After bingeing on sushi bakes, lasagna, cakes and cookies, it might be time to balance all those rich indulgences with lighter, clean-tasting fare.
Wheat vegetable ‘siopao’
Being forced into a healthier lifestyle because of a health scare, Jackielyn Fong Go came up with siopao with a bun made of wheat flour, which has more fiber and nutrients than the all-purpose kind. Her initial offerings are asado and bola-bola with salted egg as filling. Her latest is meat-free made just with cabbage, carrots and cloud ear fungus (tenga ng daga); no onion, garlic or meat. What’s great apart from the flavor is that the vegetables retain a bite, which goes well with the soft sweetish bun.
MPantry, tel. 0945-6200266
‘Pe bok ni’ Chinese dessert
This traditional Chinese dessert is something Kelsey Lopez and her family enjoy at home every week. Rich in collagen, the white fungus, also called the poor man’s bird’s nest, is slow-cooked in a crockpot with goji berries and red dates for hours. The result is a subtly sweet, syrupy delicacy that can be eaten hot or cold. It is preservative-free and packed with health benefits. It’s believed to lower cholesterol, hydrate the skin, and replenish calcium in the body.
The Ordinary Sip, tel. 0917-5338527
If you’re hooked on the sushi bake craze, here’s one that is not as carb-heavy. Vannee San Juan has her pantry stocked with healthy grains like quinoa and adlai and so one day, she, along with her daughters, thought of doing their own version of the food trend. They ended up with Naked Sushi, a bed of adlai from the Hineleban farmers of Bukidnon, layered with three different toppings to choose from—smoked salmon and avocado, premium quality kani with diced mangoes, or shrimp cocktail with pomelo. It can be scooped on a nori sheet, or even on a piece of lettuce.
Sexy Bake Manila, tel. 0917-8019792
Carmie Moran has been a vegetarian since 2007, and though she enjoys her soy milk, she thought that there must be something out there that’s even better to have on a daily basis. Hence, her new obsession—plant-based milk with minimal and wholesome ingredients. “I started with oat milk since I thought that it would have the most neutral taste. Then I played around with different ratios, noted down my favorite ones, and asked my supportive husband to try out different samples so we could figure out which one tasted the best.” Her finished product is a line of milk that’s slightly sweet, surprisingly creamy and not too oat-y. It has no preservatives, extenders, emulsifiers, added oils or refined sugar and is made the day before delivery so that customers get a fresh bottle every time.
Not Milk, @notmilkmnl on Instagram
This yogurt drink was born in Shenzhen, China, when, while working overtime, the founders unintentionally poured milk into yogurt. After further experimentation, it became the base for a wide variety of Yogost drinks—fresh probiotic yogurt churned with partially skimmed organic milk, then mixed with whole grain purple rice and/or natural fruit chunks. It has become a healthy habit for those who have tried it, choosing this over milk tea drinks. It is good for metabolism, as well as immune and cardiovascular systems. Yogost arrived in Manila last February with a branch in Ayala Manila Bay.
Hey! I Am Yogost Philippines, tel. 0956-7108317
Angelica Caudal was determined to look for natural ways to protect her family from illness. This drove her to read up and study on healthy foods. “I asked myself, how can I make it easier for people to enjoy their salads? It should be tasty, simple and inexpensive. I thought that making salad rolls would be fun and easy, to introduce more greens into our diet.” She posted it on social media and not long after, friends began inquiring where they could buy them. To date, she has chicken, shrimp, kani and mushroom rolls with different dressings—Caesar, sesame, Thousand Island and peanut.
Simply Fresh Ph, tel. 0926-2630997
Sisig is typically made of pig’s head and liver, but Kath Buendia of Keto Vegetarian has found a way to make one that’s meat-free yet satisfying. She relies on plant-based ingredients like tofu and three varieties of mushroom to do the job. For that salty flavor, coco amino is used, which is a healthier alternative to traditional soy sauce and is keto-compliant. Packed with healthy fats, protein, antioxidants, iron, calcium and amino acids, her sisig helps lower cholesterol, fights diseases and stimulates the absorption of nutrients to promote overall good health. —CONTRIBUTED
Keto Vegetarian Ph, tel. 0927-0366661