Monday, February 27, 2012

Respecting Each Other

The cliche "different strokes for different folks" even rings true when it comes to our eating preferences. There are those who prefer to eat meat, dairy, eggs and other food groups.  Wonderful! There are those who prefer not to eat meat, but like to eat dairy, eggs, and other food groups. That's great! There are those who wish not to eat meat, dairy, and eggs, but do eat other food groups. Very good! Then there are those who follow variations of the previous ways that were mentioned. Cool! For whatever personal reasons people have to eat the way they choose, let it be so. No ands, ifs, and buts! People shouldn't be thought of as strange or weird for their choice of meal preference.

People of all walks of life deserve to be respected for choosing to eat meat, vegetarian, vegan, or flexitarian (or semi-vegetarian. People are not in any less or better standing than their counterparts. God loves every one of His children equally, so we should love and respect each other no matter which way is chosen to nourish our bodies.

Whether a person chooses to eat meat on a regular basis or just once a week, or if a person chooses to be a lacto-ovo vegetarian, or if a person chooses to be a vegan, refining one's knowledge base of nutrition can be very helpful.  Even if you eat meat, there are tips and suggestions to eat more healthy, so that excessive intake of saturated fats can be kept to a bare minimum. Even if you eat lacto-ovo vegetarian style, there are tips and suggestions to eat more healthy. You can be a lacto-ovo vegetarian, but if you're eating a ton of cheese and drinking a lot of whole milk, then you're still consuming a high amount of saturated fat. Even if you are vegan, there are tips and suggestions to eat more healthy. Key nutrients need to be identified and made sure they are being taken in at the appropriate amounts.  In all variations, make sure you know what to do in order to maintain health.

To make sure you're on the right track to eating right, enlist the expertise of a registered dietitian to help you. Registered dietitians are your nutrition experts. They are all more than willing to help you achieve your health goals.

However, back to my main point. No matter if your friend, family member, relative, or co-worker eats a certain way, give them what they deserve.  Show them...respect. (& pay for their consultation visit to see an RD...haha...just kidding!) Strange looks or unkind comments will not go over very well when it comes to enjoying each others' company.

Do you have any interesting story to tell regarding people's reactions to the way you eat?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Singing My Song "In Your Love"

The reason why I live is because God's love for you and me is truly amazing.  He is also the reason why I sing.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Recipe Redux: Dark Chocolate Flan with Coconut

"Chocolate Love is in the Air" is this month's theme for Recipe Redux. Oh how I LOVE that theme! That theme rings pure delight. I'm one of those that loves chocolate period. I love both milk and dark chocolate. I can't help it. However, as the word has been getting around, it's the dark chocolate that is loaded with antioxidants to contribute to a healthier you in of course, mindful moderation. The phenols contained in dark chocolate can help relax our blood vessels allow for lowering blood pressure.

I started to experiment with dark chocolate for Recipe Redux on a different tangent.  I started to create an Americanized Filipino dessert adding dark chocolate to it, but it didn't turn out well.  However, I won't give up on that one and I'll continue tweaking that recipe. On the other hand, I kept thinking some more and thought of one of my favorite desserts, which I only have once in a blue moon. This amazing dessert that I love is...drum roll please...flan!! It can be found all the way back originating in Rome.  It made its way down to England and Spain...and I know it made its way down to the Philippines as well.

So now...I present to you my version of Dark Chocolate Flan with Coconut!

1/3 cup of sugar
2 eggs & 2 egg whites
12 oz of coconut milk
1 can of fat free sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup of Hershey's Cocoa (100% cacao & unsweetened)

1/3 cup of shredded coconut flakes

Preheat oven 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Melt sugar in a sauce pan. When fully melted, transfer sugar onto a pie plate and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until light and foamy. Then whisk in coconut milk, condensed milk, cocoa, and coconut flakes. Whisk all together very well.  Transfer mixture onto pie plate. Fill a large casserole dish a little over halfway with water. Place pie plate with mixture into casserole dish with water. Place casserole and pie plate into oven. Bake for an hour or until consistency of flan is firm.

Remove flan from oven and set aside to cool. Consistency and taste of flan is better when flan has been placed in the refrigerator for a few hours.

You may want to toast a few shredded coconut flakes in the oven for a few minutes to add on top of the flan as garnish if you wish.

Please do enjoy this antioxidant packed dark chocolate flan to the fullest!

Also, please stop by down below to check out the other wonderful chocolate recipes my colleagues have drummed up for this month!:)

Are you a dark chocolate lover or a milk chocolate lover or any kind of chocolate lover?
get the InLinkz code

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Those Little White Seeds

Amazing how such tiny little seeds can provide a powerhouse of nutrients. Sesame seeds grow vastly in India, Burma, and China. They have emerged onto our plates as either a condiment, spice, or oil.

There is a good amount of nutrition in just one once of sesame seeds. One ounce of sesame seeds provides five grams of protein. This is a good amount; however, this does not provide all essential amino acids. Another nutrient found in an ounce of sesame seeds is that you can find 277 mg of calcium and almost four grams of fiber. Last, but certainly not least, sesame seeds do provide monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which does contain some omega three fatty acids and a good amount of omega six fatty acids. 

My favorite way to enjoy sesame seeds are slightly toasting them in the oven and then adding them to fresh green salads. Making my own tahini sauce is another way I enjoy these seeds.  Sesame seeds can most certainly be added to any cooked vegetable dishes as well. Sesame seeds can also be used in casseroles to give a nice, top crunchy layer.  Be creative and see what other ways you can incorporate sesame seeds into your meals.

What is your favorite dish to add sesame seeds to?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Meals...Bonding Moments

There are many joys in life. One of the joys in life is food! Yes, food can make us really happy for the moment. An example of this is savoring anything chocolate. That is pure delight! However, what is more enjoyable is spending time with either family or friends centered around eating.

Memories and sweet moments are created around a wonderful meal. This can either be at a restaurant, at home, or at a potluck. Sharing meals together bonds family and friends together. This is the time when exciting updates of each other are exchanged or the unloading of sharing the difficulties of life take place. 

Meals together should not be the time when disputes erupt or complaints about each other are brought up. Negative emotions come about and affects everyone's appetite in this way. There is definitely an appropriate time and place to clear the air.

With everyone having busy schedules and multiple responsibilities, it can be difficult at times to eat on a regular basis with family and friends. This is completely understandable. However, because people are very valuable and precious, spending time with the ones that mean the most to us should be given priority in our lives. We may not eat lunch or dinner with family or friends every single day, but making it a point to do our best to eat together as often as we can will be more valuable than achieving our earthly goals and dreams. 

Fine dining is not expensive gourmet meals with a waterfront view. Fine dining is not about the china or silverware that is used to eat the meals with. Fine dining is simply enjoying a good meal with family or friends whether it be at home or at an inexpensive restaurant and just being able to be in each others' presence chatting up good memories. Fine dining is at our reach as often as we want it to be. The choice is up to us to make it happen....or not.

Any favorite family meal memories out there?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Carrot Balsamic Vinegar Hummus

A friend had given me a bottle of Annie's Naturals Dipping Oil.  I would hummus taste with this. Well, let me tell you, very good...that is if you are a fan of balsamic vinegar, which I am! I made this in my older version of a VitaMix machine...and my VitaMix still works great.:)

2 15.5 oz cans of garbanzo beans
3 medium sized carrots  boiled & chopped
1/2 cup of Annie's Naturals Dipping Oil

6 cloves of garlic minced and chopped
Lawry's garlic salt to taste
Water as needed

Place garbanzo beans and carrots into blender along with the dipping oil. Blend on medium. Add garlic and a little water if needed to help thin down the hummus. Add garlic salt to taste. Blend. When desired flavor with garlic salt is achieved, the hummus is ready to be devoured. You can also heat the hummus first in the microwave if you prefer to serve warm.

Hummus is always a wonderful dip rich in fiber and with the carrots in this particular recipe, beta carotene content is bumped up some. This hummus has a kick to it, so be ready! Enjoy! 

Other than pita bread, what other food items do you like to eat hummus with?