AFTER almost a year of not doing media event coverages as I personally took care of my husband Raff, who suffered a stroke middle of last year and is now recovering nicely, I attended the cooking demonstration organized by Carl Schmidt Sohn at True Value Shangri-La Plaza last May (2017).
Chef Jam Melchor
Conducted by Chef Jam Melchor of Healthy Eats Manila, the cooking demo was the first in Carl Schmidt Sohn’s Solingia series of cooking demonstrations that made the rounds of True Value and True Home branches in Metro Manila. Chef Jam used products of Carl Schmidt Sohn, a line of premium German knives and kitchenware, in preparing three dishes—Free Range Chicken and Apple Salad, Puttanesca Pasta al Cartoccio, and Citrus Soy Marinated Steak. All three recipes I recently featured in my Weekend Chef online column in TV5’s www.interaksyon.com/lifestyle. But I would also like to share this pasta recipe with you because I find it light, healthy and delicious in its simplicity. It is also vegetarian or, shall I say vegan, so everyone can have a fill of it.
PUTTANESCA PASTA AL CARTOCCIO
2 Tbsps. olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp. chopped black olives
1/2 tsp. capers
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup tomato sauce
tomatoes, chopped and peeled
pasta noodles, cooked according to package direction
fresh basil leaves for garnish
1. Heat olive oil in a Carl Schimdt Sohn casserole. Add garlic. Sauté for a couple of minutes.
2. Add chopped black olives and capers.
3. Pour in wine and allow alcohol to cook and evaporate for an added dimension of flavor.
4. Add tomato sauce and some chopped and peeled tomatoes. Cook until sauce is thick.
5. Add cooked pasta and toss until fully coated with sauce.
TAKE advantage of the remaining days of the summer season by bonding with the kids in the kitchen. You can make Summer Butterfly Muffins together because it is as easy as 1-2-3 to bake batches of it. All you need is mix up some batter, scoop them into muffin pans lined with fluted paper cups, bake them in the oven, cut off the top of the muffins and halve to make “butterfly wings,” spread some fudge frosting over them when they have cooled down to room temperature, and decorate with the muffin wings to make them look like butterflies.
Here’s how it is done, according to The Maya Kitchen:
For the muffins:
2 Tbsps. vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1 pack Maya Chocolate Hotcake Mix (200 grams)
For the fudge frosting:
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2/3 cup condensed milk
1 Tbsp. butter
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a 3-oz. muffin pan with paper cups. Set aside.
2. In a bowl, slightly beat egg; add in oil, water and hotcake mix. Mix batter mixture until blended. Pour about 1/4 cup batter into every paper-lined muffin hole.
3. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until done.
4. Cool and set side.
5. Prepare the frosting. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until thick. Set aside.
6. To assemble: Cut about 1/2-inch across from top of muffins and divide into two half circles. Set aside. Spread frosting on cut-up surface of muffins. Place cut-out half circles to form butterfly wings. Repeat procedure with the remaining muffins. Dust each butterfly cupcake with confectioners’ sugar.
SEVERAL years ago, when I joined a group of Filipino journalists who were invited by the Tourism Authority of Thailand-Philippines (TAT-Philippines) to go on a familiarization tour and food trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand, the group “discovered” something peculiar.
I was in the company of friends—Chef Heny Sison (food columnist of Philippine Star), Norma Chikiamco (then with Food Magazine but now columnist of Philippine Daily Inquirer), Joseph Tan Chee (then food editor of Manila Bulletin), Marlon Aldenese (then webmaster and now advertising manager of Cook Magazine), and Anson Yu (contributing writer of Appetite Magazine). I was handling Flavors Magazine back then. We were staying at Rarijinda Resort & Spa, which had a beautiful tropical forest-garden layout.
In one of our scheduled trips outside the hotel, we got back to the hotel after dinner. I have forgotten who, but one of those in the group had to drop by the 7-Eleven branch near the hotel to get some toiletries. The rest of us got down, as well, and curiously checked out the items on sale at 7-Eleven, although of course it was not on our itinerary. There, in the refrigerated section of 7-Eleven, we found a beverage that amused everyone of us. It had Glutathione as an ingredient, and it was the height of the Gluta craze in Manila, but it was confined to beauty products only. Never a drink. So someone bought and tried it to see how Glutathione tastes like. No such luck, though. It had no distinct taste that separated it from the rest of the drink. But we went back to the hotel amused and endlessly talking about it.
Apparently, it was a worldwide trend that got to Thailand first, because I recently found similarly curious beverages when I recently visited the 7-Eleven branch near my sister’s house in Mandaluyong, where my husband Raff and I are temporarily staying as he recovers from stroke. It is called Jelly Vit Jelly Drink, an imported drink that is distributed in the Philippines by Monde Nissin Corporation.
I found two variants of Jelly Vit Jelly Drink—Lychee Flavor with Collagen & Vitamin C; and Calamansi Flavor with Vitamins A, C & E—although when I checked on Google, there is apparently a third variant called Strawberry Flavor with L-Glutathione. The jelly drink is packaged in a 150ml. silver pouch with a resealable spout, each jelly drink has 60 kcalories.
Since the silver packaging prevents me from seeing through it and I got really curious as to how the drink really looks, so I cut off the spout of one and poured out the contents. It is one whole chunk of jelly, broken down only when you sip it through the spout, but the spout itself extends down to a scoop-like half-straw that does not scoop out all the jelly for you to enjoy unless you sip hard. The jelly drink, though, is quite good, so a little tweak on the packaging should do the trick.
And think of it—this jelly drink gives you a good amount of either Collagen, L-Glutathione, or Vitamins A, C & E.
Toast with Marmalade, Duck Hash and Grape Tomatoes
GREEN Pastures is Chef Robby Goco’s farm-to-table, back-to-basics concept restaurant. The restaurant serves organic food using ingredients that are locally sourced and certified organic. No MSG, no canned products, all homemade from scratch. Health buffs, people with special diets, and those who simply want to stay fit and healthy have found in Green Pastures what they have been looking for all these years, as it directly addresses their need for good, real and healthy food.
Green Pastures at Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Chef Robby Goco
Just recently, the restaurant started to serve breakfast, and you can count on Chef Robby Goco, the celebrity chef behind Green Pastures, to come up with special breakfast items that are in keeping with Green Pastures’ healthy concept.
There are several interesting choices on the breakfast menu, which is being served at Green Pastures’ branch at Net Park, 5th Ave., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.
Avocado Farmhouse Power Grain Bowl
Avocado Farmhouse Power Grain Bowl—shredded kale, quinoa, konbu roasted chicken, Mambo goat cheese, 5-minute duck egg, bacon, corn, avocado, grape tomatoes and honey mustard dill vinaigrette combine to make this healthy bowl a celebration not just of colors but of complimentary flavors.
Longganisa Cauli-bowl—Don’t look now, but, yes, shredded cauliflower takes the place of rice to make this “rice bowl” problem-free when it comes to carbohydrate intake. This bowl is a complete meal with Cagayan Valley organic longganisa, roasted cherry tomatoes, custard egg and homemade atchara. Custard egg is slow-cooked for 30 minutes. Other variants of Cauli-bowls have Local Akuwushi Tapa and Tinapa from Calbayog City in place of Cagayan Valley Organic Longganisa.
Sausage, Egg, Ham and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich
Sausage, Egg, Ham and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich—inspired by Chef Robby’s favorite English muffin sandwich from a fast-food chain but obviously a lot lighter and healthier, this sandwich layers custard egg, farmer’s ham, cheddar cheese, onion jam and sriracha mayo on brioche bun. Needless to say, the sausage patties are made from scratch.
Pandesal—simply named but big in flavor, Pandesal is a 100% heirloom recipe enjoyed by Chef Robby’s family. It has the classic combination of kesong puti and bangus sardines as filling for the pandesal, finished with a drizzling of extra virgin olive oil.
Blueberry Pancakes—it is a stack of three fluffy and flavorful buttermilk pancakes whose batter is made with fresh buttermilk sourced by Chef Robby from Rizal Dairy Farms. The pancakes are topped with blueberries and served with whipped butter and honey butterscotch. There is no need for maple syrup because Green Pastures makes its own honey butterscotch sauce, which has a richer, more rounded flavor.
Green Shakshuka—is Salsa Verde in a bowl with 142 degree egg, served with sourdough toast.
Toast with Strawberry Jam, Eggs and Grape Tomatoes
Toast—it is a thick slice of delicious French toast that is crunchy on the outside but soft and delightfully moist inside, topped with marmalade and enjoyed with grape tomatoes and duck hash or with strawberry jam and matched with grape tomatoes and eggs. Simple, classic and refreshingly satisfying.
Cantaloupe Overnight Oats
Cantaloupe Overnight Oats—a generous helping of oatmeal on a cantaloupe bowl, sweetened with organic honey, topped with fresh strawberries, and sprinkled with nutrition-packed chia seeds.
These light and healthy breakfast offerings go perfectly with Green Pastures’ Cold-pressed Elixirs and Organic Coffee prepared with the pour-over method using single-origin organic coffee. Sagada, Benguet and Mt. Atok (all in the Cordillera Region), Mt. Kitanglad and Hineleban (both in Bukidnon), Mt. Matutum (in South Cotabato), Cavite Robusta (obviously from Cavite), and Kapatagan (from Mt. Apo in Davao).
(Green Pastures is located at the Ground Floor of Net Park, 5th Ave., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City; with telephone number 277-5592.)
Australia Schweppes’ new Pop Tops Fruit Drink presents itself as a healthier alternative to some of the most popular juice drinks in the country today. It was formulated specifically for kids, so it is low-sugar, low-sodium and low-calorie while at the same time packed with fruity goodness. For one, it contains 30% less sugar than most juice drinks available in the market today. Each 250ml. plastic bottle contains only 263 to 273 calories.
Made in Australia following the highest safety standards, it contains no artificial flavors, colors and sweeteners, so Pop Tops is also healthy in this sense.
And as its name suggests, the juice drink is packaged in a child-grip bottle with a no-spill pop-up cap that is really meant for kids.
Exclusively distributed by Atlas Global Advantage (AGA), Pop Tops is available in two variants—Orange and Apple—at Php36.75 per bottle at SM Hypermarket branches. It will soon be available at Robinsons, Rustans, and Shangri-La Cinemas.