Pechay or “Bok choy”

pechay

“Pak Choy” or “Bok choy” is the Cantonese name under which most U.S. groceries sell the nutritious green vegetable known in the Philippines as “pechay.” Pechay is a relatively bland vegetable related to cabbage. Its whitish chopped ribs and green shredded leaves are often used to add nutrients, crunch and color to stir-fried dishes.

Nutritional Facts:

Vitamin A

Just 3 oz. of boiled pechay contains 72 percent of the average daily requirement for vitamin A. Vitamin A has been dubbed the “anti-infective” vitamin, according to the Linus Pauling Micronutrient Information Center at Oregon State University. It received that designation because it protects and supports the epithelial cells that are vital to immune system defenses. Vitamin A is also important for good eyesight. Without sufficient vitamin A, a condition called “night blindness” can develop. In night blindness, the eyes are incapable of adjusting to low light. For personalized information about the vitamin A intake that is appropriate for you, consult your physician or a qualified nutritionist.

Vitamin C

Pechay has 30 percent of the average daily value for vitamin C in a 3 oz serving. Vitamin C is necessary for the synthesis of collagen, a major building block of the connective tissue. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants can help protect the body from the harmful effects of oxidative stress, a biochemical process that may contribute to cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease and other chronic illnesses. A high intake of antioxidant-rich foods such as pechay has demonstrably more beneficial health effects than antioxidants taken in supplement form, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Folate

Folate, a member of the B vitamin complex, is critical to the development and maintenance of cells. A 3 oz serving of pechay contains 10 percent of the average daily value for this important nutrient. Without adequate folate consumption prior to conception, pregnant women run the risk of bearing children with devastating birth defects that affect the spine and brain. Folate deficiencies can also cause gastrointestinal symptoms, headaches, sore tongue, behavioral disturbances and an increased risk of heart disease, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institutes of Health.

Other Vitamins

Pechay contains small amounts of niacin, thiamine, riboflavin and vitamin B-6. Niacin facilitates numerous metabolic reactions, according to the 2009 textbook “Understanding Normal and Clinical Nutrition.” Thiamine deficiencies cause beriberi, a sometimes fatal disease of the nervous system. Riboflavin helps unlock the energy in nutrients, and vitamin B-6 is a factor in cognitive functioning, immune system health and hormone activity. These nutrients are all members of the B vitamin family.

Reference: http://www.livestrong.com/article/492124-vitamins-in-pechay/#ixzz2mMk2psLP

The most important health benefit of pechay is its vitamins and minerals, which helps in keeping you healthy in terms of attaining stronger bones and glowing skin. A serving of pechay also contains:

  1. Calcium for strong bones
  2. Phosphorus for bone formation, digestion, excretion, and hormonal balance
  3. Potassium for muscle control, blood pressure regulation, and hypertension prevention,
  4. Vitamin A for promoting growth, reproduction, and the improvement of vision
  5. Iron which helps carry oxygen in the blood
  6. Magnesium for body’s detoxification
  7. Zinc for improving the immune system against infection and even cancer
  8. Vitamin C for glowing skin
  9. Thiamin, vitamin B-6 and folate for better functioning heart, muscles, and body nervous system

Reference: http://www.letsfacediabetes.com/health-benefits-of-pechay/

As for me: I made a recipe that I hope everybody will love. It’s easy to prepare and cook, super economical and exceptional in flavour.

Stir fry Pechay

Ingredients:

1 Can tuna in vegetable oil

250 grams pechay or 2-3 bunches (shredded)

1 whole tomato cut into wedges

1 onion sliced

2 cloves of garlic

1 tbsp of oyster sauce

1 tbsp of soy sauce

2 tbsp Canola Oil

salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:

1. In a heated wok, saute garlic, tomato and onion.

2.Stir in the tuna, oyster sauce and soy sauce.

3.Mix in the shredded Pechay.

This process will only take 5 to 10 minutes in a well heated pan or wok. Make sure that you stir constantly to avoid burning it. Once Pechay is cooked ( Cook it enough that it still has its crunch) you can add in salt and pepper as desired.

If you want, you can add sliced chili pepper to make it a little spicy.

Go ahead and try it! Bon Appetit!

Let’s Dive into the Chocolate Pleasure

Chocolates

Christmas Season is the season of “Indulgence”. Food is abundant in this time of the year.  And one of the top indulgence of people is Chocolates. So before we wallow in the fountain of chocolates, let’s check the myths and facts about chocolates.

MYTH: Chocolate causes cavities.
FACT: Not so. Normal consumption of milk chocolate, especially at meals, does not cause an increase in cavities. Research at the Forsyth Dental Center in Boston, Mass., has shown that chocolate has the ability to offset the acid-producing potential of the sugar it contains. Acid is believed to damage tooth enamel and cause decay.

MYTH: Chocolate causes acne.
FACT: No, it doesn’t – and it doesn’t aggravate acne either. Studies conducted at the University of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Naval Academy both showed that chocolate has no effect on acne.

MYTH: Chocolate milk is bad for children.
FACT: That’s False. It actually furnishes more zinc, potassium and iron than plain milk – and it’s no more likely to cause tooth decay than plain milk.

MYTH: Chocolate contains too much caffeine!
FACT: The amount of caffeine ingested when people eat chocolate in normal quantities is very small. One ounce of milk chocolate, for example, contains 6 mg. if caffeine, little more than the amount found in a cup of decaffeinated coffee. Moreover, there have been no reports in the scientific literature of any health problems among children or adults as a result of the caffeine consumed in chocolate.

MYTH: Cocoa butter affects cholesterol levels.
FACT: A new study of cocoa butter, the only fat in plain chocolate, indicates that cocoa butter does not raise levels of cholesterol in the blood, despite its total saturated fat content. This finding, published in the journal Nutrition Research in March 1988 by David Kritchevsky, Ph.D., and co-workers at the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, University of Pennsylvania, adds to scientific evidence gathered over the past 30 years that cocoa butter behaves differently from other fats containing relatively high proportions of saturated fatty acids. Kritchevsky’s findings begin to address the concern raised in a recent article in The New England Journal of Medicine (May 12, 1988) that the beneficial effects of the high stearic acid content of cocoa butter may be offset by the presence of palmitic acid, a saturated fat.

MYTH: Chocolate is high in its fat content and can lead to weight gain.
FACT: Chocolate, in moderation, can be part of low-fat eating. An occasional chocolate treat can also help you stick to your healthy diet. Health professionals and nutritionists suggest that the calories from fat should account for no more than 30% of your daily caloric intake. A typical 1.5oz. milk chocolate bar contains 13 grams of fat; a dark chocolate bar contains 12 grams of fat. It is has a higher percentage of cocoa, which studies have shown is full of antioxidants.

MYTH: Chocolate is high in sodium.
FACT: According to the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, the maximum Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for sodium is 1,100 to 3,300mg daily. A 1.5oz milk chocolate bar contains 41mg, while the same size dark chocolate bar contains only 5mg.

Reference: http://www.chocolatechocolate.com/chocolate-facts/chocolate-myths

On the other hand:

The health effects of chocolate refer to the possible beneficial or detrimental physiological effects of eating chocolate mainly for pleasure. For example, cocoa and dark chocolate may support cardiovascular health. Other effects under preliminary research include reduced risks of cancer,coughing and heart disease. One interpretation on the potential health effects of dietary chocolate is it may lower blood pressure, improve vascularfunction and energy metabolism, and reduce platelet aggregation and adhesion.

Unconstrained consumption of large quantities of any energy-rich food, such as chocolate, without a corresponding increase in activity, increases the risk of obesity. Raw chocolate is high in cocoa butter, a fat removed during chocolate refining, then added back in varying proportions during manufacturing. Manufacturers may add other fats, sugars, and powdered milk as well.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_effects_of_chocolate

As for me:  Food taken in moderation and in the right amount will give you the benefits it contain . Eating them excessively is always harmful to the human body. So if you want to take advantage and indulge in chocolate pleasure, make sure that you do it in moderation and choose the best kind like Dark Chocolates.

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate?

Answer

The benefits of dark chocolate include improving moods, protecting skin and preventing heart diseases. Chocolate is made from plants, which contain many of the health benefits of dark vegetables. Diabetic people can eat dark chocolates too as it has no harm.

Reference: http://www.ask.com/question/what-are-the-health-benefits-of-dark-chocolate

Like I always say, before eating or using anything, check on it first! Look into the benefits that you can gain and the harm it can give. And it’s up to you to decide whether to dive in and enjoy life’s pleasure or steer away from it and forever wonder how good it is to take delight on life’s simple pleasures.

Chocolate Raisin Bars

2013-10-11 06.36.31

Since I’m not yet that confident in mixing my own cake batter, I’ve tried using Maya’s Brownie Fudge Mix to boost my confidence in baking. Luckily, it was a good product to start with. I added a few ingredient which I think made it more healthier (because of the raisins and dark chocolate) and will arouse your cravings more. Try this recipe and it will surely awaken the Pastry Chef in you!

Recipe:

1/2 cup melted Butter

1 tbsp vanilla extract

2 medium size eggs

2 bars of Goya Dark Chocolate

1 pack of Raisins ( I was not able take a picture of the exact brand I used, and sadly I forgot the brand 😦 but it looks like this: Raisins

Sprinkles

1 Tbsp canola oil

and Maya Brownie Fudge Mix 500 g

Procedure:

Preheat the oven at 250. Mix Maya Brownie Fudge, Butter, Vanilla extract and 2 eggs to make the batter. Pull out your cake tray (about an inch thick), pour the batter, top it with the raisins and put it inside the oven and cook for 15 mins. While waiting for the batter to cook, melt the Goya Dark Chocolate bars in a bowl by adding 1 tbsp of canola oil inside a microwave for 1 minute (make sure to break the chocolate bars).

To check if the batter is cooked thoroughly, pinch a clean tooth pick on your batter.If there is a minimal batter sticking on the tooth pick, your Brownie fudge cooked perfectly with a little gooey inside. Pull it out of the oven and let it cool down.

Once it has completely cool down. Top it with the melted Chocolate bars shower it with sprinkles ( or you can use nuts if you want).

2013-10-09 08.15.19

It feels good to satisfy your cravings once and awhile. Don’t deprive yourself, just don’t over eat and do a lot of exercise 🙂

Have a fun day everyone!

Buttered Chocolate Chip Cookies

2013-09-29 10.26.12

This is my first ever attempt to make a cookie. My family loved it. They say it tasted like butter cookies with chocolate chips so, I’m naming it Buttered Chocolate chip Cookies 🙂

Recipe:

1 cup flour

2-3 Tbsp of sugar

0.4 oz of  butter (if you’re going to use unsalted butter add in a  pinch of salt)

1 Tsp of vanilla extract

Chocolate chips

2013-09-29 10.00.25 - Copy 2013-09-29 10.00.43 - Copy 2013-09-29 10.22.48 - Copy 2013-09-29 10.22.48 2013-09-29 10.23.36

Procedure:

Combine flour and sugar. Add in the butter and vanilla extract. I think it’s better to use your hand in mixing to blend the mixture well. Just make sure to wash your hands before doing so 🙂 Lastly, add the chocolate chip.

Preheat oven to 250 and cook for 15-20mins.

Let it cool down. You can add powdered sugar on top before serving to add drama 🙂

Instead of Chocolate Chips, you can also add in any type of nut like: walnuts or peanuts to add more crunch.

Go ahead and try this recipe and enjoy eating!

Cheesecake

2013-09-15 15.44.20 2013-09-15 16.34.38

Cheesecake is a sweet dish consisting of two or more layers. The main, or thickest layer, consists of a mixture of soft, fresh cheese, eggs, and sugar; the bottom layer is often a crust or base made from crushed cookiesgraham crackerspastry, or sponge cake.[1] It may be baked or unbaked. Cheesecake is usually sweetened with sugar and may be flavored or topped with fruitwhipped creamnuts, fruit sauce, and/orchocolate syrup. Cheesecake can be prepared in many flavors, such as; strawberrypumpkinkey lime, chestnut, or toffee.

Cheesecake is usually served as a dessert.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org

Cheesecakes originated from ancient Greeks evolved in so many ways. Whether baked cheesecake should be classified as a cake, a custard, a torte, or something else is a matter of debate.The early Greeks considered it a cake.Some modern authors point to the presence of many eggs, the sole source of leavening, as proof that it is a torte. Still others claim that the separate crust, the soft filling, and the absence of flour prove that it is a custard pie.

As for me:

Whether it’s a cake, a custard or a torte, cheesecakes are easy to make, delicious and is a very versatile dessert. You can go wild with the berries and make blueberry, raspberry or blackberry cheesecake.  Top it with a whipped cream and go locco! Whether it’s healthy or not, It’s always pleasurable to indulge into something that you crave for once and awhile.

Be happy! Enjoy life! As they say, “You only live once!” So go ahead and indulge but don’t forget to work hard and exercise!