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Follow her as she prepares and partakes the "bread for the stomach" in http://beforesixdiet.blogspot.com/ . And while you are full at it, she offers you the "bread for the soul" in her travels by foot and by thoughts in http://footandfire.blogspot.com/ Happy Reading!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hopia in a whole new light

Hopia in a whole new light


 I am no fan of breads. I am no fun of hopia, to be specific. I just buy hopia in die shape when I am tired of sandwiches and biscuits. Since I skip pork hopia, I get to pick mongo hopia.

But last April, I ate hopia in a whole new light. Savor is the word, actually. The hopia I knew is stocky and dry in the inside and just a fine as any other breads to me. But this particular hopia I tasted is soft in the outside, a thinnest layer of flour kneaded in oil. It blends with the inside when I dipped my teeth into it.

When I get in the inside, it is soft and not chewy but I can feel the mashed ube and beans (as the label says it contains) touch the palate. Not only that it contains real ube; they also come in many flavor, singly and in combination --  Mongo,  Red Mongo, Ube, Buko Pandan,  Ube-Pastillas, Ube-Queso, and Ube-Langka. There is also this Mochipia, a hopia with glutinous rice like tikoy inside, in Macapuno flavor. There some lite version, must be low in sugar content, I was told. As for the hopia-baboy with winter melon, I leave it to you to try...

Each colorful pack contains four round hopia and price ranges from P34 to P42. This hopia is exported to USA, Guam, hawaii, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Alaska, Hongkong and Europe as indicated in their colorful box. This was also awarded Superbrands-Philippines in 2007/2008.

This hopia-mania is thanks to my thoughtful cousin who first sent me a box in April and now two more today.... And oh, this hopia is by Eng Bee Tin Chinese Deli.

For interesting peek at the eng bee tin hopia story, here's link to their website:


Wednesday, June 16, 2010


In the land of inventions, necessity is the mother of all inventions. In the corner called kitchen, hunger is the mother of all concoctions. I proved this well when I have a spaghetti pasta inside our Ugly Betty storage, left-over chicken from Chooks-to-go (oven-grilled chicken) and some black pitted olives which I add on my green salad from time to time.

So, another sauce was concocted in my kitchen. It turned out so well and yummy. You can try this for your Father's Day celebration.

1 kg. Spagghetti (I use Ideal pasta as it is made of durum wheat), cooked as per package direction.
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp butter (optional)
3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
2 medium red onions or 1 big white onion, chopped
200g leftover chicken, deboned and flesh cubed or flaked
1 chicken broth cube dissolved in 2 Tbsp. water (optional)
1 kg Clara Ole Three Cheeses tomato sauce
3 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp honey or brown sugar
1 tbsp dried basil leaves (oregano may be used too)
20 olives, sliced into 3 rounds each
Saute garlic and onion in olive oil and butter until the aroma come out. Add chicken and water with broth. Simmer until golden brown. Add the tomato sauce, ketchup, honey or sugar. and dried basil Let simmer and add small amount of water at a time to adjust thickness of the sauce. Add 2/3 of the olives. Remove from fire. Use remaining olives to garnish. Enjoy...


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Nine reasons to drink green tea daily

Nine reasons to drink green tea daily
By Michelle Schoffro Cook, Care2
(Photo: Getty Images)
(Photo: Getty Images)
Have you been wondering “what’s all the fuss about green tea?” Now you can stop wondering and start drinking ... green tea, that is. This flavorful beverage offers many health benefits to anyone who drinks it regularly. Green tea contains a potent plant nutrient known as epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, for short. But don’t fret, you don’t have to keep track of its chemical name to reap the health benefits. Here are nine reasons to start drinking green tea or continue drinking it if you’re already hooked.
1. Green tea is a superb fat fighter. Its active ingredient, EGCG, increases the rate at which fat is burned in your body.
2. It targets belly fat. Research at Tufts University indicates that EGCG in green tea, like other catechins, activate fat-burning genes in the abdomen to speed weight loss by 77 percent.
3. Green tea keeps energy stable by balancing blood sugar levels. EGCG improves insulin use in the body to prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes that can result in fatigue, irritability, and cravings for unhealthy foods.
4. Research shows it may be helpful against lung cancer. In an April 2010 study published in Cancer Prevention Research, EGCG was found to suppress lung cancer cell growth.
5. Green tea may halt colorectal cancer. In numerous other studies, EGCG appears to inhibit colorectal cancers.
6. In research, it appears to cause prostate cancer cells to commit suicide. A March 2010 study in Cancer Science indicated that EGCG aids the body by causing prostate cancer cells to commit suicide.
7. Green tea may prevent skin damage and wrinkling. EGCG appears to be 200 times more powerful than vitamin E at destroying skin-damaging free radicals. Free radicals react with healthy cells in the body, causing damage, so lessening their numbers may help reduce wrinkling and other signs of aging.
8. It contains a potent antioxidant that kills free radicals. Because it is a potent antioxidant green tea can positively impact a lot more than skin cells. Free radicals are increasingly linked to many serious chronic illnesses like arthritis, diabetes, and cancer.
9. Green tea tastes good. If you’re not wild about the flavor, try a few different kinds. Try it iced or hot. Add some of the natural herb stevia to sweeten it if you want a sweeter drink. I wasn’t crazy about green tea the first few times I tried it, but now I love it with a fresh squeeze of lemon and a few drops of stevia over ice -- et voila! Green tea lemonade. Mmmmm.
Reap the rewards
Add one or two teaspoons of green tea leaves to a cup of boiling water, preferably in a tea strainer. Let steep for five minutes. Pour over ice if you prefer a cold beverage. Most experts recommend three cups daily. And, don’t worry, green tea contains a lot less caffeine than coffee or black tea.
Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook. Adapted with permission from The Life Force Diet. Michelle Schoffro Cook, RNCP, ROHP, DAc, DNM, is a best-selling and six-time book author and doctor of natural medicine.
More from Care2

Thursday, June 10, 2010

WORTH CHEWING: Seven myths about veggies

Seven myths about veggies

By Lori Bongiorno More from The Conscious Consumer blog

(Photo: Getty Images)
(Photo: Getty Images)
Is it healthier to eat raw veggies or to cook them? Is fresh broccoli more nutritious than frozen? Is eating iceberg lettuce a waste of time? You may be surprised by the answers to these seemingly simple questions. In fact, there are several misconceptions when it comes to vegetables. The one universal truth is that most of us could be eating more of them.
As summer approaches, we have more vegetable choices than at any other time of year. Here's a guide to what's fact and what's fiction when it comes to eating your veggies.

Myth: Fresh vegetables are more nutritious than frozen
Fact: Studies show that sometimes you can get more nutrients from frozen veggies, depending on variety and how old the vegetables at your supermarket are. That's because produce starts losing nutrient quality as soon as it's picked.
Frozen vegetables are flash-frozen right after harvest so they are preserved at their peak of freshness when they are most nutritious. Your best bet in terms of taste, nutrition, and the environment is still local in-season produce.  When that's not an option frozen can be a better choice (from a nutrient standpoint) than spinach that takes two weeks to reach your table.  

Myth: Cooked veggies are less nutritious than raw
Fact: It depends on the vegetable. "Cooking destroys some nutrients, but it releases others," says Marion Nestle, author of What to Eat. It destroys vitamin C and folic acid, according to Nestle, which is why it's not a great idea to cook oranges.
On the other hand, she says, cooking releases vitamin A and the nutrients in fiber and makes them easier to digest. It's also easier for your body to absorb more lycopene, a cancer-fighting antioxidant, in cooked tomato sauce than from raw tomatoes.
Steam or roast veggies instead of boiling, which leaches out water-soluble vitamins into the cooking water.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Below is an article casting another perspective on our eating habit, our tendency to rely on mass produced meat and our failure to train our senses to appreciate quality over quantity in our eating.

This article is worth reading and is one of the points I want to share in my campaign with Eating with Mindfulness.

Eat Less Meat, Eat Better Meat

June 8th, 2010  By Ralph Loglisci

The list of Meatless Monday supporters continues to grow across the globe, and surprisingly to some, many of the latest enthusiasts make their living either cooking meat, such as chef Mario Batali or producing it, like rancher Nicolette Hahn Niman. What makes Meatless Monday so successful is its simple and inclusive message which promotes moderation with the goal of improving public health and the health of the planet.
Nicolette and her husband Bill run the BN Ranch in Northern California near the seaside raising beef cattle on pasture and heritage turkeys. Bill knows a thing or two about ranching. He founded the famous Niman Ranch Inc. known for its sustainable and humanely raised meats. Nicolette is a Renaissance woman of sorts—new mom, writer, environmental lawyer, and interestingly, a vegetarian.
I recently was able to catch Nicolette for a few minutes by phone to ask her why she and Bill support Meatless Monday. She made it clear that she didn’t have much time; she was in the midst of a writing project, running the ranch (Bill was traveling) and taking care of her 14-month-old son who I could hear in the background chatting and occasionally clinking the keys of their piano. Knowing that time was short; I got straight to the point:
RL: A lot of people mistakenly believe that the Meatless Monday campaign is promoting the demise of all meat production, while it has always maintained that its message is simply one of moderation and inclusion of omnivores and vegetarians alike. As a rancher yourself, what would you say to any farmer who is threatened by the MM campaign?
NHN: Bill and I are very supportive of the Meatless Monday campaign and here’s why: We think that to really improve the way food is being produced and the way people are eating in this country people should eat less meat but eat better meat.  All food from animals—meat, dairy, fish, eggs—should be treated as something special.  Anyone who is raising food animals in the traditional healthy way, without relying on industrial methods, drugs and chemicals, is someone who will benefit from people embracing that approach. We think the Meatless Monday campaign is part of a shift in attitudes about meat, towards something that is precious not something that is consumed without thought or in enormous quantities.
RL: You just wrote an interesting piece in the Atlantic entitled “Can Meat Eaters Also Be Environmentalists?” Well, can they?
NHN: Yes, definitely. The idea that it is a contradiction to be a meat eater and an environmentalist is just a misunderstanding of the most ecologically sound food production systems, which, in my view, definitely involve animals. There has been a lot of media attention to the idea that meat [production] is environmentally damaging. That’s because of bad practices that are rampant and widespread, such as total confinement systems with liquefied manure, use of hormones, feeding of antibiotics.  The evidence is now irrefutable that these practices endanger the environment and public health.   I’ve spent most of the last 10 years highlighting those problems to the public. But that is totally different than saying that raising farm animals is inherently environmentally damaging, which just isn’t true. I’ve been doing a lot of research into the role that animals play in rebuilding soils, and how grazing pastures are far better than any other agricultural land use in terms of erosion and in carbon sequestration.  One thing I’ve become convinced of is that the best farming mimics nature, and natural ecosystems are all built on the relationships of sunshine, water, plants, and animals.  So, I would say that actually the most environmentally sound diet includes some meat, dairy, and eggs.
RL: Is it important to point out that the majority of the meat products people eat in America are produced on industrial farms? Would you agree with that?
NHN: Much of the meat—most, actually—that is being produced and consumed in the United States today is being produced in environmentally damaging ways. I do not endorse any of those systems. In fact, I explicitly and strongly oppose them. That’s totally different than the fundamental question of whether or not meat is environmentally damaging per se and people are confusing those issues all over the place.
RL: Back in November you posted a must-read eater’s guide on how to avoid industrially produced foods in the Huffington Post. Could you give us a few quick pointers or the most important things you would tell people?
NHN: Yes. It was a long article, and hard to summarize in just a few words. But I’d say the most important thing is to try to just get closer to the source of your food, try to learn how and where your food was produced. The easiest ways to do that are to try to buy directly from farmers through farmers’ markets, community supported agriculture programs [CSAs], farm stands, and any place where you can get food directly from a farmer. Even in those places, I still encourage people to talk with the farmer about how the food is being produced, not to assume that it’s being raised in the way that you want it to be.  Recently I’ve been saying, “I try to get all my food from a place I’d enjoy visiting.”  That kind of sums up my approach.  I also think that growing some of your own food is a great way to get out of the industrial system. So, people can have a vegetable garden, even if they just have a terrace or a fire escape where they can have a flowerpot with some tomatoes and some herbs. You know, just starting to do a little bit. And if you have a yard why not have a garden, maybe have a flock of egg-laying hens? I think it makes a big difference to just start taking baby-steps away from the industrial food system. Anything to get involved with how your food is produced. Eating is something that most of us tend to do without much thought. The more you start paying attention to it you realize it’s something worth investing time in. Building delicious, healthy meals ends up being something that is incredibly rewarding and not a chore.
RL: What is your advice to people who would rather not eat industrially produced foods but are limited either by higher costs or easy access?
NHN: Well, that is challenging because the whole industrial model has been successful at creating food that is cheap in terms of its cost at the grocery checkout.  But our food is also cheap in the other sense of the word, in that it’s lacking in quality; these days it’s less nutritious, less safe, and less healthful than ever before. Generally one does pay more for food that is raised on traditional and/or organic farms. Here again, raising some of your own food to the extent possible is one way to eat good food affordably. Also, doing more of your own cooking and baking as opposed to buying prepared foods helps make good food affordable, because whole ingredients tend to be cheaper than prepared foods. And then some tricks for [saving money on] vegetables and fruits especially [includes] eating things when they are in season. In the season of abundance the cost tends to go down. You especially notice that when you are buying directly from farmers, because in the season of plenty they usually have more than they can handle and the prices are lower. When you are talking about things like meat, learning how to use some of the less popular cuts, cuts that are no less flavorful or nutritious, is a great way to save some money. My husband, Bill, who really knows meat, always talks about that. He says that some of the tastiest and most nutritious cuts of meat are some of the most underappreciated.  They are often a lot cheaper.
RL: You’ve gained quite of bit of praise for your book, “Righteous Porkchop, Finding A Life And Good Food Beyond Factory Farms. Michael Pollan is quoted as saying your book is, “A searing, and utterly convincing, indictment of modern meat production. But the book brims with hope, too, and charts a practical (and even beautiful) path out of the jungle.” You couldn’t have paid for a better endorsement. Instead of focusing on the indictment part, could you tell me more about the hope that he mentioned?
NHN: Yes, I like focusing on the hope, too. A lot of my book is about farmers that are doing things the right way from the standpoint of the environment, animal welfare, and human health. I firmly believe that it’s a myth that this country cannot feed itself with traditional, non-industrialized farming. A lot of my book is dedicated to disproving that myth and proving that traditional, sustainable farms are economically viable. And I just tell the stories and describe what a lot of those farmers are doing, as well as presenting the economic data to show that it’s an economically viable system. But I think it is really important to keep in mind that our country is heavily subsidizing with public dollars the current form of industrial agriculture. If we really want a sustainable healthful food system we need to take the dollars that we are putting into agriculture and shift it towards good methods.  I support the use of public funds for agriculture, but I don’t understand why we’re not putting it towards a food system that is environmentally benign and producing healthy food.

Ralph Loglisci is the project director for the Johns Hopkins Healthy Monday Project at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and is a regular contributor for the Livable Future Blog. Ralph has worn many hats over the years and writes about issues ranging from food politics to obesity and health behavior. He was the communications director for the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production and before that spent almost 15 years as a TV news producer. You can follow him on Twitter.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

10 Chocolate Lover Cookie Recipes

10 Chocolate Lover Cookie Recipes

Here are chocolate cookies to try out for Woman's Day.  I am not a chocolate person but it pays to bite a square or a round of any choco sweets sometimes. I will definitely try some of these recipes....


10 Chocolate Lover Cookie Recipes

By WomansDay.com Staff Posted June 01, 2010 from WomansDay.com

Whether it’s a midday sweet or an after-dinner dessert, cookies are the perfect treat—especially when they’re packed with tantalizing chocolate. And not just any plain old chocolate, but various combinations of bittersweet, semisweet, dark, milk, white and cocoa powder that are spun into decadent creations fit for the most discerning sweet tooth. From traditional Soft Chocolate Chunk Cookies to more modern Chocolate-Dipped Oreo Pops, resistance will prove futile for these tasty recipes.
Chocolate Cookie Recipes:
1. Soft Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Raise the stakes on traditional chocolate chip cookies with this recipe, which uses big chunks of bittersweet or dark chocolate alongside coarsely chopped walnuts.
Photographed for Woman’s Day by Charles Schiller

2. Monster Chocolate Crackle Cookies
Perfectly thin and crunchy-topped, these are made from 70-percent-cocoa dark chocolate, store-bought chocolate chip cookie dough and cherry-flavor Craisins.
Photographed for Woman’s Day by Frances Janisch

3. Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Rich and spongy, this is the ultimate chocolate cookie, made with devil’s food cake mix and semisweet chocolate chunks, then drizzled with melted white chocolate.
Photographed for Woman’s Day by Deborah Ory

4. Chocolate-Gingerbread Hugs
These small cookies pack in a lot of flavor: They’re a blend of gingerbread cake mix and bittersweet chocolate, topped with a Hershey’s Hug.
Photographed for Woman’s Day by Kate Sears

5. Double Chocolate Pecan Cookies
If you like your cookies with some hearty texture, opt for this recipe that’s filled with English toffee bits, pecans and coarsely chopped milk chocolate bars.
Photographed for Woman’s Day by Charles Schiller

6. Chocolate-Dipped Oreo Pops
Oreos go extravagant! Everyone’s favorite sandwich cookie gets dressed up as a lollipop, dipped in semisweet chocolate and covered with sprinkles and candy bits.
Photographed for Woman’s Day by Jacqueline Hopkins

7. Chocolate Nut Cookies
This isn’t your ordinary nut cookie, thanks to a mix of toasted almonds and pecans, loads of chocolate inside and an extra dollop on top.
Photographed for Woman’s Day by Jonny Valiant

8. Chewy Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
A modern take on the Whoopie Pie, these soft cookies are made with bittersweet and semisweet chocolates and are filled with lush mint or coffee buttercream frosting.
Photographed for Woman’s Day by Iain Bagwell

9. Chocolate Star Mocha Creams
This recipe takes a little work, but the payoff is worth it: festive chocolate stars layered with a filling of espresso powder, cream cheese, cocoa and vanilla extract.
Photographed for Woman’s Day by Con Poulos

10. Ultimate Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Crunchy, chewy, chocolaty…this recipe has something for everyone, with old-fashioned oats, flaked coconut, semisweet chocolate chunks and toasted pecans.
Photographed for Woman’s Day by Iain Bagwell

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Surprising Healing Benefits of Spices, a recommended read

Surprising Healing Benefits of Spices