Sunday, January 29, 2012

Vegan Holiday

I will be going on a Vegan holiday for several days.  I am entertaining my BFF from NYC and we have a lot of trips and activities this coming couple of weeks and then I will start again.

No Name

The restaurant near Rockwell and Metroclub is more known by the name, No Name but its business name is You Jie Xiao Chao.  It is just a hole in the wall but they serve very good and simple Chinese food.  Not the usual Cantonese fare, a bit different.  Most of the dishes were spicy but we just got the mild ones or not spicy at all.

PD invited me for dinner after her Saturday Beading Class.  She ordered mostly vegetables for us, a change from our carnivore fare although the vegetarian dishes were not low fat but I have to give her A for effort.

My favorite was the Steamed Fish Head!!!!

It was not spicy at all and I loved all the jelly like bits and parts of the head!  It came on a very big platter, we had half a head each!!!  I missed my mom for an instant last night because she would have loved the fish head.

I ordered the tofu soup with pechay.

We had the dumplings!

I loved it also but I think it has bits of pork in it so I cannot order it again if I am aiming for a vegan meal..

The fried green beans was good but not healthy because I think it was deep fried??  But PD liked it.

She also ordered the Kuchay with Egg.

I just tried a forkful because I cannot have eggs.

PD also got the Sweet and Sour Pork.

It was an interesting dinner for me.  Not the usual suspects but I do not mind going back for the fish head even if I am not supposed to eat fish.  Celine would have loved it, maybe when she is my house guest we will eat there again and enjoy the yummy fish jelly like bits and pieces.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Minced Vegetables in Lettuce Cup

Finally, I was able to buy canned water chesnut in Market!Market! supermarket.  I also asked Jing to buy for me in Cash and Carry.  Good thing I have a spare can in my pantry now. Thanks, Jing!

I experimented with Minced Pigeon sans the pigeon.  It is somewhat similar in taste when you eat the Peking Duck a second way.

Minced Vegetables in Lettuce Cup

6 pcs. dried winter mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes then water squeezed out, stems removed and caps minced finely
8 pcs. water chesnuts, minced
2 T. cashew or walnut, toasted and chopped
1 T. light soy sauce
1/2 T. dark soy sauce
1/2 T. Vegetarian Strir-Fry sauce
1 t. sugar
1 t. cornstarch dispersed in 1 t. water
1/8 t. salt

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk leek, white parts only, sliced thinly
1 t. oil
1 t. Chinese cooking wine

Heat oil in a non stick pan.  Saute the leek and garlic until fragrant.  Add the vegetables and nuts, toss around the pan.  Add the Chinese wine and continue cooking until the sizzling dies down.  Adjust the seasonings according to taste.

Transfer onto a serving dish.

hoisin sauce
iceberg lettuce

Separate the iceberg lettuce leaves, rinse, spin dry and refrigerate until ready to use. Trim the curly edges until the leaf forms a cup.

Spoon the minced vegetables into the lettuce cups and top with hoisin sauce.

The recipe actually calls for minced pigeon, chicken or duck but I omitted it.  You can also add fried rice stick noodles(bihon) but then it will not be low fat anymore.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Broccoli with Tofu and Shitake Mushrooms

A very easy vegan dish to make .... my dinner ....

Broccoli with Tofu and Shitake Mushrooms

Broccoli florets
canned shitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced

Tofu, cut into cubes
garlic, sliced
ginger, sliced
1 T. Lee Kum Kee Vegetarian Stir-Fry sauce
1 T. light soy sauce

1 T. dark soy sauce

1 t. white sugar
1 t. cornstarch

Boil water in a pot.  Add the broccoli florets, cover and cook for 2 minutes.  Drain and rinse under cold running water.  Set aside.

Mix all the sauces, cornstarch and sugar in a bowl.  Add a little water and adjust according to taste.

Heat oil in a wok, saute the garlic and ginger, add the broccoli and mushrooms.  Then the sauce.  When it boils, add the cubed tofu.  Be careful the tofu is very soft.  Transfer onto a serving dish.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Stir Fried Vegetables with Glass Noodles

I am back to my vegan diet again because it really is very effective in controlling my blood sugar.  My lunch was:

Stir Fried Vegetables with Glass Noodles 

150 g. spinach leaves
2 T. Canola Oil
1 T. sesame oil
garlic, pounded
red pepper, cut into strips
1 chile pepper
6 pcs. woods ears mushrooms (tenga ng daga), soaked for 30 minutes in hot water then cut into strips
6 pcs. canned shitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps cut into strips
carrot, cut into strips
2 leaves Chinese cabbage, cut into strips
2 stalks leeks, sliced diagonally
80 g. glass noodles (sotanghon) - Long Kow Sapporo brand is the best, soaked for 30 minutes then drained
2 T. soy sauce
2 t. sugar

Boil water in a pot.  Add the spinach leaves and cover for 2 minutes.  Drain and rinse the leaves with cold water.  Squeeze the water from the spinach, separate the leaves and add to the carrots, 2 kinds of mushrooms, Chinese cabbage and leeks.

Heat the canola and sesame oil in a wok, saute the garlic, red pepper and chile pepper (mash wile cooking) for 10 seconds.  Add the rest of the vegetables and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes.

Add the glass noodles and season to taste.

I thought that after my Vegan diet I can eat normal, regular food.  Yesterday, my friends and I had lunch with our balikbayan classmate, Barbie, at Aristrocat in Jupiter. 

Jodie, Lia, Tricia and Barbie

 We ordered the Chicken Barbeque with Java Rice


Pancit Canton

Honey Fried Chicken and Fresh Lumpiang Ubod (forgot to take a picture).

We even had the Torta Delos Reyes.

When I checked my sugar this morning, it went up to 194!!!!  I just realized that it can go up so high so fast for eating non vegan food.  So, I suppose this is a lifetime commitment unless I am attending a special occasion or when I go on trips. 

I am going to Boracay and Cebu with my BFF soon!!!!  Vegan diet will be on hold.  That will make my blood sugar spike but will make up for it.

PS.  I love this tea! 

Rustans Rockwell has a French Food Festival.  It tastes as good as the TWG Caramel tea and the aroma is sooooooooooo ..... two thumbs up!!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Vegan Report Card

I just finished my  21- day Vegan Diet... well ... shy of 2 days but I am not going to beat myself on my head just because I did not complete.  I am very happy with the results and have learned a lot. 

My blood sugar went down to 119 from a high of  254 before I started the diet on January 4.

I can wear some of the shorts I could not before for fear of getting gangrene!!!  Hahahaaha Because they were too tight.  Now I have to use a belt to hold them up.

I can now distinguish what kind of food will make my blood sugar spike.  Animal products and all kinds of fat including Olive oil.

Carbs are not the enemy if you choose your battles well.  Good carbs  in its natural form are corn, sweet potatoes, brown rice, al dente pasta, etc.

I will not eat meat as much as possible but I will indulge occasionally, especially when I am out of town or celebrating an important event.

I would like to continue to live a healthier lifestyle.  I am happy and excited for what the future will bring.

Final Grade : 92%   Not bad at all!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Chinese New Year - Diet Holiday!!!

I declared today a Diet Holiday!  Tomorrow is the last day of my 21-day vegan diet but will  extend it up to the 25th to make restitution for my sinful ways.

It started last night during the Post Homecoming get together with my classmates and I had 3 pieces of Chicharon!  They left 2 more bags here, I invited Mona and Jing for lunch and we had it for appetizers!!!  I also ate fishballs and the vegetables with kare kare sauce.  ARGGGGHHHH!!!!!  I felt physically ill after lunch.  I suppose my system cannot take food high in fat anymore.

Then Merienda time, PD invited us to eat at Lugang, Greenhills!  Jing could not join us anymore because she had to go home to her boys.  So, it was just Mona and I who got lucky.

I forgot to bring my camera, I only used my Blackberry.  The pictures are not as bright and clear as I want them to be.

I was looking forward to my Vegetarian Dumplings with Truffle Oil but they ran out of stock!!!!

I got the Steamed Angled Loofah (patola) with Shrimp Xiao Long Bao instead.

I also ordered the Hot and Sour Soup and requested for a vegetarian version.

We also got the Steamed Crab Roe and Pork Xiao Long Bao. 

I tried one piece and the filling had orange crab fat!

Taiwanese Stir Fried Rice Noodles with Pork.  I had a forkful of the noodles but not the pork.  

Taiwanese Stewed Pork in Steamed Buns.  I did not try anymore.

Pan-Fried Dumplings

We ordered our favorite Mango Flavoured Shaved Ice

I realize that my body cannot tolerate fatty animal products anymore.  Maybe after my vegan diet I will convert to Pesco-Vegetarian .... but I will see. 

Surprisingly, after eating 3 pieces of Chicharon last night, I had my lowest blood glucose reading at 119 this morning!  My lowest ever in the past 5 years.

There is life after CHICHARON!!!  Hahahahahaha! NOT!


My friends and I held a get together for our US based classmates, Lisa, Barbie and Paz, last night at my house.

As usual, we had so much fun and laughed so hard to the point of tears!

We reminisced about all the silly and crazy things we did in high school, who our seatmates were and talked about our classmates who did not want to lend us their Touch and Go liquid corrector nor let us copy from their notes.

We only prepared Filipino Food as requested by the Balikbayans.

The number one favorite of the night was the Fishballs with Sauce!

I set up the deep fryer and it was a fry your own fishballs affair.

The secret to plump fishballs: you should not freeze it.

I asked Hermie to buy Shanghai Fishballs at Guadalupe market and just stored it in the fridge, not in the freezer.

I made my own sauce too.

Fishballs Sauce

1 small bottle of Pepsi (337 ml.?)
1/4 C. vinegar
1/2 C. white sugar
1-2 T. soy sauce
1 T. cornstarch diluted in 2 T. water

Combine Pepsi, vinegar, sugar and soy sauce  in  a pan.  Adjust according to taste.  Let it boil then add the cornstarch.  For a spicier version, mash a few pieces of siling labuyo.

I also cooked the request of Lisa, Baby Adobong Pusit.

Kare Kare from scratch.

I had to cook my own food and shared it with everybody.  They liked it and asked me to post the recipe.

Vegan Fresh Lumpiang Hubad

6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, sliced
2 pcs. tokwa (firm tofu), cubed
orange and yellow sweet potatoes, julienned
sayote, julienned
carrots, julienned
green beans, sliced diagonally
bean sprouts
cabbage, shredded
1 can Molinera Garbanzos, rinsed, drained and skin removed
1 bunch kinchay, chopped
Soy sauce
msg (optional but not for me)

Saute garlic and onions in a little oil.  Then add the tokwa, mash it while sauteing. Season with a little soy sauce.

Next, the sweet potatoes, carrots and sayote. Add about 1 cup of water, salt, pepper, sugar and msg. When half done, the green beans can be added.  After a minute or two, add the bean sprouts, garbanzos and cabbage.  Adjust according to taste.  Transfer onto a serving platter lined with Green Ice lettuce leaves and sprinkle ground Happy Peanuts mixed with a little white sugar on top.  Serve with Lumpia Sauce.

Lumpia Sauce (Philippine Fiesta Recipes cookbook)

1/2 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. Datu Puti soy sauce
2 C. water
3 T. cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 C. water
garlic, pounded

Heat 2 C. water, sugar and soy sauce.  When it boils, add the cornstarch mixture. Top with garlic.

Tricia, Mico and Jodie ordered pork barbeque and crispy pata from Ambers.

Mylene brought Pixies Bangus

Serla got us the Kikiam from the Rockwell Chinese Food Fair.

Mona cooked Chicken Adobo with liver and she also made burong mangga.

Tin brought Napoleones.

Catherine got us the Ube cake from Red Ribbon.

It was the birthday of our 2 US friends, Paz (yesterday) and Barbie (January 13).

And  lastly ...... Michelle brought 4 BIG bags of freshly cooked chicharon from Lapid!!!!!!!!

It made me commit a sin! I cheated!!!! I had 3 pieces!!!! OMG and I do not even like chicharon!   I am going to make restitution for my sin.

Barbie gave me 2 boxes of Twinkies! My favorite!

I kept them in my private pantry.

My BFF Lisa gave loot bags to everybody but mine was the most special, of course.

She was so excited when she handed me the little box and said.... open it!!!

It was an ipod nano!

But me .... being so un-techie asked, what is an ipod nano????  LOL  All the kids said... Tita Lia! Give it to me if you do not know what it is!!!!

No!!! It is mine!

Thank you so much, Lisa!!!

I am so glad you are home for a visit! I have many plans for you!  See you when you get back from Bangkok with your parents and siblings.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Quick Recharge in Tagaytay

Celine, Mona and I went to Tagaytay for a quick recharge.

My friends and I have been so stressed out lately and we just wanted to take a breather.

Stayed at One Tagaytay Place in their 1 Bedroom Suite.

Ohhh.... there was this beautiful place called Balai Taal.

We were allowed to do an ocular.  I told Jing when we have extra money if we could please, please, please spend the night in that place.  LOL  She said: Lia, 50 pesos is extra money, NOT 30,000!

The villa has 5 bedrooms,

living room,

a big dining room,


quarters for the maids and drivers and a spectacular view!

What more can I ask for?

They also allow you to hold small intimate weddings at the garden of Balai Taal villas.

Imagine the bride coming down from the garden stairs.

It was my first time to visit Ilog Maria, a honeybee farm.

Bought a few products, mostly sampaguita scented stuff for my friend Lisa and also for myself.

My favorite scent of all time, a mixture of Sampaguita, Jasmine and Ylang-Ylang.

The glycerin facial soap made the skin on my face a bit tighter.  I plan to order when I finish my bar of soap.  Check out their website:

Another place we visited was Bag of Beans,  so cute and cozy.

Lots of private nooks....

A function room ....

 and a very BIG cat!

I did not have much food choices as a vegan... I had mostly vegetarian food.

Mushroom Sandwich from Mushroomburger.

Vegetarian Pie from Bag of Beans

I brought my own oatmeal and apple and just got the mango from my complimentary breakfast.

We ate at MerBen Canteen Tapsilog sa Tagaytay - Home of Extra Special Bulalo and Crispy Fried Tawilis.

Read it from Heart 2 Heart blog... according to Rica, it was Gaita who recommended the place to her.

Mona said the meat was very tender and the hot soup was delicious.  A medium order was good for 3-4 persons.

Two more servings left in the big bowl.

They asked the waiter to give them extra marrow.

Well .... I had a bowl of  broth because I did not like the vegetable pancit canton I ordered.

They also tried the Crispy Fried Tawilis.

It was a restful couple of days, I am more energized and ready to tackle the upcoming activities.