In Praise of Women

women presidents
Chile’s president Michelle Bachelet (L) and Argentine’s newly elected president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

Guest Post by: Ferdinand Luyun | Most women of today are focused on personal and professional growth, building good family values, performing community services and creating friendships. Whether you want to give back to your community, develop your individual talents in speaking, writing and other areas or make great new friends, women especially mothers are always there to lend a helping hand. They deserve all the deep appreciation for the positive difference that they are making and contributing for a better world. Continue reading In Praise of Women

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Alkaline Spring-time Soup

Alkaline Spring-time Soup

A Reblog | By: Trupp Cooking School  | Just in time to celebrate spring!

Alkaline Spring-time Soup Recipe Continue reading Alkaline Spring-time Soup

Fresh summer rolls with basil, avocado, kale + spicy garlic peanut sauce

A Reblog from: thisrawsomeveganlife.com | You can make these totally raw by leaving out the vermicelli and using collard greens or seaweed instead of rice paper. Otherwise, let’s get riced!

Okay apparently “riced” is a legitimate word because word check didn’t put a squiggly red line under it. Who knew.
Continue reading Fresh summer rolls with basil, avocado, kale + spicy garlic peanut sauce

Sauteed Bittermelon with Egg

By: Sherry Sorono | We call it “Ampalaya”. In the Visayas Region of the Philippines, they call it “Amargoso” because of its bitterness. In Southeast Asia like in India, Pakistan and Banladesh; they call it “Bittergourd” or “Bittermellon”. Photo credit: Tastebuds Unlimited by Beth Celis

Ugly they are! and bitter too. But it is that bitterness that health expert s claim rids the body of its toxicity. We have gotten around that bitterness issue by concocting so many recipes, versions and twists in dealing with it.

Chopped in thin slices, its innards are scraped away by a spoon and then the slices are sprinkled with a little salt and after they are mixed in a mixing bowl, they are squeezed to take a little f that bitterness out.
Continue reading Sauteed Bittermelon with Egg

Health Benefits of Water Spinach

I bet most of us know Popeye and his very famous energy booster, the mighty spinach. When we were kids, we probably thought that it can only be found on cartoons, but wait, did you know that we have our very own type of Spinach growing here in the Philippines?

This tropical plant is the Water Spinach, with a scientific name of Ipomea Aquatica, or more commonly known here in our country as our very own “Kangkong”. You wouldn’t have any difficulties in finding this vegetable as this is popular among Filipinos, offered at a very cheap price at $0.25 per bundle (that’s about Philippine Peso: 10) over at the market or grocery supermarkets. Continue reading Health Benefits of Water Spinach

Tips for Growing a Kitchen Herb Garden

Growing and Using Culinary Herbs

By: Marie Iannotti, Reblogged from: About.com Guide

herbs

Probably the most popular herbs to grow and use are the culinary herbs. Herbs used for cooking and seasoning can be incorporated into your existing flower or vegetable beds, grown separately near the kitchen door or kept handy on the kitchen counter. Growing culinary herbs is very similar to growing vegetables. The two most important considerations are to harvest at full flavor and to never use any fertilizer or pesticide on them that isn’t labeled for use on edible plants. Here are some more tips for growing flavorful culinary herbs.

Planting & Growing Kitchen Herbs

  • Annual herbs are inexpensive and easy to start from seed. Woody, perennial herbs establish better if you purchase seedlings or take cuttings.
  • Plant your herbs in a rich, well-draining soil and avoid heavy feeding with supplemental fertilizer. The scent and flavor of herbs tends to concentrate when they are grown in slightly lean conditions. (Going to the extreme and starving them or growing them in poor soil will have the opposite effect. The plants will be stressed and stunted.)
  • Limit pesticide use to an absolute minimum. If you must spray, use the least toxic solution.

Design Considerations for a Kitchen Herb Garden

  • Keep them handy. You will use them more often if they are within easy reach. And their beauty and scent will probably inspire your cooking creativity.
  • Culinary herbs can do double duty as ornamental plants. Parsley, especially the curly variety, makes a wonderful edging plant, if you don’t have rabbits nearby. Tall herbs, like bay laurel, can be potted and used as focal points. Herbs with variegated leaves, like golden or tri-color sage, are great in mixed containers. Don’t let the notion that these are seasoning herbs limit your use of them.
  • Herbs that tend to spread, like mint and oregano, can be grown in containers. The containers can be sunk into the ground, in the garden, or used as accent pots. Just don’t let the tips of the plants hang over and touch the ground, or they will root and grow.

Tips for Using Culinary Herbs

  • Most annual herbs taste their best before they flower. Once the annual herbs flower, they older leaves begin to decline and new leaves are smaller and bitter.
  • Pinch and use often. Even young plants need to be pinched back to encourage them to branch out and become full. Annual herbs, like basil, can be pinched when they are 3-4 inches tall.
  • If your herb plants begin setting flowers in earnest, shear back the whole plant by 1/3 and try to start using them more frequently.

Growing Tips for Specific Herbs

Basil Garlic Lavender
Mint Oregano Parsley
Rosemary Sage Thyme

7 Old Myths About Cooking Pasta That Need to Go Away!

There are many myths about cooking pasta that simply aren’t correct and yet they persist. Read on for a few that we would like to see disappear! Photo credit: ouritaliantable.com

Oil in the water. Don’t add oil to the pasta water. It will only make your pasta slippery, causing the sauce to run off.

Drain well. Don’t drain every last bit of water off of the pasta. A little water is often good for the sauce and sometimes you will even want to add more (see ‘saving a scoop of water’ in this post.)
Continue reading 7 Old Myths About Cooking Pasta That Need to Go Away!

Top Reasons to Shop at a Farmers’ Market

Why shop at a Farmers Market?

Access to fresh, locally grown foods, for starters. That may be one of the best reasons, but there are many more. Farmers markets have fruits and vegetables at the peak of the growing season. This means produce is at its freshest and tastes the best. The food is typically grown near where you live, not thousands of miles away or another country. Shopping at farmers markets also supports your local farmers and keeps the money you spend on food closer to your neighborhood.
Continue reading Top Reasons to Shop at a Farmers’ Market

What? White Rice Better Than Brown?

A Reblog from: TheHealthyHomeEconomist | By Sarah  Thanks to Manang Kusinera for the link!  

My last videoblog titled Healthy Chinese drew some comments from folks questioning my choice of rice. Why was I using white basmati rice instead of brown?  Isn’t brown rice the healthier choice, after all?

Ok, I’ll spill the beans, rice.   Here are my reasons …

Truth is, neither my husband or myself have ever enjoyed brown rice.   Every time we eat it, it just seems to not sit very well in our stomachs.  It, well, uh, sits like a brick for lack of a better word.
Continue reading What? White Rice Better Than Brown?

Sweden Becomes First Western Nation to Reject Low-fat Diet Dogma

Sweden has become the first Western nation to develop national dietary guidelines that reject the popular low-fat diet dogma in favor of  low-carb high-fat nutrition advice.

The switch in dietary advice followed the publication of a two-year study by the independent Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment. The committee reviewed 16,000 studies published through May 31, 2013.

Swedish doctor, Andreas Eenfeldt, who runs the most popular health blog in Scandinavia (DietDoctor.com) published some of the highlights of this study in English:
Continue reading Sweden Becomes First Western Nation to Reject Low-fat Diet Dogma

Health Benefits of ” Mint ”

Mentha (also known as Mint, from Greek míntha,Linear B  mi-ta)is a genus of plants in the family Lamiaceae (mint family).The species  are not clearly distinct and estimates of the number of species varies from 13 to 18. Hybridization between some of the species occurs naturally. Many other hybrids as well as numerous cultivars are known in cultivation.
Continue reading Health Benefits of ” Mint ”

The Language of Food

chit juan 2By Chit U. Juan | On a recent trip to Legaspi City in the southeastern tip of the main island of Luzon in the Philippines, I was to attend a dinner with academics who were guests and speakers at the 3rd International Colloquium of the Bicol University Graduate School. As soon as we reached the mall, the rain poured and there was no way I could even alight from the car to join my party. Instead, we made a quick decision to join the dinner of Father Jovic and my colleagues at the Social Enterprise Development Center where I sit in the Board as an Independent Director.

So in the rain we went to find this special place called Iking’s or Mr. D’s Pizza as it is written on the menu.
Continue reading The Language of Food

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