and pay at this express kiosk. quite efficient don't you think?

I left Sango full and wondering what took me so long in trying this great-tasting and affordable burger. Rockwell residents are lucky to have a place like this nearby and I now have another reason for loving Powerplant Mall.

other burgers to choose from

other sandwiches to choose from

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The Land of Umami and the Search for the Perfect Duck

I finally got my first stamp on my passport for this year. The last time I was in Hong Kong was over 10 years ago so I was quite excited and anxious to see how the place had changed (or not). I was always with my Mom whenever I would go to Hong Kong which meant that I basically just followed her around. This would be my first solo trip there so I knew it would feel like it was my first time.

my first dinner at HK

my first HK dinner

Other than being excited about seeing my good friend, I was also quite psyched to have some authentic Chinese food, specifically Peking duck.  During my 5 day-search for that tasty feathered friend, I noticed that there’s a common aroma and taste to Chinese cuisine and I realized what it is – umami! And apparently,  umami is also now considered as a new taste! As in our taste buds have a certain area that is specific for umami. I don’t know much about umami except for the fact that it makes food taste absolutely delicious and that it gives me a dizzy feeling after each meal.

shining, shimmering, splendid!

peking duck from Peking Garden - shining, shimmering, splendid!

As for the search for the duck – I was quite successful.  Although I didn’t get to try the one at the famed Spring Deer, I was very happy with the one at Peking Garden. I can’t imagine a duck getting any better and fattier than that. Even though I knew my cholesterol levels were shooting up as I consumed one slice after another, I was in Pekingese heaven. I constantly reminisce about the distinct flavors of that duck and wish I was back in Hong Kong to finish off carcass that we brought home from teh restaurant. How I regret not hand-carrying that back home.

I could probably eat a plate-ful by myself, but you'd have to take me to the ER after.

I could probably eat a plate-ful by myself, but you'd have to take me to the ER after.

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Hot Pot / Steamboat

After a few days of sunshine, it rained again today and when it rains, it’s time for soup.

hot pot at home

hot pot at home

Our hot pot at home is comprised mostly of fishballs, meatballs, the most wonderful broth and of course, beef.  We didn’t have fresh fish tonight but I didn’t really miss it.

rib eye

rib eye

You gotta love the rain for inspiring meals like this one 🙂

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Brunch

I woke up (quite late) this morning and was pleasantly surprised to find breakfast prepared by my niece.

Ham and Cheese Crepes made by my niece

Ham and Egg crepe made by my niece

What a nice surprise 🙂 I can always count on her to be thoughtful. Thank you, Ge!

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Mood Altering Food

I haven’t always been a fan of chocolate. I often preferred chips over chocolates and never went out of my way to have this for dessert. Recently, and probably because of all my baking, I have always felt the need to have a chocolate fix after every meal. Not good for the waistline but definitely beneficial for the soul.

tsokolote eh

tsokolote eh

In preparation for tomorrow’s 5k fun run, I had a (huge) bowl of pasta for dinner. I didn’t really have anything planned for dessert until my niece came down with a brilliant idea.  Churros with tsokolate eh (inspired by my sister)! I excitedly searched for out batidor and took charge of the tsokolate eh while my niece started with the churro batter.

my niece making the churros

my niece making the churros

The chocolate milk took no time at all to make, but before trying it out, I remembered a scene from Chocolat where Juliette Binoche offers Judie Dench a cup of hot chocolate. In this scene, Judie Dench senses a peculiar taste in the chocolate and is tickled pink by it, only to find out that a dash of pepper had miraculously altered her mood from sour to giddy.  Not that I needed any uplifting but it seemed like a combination to unique to pass up. True enough, it was extremely delicious. The richness of the chocolate paired with fieriness of the cayenne can excite anyone instantly and truly perk up the lowest of moods. It’s amazing what food can do!

tsokolate eh with a dash of cayenne pepper

tsokolate eh with a dash of cayenne pepper

It’s going to take a lot of self-control not to make this every night. Especially with the rainy season creeping in, this hot drink will surely make it’s way into our hands more than needed. But hey, i’m not complaining.

What food makes you happy and giddy?

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Chicken Liver Paté

saladYou either love chicken liver or you hate it. I happen to love it and get a hankering for it every once in a while. I like it grilled or cooked a’la bistek tagalog and smothered with white onions. Thanks to Marketman’s post on pate de foie gras, I was inspired to make something similar – not quite as good but enough to satisfy a craving – chicken liver paté.

Chicken liver paté is quite simple to put together and contrary to it’s rich taste, is actually very cheap to make. All you basically need are your chicken livers, butter, onions, more spices and a little alcohol – nothing you wouldn’t normally find in your pantry or ref. In case you don’t keep chicken livers in stock, the good ol’ reliable neighborhood Monterey is always there to save the day.

I wanted to have my paté for lunch but didn’t want to have it with bread alone. That seemed a little too blah. So instead, I had it with a simple salad of romaine lettuce, avocados, roasted almonds drizzled with a honey lemon vinaigrette. I find that chicken liver paté always needs something sweet to go along with it and the honey seemed to do the trick.

the perfect bite

the perfect bite

This was a very light but satisfying lunch.  It could’ve used a nice glass of wine though 🙂

Chicken Liver Paté

  • 1/4 kilo chicken livers
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • sage leaves
  • thyme
  • 1/4 c. brandy
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • salt and pepper

Soak chicken livers in milk for 2 hours then drain.

In a large skillet, saute onions in butter until soft. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken livers and cook in medium heat until brown.  Deglaze pan using the alcohol and wait until alcohol dissolves. Add in sage and thyme, salt and pepper.

Blend cooked livers in a food processor and serve.

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