Monday, April 27, 2009

Are You An Adventurous Eater?

When it comes to the food you put into your mouth, are you game for anything? This question can be applied to different scenarios, such as your willingness to experiment other ethnic food, to taste a different flavor, or to brave the fusion world.

However, does your adventures disappoint you at times that you eventually crawl back to your good ol' place and beg for forgiveness?

I used to be an adventurous eater, whether it's a trip for Indian, French, or Africa, I was game. I loved to discover and try out new restaurants, especially those hold in the wall joints. Well, it was also much easier when I was an omnivore. Now, I realized a lot of places disappoint me - price/quality/service wised. Sometimes the size and quality of a dish doesn't justify its price or the flavor is really off. Furthermore, bad service can really ruin an appetite and a good dining experience. Now of course I don't expect 5 star service at a take-out place, but respect and courtesy are keys to build a regular customer basis and I've been to cheap sandwich shops with wonderful staff who are always kind enough to accommodate my gastric needs.

It's great to leave one's comfort zone, but at times, going back to the ol' place that's guaranteed good food and service just makes life so much easier. I agree with the expression that more choices means more complication. What's your take? And is there any cuisine you're hoping to try but maybe too afraid to?

Monday, April 20, 2009

My Favorite Part...of a Loaf of Bread

We generally like things that come in a package, but thanks to human nature, favortism drives us to single out certain things. Case in point. You may love your significant other's particular sense of humor, wealth, or just the bright smile. At your home, you may feel the most comfortable in the kitchen where you can carry out a culinary therapy session.

Now that we're talking about food, well, a 'food' has its own personality as well. Whether it's crunchy, sweet, savory, mushy, hard, smooth...the descriptions can go on and on. Food critics like to 'dissect' flavors and texture and I like to 'physically' dissect my bread. Now I'm not going to do a surgery, but there are certain elements of the bread that I prefer. Some people like the doughy, soft innard, while others favor the ends. I love the ends too, but I particular love the crust. I always look for a hard exterior so I can 'skin' the crust and leave the soft portion for my family. It's a selfish deed. :)

So what's your favorite part of the bread and what kind of bread do you buy/bake/like?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Organic Hemp Clothings

This is non-food related writing.

I know we hear a lot of the benefits of hemp seeds, but aside from eating organic, people are starting to pay more attention to going organic with their clothings.

Today, I was at the Go Green Expo NY. It was really cool. Lots of exhibitors were there to promote their go green products and services. Many samples were given, such as organic chocolate (!), organic drinks, organic vitamins, enviromental organization messages were provided...the word of choice is...ORGANIC.

I stopped by one booth that featured a shop that sells organic clothings. I couldn't afford the more expensive items, but I did spot the $10 piles and got a deal on a half hemp/half organic cotton T-shirt. I've never bought a hemp shirt before because it's always very expensive, so I'm glad I got this special deal.

So what IS hemp when it's tied in with the clothes you wear? Well, here's a little background...

Hemp is an extraordinary fiber because:

- It is lightweight, absorbant and, with three times the tensile strength of cotton, strong and longlasting.
- It is UV and mold-resistant.
- I can be blended with other fibers, such as cotton and silk, so it is very compliable.
- it is less expensive to farm because of its minimal growth requirements.

And last, but not the least...

Hemp farming uses very little water and requires almost no pesticide, so it's good for the environment, which benefits us in the long run.

So? Have you gotten your hemp shirt today?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Different forms of carbohydrates

We often have a fear for carbohydrates because of the notion that they will make us gave weight. But carbohydrates are an important source of fuel for our body, especially for an active person. I don't want to concentrate on the technical side of this crucial food group, but carbohydrates are organic compounds that provide energy for our body. What's important to know is that we should eat complex carbs, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Limit consumption of white flour and other processed baked goods.

Here's a quite stat of some useful information about carbohydrates that might come in handy in the next trivial pursuit:

- One gram of carbohydrate provides four calories of energy.
- Our maximal carbohydrate storage is approximately 15 grams per kilogram of body weight or 15 grams per 2.2 pounds.
- Simple carbohydrates are found in fruits and dairy products.
- Complext carbohydrates take longer for the body to digest and include grain, legumes, and cereal.

Don't fear carbohydrates beacuse they are essential for the functioning of our body.

What's your favorite source of carboydrates? I don't think I can live without a slice of whole grain bread. :)

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Like we often shorten or alter our first name to fit it into our personality, like calling someone Trish instead of Patricia or Joe instead of Joseph. The former name is more approachable, whereas the latter is more formal and 'serious' shall I say? So that's how I feel when I speak of chickpeas. Their other name is garbanzo beans and that just sounds just...'beany', but's like, awww...what a cute name! Surprised to know that this amazing bean packs a bunch of nutrients!

Chickpeas (yes, I prefer to use their cutie name instead) are a good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, which prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making them a good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia. Chickpeas hey are great at lowering cholesterol too! When combined with whole grains such as rice, garbanzos provide virtually fat-free high quality protein.
How do you use your chickpeas? Well, you can:

- Purée them along with olive oil, fresh garlic, tahini and lemon juice to make a quick and easy hummus spread.
- Sprinkle them to your favorite salads for added protein.
- Stir in some into your pasta dish.
- Simmer them in a sauce like dal.
- Add them to a vegetable soup to make it even heartier!
I've mentioned that I looove hummus; unfortunately, I have to face the fact that it was a phase that has passed. Now, I just love to soak dried chickpeas and when they're cooked, I'd just pop them like popcorn! What a wierd habit of mine! If this style is too bland for you, you can sprinkle some fresh herb and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for an extra kick.