Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Deliciously Healthy: Food Magazine's Food Tastings Series

Healthy food doesn't have to be boring or bland...

Food Magazine, in celebration of its 20th Anniversary, presented eight healthy dishes prepared by the metro's best chefs and food entrepreneurs in the third Food Tastings event, dubbed as "Deliciously Healthy," last Septtember 13, 2015, at the Eastwood Mall Atrium. And yes, healthy never tasted this good...

Food Magazine celebrates its 20th anniversary with a series of free cooking classes and demos with the metro's leading chefs. The latest Food Tastings event is the third in a series of free cooking classes, highlighting healthy yet flavorful dishes, and also the third event with my blog tapped as a media partner. 

As with the previous two events by Food Magazine, the third edition of Food Tastings drew in a large crowd consisting of the magazine's loyal readers at the Eastwood Mall Atrium. And the third event promised to be interesting, with recipes for eating right with deliciously healthy dishes. 

Following the success of the first two Food Tastings (more on the first Food Tastings event featuring pizza and pasta on my previous post here and modern Filipino cuisine at the second event here), the latest edition of Food Tastings featured innovative yet healthy dishes, highlighting both flavor and balance.  Take burgers, for example. At the third Food Tastings, the classic burger is reinvented with a healthy twist...

Anthony Macaraeg of Fit Burger takes on the classic burger adding his own healthy spin with a lean beef patty bended with oats between whole wheat pita bread. The addition of oats in the beef patty is a novel idea, and at Fit Burger, you can select from a while line of unique burgers with specific levels of carbs and calories to match your needs.

The Fit Burger patty with oats is surprisingly juicy, with bold beefy notes. Using only the finest and leanest grass-fed beef, the Fit Burger combines this with a healthier whole wheat pita bread and the freshest vegetables for a healthy yet flavorful punch. The Fit Burger delivers full and fresh flavors, with each serving containing 500 calories, 42g protein, 34g carbohydrates, 22g fats, 300mg sodium, 5g of fiber, everything you need to build muscle without the guilt.  

And if you're looking for a fresh and healthier way to start your day, go for Fitness Burger's Breakfast Burger. The same signature grass-fed lean beef patty blended with oats is given the full breakfast treatment topped with an omelette and slabs of smoked bacon. Nothing like bacon to start the day right, and Fit Burger's Anthony Macaraeg explained healthy eating is all about balance. The Breakfast Burger by Fitness Burger contains only 520 calories, 30g protein, 35g carbohydrates, 30g fats, 380mg sodium, and 4g of fiber. For more on Fit Burger and their line of unique burgers, visit their FB Page here at or better yet, go have a Fit Burger at their Eastwood City store.

Chef Deejay Santos of Tefal then demonstrated a Mediterranean-inspired dish with his Mediterranean Chicken and Couscous, a light yet filling dish with the vibrant and sunny flavors of the Mediterranean. Healthy and flavorful, and surprisingly easy to prepare, it's the perfect addition to your home's culinary fare. 

The soft couscous absorbs the rich flavors of the various ingredients, topped with tender chunks of chicken, black olives, tomatoes, and zucchini drizzled with an equally rich and tart lemon-vinegar dressing. A complete meal with full and fresh flavors, all in one dish, and you can prepare this in less than 20 minutes. For more on Tefal and their line of products, check out their FB Page here at

There's no better way to start the day right than with a sumptuous and healthy breakfast, and Chef Matthew Bates of Early Bird Breakfast Club shared two of their popular signature dishes at the third edition of Food Tastings. As they say at Early Bird Breakfast Club, "all happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast..."

...and this is reflected in all their dishes at Early Bird Breakfast Club. Early Bird Breakfast Club's elegantly plated and colorful Breakfast Sausage Tart should bring all the happiness you need to start the day. The bold notes of the bacon and sausages, along with the cheese and mushrooms, combine for a rich blend of comforting flavors, capped by the egg poured on the tart and baked to seal in the flavors. A refreshing vegetable salad and tart salsa with homemade ketchup completes the dish. But Chef Matthew Bates has one more dish guaranteed to start your day on a refreshing note.

The delicately flavored Poached Salmon Aioli is a simple yet elegant dish with fresh and clean flavors. The buttery richness of the poached salmon, placed on a slice of whole grain toast, is amplified even more with the soft and runny poached egg. Definitely an elegant way to start your day. For more on Early Bird Breakfast Club and their line of signature breakfast dishes, visit their FB Page here at, or go have breakfast anytime of the day at their branches at The Fort and Eastwood Mall.

Chef Nancy Dizon-Edralin of ICE Culinary returns to Food Tastings with a refreshing take on sotanghon with her Seafood Sotanghon with Black Ink, a flavorful noodle dish prepared with fresh seafood and squid ink. And just like the very first Food Tastings, Chef Nancy invited volunteers from the crowd to assist her in preparing the dishes.

Chef Nancy Dizon-Edralin's festive Seafood Sotanghon with Black Ink is a refreshing alternative to the usual noodle dish. The fresh seafood add a briny sweetness to the dish, as the soft and chewy noodles bursts with the rich flavors of squid ink with every bite. It's a comforting dish, and also easy to prepare and recreate at home.

Chef Nancy Dizon-Edralin rounds out her demo with an elegant layered dessert. For more on ICE Culinary, check out their FB Page here at

Chef Robby Goco of Green Pastures shared his own creative take on healthy dishes with his unique Pad Thai Salad using fresh greens instead of noodles and his equally inventive and flavorful all vegetable Mushroom and Kale Paella, using only the freshest and finest organic local produce for clean flavors.

At Green Pastures, one of the pioneers in farm-to-table cuisine, Chef Robby Goco showcases the very best of local organic ingredients, with all the components for the dish prepared from scratch. Chef Robby Goco even prepares their very own Sriracha hot sauce blend with local ingredients. The familiar flavors of Pad Thai are transformed into a clever salad dish, the Pad Thai Salad, with a play on sweet, sour, and spicy notes coating each thin shred of fresh greens and vegetables, completed with its own egg wrap just like the traditional Thai dish but without the noodles. It's a refreshing and novel dish, with bold and vibrant flavors, and a cool alternative to the usual salads.

Chef Robby Goco then prepared his healthy and comforting vegetarian paella, the Mushroom and Kale Paella, for his second dish. Chef Robby Goco uses local, organic heirloom rice from Ifugao, Tinawon rice, for his paella, with its soft and fluffy texture. The moist paella is rich and flavorful, and the poached egg adds to the creamy texture of the dish. The fresh kale adds both texture and flavor, and the medley of mushrooms, including the deep-fried oyster mushrooms, complete the dish. Both dishes reflect the distinct culinary philosophy of Chef Robby Goco's innovative Green Pastures. For more on Green Pastures and their special dishes, check out their FB Page here at

Eight flavorful and healthy dishes, each one unique and inventive, all proving that healthy food doesn't have to be bland or boring. And you too can recreate the featured dishes with the recipes below...

The FitBurger
by Anthony Macaraeg

150 grams beef patty composed of 95-5 (fats) grass-fed lean ground beef
Whole wheat pita bread
Salad tomatoes
White onions
Cheswick cheddar cheese
Fitburger sauce (composed of fresh mayo, egg yolks, extra virgin olive oil)
Heinz ketchup

  1. Toast the wheat pita bread in the panini press.
  2. Grill or pan-fry the patty for 3 minutes on each side, add salt, pepper and mustard mix.
  3. Top with cheddar cheese when it's almost done.
  4. Slice the pita vertically.
  5. Spread sauce on each side of the pita bread.
  6. Add fresh romaine and the patty with cheese.
  7. Add fresh salad tomatoes and white onion, salt and pepper before serving.
The Breakfast Burger
by Anthony Macaraeg

Whole wheat pita bread
90 gram beef patty
2 eggs
Double smoked bacon
Bell peppers
Fitburger sauce
Heinz ketchup

  1. Grill pita bread in panini press.
  2. Pan-grill the beef patty.
  3. Cook egg omelette with red and green bell peppers.
  4. Cook double-smoked bacon
  5. Assemble bread with sauce, top patty with eggs and bacon.
Mediterranean Chicken and Couscous
by Chef Deejay Santos

2 cups of San Remo Couscous
2 cups of water
2-3 pcs chicken breast fillet cut into small cubes
1/2 tsp ground oregano
2 tbsp La Espanola Olive Oil with Lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup cubed zucchini
1/2 cup garbanzos (chickpeas)
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/2 cup diced tomatoes

1/2 cup olive oil
2 pcs lemon or lime juiced
1/4 cup cane vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Hard-boiled eggs, sliced into wedges
Chopped cilantro

  1. Preheat a Tefal Red Wok with water to boil. Place couscous in a bowl or container. Add boiling water then cover. Set aside. Season chicken with ground oregano, salt and pepper.
  2. On the same Tefal Red Wok, add olive oil and saute chicken followed by the zucchini, cook until chicken is well done. Turn off heat then add garbanzos, black olives and diced tomatoes.
  3. Combine ingredients for the dressing. Drizzle same on the couscous mixture. Transfer on a plate, garnish with hard-boiled egg wedges and chopped cilantro before serving.
Poached Salmon Aioli
by Chef Matthew Bates

1 Slice Whole Grain
10g Salmon
1pc Poached Egg
Garnish: lemon wedge and parsley

  1. Toast whole grain slice.
  2. Poach salmon in poaching liquid.
  3. Slice the bread and plate. Put the salmon and top with poached egg.
  4. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley, with fresh parsley and lemon wedge on the side. 
Breakfast Sausage Tart
by Chef Matthew Bates

1pc Tart
60g Sausage
15g HC Bacon
5g Onion
10g Tomato
50g Cheddar Cheese
10g Button Mushroom
30g Lettuce
50g Vegetable Salad
Garnish: Katsino glaze, Basil oil, fresh parsley
Sides: Salsa and homemade ketchup

  1. Saute onions, bacon, tomato, banger, mushrooms and season.
  2. Get tart shell and place the above ingredients.
  3. Pour beaten egg over tart.
  4. Bake until cooked.
  5. Top with cheddar cheese and bring back to oven until it melts.
  6. Place it with lettuce, salad dress with balsamic vinaigrette.
  7. Get shot glass for homemade ketchup and white egg cup.
  8. Drizzle Basil oil and finish with reduced balsamic and fresh parsley.  
Seafood Sotanghon with Black Ink
by Chef Nancy Dizon-Edralin

1200g Sapporp Long Kow Vermicelli
200g Prawns, peeled, tail on
200g Squid, ring slice
200g Mussels, medium size
200g Clams
1 tbsp Squid ink
1 cup Tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup Onions, diced
6 Cloves garlic, minced
4 tbsp Olive oil
1/2 cup Chicken stock
2 pcs Lemon, sliced into wedges and coarsely chopped for garnish
Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Soak Sapporo Long Kow Vermicelli in hot water for 5 minutes, drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil, saute garlic and  onions and cook until until translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook until soft. Transfer half of the tomato mixture into a bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the squid, shrimps, mussels, and clams. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until seafoods are cooked through, around 5-10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Re-heat the skillet, add the tomato mixture. Add the squid ink and chicken stock, simmer for 3 minutes. Adjust the salt and black pepper. Remove skillet from the heat.
  5. Add the Sapporo Long Kow Vermicelli. Transfer sotanghon to a plate, top it with the cooked seafood. Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley.
Pad Thai Salad 
by Chef Robby Goco

100g Romaine Lettuce, shredded
45g Carrot, shredded
30g Red bell pepper, shredded
30g red cabbage, shredded
45g Cucumber, seeded and shredded
15g Spring onion, chopped
60ml Spicy cashew dressing (recipe below)
5g Basil, torn
5g Tom yao
10g Spicy sunflower seeds
3 pcs Shrimp
1 Egg

  1. Prepare the shrimp. Peel, remove the head and devein. Poach until cooked and shock in an ice bath. Once cooled, cut in half lengthwise and set aside.
  2. Prepare the egg. Beat the egg and put in a squeeze bottle. Heat a saute pan and lightly oil. With the squeeze bottle, draw a net pattern on the saute pan. When cooked, carefully take out the egg net from the pan and set aside.
  3. Toss the romaine lettuce, carrot, red bell pepper, red cabbage, cucumber, and spring onions in the spicy cashew dressing. Plate on a salad bowl.
  4. Garnish the salad with the torn cilantro and basil, spicy sunflower seeds, shrimp, egg net, and tom yao.
Spicy Cashew Dressing

120ml Soya oil
10ml Lime juice
30g Cashew butter
15ml Sriracha
15ml Honey
10ml Rice wine vinegar
3g Cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper


Put all the ingredients in a blender and process until combined. 

Mushroom and Kale Paella
by Chef Robby Goco

30ml Extra virgin olive oil
100g White onion, small dice
70g Shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
50g Button mushrooms, thinly sliced
30g Oyster mushrooms, thinly sliced 
30g Enoki mushrooms, thinly sliced
50g Garlic, minced
100g Tomato, grated
2g Spanish paprika
100g red rice
250ml Mushroom stock (recipe below)
1 sprig fresh rosemary
180g Kale, cut
50g Oyster mushrooms
For frying, as needed All-purpose flour
For frying, as needed Oil
1 Egg
30ml Paprika oil (recipe below)
30ml Saffron aioli (recipe below)
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a 10" Paellera, heat 15ml of olive oil until it starts smoking.
  2. Saute the diced onion until translucent. Add the sliced mushrooms and saute until brown. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add minced garlic until fragrant. Add grated tomato and paprika. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until almost dry.
  4. Add the red rice and saute in the mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Distribute the rice evenly in the pan.
  5. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover for 20 minutes.
  6. Burn the rosemary sprig. Open the cover of the paellera, quickly put the flaming rosemary sprig on the rice, and immediately cover the pan again. Then, take the pan off the heat to let the rosemary infuse.
  7. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, heat the other 15ml of olive oil until it starts smoking. Add the cut kale, season with salt and pepper, and saute briefly just until wilted. Set aside. 
  8. Lightly dredge the oyster mushrooms in seasoned flour. Deep fry until golden brown and crispy. Set aside.
  9. Poach the chicken egg. Set aside.
  10. To serve, garnish paella with sauteed kale, poached egg, saffron aioli and paprika oil.
Mushroom Stock

250g Assorted mushroom trimmings
125g White onion, large dice
40g Celery, large dice
90g Carrot,large dice
1L Water

  1. Combine all ingredients in a stock pot. Bring to a boil and remove any impurities.
  2. Reduce to a simmer for at least 2 hours, or until reduced by half.
  3. Strain the stock. Reserve.
Saffron Aioli

5g Garlic, minced
1 pinch Sea salt
5g Dijon mustard
180ml Soya oil
5ml Lemon juice
10ml Water
1 pinch Saffron
1 Egg yolk

  1. Using a mortar and pestle, grind garlic, salt, and saffron into a paste.
  2. Whisk together the paste, egg yolk, and Dijon mustard until frothy.
  3. Slowly whisk in the soya oil in a steady stream until it reaches the consistency of mayonnaise.
  4. Combine with lemon juice and water. Reserve.
Paprika Oil

60ml Extra virgin olive oil
3g Spanish paprika
4g Garlic, sliced


Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan. Put the pan under low heat just until the oil is red and the garlic is fragrant. the garlic must not brown. Strain the oil of the paprika ad garlic. Reserve.
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  1. Oh wow! I can't wait to (try to) cook these tasty looking things!

    1. Thanks for visiting, hope you have fun preparing the dishes!


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