Words by: Nicole Raymundo
We may not be aware about it, but most of the food that we eat contain preservatives that are not good for our health. Majority of our favorite snacks are ultra delicious but also dangerous to our well being if not consumed in moderation. Because of the increasing awareness of the public on shifting towards a healthier lifestyle, healthy diets and wellness programs are being promoted here and there. If you are a food lover, you may feel restrained if your doctor tells you that you need to eat mostly eat veggies and fruits. They’re healthy, yes, but admit it, they are not as mouth-watering as your top of the list sweets and fatty foods. Good news for you: there are a several heart healthy foods that are as tasty as your sinful desserts. Review this list, indulge and keep your heart healthy!
Yogurt is a good substitute for your usual desserts. Medical research shows that consuming cups of yogurt can help protect you from gum disease that if left untreated can turn into heart disease. Japanese medical practitioners discovered that adults who eat high levels of dairy products specifically yogurt and yogurt drinks had the healthiest gums. These people are less susceptible to develop any heart ailment. Research shows that the primary ingredient in yogurt, the probiotics, also dubbed as the “good bacteria” keeps gums healthy. Probiotics are known to counter the growth and development of bad bacteria in the mouth. Healthy gums lessen one’s risk of developing cardio vascular illness. So when you do your grocery, make sure to get a couple of cups or pints of flavoured yogurt for your taste buds and heart.
Salmon or Tuna
When you dine out, order smoked or grilled salmon, or anything with salmon. This type of fish contains omega-3 fats which lower levels of triglycerides in the blood stream which can aggravate blood clotting. Eating meals with salmon lowers your risk of having coronary heart disease over the long term according to medical experts. Tuna is another fish that is heart-friendly yet very delicious. You can cook it in various ways and get your palates satisfied and your heart steady. Try eating salad greens, fresh fruits with tuna or salmon and you will never be left unsatisfied. There are various ways of cooking these types of seafood, making them a good choice for your special dining experience.
Who said that chocolate is a no-no if you want to keep your heart healthy? Researchers have discovered that eating moderate amounts of flavanol-rich dark chocolate has a blood-thinning effect, which can benefit cardiovascular health. Another good things is that this food help intensify your immune system by reducing inflammation. Aside from dark chocolate bars, you can also try to come up with drinks rich in cocoa which is rich in flavanols, helping preserve the healthy function of your blood vessels. Healthy blood vessels lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, dementia, and kidney disease.
Next time you watch a movie, don’t forget to grab a bag of popcorn. This snack contains antioxidants called polyphenols which are linked to improved heart health. Research shows that popcorn contains three times more polyphenols than kidney beans and four times than cranberries. People who eat plenty of whole grain tend to be leaner and have less chance of developing heart ailment than those who are overweight. Instead of eating chips that are high on preservatives and sugar, sick to your classic popcorn. Another good thing is popcorn is a whole grain –certainly good for the health.
You have heard of the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” This is true for according to research, apples have strong antioxidant flavonoid compounds which play a key role in preventing bad LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and triggering series of events that can result in the formation of plaque in arteries. These compounds are also known to inhibit inflammation. Apples are also rich in pectin, a form of soluble fiber known to help lower cholesterol, and they provide a decent amount of vitamin C, another antioxidant. Studies show that those who frequently eat apples have the lower risk of suffering strokes compared with those who do not eat apples. So when you choose you dessert after lunch or dinner, opt for fresh apples or apple pie for those with sweet tooth. Apple juice is also a refreshing drink that is full of nutrients.
It’s fun to eat in restos with “unlimited rice” promos, but it’s indeed more fun if these “rice all you can” promos offer brown rice instead of white rice. Brown rice is said to contain a natural compound which prevents high blood pressure and heart disease. This type of rice is high in fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients, making it a heart healthy food. Recent research also suggests that there is huge potential for brown rice as a good starting point for looking into preventive medicine for cardiovascular diseases. So for your next lunch date with your friends, try to stir in a few chopped vegetables into your bowl of brown rice to add spice to your daily meals.
Tofu was once only seen in Asian food markets and restaurants. But today, it has become a crowd favourite all over the world. Tofu is known to be tasteless, but surprisingly, it can take on the flavour of its surrounding ingredients, making it a very versatile ingredient. Tofu, when mixed with other vegetables and meat, make it a wiser choice for the health-conscious eaters. It is high in protein, specifically soy protein, which improves one’s cardio vascular system. Recent research shows that regular intake of soy protein lowers total cholesterol, decreases bad cholesterol, and reduces the tendency of platelets to form blood clots. This is definitely good news for those tying to avoid atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease. Soy protein is a potent nutrient which aids in strengthening your cardio vascular system, leading to a greatly reduced risk of heart disease.
• 1 ½ lbs chicken, cut into serving pieces
• 1 ½ cups uncooked rice
• 34 ounces water (about 1 liter)
• 2 tbsp fish sauce
• 1 tsp garlic
• 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
• 1 cup onion, minced
• 4 pieces hard boiled eggs
• 1 cup scallions (green onions), minced
• 2 knobs ginger, julienned
• 3 tbsp safflower (kasubha)
• 1 piece chicken cube (bouillon)
• 1 piece lemon or 4 pieces calamansi
• 2 tbsp cooking oil
1. In a pot, heat the cooking oil then saute the garlic, onion, and ginger. Dash in some ground black pepper.
2. Add the chicken cube and cook until the cube melts.
3. Put in the chicken and cook until outer layer color turns golden brown.
4. Add the fish sauce and uncooked rice then mix and cook for a few minutes. Pour-in the water and bring to a boil.
5. Stir occasionally and simmer until the rice is fully cooked (about 30 to 40 minutes).
6. Put-in the hard boiled eggs
7. Add the safflower for additional color and aroma.
8. Serve hot with garlic, minced scallions, and lemon.
• 1 (7 ½ pound) bone-in smoked ham
• 1 thinly sliced lemon
• 1 thinly sliced large white onion
• 3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
• 3/4 cups lemon-lime marmalade (can be substituted with lemon, orange, or grapefruit marmalade), 17 ounces
• 1/4 cup seeded, coarsely chopped pickled peppers, such as jalapenos or Italian cherry peppers
• 1/4 cup grainy mustard
• 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
• 2 tbsp bourbon
• 2 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 3 tbsp water
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. With a sharp knife, remove the rind from the ham, leaving a layer of fat all around that’s at least ¼ inch thick. Score the fat deeply in a crosshatch pattern at ½ inch intervals. Place the ham in a large roasting pan. Scatter the lemon and onion slices around it, then add the chicken stock or broth.
In a food processor, mix the lemon-lime marmalade, pickled peppers, lemon juice, bourbon, and mustard. Combine until it is a coarse puree. Brush the top of the ham with 2 tbsp of this glaze, cover with foil, and bake for an hour. Brush with another ½ cup of the glaze, and bake until the ham is brown, and an instant-read thermometer reads 155 degrees F inserted into the thickest part of the meat.
Move the ham to a cutting board. Strain the juices from the pan into a large glass measuring cup. Skim off the fat. Transfer the juices to a medium saucepan. Boil until it is reduced to 2 ½ cups, roughly about five minutes. Whisk the cornstarch slurry and add it to the juices in the saucepan, along with the remaining ½ cup glaze. Simmer over moderately high heat. Stir until thick, roughly three minutes. Slice the ham and serve with the sauce.
Here’s a fairly easy recipe for dressing up ham for the holidays.
You’ll need the following:
• 3½ kg raw cured ham or gammon, boned and rolled
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 star anise
• 1 tbsp peppercorns
• 3-4 tbsp whole cloves
For the Glaze:
• 4 tbsp clear honey
• 2 tsp English mustard powder
• 2 tbsp dark rum
• 1 tbsp light brown sugar
• 1 tbsp thyme leaves
For the Pineapple Chutney
• 2 finely chopped onions
• olive oil
• 1 tsp toasted brown mustard seeds
• 1 finely sliced garlic clove
• 1 pineapple, cored and cut into chunks
• 1 sprig rosemary
• 1 tbsp honey
• 100ml cider vinegar
• 120g light brown sugar
• 50g toasted blanched almonds
1. First, cook the onions in 3 tbsp olive oil. Add the garlic and mustard seeds, and cook for two minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients for the pineapple chutney and stir. Gently cook down for an hour or more until it is jammy in consistency. Season and cool.
2. Next, place the ham in a large pan, cover with cold water, and put in the bayleaves, star anise, and peppercorns. Bring this to a simmer, then cover and simmer for another 2 ½ hours before draining.
3. When the ham is cool enough for you to handle, remove the skin but leave a decent layer of fat and score it in a diamond pattern.
Insert cloves into the center of each diamond.
4. Heat your oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Put all the glazing ingredients except the thyme leaves in a pan. Heat the glaze gently to dissolve the sugar, then brush the ham with a generous amount of the mix. Place the ham on a wire rack in a roasting tray, leaving a couple of inches of water at the bottom.
5. Bake the ham for 30-40 minutes. Baste it with the glaze until it is golden. Just before it is fully cooked, sprinkle the thyme leaves over it, then give the ham another 10 minutes. Serve it with the pineapple chutney.
Change is a two-headed dragon — if it’s for the bad, it can burn you; but if it’s for the good, it can do wonders. That’s why for most people, change is a difficult thing to do. It’s scary and unpredictable. Why bother with all the trouble and alter something that already works for you? Yeah, you can have that argument but why not try to change things up in your daily life? Imagine wearing the same clothes, doing the same things and eating the same food day in and day out. Monotony can be very tiring and boring.
Once in a while, it doesn’t hurt to try out new things. Be bold and adventurous, break your routine and explore beyond what you’re used to. This can work real well for you especially when it comes to food. That’s why we’re featuring variations to traditional Filipino dishes our taste buds love. Consider it like what a remix is to an original song – it’s like the original but done in a whole different way. So put on your aprons and brace yourself for a culinary adventure with these new twists to favorites that will surely excite your taste buds.
Sugpo Sinigang sa Buko
• 1/2 cup sliced taro root (gabi)
• 2 fresh medium tomatoes, chopped
• 1 medium white onion, chopped
• 1/2 cup sliced string beans (cut into 2-inch pieces)
• 1/2 cup sliced radish
• 2 finger chilies
• 200 grams medium-size tiger prawns
• 1/2 cup tamarind base powder (sinigang mix)
• 1 cup fish sauce (patis)
• juice and meat of 1 young coconut (buko)
• 1 cup chopped swamp cabbage (kangkong)
1. Place taro in a pot with boiling water and let it cook. Then add all vegetables together with the prawns (except the kangkong) and boil for 2 minutes.
2. Add tamarind soup base and season with fish sauce.
3. Turn off the fire and add the buko juice and meat together with the kangkong. Serve immediately.
• 1 cup glutinous rice(malagkit), washed and drained
• 6 cups water
• 1 cup white chocolate morsels
• 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
• 4 Tbsp sugar
• 1/8 tsp salt
• 1/2 cup chopped roasted pecans
• chocolate wafer sticks and pretzels for garnish
• chocolate syrup for drizzling (optional)
1. In a pot over medium heat, bring water and rice to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low when it begins to simmer and cook until rice is soft. Stir often to prevent rice from sticking.
2. Add white chocolate morsels, vanilla extract, sugar and salt. Mix well and continue cooking until chocolate morsels are melted. Remove from heat. Add chopped pecans. Mix well.
3. Transfer champorado in individual serving bowls. Garnish with wafer sticks, pretzels and some chocolate morsels.
4. Serve hot. Have condensed milk ready so you can adjust sweetness to your liking. You can have it plain or you can drizzle some chocolate syrup on it.
Brains! Hearts! Blood! Intestines! Lungs! Spleens! Livers! You can even throw in the tongues and ears. No, the zombie apocalypse isn’t coming…yet. For now, we can enjoy tasty Filipino dishes made from the unorthodox parts of our beloved standard fare of pork and chicken.
• 700g pork belly, sliced into small cubes
• 150g pork liver, pureed
• 1 1/2 cups pigs’ blood
• 2 cups water
• 6 green finger chili
• 1 whole garlic, minced
• 1/2 thumb sized ginger, minced
• 1 large onions, finely chopped
• 1 packet sinigang mix or 1/2 cup vinegar
• freshly ground pepper
Note: Using vinegar will yield a smooth textured gravy as vinegar prevents coagulating the blood. If you’re using tamarind, blood will be coagulated and have a grainy texture so simmer them slowly. I love using tamarind as it yields a better taste than vinegar which tends to overpower.
• 2 cups rice flour
• 1 tbsp baking powder
• 3/4 cups sugar
• 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
• 2/3 cup water
• pinch of salt
1. In a pot, add oil and then brown pork pieces.
2. Add garlic, onion and ginger and cook until onions turn soft.
3. Add the chili, sinigang mix and 1 cup of water and bring to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes.
4. Add pork blood, liver and the remaining water, slowly simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
1. Sift together flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder.
2. Add coconut milk and water then mix until it forms a smooth batter.
3. Place in moulds or if you don’t have puto moulds place it in small cups, fill up to 2/3 full then steam for 20 minutes.
This Halloween season (or undas or All Saints’ Day in the Philippines), it’s only quite fitting that we feature dishes that most people would find unusual or cringe over. You don’t have to be afraid because we’ll turn the fear into cheers. So come on, open wide and get in on the gastronomic goodness!
• 1 lb of chicken intestines
• 1 cup flour
• pepper and salt to taste
• 1/2 cup soy sauce
• dried chili powder (optional)
• 1 large egg
• oil to fry
1. Clean intestine and boil adding salt and pepper while boiling. Drain and set aside to dry.
2. In a large mixing bowl, cut the “isaw” into desired length (approximately 3 inches).
3. Add in the egg, soy sauce and all the dry ingredients. Thoroughly mix all the ingredients.
4. Deep fry until golden brown.
• 1 kilo potatoes
• 1 big chicken breast
• 3 pieces medium sized carrots
• 500 ml mayonnaise
• 1 can (836 g) pineapple tidbits
• ½ cup sweet pickle relish
• 1 cup cheddar cheese, diced (optional)
• 3 tablespoons of chopped spring onions (optional)
• Iodized salt to taste (pepper, optional)
1. In a big pot, boil potatoes and carrots (covered with water) for about 15 to 20 minutes or until cracks on the potato skin appears. (tip: pierce a potato with a toothpick. If you can pierce it with little resistance and the toothpick comes out clean, the potatoes & carrots are cooked).
2. Drain potatoes and carrots, let cool.
3. Once cooled, the skin can be easily be peeled by hand.
4. Dice the potatoes and carrots (about 1×1 cm)
5. Boil the chicken breast in water with some salt. Let cool, then shred the chicken meat in 1-inch lengths
6. Drain pineapple chunks or tidbits.
7. Combine all ingredients (potatoes, chicken meat, pineapple, carrots, pickle relish, mayonnaise…) in a big bowl and salt to taste. You may add pepper if you wish.
8. Refrigerate before serving
Source : http://www.pinoyrecipe.net/chicken-potato-salad-recipe/#ixzz24RkTchDD
• 250 grams spaghetti
• 1 can of corned beef
• 1 cup of banana catsup
• 4 cups of tomato sauce
• 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
• 1 large onion, minced
• 2 tbsp. soy sauce
• 2 tsp. black pepper
1. Cook spaghetti according to package instructions. Set aside.
2. Place corned beef in a bowl and mix with black pepper.
3. Sauté garlic and onion in vegetable oil.
4. Add the corned beef hash and soy sauce.
5. Mix well then add the catsup and tomato sauce.
6. Simmer for a few minutes then add the cooked spaghetti. Make sure that the pasta is well-coated with sauce.
7. Serve topped with cheese.
Source : http://ascientistinthekitchen.net/blog-events-2/filipino-style-spaghetti/
4 pieces banana (lakatan), sliced
• 1 medium sized pineapple, diced
• 3 pieces apple, diced
• 1 can of strawberries
• 1 cup halved cherries
• ½ cup cubed cheddar cheese
• 1 cup all-purpose cream
• 3 tbsp. creamer
• 1/4 cup mayonnaise
• ½ cup pecan or almond
• 3 tbsp. lemon juice
1. Get a salad bowl and prepare needed fruits. Make sure to prepare a bowl of water with 3 tbsp. lemon juice to soak fruits in to make sure they don’t turn black.
2. Add all of the fruits in the salad bowl together with the all-purpose cream, creamer, mayonnaise and cheese.
3. Put the salad in the freezer for an hour before serving. Enjoy!