10 October 2015

Spicy Asian Salad with Tofu, Peanuts and Shrimp

It may not compare to a tender, juicy beef burger but it can go down smoothly to a much better digestion and abundant nutrients backing up every single forkful that you eat. Shrimp, tofu and and fresh salad leaves. That is a very healthy choice that your body would probably be thankful for right now. And it has exciting blends of flavors too. If you love Asian food, then hop right in and find out how good this salad is.

Easy Roasted Cauliflower

I have to be honest, cauliflower is one of my least favorite vegetables. There are only three cauliflower dishes that I can really enjoy and this Easy Roasted Cauliflower is the fourth one.  Mentioning the other three recipes, I think I should share them with you. I suggest that you try them because they are worth your time and effort. Pasta with Cauliflower  and Raisins is a traditional Sicilian dish that my mother-in-law taught me, Slow Cooker Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole is a simple and healthy vegetarian dish that you can pop in your slow cooker anytime and lastly, the Roasted Cauliflower Soup which is one of the 3 detox soups that are great to have on the days you want to go light.

08 October 2015

Baked Coconut Shrimp

These shrimp have the hearty notes of a tropical island. I can imagine the sun, sand and the sea and I can also smell the coconut. Coconut and shrimp are two of the biggest representatives of tropical islands because they grow there in abundance with superior quality. These shrimp are simply coated with the coconut along with some Panko then baked in the oven. And the lime - don't forget to include it because it gives a much better taste. It is more aromatic than lemons so if you can, try not to substitute with this recipe.

06 October 2015

Social Media Day (#SMDayExpo) at the Expo 2015 in Milan, Italy

Travel the world in one place. At the EXPO in Milan, you can do just that. To see everything, you need days to see most of the 1.1 million square meters of sprawling area of exhibitions of incredible pavilions from different parts of the world. Left and right, as you walk along its grand main corridor, various participating countries, 145 in total, showcase pavilions of every imaginable architecture exhibiting their unique interpretation of the EXPO's theme: Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.

02 October 2015

Iced Coffee with Homemade Muscovado-Coconut Creamer

I took out my socks today. I have been going around with sandaled feet for the past four months that it feels strange to start covering up again. I had an extra-long summer this year because I went to the Philippines (tropical weather - hot!) at the end of May and when I came back to Italy in July, summer just started. This had been my longest summer and I guess, I am ready to say goodbye to it and make room for some autumn cold. But I am not letting go of it just like that because I still have a coffee drink to share with you. It's a very refreshing one with loads of ice and an exotic flavor of coconut and muscovado sugar together.

01 October 2015

Sautèed Tofu and Vegetables in Oyster Sauce

The local fruit and vegetable vendor seems to have a bright smile everytime his shop is full of shoppers. True, for economic reason, that is a probably the best reason behind that curved angle but I think there is more to that amused smile than just good business. He seems to be the kind of person who likes to promote good health and good food through what he knows best - the fresh vegetables and fruits that he is selling every single day. I have a feeling that if doesn't need to pay his bills, he will stuff all our bags with fresh produce that we can cook and feed our families with - for free!

Frozen Blueberry Cheesecake Balls

As much as blueberries as very healthy, they are also very fun to be creative with. It remains one of my favorite ingredients in making something good, delicious, purply and healthy in the kitchen. The kind that pulls my daughter's attention because she is crazy about everything purple. These Frozen Blueberry Cheesecake Balls are are great to pop in the mouth (maybe if you make them lightly smaller than my version).

30 September 2015

Honey Sriracha Chicken

Sweet and spicy at the same time. It has all the Asian prints in them. This Honey Sriracha Chicken is a hit in my own table. Chicken, for that matter is always well accepted by my kids and on a step closer to healthier options, they even prefer the white meat. Lucky! Soy sauce, honey, sriracha, ginger, lime are the main ingredients that work together in this simple and delicious dish. It is a kind of chicken meal that is perfect for a weeknight dinner. It requires easy ingredients that you most probably already have at home and cooking doesn't require so much expertise in the kitchen. It's really great when you are pressed for time.

29 September 2015

Pasta with Green Beans and Pesto

Green is the color that makes imaginary allergies come out from kids because well, vegetables have that color. It's funny when I serve the greenest of all greens on the table and see pouts and big eyes. Oh, and complaints like I am mistreating them. Sigh. I was a kid too and I also went through that green allergy phase. Green food only goes with the right age I guess and I will wait for the time to happen when they request for a green dish.

28 September 2015

How to Make Eggless Mayonnaise

In the kitchens, whipping up dishes has completely evolved to a more versatile one. We can create them according our needs and most especially, according to how we want them. Gluten-free diets, vegetarians, vegans, there are no limitations anymore because with so many available ingredients we have nowadays, anything is possible. Let's start with mayonnaise. Mayonnaise is commonly done with eggs, olive oil (or extra virgin, depends on where you are), lemon juice or vinegar and salt. Vegans can't eat it because of the presence of animal products. You can create a simple one at home without the eggs too if you are vegan. Substitute them with plant-derived unsweetened milk like kamut, hemp, almond, hazelnut, oat, etc.). Just put everything in the immersion blender and press to mix until it becomes creamy and gets that mayo-like consistency.

25 September 2015

3 Simple Oreo Desserts

At one time or another, emergencies touch our kitchens especially when we are expecting company in short notice. Fortunately, almost all of us have a pack of Oreos in the cupboard. It's one of those necessities that we grab at the supermarket without thinking, whether or not we have kids at home. Only because we are kids at heart anyway. I am guilty of taking nips from my kids snacks every now and then. What I loved when I was a kid remains a favorite until I am all grown up and Oreos is one of them. 

Here, I have three kinds of desserts that are simple to prepare and use easy ingredients including Oreos.

22 September 2015

Strawberry Sunshine Smoothie

Summer has officially ended but not just yet in my kitchen. If there is anything else that can make anyone in the house rise and shine in the morning with anticipation, this has got to be it. The vivid red and yellow mirror the beautiful colors of a summer sunrise and it's just the right breakfast to have to brighten your morning. But it doesn't stop there because this smoothie is fully loaded with vitamins and minerals because it has three kinds of fruits in it plus almond milk. Strawberries, mangoes and oranges give a full dose of Vitamin C, antioxidants and fibers that our bodies need plus some protein from the almond milk.

19 September 2015

Quinoa Meatballs

Quinoa should be the one of the most popular ingredient that every health-conscious person uses especially vegetarians and vegans. It is a pseudocereal meaning that it is not a true cereal and it is not even a member of the true grass family. So quinoa, which family do you belong to? It is a chenopod and an Amaranthaceae so it is related to tumbleweeds, Swiss chard, spinach, beetroots and amaranth, which is also a pseudocereal. Quinoa is a high source of protein, antioxidants and fibers.

18 September 2015

Quinoa Chicken Nuggets

My kids would always think of me as a very bad navigator in the commercial areas because I keep on losing my way around. Little do they know that I actually do it on purpose so I can circumvent fast food chains. But don't get me wrong. My kids do eat burgers, fries and chicken nuggets in fast food chains. What's the happiness of childhood without them anyway? I just try control the frequency of our trips there and most especially, I am trying to educate them in knowing what they are eating.

16 September 2015

Lemon Basil Bars

If you love lemons, then you are in my circle of citrus-loving friends. We are bound by one great aromatic, yellow thing in the kitchen. Lemon is one of my favorite ingredients to use in the kitchen because not only can I cook with them but I can also use them as natural deodorizers in the dishwasher, make pitchers of juice, liqueurs, sorbets, use them in dipping sauces addictively and of course, bake with them. I can go on how beautiful and delicious lemons are but I will just stick to these Lemon Basil Bars.

14 September 2015

True Lemon: Orange Basil Lemon Water

When I was in the Philippines, I was given by Manila Global Brand a few sachets of True Lemon to try, aside from the Honey Stix. They are crystallized cold pressed lemon that you can use as how you would use real lemons. Living in Italy, lemons can be found everywhere easily and to boot, we have different kinds of lemon trees in our garden. But having some True Lemon sachets on hand, I wanted to try them out because when I happen to find myself without lemons at home, I can use True Lemon instead.

13 September 2015

Nature's Kick Honey Stix: 100% Healthy Honey Snacks for Your Kids

Honey Stix has everything that kids (and maybe adults too!) would get crazy about. I won't deny the fact that I did have a straw dangling in my mouth while I was photographing them. I am a kid at heart and I couldn't resist popping one in my mouth because I had to keep on looking at them through my lens. It's not easy, believe me, reading all the flavors in front of me. Then my daughter was hovering around like a bee asking me continuously if she can already have one.

12 September 2015

Quinoa and Veggie Sliders

When you want those mouthwatering sliders but absolutely cannot, there is a perfect solution for a very healthy vegetarian or vegan bite. Instead of the meat patties, make them with mashed chickpeas and quinoa then accompany them with grilled veggies. Flavoring them with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil makes them tasty as you want them but still retaining the healthy side of it. 

11 September 2015

Chocolate Avocado Pops

Little picky-eaters, beware! Your parents have a secret weapon to put some nutritious food in your bodies! Yes we do, with these Chocolate Avocado Pops loaded with fresh bananas, avocados and almond milk. The chocolate that you see is actually bananas in disguise. Don't worry, the kids won't notice it unless you tell or leave the banana peel lying around of course. My youngest is crazy about anything chocolate and when these were ready for eating, she was right beside me to claim her share. I gave her one and I carefully watched her reaction.

10 September 2015

Coconut Soup with Chicken, Mushrooms, Corn and Spinach

I won't disguise it. It is another coconut milk recipe. If you are like me who grew up in a place where coconut trees are everywhere and heaps of fresh and dried coconuts are in all market corners then you must understand that I am accustomed to eating food with coconut. We had a couple of tall trees in our backyard when I was small and we would drown ourselves with the freshest coconut water and pulp just minutes from falling from the trees when someone talented enough manages to climb the 99 steps carved out in the tree trunks. But don't confuse coconut water from coconut milk because they are different from each other. Coconut water comes from fresh coconuts while coconut milk comes from the pulp of dried coconuts that are grated then squeezed.

09 September 2015

Bread and Mango Pudding with Mango Coconut Cream

The reason why I am sharing a lot of Asian recipes lately is that I am way behind in writing my posts here. These recipes are the ones that I created for the sites I develop them for when I was vacationing in the Philippines three months ago. Imagine that, three months have actually passed. If you love Asian food, then stick around some more because there are still some recipes I have in store for you. But to give a variation, I am trying to mix my posts with Italian and other dishes as I move on with my work. If you might have noticed, I was able to write two posts in one day yesterday and that hasn't happened in ages. I am trying to get back to my old routine again and hopefully, I get to be better with time management especially with the kids going back to school next week.

08 September 2015

Easy Skillet Lasagna

Lasagna is a classic Italian pasta dish that takes time and effort to make. But over time and the changing of ingredients, like ready lasagna sheets that don't require pre-cooking, preparing it became easier. When I make my usual Lasagne al Ragù (with tomato meat sauce) at home, it takes me time to prepare it and I occupy the kitchen with different pots and pans, bowls and wooden spoons. That's because I cook the ragù in one pot, another pot for the bechamel sauce and another one for the boiling of the lasagna sheets (if I am using the dry ones).  Then spread out on the table are clean dishtowels to dry the cooked lasagna sheets, bowls of grated Parmigiano Reggiano and butter too. In a way of saying, my kitchen comes out quite a mess!

Cilantro-Lime Grilled Sweet Potatoes

I still remember when I made this in the Philippines and I was in our beach house with my family and my siblings' families. I usually cook alone in Italy with the news channel chattering at the background as the only sound in the house (unless the kids are at home). It was a beautiful change to have friendly company and helping hands from others while we moved around the small kitchen and dining area in our beach clothes. Even if this recipe is super simple and easy, extra hands made it more special and perhaps even more delicious because for me, memories count too as a special extra ingredient.

07 September 2015

Purple Yam Restaurant: Launching of the Filipino Food Week in the Netherlands

I have often been asked how the Philippine cuisine is and I always answer in the same way. Confused look, then an explanation that needs a few minutes of listening because it's not as simple as any Asian cuisine. There are a lot of seafood, being an archipelago comprised of more than 7,000 islands. Most of the time they are grilled as is or wrapped in banana leaves then dipped in differents sauces made with citrus fruits, soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar, garlic, chiles and onions. Adobo is the unofficial national dish that everyone loves, even non-Filipinos. There are a lot of variant recipes of adobo from all over the country but the most basic ingredient is vinegar. Coconut is used a lot in Filipino cooking as well as souring agents like vinegar & citrus fruits, soy sauce, fish sauce and ginger. Rice is staple as it is eaten 3 times a day (including breakfast) along with the main course.

02 September 2015

Mini Mango Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust in Jars

Remnants of my memorable trip in the Philippines still remain in my mind and heart as I go back to my regular routine back home. It has been exactly two months and I still do miss so many things that made up my beautiful vacation. Family, friends, food, even the tropical heat that I despised when I was there come to a united reminder that I once lived there, an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands, tropical in every way especially the fruits that I enjoyed the most. Where else can I find such sweet and delicious carabao mangoes but in the Philippines?